Going to Manchester now has a feeling of going home.
It’s the city a ran away to many years ago.
A city before I made it home I had only visited a handful of times.
Manchester would be the place I’d prove my independence.
Something until the age of 22 I’d never experienced.
It would be the place I’d develop a sense of belief in myself. Buying my own flat (or an “apartment” as the estate agent insisted on calling it). Decorating it only according to my own taste.
Feeling such a sense of achievement when I created a ‘feature wall’ in my bedroom, only to have friends come round and mock my painting skills.
Buying the most gorgeous dining table and chairs. Despite living alone.Manchester is a place which holds many good and bad memories.
A place where I would learn, you don’t have to have regrets, it can’t be a regret if you have learned from it.
Manchester taught me so much.
It’s now a city of memories, held on so many of its streets, but always I have a feeling with Manchester that I haven’t even scratched the surface. It feels like a city of potential which is there for anyone’s taking. Manchester to Cardiff isn’t the best train journey. But it’s the one my mum did repeatedly when she came to help me with three children under 2. My guilt of her taking these journeys was immense, but I still feel the tears that came every time she left. Until I had three children of my own I don’t think I understood or appreciated everything my mum has accepted and welcomed throughout our lives.
It’s now a journey which makes me smile. Remembering bringing CM to stay in Cardiff when I needed to work away. That would of course by when CM would choose to take her first steps.
Going back to Manchester is bittersweet.
I wouldn’t change our lives and I am so glad, I feel so fortunate, that we are growing our family in Wales.
Manchester has shown me nothing but kindness, it nurtured me and gave me the space to grow.
And trips to Manchester, especially for Blog On, remind me how fortunate I am to have these places, places which I still consider home.