Spring has sprung here in Edinburgh. My garden is green with new life and the cold rain is interspersed with boughts of glorious warm sun. The days have become longer, the sun rising just before 6 a.m. and setting at almost 9 p.m. Everyone tells me the days will keep growing longer as summer sets in, and I cannot wait.
This spring has been a ride. Elaine (my sister-in-law) was here for three weeks, I ended my second semester of grad school, friends visited us from the States as well as an impending visit from my aunt, cousin and sister. This new season has been full of high-highs and low-lows. But I don’t regret a second of it. I would do it all again in a heartbeat, because being here, experiencing all of this, has been truly life-changing. And I mean that in the sincerest of ways. I feel like a different person, looking at the world with new eyes, after moving countries. Sure, it’s not as rose-colored as it was back when I’d only ever lived in my little Midwestern state of Michigan, but man, I am stronger for it.
Even on my hardest of days, I think: if I could sit through a transatlantic flight with all of my belongings stuffed into bags and with two yowling cats under my seat, I can do anything.
I only have one more semester before I graduate with my Masters degree. That sentence feels crazy to type. A Masters degree? Me? Me, who hates writing essays more than anything? Yes. Apparently. *shrugs*
I am almost done with the first draft of my YA fantasy book, the first in a trilogy. I am currently working on a complete rewrite and it is such a slog sometimes, but if I’m not working on a book, I am a frazzled tangle of thoughts and worries and things. (No bueno.) Writing professionally is still such a form of artistic expression as much as it is therapeutic and (hopefully) a way for me to make a living. Even with all of the theory and critical analysis and mentoring beat over my head for the past eight months, I still love it. I’ll be writing till I’m dead. But at least I know that, for better or worse.
Get published or die trying — that’s my motto of late.
In other news, my little family will be making another change come the end of this summer. We have made the very difficult decision to move back to the U.S. to embark on our next adventure. It took a lot of deliberating and back-and-forth to decide this. My husband and I are in the unique situation right now where we both work remote, so we can technically live anywhere.
That’s a lot of pressure.
There are so many reasons why we have decided to leave the U.K. and transition back to U.S. soil, and though we will miss our wee garden flat in a 300-year-old building, we are excited for what comes next. We have our sights on the Carolinas and while we haven’t made a decision of where we will be moving next, one thing is for sure: it will be near the beach and it will be warm.
Europe is wonderful to travel in, but living here has been a completely different experience for me, especially being so far away from our loved ones. We do not plan to stop traveling any time soon, as there is so much of the world we haven’t seen.
In so many ways, I think we are all just looking for a place to call “home.” And I’m not sure if I will ever find that perfect place, but the idea of being part of a community has become increasingly important to me. As much as I want to be a city girl, I just don’t think I will ever be. My soul soars when I am amongst the trees and the flowers. Concrete and too many people stifle me.
But there are worse places in the world to spend a spring than Edinburgh. In fact, even after these past (crazy) 10 months of living here, it is still one of my favorite places in the world. We have had beautiful experiences here with beautiful people — and I know there will always be somewhere for us to stay in Scotland. Though this Scottish Season of my life is coming to an end, I look forward to unfurling out of my writer hobbit hole as summer comes to fruition.