THOMAS WOLFE FAMOUSLY SAID ‘YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN.’
Of course, he meant that time and change doesn’t allow for such nostalgia… but nevertheless, Mr Wolfe (you bloody know-it-all) we ARE going home… again. We are moving back to St Helena. In just a few days we will have (hopefully) packed up and will be boarding a flight to leave England for an unknown amount of time and let it be known that I’ve bounced back and forth between sorrow and excitement and sheer bloody panic more times than either Gary or I can count.
But we ARE doing this. Together.
Some days I still find it hard to believe I’m married. Like any relationship, you stumble through the mundanity of daily life, you ride out the drama, and you continue hoping that the good will always outweigh the bad. It’s give-and-take, and not always in equal measure but you know that if there’s anyone that will get you from one day to the next, it’s this person. (Or Damon Salvatore.) Ups and downs are inevitable but somehow you stay committed and with every struggle you overcome, that once-delicate, rosy love between the two of you, solidifies into the very foundation you find yourself standing upon. And yet, nothing tests the tether between two people more than grief. If you’ve ever lost someone you love, know this: watching someone you love slowly lose their loved one is, at least in my experience, fifty times harder.
Your gut instinct is to try and fix whatever’s broken but sometimes, like now, it’s all completely out of your control, and all you can do is watch and wait and try not to say anything too stupid.
I’ll admit: I struggled with my decision. It should have been a no-brainer. Of course, I should support my husband. But honestly, if this was a human decency test, I’ll admit that I was initially heading for failure. I was reluctant to leave this place. I’ve been here for fourteen years, my immediate family are here, my fur baby is here, and both my writing ventures and studies are linked to here. I miss St Helena all the time and when we visited last year, we had such a great time. But holidays are entirely different from uprooting and relocating, and the last time I lived and worked on St Helena, I was eighteen. EIGHTEEN! You’d be surprised what kind of dilemmas your brain will conjure up mid-panic: What if we don’t like it? What if we can’t adjust? Cockroaches have it in for me. Unlimited broadband doesn’t exist! What if I miss the British weather too much? (Lol JK.)
When all was said and done though, the one and only real question I had to ask myself was this: is all of that more important than what my husband needs right now? And the answer, obviously, is no.
SO, HERE’S TO THE NEXT CHAPTER.
It will begin with sorrow and grief but maybe it won’t have to end that way. Maybe we will settle on St Helena or maybe, we’ll return. Either way, sometimes life isn’t about knowing which choice is right or wrong but rather, knowing which choice you are able to live with. And whilst we get our shit together and overcome whatever lemons life throws in our faces, we can take comfort in the fact that as always, we have each other… and this view…
Image by Shona Moyce (2017)
P.S. Blog updates will remain sporadic until we’re settled. But my fingers are still firmly crossed for a 2018 release of Immisceo: Undone. Wishful thinking, perhaps? We’ll see…