When my Husband came home from work one evening and announced that his impending new promotion would be based out of Worcester (almost 100 miles away from our newly renovated cottage in North Wales) and that there would be support for our family to relocate if we wanted, my first reaction was “Holy crap, our family and friends”.
They say it takes a village to raise a child and having given birth to twins 24 months previously, my village was more like a City. I was heavily reliant on my parents and in-laws 4 days a week for supporting me with all the essentials (like feeding the babies) and even more dependent on my wonderful army of friends for keeping me sane.
To move away from this support network initially felt both daunting and worrying.
I’m a natural analyser (aka I’m female). And usually I’ll overthink EVERYTHING. For example, the other day I spent a few hours wondering which food choice to go for the twins 6th birthday party in case of fussy eaters/allergies/whether hot food might be better than cold/perhaps it’s easier to eat finger food than something with cutlery. I asked Hubby for his opinion and he made the choice in 3 seconds flat — without hesitation — and promptly moved on to his next task.
But on this occasion, oddly, I didn’t scrutinize the decision too much. I knew the promotion was worth taking, plus I knew I wanted him by my side to raise the twins. I also knew I’d really miss him. I know that some people cope tremendously well without a partner around for long periods of time (and of course single parents have no other choice) but I felt something deep down telling me to go and do this together.
Choice made — the move was fairly straightforward. Our house-sale went through moderately quickly (luckily there was no chain) and we opted to purchase a new-build home in order to keep everything as easy as possible. Within 9 months of having had that initial conversation, we were in.
And there I was. Standing in a shiny, new home, with appliances that no one had yet used, soft carpets underfoot, smell of fresh paint, flawless bathrooms and a welcome pack from the builder. The keys were ours.
For the first few weeks I was kept exceptionally busy. I had to register us for the doctors, dentist etc, change our addresses, as well as unpack boxes and make the house feel homely. The first month flew by actually. But then after that (when our new life started becoming ‘normal’) the loneliness started to creep in. I realised just how much I missed those people I had left behind.
I decided not to dwell on it too much though — it was what it was — and sharply told myself to “Get on with it”…I often talk to myself (when I feel the need to). On this occasion, thankfully, I took my own advice.
I truly believe that having the children helped me to meet new friends. I enrolled them at the local preschool and this was instrumental in meeting new people. I bumped into so many lovely Mums at drop off and made sure I told them all that we’d just moved and I didn’t know the area (i.e. pleaseeeeee be my friend). I thus said yes to as many coffee invites as I could.
My Sister-in-law was right when she said that once you meet one new person then this quickly leads to them introducing you to a few more friends, and so on.
3 years into our new life here in Worcestershire and I’ve now got some amazing pals. So good, that we even babysit for each other, do school pick-ups, go out for dinner and brunch together. We’ve even been on holiday with some! It’s been refreshing to move house (and area) and discover a new circle of friends that both Hubby and I have really connected with.
Don’t get me wrong though, I haven’t gelled and been instant BFF’s with every single person I have met, because that’s simply not how life works. We aren’t all compatible with every single human being that we bump into. But as a quote in the Guardian said regarding making new friends, “Remember, nothing ventured, nothing gained. It isn’t that you lose if you meet someone and it doesn’t fit for a friendship. That’s not losing, that’s having tried.”
It’s also taken some time to form new friendships and bond with a group of like-minded gal pals. But there’s been no pressure or panic on my part; it’s mostly felt easy, natural and comfortable.
I’m a no-regrets kind of girl and that’s how I feel about this whole move. I’ve done some stupid stuff throughout my life — hurt people, been a crap employee at times, made stupid decisions in love — but I think that as long as you learn from these life experiences, improve yourself and don’t hold onto that regret it makes you a better person.
For sure, Dave and I could have made a different decision back then, however, nothing ventured is nothing gained. Sometimes you have to trust your gut and go for it and don’t look back.
Love, Jess x
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