life Relocating

The Second Hardest Thing About Moving

[LAST FRAGMENTS OF WINTER] A girl alone on a bridge
Credit: Flickr / Edmund Yeo
The hardest thing about moving is obviously leaving people you love behind. There are two parts of this – first, there are always the people who don’t seem to be bothered that you left. Which even though I know, and expect now, I still find crushing. The ones who stop hanging out even before you leave because, I don’t know? You’ll be gone so there’s no point anymore?

Then there are the people who you know you’ll see again, and who make the effort to stay in touch, and who let you know they they’re sad you’re going, sad you’re gone. It’s been three months since I left Sydney and there are still people I miss every day. Who I message just to say hi, which we can get out of the habit of doing, it can seem weird. But these are my people. They miss me too. I think they like it. (Approaching two years since I left Canada, there are still people there I miss like crazy too).

But that it’s hard to leave people is obvious. And we worry about the big things, like taxes, and distances, and where will we live.

Every time I’ve moved, I’ve got culture shock. In Ottawa it was being unable to order pizza. KW, it was being unable to find bagels within walking distance of my apartment. Sydney, it was being unable to find a pharmacy when I needed a basic over the counter med (for a stress induced mouth ulcer, oh the irony).

London, I think it was the difficulty I found in leaving for two week trip now that I (1) keep food in my apartment and (2) heat my apartment. Even in Canada, I usually didn’t bother heating my apartment, because I lived in apartment buildings and just leached off the passive warmth of the whole building. But in London I live in a cold and slightly damp basement flat, and I actually have to heat it. And in London, there is no mall food, so I go to the grocery store, and put things in the fridge, and have to make sure that the fridge and bin and recycling are empty, because when you actually buy food and throw out it’s remnants and packaging, this is something you need to worry about.

The heating thing is a little more weird, but maybe will make sense when I explain that it was nearly a month into my lease before I actually found the thermostat. Most of the time I’m still cold, but now it’s set to 20 degrees rather than 15 sometimes I don’t need a blanket AND a sweater.

I also forgot a bunch of stuff (belt, hair serum, drugs, charger for my UP band) because my packing was honed in my Sydney apartment. I think it’s changed because I have more, smaller places to keep things.

But anyway, the hardest things are the little things, and habits. Trying to form new habits like, walking more, or when I go to the gym, are the things I’m having the most difficulty with. Especially when it’s dark, and grey, and I just want to wrap myself in blankets in my chilly apartment and worry about it tomorrow.

Moving is hard. I miss Thursday night workouts with my friend, near weekly theatre trips with another, and it being so easy to find someone to do anything with. I miss calling people for a chat on the walk home from work.

But I also miss… having a tumble dryer. The weekend Cate-time double bill (gym -> mall food -> gym). Iced tea. The walk to work. Knowing where to get my hair cut. And being able to leave for a trip without needing to worry about taking out the trash.

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