We had a long house hunting project recently. The lease for the old one expired and everything we saw was either too rich, too poor, too much, too less. Or something. Because we were so taken in by the old one that nothing could match up. And so many reasons that!
When we arrived in Malaysia, carless cookless and maidless, we settled for a house that was right next to the train station but a bit of an island in itself. I loved its slightly old school large windows and kitchen, all the sunshine, but once the car came, I started to get a little restless. Where were my regular cafes, my grocery store, weekend haunt? So we found ourselves our last house. That was bang in the middle of a very green residential area but one that had rows and rows of cafes, restaurants, pubs, grocery stores, a night market, and everything else a household of fully functional adult needs except a large kitchen. And a view of the hills just across the road (almost). It was everything that we needed to make Malaysia home. Of feeling a little more rooted. And just like that, Friday nights at home, after alarming irregularity in 2012, came back with a bang.
And we discovered, way more enthusiastically that we did in our first year, not out of necessity but out of having bandwidth that comes with feeling settled. Plans were made, discarded, some ourselves, some by the Hand of God. Diwalis and holis were celebrated, mandir was set up, cooking at home became occasions of immense pride and discovery, nesting and the many many journeys happened. But as growing up goes, disappointments also happened, marginalization and politicking at work happened, the 30s came along and brought questions. Oh, the questions. And yet, every evening, coming home to the view of the hills and unusually large windows made everything alright. Super, even.
That house will always be the house that made a woman out of me. I realised that sometimes, hyperventilating, loving, and longing isn’t enough. Sometimes when you let go, good things happen to you and the people you love. Sometimes, it takes all you have to remember that happiness is a matter of decision. Yes, still. And that sometimes, even now, I can be unbelievably restless. And I usually have no reason to be that way. It’s doesn’t need unhappiness. It’s just this mad craving to be on the move!
And yet, when the time came to move on, I was a little scared of the questions, the decisions, what the future holds. It happens, when the ground beneath your feet is not your “very own”. Questions like “will we find desi food delivery for those Friday nights at home?” and “am I really equipped to do this?” made me want to stay on. But that home of three years, it had taught me well, in its own adorable, sometimes grown up, sometimes childish ways.
When it’s time to move on (and only you decide when it is), you do. Head held high, excited about, not afraid of, what the future holds.
And I say this right now, not just for the house. But you know that already, don’t you?