A place to call my own?

I’ve been living in my current home now for 10 years. After splitting with the father of my Son and being officially ‘homeless’ for nearly two weeks, my local council found this property for me. My fear even then was that the rent was too high and I would never be able to afford it alone. I was assured, however that this would not be a problem and I don’t know who was most keen for me to move in; the council – as they were helping me to stay in a hotel in Portsmouth where the price was considerably higher, or myself so I could be back in the town where I worked and not have to wake early enough with my little boy to miss the inclusive breakfast so that I could leave in time to drop him off at nursery and get myself into work.

A Hotel? Sounds Nice really…

Every time I think back to this point in my life it brings up such an immense menagerie of emotion, I am so grateful to have been somewhere comfortable in a more than pleasant location,  somewhere that I had discussed with my boyfriend previously as a place I would have been happy to live. I had my closest friends come to see me and some family members, so that I didn’t feel too isolated and alone. And I wasn’t even there for long. The manager or owner of the place (I can’t remember which) seemed lovely and from the poems and letters of gratitude I could see on display I was not the first person to be helped here. I always meant to send some thing myself but a combination of procrastination and that half feeling of wanting to distance myself from that time period meant I never quite got round to it. In writing about it now I am fighting back tears and so very much has changed since then. But also not.

If anyone knows of the manager/owner of the then Anstey Hotel, Southsea in 2007 I wish for him to know of my gratitude too. I fear, however that it may be too late.

The house I’m in now came up and I couldn’t believe my luck. I often describe life as a roller-coaster (it’s no wonder I get depressed- I hate roller-coasters and can’t do them with my eyes open) This particular part of the coaster track was especially jam packed with climbs and falls. Go with it, yeah? I love to over-elaborate on an analogy.

It was a two bed room house with new carpets and white goods gifted to me. It was easily walking distance from my sons’s nursery and my work and I could get up and have breakfast whenever I liked.

Due to a combination of my propensity to think I’m not good enough anyway and anxiety that prompted me to hide from tricky situations there were two major things that I gave up during the split & move. One was an Open University course which I didn’t feel I could continue with in my new position as a single Mum, not knowing where I was going to be living and without a computer (I’m good at excuses). Despite leaving the course fairly early in, I still had to pay back my Student budget loan which made having given it up all the more frustrating. I also gave up my Job as a ‘TAB’ carer, as prior to moving this involved visiting a lady who was just round the corner to me for a couple of hours a week. I didn’t know where I was going to be living etc and how I was going to sort anything out. Again, I made excuses.

I had already been in my retail job for a while but hadn’t progressed in this and still maintained that this wasn’t where I wanted to stay. Before I had my boy I was going to go to university to do Fine Art: the one thing that had remained constant throughout everything, I still did the odd drawing and bit of painting throughout everything that went on. I have never believed myself to be some creative genius and  have never got close to being as skilled and able as I would like in this profession but I believed that my passion, ideas and what small skill I did possess meant it was worth giving this another shot. I got to the stage where it was ‘now or never’, I  had to go with it and perhaps it was just as well I  did because the whole recession thing happened near the beginning of my course, a bunch of political stuff happened too and in among every thing some thoughtful beings decided to triple tuition fees. It turns out I did my degree just in the nick of time.

My plan was to go to university, work my socks off. Then maybe put my socks back on again before doing a PGCE. If we could see round the corners and get visions from those crystal balls I wonder if we would make any of the decisions we do. As it happens, I’m kind of glad we don’t have this power, because we wouldn’t take any risks and would stop learning from our perceivable mistakes.

Where I’m at now is a complete unknown. There’s lots of story to tell between then and now and there’s an even bigger prologue. I’m in a bit of a funny state at the moment but bare with me and I might just have some more to say.




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