Taking Two Steps Forward & One Step Back

If you’re a regular reader of my lil’ old blog, then you’ll know that I’m not one to get super open and raw very often. Writing directly from my heart doesn’t happen completely naturally for me, and everything feels more (don’t hate me) ‘on-brand’ when I’m sharing my structured opinion, thought-out tips or something a little more tongue-in-cheek.

But today I need to write about something, and if I just stuck to the facts it would be my shortest blog post ever (shame on you if you’re cheering).

Earlier on today I came across a few blog posts about people moving out, and you know what – it got to me. Not because it’s not great that other people are smashing their goals and taking leaps forward, but because it reminded me of how I felt 6 months ago.

Photo-04-11-2017-14-45-17 Taking Two Steps Forward & One Step Back

In May this year, I/we (but mostly I) was so excited to be moving out of my parent’s house and into a little rental place with Jonathan. The month wait from putting our money down to moving day was painfully restless and I filled my days with planning beautiful Pinterest rooms, easy-peasy meals and cute (but cheap) date ideas for my beau and I. I bought pretty plates and fluffy pillows, I hunted down eBay bargains and packed everything up in unnecessary amounts of bubble wrap – just because I could.

My hopes for our adventure into independent living and building a home skyrocketed over those first few months – but then, you know, reality set in. The rose-tinted glasses broke and I quickly noticed that our exciting adventure was instead turning into my nightmare.

This wasn’t what I signed up for

Believe me, I’m not saying that my boyfriend was suddenly the problem, in fact, it’s his absence that made the whole move and settling period extremely difficult for me. See, in March I supported Jonathan when he made a career change – a big career change. Going from working a humble 9-5 (with a tonne of overtime) to working a 10-10 (with loads of overtime) meant that our social life went from bearable to abysmal.

Moving to a new place (40 minutes away from my friends and family) when your boyfriend works those kinds of hours simply meant that I was on my own. A lot. Too much.

On bad days I stewed in my aloneness and grew bitter towards the one person I did get to meaningfully interact with. On good days, I tried to do what I love, which was to create a happy space and create in general, which was essentially isolating myself in the place that we were struggling to afford and practising pointing out the parts of my house that I didn’t love…

I can’t tell you the last time Jonathan and I went on a date. On his days off (few and far apart) I would often refuse to go and do anything, because I’d created my own little prison cell – I didn’t deserve to enjoy myself because this is what I wanted and I was miserable, and Jonathan didn’t deserve to have a good time because he was the one who left me alone all day. I know now that it wasn’t Jonathan’s fault exclusively, it never was. It was the situation. The situation of being alone, often with little to no money in the bank (bills are more than you’d think) and with no close friends or relatives nearby. The situation was shit.

Okay, I’m exaggerating slightly, but hindsight is a wonderful thing – and in hindsight, neither of us was prepared for the jump, and 75% of the time, the situation was shit.

Is this failing?

So, I’m moving back home for a while (and Jonathan is moving with me when he finishes serving his current notice).

After days and weeks of convincing myself that it’s not a failure, it does still feel a little bit that way. I know that these things happen and don’t get me wrong, I have grown and learnt so much in the last 6 months, but I can’t help feeling a little embarrassed.

Moving out was the big thing. This was the thing that was going to propel me into success. It was going to make me pull my socks up and it was the first step of my next leap. Much like that new mascara didn’t make my 2014 crush fall in love with me, moving out didn’t make miracles happen (though I still believe fluttery lashes can swing things in your favour).

The lessons I’ve learnt over the past 6 months will stay with me. I’m not moving back into my childhood bedroom that same person I moved out as.

Jonathan is changing jobs soon, meaning the current plan is to use the next few months to get ourselves back to a good place and back on our feet financially. I’ve learnt my lesson about building expectations up, though – so all I can say is that I think it will be better. I hope it will be better.

Although I haven’t really wanted to shout from the rooftops about all of this (who would?) I reckon it’s easier to just be transparent before anyone notices that I’m not sharing pictures of my half painted walls anymore. Ultimately, I know that this is the right move for me. It does feel a bit selfish but honestly, if this wasn’t an option I don’t know what else I would do.

I’ve felt so constantly crap over the last few months and when the decision was made to hand our notice in and move back home for a while, the relief I felt was overwhelming. Last weekend for the first time in months I sat down and watched Saturday night TV without feeling stressed or like I should be doing something more important.

I might do a few more posts about the specific things that didn’t work out for us when moving out – things like managing money, feeling isolated – because I could honestly write an entire emotional essay on this… but I’ll hold off for now.

If you’ve ever struggled with moving out, or gotten into a super lonely situation, then feel free to share your own story below. I know that moving back in with your parent’s isn’t the end of the world – but it does feel like it sometimes. Any tips on coping with the change would be greatly appreciated.

Until next time,