Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Send me on my way

Major life changes were afoot and I knew they were coming...  I guess I was due for some big changes in my life.   I think it is important to have a check-in with yourself every now and again to see where your heads at.  Even just to reflect on things and open up some emotions.  It's been a while since I have talked about personal development, so here's a bit of a rundown of the changes I've gone through in the last few months - that being a new job and moving into a new home in a new location.  That sounds stressful doesn't it.  It's had it's moments but I'm glad to say that I am feeling settled.

Progressing higher

The changes started with my new job at Nottingham Trent University in October 2017, which I thoroughly detail in that post.  I'm settling well into my new role as a Digital Practice Adviser, however, that alone has been a big change interpersonally and came with some insecurities about transitioning from further education to higher education and working in a much larger place.  But the progression will also take me on a new journey in my career.  I am feeling more settled and positioned of working at NTU.  I work with some great supportive colleagues and made some new friends through the LGBT+ Staff Network.

A place to grow

I have now moved from home that I have lived in for 6 years.  Although I moved out in October 2017 to live temporally at Gary's Dad's house to be closer to work.  There was a larger plan to all of this, in that we were going to stop at his Dad's for a bit until we sorted a house out.  But then the family home was sold and we had to move out in January 2018.  So before Christmas we made it a priority to find a place.  Which we did, but long story short, we couldn't move in it officially until April!  But we could have access to it from March.  So we lived with some friends about 10 minutes away from our new home.  Thanks to our friends for putting us up at such a short notice or we would be in a bit of a mess!  So in the last 6 months prior to then I had moved 3 times!  It felt a bit like holiday blues again and again, where I got used to seeing and being with people for a short period then changed.

Now we're in our new home together and it's a new chapter in our relationship.  This is the first time we have a mutual space that is just for us two.  It feels like we're new again of some kind, setting a new routine for ourselves and developing our house together.  We've made good progress on making out creative mark on the place.  Like our giant cork-board world map on our bedroom wall that has strings linking to photos of us in that location of the world.  We've also been painting focal points in the house and getting into gardening and nurturing our house plants.

I feel sad to leave my home back in Barnsley as feel I kind of grew up in it after leaving my Grandma's house in 2011.  I learned more about myself and enjoying and being comfortable in my own company.  Which is something I feel everyone needs to learn at some point in their lives.  It's a sad but beautiful thing to do.  I feel it makes you a much stronger and well-rounded person.  Depending how you embrace the opportunity, I took it to go out to places on my own and put yourself in a position where I would talk to new people etc.  Some were new social events, nights out and one was a trip down to Brighton.  My home provided a safe space for me and concealed my lonely times.  When I wasn't feeling up for seeing people or just wanted to have some alone time, I knew I was safe and protected here with all things me.  At the beginning it was quite challenging to adapt to living on my own (I've only ever lived with family), but when I got comfortable I guess it was so easy to do things on my own.  Sometime I would turn down outings and people coming around so that I could just enjoy my space.  Which is not always a good thing, so do be mindful about that!  But now I have a new life with Gary in our new home together.  I will keep those memories and experiences of my first home close to me, but now I will be making even better memories in our joint home.

Because I have moved, I am a lot further away from my family and friends.  I still go through every other weekend as my family still live in Barnsley and I arrange things with friends, so I'm not completely cut off.  If I think about it too much it hits me in the heart.  But I know I care about all of my family and friends and want to be in their lives - as they do me.  So we have that mutual effort amongst us all.  And because I have moved an hour away, it doesn't mean that I will forget where I came from.

Losing my independence?

Moving home has brought positive changes to my lifestyle.  After I moved into my own place on my own and creating a home by myself, I became quite possessive and restrictive with it.  For example, I let my OCD(ness) take over and not allow things to be moved or be in a certain way.  Often not allowing friends and family over to avoid things getting used and moved.  Silly I know!  But these characteristics have gradually left me since I moved to Gary's Dads home then onto our new home.  Yes those traits are still there but less controlling as they once were.

My blog is littered with many examples of learning and being independent.  When I think about my independence, I tend to think about the movie Matilda (1996).  You know, the 'omelette scene' and taking herself to the library.  I have always thought of myself as something different to others, like Matilda she was 'different' and alone but was able to use it positively as well as her own company.  I knew I had a long educational and emotional journey ahead but I have been able to accept, embrace and work with it.  As Rusted Root's say in the song, Send Me On My Way...

Sometimes in a deeply reflective mood I think of the movie Drop Dead Fred (1991)  or even the music video to Alanis Morissette's Ironic song.  The ending scenes where they are both left alone always grips me as it's where imaginary becomes reality and what they must face.  In Drop Dead Fred it's the attitude where she picks herself up and faces what is to come, being adult.  As Gary says, I have a young soul - I must have a new soul to this earth plane.

Do I feel like I have lost my independence as I'm no longer living in my own?  No, as I can still have that whilst I'm living with someone, the home is ours to share.  Even though I had a big challenge of merging our possessions together!  As observed by Gary, I don't like to rely on people, I'm an extremely independent person.  As a result, I somewhat have an expectation of others to be independent.  Whilst that's what education strives us to be it can also pose as a barrier.

Goals for the soul

With all these changes that have surrounded me, I feel it's a good time to recognise a few things to work towards.  A bit like how I previously mentioned some life aims (minus the children one for now), but giving a bit of focus in some areas I want to improve, which I am sure this list will grow in time!

  • Lovers not rivals (focusing on the good that people do and like about me rather than seeing a need to challenge and argue, although you need to every now and again)
  • Active listening (being more present and contributing to what has just been said.  But I do prefer to mull over things before giving a thorough response)
  • Reiterating stories to other people (I can't seem to tell stories like some do in conversations.  I am impatient and get straight to the point.  But it would be good to tell a decent story!)