The Place We Call Home

Over the past 2 years, I moved 6 times. I pack light with very little furniture – and so it was not as much of a hassle as you might think. I learned a lot. Moving is a big deal. Each environment for me was very different. Some places I had housemates, others I lived alone.

I noticed how each space I lived in affected me, very deeply. Each group of housemates had very different attitudes toward their living spaces.  I rented a room from a family who treated me like a houseguest with limited privileges.

Their house looked like it was ready to show, every day. I never felt very relaxed. The next place was a household of women in their 20’s and 30’s, clean, friendly but busy. It was nice, with no drama, but not very homey to me. Then I had an opportunity to move in with some friends and I took it, thinking that I would feel more at home there. Well, their house was a mess, often. I tried to clean it but that just seemed to get on people’s nerves. So on I continued, this time to an RV.

And on it went. You could say that maybe I was too quick to change locations.  But on the other hand, I learned about how different people live, how they communicate, how they view their living space, and by that, what they value.

What do they use their home for? For some, their home seemed to be a reminder to them that their life is in order – these were the clean people. For others, their home was a place to relax, have fun, and never worry – these were the messier places. And yet again for others, home was simply a functional space – where you went between moments of living your life elsewhere. I learned from moving what I value most about my living space, and what I value in housemates.

I learned to notice different ways that people communicate and get their needs met, and where they place their priorities, based on how they were in their home. You could say I was stretched and pulled outside of my comfort zone from all of these experiences. But I am glad I explored many options, even if some of the experiences were unpleasant, because of the perspective I gained.

The experience of moving several times is a good example of why it’s said, “There are no mistakes in life – only lessons.” Every choice is an opportunity to learn something. With this attitude, life becomes an adventure. For me, that opportunity to learn and understand other ways of life made the transitions – frequent though they may have been – worth it.