In exactly three weeks, I’ll have packed up and left Edinburgh behind for a few months, a year, or potentially for good. In truth, I don’t know when, or if ever, I’ll be able to call this city home again. In a way, I’m just grateful that I got the chance to call it home at all. But that doesn’t making the saying goodbye any easier, it only makes it all the more bittersweet.
I arrived at the flat on Saturday 7th September 2019, stressed, but assured that nothing except a wrong turn down a one way street could make the day go wrong. I’d written lists. I’d packed way too many belongings. I’d spent a year getting rejected from jobs, questioning my future career prospects, and making enough banana bread to feed a large family. Then, on a whim that wasn’t so much a whim as it was a leap of faith, I’d applied for the postgraduate course that I could’ve done the previous year … if I’d thought it through … after education had burned me out and I’d swore I’d never step into another university again.
Forty Seven weeks ago, I was convinced that leaving home would be the hardest part of all. I was a homebody, painfully so, and an anxious one at that. I hated changed and the unknown. My sense of direction was non-existent, and my cooking skills even less so. As a pessimist, I anticipated all of the challenges — the homesickness, Circuit laundry, and the winter months still to come. I just never expected to be so happy, or for my friends here to become like my Edinburgh family.
In every sense of the word, I lived in denial. The year stretched out in front of me, and it felt as if I’d never quite reach this moment…that I’d never really have to say that final goodbye. And then came Covid-19, and the goodbyes (or lack thereof) came in unbearable waves. The world stopped, and as it did, we all had to grieve some kind of loss. For me, it was time. The only thing I’d never be able to control.
In hindsight, I probably should have known that I would get attached to my life here. But knowing something is going to happen, and being prepared for it when it does, are never the same thing. So, here’s to moving forward even if I don’t feel ready to move on. And here’s to the future misadventures, and all the fun still to be had even if this pandemic isn’t said and done.