Last week I alluded to changes being afoot (#cryptic) … so I thought I’d go into that in a little bit more detail.

 

I’ve lived in Kent all of my life … all 24 years of it, and although my life has been a rollercoaster for the most part, I’ve certainly had nothing personal against Kent. (It’s not Kent’s fault I have really bad taste in men.) I’ve managed to commute to London from Kent for nearly 20 years, had a great ‘as good as you can get being a single mother’ type social life, I’ve raised two children here and it’s where my family and best friend live. I live halfway between London and the seaside and well, it’s not so bad.

 

However, life has changed a lot for me … particularly over the last 3-4 years, and I don’t know whether Kent really feels like home anymore.

 

I lost my house last year (bad relationship blah blah) and, as Whitney once profoundly said, I now have nothing. In the material sense at least. I’m 44 years old and I have nothing. No house to call my own, a real banger of a car that, bless it, remains ever faithful (unlike my boyfriends), a lovely sideboard from eBay … and not much else.

 

(Trust me, I’m well aware that things could be a whole lot worse and at times, they have been. I’m lucky I’m here to tell you tales of bad dates and pillow sprays. I get that.)

 

But the strange thing is, having ‘nothing’ has given me a sense of freedom I don’t think I’ve ever felt before. I’ve had a mortgage since I was 19, I was married at 20, and then in another 10-year relationship at 32. I’ve been a parent for 20 years and of course, that will never change, but everything else around me has always been so … suffocating? I don’t know if that’s the right word. Traditional? I have always conformed, did the things my parents wanted me to do for a large part of my life and now, at 44, everything is different.

 

Mum died nearly ten years ago now and I feel like a middle-aged orphan. That makes me sad beyond belief but it means I don’t feel that parent-child guilt and that’s a rather ‘freeing’ feeling because, as much as I’ll always be there for my Dad if he needs me … he doesn’t need me. He has what he needs.

 

And so, the question is … is it time to move on?  To try living somewhere else?  To finally address the wanderlust I’ve always felt?

 

Everything is pointing towards the answer being yes. Dexter has just passed his 11+ test (hooray!) and we are at the stage where we are choosing a senior school for him so moving wouldn’t mean a break in his education, insofar as I wouldn’t have to take him out of his current school. My eldest son is at university and, more importantly, is happy where he is. He has friends, a job, he knows I’m there whenever he needs me, but I don’t ‘need’ to be near him anymore.

 

Am I scared? God, yes! I’ve only ever lived in this town. I haven’t even visited the north of England, let alone lived there.  But were I to move north (instead of Australia), I have that cushion of still being near enough to London to commute and so I don’t feel I’m ruling myself out of any dream job that I may find.  A little safety net.

 

What is the right thing to do? I have no idea. Seriously. This isn’t just about me, it’s about a wonderful, curly haired boy who relies on me for everything. He’s relying on me to make the right decision and I just don’t know what that is at the moment.

 

I have a plan though. Of course I do. More of that in a later blog post. But in the meantime, as my tenancy in this house slowly comes to its natural conclusion, I realise that all I want is to feel like I have a home. I want to feel like I belong. (Where everybody knows my name etc.)

 

Sometimes in life you, just have to be brave.

 

In the meantime, my priority in life is to be happy – as twee as that sounds – but I remain optimistic and positive that whatever my decision is about my future, we will be happy.

 

Because that’s just how we roll.

 

 

 

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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16 Comments

  1. Awww Kate, I hope you find the answer. Such a hard decision to make but it sounds as though moving away is meant to be, it is either now or probably not until Dexter leaves school? How does he feel about it?

    Good luck with whatever you decide. x

    1. I hope I find it too Nova! I don’t have too long to decide and you’re right … it’s kinda now or when he’s 16 (ish). Dexter wants to stay but he’s ten, he’ll do what he’s told lol. I’m trying to include him in the decision, but at the end of the day, it’s on me 🙂 x

  2. Saw the photo and thought you were about to take on a marathon Kate!
    On a serious note, crossroads are good even if they’re bloody scary! You’ll make the right decision and it’ll be right for your boys, because YOU are the one making the decision. Trust your gut as much as (if not more than) your head.
    I’m a massive believer of grabbing life with both balls/boobs because we only get one go at it! Whether its Oz, Leeds or Luton, good luck!!

  3. Firstly what small feet you have! In the sense of the size not the fact you have always lived in the same place!

    It is a tricky one, I think sometimes you have to listen to your heart and let that decide and well reading here I think it has, it is just your brain that has got to agree, right?

    Kids are really good at coping with change and going into secondary education is the perfect time to makes changes that are a little bit bigger.

    We moved from our home town in Bath to Cornwall for 11 years. A perfect place to bring up kids till they are teenagers and need so much more than feeling the sand between their toes and fresh air! So we moved back, not quite making it to Bath but not too far away.

    So I am guess I am saying if you have nothing to lose then if you move you have nothing to lose either. My sister who sadly is not with us anymore, always said nothing is set in stone. She moved to New Zealand and yes you do have your curly headed lad to think of but we moved back with Bex in year 10 and Oscar in year 8 and despite against all the odds with Bex we are doing fine! x

    I look forward to hearing your plan! x

    1. A size 7! But they’ve always looked weirdly small 🙂

      I’m confident Dexter would adapt well eventually … I honestly think he’d be (for the most part) happy as long as he’s with me and I’m happy. Thank you for your advice, and for sharing your sister. I’m so very sorry about your sister. I think if I had a job I loved I’d stay, but I don’t, and I’m finding the expense of living in Kent, as a single parent, more and more difficult. I’m not debating moving because I’m bored, of because I want to find love … or for any frivolous reason, but you’re right, I think the heart has decided. But the head is very strong willed! 🙂 x

  4. I wouldn’t ever want to tell someone else what to do but I would say don’t be scared. I moved to France when I was 22 and what was supposed to be a 3 month stint ended up being 12 years. I bought and sold two home there then moved to the UK, with no home, no job, no car, few possessions and back into my childhood home with my parents, my husband and our then 3 and a half year old. I have no regrets though as it led us to a new life in London. We are still tenants but I love the freedom of tenancy after owning property. Also living in London means we don’t need to rely on a car so we’ve been car-free for over 4 years now. We still don’t know if we’ll stay here (in London) or here (the UK), and I love that freedom. The world is your oyster so do whatever feels right for you (and yours) xxx

    1. Thank you darling! I would say though that I think decisions like this are a whole lot easier when it’s just yourself involved … I have to think about Dexter of course and that’s my main worry – is it right for him? But you are an inspiration and yours is such a positive (love) story xx

      1. I know what you mean, I agonised over taking L out of France, she was in an international school where she did half a day’s English and half a day’s French every day. We also lived in a mostly Franglais environment with lots of expat and French friends. I knew that moving to the UK would take away that 50:50 upbringing. But we knew that it was the right decision for us two, and that if we were happy, she would be ok, but if we were sad/depressed it would be even worse/harder for her (if that makes sense). It’s so hard knowing the best thing to do for your kids – my sister has just returned to the UK from Cyprus (after 10 years there) with my 11 year old nephew, in time for him to start secondary school here. That was another tough decision. Good luck whatever you end up doing lovely xx

  5. Oh Kate, I feel for you. It is such a difficult choice but I was once in a similar situation of not really knowing who I was and if I was coming or going. Moving away was the best thing I ever did. Even though I only did it for 6 months, being away from friends, family, everything I knew and starting fresh, taught me so much about myself and what I wanted in life. It is scary as hell but every exhilarating roller-coaster often is.

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