Another post gathering dust… I wrote down these thoughts, or rather letters, in the days leading up to my move back to London, which happened in mid-May this year when I finally landed a job and moved back to my favourite city. An overwhelming amount of things have happened in the last year, and I guess since graduation over three years ago. So here… Have some belated words.
Moving back to my childhood home felt a lot like crashing. Emotionally; physically with all the stuff I’d accumulated, jagged puzzle pieces that didn’t fit into the diameters of my slant-roofed bedroom. It was difficult, trying to place myself in an environment that had been 1.5 versions of me ago. Suddenly being far away from the people who had helped shape me, who I’d found inner peace being around. Now gone. Now hundreds of miles away.
And as I re-rooted myself back home, I wondered if I was letting it get its claws in; whether the longer I stayed, the more I sank in and wasn’t likely to escape again. I knew one day I’d leave, but I’d begun to believe I wasn’t brave enough for the city lights, that I didn’t have it in me to fight for a place that had always felt like mine.
But now I’m moving back and I’m saying goodbye to home. Permanently. I don’t plan to live under that roof again, only visits. I’ve flown the nest for good. And it’s exciting, but it’s also absolutely terrifying.
I got emotional packing the boxes that will, for now, stay behind, the things that I can’t justify bringing and squeezing into the room of my dinky flat share. I felt genuine heartbreak, sad for my books that’ll live in boxes for at least a year or two. Sad that I won’t be able to stroke a spine and leaf through the pages for a favourite passage, or to toy with the idea that it might finally be time to read this one or that. Instead they’ll be trapped away from the daylight and I won’t have an environment where I’m surrounded by books. Maybe that seems silly, but I’ll miss it.
And then there’s my family. Not just my parents who I’ve probably at times been unbearable to live with over the last nearly 3 years, but the sisters and kids that are only walks or short drives away. I’ll miss big fragments of them as they continue to grow up, having watched some of them from the very start.
There are pieces I will miss. In fact, I’m sure I’ll miss it all, in part and wholly on the harder days. But I’m ready to say goodbye now and move on to the next adventure. Thank you for your four walls; for being the safe haven I could crawl into. To my parents, who have watched me battle tooth and nail to get to this point. Thank you for taking the hits and setbacks with me, for just about tolerating me at my worst points. I’ll see you soon.
To Long Distance
I’ve quietly thought it and had it loudly confirmed by people. It says a lot that we built this relationship filled with mutual respect and strength, a whole lot of silliness and, of course, love being on opposite ends of the country to each other. That we felt enough certainty in us to give it a try and, what sort of stupidly felt inevitable to me, to fall in love.
Our long distance was filled with a never-ending text conversation that has lasted since 12th April 2018 and still going. It was voices whispering down the phone. Wearing our hearts on our sleeves in not-quite-so-ready declarations and essay like texts where we more or less handed over our hearts to one another.
Long distance developed into date weekends, consumed by and greedy for each other. It was showing parts of you and showing parts of me, exploring our cities and me always being guilty of prematurely dreading the end. It was learning with you and constantly being a little bit awestruck by each other; always taking a little while to warm up to each other on those initial few weekends.
Being a long distance couple is a testament to how we feel about each other. I know that’s incredibly cheesy (although what part of this post hasn’t been cheesy so far?), but it’s like you always said, ‘Anything worth having is never easy.’
We’ve battled and fought both with and for each other. I’ve never known missing quite like the way my bones ached missing you all those weeks in between. I remember feeling so inconsolable, so grief stricken by you being there, then suddenly gone; how unfair it seemed for the person I was falling for (or, let’s face it, was already well and truly smitten with), to be so far away.
Long distance, you were a piece of work. But I’m grateful for it, because it kind of whipped us into shape. It made us focus on exactly what we wanted and chase it until we had it. It gave me you and you me, and I’m not sure at what point I stop being so completely blown away by that.