Living life unrooted

Since I graduated from university at the end of 2016 I have been living life unrooted. Partly by choice, partly not.

The turn of 2017 brought about my big move to London. For as long as I could imagine up until that point, moving to London was my big dream. I had stars in my eyes and the world at my feet.

Six months later I found out that my mom has been re-diagnosed with cancer so I was on the next flight back home to South Africa. I had decided that that was it. London wasn’t what I hoped it would be and hadn’t worked out so coming home seemed sensible. I got a job and planned to see my mom through her treatment and rebuild my life.

Six months after that, the unimaginable happened and my mom lost her battle. And so what did I do? I ran away back to England. I wanted to be as far away from the aftermath and memories as possible.

Fast forward to now, I find myself in the beautiful world heritage city of Bath. I moved here from Hertfordshire, where I initially planted myself, to be with my brother. But a year later he moved back to South Africa.

Throw in a few job changes and unexpected house moves its safe to say that I have been sailing some turbulent waters.

Because of the immense amount of change endured in such a small space of time, dabbed with grief and mental health challenges, I have been craving to be settled.

I have been craving a home, a tribe, a sense of normality and a sense of calm. So much so that any minor deviation from routine would throw me and ruffle my feathers far more than it should.

Adding salt to the wound are social pressures. Every second person I know, near and far, seems to be ‘doing life right’, getting engaged, married, buying houses, settling down…life is just carrying on as per normal for them and I feel that pressure to follow suit.

But I had a bit of an epiphany the other day: what if I am simply just not ready to settle?

What if I am not like all my friends?
What if I am not meant to settle, not yet at least?
What if my twenties are meant to be spent trying to find purpose for all this chaos and carnage that has become my life?
What if it is meant to be spent coming to terms with the loss of my mom, searching for some meaning to losing the most important person in my life?

And what if I just stop digging my heels into the ground that I am so clearly not ready to ‘settle’ into yet, and just embrace living nomadically, unearthed and, well, unsettled?

Grief is life changing, confusing, overwhelming and traumatic. Someone once told me that it takes time to work your life out after a tragedy, and maybe I am just being too hard on myself during this fragile time.

This is what all friends and family have been saying to me, I wonder what will happen if I start saying it to myself. I wonder what will happen if I just stop trying to force stability when stability is just not working for me right now.

Well, I guess this is to be continued. I will let you know how this experiment goes. Until next time 🙏🏼

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