Meeting the North Atlantic

I’ve been thinking recently about the multiplicity of identity.  Though I have always been one to imagine a wide variety of futures for myself, in the past few months I’ve been ricocheting between possible lives at a rate astounding even for me. 

A last minute trip to Edinburgh made me want to connect to my Celtic heritage and move to Ireland or the Highlands.

Edinburgh’s New Town
A change of heart sitting in an outdoor pool at night while it snowed made me believe I could make a life in Iceland.

Snowed in on Tjörnin

And mystery novels by Ann Cleeves set in Shetland and being completely charmed off my feet by the Faroe Islands have made me think that maybe I could be happy not living in a big city after all.

I am particularly charmed by the island of Nólsoy, population 213

And those are merely the ideal futures that skate over the fact that I will likely be semi-nomadic for longer than I would like, or that as a non EU/EEA person by ability to live where I want is tied up in my ability to find a job first, and that whoever I fall in love with will likely have opinions about where to live as well.

But aiding those watershed moments that showed me different visions for the future is my re-cemented feeling that I am a different person in different places. Not someone with a completely different personality, just someone for whom different aspects of my personality become more dominant in different settings.  Like a diamond, it’s always sparkling, but where you see the glimmers changes as you turn it.

For the last 3 years I haven’t lived in any place for longer than 9 months, and it’s clear to me that the changes I’ve seen in myself during that time are not due solely to my growing as a person, some things have been a product of the environment that have receded as I’ve moved on.  I’m increasingly thinking about not just where I want to live but also who I want to be, since it’s become clear to me that these are more inextricably linked than we often think.


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