It had been coming on for a while really, a few years at least, the desire for something different. It had bubbled away, simmered under the surface. I used to have a boyfriend who mocked my nerves about trying new things, and my fear of branching out or the great unknown. “I don’t like change” he used to tease, putting on a terrible Yorkshire accent.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with not liking change. I think change is uncertain, it’s scary. Why would you like something that puts you out of your comfort zone? But I’ve always wanted to have stronger roots, and certainty, all of my adult life. I’m not sure where it comes from. Perhaps it’s my parents moving away from my home town. Perhaps it’s having moved for a year and ten years later finding myself settled by default rather than by design. For a while, buying my own house did the trick. I had planted myself and I would grow there.
There has been a lot of change in the last couple of years, a lot of flux. There have been friendships lost and made, changes to my job and my focus, for the better and for the worse. I have watched others move forwards – getting married, having families, building businesses, forging ahead with careers, retreating and shifting, but all the while I felt very still. Still water turns stagnant.
Half way through an aerobics class, I had a revelation. It turns out I do all of my best thinking when I’ve stopped concentrating on my racing thoughts, and started concentrating on my feet, and the music, and the beat, and the burning in my lungs as I gasp for air. It’s a type of meditation I suppose. But I had a revelation, and a week later I had the flu, and I knew that it was the right thing to do. Nothing focusses the mind like coughing and struggling to breathe and feeling very alone.
And so I started making plans, slowly, surely, carefully. I have replanted myself somewhere new, as many miles from the known as I could possibly get. I was scared. I still am scared. It was hard, and ten weeks later it still is hard. I expect it will be hard for a very long time. But sometimes change is a good thing and even things which are difficult can be right.
So it is goodbye to my twenties and hello to my thirties. Goodbye to grey stone, and hello to honey stone. Goodbye to the city centre and hello to the rolling hills.
It is goodbye to Edinburgh, and hello to Somerset.