Photography Challenge Day 10:
I’ve never had a knack for interior design. I just can’t see how to make a living room look like one of those super chic and cozy living rooms in other lifestyle blogs. This may be because I’ve never been in a situation where I had the liberty to decorate my home; I’ve lived in rental apartments all around Europe, and the apartments have always been furnished. When moving to Estonia I, for the first time, opted for an unfurnished apartment.
My apartment consists of 2 large, open rooms so there was plenty of space to play with décor-wise. But with a limited budget most of my current furniture is recycled: both of my couches are from my brother and my parents. The good thing is they’re both quite new and classic in style. The brown chair I got from a friend who refurbished his apartment and didn’t want to keep the chair.
The thing with recycled furniture is that they don’t necessarily make a very coherent ensemble. But they’re all functional and good-looking pieces, and while their mismatched appearance may hurt somebody’s eye (who’s really into interior design), I see no problem with it all.
But this all may be changing…
I’ve been thinking about the concept of ’home’ a lot recently. I’ve always felt the saying ”Home is where your heart is” to be true. No matter where I’ve lived I always felt at home there, no matter what struggles I might have had in my daily life, or how horrid the furniture in my rental flat might have been.
To me ’home’ is not an apartment. It’s a much larger concept. It’s everything surrounding the apartment as well: a job, the closest shop, friends, the tram stop and the people who live in the same building. No matter where you are, these things exist around you and become a part of your life, that nobody ever pays any attention to. But if one day all of those things were gone, would you feel like you’re home anymore?
I remember every single apartment I’ve lived in (even though it’s a considerable amount). In addition, I remember the yards, the people who I said ‘Hi’ to in the morning, and the same faces that appeared on the bus stop with me each morning. The cute guy working at the counter in my grocery store, that pub owner who chased me down after I left my alternative ‘living room’ without remembering to pay for my soup once again.
All those things that you see, and the people who you interact with on a daily basis, those are the things that make a place feel like home for me.
I’ve mentioned it many times but when it comes to feeling at home somewhere, Estonia is, once again, in its own league. It took me a long time, much longer than usual, to be able to call this place a home. When I left my parents’ place to return to the UK or Slovakia I always said I was going home. When returning to Estonia I said I’m going to Tallinn for a year before I finally, accidentally called it ‘home’ one Sunday evening.
My apartment is the most wonderful I have had so far. But still I felt like I was an outsider. Why? Because I had no friends, no neighbours who would answer to my ‘hellos’ (they still don’t answer to me, even after 3 years), no colleagues to hang out with and no contact to the local culture and happenings due to the lack of local acquaintances.
After I changed jobs, and that way found friends here, I started feeling a bit better. But I’m not happy here. I’ve wanted to move out since the day I came here. Why haven’t I? Previously it was lack of money that kept me rooted here. And now it’s my boyfriend. But he told me, once again after his last tour around Asia, that he really doesn’t want to live in Estonia. And that is exactly what I like to hear!
But it’s going to take time before we’re able to leave. And until then I think he’s my home. Because ever since meeting him things have been better. I still have meltdowns and I can’t deal with bad days as well as I should, but knowing that he wants to move away from here as well, I’m OK with waiting. For now.
And, as if Life knew what would happen in the near future, I was quite recently bitten by the décor-bug. For a while now I’ve wanted to move to a new apartment just so that I can decorate it from scratch.
Me and my boyfriend both have our own apartments but practicality-wise it has turned out to be quite a dysfunctional arrangement. So, we’ve started discussing buying an apartment together. We were supposed to move to Asia at the beginning of next year but it seems that this plan has now been thrown out the window. So, moving in together while still here seems like the smart thing to do.
I never thought I’d end up staying in this country for longer than max 2 years. It’s now closing to 3 years and it seems that there will be one more year ahead. I also never thought that I could feel at home here. But now it looks threateningly much like I just might find a home here. Remains to be seen, but for now I’m content and swimming through Pinterest for furniture and interior decor inspiration.