Thursday, 4 April 2013
Home Stops Moving?
Ironically enough, it seems that ever since Home Keeps Moving was published, I stopped moving! Yes, I've done the obligatory London rental moves…from Southfields to Putney for a year, then to Tooting, becoming a home-owner but I have been a London resident for almost four years now. Gone are the long Asian backpacking adventures, the freedom of making up plans as you go along; the world your oyster. I miss those days...
I know that life is about seasons, but this season seems to be dragging far longer than I anticipated. What we've done makes perfect sense…instead of locking us down, it actually has the potential to free us up in the long run. It is the wisest financial investment I will probably ever make - London real estate continues to rise. It's funny because our announcement of having bought our first flat together was met by universal "so you've settled down in London forever then". That mold of thinking baffles me…that everything has to be so absolute in life. Not everything has to fit in tidy boxes all the time. The simple truth is that we decided that instead of flushing rental money down the toilet, it made perfect sense to buy and we were in a position to do so.
The fact that I'm now a London home-owner -- although exciting -- doesn't change my desires for the future. It doesn't cure my TCK restlessness (I don't think anything will). It just gives me a different focus for this particular phase of life. It gives me the chance to put down a few roots, to really invest in the neighbourhood I live in, to know that FINALLY I have somewhere to store all my things when the next destination comes knocking on my door. It also means that I always have somewhere to return to that won't disappear. Somewhere to call "home" if I so chose to. And that is actually quite a magical, freeing feeling. I can now focus on trying to make this place the best home possible, to enjoy the comforts of the West. For there will be a time, however far around the corner, where I'll be killing cockroaches…living out of a suitcase…unable to sleep for the barking dogs outside my window. Without both, you never truly appreciate the other.
So it is my task now, for this season to enjoy being in one place, to know that my local pubs/cafes will be local to me for years to come. There will always be short trips and holidays. And of all the corners of the globe, I am so happy that it is multicultural Tooting (where I am surrounded by South Indians), in the beautiful metropolis of London that I can finally lay down some semblance of roots.