Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Oh the places you'll go...


This post has been a long time coming. A whole summer coming, maybe more. The longer I don't post, the harder it is to start again. Which somehow adds some pressure, even though no one's making me write this!

A whole lot in our life has (once again) changed and is changing. And no, we're not pregnant (because that seems to be the only news you can have when you're 30...)

I've put some bits and pieces on social media, there's a few people who know the whole story and have been walking it with us. It's tempting to try to summarise and analyse life as you go, and there's definitely seasons right for that, but this time I felt it was more important to concentrate on being present with each day, and on focusing on ending things well before leaping too quickly into the NEXT THING.

But now the "next thing" is beginning and it feels like time to tell the tale. Or at least some of it. Like I said, you can't box up life into neat categories. I don't think I can say all the things in the way I'd like to say them.

Anyways, enough of being cryptic. Maybe I'll just start with where I am today, and where I've been.


I'm sat in the study in my brother-in-law's house in Shoreham-by-Sea (a cute town on the south coast next to Brighton), where we are currently residing. Most of our belongings are still in boxes, split between here and a friend's down the road. We left London and our Camden abode a week and a half ago, on the same day that I finished my job. Following that we celebrated my Dad's 60th birthday and then I visited friends in Cardiff and Bristol - who've also got plenty of change going on in their lives including new babies and house moves!

During September, as well as packing up our flat, trying to handover everything at work, and doing our best to make the most of London evenings, we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary, my 30th birthday AND the fact that my twin sister is about to have a baby, which will make me an aunty for the first time. Before that we had some awesome holidays and danced all night at a wedding. Each of those moments deserve several posts and at least their own month, in my opinion, but twas not to be....

Back to today and Mr Q is on his way to New Zealand, somewhere in the air between Bangkok and Auckland. He's going to spend time with his Uncle, who's seriously ill, as well as catch up with his Gran, Mum and cousins. I won't see him until the end of the month.

As you can tell, there's a lot to unpack, in more ways than one. There has been joy and grief and celebration and stress and worry and relief and logistics and dancing and so much food and hellos and goodbyes. Life, as ever, has not been black or white. This is not a good or a bad time. It has been all things and all shades. Which has certainly left us overwhelmed at times, unsure of what to feel, and right now - just plain shattered.

I've left a very good job at a company full of people that I love who are doing great things in the world. I feel like I've ended a relationship and although I don't regret it, that doesn't make it easy. Now I don't have a job, we don't know where we're going to end up living. November and onwards are blank pages on the calendar. I'm sad to leave London after so little time, especially now that my younger sisters have moved there.

BUT

We are back in a place where we are known. I think, that after three years away, we are 'back home'.

Already in the last few days I've been hugged and prayed for and welcomed back and invited out by more people than I can say. We're back by the sea. I have some time and some space to breathe and gather myself and organise my photographs and poems. I'm not in a rush. I am going on a week-long writing course at the end of the month. I can't wait! I want to give this writing thing a proper go. I want to take more photos. I have some ideas, I'll have more. I'm feeling good about being 30. I'm making space for more creativity, for more connections, for more balance.

I made a decision, and that decision led to lots more. I don't think there was a right or wrong way to go, just a choice. Just like all the other choices we've made and paths we've taken. I'm proud of the past few years, of all we've learned and how we've grown and even though there's been a lot of dark nights I'm glad for all the places we have been.

 And so this is where we are, with all its exciting and scary and as yet unclear consequences. Perhaps we're a little crazy, but that's OK. Life only happens once so this is us keeping it an adventure, while recognising that we need companions along the way.

Happy 5 years of marriage and 30th birthday to us!
Rainbows on our first day in our new home, I'll take that!
Pretty perfect leaving gifts from my work!

In the wise words of Doctor Seuss:
"You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left."

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