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Roots and Uprooting

When I was born, I lived with my grandparents for some time before my parents, and I moved out to our flat where we stayed for another ten years. I finished grade five when, out of the blue over the summer holidays, my parents decided to move the whole family to a tiny, full of jealousy town championing backwards ways of existing.

The move was so unexpected and unplanned that I didn’t have time to say goodbye to my friends and teachers or even digest the sudden uprooting my parents were serving me with.

Since that move my parents decided to be always on the lookout for new houses and places to live in; the older they get, the more often they move, upsizing with every move instead of downsizing.

When I was 19 I moved to London and, in keeping with my family’s tradition; I decided to change my accommodation every six months. Back then it was much harder to move since you had to get up early in the morning, go to your corner shop and get the Loot to start calling people as soon as possible. Since I’m dyslexic, trying to write down the streets’ names was a job I could hardly ever get right. But I still kept moving, investing so much energy into looking for a place, packing, unpacking and settling in that for a long time this activity on its own was like a full-time job for me.

In reality, I couldn’t sit still for long in one place, continually needing change and excitement just like oxygen, which resulted in years of uprooted existence. I didn’t have lasting friendships, favourite local spots (back then you could still find small local cafes and restaurants in London, not only chains) or friendly coffee shops.

In all honesty, I never thought about this process until very recently. While driving from yet another morning drop-off I experienced this intense feeling of being at peace with myself and my surrounding, which I call planting and growing roots in one place. This is a beautiful and empowering feeling.

However, with the looming Brexit, this feeling can’t last for too long. Brexit is happening according to the wealthy and carefully selected few chosen to govern over the “poor masses”. Part of me wants to stand still and wait for what is to happen, but part of me wants to run before everyone else starts running. I try to be logical and not emotional about the whole situation but how I can be if everything seems to be one big unknown.

Growing roots is not a day job; it takes a long time to grow roots in one place. Sometimes change is good and needed, but I don’t think it applies to forced change. Change for the reason of someone somewhere coming up with the idea that stopping progress, and trying to go back in time.

I guess what is left for me is to enjoy my roots and collect memories before having to uproot once again to find some other ground to grow my tree in.

Filed under: Polish Gal in London

About the Author

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Magda Olchawska is an award-winning independent filmmaker, writer and screenwriter. She writes not only about making films and writing but also about financially independent and sustainable lifestyle. Her current projects include Ecotopia Universe and School Runs.

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