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:
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.
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?