It’s been nearly 3 months since I moved back to Edinburgh and I’ve been taking stock recently. It felt like a good time to share some of the things I’ve been thinking about.
Home is where the heart is
When I left Edinburgh at 17, I was desperate to see a bit more of the world than my school, Cockburn street and my favourite nightspots.
I wanted to be far from home and I ended up first in Scotland’s north east followed by the UK’s south east. I got to experience life in two very different cities to Edinburgh and see much of the surrounding areas. Not to mention travel the country, and other countries, extensively. Most importantly I met some truly wonderful people wherever I went.
But the longer I stayed away from home, the stronger the umbilical cord tightened. It got to the stage last year where leaving was physically and emotionally draining and I would dread coming home because of the way I’d feel when leaving.
Part of that is my family and best friends being rooted here – no matter where they go in the world, they’re tethered here. And I wanted to be tethered with them.
Another part of that is no matter where I’ve spent time, I’ve realised that Edinburgh and Scotland are pretty hard to beat. During holidays, I got to see much of Europe, America and North Africa. As much as I can appreciate the differences of all the countries I’ve experienced, they made me realise that Edinburgh, and Scotland, is where I long for most. The quality of life, the people, the culture (high and low) and the natural beauty.
What took me so long?
I wanted the circumstances for moving home to be right – mainly I knew I needed a job I’d enjoy and if possible have Elaine by my side. It took a little while, but I’ve been lucky that it’s turned out beautifully.
Elaine moved to Edinburgh about a month after me and we moved into a gorgeous flat by the sea around a month ago. Somewhere we could only have dreamed of living in London (not just because the nearest sea is an hour away).
Making Edinburgh fit for the new me
While Edinburgh has always been home, I knew I’d need to put some work into making the city work for me now. Here are the key things I’m trying not to do:
1. doing everything NOW
Trying to fit it all in in one day – if we hurry we can see a show, and a film, go to the gym and that new restaurant. I’d done this in Aberdeen and London – spent my life rushing from one cool event to the next one. It left me burnt out. Worse, it left me unable to appreciate even the really exciting things happening in my life. I often wonder if the speed I was living at in London brought my myasthenia on earlier.
I’ve actually learned my lesson and this time I’ve eased myself in. That has meant being very selective about how much I try to fit into a week and what I’m spending my time doing. The beauty of this is the slow unravelling of this new-old town. I plan to be here for a long time so why rush the reacquaintance?
2. Relying on existing friendships
While it would be easy to rely on my existing friendships, to make Edinburgh feel like a new experience it felt important to try to meet some new people.
Whilst making new friends takes time, I’ve struck gold with some very sociable (and fun) work mates. I’ve also joined a couple of writing groups where there are lots of inspiring, friendly and interesting people I’m enjoying getting to know.
People of Edinburgh – come at me!
3. Over excercising
In spite of the MG, I’m a bit of an exercise junkie. Or perhaps I should say I was. As part of the slowing down that came with not doing everything NOW, I’ve found that my desire to exercise vigorously most days has diminished. Like I’ve repaced myself from Cheetah to Shetland Pony.
I’ve tried as much as I can to walk wherever I go and I’m loving discovering this city’s secrets on foot. Don’t get me wrong I’m still doing a bit of working out in the gym and the occasional run to keep myself strong. But unexpectedly for me, I’m feeling better after reducing the frequency and intensity.
…and how about the MG?
Well hand on heart I’ve had 95% good days since the move. When I first arrived, my ptosis wasn’t great for the first week or two due to the stress of the move. But since then it’s been consistently good and I’ve felt like I have much more energy. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still a spoonie with much more drive first thing in the morning than last thing at night. And I still suffer if I don’t get 7-8 hours sleep. But I feel like the MG is under control here in a way that I never did in London.
I’m still waiting to get a consultant lined up in Edinburgh – a little frustrating. But when it does happen, hopefully I’ll be able to reduce my drugs down a bit further.
For now, I’m genuinely content and that makes me sure that I made the right choice.