Winter is a time to reevaluate. It is about hope, stability and security. It is about rekindling extinguished flames and creating light in the darkness. That is, I feel, what I am starting to do. I am reevaluating my place here, on earth, after a turbulent year, where at the beginning I was suicidal and now, close to the end, I am happier than ever. I’m thinking deeply about where I am and where I want to be and I am starting to make the moves to be able to get there.
So, I’ve been mulling this over for, well, quite a while, (and I think I’ve already gone over it in a previous blog) and I’ve come to the decision that I am going to move out of Carlisle and back to Teesside. Come January I’m hoping to be settled in a ‘quaint’ little place in the centre of Middleborough, with ‘Katie’s character’ stamped all over it. ‘Why the fuck Boro?’ You may well be thinking. Well, I have outgrown Carlisle and have had quite enough of not being able to go places, do things, and be involved with any form of cultural activity whatsoever. (There has been Speakeasy over the years, and I can’t praise it enough, but not much else happens.)
In case you didn’t know, Boro has an incredible literary scene, which is constantly active and buzzing with the vitality and enthusiasm that I really need around me right now, to further not only my development as a writer, but for my development as a human being. People brag about Newcastle having it as far as culture goes in the North East, but I’ll let you in on a little secret, Boro is the place to be, as far as talent, generosity and support goes. When I have been involved in projects happening in Newcastle I have always felt, I don’t know, obscure, out of place, not good enough to be a poet, a writer, or, well, anything really. In the past, I have left Newcastle literary goings on with my head between my knees and not an ounce of inspiration in my body. I don’t have any of that in Teesside and I fucking love it. Give me a terrace house in Boro instead of a swanky pent house in the centre of Newcastle any day, like. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have seen many, many awesome things come out of Newcastle, but they have all of the attention, all of the support from London and the rest…Boro on the other hand, has articles in the nationals about the state of the place and what have you, rather than the incredible rising literary talent and the many support networks there – Writers Block for example – to support and encourage it to grow and flourish.
Anyway, now that I’ve had that little rant, I’ll explain the other reasons why I’m moving back to the North East. I miss the nature available on my doorstep. I miss the moorland, I miss the beaches, I miss the forests. As Katie and as a Pagan I need nature and an element of wilderness in my daily life. I need to be able to engage with it every day, and it is a hell of a lot easier to do that in the North East than in Cumbria, where is costs an arm and a leg to get anywhere out of Carlisle. Seen as though I don’t drive, I’ve been feeling constantly trapped in this shitty city, with only basic routes I have trodden hundreds of times available without me having to take out another loan. Back home, I like being able to pay £6 return to Whitby, and spend the day hiking along the cliff tops. I like being able to get to Roseberry Topping and the North Yorkshire moors in half an hour. (Thanks Mum.) I miss those places. They hold real spiritual value for me and I pine after them. I’m a Northern lass after all.
Oh, and I’m getting a Siberian husky. So I need my own place and the space to be able to keep Varg. Yes, it’s going to be a boy and its going to be called after the man himself, Varg Vickerness. I know people are like ‘wait until you are settled with a good job’ and all that, but hey, listen. We never know when our time in this life is over, so we need to take risks and enjoy ourselves while we can. I also feel ready for a dog. I know it’s the right time to have one.
Naturally, there are things I am going to miss. My boyfriend and friends. I have made some absolutely incredible friends during my three and a half years here and I am eternally grateful to them for the support, closeness and love.
But it’s onwards and upwards now. I must admit though, that I’m not all that excited about hoisting a million and one cardboard boxes full of books down the stairs to the outside world again.