A different corner

I don’t have any problem moving house. It’s the staying put that gives me jip. I used to think it was down to a restless gypsy soul. Therefore conferring a certain romantic status on invisible voids strewn across my sense of self.

On closer inspection, roaming between destinations within a few hundred mile radius of each other hints less at a wanderer than a fidgety fugitive. From what? Heartbreak? Conformity? Boredom? Prison? If life’s continuum is a process of breaking free towards the next point of the present, then surely it pays to stop and look around every once in a while to see how it measures up against the brochure.

But flicking forwards and backwards to the other glossy pages became a habit. Until the habit became a pathology. Until the pathology had me sitting cross-legged and leaning over kitchen tables, weekend papers, bar counters, pillows, cinema seats, my own pointed fingers, and steering wheels, weighing up the pros and cons of moving to anywhere-but-here.

And now I’m about to give all that up when we make the permanent move next week…to a mile from here. No longer will I be able to luxuriate in fabricated futures that were never going to be anyway. Just rogue horizons on the shoreline of segregated schools and communities. Rusting fire escapes leaning against hardened vowels beneath tribal flags flapping in the stillness of political ineptitude.

Would it be different elsewhere? Probably not. There would just be different windows through which I could day-dream my way into a new existence. A new job. A new me. The elusive mysterious me I can’t quite pin down. Because when push comes to shove, she’d probably prefer a ground-hog Saturday evening to something anything but.

The 40s are a strange time. The game is up in many respects, but getting used to some things that are so right still takes getting used to.

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28 thoughts on “A different corner

  1. I love “she’d probably prefer a ground hog Saturday evening to something anything but”
    I am the opposite right now, my head is in the sand about future requirements to move, but I’m with you on the 40s and getting used to the “Oh I see – this is it!”

  2. Yes, the 40s are definitely the strangest time: I have a permanent unease that the big changes have all happened, and it’s too late to do anything major, yet I’m still stuck in so many places that I don’t want to be in. Someone should warn you about this decade. Maybe they had the right idea on Logan’s Run. No, I don’t mean that – I just said it to demonstrate how old I am. And why does this post not mention George Michael (also to demonstrate how old I am).

    • Good woman yourself, DS. I was wondering if someone would spot that not-so-subtle reference to my vintage. A rosette for this lapel here, Morag, please. Yeah, the 40s are farcking weird. The decade in which labia are discussed with a straight face while others are getting increasingly upset over their job-titles not being sufficiently bloated enough. Nobody told me. The swines.

      • I can’t discuss anything with a straight face, never mind labia. And yeah I think the frenzy for ‘success’ peaks in the 40s, as the professional window of opportunity slowly creaks to a close – I hear the late 50s and 60s are the happiest because you realise it is actually jammed shut (you finally just accept that no one will have you now). The joys of life!

  3. I’ve been enjoying my 40s more than any other decade I think, and I say that even though my little brother passed away when I was 41, so there was a tragedy at the beginning of this decade for me. Maybe that’s put the rest of life into perspective. I used to walk down streets, past other people’s houses, and imagine wishfully that I lived in that house, or that house, and somehow in that imagination, if I did live in those other houses, I’d be happier and my whole life would be totally different. Somewhere in my 40s I seem to have lost that constant yearning to live somewhere *better* – now, when I walk past streets full of lovely houses, I admire them but don’t really picture myself living in them. Maybe I know that I could move in to the most beautiful house in the world but that won’t change the fact that my brother has passed away, & that knowledge just won’t let me fantasise about moving houses suddenly creating a *better* life. I know I’m just as happy staying here.

    • I imagine grief and loss to be the most heartbreaking but effective way of gaining perspective. What a tragic way to start the decade. I have read your posts on your brother’s death. They’re incredibly moving. It’s funny, I’ve no desire to own a house, or have a fancy one. Entire beaches or certain cities though? Now that’s a different matter. I covet them all. And I used to think I was low maintenance.

  4. Oh Good luck. I’m not sure a house will calm you’re wondering spirit but perhaps it might.
    Only today I was discussing with my brother whether I am lazy or finally content. I’ve pushed on to the next decade and reading your post reminded me of a decade ago. The personal changes in my life, nothing to do with marriage or children, in the past ten years have been as huge as when I left school and began my early career, only this time I knew where I wanted to go (or not to go is probably more correct).
    Keep plodding along and my only advice to you would be, think bold and don’t sell yourself short. If you can do both I don’t think you’ll regret it.
    See you on the other side.

  5. You’ve inspired such poignant comments. My 40’s appear to be running out. And while there are elements which I have put in perspective and accepted will not happen (big hoose, a pony and a mini cooper) there is also an increasingly large part of me which thinks “like fuck is it over” My current mission is to be the best of me by the time I hit the next decade; hence these little sorties I loosely call Running. It might also be true that I have booked my very first driving lesson ever, ever in the whole wide world….

  6. Good luck with the move!
    I’m the opposite to you, I moved at least 10 times in my twenties due to change of town, short term rents etc. and all I ever wanted was to buy my own place. I hope you enjoy your new place.

    Oh, and now I have George Michael in my head. I realise I’m showing my age again.

    • Thanks, woman. I know that 20s routine. It gradually became the norm. But like George Michael, we call become true to ourselves eventually. If someone doesn’t give me a wallop for that last sentence, I’m more than happy to administer it myself.

  7. Sounds like a more seismic movement than takes place in a mile, Depterness. A philosophical mile, perhaps. I wish you the very best with all moves, be they physical or metaphysical.

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