Tomorrow I am moving out of my family home, (hopefully, but also sadly) for good. Since graduating in 2016 I’ve spent the best part of the last 18 months, minus 10 weeks travelling, living in my home town in Devon. My plan had been to move out sooner, but finding a job as an arts graduate proved to be even harder than I thought. Whilst at the time I was so resentful of this, feeling stuck in a place that was far away - in every sense - from where I wanted to be, in hindsight, it’s been a time I’m now so grateful I had.
There's very little to do in the winter besides going for muddy walks, going for coffee or going to the pub. All of which are great when they're not your only option! The thing that’s kept me sane is the girls I’ve now been friends with for over a decade. We've been consistently by each other’s sides through school, university and travelling, yet a group of us found ourselves serendipitously back together in the rural town we grew up in, but in our early twenties. None of us wanted to be here, using it as a stopping place, ploughing our way through jobs to save, to get out. Our solace was our houses being five minutes apart, able to jump in our cars and convene to chat about everything and nothing, watch re-runs of Girls, eat too much food and give support at a time when we all felt rather lost. It’s hard to articulate just how much they mean to me, we understand each other so entirely and I’ve come to appreciate their friendship so, so much over the last year. They relentlessly offered comfort and self-belief at a time when these were lacking and would unquestionably offer their shoulder to cry on when it was a particularly low week.
Although we are all more than ready to move out, I feel so grateful for the last few months, suddenly aware of how temporary it was and how unlikely it is that we’ll ever find ourselves here again. That may sound dramatic, but it’s true and it’s important to value your present, as one day you’ll pine to relive that time that passed you by so easily. I’ve felt nostalgic for moments as they’re happening, desperate to soak up the feeling of being so closely surrounded by my closest friends all at once. Leaving means that definitively, a safe, comforting and familiar chapter has come to an end, for an exciting chapter full of the unknown to begin.