July 7, 2014

Where I Live Shapes Who I Am.

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Warning: F-bombs up ahead.

I moved house almost three weeks ago.

It feels weird to write that because it actually feels so much longer than that but today and yesterday, I biked to my old house and I had a beautiful and painful and brief moment of finding and connecting with the me that lived there, and I realised that’s still very much me. She’s still very much here.

And then it didn’t feel like that long ago that I lived there, or so long ago that I moved. It’s weird how time can play tricks, and how reality is so subjective—where I am now can easily feel as though it’ll be where I am forever, in moments of overwhelm and doubt, worry and strife, and where I am now can easily feel like it’s where I’ve been forever, in moments of stuckness, worry and doubt.

Where I live affects me a lot.

Where I am, logistically, but also who I am in the home. Where I am in me, when I live there. Because everywhere is a little different. Everywhere I soak up a different atmosphere and I find a different part of me needing to come alive again, or even more than it was before.

In the last house I felt a warm sense of nourishing, parenting, comforting and gentleness come from living there. I developed in my self-parenting and self-love. I grieved and connected with myself in ways I’d been needing to, on levels I’d been needing to, but on levels, in ways, I hadn’t been ready to because I hadn’t grieved to that depth, yet. I hadn’t released the wounding and the tears, the loss and the pain, that I needed to to get there. I’d released the layers on top, and worked my way down, and through, in the other places I’ve lived the last two years.

The work I’ve been doing the last two years has all been along those lines of reparenting, grieving, and cultivating self-loving. The work continues to go deeper and deeper, and the last house I lived in took it to a depth I’d been really really needing, and felt really grateful to get to, even though the pain felt seemingly endless, all consuming, and hurt like a bitch to get there.

Because what came from this pain was beautiful.

As I took down the love notes I’d stuck to myself on the wall in my bedroom, as I felt the grief that sat there for it all—all the moving, the uprooting, the feeling at home and then the feeling of loss—I saw how far I had come in the four short months I’d lived in that home.

It feels like such a journey happens within the four walls I live in. And it does.

When I’ve packed up and moved—which I have done a lot, especially over the last 10 months—it almost feels beautiful within the turmoil and sorrow of needing to, because each move knocks off another chapter, ticks another few boxes, of my journey, and brings a beautiful closure to that chapter of my story. And because my story feels so jam packed, and so much happens, so much growth bursts forth, to move so much has almost felt applicable, or part of it, or even beneficial in the sense that it’s highlighted how much I’ve grown.

Each time I move, it acts as a flashlight.

When I pack up my boxes, I pack them up from a different me. The me I am then, not the me I was four weeks ago or four months ago. So much changes at the moment, and because I’m so aware of myself, I can see it so much more clearly than I used to.

Moving so much had been so incredibly painful, and really fucking sucked, but when looking at it that way, that part of it is a bonus.

The last place felt light and nourishing and fun, within the self-loving and gentleness that was cultivated, too. I began to find parts of myself again—parts that I now feel as though I’m holding hands with and walking forward with rather than having them quieter, or more in the background.

This place I’m in now feels different. This place has a vibe that in many ways I’ve been needing but in many ways I’m now feeling disconcerted by, or disconnected from the part of me that lived strongly in the old house.

But then today when I biked back there, I see that it isn’t. I’m not. That part of me that blossomed there, in that house, is very much here. She grew strong there and she’s not going to disappear—and neither is her strength, her warmth, her tenderness, her joy, her love, her compassion, her ambition, her interest, her peacefulness. It’s all there, it’s all here, she’s just able to sit back a bit now and be more integrated whilst another part of me steps forth in this new place, to be nourished and known and shown in ways she’s been needing to, in ways she’s been longing to.

There are two parts of me that feel most present in this place. One is the part of me that doesn’t give a fuck. It’s part of me that’s raring to let go and be here, be present, and be free from care or the burden of what people think.

She’s loving, she’s kind, she’s spontaneous, she’s free, and she’s utterly and completely me. (Me with all the other parts of me.)

She’s my fierce and feisty teen.

She’s my wounded but vulnerable, nervous but confident, part of me.

And I see her glow. I see her not needing to do the dishes, because the other house mates don’t care.

And you know what I love the most is that by having her so completely here at the moment, and in a place she can be comfortable and not worry or feel on edge about housework, the dishes, the cleanliness, the politeness, the keeping a sociable face on show (which I never really did, anyway), the other parts of me who do love all those things—the housework, the cleanliness, the tidiness—are even more on show.

By living in a place I feel comfortable, I can let all parts of me glow.

I do feel sorrow when I step through the door and part of me feels concern around that, but I also know that I feel able to sit with that, too, and figure out a way to make sure she’s comfortable, too. The part of me feeling sorrow. The part of me wanting to live somewhere beautiful and to not be here tomorrow.

The part of me who wants to step forward into the chapter of not moving at all, ever, forever (there’s a part of me that craves that stability, and another part of me that fears it, too!).

My inner girl who longs for the freedom and the safety of a loving, safe and cosy home, is a part of me I can hold and cradle and say, “It’s coming. You will know it. It will be yours, but we’re here for now. And I’m not going anywhere. I love you, I’m with you, and I care.

This is your home now and I hear your fear and I feel, see, and hold, your sadness, but it’s not forever. It’s for now. And it’s safe, you’re safe, I’m safe, I’m here.”

The other part of me that’s booming here is my wild woman. The part of me who also doesn’t care what people think of me, and is wild and free. I hope that she can walk hand in hand with my teen and together protect this sadness my inner girl feels, hold their wisdom strong and display their clarity in a way that gives me permission to be me.

Wholeheartedly and completely me.

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: flickr

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