Moving, loving where you live, happiness

It’s been a little while, eh? I know the plan behind the daily ramble was to ramble daily, but it seems not to have worked. I suppose that’s the issue with not having discipline to begin with – soon you slip and then fail to get back up again.

Moving was the big problem. It was difficult to continue to ramble daily and spend three days solid putting my life into boxes. I spent a lot of time getting rid of things, paring down. Partly because I no longer have room for most of it, partly because I no longer needed them. But I’ve written about this before, and I don’t want to cover old ground. What I was not expecting was how little I would miss the things I gave away or sold or donated. I cannot, shockingly, remember what most of what I gave away was.

There were two things about moving I should have anticipated, which I didn’t. The first was that it was incredibly stressful, and I have been anxious and on edge since. I should have seen this coming. I made no time to mentally prepare myself, to think about what life in a different town would be like, living in a different place, with a different person, what commuting would be like, arriving home later, and more tired. I did all my packing last minute and didn’t in anyway think about preparing myself for leaving by taking some time to savour a few last moments in my old flat, or neighbourhood, or that area of the city in general. It was assignment done one moment, shove stuff in boxes the next, say good bye to a bunch of it, and launch myself into a new home the moment after that. I’ve moved in with a dear, dear friend, in a nice area, with a not-too bad commute, and so in the grand scheme of things, it’ll be perfectly fine. It won’t take me long to adjust, and in time, this will be good. Right now, however, I’m feeling a little like I’ve had the emotional rug pulled out from under my feet, by me, which is not only unpleasant but embarrassing.

The second thing I didn’t expect, but perhaps should have, was how sad I felt moving from Cardiff. Not only do I still miss the place that I was living, but I miss the city, too. I miss being five minutes from the centre of things. I miss hearing people all around me. I miss living right on the water and getting home from work so early that I had hours of evening to do whatever I liked.

Having said that, life is never black and white. Greyscale printed pictures, everywhere you go. There are things I don’t miss, too. Seagulls screaming at three o’clock in the morning. The strange smells of hot meat sweat cheese vomit that suddenly sprang up from now-where like evil spirits. The brown-grey goo that accumulated in your nose on hot days if you walked near the busiest roads too long. The suicidal pedestrians and the homicidal motorists.

It’s always a mixed bag. If you go around looking for the idyllic moment, perfection, you might find yourself wishing it could last forever, and it never can. Worse, you might have a perfect moment, and realise with horror that an imperfect one is right around the corner. Happiness, or peace, for me at least, comes from accepting there is no permanent perfect state. Perfection is the enemy of the good, etc.

I love Cardiff. I only lived there a year, but it was a spectacular one, and I’ll definitely live there again one day. At the same time, I’m excited to see what life is like where I live now, what I can discover about the place I live, the people who live there, and about myself. It’s all part of the adventure.

Daily Ramble #3 finito.


P.s. Talk to me people; I don’t bite. Does moving make you jittery? Have a city that you love? How about happiness, what does that look like to you? Stretch them typing fingers readers, comment away!

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