On Moving Homes: Notes on Departure

Moving out of a home could be a profound experience.


I’m moving out of the house I’ve lived in for the last two months. As I took my ‘ceremonial last walk’ around the place, and indefinitely procrastinated on packing my stuff, the following thoughts appeared on my mind. 

Moving out of a Home and Nearing End of Life

When you’ve got only a few more moments at a place, your perception of the place heightens. You start to notice and appreciate little things. Many of these, you may notice for the first time. And what appeared mundane earlier — the little girl in the park, the next door grandmother— appear very special now.

As you leave the place, it seems more beautiful than you thought it was.

Is it not much like life? Don’t you live more deliberately and with more awareness, when you finally realize that you’ve got only a limited time on this planet?

Being Ungrateful to the Shoe Shelf

Quite strangely, as I opened the door of my shoe shelf this morning, I was clouded by emotions. That morning, I had developed some feelings for this little space that held my shoes.

Many a morning I’ve pulled open this same door to take my shoes out. But never did I stay on a little longer to appreciate this space. I never appreciated it for holding my shoes safely.

This feeling spread to many other little spaces I accessed frequently at my home — the placed where I stored my kettle and coffee, the space where I had my meal and did my reading.

Until today I never spared a thought to these little spaces that made my life better. How ungrateful have I been!

Leaving a Little Bit of Myself Back

The room or home itself has a life of its own. It is going to have new people occupying its spaces. Could there be an emotional link between me, the person who will occupy this space after me, and the person who had occupied this space before me?

In the Indian film Dhobi Ghat, Arun (Aamir Khan) finds a left-behind videotape of the previous tenant in the house that he just moved into. He starts to identify with the lady in the video, who was also the previous occupier of the house, and begins to imagine the house through the eyes of the lady.

Should we leave back something for the people who will occupy these spaces after us? A book, or a strange item that will intrigue the occupant. A welcome note hidden somewhere or a recommendation on something cool to do in the city.

You Never Leave as you Came

During the time I’ve been here, I’ve added new thoughts to myself. I’ve gained new perspectives. To start anything new is difficult. It is the nurturing that I experienced in this place that gave me push to start these new things, despite inertia. Here, at this place, I’ve started at least three new things that add value to my life.

In this home, I’ve grown.

Now, when I’m leaving, I’m different from the one who entered it. I’m slightly a better version of myself. And this home has helped me become that. I leave this place with a clearer vision and purpose.

Farewell.