I’ve been thinking recently about roots and being settled. I live in London, and consider myself a Londoner, which in itself might sound as if I feel as if I belong in our fair capital, but to be honest, I don’t.
I was born in Kent and lived there in different places for the first 10 years of my life, then moved over the county border into Surrey, where I stayed until heading off to university in Sheffield.
I then moved back to London for a couple of years, before relocating to St Albans for a while, and then returning to London.
The problem is, I’ve never quite stayed anywhere long enough to feel settled and put down ‘roots’.
I don’t feel particularly at home in London, even. And the question is, why?
I think that maybe some of it has to do with how connected I feel to the community I live in and the people around me. If I left tomorrow, I’d feel no emotional pull to my current place and area of residence.
And that’s the key… emotion. What does it actually take to produce that kind of feeling about a place or an area? The thing about emotional memories of a place is that they can never be quite recaptured.
I went back to Sheffield a few times after graduating and it was never the same. The people weren’t there any more, the odd pub and shop had changed and, more to the point, I no longer lived there.
I do actually hope I find somewhere that I feel happy and rooted in at some point… I just haven’t really found it yet.