I have lived, in total, in five houses throughout my life. The first was the home I was born to which I lived with my parents until the terrible twos came along. I have no memories of my first home but I know it was a good place to be. My second was my childhood home, a place that was filled with so many happy memories and laughter that it was sad when we just outgrew our little house and needed somewhere bigger. I miss that place because it wasn’t just a house but the street and the friendships made there that helped mould me into who I am today.
Now my third house, the one I have just moved back into has been the place I have lived the longest. Over a decade now but it is my family home, the place I come back to time and time again. It’s were my parents live, my baby boys live too and it will always be home to me. Even when I moved out for university.
During my three years at university I have lived away for two of those years. My first year I lived in a flat with all international students who I probably only saw or interacted with a handful of times. It was both lonely and exciting and properly one of the best times of my life and all that it represented. In my second year I commuted, I returned to my family home and although it wasn’t easy it gave me a chance to grow in ways I didn’t recognise until now. It was a strange, wonderful and complex time but it allowed me to grow so much.
But this post isn’t about the past, it’s about saying goodbye to my latest home. My third year university house which I entered in anticipation and excitement only to be confronted unexpectedly with a sad truth but I survived and grew so much more. It’s time to say goodbye to number 43.
At No. 43 I occupied the back room which was at the top of the stairs and completely tiny – I loved it. Being in the smallest room turned me into something of a minimalist and pushed me to realise what stuff I needed and what stuff I didn’t. It was freezing all the time, with a hole in the window constantly letting in the cold and if more than two people were in there then it certainly started to feel cramped. But it was Home for me for my third year, it was were I spent most of my evenings and nights – although most of the time asleep. But it gave me a base and despite living with people who I didn’t speak or interact with at all, it provided me with some comfort.
On a Morning i would wake early, I’ve always been an early riser but here I could do something with it. It meant I could get to the shower first thing, breakfast and enjoying the morning quiet before going out each day – like it was an adventure. It gave me two pathways to uni, though often I choose the scenic route to travel to and from rather than the quicker route.
Coming in from rainy days and dark evenings and curling up in my jimjams with my book, music and countless pots of tea. Just those little moments that I felt settled there, that it felt like home for me.
No this year wasn’t easy, it never is when you live with people you don’t talk to or get on with, but having my own tiny space gave me the courage to start going out and doing so much more. I faced my fear of going out on my own, eating in restaurants and cafes alone and even going to the cinema alone! Each day I collected me things and faced it like it was an adventure waiting to unfold and knowing that by the end of that day I could go home to my tiny room at No. 43.
Plus, my bed was super cosy and mattress lovely and soft. Like a giant pillow and blankets which would pull me in and snuggle me up while I read before going to sleep.
But overall, living at No. 43 showed me that I was stronger than I thought and that I still had plenty of room to grow. Leaving this place is only sad as it means the end of my university journey at YSJ but it’s a chance for a new adventure.
I know, like every other morning when I walked out the door despite the fact this time I’m not coming back I’m off on yet another adventure. And that just makes me smile.