My first post on this blog (far too long ago) was about “Home”. Funnily enough months later it’s that same topic that prompts me to dust off my writing skills and return to my rather neglected corner of the internet.
I’m bad with change…there I’ve said it.
And I’m realising at the ripe old age of 20 that digging my heels in and reluctantly accepting it with a grimace is no longer an acceptable coping mechanism.
But suddenly I find myself in the position where my feelings regarding “home” and change rapidly need an adjustment.
For my “Home” is about to be a new families home, handed over to strangers for them to make their own, create a whole new life and memories here. To learn which are the particularly creaky stairs, that if you knock on the wall behind the microwave it echoes loudly into the lounge (an excellent way to get your siblings attention), to get frustrated at the overly difficult back door key, and annually laugh at the struggle that is picking 2 giant apple trees.
For the next few years of my life my “home” is rather undecided. With my parents renting in a town about an hour from where we currently live, with plans to permanently relocate down South (as in the beach and coastline sort of south) after those 2 years. My family home for a while will no longer be somewhere familiar to me. I won’t be returning from University to comfort and familiarity. Rather a new house with all my old stuff in, instead of the wallpaper that took 30 samples from B+Q for me to decide upon, my teal walls that in places show the exuberant lime they used to sport or my walk in cupboard-come-wardrobe where my angsty teenage self would hide away in when she was feeling particularly mad at the world. No play house that over the years went from my childhood palace of imagination to my teengage hideout (once mum almost called the police to report me missing when I was in fact just holed away in the playhouse) to my adult dumping ground of all the stuff that no longer fits in my life at uni or room at home.
And University, the place that gives us all a chance to move out, but only for 6-8 months of the year. In a week I move from the only place other than my family home that I have ever called “home”, my flat in Halls. And yes….I will not miss the concrete sofa’s covered in questionable stains and marks from far too many drinks spilt at parties. I won’t miss the ridiculous washing system and trek to the laundry room (I will enjoy having more clean clothes when I actually wash more due to owning a washing machine). But I will miss living across the hall from some of my closest friends, from having our doors propped open so we can pad between the two flats freely. I’ll miss the late night take out chats in our kitchens, and the chats we have across the corridor from our adjacent rooms. I’ll miss the room I’ve made my home for the past year, the room that I spent hours working (and napping) in, the room that saw me go from a nervous 19-year-old on moving in day to a very different 20 year old moving out now and onto new things.
And my new house, an exciting prospect, not least for the prospect of comfortable sofa’s and our own washing machine, as well as 3 luxuriously sized bathrooms (instead of one between 5 girls), and a double bed (the first I’ll have owned). But again…I have no idea how long this place will be my home, a year, or maybe two or possibly longer.. only time will tell.
So at first I had the mentality that I didn’t want to get attached, not to another home that I would say another goodbye to. Saying goodbye to places for me is like saying goodbye to all the memories I have of it. For my flat it’s the many many hilarious times spent there, evenings spent at the lake playing Frisbee, short walks to the student pub. Though I know we will soon settle into a new routine, find a new pub, and a new spot to play Frisbee, it’s sad to shut the door to a place I have such fond memories of, first year truly was one of the best year of my life and I connect that very much to the physical places those memories were made.
But the people stay. My mum reminded me that though leaving our family home, the place my brother took his first steps, the place I grew from a 5 year old missing her front teeth to a 20 year old contemplating the next decade of her life, we take what matters with us wherever we go, our family. At University it’s the same, the people go with us.
And so I am realising it’s time for me to adapt a new attitude. To not give change the evils, to stop my routine of eyeing it up with bitter resentment and eventually giving in to it. Rather to attempt to embrace it, to see the opportunities new places represent, for new memories. Whilst still allowing myself a space to be sad as I say goodbye to the place I grew up.
As I shut the door for the last time to both these places this summer, I see different versions of myself as I was, and how I grew into who I am now in both of them. They will both have a fond place in my heart, as I take forward memories and photographs, but more importantly the people that made the places my home.