This is a shameless cross-post, but thought it was worth sharing here too.
This blog became katinedinburgh.com when I started our life here. Soon, it will be called something else.
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I’ve tried to write this post a few times. It’s never quite come out as it feels in my head.
The trouble is, I don’t really know how I feel.
In 2 weeks’ time, we get on (a few) planes and leave Scotland. We don’t know when we’ll be back, and we don’t know what will happen. Everything is open to us.
There are many positives to returning to New Zealand. Obviously family is hugely important to us, and all of mine (and some of his) are there. We’ll be staying with my parents for a few months, and enjoying the summer weather and (lots) of down time.
We’ll be starting afresh, with no debt, and no obligations. We’ll be able to shake off the stress and pain that 2016 has brought to us. We’ll be unemployed and happy about it.
But it’s bittersweet. We started this life on an uneven keel – I was the new girl coming into a country that was so similar yet so different. He had his friends, a familiar climate, accents and words that made sense, and everything that comes with British popular culture.
I had him.
(It was enough).
The goal was 2 years. But 2 years in, we weren’t done. We were just getting started. We finally found jobs that suited us, we were earning better money, we had a nicer home, we were really getting settled.
How the next 5.5 years flew by, I’ll never quite understand. But I made my life here. I made friends, was promoted through roles at work, travelled Scotland widely. We visited everywhere on our Europe ‘must-do’ list (saving other places for another day). We got engaged. Had white Christmases. Flew home and planned a wedding. Flew home again to got married.
Started planning our own family.
New Zealand has so much waiting for us. We’re so excited to do it. But it’s hard to leave.
It’s hard to explain how my identity has changed over the last 7.66 years.
Somewhere along the way I stopped being just a Kiwi in a foreign place, but started to be Scottish. Not just in the voice (though that has changed), but in my sense of self, my pop culture knowledge, my sense of humour, my likes and dislikes. I’ve done a lot of growing up since I was 25, and I feel a bit more like I belong here than there.
I obviously have deep historical ties to this country, and I’m incredibly proud of that heritage. I imagine to Kiwis this may all seem strange, but I really feel like I will have to adjust. I will have to learn.
So we’re on an even keel this time. I’ll be experiencing New Zealand (particularly Wellington) and its culture and way of doing things, through the eyes of a fresh immigrant. A confused, displaced woman who used to belong there. A husband who only had 18 months. We’ll have to figure it out together. We’ll have to get into our house, get a car, get jobs, get our lives established.
It’s going to be a learning curve and despite it always being the plan, I have to admit that sometimes I wonder why we’re doing it. It feels strange to be pulled from our independent lives into living upstairs in my family home. But it’s the right choice for us. And we are excited.
But I can’t say I’m not torn.
Alba gu bràth.