I started writing this blog post a couple of weeks ago. So here is how it started.....
"I am writing this in my local library. We've been moved in two weeks and wifi still hasn't happened. This may well be a personal record... I am so eager to type all of my thoughts and observations out at the pace at which they're running through my head but unfortunately I've got to contend with a space bar which requires two thumbs to press it down and the eccentric sound of a father and toddler daughter singing a song from "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". In a library. Yep. Welcome to my weekend! Life is weird away from home (London) sometimes. Anyhow, here is a little list of things I have learnt moving out of home... "
Then, as you can gather from the distinct lack of list, I decided to give up and go home (via three awesome charity shops). Now here I am two weeks later, sitting on my bed in the comfort of my new home with wifi galore. I suppose that can be lesson number one - transitions are unsettling sometimes but the beauty of them is that they're temporary.
Anyway, not only did I fail to complete the list or the blog post, I didn't return to Blogger again up until now. Where have I been? Well, just here really. Here and at work, and in my car getting between here and work. And on trains getting between here and work when work isn't at work. Up until this month - and can you believe that this is only post number three of September when we are pretty much in October? - I blogged regularly with the energy I'd been bottling up from all of those hours of rest. It was a full-time hobby, a creative outlet and something I loved. I still do love it now, but here's lesson number two - real life can get in the way!
I assume it is the adjustment that needs to be made when you move to a new town, in with a partner, starting a new job, thrown in with a weekend going back home for birthday celebrations, which has stolen me away from tending to this online space of mine. I come home and feel too exhausted to even turn the laptop on, let alone spill my thoughts onto paper. Oh and talking of paper, driving everywhere means that I spend little time on trains which means less time putting pen to paper for non-work related activities. So there's a little explanation of where I have been. I would imagine that my routine will form soon enough and that will make time for blogging, yoga, exercise and other things which have taken a back-seat.
So what else have I learnt about moving out of home? Well, mostly that parents do an amazing job managing work, life worries, organising and cooking meals, making packed lunches, doing the washing and ironing, owning an ironing basket in the first place, owning a hoover, using a hoover, knowing how to do basic plumbing, knowing how to dry a bath mat, taking care of more than one person and doing all of it everyday without fail. Wow.
But also that it is hugely exciting to know that you can learn to do all of these things, and more, yourself too. Things become second-nature, your skill set widens, your interests diversify...I wasn't anywhere near as interested in dish-drying racks ever in my life as I was trying to find the perfect one during week two of living here!
Also, there's a lot of paperwork involved in moving house. Keeping a folder handy for filing important documents and knowing where to find them is super helpful in those moments when you realise you're an "actual grown-up" now and it's your responsibility to pay for things that come out of taps and plug sockets. Get your favourite stationery involved so it feels less boring :)
More specifically, I'm having to get used to seeing a whole new level of road-kill in these countryside-ish ends. Blerrrrrrgh...not a sight I'm used to in London. Plus it reminds me every morning of a documentary I once watched in which I learnt that some people actively look for road-kill to eat for their dinner. Blerrrrrrgh again.
I suppose that leads on quite nicely to another major lesson I've learnt - and this may shock you so brace yourselves - there is a world outside London!! Growing up in one place, loving it and then leaving and not knowing if you'll ever go back is a daunting thought and one which I tried not to entertain too much prior to moving but crept into my head from time to time. Living away from the bustle of the city is somewhat of a shock to the system - as is the size of the "big" supermarkets (tiny, for the record) - but I am beginning to appreciate tranquillity and not queuing up for 15 minutes in each shop, not striding down the high street willing people to move out of your way because you are on a mission, nor being on a mission because quite frankly what's the constant rush all about? Sure, I miss the variety and choice of food, entertainment and people in London, I miss my family and friends, and I will always consider London to be "home home", but starting a new little life here, with all the humongous changes and (un)anticipated challenges, with M, quite frankly feels like one of the best things I have ever done.
And whilst that doesn't take away existing hardship, it certainly feels like a nudge in the right direction, which is the last little lesson I'll leave you with - if you can create a positive space in which you feel safe, whilst accepting that change is inescapable, then that's a pretty good foundation for whatever you decide to conquer next.