There… and back again

We have been in Manchester this past weekend. The drive over the Pennines and back again can be slow, but there are glimpses of beautiful countryside to be had from the van windows as we pass – a few of which form today’s gallery above.

We have spent time with friends, daughter and grandchildren, all people very dear to us. Each encounter has been important, and fun, and yet I still find it unsettling being back where we used to live. Every bit of it is so familiar, it induces a kind of panic in me. It seems as though the new life, Heckington, is but a dream and I have not managed to leave after all.

On the way home I mused about why I find it so hard to go back. I think my separation from the place throws into relief the feelings of being trapped, stuck and powerless that I had over so many years. I feel cheered by this realisation that Manchester is not a terrible place; it is simply that I was often unhappy in the years I lived there.

I am happier now. Over this past year I have felt the happiness came from being in a place that feels so right for me. But perhaps there is another way of looking at it. Perhaps it is not the place so much as my act of choosing it that brings this lightness of heart, this sense of balance and freedom.

I am reminded of children’s adventure stories, of those moments when someone crosses into another world. There is a magic in the curiousity, faith and courage that take someone over a threshold into an unknown future. When we choose freely and step forward in hope, we claim some of that magic for ourselves.

I wrote this post back in April about some of the same set of feelings, though I didn’t see them so clearly then as now.

3 thoughts on “There… and back again

  1. Oh Veronica, you are so right. I too have been unhappy in Manchester, and thought it was the city. But I took a different leap of faith, leaving the security of a salaried pensioned job and going back to being a student. It’s really hard, I’m really broke, but happier than I have been in years. We do seem to lose the confidence to make change as we get older. Well, no, actually, thinking about it, I think I’ve always been a little scared to turn things around and swim against the tide. But on the few occasions I have, I’ve never regretted it. A lesson there somewhere…xx

  2. Reblogged this on Flat Earth, Big Sky and commented:

    Well, turns out I might re post yet another old one. Looking back, the posts I wrote in February to March of this year, 2014, were when I had come to a particular point in my feelings about the move and the place I find myself in. Instead of feeling that there was this one random place that I had come to (but equally might never have found) that was right for me, I came to feel that it was right more because I had found it or chosen it, if that makes sense. Perhaps it will to some people and not to others. But it brought a sense of liberation from bad feelings about Manchester, as I wrote about below, as well as the knowledge that I could be alright even if I were not here – also important.

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