I couldn’t remember the addresses for half of them.

Not one of my past homes... This is my sister's old apartment in Montréal.

I was completely slammed with a tsunami of hormones these past two days, rendered non-sensical and completely fucked up by my body’s insane battle with self-regulating its reproductive cycles. I’m feeling better now, though tired and worn and more than a little concerned: This was by far the worst it’s ever been, and I felt like I was losing my mind. It’s times like these that I think I oughtn’t even consider ever getting knocked up, because I don’t know how I’d cope with the shifts in internal chemistry. Huh. I worry about menopause too, for the same reason, though I like to think I’ve got another 20 years or so before it hits. I know, I know, I should get acupuncture and take these tinctures and remember to stretch and meditate and perhaps even talk to a physician… But it’s hard, when you’ve been sucked into an abyss. Afterwards, it barely feels real enough to address it.

In other news, I spent some time today filling out a very detailed security clearance document, which I need in order to work at the local shipyard. I’d been meaning to do it forever, but hadn’t really cared that much until I met this awesome welder who encouraged me. She was the subject of an interview that a comrade and I did, for a series on women in the trades, and I just adored her. “Come to the shipyards,” she said, “I might even be the coordinator of the apprentices this year! Plus, the electricians are all weirdo artsy types who do things like run a recipe exchange.” Okay, I’ll bite. Who knows if it’ll work out, but there’s not much to lose by trying.

Except, of course, for the hours it’s taking me to find all the required security data.

My favourite part has been listing everywhere I’ve lived in the past 10 years.  Being a Cancer, astrologically-speaking, a sense of home is extremely important to me.  In this city alone, that’s been 10 houses, without counting the times I crashed with friends or house-sat. I couldn’t remember the addresses for half of them, and had to do some intense sleuthing through ancient emails (which I then promptly deleted because really? Lovey-dovey messages to former lovers, giving them directions to my bedroom? Ick ick ick… Delete!). At the end of it all, I still have no idea what the address was of the very first place I lived in this town: I know where it is, and am half-heartedly thinking I’ll drive by this weekend, but really I might just leave it out. I was only there for 5 months anyway, and was subletting from another tenant, so it’s not like the shipyard security personnel can even verify it.

I’ve enjoyed the jaunt through time, though, focusing on each of these past homes. Some of them were so incredibly significant that it’s a shock to add up how briefly I was actually there: The first place I lived with friends (3 months), the battered punk house (4 months), the one bedroom I shared with my first real girlfriend (2.5 months).  At other addresses, I’m surprised to find out I lived for so much longer in than it felt at the time. In one place, I was there a year and a half, yet it felt like a blink of the eye… No doubt because of the roommates, since I was the one constant, while the other two bedrooms had revolving doors. Every other month, someone came or left, and the dynamic was always changing.  That was the last collective apartment for me, because I just couldn’t handle it.

The security clearance forms want hard details of when I moved in, and when I moved out, but my brain can’t just leave it at that. I search my memories for dates and times, and I’m reminded of all the stories, the drama, the way it was when I arrived at each home and the way it was when I left. Most of my past ten homes, I’m glad to say, I left happily and full of optimism, certain of a better future. Some, though, it’s hard to revisit, because they began or ended with heartbreak. I’ve lost lovers, friends, gardens, lovingly tended compost heaps… It’s enough to invite some serious melancholy, all this reflection, especially given my still-not-quite-stable mood.  At the same time, I feel a sense of… Is it too much to say awe?  Awe at the fact that so much time has passed, that what felt so intense in the moment is now simply the way it was, that I didn’t turn out totally bitter or ecstatically fulfilled like I always predicted I would with every new move.  Awe that I’m still here, and I have a great home, and I have no fucking clue how it all happened.

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6 responses to “I couldn’t remember the addresses for half of them.

  1. Wow, I wouldn’t know where to start with old addresses… I have lived in many places too (and some, um, illegal, so never really documented – don’t ask; my twenties were a bit sketchy).

    For the job I’m working right now, I had to show PROOF that I had received all of my vaccinations. Yeah, you know the ones you get in kindergarten and grade 9? Oddly enough, the timing worked out. My parents were moving and gave me boxes and boxes of my old stuff, and at the bottom, there they were!

    The security clearance sounds crazy – good luck!

    • Yes, looking at the list, I realize that I was on a lease or rental agreement only about three times in the past ten years. The security clearance form says they need verifiable addresses. Huh. So, I guess that means that my twenties can be described as rather sketchy too!

      I can’t even imagine where my vaccination records would be. My mom has all my grade school art (she makes it into cards for my birthdays now), but I doubt she kept that sort of thing…

  2. When I was a child we moved, a lot my parents had a bohemian streak:-) In my early twenties I moved as well, 6 times in one year. When I got together with my ex we moved into an apartment for two years and then we moved to one down the street, I have been here for 18 years and I don’t even own the building. I hate to move.

  3. re the reproductive abyss: i am here to tell you that menopause rocks! mainly due to having the abyss leave you alone, once and for all! ps love your blog, glad to see you posting often these days…

    • Heh heh… I’m glad to hear it!
      Thanks for the kudos. Blogging has been a really good outlet for me lately, and I’m glad that folks like to read my stories.

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