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May 4, 2005

Moving Home, Leaving Home

Profgrrrl's recent entry about defining home has me thinking about my upcoming move to Washington, D.C. Moving to Washington, or more likely a Maryland suburb, is a kind of homecoming for me. Even though I moved to Atlanta when I was about eight years old, I was born in Washington, D.C., and spent significant chunks of time every summer visiting the nation's capital because of my dad's job with the Department of Commerce and my mom's desire to return to a city she really likes. And while I'm not feeling conflicted at all about moving (in fact, I'm looking forward to it), I'll be curious over the next few weeks to reflect on how this experience will allow me to think about "home" in new ways.

There's no question that Atlanta is "home" in some very specific ways; after all, I've spent a larger chunk of my adult life in Atlanta than any other place and my family still lives here. I generally root for Atlanta's sports teams (with varying degress of enthusiasm). But I still experience myself first and foremost as an itinerant academic, moving from place to place until I get a tenure-track position. Since graduating from high school, I haven't lived in the same residence for more than three years. I still don't put posters up when I move into a new apartment (something that honestly won't change when I move to DC; I've come to accept this fact about myself).

In addition, like GZombie, I have a conflicted relationship with Georgia, with the conservative politics of many of the state's residents, with the suburban sprawl that engulfs the once-quiet bedroom community where my parents live. I'm also conflicted about the city's habit of erasing its own past, but that's probably happeneing in most major cities, not just Atlanta. There are many things I really like about Atlanta, though, and I'm planning in the next few days to blog about those (as you can probably imagine, a few of them have to do with movies).

Given the number of times I've moved in the last ten years or so, I'm not even sure that it makes sense to call any specific place home. Instead, I am very much looking forward to spending some time in Washington, less to revisit my past than to see what new connections I can forge, what new directions I can take.

Posted by chuck at May 4, 2005 6:06 PM

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Well, you'll certainly have plenty of Wordherders in DC to keep you company. Let me know when you arrive-- I'd love to buy you a welcome beer and talk time-travel films.

Posted by: marc at May 4, 2005 7:09 PM

I do love Georgia and I'll always be from there, but I have to agree with your assessment of conflicted feelings about it. It's not uncommon for me to entertain thoughts of moving back home if only to add one voice of dissent to the monologue that has developed on politics and religion. Welcome to DC - looking forward to meeting you in person!

Posted by: natalie at May 5, 2005 7:35 AM

Natalie, it's certainly been interesting to follow Georgia politics the last three years, and some good things have happened. The anti-evolution stickers that were to be placed in Cobb County science textbooks have been removed, for example.

Marc, sounds great. I'm looking forward to meeting many of the Wordherders in person when I get to DC. I'll probably be looking for a place in late May and may move up by the end of June....

Posted by: Chuck [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 5, 2005 1:31 PM

Good luck, bud!

Posted by: Steve at May 5, 2005 5:21 PM

As a complete coincidence, I also have a post from the other day called Defining Home.

DC is a great city. I have a couple friends there. I love it... and I think you will too.

Posted by: Amber at May 5, 2005 7:42 PM

Amber, thanks for pointing out your post. I'm definitely looking forward to DC, even if it may only be for one year.

There are things I'll miss about Atlanta, but (other than the expense) I still relish the idea of moving & learning about a new place.

Posted by: Chuck [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 5, 2005 8:52 PM

You might get to know Brett Marston of the blog Marstonalia (marston.blogspot.com). He's a Davidson graduate, he was a professor, and he is about your age. He's interested in film, even though you can't tell from his blog.

Posted by: Chris Martin at May 6, 2005 4:36 PM

Chris, thanks for the tip. I'll certainly take a look at his blog.

Posted by: Chuck [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 7, 2005 12:40 PM

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