In March 2014, we got the keys to a new two-bedroom flat. To many, it wouldn’t have seemed like much, but it was our first private rent. The first place either of us had lived that wasn’t with parents or student accommodation. The place we’d be bringing our newborn baby back to in less than a month. Our home.
Three years and one month later, and we’re moving again. At the end of this week, we’re moving into a two-bedroom house. We’ve been talking about moving for ages. We wanted somewhere a little bigger, with a little bit more breathing space. We didn’t anticipate moving the length of the country to get there.
We’ll be leaving our home in North East Wales, where we have friends and easy access to family and so many memories, for a new adventure down in South West Wales. A little town on the coast, ten minutes’ walk from the beach; close to big towns, with cities like Swansea within reach. Opportunities we never could have dreamed of up here, and especially not in the tiny coastal resort villages where we both grew up. This will open up amazing chances for SB.
But I can’t help feeling overwhelmingly sad. There have been plenty of tears over the last few days, and there will be more to come.
I’m so excited to start our new life. I’ll be starting a new job; the start of the exciting career I’ve been dreaming about. Daf will have the chance to do a Masters degree and get his book published. SB will be able to go to exciting places and do exciting things. There are more schools to choose from; more clubs; more activities. We can spend lazy summer afternoons on the beach when I’m not working. We can potter about the house, because we’ll have enough space that we won’t be in each other’s hair constantly.
But the new house is much further from family than the old one. We won’t be able to pop back for a weekend here and there. Every visit will need to be meticulously planned around my shifts and travel time and individual plans. We’ll be so far away from our friends up here, and although we’re planning visits backwards and forwards, right now it all seems so far away. We don’t know anyone in this new place, and I worry that the next few months will be isolating for all of us.
That’s not even touching on the memories associated with this house. It’s where we brought SB home to after she was born. Daf carried (okay, piggybacked) me over the threshold after our wedding day. SB has taken her first steps in this house; said her first words; given her first smile. This flat is inextricably woven into the memories of her first three years, and saying goodbye to this home is going to feel a lot like saying goodbye to all of that too.
But we’ll make new memories in the new house. We’ll potty train her there; she’ll have her first day of school there; she’ll ride a bike on the beach there. Maybe we’ll bring a new baby home to that house, and the circle of memories begins all over again. We’ll make new friends, and we’ll visit and invite our friends from home. We will visit our families, and the visits will be even better because we’ll have been apart. We’re not moving halfway across the world.
Scary is good. Scary means that you’re doing something exciting; something you really want to go well. This is scary, and that’s a good thing. Where’s the fun in life without a little risk?
So when I shed a tear at the thought of leaving this home, with all of the memories attached to it, I may feel sad – but I’ll also feel excited, for the new life and the new memories we’re about to make.