Am I too old to actually settled down, put down roots somewhere?
I wonder about this as I contemplate a permanent move back to South Africa. It seems like all my life I’ve been moving, moving. The longest I’ve lived in a particular house is about 12 years, the latest being in Washington where I was so isolated, and in a relationship that isolated me even more.
Growing up in South Africa, we lived out in the country in a wonderful house that Dad designed. It was never completely finished and after he left, finishing it was not an option. He left when I was about 11 or twelve and I think we managed to stay in the house for a couple of years after that. Then Mum took to house sitting - strange how life goes in circles, isn’t it. Our house, Hammerfield, was rented out and for a couple of years, Mum, Mick and I moved from house to house.
Even though we stayed in the area, and house sat for local people and friends who I think took pity on us, as a very insecure youngster, I didn’t make a lot of friends. I wanted to have friends but to me, our lifestyle, if you can call it that, was embarrassing. Apparently, according to the brothers, I became a real brat and acted out a lot.
All that time, I was just plain lonely, longing for a connection that I couldn’t find. In today’s world, our family would be called very dysfunctional!
After a couple of years, we managed to move back into the house and then it was sold. I quit school, moved out and haven’t stopped moving since then.
Is it any wonder then, that I haven’t put down roots anywhere and that even when married, I was lonely, picking men incapable of meaningful relationships?
So now, at the ripe old age of 70, am I too old to change and stay put in one place? Make meaningful connections and create relationships with people who actually want to spend time with me? And more importantly, can I change my rather reclusive ways and become more social and dare I say it, vulnerable?
Is this too much information to put out there in the Universe?
This past year has been enlightening for me. I’ve realized how lonely my life is and although I have some really good friends, they are so scattered around the world, it’s difficult to maintain relationships. Community is something I have never had and I’ve recognized how important it is and how difficult it is to create when on the road so much. Online is good, but it’s not as fulfilling as meeting face-to-face.
I do know that if/when I go, it will be a permanent move. Ideally, I will find a home in a place I like around people I care about. And although traveling from South Africa will be limited by the long flight and finances, I hope to be able to come back to the States for a couple of months each year to reconnect over here. Whether that is pie in the sky thinking, who knows?
A decision needs to be made soon as the stuff I have stored in Washington needs to be taken care of. Weeded through and shipped to wherever! And I know that once I make the decision, with a definite date, things will fall into place. But I am battling to do that, partly because of the logistics ahead (packing, place to stay, flights etc.) but also fear, something that never hindered me before.
Damn, getting older sucks.