Early last year I was dreaming up plans of moving to Brighton. A new home by the sea, conveniently placed between Margate and Southampton – the ideal new location for keeping up with friends from both places. Then lockdown(s) happened, inevitably putting such plans on hold. Funny to think that if the last year had gone differently I may well be watching waves on the pebbles today.
The thing is, when plans like this are put on hold, they can become a distant goal, which seems somewhat unattainable, resulting in new ideas entirely. Ideas that can come at the most unexpected time, plucked seemingly from nowhere, nevertheless deeply rooted by feelings from the heart.
Following a conversation with my housemate, I came to the decision that if I was going to relocate, the people meant more than the place. With that in mind then, if I was going to leave Southampton any time soon, it would be to move back home. Initially this thought came to me as an option, an idea, something to ponder – and ponder I did. Southampton has been a wonderful place for me to grow in to who I am today, but after so much time away from them over the past year, the pull of family is tugging that little bit harder. It has always been there, from me looking for jobs that allow me to get home for Christmas, to feeling guilty any time I can’t make a birthday. After a year of missing all of the above, it became clear to me that my best bet was simply to move home. After years of feeling like moving home might be something I have to do, it is in fact something I am incredibly excited to do.
Don’t get me wrong, I have very strong feelings about Southampton. Deciding to leave this city that has nurtured me through university and varying job roles, as well as personal affairs is not something I do lightly. Coming here was one of the best decisions I have ever made, which may have seen me make some terrible choices along the way sure, but nothing I couldn’t come back from with my head held high. It has been such a treat to live in a city where I have met people from all over the world and been able to make real friends for life.
That being said, it was not long at all before considering the idea of moving home manifested in to a proper plan. In fact, since then it seems like – touch wood – everything is falling in to place. The support from my family to move home (duh, they are buzzing to have me back) extended to support and encouragement to leave a job I hated. I might be excited to move back home, but it has to be said that I cannot get up and leave Southampton just yet, and luckily I have managed to get another job to keep me going until I am ready. All going well, I will have another, hopefully normal summer in the city, making the most of the time with my friends here. Southampton will always be a second home to me, and as such I fully intend to make regular visits back.
Right now, everything is in some kind of blissful honeymoon phase, and things may not go as expected – at least that’s what my lovely little head keeps reminding me. Still, the heart often speaks louder and sometimes it is worth listening, even if it means throwing caution to the wind a little. Sure, I will miss the convenience of the city, my favourite little bars and of course some of the best people I know, but this will not be goodbye forever. All I know right now is that I am excited to be back in my home town, to reconnect with family and old friends, all while being back by the sea. Aren’t I lucky?