In little over 8 weeks time (and pending a successful visa interview) I will be heading back to the United States, in a move which could almost be described as permanent (although I would prefer to think of it more as just for the immediate future). It will come as no surprise then, that as the departure date creeps ever closer, the enormity of such a move is very much at the forefront of my mind.
This year it is likely that I will have lived in 5 different ‘homes’, in 4 different towns/cities, on two different continents. If I was someone who liked to have a place I could call home, frankly, I’d be fucked. Truth be known, I’m not sure if I am such a person, but I’m soon going to find out.
Interestingly, it would seem that history is repeating itself.
This move will come almost 13 years after my last big life upheaval – when my family and I moved from the south of England, to Walsall in the Midlands, which indeed happened when I was 13 years old.
During my time here, I have always felt a bit like an outsider, a little different from everyone else. Whilst this perhaps helped give me an identity, it could be argued that it was based on where I came from, rather than who I was. This was certainly true during the first years of school here in the Midlands.
However, on the 14th of August, I will have lived longer in Walsall, than during my time growing up in the south. This is not really that important (or entirely accurate), but the fact that I look at this date in such a way this probably indicates otherwise. Of course this strange calculation also precludes the fact that I spent three years studying for my degree in Cumbria, but when it comes to thinking about Carlisle… I’d rather not.
It seems ironic then, that soon after gaining the personal validation I require to be seen as ‘a native’ of the area I live in, I will move on once more – and much further away.
All this aside, I should perhaps mention that I am immensely excited about this journey I am soon to begin. I’m in no doubt I will learn so much, and grow both professionally and personally in many more ways than I can imagine (my three months in California earlier this year is testament to that). As with any move of this size though, it’s always a case of thinking about what you are leaving behind, and what you will miss.
My friends, their relationships, and where their life’s are taking them is really starting to get exciting, and to think that I will be somewhat removed from all this is a little worrying. My family is changing too. It is very likely that one day I will come home to find my parents live somewhere entirely different to my friends. This seems totally bizarre. It’s entirely possible of course that my friends may have become scattered too.
A lot of this is purely conjecture at this stage, and on a larger scale it’s all of course part of growing up – life. I feel especially lucky that my career is going to take me to some very special places and I will no doubt meet many new and interesting people along the way. One just hopes that I won’t find myself ‘homeless’ in doing so.
The next 13 years are going to be very interesting indeed.