I went through my closet last week to try to ascertain my business-casual clothing quotient in preparation for job-hunting. As I dug through tailored trousers and jumpers, I realized that I hadn't worn any of it in over a year and a half. Then I realized that I hadn't worn any of the clothes that I brought with me from the States, other than three pairs of jeans and a button-down shirt, since I arrived. So I bundled all of the unworn trousers, jumpers and shirts into bags and hauled them to Oxfam. I stared into my closet. It sparkled at me, the bedroom lights reflecting off of naked hangers and spangly skirts and occasionally disappearing into the folds of blackest velvet, all totally inappropriate for the workplace, let alone the lab.
I need to do a lot of shopping.
I think this experience, and Marco's impending journey to the States, have brought home to me that I live here now, not there. I think I had a vague notion that living here would be like an extended holiday and that I'd make regular trips "home" every couple of months. It's extremely unlikely that I'll visit the US at all this year. Tiny unconscious changes, like slowly adopting the local aesthetic, cement the sense of belonging in the UK. But once recognized, they also produce a sense of loss. A thread attaching identity to origin, snipped. It's the price of adaptation. Store credit only; no refunds.