The big day eventually arrived… I had found a flat or “the hole” as I would affectionately call it later, and I was moving in. Having a tiny studio all to myself, with the freedom to cook when I please and just be as I please (I could even walk naked if I wanted to…..), was rather brilliant at times. On the flip-side however, was having a tiny studio which was just for me- after sharing a lovely big house with the man I loved. It was a bit of an adjustment…..
I moved in with a couple of bags and a couple of random shelves. This meant having to buy everything again. And oh my, was the shopping list endless: Ironing board, kettle, cutlery, crockery, towels, bedding. It went on. Luckily the flat came with a bed. Luckily I came equipped with a very lovely friend who kindly came to London for a while to help sort me out! I don’t think I would have managed it without her. She took me to Ikea and many other places- she collected my various bags of clothes from my various temporary homes. At one point I had 4 sets of keys to return. We did. And now I was only holding the 1 set. It felt good to settle. We unpacked, cleaned and shopped all weekend. We were so tired. And to make matters worse, I managed to give my friend a hard time –almost like a really crap reward for her hard efforts (and yes, we are still really good friends 😉 ). I didn’t mean too but all of my emotions, the pressure of the past/ and now pressures of my future, along with being so exhausted, meant that I was very impatient and not always nice (surprise, surprise). She handled it brilliantly! She even took me out on the Saturday night and we had a very weak attempt to have a party despite both of us being exhausted.
Very soon after moving in I got a cheque from my past. I was standing there alone in that “hole” staring at this piece of paper. This is what was left after 5 years? I knew I was still luckier than lots of other people in the world but all of that invested time, money, sweat and tears- it was all for nothing. I had nothing left from the past 5 years. Only the memories and a cheque.
All I’ve got is a piece of paper,
I need a bank, can’t do it later.
The amount is right, I cannot complain
I had to agree and I am walking away…
My heart is aching, my house was tasty
Loved it a lot but now it’s wasted.
I have no rights, the cheque is mine
Gives me a chance to have a new life…
When my friend left and I was on my own, it happened… I began to cry. Like, really cry.
(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)
Next: The BIG Meltdown – it hits you sooner or later…