Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Psychology of Moving

This article from the New York Times, discusses the fear and sometimes compulsion that comes with moving. Moving can cause hope for new beginnings or crushing disappointments. Still, some people just can't get it out of their system. One man mentioned in the article has moved at least 40 time in the nine years that he has lived in New York. "The Psychology of Moving" says that "If they moved a lot as children, they may be experiencing what Freudian analysts call "repetition compulsion," or a Goldilocks complex, always looking for just the right place." And those who rarely move may be frozen by a fear of change.

I try and give myself a bit of a fresh start by rearranging my room. Changing my environment in that way is one of the most satisfying things that I do for myself. Every time that I rearrange my room I think, "This is so much better! I like it so much more!". I imagine that people who move a lot must get a similar feeling when they rearrange their things into a new space, and relax into their new environment.

I have two and a half semesters left at Pratt, and the thought of where I am going to live often crosses my mind. My hope is that I will find a job in New York and either move somewhere more convenient, or stay where I am now. I think the hardest thing about moving will be leaving behind the community. That is what makes me feel the safest, to recognize people when I pass them, to know my way around, know the good places to eat, and the places to stay away from. I think I fall somewhere in-between the compulsive movers and those who are frozen by a fear of change, but I'm glad to have a year and a half left to rearrange my room.


Julie Kim said...

This post caught my eye simply because the daunting experience and notion I have of moving. The article explores the psychological side of the nature of wanting to move or the fear of moving. It was intriguing to learn that children who move too much as a child tend to grow up with the inability to stay in a location for long - a Goldilocks complexion, where one is always looking for better, is the explanation provided by psychologist - but I think it could also possibly be due to the stability of repeating what one knows. And for those who never moved, the simple act of packing up ones life but unable to pack up the ghost memories that lingers in the house could be impossible to do.
I love Becca's thoughts and completely agree with her thoughts on rearranging a bedroom. It give an extreme sense of satisfaction after rearranging but personally completely moving into a new environment hits a different level of satisfaction. I've had to move three times in the past three years because of expiring leases and rent increase and each time, packing the boxes and labeling was never the hard part, it always hit me towards the last couple minutes when checking the empty apartment for the last time. Standing in the middle of a once filled but now empty room gets me hard and closing the door one last time may be the hardest part. But after overcoming that hump, when unpacking all my belongings into a new location it feels amazing. But that high of unpacking into a new environment is quickly squashed by knowing that the clock is ticking on my new lease. It seems to be a vicious cycle.

Anonymous said...

this post caught my eye because I see this a lot with depressed people. They seem to constantly relocate or change their appearance. Depression manifests itself this way, constantly needing to change...but never alleviating the real issue they are trying to change within themselves. Never doing the "work and follow through " necessary to accomplish anything. Sadly, lots of children grow up in an environment like this. This behavior then repeats itself...damaging any sense of stability and routine necessary for children to become productive and have healthy , stable relationships