Maria's Blog: What leaving has taught me about home
The night before I left Bucharest with a one-way ticket to Edinburgh and 2 hundred pounds in my wallet was an interesting one, to say the least.
My partner and
my best friend came to visit me and they even helped me to pack my bags. I
remember crying in frustration because I felt like I’m such a mess for not
being able to pack earlier on by myself. Whenever I’d start packing during my
last week at home, I ended up having a major breakdown. So I just kept
procrastinating it. When I got asked why I found it so hard, my answer was
“Well… I’m only allowed to take 5 kilos of stuff with me. How am I supposed to
know what I’m going to need?” And I mostly referred to clothes… Which I think
was so weird to grasp for people I hung around just because my fashion sense is
not really that complex. I basically get really attached to 4 or 5 items at a
time that I wear in the same combinations for a few months until I eventually
get bored and switch them with some other items. But I used to think that was
lame and that maybe I should add a lot more diversity to my style. Moving
countries is all about reinventing yourself in every each way, right? For me
reinventing myself was the biggest priority when I left. And that’s why I
wanted all of my clothes. I wanted to finally start wearing them after they’ve
been lying around in my closet for ages because I just didn’t feel like it’s
the right time for them. “Well the time just came now”, I used to say to
myself. “…And I want to have options”.
Before you jump
to conclusions, I want to make sure you know that this is not a post about
fashion. It’s a bit deeper than that. So if you can’t handle it, then maybe you
should just… just kidding. Obviously. I want you to stay and read my damn post.
And even comment on it, if that’s possible. Blog posts are needy beings. If you
think about it they’re born to receive attention.
So I finally zipped my baggage. My mom was really nice and she agreed to send me clothes in a big box through the post so that she’d provide me with the variety I (thought) I needed.
Finally, 2 weeks
ago, the box arrived at my door. I happily opened it and nicely folded the
clothes to arrange them in my wardrobe. The majority of them remained untouched
to this day. And that’s the story of how I decided to sell half of my clothes.
And to just re-evaluate my life.
See, I left my hometown with the idea that there is so much that I am going to change about myself and that coming back just won’t feel the same. Now I’m convinced that it won’t, but the change that’s already taking place is so different from what I expected. It’s actually quite the opposite!
As I said
before, I wanted to start wearing more clothes in order to reinvent myself. I
wanted to turn into this complex, independent 19 year-old-girl and to get to
know myself by dressing up more. I also wanted to start doing more. I wanted to
join about 6 different societies, get 2 part-time jobs at the same time. I
wanted to call my friends more. I was convinced that distance would make me
more sociable online. Only I was putting so much pressure on myself. To have
more, be more, do more. Always more.
I know that it’s
weird saying that I’ve shifted my perspective after not even being at uni for 2
full months, but I definitely can say that I’ve learned a valuable lesson.
Deciding to sell my clothes felt so good.
You know how
sometimes we’re so scared to let go of objects that we never use just because
“someday we might”? I think that it can happen on a more spiritual level as
well. Sometimes we’re scared to let go of our huge expectations of ourselves
and the world because maybe what we do and what we are is just not enough.
The need to reinvent yourself is characteristic to new beginnings like going to Uni and leaving home… obviously. But what if “reinventing yourself” is not something that YOU have to do? Maybe it’s something that just happens naturally. Maybe the only 2 steps that you have to take are:
- Be brave enough to leave.
the miracles that it did for you.
I’m sure that
you guys have thought about minimalism before. It’s a practice that doesn’t
only target your living space or your material possessions. For me, selling the
clothes that I’m not wearing to make more space and accepting what I truly
enjoy as my style wasn’t the first step. The oldest advice in the book is
“Change comes from within”. So what happened to me was that I realized that I
don’t need to push myself to be someone I feel that I’m not. That maybe joining
6 different societies and trying to keep myself busy is not how make the most
of my time. That I don’t have to try to speak to my friend at home more than
before. That I don’t even need to try hard to make new ones. That getting a new
haircut and experimenting with a more diverse style can be fun, but only if I’m
not trying too hard.
I’m not saying
that trying is bad. But when I stopped pushing myself to find new hobbies, make
new friends, be a whole new person as if it was mandatory, I realized that I
didn’t actually have to do anything. Change is happening with or without my
will. And sometimes it’s beautiful to just take a step back and observe it.
I believe that
all of these three categories that I mentioned are deeply linked with how
honest you are with yourself. Style is a natural thing and the reason you only
like certain clothes is because that’s how you express yourself. It’s a part of
your personality that you can embrace.
The friends that
you’d want around you are probably the people that you get along with because
you first accepted yourself and then showed your true colours to them. Without
forcing anything. They’re people that you WANT to contact. Sure, it can be easy
to forget to check on people sometimes when there is a lot happening in your
life. But in the back of your mind you always know who your people are and
which relationships are just there for the sake of it. And that also seems to
apply to making new friends. There has to be a mutual “spark” of some sort.
Finally, exploring a new hobby is one of the most amazing experiences a person can have. But if you end up being desperate to do it all you might end up missing what truly makes you feel amazing when you pursue it and stop you from investing your time and energy correctly.
I’m starting to feel like a guru right now, but really all I’m trying to do is share my experience and some advice that I think can never be wrong: Take it one day at a time. And listen to yourself. When you’re in touch with yourself, you bring home with you everywhere you go. Being very fast sometimes masks insecurity and gives birth to anxiety and confusion. If you’re anything like me, hearing this will be reassuring.