On the move
I spent eighteen years of my life living in the same street, in the same village, in the same country. Eighteen years is a very long time when you are young, and, as a matter of fact, by the time I packed my possessions and left my home for the Netherlands, it had been my entire life. I still come back to the house that was my home for the majority of my life, sometimes a few weeks at a time, and relive my adolescence where my mother irons my clothes and busses pass three times a day. And yet, things change — addresses, most of all.
If moving has taught me one thing, it is that we always leave a part of our lives behind whenever we do it. When I moved away from my family, I left my childhood and my youth and, above all, a great deal of stability. When I moved out of my first room, I left certainty of where my life was heading. And now, moving for the third time in two and a half years, I leave a huge amount of pressure about whether things will work out or not.
The latter could be either attributed to a more mindful way of living — or the fact that the last fucks have been given a long time ago, back when there was still youthful hope and the naïve idea that climate change won’t kill us all in, what, thirty years maybe? But either way: the process of packing and unpacking my life has not only left nostalgia. The process of taking step after step towards the one place where I will ultimately end up also brings a certain security that every part of a life is followed by the next.
Ironically, being on the move, might be exactly the thing you need in order to settle down. Things that broke your heart may turn out to be okay, just as things that made life difficult may have made you a better person along the way. And maybe it is wise to live by the poem of Omar Khayyám:
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety or Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a word of it.
We cannot undo the things that happened, nor can we stop them from happening. What we can do, however, is being the ones responsible for the lines that draw up the path of our lives. And it is my humble opinion that with every box carried and address changed, day passed and moment lived, we come a bit closer to seeing the whole picture.
Every two weeks, Antonia will add the songs she writes about to the Spotify playlist below. This way, she creates a soundtrack to her time in Nijmegen. Click left and right for more songs.