It’s autumn. As I’m typing this, surrounded by the lovely smell of clean laundry (which is literally surrounding me as I still lack proper clothes horse) I can see the sun shining through the yellow, green and orange-brown melange of leaves on the trees on The Square.
Autumn always reminds me of the days I first got to the UK: term started in September. ( When not surrounded by clean washing, even the autumn smell can trigger memories.) Though the first three months went slow and can only be described as a mixture of excitement, confusion and undiluted hell-on-toast, I’m glad my 17-year old self stuck with it.
I’m going to turn 27 this year, next year will be my 10th year in the UK. And yes, that does make me feel a little old haha. When I first got here, I was only one-foot out of teenage angst hoping that at 18 the heavens would open and pour ‘ Adult hood’ upon me (it didn’t), at 20 I didn’t understand what people meant with “Still So Young” and at 23 I was fully engrossed in a complete quarter-life crisis: I always liked to do things early and dramatically.
Like Julie Andrews without the convent ambitions, I always longed for adventure: I wanted to travel, have an amazing life, conquer the world. I remember telling my mother that I would never want to work a boring “9-5 job”. The contract I just finished had me in the office 9-6: I like to think that is the Universe’s sense of humour.
Here I am, looking out over The Square: I’m happy with my choices – all of them, as one must have led to another.
My life is a modern day, real life adventure: it’s balancing the search for the Holy Grail with the means to survive as a modern equivalent of Herculean tasks, it’s a huge building site house instead of a Palace, and it’s many acts of human kindness rather than Godmother or Fairy Power that magically keep saving my ass.
There are good days and bad ( hey, even charitable Red Riding Hood made some crappy choices…) but the Quest continues and I am ready for the next chapter.