Change, Grief & Pride

What a hectic week that turned out to be!

With so many things going on at the moment, by the time I got to the end of the week I had to press pause and prioritize.

Thankfully it’s been a somewhat quieter weekend. No outdoor adventures this weekend. As much as I’ve loved getting out into the countryside and exploring new places since lockdown restrictions allowed us to, choosing to stay in and watch movies instead was our preferred option this weekend, especially after the blazing hot temperatures during the week. The weekend weather certainly felt a lot more British.

Here’s just a few of the things which have been playing on my mind this week:

Change

Making plans to pursue my life mission is exciting but time consuming. I enjoy working behind the scenes in preparation to hopefully break into my dream career, but alongside busy working days and finding time for some self care, it’s hard to maintain the pace at times.

During lockdown, I’ve also fallen out of love with the City. The first 4 weeks were great. London felt peaceful. But 6-8 weeks in, things started to change. I know I probably only notice it because I’m working from home 5 days a week, but the noise in my street is getting ridiculous., whether it’s traffic, people yelling at each other, or cars and motorbikes treating it like a racetrack…I’ve had enough.

Not only that, but I’ve also realised that by staying in this flat, I’m never going to have any spare pennies. Staying here after my ex moved out 18 months ago was always going to be trial and error. I had never lived on my own before, and although I could afford it on paper, it really was going to be tight financially. And it has been.

I considered moving back to Northamptonshire as financially it would make a lot more sense, especially with less need to be in the office once things return to some kind of normality. But as much as I’ve missed my family during lockdown, I know I wouldn’t get the peace and quiet I crave there either.

It was time to start looking around to see what I could find on the outskirts of London. The plan is to be close enough to my boyfriend and to my work place, but also closer to green space and fresh air.

With all of this change on the horizon, and with work being stupidly busy, I was starting to feel overwhelmed, and I knew if I wasn’t careful, I would get to a point where nothing was being done, because I would be in a constant spin.

So I sat down and worked out which issues were causing me the biggest problems, in order to work out what to focus on first. I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that my priority has to be moving out of London. Not just financially, but for my own sanity. I’ve loved living in London, but it’s definitely time to move somewhere I little more suburban.

At the end of last week I started to have a look around to see what types of places I could find, and to see what I could get within my planned budget. On Friday afternoon I commenced ‘Operation Find New Home’ and went to look around a flat in Surrey. It was cute and cosy, but it wasn’t ‘the one’. At least I have time on my side (unless my landlord decides to terminate my contract anytime soon).

I love change, and as long as I approach things sensibly (i.e. making sure I prioritise properly, and don’t get distracted by fulfilling my life mission until I have found somewhere else to live), hopefully I could be in somewhere new before the Autumn, and then, and only then, can I really start to put plans in place to work towards my mission.

Family

Not spending time with my family is getting harder.

I’ve never really felt homesick since I moved away, and adjusted fairly quickly to not seeing my family as often. Although knowing I could just pop home whenever I wanted to helped.

Lockdown put a good old spanner in the works. Things feel much harder when you can’t go home to visit as opposed to having other things to do, or being too tired to make the journey after a long week at work.

It now looks like it will be August before I get to go home for any length of time, as my family are continuing to shield one of my brothers.

Mum and Dad – I know you’ll be reading this, and Mum, you’re probably welling up (because you seem to do that whenever you read my posts :-D), but I just want to say, I miss you, and can’t wait to see you all soon.

Grief

Today marks the 8th anniversary since I tragically lost my best friend. It wasn’t until my mum text me earlier on today that I actually realised what day it was. She always texts me on the day to make sure I’m ok. I prefer to celebrate my friends birthday these days rather than the day she died. I think it’s an attempt to remember the good times rather than to dwell on the sadness of the bad.

I’ll never forget that phone call. I knew what had happened even before I picked up the call. She never rang me from her parents house phone. I can’t even remember why I had the number stored in my phone in the first place. But I did.

Being a qualified Doctor, she would’ve been one of our NHS heroes on the front line during this bloody pandemic. She would’ve hated it. If she were still here, we would definitely be planning a trip to her parents flat in Spain for when this was all over. I miss the holidays we used to take together. They are some of my happiest memories.

