Apologies for a four week absence from here. I don’t have a sick note or a letter from my mother/solicitor or psychiatrist. Time just seems to slip away. Only yesterday I saw Paul’s neighbours who were celebrating the one year birthday of their son. I had it in my head that it was only about 3 months since he was born and thought he was just an incredibly large newborn. I do lose track somewhat.
Life has suddenly become exciting/scary/challenging/terrifying. I’ve got a new job, plans to move away from the city where I’ve lived my whole life and plans to move in with Paul. Yes: I’ve got a job in the big smoky bustling metropolis known as London.
It’s all a case of threats versus opportunities and making my head work the right way and not like a giant distorting mirror. It has the tendency to do that and my brain can work in ever decreasing spirals where ‘objects may appear larger in the rear view mirror than they actually are.’
Back in 2001, I left my abusive partner of 12 years and was hideously afraid of life without him. In reality, life without him turned out to be great and the major challenge was escaping him with my sanity intact. Back in 2009, I was terrified of living alone. Newly single after a 7 year relationship and having always lurched from relationship to relationship and never lived alone, apart from a brief period of a few months in a small rented flat, I was in an exquisite state of high panic verging on hysteria.
I trembled and sweated my way through house viewings, mortgage arrangements and insurance quotations. In the end my exhilaration at the thought of having my own house after all those years living in tandem won out and I was swept along with fever pitch excitement towards a new goal. I’m not saying I didn’t have the odd wobble or sit on the floor and cry after the removal men refused to carry my wardrobe upstairs (of course I did) but I survived the experience (and called on a helpful friend with a screwdriver who dismantled and reassembled the wardrobe as I dried my tantrum tears and chain smoked.)
If I think back carefully, I was terrified when I qualified as a nurse and took my first job, thinking I was a dangerous imposter who knew nothing and would surely wreak havoc. My levels of havoc wreaked remain pretty low 17 years down the line. I was terrified moving from general medicine to work on an oncology ward, terrified taking my first charge nurse job and terrified upon changing my job to a nurse specialist role. If I think back carefully, I remember always telling new starters that their fear was good. I would never have wanted a newly qualified nurse who wasn’t afraid. I wanted one with a healthy apprehension who knew his or her limitations. Maybe it’s OK to apply that to myself too for once.
I’ve had an amazing reaction to the fact that I’m finally leaving my home town after 41 years here. There’s been lots of support, a little bit of sadness (which is incredibly touching) and loads of encouragement. I’ve developed a strange panicky feeling over the weekend. On visiting Nottingham, I reflected how beautiful it looked and how I couldn’t bear to abandon the place. I thought about what a lovely Spring-like day it was today and how I ought to consider visiting the local nature reserve again soon. This thought was followed by a lurch of panic as I thought: “I’ll never see it again!”, forgetting that London is literally only 90 minutes away anyway.
Reassuringly, Paul is also having the same silly random musings and more reassuringly he also is incredibly keen to move, as am I. I’ve got four months, which will be an exciting and sad time as I prepare to rent out my house, rent somewhere in East London and start my new job (which sounds brilliant and is just the job I wanted, in a place I wanted it). The key for me is that the change is more exciting than sad. I can still keep in touch with people, there’s no restraining order banning me from the East Midlands and the possibilities ahead are thrilling.
In the end, I’m just trying to be rational and resorting to the old trick that helps me every time: talking about it, writing about it and making lots of lists. It works for me. After all, it’s a move I want, to a city I love and I’m finally moving in with a man who I really love after two years together. What’s not to like? I’m sure I can and will cope with the change. I’m just not 100% that London will be ready to cope with me.