Time is a funny thing. On one hand, it feels like I’ve been ‘moved out’ forever. It’s very normal, even though it’s only been two weeks.
While my time has been up and down (down being knocking my bottle of olive oil on the floor and spending twenty minutes trying to make the floor not-slippery) (yes, I googled it) (yes, I cried), the process has been incredibly smooth. (Maybe not the whole buying-four-tires-thing, but honestly that was manageable and definitely not the worst thing to happen to someone in their first week of moving.)
Tears have been shed, but I think in terms of stress levels I have been incredibly blessed.
Before moving out of home, I had been thinking about it seriously for a month or two, and less seriously since November 2019. Before that, it wasn’t on my radar other than the thought of “I want to be independent before I turn 23”. (And no, there is no significance to the number 23, it just sounded like a good time.) So I fully believe in God’s timing and control, from giving me the peace and joy in wanting to move, to providing a place to live at the right time.
I also moved two days before my trimester at university started, which meant I was relatively settled before I had the pressure of my assignments.
As stated, my want has always been to move out before turning 23, which I beat by four months. Or, God beat by four months. 23 has always felt like the golden age for some reason. (If you’re older than that, you’re probably laughing and thinking “23 aint that good, wait til you’re…”, but as I haven’t experienced your age yet, please bear with me.)
But I’m happy, where I am.
I’m comfortable driving with traffic lights and two-lane roundabouts (even though two-lane roundabouts definitely shouldn’t exist), I enjoy cooking dinner even though sometimes something isn’t quite right, and despite the building presence of the coronavirus, I do like going grocery shopping and filling my basket with specials (mmm, soy crisps).
Now, I’m aware these things are shallow, small aspects of independent living. We all go grocery shopping, Sarah. Get over yourself. We all know you can deal with raw chicken now, stop talking about it. (But really, I can deal with raw chicken now!)
But it’s these things that represent the intangible things.
Grocery shopping and cooking is the representation of looking after myself, of trying to eat well (by well, I don’t just mean healthy. I mean well, because boy-oh-boy do I love pasta and eggs and cheese. I definitely have a new-found appreciation for cheese which I didn’t have before; I just want to snack on it all the time…). Driving represents the confidence I have in myself, because driving anywhere other than a country town used to make me nervous and stressed, and I was honestly sure I would get into an accident or get stuck somewhere I shouldn’t be. Driving around is normal now, and I am genuinely proud of myself for feeling capable at it.
Being money conscious and health conscious are little pieces of proof that I’m responsible for myself. Hearing my keys clang together remind me that I have a place and a car that I am responsible for.
All these small things, things that most people deal with, represent something bigger to me. And someday, the novelty will wear off. But until then, you’ll be hearing about my satay chicken (which yes, I had to cut up raw chicken to make) and the two-lane roundabouts that only exist because we live in an imperfect, broken world.
It is strange, not knowing when I’ll next see my parents. (Kind of exciting too, livin’ that mysterious life.) But I guess that’s part of moving seven hours away (Hi Mum and Dad!)
My main point is that even though I talk about the happy parts of moving out, I have had moments of being sad. But I think that even when I’m sad, I’m happy to be independent and I don’t regret my decision to move. I’m still figuring things out (does this slight ache need to be looked at by a doctor???), but the process is noteworthy.