I found out today that I have to leave the house I’ve lived in for 24 years … in 17 days.

 

I’ve mentioned The Move several times and it’s not a total surprise (to me anyway) that the day is nearly here.  Granted, it’s a little sooner than I’d planned, but that’s just the way it has to be.

 

It’s funny, but I never expected to be in this position.  I’m 43, single, technically unemployed and in 17 days … homeless.  I can apportion a lot of blame onto my ex but I’m culpable because I chose to be with him.  Honestly, I wrestle with that.  The whole ‘what could have been’ scenario often plays through my head but it’s pointless really – I made my decision … and now we’re paying the price.

 

‘Crossroads’ is clichéd but it’s where I’m at.  I have choice – which is good.  I don’t know what to do next – which is bad.  So here are my options, as I see them:

 

Australia

I’ve wanted to emigrate ever since I visited Australia with my family when I was 19.  As soon as I got there, I loved it.  It was ‘my’ type of place and I knew that this way of life would really suit me – laid back and full of sunshine.  My parents applied (unsuccessfully) to emigrate twice whilst we were growing up and maybe that’s where my desire to emigrate comes from … some type of unfulfilled destiny for all of us.  I keep watching ‘Wanted Down Under’ – a BBC programme that lets families ‘try out’ Australia or New Zealand for a week, to see if they like it.  I think that’s what I need to do … go for a holiday and see if I can see us living there.  So if someone can lend me £5k so we can go for the month, that’d be great.

 

Up North

Yes, ‘Up North’ isn’t exactly specific, but ever since I’ve been looking at the cost of rental properties in my town (and neighbouring towns) and moaning about how damned expensive it is, I’ve been thinking about whether moving somewhere further away, but not as far as Australia, would work.  But I’m scared – it’s a massive jump.  I’ve never even been to Leeds … and now I’m considering moving there?  I have friends who live there and I can make friends easily enough, but I honestly wouldn’t know where to start.

 

Do you just pick a house to rent, pack your bags and drive up there?  Do you need vaccinations? Do you just hope that the school you’ve chosen is as good as the one your son has loved and just left?  What do you do for support?  Who do you turn to when your best friend now lives hundreds of miles away?  Will it all be worth it?

 

Stay Where I Am

I could stay where I am and hope that ‘everything turns out alright.’  Stay in a town I’ve lived in for 43 years, that is full of memories, people I know, and who know me, worry that people know ‘too much’ about me and my life.  This is the only town Dexter has known and it’s where my family are.  But they have their own lives and even though we live near each other, we don’t actually see much of each other.  Which is a real shame – but that’s just how families are.  Work, kids, partners … life.  We all just go about our business, doing what we can to stay afloat and before you realise it, you haven’t seen each other in weeks.  If I moved away, I don’t think I’d actually see my family much less than I do now.  My eldest is happy down in Bournemouth – my nieces are at university too (or about to be) and Dexter … well, he is my right hand man.  Poor kid just has to go along with whatever decision I make.

 

And that’s the thing I really struggle with.  Whatever decision I’ve made in the past, or I’m about to make, will have an impact on Dexter’s life forever.  I’m not just making a decision for me.  That’s some hardcore parenting responsibility right there!

 

I need to trust my instincts, make sure I’m not leaving because I want to run away from people and memories and know that I’m a strong person and that whatever happens, wherever I go, I’ll be OK.  I’ve always had a wanderlust that never got fulfilled – married young, did the 9-5 thing for years.  Maybe … MAYBE … now is my time to break free and do something different.

 

MAYBE I’ve finally realised that I AM important enough to do what I want to do for once.

 

Although I only look 23 *cough* … I’m not getting any younger but … am I brave enough?

 

 

 

 

 

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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17 Comments

  1. Whatever you choose is the right decision for you and D now. Yes, it seems terrifying to change such a massive part of your life, but one day you will look back and it won’t seem so stressful – just another turning point or crossroads.
    If you are really keen on emigrating abroad, an intermediate move to a new town/area could be a good challenge for now to give you time to plan and investigate a bigger move in the future. The massive bonus of renting is the market moves so quickly – you decide you want or need to move, next week you could BE in your new place (of course, much more challenging with school moves etc but D is still a good age to move somewhere new)
    I think you are doing brilliantly and this will be an exciting new challenge for you both (all). Moving to a new town can be so cathartic and making new friends and building a new life of interests etc will always open doors to other things. Good luck and go with your heart, you deserve it. Lizzi x x (@lizzi_wallace)

    1. Thanks Lizzi – I think the idea of moving to a different town first, before a different country, is a good one … I’m going to spend some time having weekends away in places I’m interested in to get a taste of the town and take it from there! x

  2. Yes you are brave enough. Yes you should trust your instincts. Why just Up North? How about Down South? Out West? Out East?
    Emigrating takes time, perhaps not one for now (realistically), I have never done the just move thing, but have lived in several places due to hubby’s job. Always found it easy to settle in somewhere new, where I knew no-one. Although it was hard work to make friends. I picked some strange ones!!
    I am currently bricking it as we approach retirement, we are planning to move to a completely new area of the country. It is scary!
    School – well, it will be tough whenever it happens, perhaps if you can, wait until the next natural break in D’s schooling? ie when he would go to Secondary and move then? Would give you time to research areas, schools, work possibilities?
    Whatever you decide to do, know that you can do it, you can make the best of it, and that better is just waiting for you.
    Huge hugs.

