If you had told my teenager self that I would be returning to the city where I spent my school years I would have said you were mad. In fact, if you had told me 3 months ago I would have still laughed. And yet here I am, temporarily living at my parents' until I move to the apartment where I grew up in a few weeks.
I don't think I fully comprehend the scale of change that my life is going through right now, and when change or circumstances become so big and so incomprehensible, the only option is to take each moment as it comes, one after another. If you're wondering why I decided to make such a drastic change, my mum has been unwell for a little while and a voice inside me told me to come. I heard the message loud and clear as I waited to board a plane. I had to be here. And I followed that voice diligently. A week later I had resigned from my job, found tenants for my house and ordered the biggest roll of bubble wrap you can think of and boxes to pack all my possessions. Five weeks later, I am here, sitting on the sofa next to my brother while mum rests.
I know in my deepest depths that this is what I wanted to do, what I needed to do, and it is 100% the right decision, and yet, there has been still some resistance and a few wobbles along the way. The other night I felt really unsettled and looked for blog posts by people who had moved back to their home town (I really related to this one). I worry about silly things, like not finding almond butter or ginger easily in supermarkets, to more legitimate concerns like going from working for an international organisation and in a city that draws people from all over the world to somewhere that is predominantly full of white Spanish people.
However, the hardest thing by far was saying goodbye to so many people. After 14 years in the UK, I have been so lucky to have met the most wonderful people. Leaving was very emotional. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude to have met so many good friends during my time in the UK, some of whom feel as though they are family. Britain itself feels like my adoptive country, and English is a language that has become as important to me as my mother tongue. It is a language I often think and dream in, the language I have always used at work, the only language I have ever practiced yoga in. British culture has been a huge part of my life and I will have to find ways for it to continue to be that way.
And however hard it has been to leave, it has been equally exciting to move back, or rather, to move forward into this next chapter. It has been amazing how once I made the decision to move, all the practical things that one has to consider when making such a big change fell into place really easily. The apartment where I grew up became free, I am lucky enough to be able to work with my brother in the family business and have my dad's old car to drive. I have a roof over my head and a way to support myself financially, and that is huge.
I am really excited about re-discovering the city and the gorgeous countryside, towns and villages around it, to be able to spend weekends at the beach, to be a 5 minute drive away from my family and to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. I don't want to downplay how hard the next few months are going to be and the real reason why I am here. This was not what I thought 2018 had in store for me, but here I am, and I plan to make the most of it.