I’ve spent my entire life moving from place to place. We weren’t in the military, nor were my parents in jobs that required relocation. I can’t say the reason for half the moves. Eviction. Custody disputes. Needing more room. Needing less room. It got to the point where I would joke, “Why bother cleaning my bedroom? We’ll just be moving soon.”
The moving didn’t end when I went away to college. I’d only been at my apartment for a year and a half before I decided to move into a new one, breaking my lease in the process. I tried to justify it. It was closer to school. Near my friends. But it wasn’t long before I wanted to move again. It was all I knew.
When I first visited Hawaii, I had just finished my Junior year of college at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, studying photography. I went into my Senior year with the idea that I would finish college then head to Hawaii. I’d take a year off school, then off to Chicago or New York or wherever for my Masters. Never staying still.
For my Senior Thesis, I decided to focus on my topsy-turvy childhood. My first project was to go back to every house and apartment I’d ever lived in and photograph it. I think I ended up with 17.
The plan had been to move to Hawaii the summer after I graduated. Plans change; or rather, situations do. School wasn’t going well– focusing on my childhood ended up being a bad decision, mentally, and I wound up overwhelmed and doubting my place in art school. So I did what I do best.
I ran as far as I could possibly go without leaving the country.
I ran four thousand miles.