I have been wanting to write this article since I moved but then decided to live this life for a bit first then share.
It comes a time when one has to make decisions, choices, hard ones.
Mine was to move out from my parent’s beautiful home to go explore life, and learn it the hard way really. They’ve brought me up so well, being their first born kid and only daughter you can imagine how much love I received and still receive.
It’s been close to two months now since I moved.
Moving can be so emotional especially for those of us who are very attached to family.
I remember the day I moved, 5th Jan, my mum was in the kitchen and my brother and cousins were helping load my items on the car.
I went to say bye to my mother. She was bent over placing eggs in the tray and I sensed she didn’t want to say goodbye. I’d already told her in advance that I’d move but still, it’s hard to let a child go yeah. I called her out, “mum, am leaving”, in Kikuyu as that’s the national language in our home. Then I hugged her and I swear if that hug went on for a few more seconds I’d have cried all the way to my new place. She mumbled something between “stay safe, take care” you know.
I could imagine what she was feeling after we left. As if something had been plucked from her heart. I imagined she’d cry then pray for me.
We got to my new place, unpacked, organized and bid goodbye. I was lucky to be left with my little cousin to keep me company, oh and she got me a wine glass as a gift.
Next day I was back home to mom lol! It’s not so far away really. Roughly 1 hour apart. Am so lucky!
Moving out takes courage. I remember I started planning to move two years ago. I’d even told my friend and he kept bugging me, “Monicah when are you moving” and I’d tell him, “next year”, we even had a laugh about it. It’s like a war in a way when you have to move from a comfort zone you’ve known since birth to the unknown. It was hard for me. But it just felt right to do so at the moment I did more than ever. A part of me knew that if I didn’t, then I’d have failed myself and given in to my fears.
Change is painful.
Taking action requires courage and even when courage is on lunch break, take action with trembling hands.
Told you I went back to my folks after I moved yeah, it was the weekend. Next day was Monday and I was going to be alone in my house for the first time. Never have I ever stayed at work that long. That day I left three hours after normal leaving time. I was scared of the new experience of staying alone. I remember telling my friend I didn’t want to go deal with my demons. While some people long for solitude, others, like me, run away from it. Yet that’s where the gold mine is. The opportunity to know thyself.
A few things I’ve learnt that I’d like to share with you about moving out:
When moving out,
- Be in good terms with your hosts
That’s parents, guardians, relatives or friends. I know one of the reasons we move is because of conflicts between us and those we live with. But when leaving try dissolve the disagreement and then peace out. Especially if they hosted you, they deserve the respect. For couples who have broken up or divorced that could be a different case.
- Make a list
From toothbrush to bed. Write it all down. Start writing way before you move. It makes packing easier. Things to carry from current home and things to shop for. Then as you pack or load the vehicle, tick one by one.
- Make a budget
What would we do without money really. Those items you plan on buying, window shop first, compare prices then decide where to get them. I remember in my search for house items especially plastics, the market and the streets had them all, at fairly cheaper prices compared to the supermarket. You can purchase them at the same place so you get a good discount. When it came to cutlery, I found the supermarket cheaper than the streets with a variety of products. So, depending on your budget and information gathered during window shopping, then you are good to make the purchases.
- Pack all your stuff, put them in one area
The day of moving can be crazy. Especially if you are using hired transportation. I was lucky to have my family move me. So, using that list you create, keep your packed items together.
Once you’ve moved,
- Forget freedom because it comes with a twin called responsibility
See when I was under my parents, I’d feel like they were straining my freedom to do stuff. Stuff like going home late or sleeping out, you know, kukaziwa. Let me state that this was not entirely but just part of the reason I moved. Now that am on my own, I don’t exactly do these things I felt they denied me. Staying alone means I am more aware of responsibilities they handled that I took for granted. I have to take care of me. I have to pay for my housing, I have to do shopping, I have to clean my house and clothes, I have to cook my food, basically I handle all departments there. I am totally responsible for myself and how I handle my time.
- Enjoy the freedom
I told you to forget freedom but really, it’s there. Just don’t let it go to your head. There is freedom because you have more alone time and you make all your decisions by yourself. Take advantage of this to grow. Don’t let it be destructive freedom. Remember you are now 100% responsible for you. Date yourself, learn yourself, start dance classes, finish that course that you’ve postponing, meet new people, travel, budget, invest, buy new stuff for your house, create a morning culture, start working out, read books in the morning. Create yourself.
- Don’t invite anyone and everyone to your house
It’s exciting staying alone for the first time. You’ll even want to hold a house warming party. Do that, it’s good. But then there are those friends who will want to make your place their home. What makes it worse is if they don’t understand your expenditure situation and are like little pests. Set some boundaries. It depends on you really.
- Schedule to cover monthly expenses immediately you receive your income else you’ll end up borrowing.
Borrowing then translates to a trap of taking loans, repaying and never having extra for other purposes. Learn to budget for every expense. Observe yourself and your spending. Be aware. Then you’ll learn to say no to unnecessary expenditure and focus on saving for necessary ones. When in a serious fix, don’t be embarrassed to ask for money from back home or friends if they are in a position to assist, especially from those who understand the struggle.
- Go easy on yourself
I moved from my folks where the house was pretty much loaded with everything a house needs and extras. It is very easy for me to beat myself up about what I don’t have in my new house as I was used to a full house. However I’ve chosen to understand that growth is gradual. I know I will buy a sofa eventually, a fridge eventually, a plant eventually, a pet perhaps eventually. It is okay to start with a bed only. So relax and make that move.
Some believed am the type of girl to move out from my folks when getting married but I had always believed otherwise. That I’d first live by myself.
What I choose to focus now on is personal growth. Becoming a better me. What’s amazing is I feel what am supposed to do. My role is to actually pursue it. At the end of every day, me in my small space, am able to assess how I lived quietly away from the noisy world.
Am learning to be my own disciplinarian. To tell myself the truth. To evaluate and restrategize. When you learn to be your own friend, you’ll not be afraid to go to your house and be by yourself.
Featured image source; 10 benefits of moving out of home before 30