4 August 2018
It’s been a while since I last wrote.
There’s been too much drama in my head, too many narratives whizzing and colliding to order a strain of cohesive dialogue. Can I only write when I’m sad? Do I only seek words to articulate my pain?
I don’t write when I’m happy.
Is it because happiness makes sense, because there is peace and joy and a quiet appreciation of living in the moment, with no need to question?
I know, that for whatever reason, I have not allowed myself to feel joy.
Half mast. Half baked. Half hearted.
Half decided, I’ve thrown thoughts, ideas, hopes – all in halves and fragmented quarters out into a horizon that I can’t quite fathom. A hazy indeterminate mist, swirling, almost forming, nearly fathomable, but not quite.
But now, here I am, surrounded by boxes and crates and half packed rooms. My house has nearly sold, I have handed notice in to my various places of work, my allotment has transferred to friends, I have secured somewhere to rent….
I did try to find somewhere closer to home. I looked within a 1, 2, 3, 10 mile circumference of Liverpool. I’ve looked at so many houses but couldn’t imagine a life in any one of them. I couldn’t see a future and I couldn’t find the horizon.
So, Scotland it is.
I knew that when I made the decision it would all happen very quickly.
I told my counsellor that I was selling my house and naturally she, like everyone else, asked me where I was moving to, and my answer, frustratingly, confusedly and haphazardly, has constantly been “I don’t know”.
But now I do know. Well, I think I know, god willing, that I am moving further afield. I need a bigger change, a fresh horizon, cleaner, clearer air. We’re moving 188 miles and a three and a half hour car journey, to a land of islands and highlands, rivers, lochs, forests and the promise of adventure, long winters and longer summers.
I have fear, but I have more fear of not doing anything. I fear stagnation and I fear pollution; I fear congestion and I fear the constant rush of having to be somewhere else.
I need time out. I need to slow things down, I need to take stock and I just need to get away, to where the air smells differently and I can see the sun rise.
We’re here. We’ve done it. We are where we need to be.
Five days ago, with two children, one dog, camping gear, some food and enough belongings for a week or two stuffed into my little car, we closed the door on our home of ten years and set off travelling north. To find our true north, hopefully.
One part winging it, two parts hoping for the best and three parts believing it, we’ve dived into the unknown.
And this unknown is exactly where we need to be, here and now.
Four and a half hours after departure we arrived at the community woodland in south west Scotland. Everyone converged at the same time, without planning, I love it when that happens and right now it’s happening all the time. I am learning to trust in life once more. It was a loosely planned ‘teen camp’, a breakaway faction of the twice yearly ‘kids camp’, where the young adults gather and plan, cook and organise themselves, with marginal adult support and little intervention.
Not easy for us big responsible ones to stand back and be quiet while the young ones plan meals, build and cook on open fire, boil water for washing….
needless to say, they played, lay about, sang a lot of songs, generally weren’t bothered or even vaguely aware of all that is needed for survival. But the point is, we’re here, my girls are amongst friends and good people and we are embedding.
Monday 27th august
My oldest was due to go for a sailing race for the weekend, the biggest event of the year. It wasn’t that workable, the logistics were challenging: getting her from south west Scotland to South Shields in northeast England but she was very keen to go and we made a plan. A little knotted by the process and anxious for her safety, I did my best to support her desires and confidence in her ability to navigate public transport on her own. But at the last minute, as we were about to embark on her journey, after explaining in great detail the minutiae of her itinerary, she bottled it. The tears welled up, her confidence drained before my eyes, the glass became half empty.
The idea of her venturing off on an adventure separate to our family was too much for all of us. Right now, we are better together, we need to be together as we explore this trajectory of our new life, together.
We spent the weekend in my old house. More sorting, clearing, making piles of stuff – stuff for charity, stuff to give away, stuff to keep. I am at odds as I care little for any of it, the most important things are here with me, the living breathing loving beings that occupy my life.
Its been a whirlwind of a week and although I feel flattened today, overwhelmed with the need to protect and make it alright for my team, I still feel a quiet peace, an open heart and a deep sense of being exactly where we need to be.