I'm 6. Or 7. I've got my hands pressed against the window of the car and I'm sobbing, and waving... and then I pull it together and close my eyes. It's an ok day. Weather-wise. All my soft toys are in one big huge box in the moving van, except for two which accompany me for the car-ride.
I met Chloe King on my first day of school. With the innocent confidence of one completely ignorant of cruelty, I bounded over to the first girl I saw, plonked myself down and introduced myself. Then on, we were inseparable.
I wrote to Chloe a lot when I moved away. Almost every day! Problem was, I'd usually forget to send the letters. Or else I'd decide against sending them; by the time they were in the envelope, they felt out of date, or I'd think of something else, and want to write a new one.
Then I'd forget to send that one, too.
We moved back a year and a half later - I was delighted. It didn't matter that I hadn't kept in touch. My new school had been weird. All girls. Most of them mean. I was so happy to be back! Stuff had changed, but not a lot.
A year later... we were off again. (thanks to my Dad's job) To Limerick.
It was starting to get easier, though. And I kept writing letters. Again...I mostly forgot to send them. So my friends mostly forgot me.
This last move, 'though, changed everything. And it didn't look like there'd be any moving out of here.
I hated it. Just when I joined the class (around 9 years old) another girl (who everyone had loved) had moved away... so I was not only the new girl, but the replacement. They had high hopes for me..(that I didn't exactly meet)
Then, someone decided they didn't like me. And that was the start of my warm welcome to Limerick that had me itching to get out of there...
To move again. The other times hadn't been so bad. I wasn't sure if it'd been me, or them, or the school, or the area, or WHAT the problem was - but there was definitely a problem. I didn't belong there. I never would. Even when I made some nice friends, fell in love...even knowing it's where my parents are... not good enough. It's not right for me and never was. I couldn't stay and couldn't explain why.
I moved to Dublin. To see. To start again.
's going ok. Still not right, 'though...not quite.
Whenever someone asks me where I'm from - I kinda stumble over the answer. What I wanna say is Galway, but I don't think I'm entitled...
I was born in Galway, but don't remember much, or have any friends or ties there, really. I left before I knew very much of what went on outside my housing estate.
And Limerick? Well, I lived there the longest. Even if I hated it, it's the most like home - purely 'cos I'm most familiar with the place.
I wrote about moving back to Galway before... and still think it's worth trying... but who's to say I won't be bitterly disappointed?
I think I turned my back on Limerick too quickly. I severed ties with a few very valuable people. In a few cases, there's no going back. That's NEVER good.
In Galway I had friends - it was easy! Because I was never the new girl. I was part of their world from the word go and more confident than most (because I didn't know any better back then..) I never had to build that community up... it was just there.
In Limerick, it took a long, long time to get a nice group together. People I could trust with my life, people I would do anything for.
Maybe, instead of wondering where I'll run to next... maybe I should stop forgetting to send those letters... return those calls... answer those texts... and make more time for the people I DO have... and make more of an effort to KEEP them.
I'm looking for that homely, comfortable, happy feeling in all the wrong places - haha - because I'm looking for it in PLACES.
If I have people, even if they're scattered all around the world, that's all there is to it.