Today marks 10 years since I left the US to live in the UK. A whole decade. Just under a third of my life.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot, what the last 10 years has been for me, and I’m still undecided. The problem is that it’s been so many things.
I was 25 when I left everything I’d known and was comfortable with behind for a new life in a new country with the man I loved. A young woman only just finding her own way taking a huge leap of faith. As someone uncomfortable around new people (with few exceptions – now my closest and dearest friends), suffering from depression, horribly shy and introverted moving can be daunting. Moving to a whole new country 3,000 miles away across an ocean? Sheesh. But I don’t do things by halves.
2005 was a stressful year to say the least. Moving to a new country, getting married, and having to find a new job all in the space of a few months! Most of life’s most stressful events all packed into one massive punch. There was a brief time between the wedding and finding a job when, after weeks of applying for positions and getting absolutely nowhere, I felt defeated. I remember sitting in the pub for tea one night with Hubby nearly in tears saying I thought I wanted to go back home. It was all a terrible mistake moving here.
He talked me down, he had a lot of experience with that, and we agreed to give it five years. If I felt the same way then we would discuss the possibility of moving to the US.
Five years later I couldn’t imagine moving back to the US. This was my home now. No mistake had been made after all.
The first five years were full of ups and downs, things were difficult for me to start with. The first year in a new place is always the toughest. I still get nostalgic for Virginia Beach every September and I don’t get to see the ocean as much as I’d like. (I hope now that we are marginally closer to the coast it will be more regular.)
Five years on again, we’ve moved house twice in the last year and are finally settling into our new home. This is the beginning of the next phase for me – for us – and I am really excited to see where it leads. I’m most definitely not the same person I was a decade ago. I’d wager not many people are the same person at 35 as they were at 25 or even at 30. It’s just growing up.
Am I where I thought I would be back then, now? No. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It’s life. It leads you down a path and you end up somewhere not entirely expected sometimes. That is the beauty of living – every day is a gift and surprise.
I can’t wait to see where the next decade takes me, here’s to ending up somewhere unexpectedly wonderful!