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.