It is a word which can be interpreted in so many ways, and be weighted with so many emotions. Stress. Anxiety. Fear. Freedom. For me, ‘relocate’ is the latter.
I grew up in a small town in England where everything stayed the same, the faces never changed, and nothing bad ever really happened. And I decided at a very young age that I was going to get out as soon as possible. Luckily, I loved school, and so logically decided that my only way out was going to be through University. I worked my socks off throughout my academic career, and when I turned eighteen picked schools which were a minimum of a hundred miles away from that small town. I got accepted to York, and never looked back.
It had nothing to do with my family, my friends, even the town. It was me. Coming from a large family, I always felt the pressure of being introduced as ‘so and so’s niece’, or ‘whats-her-names granddaughter.’ I felt the claustrophobia of living in a place where I could identify the face of every single person who walked past me on the street, all of whom had known me through my childhood, my teenage mistakes, the family dramas and the challenges. I needed to start afresh, to reinvent myself, to carve out an identity for myself. I also needed the challenge of total change; moving to a city I had been to once, with people I had never met before. And boy did it pay off. Whilst my feet are still itchy, I know that York will always have a piece of my heart, and every time I see the railway sign I feel home. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is scary, but if you never do it, you’lll never realise how incredible it can be.