We are creatures of habit. I’m a creature of habit and once you’re accustomed to something, changes affect you whether you realize it or not. Moving house this time I realized for the first time how one could get accustomed to living with ‘noise’ in centre city.
I lived at my condo for a decade, next to the skytrain and a busy main road. Though the walls were thick and not a sound could be heard from neighbours, sound waves travelled up almost 20 stories to my window. Sitting my room, I’d hear sounds of the skytrain rolling by until late at night. Sounds of motorcycles and cars zooming by seem to somehow travel upwards and straight to my window. During New Years, if the office building opposite me had a party, I could hear the karaoke and the announcements. Sounds of construction across the road penetrated my wall of glass. They all became background noise that I didn’t care about.
At this new place, I’ve had to spend almost a week adjusting not to the ‘noise’ but to the ‘quietness’ that surrounds this house. Loving the silence, I never realized it would result in my tossing and turning in bed. It did. It is quiet here, so quiet I can hear myself breathe and the sound of the clock ticking seems to send shockwaves through the air. It’s just me and the sound of the clock ticking. It felt strange this new silence.
Now I understand the funny story of neighbourhood complaints upon the moving of our international airport a few years back. Residents who lived by the former airport complained that it was too quiet, and residents by the new airport complain it was too noisy. We are never satisfied are we?
I guess afterall this, it just shows us that we are creatures of habit. What once was new and unfamiliar takes time to adjust. It makes us uncomfortable. However, once adjusted, we become happy and settle into our new comfort zone. We grow to like it, until one day we have to change again. That is life. Forever changing, forever adjusting. Embrace each change, for one day it will then become a habit.