Looking back I am not sure I ever really talked properly about last summer and everything that lead up to the move to Oxford. Even now I am not actually sure that I can put it into words properly. Me, lost for words, that’ll be the day! Simply put, May came and went and my brain went kerpluuuuey. Or perhaps sploooooooooooodge. Or blolllllloooooooop. Some damp sounding word which evokes a sense of a soggy, inward implosion with minor visible damage, but utter carnage on the inside.
I am still not totally sure what caused it, but near two years of working in a high-stress, “supporting people” environment I neither enjoyed or was paid enough for didn’t make matters any better. With the help of doctors, little white pills, couselling, good friends and lots of tea, I started to get back into a healthy place. The keel of the Good Ship Cas was righted, and we are now back to gentle sailing with the wind loughing in the topsails, the jib sheet gently flapping. (And me being violently ill in the scuppers because I get seasick in the bathtub, but you get where I’m going with the maritime analogy). Nine months later, my life is more or less back on a respectable heading.
You would be right in thinking that it wasn’t the most sensible time to completely go crazy and move to a new city, within a month, with no job lined up or visible means of support, both financial and personal. At the time everyone was cheering my independence, and I actually really was looking forward to new places, new people and new challenges, but I would be stupid not to admit there was a large portion of running away mixed in with my motivation.
I had been in Southampton for four years, and they had been four years filled with fun, laughter, general mayhem and love, but the last year I just couldn’t shake the feeling it was time to move on. Things just weren’t working out in the way I wanted them too, and I couldn’t see how they ever would in that city. I never thought I would be one with itchy feet, but I do have this habit of jumping to a new place on a seeming whim after three or four years.
Counseling made me face up to a lot of stuff, things I am still processing and working on. Some things we cling to and form the core round which our personalities are constructed, and to have to reevaluate our very building blocks is never a fun process. I have come to realise that actually, in some aspects of my life, I am not a very nice person at times. I’m working on it.
One thing that has hit me over the past six months is that I want to settle down. I want to put down roots but I just haven’t found that place yet. That bolt-hole that is all mine and private. It’s just, I think my home is destined to be a person, not a place. Part of me wants the bricks-and-mortar, but I have a horror of “what if” and don’t want to be tied down. I want to be free to go and take opportunities as they are presented to me. I want to be able to go see the world beyond the horizon. But I want someone to share those sights with.
Yet I still dream of my dream house, all wood and glass and open to the garden, with trees and the sea and peace and laughter and life. My sanctuary away from it all where people feel welcome and come to stay because they have a free weekend and a whim, or want to, not because it was booked into a diary six months before. I want my door to always be open and never know who might be popping round for tea.
Yes I want spontenaity but I also want a structure and someone making me safe in that freedom.
I…I am scared I will never find what I want, or that I will not recognise it when I have it, or that I will chase it away before I make the most of it. I am scared that when I get it, I won’t want it.
Most of all, I am scared I will never find it. How do I get from here to THERE?Am I willing to let my dreams change if alternatives present themselves? Is the one “what if” I am never going to be able to confront, the one “what if” that takes me to my dream?