It also means that I might actually become settled for the first time in my adult life. As a child, I was settled; I grew up in a very stable environment, in my parents’ house and in the same old town, which I only left as a university student. But even when I was little I kept dreaming of new places, and my adult life has been spent pretty much all over the place – four different countries, with five international moves in ten years. I’ve moved house 13 times in the last ten years.
I’ve never stayed in one place for longer than four years – that was the record, but the average is much lower. In fact, I never stayed in one COUNTRY for more than a few years, either. I guess you could call me the dyed-in-the-wool rolling stone. It was as if I had this inner alarm clock that went off every two years or so, and then I had to move.
This started to change when I returned to Ireland ten years ago. It’s the place where I feel at home. But I still moved around, most often to follow a new job and sometimes to pay a lower rent, but the fact remains, I moved.
And now I’m looking to settle down.
It feels right and I believe it’s time (I’ll be 45 next month, after all!). Thinking of my own place fills me with a warm, fierce love – and also with all sorts of doubt and fears. When I think of it long enough, I downright panic. Oh I realise it doesn’t have to be the last move I ever make. Plenty of people sell their first home and move somewhere else, and while I’m not planning on doing that, it might happen.
However, there’s also the very real possibility that this will be it. The place. The place where I’ll spend the rest of my hagish life, surrounded by birds and hopefully some nature as well. The place where I’ll finally put down roots, befriend the earth and local spirits for the last time, become one with the elements of the place. The place I’d spill blood to protect – mine or somebody else’s – to my last breath.
It’s exactly what I want, but to say it’s scary is a vast understatement. And this is what I need to integrate now, this completely new notion of… of… all together now: permanence. I will need to approach it one step at a time, gently, lest I lose my nerve and turn to run the other way. But I intend to see it through. I know it’s right. And it’s what I’m evolving into, although the end result will be a somewhat different hag.
Exciting times indeed!
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