I have often lain in my bed, looking at the ceiling which is so familiar now. The walls, the window blinds, even the feel of the carpet under my feet feels so familiar. You could blindfold me and yet I could find every little thing you ask me in the kitchen. Or the bathroom. Or anyplace in the house. This is what happens when you live in a house for more than 2 years. When I leave for office in the morning, I lock my house subconsciously. I don’t have to look for the right keys or watch while the key is put into the door lock. I just do it out of habit. Similarly, I exactly know how much to turn the faucet to get the kind of hot water I like. Every switch and knob, every little thing I touch in the house is familiar to me. So many parties have been thrown here, so many important things have happened to me while I was in this house. I always loved the fact that there was this amazing view of the hills from the window and it was a 2 minute walk from the shopping mall. I don’t have to wait to think when someone asks me my address. I can often close my eyes and find my way in the house.
But then despite the things I have loved here, I have looked for better options. I have looked for better houses, just to get those little extra things that I do not get here. I have thought of shifting closer to my work place. I have thought of shifting to a bigger place so that I can entertain more people and have more space for myself. I have looked at other houses and have wondered if I should shift. With me earning, I can afford a little more, and you know how the things the heart craves for are endless. I started in the US in a shared housing, ended up having my own apartment without sharing, and now, I want more. Other houses have offered things different and better, sometimes a bigger kitchen to allure me, or that window facing the sunset, or a balcony where I can put some plants.
With time, a house transforms from being a structure of bricks and mortar, it becomes home. It is where you want to come back to and crash at the end of the day. It is where you want to start your day. With time, our homes become our identity. Despite my love for travel and my globe trotting expeditions, it always feels so good to put that key into the door and unlock it, to be greeted by the familiar smells of the home. I have looked at better houses, but have come home feeling guilty, as if my home is a friend personified and looking for better options would mean betraying my friend. I have wondered if the next tenant of this house would feel the same way about this house. And for more than 6 months, I have been in a dilemma. A part of me has wanted to shift to a better place with better amenities. A part of me has held me back to this place. It has told me that it is too much pain shifting. Told me that I belong to this place.
For more than 6 months, I looked at other homes and held back. I always came home feeling relieved that I decided not to shift. The familiarity of my home always welcomes me. Then one fine day, things happened, a decision was made, a deal was signed, and there it was. I’m going to be here for 3 more days. And instead of feeling happy about my new place, I feel guilty. I feel sad. I am reminded of the various important moments in my life this house has witnessed. My graduation. My first day at job. Unnecessary tension with my adviser. My home has always welcomed me and rejuvenated me.
I am leaving for a better place. And I refuse to admit that a house is merely a structure of bricks and mortar. I feel I am betraying a friend and leaving her for a better friend. I didn’t cry, but I have felt an extraordinary amount of sadness. I have been packing half heartedly. I don’t know why I even got into this whole house changing business in the very first place. On several occasions have I seen things I loved go away from me. This time, it was self-inflicted. I hope 6 months down the line I feel as attached to that place as I am to this one now. But right now, I suddenly don’t want to leave.
I feel miserable, and I just don’t know what to write more.