    1. Thank you Hilary – you’re always so wise!!!! My first thought was to wait until he’d done his 11+ and then go … and that’s perhaps what we’ll do. It’ll give us time to take stock for a year and start spending time away to get a feel for different towns. I think considering EVERYWHERE is a great idea. Where are you moving to??

      1. God only knows. Oldest son is in Leicester, youngest son is in Stoke. So somewhere in between the two I guess, then they will move and I will still be too far away to be of any use!! I reckon about an hour away from Leicester probably. Have to get the house ready for the market first. An awful lot of clearing out and recycling to do first.

        1. Oh I don’t envy you. I had a man with a van clear my loft and sheds out (not a euphemism) because I couldn’t face it! Best of luck – like with me, I suspect we’ll find the ideal place for us 🙂

  3. YES you are – never doubt that the decision you make will be the right one in the moment – if it turns out not to be in the long term you make another decision and in the meantime you have had an adventure.

    Now ………… go be a tea bag!!! Now the Hot water is here – show yourself how strong you can be – cos in the 3am panics that is all that is really important.

    I KNOW you can do this – and in a few weeks you will look back and know it too. XXX

  4. When my daughter was 4 and I had been a single mum for 3 years I had to make a similar choice. And yes, I too had to focus on what was best for her. I decided that at her age I needed my existing social network for support. (I didn’t want to move back to the States because I would have to start all over again.) I chose to stay where I was but there are times now when I wish I had been more daring, more confident in my ability to build a new network somewhere else. If she had been a bit older I would have been more daring, I know that. Anyway, good luck deciding. The way you described Australia makes me want to say ‘go for it’!

    1. It’s good to know that some of my friends understand just how I feel right now … it’s very daunting. Dexter’s 11+ is next year and I think that’s playing on my mind a lot – what if he fails because I made him move schools? Questions, questions … x

  5. RIght, you need to apply for Wanted Down Under – we could watch you and I will be one of your messages from home ‘JUST FUCKING GO, WE DON’T NEED YOU – THERE’S ALWAYS SKYPE’ I’d say, through snot bubbles, as you weep into Dexter’s hair.

    Up North – come on up, nestle yourself inbetween myself and Mel, and various other people who would take care of you. Think of the money you’d save in rent … you could spend it ALL on hair dye. An, yes, you need a passport to enter Yorkshire. I know a man who could sort that out for you.

    Stay Where You Are? – Just come to Yorkshire.

    Biased? Me? Nope.

    1. I would LOVE you to be one of my messages from home – would totally knock some sense into me and make me never come home! If we moved to Yorkshire, I’d make such a nuisance of myself. We’d move into your spare room (did I not mention that), I’d come round for tea EVERY night. Oh, you could dye my hair for me!!! I’m decided. See you next week!!!

  6. Well, as you well know we have had to make a similar decision. We didn’t get the push you did and still wobble about the decision. I found writing down where I wanted to be helped. Do you see yourself by the sea, near woods, walking distance to bars (!). How much do you need a network of ppl you know? Childcare? How do you feel travelling to loved ones? Writing stuff down works so better than just thinking in your head. Good luck.

  7. It’s such a difficult decision, and one only you can answer. We were in exactly the same situation last year when we had a huge decision to make. One minute everything seemed impossible to figure out, and the next both of us decided Australia was the way forward for us. We hope to be there by September this year if the visa keeps going to plan. I’m a firm believer that deep down you know what you want to do. All I will say is that your dream of moving to Australia may have a time limit to it. As we spent four years debating whether to emigrate, hubby lost points due to his age moving into a new bracket and also his occupation was removed from the skills list (we managed to apply under a slightly different occupation thankfully, but it could easily have put a stop to our dream). It’s an expensive move to make, but if you make it and don’t like it you can always move back and try the other options then. If you try to move up north, or stay where you are now you might not have the option of Australia in a few years (obviously it depends on the visa you’re looking at though and what age limits apply). Good luck deciding! Look at it as exciting rather than daunting and approach it as an adventure. xx

  8. Whatever decision you make will be the right one, and if it isn’t you can readjust, adapt and change if need be. I moved to France when I was 22 and made a life for myself there, I had my friends, my support network there and my eldest daughter was born there and lived there until she was 3 and a half. We lived by the beach in Nice – what could be better than that?! But it wasn’t good enough for my husband and me career-wise, so we gave up everything and moved back to the UK, in with my parents initially, before moving to London, where I knew about 2 people, and no one with kids. It was hard at first, as I’d lived in France for 12 years and had never thought I’d leave, but now I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s easy to make friends when you have children, and being online helps too as many of my real friends now started out as online ones (Twitter, bloggers etc). Trust yourself and know that your son will be happy where you’re happy. Good luck!

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