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Uprooting: severing the umbilical cord

Moving house is a stressful time, because it often coincides with changing jobs, changing schools, changing friends, changing lifestyles.

Someone told me once - don't do too many stressful things at the same time. But sometimes it's inevitable. When my father retired, he had to move. When I got a new job, I had to move. How can you possibly avoid it?

I am about to uproot. Or rather, I am in the process of uprooting. I am confronting the opposing forces of procrastination because it's my tendency to, and in this case, my reluctance to leave a community and an existence that I've come to enjoy, and the anticipation of a new life, which I welcome gladly.

It's ironic that I've grown to love this area of London so much. The day I moved into my house, I burst into tears. I felt I was forced to move here because of my grand piano. I had searched high and low for a place I could afford. After five months, I settled for this home, far away from the centre of activity. Or so I thought.

And now, I love my existence. I love waking up and cycling to the local health club to exercise. I love going to the Mandarin Restaurant afterwards for a two course meal for £3.30 including the tip. I love talking to the waiter and waitress in Chinese. I love cycling through the parks and going to free concerts almost every other day.

I set up the neighbourhood watch on my street, and I love being able to stop and chat to my neighbours. I could knock on their door and be greeted with a warm welcome.

But most of all, I love being able to interact with anybody, including the sellers at the Saturday farmers market. I feel so free here.

So why am I uprooting to face the challenge of communicating in a language spoken only by 20 million people in this world -- at the very most?

I feel as if I am severing the umbilical cord to freedom of self-expression and freedom of movement. It took more than 9 months to grow this cord, and I am NOT READY to sever it with one swift incision.

21 November 2003 Friday

Le Bon Journal e-zine, April 2004:
Uprooters on the uprooting experience (6 page PDF)
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Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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