8 October 2006

Settling in

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to leave my hometown.
As an adult, I watched a bunch of other people leave, while circumstances kept me there.
"It's great!" they'd gush, telling me about the fun they were having. "I'm so glad I left!" And finally, I left too.

It was hard. No one ever talks about how hard it is, how incredibly frustrating and lonely it is. Did they not feel that? Or do they do what I do, and just put the happy voice on when they talk to people from hometown?

I wonder sometimes why it's taking me so long to adjust. How long will it take?

I'd made a whole bunch of mistakes when I was young while living in hometown which kept haunting me (as things do in a small town). I'd wanted to leave, but always thought if I left I'd be trying to run away from my problems. I stayed until I'd sorted myself out and learned the skills needed to deal with them. Now we're alreading talking about moving again, but I haven't yet learned the skill of settling in. I want to learn how to adjust to a new place - how to find my way around, how to read the seasons, how to recognise the insects and the plants, how to make new friends. If I keep moving, I won't get the satisfaction of knowing that I learned that skill - I'll just feel like I'm running away from my inability to adjust to a new life. And then how can I have any confidence that I will adjust to the next place, If I never managed it here?

It's funny, because the more you settle into a place, the harder it is to leave. But I'd rather the regret of leaving something good behind than the regret of leaving an unsorted mess behind. I want to feel like I'm expanding, not slinking away.

Any advice from people who've moved about? Dzer? Maegen? Anyone?


Chaotic Cat said...

From Chaos's Hummy: I moved a lot, first when I was 14 from my birth small home to the big city ... it was hard. Then when I was in my late teens I moved all over the place, a new city every few weeks/months.

I learned that it is only YOU. Happiness, friendship, love ... its all wrapped up in your own head. Its all up to you to settle and accept, to make friends, to find love ... its all in your own head.

Setteling is the same ... fear is expected but by taking it all in your stride and accepting it as a challenge your battle is half won.

hasarder said...

Why, thankyou, Hummy! Very wise comment, and inspiration for another post, too.

Summer Rose said...

Moving is scarry, at the same time you have happiness that does come from within. And if you let that show wherever you go. You will find that is how friendships are made and they do last a life time.

ArtfulDodger said...

I've moved 12 times in the last 25 years and traveled all over the world, and most recently moved to be alone again for the first time in 18 years. I've learned many things, that the hometown is really the world and not just a small area around where you were born, that the place itself doesn't really matter, it doesn't mean what you think it means, it is what's inside of you that truly matters. home travels with you, it doesn't stay in one place. memories stay, life moves on.

FTN said...

I think it does take a few years to really adjust to a new place and make it "home." A house or a job or surroundings aren't as important as deep friendships, and those don't happen overnight. Yet they can happen just about anywhere.

Maegen said...

wow, my comments have been solicited. I needed that special feeling tonight! THANKS!

I agree with the sentiments of your other commenters, in that your peace is inside you. But you have to listen to that voice. If it says "settle in" then settle in.

The unsorted messes are much easier to sort out when you are dealing with the reality. If you wait until you are dealing with a memory of the mess which you might have twisted, to make it easier or harder, to one's advantage or the other, then it will not truly be sorted out. ... in my experience.

In my experience your problems, like your friendships, will follow you, even if only in your head (the most dangerous place, after all). You'll never sort out all your problems, but learn what you can from where you are, and let the lessons be your journey.

Stinkypaw said...

If you're at peace with yourself, and who you are then you'll find peace wherever you'll be, that I believe. You can make friends anywhere, if you choose too. But you have to want it. For me, "home" is where Hubby and the pets are. It is my refuge. It's only running away if that's how you feel about it. Your outlook on things might need to be revisited... my two cents!