As I mentioned in my last post, remaking all your routines is exhausting. Even something as simple as making coffee in the morning requires me to use different parts of my brain — I still try to turn the kitchen taps the wrong way when filling the kettle. It makes me realise how I ran my days in Bath on autopilot. I could throw together lunch with my eyes shut; I knew all the washing machine programmes by heart. And that’s normal, isn’t it. Just as toddlers thrive on routine, we tread the paths through our home until new neural pathways are formed. It’s comforting — essential, even — to helping us feel safe. Because home is where we most want to feel safe.
I do not feel safe yet. Everything is so new, and while having my own furniture around me helps ease the transition, I’m still bumping into things and fretting about locking the door. I still got back from a weekend away on Monday anxious to see if the flat was still standing (read: not broken into).
It takes time to rebuild your nest. I’m definitely a homebird. After the book tour I wondered if perhaps I could be location independent, living out of a suitcase and working wherever I found a decent internet connection. But I now realise I just needed to leave Bath. I needed to grow, and growth required movement and change. Being away for a month helped me cut the ties to my old home and inevitably that’s left me feeling unmoored. But what’s helping is remembering how I’ve been in this situation before — many times — and it’s always gotten better.
This is the 18th time I’ve moved house as an adult, and the third time I’ve done it on my own. Living alone has proved to be the most soul-nourishing thing I have ever done. It’s my hope that in the next couple of years this status will change, but for now I am relishing the opportunity to make my surroundings exactly as I want them.
Navigating such radical change makes me wonder where else I can bring in the new. My Google Reader suddenly feels heavy and repetitive; I’m itching to change the view I see through my laptop window. I want to curl up on my sofa and read for hours. I’m building myself up to attending lectures and workshops to feed my brain offline (can you imagine?)
I’m gently holding the “now what?” feeling that’s bubbling in my stomach. I’m here… I made the jump…. now what? I swing between the excitement of wanting to do EVERYTHING and total and utter inertia.
It doesn’t help that I’ve yet to refind my work rhythm. Emails need to be answered and next year needs to be planned out… but i’m still changing my address with the utility companies and wondering where my electricity meter is. Even writing this post feels clunky somehow, the words sticking in my head.
I’m waiting for the flow to return, basically. The ease of intimately knowing my surroundings. Fluffing the flat is bringing me joy, don’t get me wrong. I’m dreaming of the rug I want to buy myself for Christmas, and the vintage lamps and chairs I hope to find down Portobello Road. I know it’s just the beginning, and that beginnings can be bumpy.
I don’t have a neat ending for this post. I’ve barely scraped the surface of what I’m feeling right now… But I can tell you this: I’m so glad I made the move.
More soon. x