My new surroundings

So, my husband and I have moved to America. We have transported ourselves and our pets to a new home, and I’m slowly getting used to it. In the beginning, there were a few document-based issues. But now my name matches on pretty much everything and I’ve been able to open a bank account, apply for credit, renew my driving license and start getting a bit of income. So far, so good.

I’ve also been getting our house decorated and functional. For the first time, we’ve been able to have a separate office and guest room, which has been surprisingly calming. In our previous house, I barely wanted to use the office because something felt a bit off in it. Here, however, I’ve happily set up a desk and a hand-me-down chaise for writing.

Actually, the pieces of furniture we’ve taken in from family members have been surprisingly functional for us. We’ve taken in a sofa, bedside tables, a couple chairs, an outdoor table, an end table and the chaise. It’s made for a space that is a bit eclectic and very cosy. I guess we got lucky that so many other people in my family were moving house at the same time we were.

That’s the thing: my family is here, with nearly all members in the same city. Though I didn’t grow up here, my mom and brother moved here in my absence. They relocated to my mom’s hometown and have been here since. My brother had a brief stint in Texas, but has now returned to raise his own family. My mom has remarried and rebuilt her life here. Suddenly, I see the draw of living amongst them. Even with the baggage and resentments, they’re still family. I’m not sure why I failed to see this before.

It’s strange, but the last few weeks in our new house with our new surrounding have felt more permanent than the last ten years did in the UK. Maybe this is because I’ve returned to a part of the world where my accent matches my surroundings, or maybe it’s because living abroad always feels like an eternal moment of anticipation. I wouldn’t say I feel at home yet, but I feel rooted.

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