It’s 9 days until we move out. After what has taken months … AND MONTHS to come together, we’re now nearly there. We exchanged contracts yesterday and it’s officially all systems go.
The thing is, apart from not knowing where we’re going to live (a minor point), I’m not really sure what I’m meant to do now – I’ve lived in this house for 23 years, having moved from Mum & Dads to here.
I raised my babies here, had BBQs with my parents, threw a surprise party for them that I’ll never forget, lived with no kitchen for months because my ex thought it would be easy to install a new kitchen on his own, painted, hated the colour, painted again … mowed the grass and did all the gardening, making hanging baskets every year without fail. It’s where I had my first ever birthday party 2 years ago and my best friend wrote HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! in big letters on the chalkboard in the kitchen (which is still there!), where I slathered my face with far too much make-up in our clubbing days, where we drank and danced and acted like the children we really are at heart.
But it’s also the house where I cried (a lot), where I was scared (a lot), where I worried for my safety and that of my children, where I laid awake night after night praying he’d fall asleep first, where I had to deal with bailiffs coming to my front door, where Dexter and I hid behind the sofa pretending to be out when debt collectors called at our house late at night, where I had extra locks put on the door. It’s where I lived when I ran my baby in his buggy to the childminder at 6 in the morning, ran home, then ran to the train station, then repeated that every day for years and years because, as a single mother, I had to work hard to keep a roof over our heads.
Fundamentally …. it’s where I lost myself.
So now what? I’ve closed down the last bank account I had with him so I now have no more financial associations with him. I’ve cancelled direct debits. Cancelled my beloved super speedy broadband! I’ve begun packing.
I’ve also begun selling everything I possibly can. I wasn’t sure if that was the ‘right’ decision or not but I want/need a fresh start. I’ve sold my sideboard and table and chairs – anything I don’t sell can go to charity. I have a man with a van booked to take what’s left to a storage unit but who knows if I’ll ever need any of that stuff again.
I’m viewing a small flat on Friday – somewhere quirky, with rounded walls, part of an old oasthouse … and right next to our local theatre. It’s very ‘me.’ Dexter and I parked outside it last night, sat in the car, both not really sure what to do next. We eventually got out, had a little look round, got back in the car and had a curry to celebrate the contract exchange. Life just always has a knack of carrying on really.
So you see, some people may think I should be distraught at leaving my beloved house but actually, it’s really OK. Look at Dexter’s face and tell me he’s worried. That kid will always be happy if I have anything to do with it. It’s time to move on. New chapter blah blah. But it really is. I’ve never been in this position before but I’m probably the happiest I’ve been in a long time. I am hoping (against all hope) that I’ve been to the rock bottom place people talk of … and that now, finally, after years and years, it’s MY time.
This time next Friday, do me a favour and think of me briefly and have a small sherry.
That whole moving on business … it’s not so bad.