I haven’t dipped into daily prompts yet on this blog, but it’s a Sunday morning and this prompt fits into topics I’ve been circling lately, so let’s give it a try!
I moved house earlier this year, so this is an interesting question to answer when I still feel that I’ve not yet 100% settled into this new place. I sold my own house to move into my partner’s so this house and its location were not chosen by me. I’ve inherited the decisions made by my partner and his ex-wife when they bought the house 9 years ago.
To me the answer to “where you live” has two parts to discuss – the actual home that I live in, and then the location of that house.
As an introvert my home has always been very important to me, it’s where I relax and recharge. I need my space to be an extension of me. I’ve always decorated my living spaces, even when I’ve just been living in bland little rooms in shared rented accommodation.
At times I still miss my old house, a cosy 1930s semi that still has original features and far more character than this larger, but rather bland, 1960s house that would not necessarily have been the type of house I’d have bought myself.
There was a lot of me in my old house, which was solely mine. I’d painted all the rooms my favourite colours and filled it with furniture I’d chosen myself. I did love that old house. I actually wrote my feelings about leaving it earlier this year. The house I share now still has some of my smaller pieces of furniture, and I have put up my pictures and art, but we’ve not got around to redecorating it so it doesn’t yet feel mine.
While the grey and brown walls, and beige carpets, might not feed my soul, I do love the life I have here with my partner and our two cats. It is really the memories we make here together, and their love & support,1 that makes this house feel like my home now. My life is immeasurably improved by living here with them, and I am so happy to have made the move – even if I sometimes feel a little sadden by the boring coloured walls!
In time will redecorate together, it just takes a lot of time and energy and many of the room require more than just a simple paint job! We did get one room done before I moved in. My office, which also doubles as our shared library and craft room. I love this room! It came out just as we wanted, and as a result of our combined choices and efforts! It makes me excited for what we’ll do with the rest of our home – once we feel ready to take on the next project!2
The other half of this questions is the area outside of our front door – our town. That also changed for me, though I didn’t move far this area is quite different to my old one. I used to enjoy a convenient 5 minute walk from the train station, only 15 minute walk from a great town centre shops and 15 mins from a lovely river walk. It had everything I need available without having to use a car, and as someone that find driving stressful that is something I really value in a place to live.
Where I live now does have a lot of the same points to recommend it! We are a very convenient 5 minute walk from a small cluster of useful shops, including a post office and an award winning fish and chip shop! It takes me a little longer to get into the city centre but it is still only a 20 minute bus ride. The city centre is also somewhere I am fond of spending the occasional afternoon. It’s a good mid-sized city that has enough happening but never feels overwhelming, and if you look above the shop fronts and has gorgeous old architecture.
While I can’t do a lunch-time river walk any more, I did recently find a nice leafy walk through a small nature reserve nearby and we’re only a 15 minute walk from a nice stroll around a large park with a lake in it. I also do like walking around this neighbourhood because many of my neighbours around here have some lovely front gardens to get inspiration from!
The street I live on now is also much more peaceful. My old house was on a very busy through road that had buses and lorries going up and down all day, opening the window would mean the rumble of traffic, but now we’re on a quiet residential street. My new neighbours are mostly retirees (hence the well kept gardens!) or families. Some I know to say hello to, and maybe over time I will get to know them a little better.
I hope that I will eventually feel a part of a community here, increasingly I feel that that is what I want but I just need to get better at speaking to people. As an introverted, shy and awkward millennial that just loves to stay at home that is no small hurdle to overcome, but does give me a nice feeling to pop up to the local shops, especially when I use the green grocer or the hardware shop. Even just to share a hello and smile can be a nice boost on a bad day.
What do you love about where you live?