Home Lifestyle 20 things I have learnt since the move.

20 things I have learnt since the move.

by Roberta

Living on your own also means you have plenty of time to reflect about things.

Here’s a list of my “reflections”, eight months worth of them. Some are trivial, others less so. They are in no particular order whatsoever, as you will notice yourself.  But they all contribute to moulding me, as a person. The same, yet so different from the one who left home on the 9th of August, 2013.

1. I love cooking.

I wrote this first, not because it has any bearing  on the greater things in life but because I wanted to shock all those who really know me. There, I said it. I enjoy cooking and I can safely say I can cook a decent meal without making anyone sick. Hah.

2. I am a moody person.

The smallest things affect me.I go through extreme ups and downs in a relatively short space of time. In many ways, I think that although I have managed to thicken my shell, I am also extremely sensitive. Living alone teaches you to be wary of things you might have taken for granted and this stresses me out.

3. Stress is a killer. But having someone listen you out is the greatest blessing of all.

Linking this to the previous one, nothing can make you worry your head off than thinking about the very worst. My argument: better be prepared for anything. Although this is true, I have learnt that worrying about things which are out of our control is USELESS. It is stupid and leaves you feeling helpless. And nothing is worse than that. I tend to despair quickly but I have been extremely lucky to always have someone within earshot who points out the good things left, the silver lining I fail to notice. You know who you are. Thank you. I promise I’m trying very hard to think positive. I may even be succeeding.

4. I am a control freak.

I have always known about this trait but it never revealed itself except during those times when I was waiting for a bus which never came and the not-knowing where it was, or why it had not come yet would drive me insane. I guess that is pretty normal. Ever since I moved out and started working with a large company, the freedom I previously had (the ability to plan from months ahead, the assurance of weekends off, the routine) vanished. I am now living from month to month, week to week, even day by day and I realised just how much my yearning to control everything really is. It’s always the same isn’t it? Take something away and you realise how valuable it truly is. Which leads me to the next point.

5. Not everything can be controlled. I don’t need to have a say about everything for it to make me happy.

Although it still leaves me on edge, living day by day is not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe some things are not meant for us to control. Maybe some things just happen because they will ultimately result into something bigger and better.

6. I love 89.7 Bay.

I don’t mean to advertise but coming back from wherever it is I am, opening the door to my room and being greeted by the familiar Maltese language, or the notes from a local band or singer is an instant morale boost. Thank you for giving me a piece of my island for company.

7. Malta is the most beautiful country in the world.

Before anyone snorts at this, let me explain. I have visited a modest number of countries, still very far from what most of my friends here have visited. And yet, the flight which gets us most excited is always the one bound for home. You could have just come back from Phuket or New York. Malta aways tops my list. There are several reasons behind this but I believe I’ve covered them in a couple of posts already. So I won’t bore you again with those.

8. I am contradiction personified.

I will explain why. Whenever I have a new destination on the list, especially if it’s European and so somehow, “familiar”, I will always try to explore on my own. I love the feeling of being my own boss, taking decisions for myself and not hindered by the fact that someone needs the toilet or someone else has an irresistible urge to buy candy floss or to take a full photo session by the Eiffel Tower. Sure, it makes taking photos of yourself awkward, especially when you have to stop other people who you think won’t run off with your mobile phone. Then God invented selfies, and although it did not make the world better, it sure saves a lot of awkward moments. I have strayed form the point. The point is that although I love exploring on my own, I crave company. I crave being with other people. Sometimes I go for days without meeting anyone and it used to make me go mad. I simply love being with the right people, people who make me laugh and it’s a tough job with this lifestyle. When everyone has a different roster, you need to have a good number of friends to save your day. After 8 months, I think I’m finally getting to grips with this.

9. I am a physical person.

Sometimes I just need a hug. Honestly, I need it. Or  a tap on the back or a friendly squeeze of the hand. Something. Anything. 

