For the past 18months, I have called ’22 Millar Street’ home. 18months, when I think about it, doesn’t sound overly long. For me, however, it is the longest amount of time I have spent at any one address since I was a teenager. Making this address actually really feel like home.
It was my first real independent venture, this house, previously I always had people around me. While I did live on my own and was rather independent, my family were just up the road, long time friends were just around the corner and the things around me were familiar. I had lived in Hamilton for years, I knew how it all worked, it was easy. Moving to this little house, however, meant moving to a small rural community where I knew no-one. It was scary, as it meant moving to the unfamiliar. Would I fit in? Would I make friends? Where would I get my groceries? Where would I get my morning coffee?!? It really was the first big thing I had done for myself … except adopting my dog (Phillip) … and man am I glad I did it.
I really loved my little house, I loved the way it was set up and the beautiful view of the mountain. I loved hanging out with Phillip and exploring the walks around it. I loved the feeling I got when I got home and the sense of satisfaction that came from seeing everything in its place. Most of all I loved the milestones that were achieved and experienced there, even the horribly bad ones, I wouldn’t change a thing.
As I now sit in my empty house, with all my belongings locked away in a storage unit, I realise it wasn’t the house at all that has made this place feel like home. It has in fact been the people that I have met here. The people who welcomed and accepted me into this community. The people that taught me how to light a fire and helped me to stack wood. The people that took me to the pub for wings and the station for dinner when I needed it. The people who helped fix things around the house and supported me through tough situations. The people who look after Phillip for weekends and now five months!!! I love the people here, so I guess it is bittersweet … looking forward to exciting things but leaving this community of amazing people.
I am lucky in the knowledge that upon my return I still get to come back to this community, for work, so I know I am not leaving forever. I am still going to have some ties here.
I leave this little place having learned that no matter where I travel to and where I may live home resides in the people I meet and the strangers who become friends, not at one single address.