Happy Memories 💕

I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. When she was alive, as much as life was a struggle for her, she always tried to encourage me to make the best of myself and to persevere with my dreams.

Sadly, it wasn’t until she had passed that I kicked myself up the backside and started to build the person I’m becoming today.

The creation of this blog is partly down to her (to find out why check out the About Me section in this blog).

Pride

Finally, with it being Pride Month, and this weekend being Pride Weekend, it got me reflecting back to when my brother first told me he was gay.

He was only 16 when he came out to me. He’d had a couple of conversations with my mum to say he was feeling confused, and whilst mum and dad had had early conversations to discuss how they would handle it if any of their kids turned out to be anything but heterosexual, I was oblivious to the fact my little brother was feeling this way.

I’m the eldest of the siblings with my two brothers, who are twins, trailing me by almost 2 years. The youngest of the twins had been born with pretty severe cerebral palsy, and although he’s the life and soul of the party, he’s wheelchair bound and is entirely reliant on my parents and his carers to look after him.

When the eldest (by a few minutes) of the twins came out to me one evening, I was devastated. Not because he was gay, but because he was the only chance I had of ever being an Auntie. Sounds incredibly selfish doesn’t it? But the thought that I was the only one of us kids who may have children was something which weighed heavy on my shoulders. If I didn’t have kids, my parents would never be grandparents.

The other thing that terrified me when my brother told me he was gay, was the fact he had met someone online and he wanted to meet him. Internet dating was still fairly new back then (we’re talking the early 2000’s), and meeting up with people you didn’t really know, was a huge risk.

I needn’t have worried of course, but nothing prepares you for this kind of stuff.

One of my closest friend’s was gay, so from that side of things, I didn’t have any concerns. My mum and dad were great, and made it clear that this didn’t change anything from their point of view. He was still their son. There were a couple of concerns as to how our grandparents would take the news. But with soap operas now starting to bring in gay characters, it was something they were also adjusting to. I’m not sure whether they ‘formally’ found out. I think they probably just asked if he had a girlfriend yet, and knowing my mum, she would’ve said something a long the lines of, ‘No, but he does have a boyfriend’. Most people just said ‘Oh ok’ and moved the conversation on.

What really upset me a few years later, was when a close friend of mine told me her brother had also told his family he was gay. The upsetting part? The fact she had known for a few months, and she had been worried about how to tell me!?! Yet, I had been quite open and honest with her when my brother came out. It turned out that her family were ashamed and were struggling with the whole situation. She even banned her brother from bringing his partner to her wedding because he hadn’t made a ‘formal announcement’ to the family…I’m still baffled to this day by her reaction and the fact it took her months to tell me, when perhaps it could’ve been something I could’ve helped her through.

Each to their own I guesss.

My parents still aren’t grandparents. I feel bad that they produced three children who despite turning out to be pretty decent human beings, just don’t feel the burning desire to have kids. I haven’t given up on the idea of having snotty brats one day, but I am firmly in the ‘if it happens, it happens’ box.

Over the years, I’ve tried to support my brother as much as possible. I’ve been to London Pride with him and his partner a number of times, and last year I was lucky enough to actually take part in the parade. I invited my brother to take part in this too, but he declined, much preferring to get pissed on the sidelines than queuing for hours in the souring heat just to start the parade!

Last summer was the first time The Football Association had taken part in London Pride, and I was invited along to support them. It was a long, tiring day (we arrived around 1pm and were literally in the last set of groups to leave the start line…around 4 and a half hours later!), but hearing the support from the crowds as we made our way along the route carrying our outrageously large FA banner, it made me feel proud. Proud to be part of such a historic moment, proud that The FA are trying to be more inclusive, and proud of my brother, for being gay.

Me at London Pride 2019 🏳️‍🌈

I hope you’re all doing ok out there? How’s lockdown where you are? What exciting things did you get up to this week/weekend?

Let’s hope this coming week is a little bit calmer…

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kellie says:

    Lovely post ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Kellie 💕✨

      Liked by 1 person

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