Throughout my life, I’ve moved a great deal. It often felt hard to be uprooted every few years, but it made me who I am today, and I’m thankful for all the experiences I have had. As I’m getting ready for another move now – back to North West London – I’ve been reflecting on all the lessons a life of packing and unpacking brown boxes has taught me. Here are my top 5:
1/ You experience both the good and the bad of friendship.
Moving as a child taught be some fairly tough lessons about friendship. From as young as 5, I was moving 1000s of miles away from best friends, and I learnt pretty quickly that people can get angry with the ones who leave. I remember a friend from ballet school who refused to speak to me for 6 months when she found out I was leaving California for New York, only to break down in floods of tears on my last day. Experiences like these though, tough as they are, can make you pretty invincible: I learnt to go after what I wanted, and live wherever I wanted, without worrying or being held back by what other people thought. Moving also teaches you the best of human nature, with friendships that can stand the tests of both time and distance.
2/ Home is wherever you’re living.
People who have moved around most of their life always hate the dreaded question ‘so where are you from?’ I’ve become content with the fact that I don’t really feel like I’m from anywhere in particular (although I felt a particular affinity with London the very first time I visited it at 16); instead it’s important to make ‘home’ wherever you happen to be.
3/ Possessions both do and don’t matter.
Having certain well-loved and familiar items with you goes a big way in making any house or flat feel like a home. I remember when I was younger I had my ballet posters, as well as my John William Waterhouse prints, which instantly made any new bedroom feel familiar and homey. At the same time, though, it’s also important to know when to let certain possessions go. Constantly moving means that sometimes you just need to lighten the burden!
4/ Change should always be embraced.
You can never fight change, and in general I like to view it as a good thing. It can feel scary, as well as exciting, to move somewhere new, but conquering new experiences always makes you a stronger and more interesting person.
5/ Always make the effort to make the best out of wherever you’re living.
I’ve lived in places I’ve loved and places I haven’t, but there’s good to be found wherever you’re living, and it’s important to always search it out.
Original image via here