I have moved. For someone who hates moving, I seem to do it an awful lot and each time I do, I forget how hard, how expensive, and how terrifying it is.
So why do I get that itch every few years? Am I searching for something that can never be found? Perhaps like Cathy in Wuthering Heights I am doomed to restlessly walk the earth, banging on windows and looking for a way back home, a place that both does and does not exist. It is the curse of the expat, military family child (and the Kate Bush/Brontë fan). We will always be forever on the outside of the circle, never fully unpacked, never fully settled, always waiting for change and the hope of something better.
Or is it really a curse?
I’d like to think on my most positive days that instead it is a blessing. I am lucky to have a sense of adventure, a resilience, a can-do attitude, and a useful ability to both make friends fast and adapt to surviving without them. I may not always have someone I can go for coffee with, but I do have a long list of places I could go to around the world where I am confident I could find the kettle on and the wine chilled in eternal readiness.
So what’s the cost? My marriage is under great strain, my child is anxious and I am not helping by being irritable with him, I am exhausted, dinner does not get made at a sensible time, I am plagued with insomnia and I am not a little terrified about what lies ahead. Don’t even get me started on the flat pack furniture, hours chatting to people in call centres and endless cleaning/tip runs. It doesn’t sound that great does it?
However, upon reflection and a need for self-preservation, I have decided it is not just because I am hard to please and doomed to eternal restlessness. No; I am also inspired by new surroundings, excited by new opportunities, motivated to make a go of it and proud of the hard work I have done to get here.
I know I can survive if I go back, and survive if I go forward. That choice and that responsibility is always there for me and the door will always be temptingly ajar. It takes a brave, or maybe a slightly crazy, person to step through it and on that note I’ll see you on the other side of the looking glass, where all the best mad people are.