Over the past decade, my partner, and I (and our husky pup) have spent a good deal of time on the move. Thanks to school, jobs, and life in general, we’ve relocated across countries and oceans, then back again.
Living in constant motion has its benefits. Minimalism becomes a way of life; when every belonging must fit inside a suitcase that you will drag through six time zones, you quickly learn how to deduce what you really need. You don’t save the expensive wine for a special occasion; you drink it now, while you’ve still got glasses on hand.
An ever-changing future allows you to revel in the magic of your present. Your daily walk to the grocery store is a curious journey rather than a humdrum routine. Favorite meals at local restaurants are tinged with a dash of nostalgia as you draw closer to your departure. Your fellow passers-through become close friends, bonded by your shared displacement, though you know that once you part, you’ll likely never see each other again.
Eventually, we found our way back to where we started. We’ve spent the last year learning how to build a home, something permanent. But we’ve not forgotten the lessons that transitional life taught us. I stock up on blank notebooks, but they don’t languish on my shelf. I use them up, recklessly and joyfully. We eat leftover pizza off the good dishes and burn the fancy candles. We don’t have a lot of knickknacks, but our walls are filled with framed photographs and art from friends and family.
Prior to this, every place we’ve lived has had an expiration date. Every move-in date doubled as the start of a count-down to the next repacking. Here, however, the clock moves forward. We’ve got all the time in the world to settle in and make connections. We chose our desks based on what we wanted, rather than what was easiest to shuffle from one apartment to the next. We find adventure in running errands with friends, or dropping by to surprise a sibling with doughnuts on a Saturday morning.
In my latest release, Off Script, childhood sweethearts Christina and Anna make a similar transition. “Now that we’ve sprouted our branches,” Anna tells Chris, “we can tend to our roots.” Learning who you are as a person, how you work internally as well as how you interact with the world around you, allows you to take stock of your present and figure out what matters.
As it turns out, writing is one of the things that matters to me. I love crafting diverse stories where queer people like myself get to enjoy happy endings. I’ve always doodled and daydreamed, but I didn’t get serious about writing until we settled down. Now that I feel at home in my own story, I can share parts of it in the stories of my characters. Working with JMS Books to share my work, and uplift other queer authors, has been a pleasure.
You don’t need to travel to find what grounds you — and you don’t need to settle to find contentment, either. Everyone’s journey is different! And I hope that you enjoy yours, wherever it may take you.
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