By Selena Conmackie
I canʻt stand my furniture being in the same place longer than a year. I get an itch for rearranging and something changes in my house and my family is like… “Again?!”
I messaged fellow military spouse and friend Maria Reed of Moving With the Military (a home improvement and lifestyle series honoring those who serve with surprise home makeovers) asking if she felt someone (me) that needs to rearrange furniture frequently is unsettled or just likes newness. Since she knows me, she had shared a different perspective I hadnʻt thought about myself.
As I am sitting in my ofﬁce actually writing this, I am actually thinking it is time to change things up again.
**Back to now**
I was born to parents that traveled for work, and we must have moved what felt like a zillion times. My little childhood brain remembers the newness of things and how that was so exciting.
There are conﬂicting battles within me that wanted long-term friendships with school friends or being part of EVERY huge family event like birthday parties, family reunions, and weddings that I would be bored at but still wanted to say I wanted to be there with my cousins, you know… all the things that we as military families want.
I should also mention that my parents were in the hotel business and I saw so many different conﬁgurations of rooms, spaces, and restaurants in that environment that showed me there wasnʻt just ONE way things had to be.
We lived in apartments or houses provided by their employer and I loved hunting for toys and discovering which cabinet door held my favorite Peterʻs Rabbit cup.
We must have stopped traveling when I was about 11, due to my parents divorcing, but the moving didnʻt stop. As we transitioned into a new life, I was in and out of my parents’ new spaces and things were once again rearranged.
When you finally are old enough to get out on your own, you ﬁnd yourself in dorm rooms, spaces with roommates, and start figuring out what you really want around you. Well, my space went from a “full house of MY things” to just a room of things that were mine.
My ﬁrst marriage and the ﬁrst time settling down in our apartment longer than I had ever been in one place was new. I didnʻt know what to do with the restless feeling I had, and I noticed myself rearranging the furniture and how I enjoyed being in a “new” space within my old space.
Does that even make sense?
Most of my family would constantly say, “Oh, you moved things around… again.” I took that as not being able to settle down.
Eventually, change came with my divorce and moving into being a single parent and the homes we moved into until I met my Army soldier. Moving out of my home state wasn’t as scary as it felt to some of my friends. It stirred up that excitement of what was to come next and how I would be arranging that.
Moving into our ﬁrst military home when I was at the age of 40 — knowing the home would be only in our stratosphere for the years — was an exciting challenge: Having new furniture as a new couple to blend, not really knowing what our space was until we arrived to our new duty station, and seeing what cupboards would hold my child’s favorite Backyardigans mug that had come with us all the way from her ﬁrst home in Hawaii.
Meeting new friends who had just PCS’ed and seeing their pieces of furniture in the same conﬁguration home that I had and how they set it up according to their own ideas created a new way to feed my beast of rearranging. That ﬁrst home saw changes still as my new marriage grew and we added more of OUR life into it — and I introduced my husband to my love (need?) to rearrange our bedroom, the living room, and the dining room.
I would ﬁnd myself watching makeover shows more intently and grabbing new fresh ideas to try on, like that dress you eye on the rack at Target.
Itʻs funny when my husband walks into a room and I’m watching HGTV and he gets nervous and announces “No, no, no… Iʻm not moving ANYTHING.” Or he catches me on Pinterest while we are in bed and he hears me whisper WOW to myself and mentally notes he has to make sure to add more nails and monitors on our Amazon account to prepare for what he may be putting up on the wall.
Back to friend Maria. (I had found her on Instagram when I was at my ﬁrst duty station and my phone combined military life and home makeovers in all my social media feeds). We texted back and forth about my question and she asked why I thought “unsettled” was the right description for what I was doing with my constant addiction to rearranging. She said, “You are a creative person!”
And because she enjoys the process being a creative herself, she likes switching things around to see what they would look like in different ways. Suddenly, I looked at my whole life and rearranging furniture as an expression of my creativity and loved that!
“EMBRACE YOUR UNIQUE CREATIVITY,” she told me. And I think that’s exactly what I’ll continue to do!
About Selena Conmackie
Some call Selena their Social Media Gal, Website Designer Extraordinaire Guru, Genius (their words, not hers). But she’s also a Military Spouse following her husband with her kid and dog in tow to wherever the Army sends them. So, just add Rockstar Mom and Ah-mazing Wife to her list. H A U O L I is the name of her small boutique business. It means Happy in Hawaiian and has a special meaning that became the inspiration for her new journey. Her goal is to help your business to succeed — and social media plays a part in that. She enjoys the game of hashtags and algorithms and helping her clients optimize their online presence.
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