It’s not a new feeling being stuck in-between places, between old and new, in the unknown. It happened the summer before moving to sixth form in Manchester and then the summer two years later before starting my undergrad. It’s scarily hard trying to imagine what life will look like come September and so you conjure up visions of college life, envisioning new housemates and laughing at bars. There’s something of an endless limbo that comes with months of in-between, saying goodbye to friends you know you won’t see for a while, moving out of a flat you felt safe in. I suppose that’s what it is – the end of safety and comfort.
Here I am on a rainy day in August. After so much talk about moving to a new city, moving to London suddenly seems incredibly daunting. I realised I’ve lived in Manchester for seven years and so any change now is a bit of a shock to the system. I feel excited by the prospect of moving don’t get me wrong. I knew I needed a change, a fresh start and fresh stimulation. And yet this transition feels the hardest yet. And it feels hard because I’ve built such a community in Manchester and it feels like I’m leaving it all behind. We are such creatures of habit and to fly the nest suddenly feels very isolating. As if you’re left hanging in the air neither moving forward or backward. It’s funny because life does go on and I still practise and go for walks and chat to friends and cook and enjoy it all. It feels right to change in this way but there’s no getting rid of a lurching feeling in the pit of my stomach. I usually like to cope by doing some form of calming yoga but I can’t seem to find the strength to declutter the yoga mat and sit for a while. Probably because I don’t want to face the thoughts I won’t want to hear. Anyway it’s much easier to scroll aimlessly through instagram and forget for a bit – healthy.
I’m not seeking enlightenment, just a place of security, protection. It’s risky leaving behind everything you know are are used to and I find myself unable to stifle the sense of loss. Of people and places and good times. But I suppose with risk you allow yourself the opportunity to make new connections and new experiences, and it certainly doesn’t mean you lose the old ones. Not really.
So I sit and stare out the window at the rain and hope to trust that the limbo will come to an end. Life is transitory and I know that, but I can’t help but feel stuck in the in-between. Living with not knowing is tough. And yet I know that I will build a new community in London, that I have every possibility of feeling supported wherever I am. We all do. Life moves forward, we make new friends, we become closer to old ones and learn more about ourselves, I truly believe that.
To everyone out there in a place of transition I understand and I am here for you.
Jasmin Allpress is a pianist and chamber musician, recently graduated from the RNCM Joint Course programme. She is studying her masters at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London from September.