I can’t believe that October is almost over. This year has just flown by, in all its glorious chaos. It has been my first full year in the US – a year of uncertainty, lots of fear, and many questions. One thing that’s really surprised me about emigrating – particularly when it is done for love, rather than for the advantages of the destination – is the sheer amount of energy that adaptation takes. I’m a year and a half into living in America and I still don’t feel at home.
The biggest battle is accepting the many absences and endings that accompany a decision to move country. Leaving your home often means leaving your family, friends, job, favourite haunts. It means starting over in the most complete sense. It seems appropriate that autumn – a season of endings – should find me so focussed on these thoughts. I’ve always been preoccupied with finality. I’ve moved so much since I was 16 that I have an incredibly complex relationship with the idea of permanency, making me feel both profoundly anxious and very comforted. However, the idea that anything in life is permanent is truly an illusion. Every door closes eventually, one way or another. This autumn, I’m working hard to enjoy the endings that I’m witnessing all around me, remembering that nothing is forever. New opportunities will come about – I’ll make new friends, find new favourite places, know what it is to follow the progress of the seasons whilst walking on unknown streets. Endings are scary but, as with the autumn, there’s also something so exquisite in the memories that accompany them.