Over the past couple of years, I have moved myself and my belongings (losing some along the way) six times. Each was due to a change in my life – a break up, health and financial issues, location of work, short-term agreements, and a deep-set need for my own space. Perhaps this is why moving house is stressful – not because of the move intrinsically, but because it is always attached to something emotional. Even a positive move, like my most recent one, is fraught with feelings.
A few weeks ago, my partner and I found a lovely old place for rent. I’ve always liked old houses. New houses may be gorgeous, sleek and stunning, but older ones have a sense of solidity; of being alive. The masses of fruit trees scattered around, the tuis & waxeyes that greet me in the garden, and – dare I say – the abundant insect life only adds to this vibrancy – I do like the modern additions of a heat pump and ventilation system, though. There’s teething issues, obviously, but I’m taking this as an opportunity to re-forge old (good) habits, and build some new ones.
The first one is to get back into an exercise routine, which is a pretty common goal across the first-world globe. I was fantastic over summer, and did some level of maintenance exercise over the past couple of months, but from today I’m pushing myself back into some ‘real’ exercise. It’s the good old advice of our grandparents’ – eat well, sleep well, and exercise.
The most exciting change is a ‘creative’ room – for art, writing, books, music and sewing. Art, in it’s many forms, has always been a big part of my life. Through childhood and highschool I read proliferously, journalled intermittently, and developed a passion for painting. Having the space to set up shop has been the biggest factor for the lack of productivity in music and art-making. Writing’s a different issues – I have periods of productivity, and I’m okay with that.
As JC Hart tweeted recently, we need to actively fight against the ‘should be’s’ of adulthood (I’m paraphrasing here, but that’s the gist of it). We should be earning a good, full-time wage (not that there’s anything wrong with that), we should be mature and grown-up (I did enough of that as a child), and we should have our shit together (still working on that one).
There’s more, but do any of the ‘should be’s’ really exist? Or are they just figments of a brainwashed imagination? I say this because I’ve been questioning and changing a lot of my personal expectations, and realising they’d been built on sand. So this week, I’m chucking out the ‘should be’s’ of working – putting teaching and business together, while also creating art, and holding hours.
Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.