Finding Home in the Routines
Alta Millar, November 21, 2018
With only three weeks left of Trinity Laban’s fall term, I’ve been thinking a lot about my return home and how I’m going to share my experience. Honestly, sometimes I really don’t know. Obviously, I know how I will share my dance training and my studies in workshops and performances, but how can I share my actual lived experience of studying abroad? Can I? Or are there experiences that are meant only for myself?
I think it may be impossible to share the smallest of details that make up my life here, my routines and the rhythm of my days, and yet my routines are how I’ve become comfortable here. By knowing the rhythms, the ebbs and flows of not only my living quarters but my place of study, I’ve become immersed in a new home with its own experiences, stories, and memories.
I can honestly say that I’m beyond comfortable here. I’m in the groove of things. I’m working hard but my body isn’t sore. I’m strong but not exhausted. I understand how Laban works in terms of expectations and I know how my house feels. I have started to understand myself here. This is a big accomplishment for me, one that’s been built up over time. I’ve had to work hard on making my house a home, and have had to be patient with navigating the new terrain of Laban Conservatoire.
While reflecting on how I got to this point of stability, with only three weeks left of school, I’ve realized that my routines are what has helped me to stabilize and enjoy living abroad. In an effort to share with you all my genuine experience of living abroad, I’ve created a list of some of my favorite routines:
- Cooking dinner with all of my housemates in one little kitchen
- Walking home after a long day
- Late night talks with my housemates
- Listening to Queen (any song really, but Another One Bites the Dust is my favorite currently)
- Snacking between classes (absolutely necessary while dancing all day)
- Eating my weekly Snickers (guilty pleasure)
- Making too much coffee in the morning
- Leaving my soap in the shower
- Packing my bag in the morning
- Waiting for the bus
- Taking the bus
- Annoyed at the smells while in the bus
- Grocery shopping
- The sound of the open markets on Wednesday afternoons when I do my shopping
- Meal preparation for the week and the daily struggle of figuring out what to cook
Maybe there will be some things I don’t want share, or maybe there are some things I can’t articulate when I first arrive home. That’s okay, right? But these routines will probably be what lingers most in my mind when I return home. Isn’t this almost the best part? I think there’s something special in having these little experiences and stories that only I know. There’s something in this that makes my life feel a little fuller, almost like my mind has become a wondrous file cabinet full of moments and stories.