As I mentioned briefly last week, I moved across the country at the end of 2015. To be more precise I moved from South East London to Preston, in the North West of England (just above Manchester). It’s been a big move for me – away from the area I called home for the past 5 years, the people I got to know, and the places that became familiar. Preston was uncharted territory until about four months ago. The first time I came up to visit J at uni though, I fell in love with the place. Not just with him being here, but also with the atmosphere; the fact that you’re not constantly squishing into sweaty commuters was a breath of fresh air for me (literally!) People seem friendlier, more approachable, and there aren’t crowded tubes to pack into to go anywhere. Plus everything is much, much cheaper.
Those things alone weren’t enough to cause me to pack up and leave my job, which I mostly really enjoyed. As work brought me up to the North West several times and I got to explore a little, as well as the welcome bonus of seeing J more, I thought about moving up this summer perhaps. Do a year in that job, then start looking for opportunities up north before getting a flat with him. The universe had other plans it seems.
My contract had only been til the end of the year, the same as everyone else’s, and as the programme entered a period of restructuring my job role was to be scrapped. I was offered the chance to apply for a new role which was going to be created, but I realised that this was an opportunity. I had been falling out of love with London for a few months, and this was a chance to live up to my belief that life is too short to keep doing things that are making you unhappy. It wasn’t the job so much as the commute, not London so much as the commuters, and the tourists, and the rush hour trains. So after talking it out with J, we made the decision that I would leave at the end of my contract, pack up all of my stuff, and move in with him.
This was obviously a BIG step. I moved up in the middle of December, just over 10 months since we started going out. To some people that might not seem long, but for me it’s the longest relationship I’ve been in. If you’d told me a year ago that I would move out of London to the North, start over again in terms of work, and be in a long distance relationship before that, I wouldn’t have believed you. But here I am, having jumped through the newest window that life has presented me.
It’s 5 weeks in now and I feel I’m starting to get settled. I’ll tell you something though, moving over Christmas is more overwhelming than I anticipated! I didn’t realise how tired I was until about 2nd January – the day that J and I came back from a short break in London to celebrate the New Year and get the rest of my stuff. Arriving home with two huge suitcases and several bags, we piled everything into the flat and all but collapsed onto bed. I have since been making an effort to get my sleeping pattern and routine to something resembling productive and successful. It’s slowly getting there, and I’m going to be writing more about planning, routines, and time management in the coming weeks.
Ultimately I think whenever an opportunity presents itself to you, unless there’s a very good reason not to go for it (if you may risk the security and well-being of dependents for example) then you should absolutely jump. Starting over with a new place, new job, or even just a new haircut can refresh you, and help you see things with a new perspective. Of course I’m not saying that when things get tough you should just quit and start over. If everyone did that nothing would ever get done. But if you feel like you’re stuck, or unhappy, or not ready to settle, then doing something different will at the very least move you forward.
Even if you’re unable to change the thing which is stressing you out or making you unhappy, you could change something else in your life. Tired with your job, but have a contract to see out, or need to find another one before you can think about leaving? Why not join a club on the weekends and learn a new skill or sport? Fed up with your flat, but can’t afford to move? Buy a few cushions and a throw from Primark, light a couple of candles, and you’ll be surprised at how homely you can make a space! You may find that actually it’s not for you, and that’s ok. You can always try something else, and your hair will grow out again. On the other hand you might just find something amazing.