It’s been nearly a month since my return to Scotland and I am finally starting to feel a bit settled. In fact, I’m feeling settled for the first time in more than a year. Which is a nice feeling, to be certain!
Some of you may know that the last year has seen me feeling rather stressed and uncertain about my future and that those feelings have left me feeling extremely unsettled. So unsettled, in fact, that I became so upset at moments that I couldn’t function.
I’ve been telling myself for the past year that as soon as I had a bit more clarity about my future – as soon as all of my visa stresses were over and I began my PhD – that I would feel a bit more settled and my emotions would even out. And I’m quite pleased to say that’s been true. (So far.)
I know this settled feeling doesn’t mean life is perfect. I am well aware that the stress of being a full-time student, the frustration of being an expat living 6,000 miles away from ageing parents, the loneliness of singledom/widowhood, and the run-of-the-mill stresses of life might bring me to my knees a time or two in the near future.
But I am also well-aware that I am here where my heart is happiest and that I am surrounded by supportive friends and loving family. And those important little things will help to see me through any stresses I feel in the future.
On the practical side, I am also settling into my new home. It’s a bit strange because I’m no longer living on my own, but I am sure I will get used to it one of these days. You see, a very kind and generous friend of mine knew that money would be extremely tight when I started my PhD – and that, in fact, I was a bit shy of funds. So he did what he could to help and offered me a place to stay.
My new home is a bit out of town with limited transportation options and means I’m squirrelled away into a single bedroom (though I like that sometimes), but it’s comfortable and, importantly, affordable. Don’t take any of that as a complaint though. I am so very happy to have a warm place to live and I am so very blessed to have a friend offer such an amazing gift to me.
And as I’m starting to settle in, I’ve managed to get back into partially good eating and cooking habits again – and have even found the time and energy to pick up an old crochet project that I started way back in October 2012!
Yes, it’s good to feel settled again and I’m looking forward to finding a bit of a routine now that I’m back in my beloved Edinburgh. What a happy feeling this is …
[Image is some thistles I drew back in 2011 to illustrate a story about, well, being a thistle.]