10. Chocolate is the solution to most problems.

I went on this crazy healthy eating plan. I’d buy wholewheat pasta, avoid sodas and anything too sweat. Eat lots of fibre and not a lot of carbs. You know the drill. I stopped eating chocolate too and although I didn’t notice it at first, I realised how the world was slowly taking a turn for the worst. The first bite of that brown substance, the food of the gods themselves, and I saw light again. True Story. The morale: while chocolate will probably not get you what you want, not eating it will have the same effect. So might as well raise our endorphine levels while we’re at it.

11. Making new memories will never substitute missing out on others.

But they will make you appreciate them all the more. Cocktails with ex-colleagues, coffee with Uni mates, shopping at Sliema with siblings and friends preceded by breakfast at Cafe Cuba, lazy days by the pool at the Lido. When they come along again, they will be perfect.

12. I love soapy baths. And crawling into bed with clean sheets after.

Hot water, lots of bubbles, a good book, some wine. And then the feel of crisp linen against your skin. Bliss.

13. I will always be a teacher at heart.

Whether it’s my insane need to correct something I don’t like (sorry about that :/) or the fact that I do miss being of support to students who might not have much to go on by, I will never regret getting that degree. The lessons I have learnt in turn are some of the most precious I have acquired.

14. I’m always searching for the familiar.

 Wherever I am, even if it’s outside my comfort zone, I cannot help but notice things which remind me of home. Whether I look intentionally or not, I don’t know. All I know is that I love spending time with my Maltese friends,  that the sight of the Maltese flag or the Maltese cross makes me happy, for no reason at all. What can I say? #proudtobemaltese

15. I love writing.

And reading. And together, they’re a formidable form of companionship.

16. I also love watching series.

I always thought I’d never stick watching series. I would always start one and never finish it. Maybe it’s the fact that I have more time on my hands but I’ve realised that if they’re good enough, I’m hooked. Take Dracula, for instance. Or Davinci’s Demons. Or Spartacus. They all have me salivating for the next episode. But nothing will ever beat Game of Thrones. And this is probably because they are originally books. #teamjonsnow

17. I am a very simple person.

I enjoy the simple things in life. A smile, a hug, lunch, a drink, a ride in the car, a romantic date with myself, flowers, a smell which makes me nostalgic, a hilarious chat.It’s a good thing that the simple things in life are usually the greatest.

18. I must let go of my future.

I once read in an article that the key to happiness is not just about letting go of the past. It’s also about letting go of the future. I have learnt that making insane plans for the distant future is just what it is. Insane. That worrying about whether it will be bright or dull, whether I’ll get what I want or not, whether I will be happy, is one step away from a serious breakdown of nerves. I’m not saying I mastered this. I’m saying I’m trying very hard to. And the next point on the list is what I’m trying to do.

19. Treasure the NOW.

Because 10 years from today I will look back and think of what a life I was living, of how reckless and brave I was. Of how many things I’ve seen and how many people I’ve met. I don’t want to look back and think, why did I make my life hell for myself, thinking of today? Enjoy the present, treasure what’s precious and discard what’s not.  Everything happens for a reason. I’m here, because I’m meant to be. Today, tomorrow, 10 years from now, it will all be the same. If it’s meant to be, then it will be. And although I speak about MY future, it’s not really anyone’s, is it? Che sara, sara.

20. I am a lucky person.

All things considered, I believe I have been blessed. I have been blessed with friends I love just as much as my own sister and brother, blessed with the opportunity to travel and make some money in the process. Blessed with the opportunity to be away from home which has taught me to be humble, to appreciate everything, to be grateful for every little thing which makes me happy. Even when things don’t go to plan, when what I get is not what I want, I remind myself that what I have now will not always be the case. That I should squeeze every last drop from this little adventure.

So go. Leave. Learn and love. But come back.

You will be a different person only because you have come to know yourself infinitely better. THE person you were always meant to be.

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