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,

Becky

  • I love the rawness and honesty throughout this post! Although the outcome wasn’t what you guys expected, I think it’s turned out to still be such an important chapter of both of your lives. Not only will it have built you both individually, but also made you both stronger, as the situation could made your relationship spiral out of control. I recently wrote a blog post about going one step forward then two steps back (mostly about a career change), and I now realise that sometimes your ego is less important and taking a step backwards does not mean failure, but instead a new opportunity!

    Anyway, I’m excited to read your updates and wish you all the best! Sending you positive vibes,
    Bekki
    http://www.filler-chapters.com x

  • SHE IN THE KNOW

    I really love posts that go back to basics and is purely about experience. I know the outcome wasn’t what you both expected, but I can already tell you’ve both learnt a lot from it, perhaps you will both find a better place to live (closer to friends and family this time), and that you won’t feel so isolated when you go home – to be honest I don’t think anything beats being at home! Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards x

    http://www.sheintheknow.co.uk

  • Steph – Wanderlust Pulse

    The first time I moved out, I loved having my own space but hated being alone. I ended up moving back home not out of choice but felt an overwhelming amount of relief at having people around and to interact with.

    Steph x
    http://www.wanderlustpulse.com

  • Glass of Class

    I loved this post so much. I moved out on my own (to a different country to make things more interesting and be different from my peers) when I was 18 years old. I thought the world was opening in front of me and I would stroll down the street like Blair Waldorf carrying bags of expensive shopping and a Starbucks in my hand. It turned out to be a big struggle. I started with renting small rooms in other people’s houses which was difficult because living with a family that’s not yours is so much more challenging. Then I was renting a house with other students and it was equally as difficult. Most of the time I struggled for money and there were weeks when I would have to eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then my boyfriend moved in and I didn’t feel as lonely but we were still struggling. Because my own family lives in a different country we moved in with his family. We’ve been here for a year and a half now and despite the fact that I’ve been struggling with learning how to not live on my own anymore, it has helped me out. I’ve only been realising it now though. Through that experience I have learnt how to fight for myself and say ‘no’ when I don’t like or agree with something. Just because I don’t live on my own, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to lose myself and neither will you. What you’ve learnt so far will stay with you. And until you’re ready just use the opportunity of living with your family to get your relationship into a happy place, go on dates, spend more time together and save money. When you move out again, you will be so much more ready. And you’ll appreciate it more.
    Wishing you all the best.

    Julia xx
    theglassofclass.com