WANTED: One family
I am extremely excited about moving to St Ives. Irrespective of all there is to do it’s getting to the point where I can hardly wait to get down there. On the other hand it’s yet to sink in. It doesn’t seem real. I’ve lived all my life in London, this is where my friends are, my family: Moving to the other end of the country where I know no one will be strange and unnerving and I think until I actually do it, it will seem like a very distant reality.
Even though I am the grand old age of 34 I have serious concerns about what I’m going to do without my family. While living at home has its challenges (although not so much), the thought of living so far away from home is odd and a little scary. Having spent the majority of my teenage years, and most of my twenties, being singularly revolting to be around and avoiding my family as much as possible, it seems ironic to be moving so far away now that our relationship is not only back on track but better than ever.
My sister and her husband have the most beautiful 6 month old baby girl and even missing seeing her for a week has its consequences, my brother is recently married and I am only just getting to know my sister-in-law, and even though my parents are determined to spend all my inheritance on skiing holidays, they are around more than they ever have been. It’s a lovely little cocoon of ‘Rotbarts’ in a little suburb of London, and I’m getting quite used to it.
The thought of leaving it is the only shadow on my horizon. It’s the only thing that comes with a feeling of impending doom, and while you might be reading this thinking that I should grow up, that I can’t live on my family’s doorstep forever, it makes little difference to the way I feel.
Now I know that people will come and visit (although I suspect not as often as they say they will), and it’s not like I’m emigrating to Australia, but I am moving somewhere which is double the distance one might be realistically expected to travel to see someone for a night or a weekend; and with babies that distance becomes further and the journey becomes more difficult to undertake.
So… while I can’t replace these people – along with the friends I’ve built up over the years – there is an element of having to start again. To find people whom I can have a cup of tea with and a little moan about Danny. To find friends to go to the cinema with, and who will tell me the truth about the outfit I just bought. I can’t imagine they’re not out there, yet I have no illusions about the time it will take to develop this network.
I just have to accept that I cannot be in two places at once. I’m Auntie Lee who lives by the beach, but not Auntie Lee round the corner. I’m the daughter that left London, but not the daughter that came round every weekend for a chat; and I’ll become the friend that you used to know really well but haven’t seen in years since she moved away.
I suspect that accepting that I must start again is going to infinitely easier than trying to convince everyone I know to move to Cornwall; it’s not without its melancholy but then what change is? For as someone once said:
“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”