My heart is hurting. It’s aching in my chest.

I feel a state of panic. Adrenaline coming in fits and starts.

How can I leave this? How is it possible? What am I thinking?

The days are like this at the moment. I make a decision to go. The next day I change my mind.

I think in my heart I know I’m leaving, but I’m finding it hard to let go, to sever the ties.

The sun is rising red over the palm trees and the rice paddies. We’re on our way to the airport for a visa run. ‘Look!’ I say to Alula, ‘look at the sun!’

‘Oh, it’s so pretty,’ she says in awe. ‘It would be even prettier if there weren’t a million ugly houses in the way.’

It’s true, this whole area of land was once all sawah and is now built over with concrete villas.

Yet still, how to leave this? How? There are the small things; the light, the chirp of the crickets at night, the brightness of the bougainvillea, the neon green of the rice, the sleeping with the windows wide open beneath the haze of a mosquito net. Then there are the big things; here I work 9-10 hours a day; solid, uninterrupted time pouring words onto a page. It’s perhaps too much. But right now also necessary (three books and a script to write by January). In the UK I might manage 5 hours if I’m lucky – the hours when Alula will be at school. How will I manage?

And let’s not talk about the laundry. Or the cold.

Stupidly I’ve been re-reading old blog posts. The ones I wrote before we left. The ones that dreamed of a life lived somewhere hot, the ones where I railed about doing the laundry and mainly about the cold, and dreamed of another type of life.

I read those now and I literally weep. How can I leave? It feels as if we’re turning our back on outrageous potential.

It’s just a step along the way.

I’ve ordered a deluxe double electric under-blanket for the bed (5 heat settings! A timer!). And some thermal tights from M&S.

Can you order Prozac off the Internet these days too?

Then I read these words by Jeannette Winterson and it gives me some measure of comfort; ‘If i can’t stay where I am, and I can’t, then I shall put all that I can into the going.’

One thought on “If I can’t stay where I am

  1. Chelsea says:

    oh how much I’am relating to your posts ❤

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