As the title of this post suggests, I have moved cities (specifically, from Brighton to Keynsham (near Bristol)) for the first time in a very long while.
How am I finding it, you ask? It’s awesome! I was super duper nervous about it for a variety of reasons: mainly, I was scared of change. And I had good reason to be! Brighton is awesome. I’ve spent my early/mid twenties here, fell in love with psychology and my boyfriend and found an amazing singing teacher. What else could I possibly get from a different city that I didn’t already have here in Brighton? Well, for one thing, stepping into the unknown, for me, is just as important and therapeutic as planning for the future.
It was “unknown” for quite a few reasons. In lieu of chatting too much about other people, I’ve decided to focus on the financial side of things:
I come from privilege. It hasn’t always felt that way to me, because admitting to yourself that you’re privileged is difficult. You have to admit to yourself that without your whiteness, stable(ish) upbringing, strong network of friends and family, and money, life would be a lot more difficult (and potentially less safe) for you in your 20s. You also have to admit that a lot of the benefits and consequences of your privilege aren’t apparent to you and you thus need to be cognizant of how they affect your behavior and interactions with other people.
SO, yea, I’m a white upper-middle class JAP. But now, I’m 26 and trying to become financially independent of both my parents and hopefully do some good in this world before I croke. Thus, I came to the conclusion that I can’t keep living in an expensive apartment by myself in a semi-expensive city on a grad-student stipend. So, I decided to move in with my boyfriend in his family home. At first, I felt really really guilty about it. Have I stopped mooching off my family to just mooch off another family? Well, yes, BUT, this does feel like the lesser of two mooches. Also, I am fully prepared for the arrangement to be temporary; thus, I’m actively planning for employment after I hand in my thesis. Furthermore, out of the goodness of my boyfriend’s parents heart, I am certain that they are more than happy for me to be living in and taking care of their home.
On the subject of do-gooders, I learned something really powerful about kindness from this entire experience: kindness may be embedded in the human condition BUT it also needs to be observed in others and practiced for the skill to be maintained. Kindness is DEFINITELY a skill. My parents, my sister and really everyone in my family are some of the kindest people I know. It turns out that my boyfriend’s family are also pretty fucking kind too. So are quite a few of my friends in Brighton (you know who you are). In turn, from their example, I want to be just as kind if not kinder (you can take the girl out of competative suburbia…). Thus, I want to be kind to my friends and neighbors but also to strangers. I sometimes think that being kind to strangers might even be more important than being kind to my friends (unless one of my friends is particularly down on their luck)…You never know what’s going on in someone else’s life.
Well, that’s it from me for now. If you have anything you want to add, feel free to comment on here or on FB or send me a message. Three cheers for kindness (especially, during the non-holiday season)!!
The warmest of regards,