I likely ought to be working on NaNo stuff or Patreon stuff or any number of other Stuffs, but it’s been a wee while since I updated here, and I’d like to get back into the habit of blogging more. (They said, for the fourteenth time in the past year without actually doing it.)
We’ve now been in Glasgow for almost two months. We have a flat and bank accounts and internet (at long last!). I’m drinking copious amounts of tea (which here is available most often in packages of 150-200 bags–take notes, America and your 20-bag boxes). I wanted to reflect a little on the changes since the move.
I also feel a little awkward doing so, because things have been bleak in the States. (Today, however, there was good news to wake up to, as well as no small amount of schadenfreude that that horrid bathroom bill author in Virginia lost the state rep race to a trans woman.)
- My mental health is better. Full stop. I almost don’t even need to elaborate. It’s just BETTER. I wake up in the morning happy. I get silly swells of emotional whatsit just walking down Dumbarton Road here in Partick, even if someone didn’t clean up after their dog or whatever. The air smells better here. It’s cleared away the fog. I rest easy knowing we’re in the bosom of Nicola Sturgeon and her dogged defence of Scotland’s social systems. I have also, no fewer than three times, seen a non-binary gender option on *official forms*. The option to chose MY ACTUAL TITLE instead of getting shoehorned into binary terms. The Glasgow City Council was one, for fuck’s sake.
- I have a GP literally across the street. No, really. I can walk out the door of our building, keep going, and run right into it. My healthcare is taken care of. I got two prescriptions filled in September. You go to the pharmacy, they fill them, they hand them to you, you leave. Notice anything missing in that list? I didn’t leave anything out. I read an essay yesterday that a friend shared, by a man expressing absolute love for his best friend, who moved in with them when his wife got cancer. There was a line in that essay that will fucking haunt me. He said: I juggled money because nobody would die if we didn’t pay our taxes, so the hospitals and surgeons came first. (Essay here.) That is something that should never be said, especially so casually as to basically be a throwaway statement in passing. America’s healthcare is criminal. That’s all.
- I am doing things I have wanted to do for ages. Not just living here, but I found a Gaelic class thanks to a friend, and it’s a 24 week course that transitions into more units, and basically the whole time Monsieur is at pharmacy school, I’m going to be learning Gaelic, hopefully to fluency over the next few years. Not only is this a massive bucket list item for me, but it’s good job security, as it’s a highly sought skill here. My classmates are a wide spectrum of ages, a few from the islands whose parents are native speakers, others who want to get in touch with older roots, and the class itself is taught with the Ùlpan method that originated in the Middle East, wherein everything is taught in the target language with very, very little explanation in English. I AM FUCKING ECSTATIC.
- I’m reading more. I’ve read more books in the past two months than I read in the past year. I’m rereading the Wheel of Time. I’m reading ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY by Charlie Jane Anders. I just finished THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES by Rebecca Podos. I’m excited about books again.
- I’m writing more. More importantly, I’m wanting to. I’ve been utterly crushed by the industry for the past couple years. I’ve been constantly battling the nihilism of “what’s even the point of submitting”, which isn’t healthy? Really not healthy.
- I feel safer. This isn’t really an illusion. It is safer here, physically and psychically, for someone like me. Just in general, really. Again, I’m serious. Crime happens here. Violent crime happens. But the drop off in odds for it to happen is so stark it’s a cliff, moving from America to here.
- I’m exploring my world. We went to Loch Lomond. Canoed. Talked shit to some ducks. Sailed about with some swans. Walked at twilight and watched the stars come out in a perfectly clear sky. I reunited with Jordan after six long years. I finally got to meet his amazing dog Dougie! I’ve reconnected with old friends and connected with new ones. I get to finally meet a Welsh friend in person next week, and more folks on Friday! Went to a neighbour’s party! (Hi Sara! COME HANG WITH THE CATS AND BRING YOUR SISTER.) I miss some Stateside people so much it hurts, but I can’t wait to show them around my home here.
- I’m playing. Playing! Sometimes that’s video games and sometimes it’s wandering about charity shops or finding new Pokemon around Glasgow or painting (!!!) or learning to KNIT or any number of other things.
This is a good place to be. A good place. I am so thankful to be here that I get all weepy and emotional at random moments during the day and then get embarrassed and SHUT UP WHAT ARE YOU LAUGHING AT.
I haven’t had a whole lot of dreams come true before. This list is a bunch of really, really big ones.
So yeah. Life’s good here. We’re going to Paris for our anniversary (aka Christmas/Boxing Day). We’re going to Inverness for my birthday (Monsieur surprised me). I got to speak Gaelic with humans for the first time ever after fourteen years of desperately wanting to learn. I’m about to hit the mystical age of 33. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I’m actually looking forward to my birthday.
Here’s a bunch of pictures, including lotsa selfies because why not. ENJOY.