So, the move is at the end of August, my husband has written a list of things to do, and the question on all my friends’ lips seems to be: ‘are you excited?’
To which my honest answer is: ‘no’.
I realise this sounds negative. Well, ‘no’ is negative – no getting away from that.
In a way it’s because I can’t find anything to construct any excitement around. I’m not going to have a job to start with so it’s hard to imagine what my days will be like; I know I’m going to be short of money, so I can’t make too many plans involving buying clothes or furniture, joining expensive gyms or going on weekend trips; I’m leaving friends, family, belongings (most) and job behind, so the sadness about that seems to outweigh my rather ambivalent enthusiasm for Chicago.
But I think really what it is is that I’m trying to savour the months I have left here rather than transport myself mentally to somewhere I don’t entirely want to be ahead of time.
I’ve been planning some walks around Yorkshire that I’ve never got round to doing before. I want to see the moors around Haworth, and the Peak District, and some of the woods and little hills around West Yorkshire. I’m going to the Hay Festival, which I’ve wanted to go to for years, and we’re going to see Kazuo Ishiguoro and Lucy Mangan from the Guardian and David Crystal and Simon Armitage. And in July I have a fortnight in Italy to go to conferences and soak up the Italian food, sun and scenery. Then there are lots of friends to try to spend time with before I go, and a leaving party to plan. So I don’t want to get ahead of myself – when I’m out in the States there will be time enough to miss everything I like about British culture and the European landscape.
But this is not normally me. I tend to live in the future. So I can’t be sure if this is a sane and rational approach that will allow me to be excited to Chicago just in time for the move, or if this is blocking out the future in a way that’s going to serve me really badly.