Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Two years of my life

Today is two years since I came to Cambridge. (I say "I" because Staffan came two days before me). A good moment to reflect on the two years. Honestly, I didn't know what I was doing. Looking back I am horrified at how easily I left everything behind and stepped into the unknown. I would probably not do it today. Or I probably would. I was stupid or I was desperate. But I definitely didn't know what I was doing.

I can say now, long afterwards: the first time was awful. I hope nobody noticed, because I am very good at pretending. It felt like being thrown into an ongoing game where you don't know the rules. Moreover, having to lead the game. How did I do it? Human beings are amazingly resilient. I survived because the alternative was less attractive. We had very efficiently burned the bridges. No backsies.

It would be easy to say that it got better when we bought the house and the cat came over, but I think it was that I got over the first shock. If I am in this game, I'd better learn the rules quickly and look around to see who else is playing. I was lucky. I am lucky. My co-players are all wonderful people. (That includes Staffan).

Yet looking back I am still horrified - because with all the difficulties it has been too easy, too painless. What's wrong with me? No regrets, no anxiety. If I close down my reason, the senses tell me I have always been here. As I have just read in a thesis I am marking: for Anne of Green Gables, the house becomes a home. Home is part of identity, and all that stuff. Chronotope and bundle of trajectories. I am at home. I have found my place. I am at peace with myself. I want to stay here. Not only here at Old School Lane, but here in Cambridge, here at Homerton. I want to learn more about this place. There are many things I haven't explored. I am looking forward to the new academic year because teaching is fun.

I'd better stop before I get too sentimental. 


Sun-Kyoung Choi said...

Du är verkligen beundrandsvärd! Jag beundrar Dig!

Ingrid Knutsson said...

Jag instämmer. Du är beundransvärd!!

Anonymous said...

With any move there will be push and pull factors. Last time you emigrated it was more pull (Stefan) than push. This time there was so much push it was a shove. I'm sorry you got shoved, but I'm delighted that you landed with such aplomb.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, 'anonymous' was me - Lydia

Staffan Skott said...

Actually, it was three days earlier.
Push or pull? Wasn't it mutual attraction?
And, Lydia, if you as chukhontsa don't like Swedish names, you could as well refer to me as Tapani...