A while ago I wrote that returning to the UK from my travels in Australia and New Zealand wouldn’t be the last time I threw my life into a rucksack and headed for the horizon. Well, 2 months after my return there is a half packed suitcase at my feet and a one-way train ticket to Stirling in my purse.
Partly I feel sad to be leaving Hull so soon. Seeing my mums face every day has been a gift after being so far away for so long. Feeding my nephew alphabetti-spaghetti and trying to teach him the haka have brought me joy I couldn’t have imagined. Getting to know my brother as a father has, well, it’s blown my mind and filled me with pride. Feeling close again to my best friend and draining the coffee jar together has felt just right. But, in the words of Eddi Reader “The wind knows my name, and it’s calling me”.
I struggle to explain this urge to up-sticks when I’m leaving behind people I love. Why do I take risks when I quite honestly have a distinct inability to cope with stress?
Well, where have I been since I started taking risks? Different time zones. Up mountains. In caves. In the vicinity of a sting ray. On a camel. In jobs I believed were beyond my capabilities. Beyond my comfort zone. And only very occasionally lost, not just physically.
I very much doubt that I’ll be riding many camels in Scotland and I’d be surprised if I ever live in a van for an extended amount of time. I’m not expecting epic road trips and a shit-hot suntan. But it’s an adventure in itself. A new chapter of my life. I’ve never been particularly good at writing long chapters; my life is lived in short stories, 3 part BBC drama’s and ‘to-be-continued’s. It’s why I blog instead of writing novels. I am ready for a longer chapter though, perhaps Scotland will be my first book.
When I left for Australia many people voiced their concerns, mainly “what if it doesn’t work out?” My response? “What if it does?” And it bloody well did. Their concerns were probably well justified bearing in mind I was leaving the country with someone I’d been in a relationship with for just 3 months, and prior to that I’d gone off my rocker and moved to Blackburn to live with a psycho who made a fairly brutal attempt at ruining my life. But check me out…here I am in one piece with some brilliant stories to tell my nephew when he’s old enough to stay up past the watershed. I am starting to see a pattern however as here I go, moving to Stirling where my new partner lives. It could be said (quite rightly so) that I follow my heart. But it’s taken me more good places than bad. It’s brought me more happiness than tears. And I’m doing what feels right in my gut, backed up by just enough sensible thinking to make sure I’m not “doing a Blackburn” again.
I’ve said it before and I don’t mean to be grim, but I find it hard to be happy. So if to be happy I have to take risks (with a rudimentary risk assessment form completed in broken eyeliner) and endure tearful goodbyes then I guess I’m ok with that. And I hope that the people I share those tearful goodbyes with can understand and be happy for me too. If not I’ll be editing you out of my book….just kidding.