I’ve been living in my new house nearly 6 weeks now. Well, nearly two of which we were actually in Tenerife, and admittedly I’ve still been spending 2-3 nights a week in Birmingham at my Mum and Dad’s while I’m still taking driving lessons. But still, 6 weeks! So by now you’d expect me to be feeling pretty settled, right? Well, yeah. I have been pretty settled. It’s amazing how quickly you adjust to your new surroundings. So far all those things I was worried might make me miss home – like the convenience of being able to walk or taxi everywhere and the freedom to drop everything for after work drinks – haven’t really been an issue. Partly because I’ve been back in the city a fair bit anyway, but also because I’m 34 for God’s sake, so I don’t really know quite who I thought I was when I was picturing all this crazy partying I thought I was always getting up to. Perhaps I was regressing back to my early 20s, who knows. Basically, so far life hasn’t felt much different to living in the city, except quieter. And prettier. And with much friendlier strangers! Still, as lovely as it has all been, it hadn’t quite yet clicked, and this weekend that all changed.
So, nearly two years ago and quite some time after we’d actually decided to split up, my ex and I finally moved out of the home we shared. It was incredibly painful. Not so much because the relationship had ended – which was sad, but completely the best thing for both of us – but because I’d been really happy there. It was the first place that had really felt like home for an unsettled few years, and the first time I’d allowed myself to really ‘move in’. Despite it being rented, we’d made that house ours. I painted things and patched things up and put my stamp on it. I’d accumulated a lifetime’s worth of things that made the place feel like mine. We could only work with what we had, but over the few years we were there I had constructed things just the way I liked them, like the corner set up specially for my smoothie maker, or the bookcases I’d lovingly researched until my nose bled to house my many, many shoes. So when I realised it would be a bit too much of a struggle to stay there on my own financially, I was heartbroken, but it was what it was, so we set about making plans to go our separate ways.
It came as a shock to me, the announcement from my ex that we needed to give notice on the house. That is of course ridiculous, because it was not fun or easy living together after calling off a wedding and a 7 year relationship, but I guess in my head, despite neither wanting to or thinking that we would still live there indefinitely, I suppose I had been putting off the inevitable. It felt a little too much to comprehend at that point, so I took the ripping off a plaster approach – we basically packed up and moved out in a matter of weeks. Without the time nor the time to truly accept I was leaving that place forever, I simply threw all my stuff in a storage unit without much of a thought. I think back then, in my state of denial about the crazy turn of events my life had just taken, I genuinely thought it was just a temporary measure. I thought I’d spend a max of 6 months with my parents before rescuing my things and finding my own place, but we all know how life works…
So fast forward 2 years and here we are! I’ve moved into a beautiful house in a gorgeous little village with a wonderful man. It has been up until now so almost perfect. All that was missing was my stuff! So we rectified that this weekend by finally getting all my beloved possessions out of storage. It’s been a bit of a hurdle to get over, because it belonged to both of us and it’s never an easy conversation to have, but we finally got over it, and I can’t describe how good it feels! It’s silly how we attach such emotions to inanimate objects, but there it is. It’s been an incredibly cathartic few days. It feels like I’m finally done with that other life, and only have to think about now and what’s coming up next. I’m not in limbo anymore. I’m right where I want to be.
So the house is a tip again, and I’m pretty sure Dan is ready to sack me off simply because he has no idea where all this stuff is even going to fit, but I actually feel amazingly calm. In effect, this stupid storage unit had somehow become a metaphor for how I felt about my past life, and I honestly couldn’t see how much it was holding me back from really moving on and feeling settled.
But NO MORE! This is my home now and my life now, and it is everything I felt like I was missing before. So cheers to that, friends! That’s truly something to celebrate!
Until Dan gets fed up of all my shoes and turfs me out, of course. But till then…..!