I’m now in my new home finally, though far from settled. It’s been a much-anticipated, indeed, much dreamt about moment. It’s curious to track the range of emotions I’ve experienced since I picked up the keys for it.
The first thing is that despite all the anticipation when the moment arrived there was no great sense of release, as perhaps you might expect. It was similar when I got my job. That may be down to my temperament in many ways. No matter how much I’ve yearned for these moments I’m said to be pretty unflappable. The other aspect, in both job and home, is that neither are new. They’ve been absent, and often seemed very distant, but I’ve a life previously when they were the norm. I arrive there and look around and think, oh yeah, I know this place.
With that said there has been a sequence of varying emotions overlaying that. In fact the first time I walked in the door there was a sense of deflation. I felt it driving there, fearing that the moment I walked in the door would fall short of what I hoped it to be. I was right. I walked around the empty house and it seemed smaller and shabbier than I remembered. This was perfectly natural, the way it almost always is.
I’d been late arriving to inspect the place when I saw it first. The agent was locking the front door as I drove up. He let me in and I quickly looked through it, taking in the broad aspect and not the fine details. To a degree I was seeing it for the first time when I moved in again.
There seemed something terribly mundane about it all of a sudden. As much as I had yearned for this moment I saw it when it arrived as part of a life much reduced in scale from what it had once been. It was an ordinary house, I had an ordinary life, and grateful as I was to have both I could not escape that feeling of reduced circumstances.* On top of that I was conscious of my financial circumstances. All this, or just this, and I’m not sure I can afford it (which is a real and ever-present concern).
All of that passed, such is life. The next day was full moving in. It struck me again how much I have lost – this house not nearly as fine as my house before, and in much less salubrious surroundings. This time though it served to spur me on. There’s no denying the facts of life. This is reality – but it’s a reality I can change. In a way I was grateful for it. This is daily motivation. I only have to look around to know I want more again, and knowing that I can do it, strive towards it.
The next stage of this experience will come when I’m properly settled into a domestic lifestyle. I’m still a long way short of being properly moved in. I’ve made a couple of meals, done a load of washing, but there remain boxes everywhere, I have no internet, no routine or pattern to my home life yet, no great sense of belonging in place. It will be different when I get there.
*I kept rembering in my head the lines from Rimbaud’s Season in Hell: Hadn’t I once a youth that was lovely, heroic, fabulous, something to write down on pages of gold? – I was too lucky! Through what crime, by what fault did I deserve my present weakness?