It’s just life and they are simply places. The places have no feeling or emotion, only we do. The places existed before we arrived there and will continue to do so when we’re gone….as if we were never there. No new occupant of the past place will sense the vacuum and no new place will sense the energy of the new occupant, only we do that.
This was one of most beautiful responses to my Facebook comment on the day I moved out of my old flat of 7 years. For as I left there was an eerie emptiness and an echo when I had one final look around. I felt like crying and was filled with sadness at leaving a place I spent more years than I’ve done at any other place in my life. That place saw me through so much and it also appeared on international TV through my turbulent and crazy journey of self change.
Me and my family had no choice really, our landlady had given us notice to move. Looking for a new place was an emotionally charged experience with resistance and inertia from all sides, including myself. It was the one move that signified the splitting apart of our closely knit family that has been together since my dad’s death 9 years ago. We have all our family in India and really what we have here is each other. Growing up as children we traveled to such amazing places as Yemen, India, Kenya, Libya and my parents kept going to Hungary and Romania. It was a nomadic lifestyle being a Third Culture Kid as part of a diplomatic family. Schools would change, friends would change, the weather would be different and we would be in an entirely different continent. So we had to stick together really!
We loved our old flat, it was in a beautiful setting and there really was no reason to move out. We packed reluctantly never deciding when to move or setting a move out date as such. As the pressure built up more and more we delayed our move as we couldn’t find a new place or simply didn’t look for it fast enough. Eventually our estate agent found us a place less than half the size of our flat, we had to take it up. We moved things over the course of 2 weeks and squashed things into a place where it is full of boxes and bags. My brother moved out and that meant there was slightly less stuff but it also meant that we were no longer all together living under one roof. It was the most stretched out, emotionally loaded and difficult move I have done all my life. I have moved more than 30 times in my life time and I was happy to stay put for 7 years this time. But breaking that inertia and moving has released the shackles. Life was on pause after my dad’s death and now we are flying apart into different directions where we should, slowly but surely. The notice to move out it seems has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.