Back in March I sold most of my stuff, loaded the rest into my car and got ready to live out of suitcase while I figured out what to do with my life. More specifically, whether I wanted to follow a boy across the world or start a different life on my own.
I’ve opted for the ‘life on my own’ thing. I’ve also learnt quite a lot about myself along the way. Mainly, that I’m really not cut out for being a nomad.
At first it was exhilarating. I enjoyed the freedom that came with having discarded a lot of unnecessary possessions. I also enjoyed the fact that I was doing things differently – “oh look at me being all quirky, by only renting where I work four nights a week, and spending my weekends travelling round the country sponging off friends and relatives.” I was feeling smug in my ability not to be tied down to somewhere I had to clean, pay bills and house stuff.
Then the novelty wore off and I stopped enjoying it. The reasons for this range from the mildly irritating (I want to wear this dress today. Oh crap, I can’t, I left it at my parents house) to the more distressing (I’m feeling sad and want to go home. But where is my home. I have no home!). Although even the mildly irritating things become less mild when they all add up.
Having said that, I’m glad things have worked out the way they did. I’m really grateful for the things I’ve learnt.
1. I have really amazing friends. I can be quite stubbornly independent: I don’t like asking people for help so being forced to has been incredibly humbling, rewarding and really made me realise who my friends are. I know some amazing people who, over the past few months, have always been there for me when I’ve needed them, both practically and emotionally.
2. Some things are important to me. Other things are not. Not always having everything to hand has made me realise what these things are. Weeks where I’ve been without craft supplies, running shoes and healthy food have driven me crazy. Things I haven’t missed include television, my bike and (surprisingly) books.
3. I need a nest. I had a moment the other day: I was tired, a bit miserable, and just wanted to go home and curl up under a duvet. But I didn’t know which duvet I wanted to crawl under. It wasn’t the one in the room I rent mid-week, it wasn’t at my parents house, it wasn’t any of my friends spare rooms. “I want to go home, but I have no home, ” I whined to my friend who very kindly let me crash on her sofa for a bit and brought me a cup of tea. Obviously, this happy-go-lucky always-on-the-move lifestyle does work for some people. But it doesn’t for me. I need security, I need my own space, I need a nest to crawl into at the end of ‘one of those days’.
4. I’ve had the opportunity (and necessity) to spend more time with my family. This has been awesome. But not something I’d have necessarily thought of doing anyway. I’ve planted vegetables under the watchful eye of my grandpa, been on long bike rides with my dad and had long conversations with my mum.
But now I’m ready for a permanent home.