I realised it’s been too long since I wrote a blog post, so get ready for a big debrief that will probably read more like a diary entry. I’ve got a glass of white wine and a bowl of pasta beside me, which I’d say is good preparation. Let me try and share some of what’s been going on over the past couple of months with you.
I’ve realised that nobody really teaches you how to deal with limbo. People don’t even really talk about it.
We love to detail how we got over our breakups, how we fought for that pay rise, how we improved our self-confidence. But what about when we have to… stay stuck for a while? There’s often no solace in the advice to look for a new job when you know you need to complete your year-long internship, or build up your CV so it doesn’t look like you can’t hold down a role. There’s no quick fix to wanting time to go faster. “Just write a gratitude journal,” and, “Start a side hustle!” soundbites in that article you read last week aren’t a great help when all you can do is wait it out.
I’ve been in limbo since January. It’s revolved around my house move and my work, and how delicately they rely on each other. I needed to move because my flat was stifling my workflow, (one of many reasons,) but to call and wait and view and wait and send nice emails to Darren at Foxtons who I’ll never meet again really killed off any headspace and normal work structure I had left. Then in April, I moved house. However, for reasons too complicated to explain in this blog post, I spent the first month living with the original tenants, in Aviva’s future room, before they moved out and Aviva and I could take over the tenancy. Everything was in boxes – the old tenants were packing up as I was moving in. I didn’t bring furniture, so I gradually ordered a mattress, a bed, and wardrobes. I still don’t have a space to film. I’ve felt like I’m in this purgatory, looking over the fence and saying that the green grass will be mine soon. But soon has taken six months.
I’m a solution person. When someone comes to me with a problem, my first instinct is to say, “how can we solve this?” However, I’ve learned that there are no solutions when it comes to existing between boxes and IKEA bags of your possessions, or ways to speed up a house hunt. You can’t take steps to resolve a problem that is dependent on time and time only. Waiting things out is sometimes the only solution. As you can imagine, the solutions girl in me finds this very hard to deal with. It’s not the big change itself that gets me down, it’s waiting for those changes to happen. When I have to wait, I feel like I can’t properly progress with my life.
I’ve been able to make videos during a number of big changes that have occurred in my life, so it took me by surprise that I felt I couldn’t this time around. I think that along with the frustration that came with waiting to move, the displacement has really hit me – not even starting out with furniture has made making a new home feel like my own even harder, let alone the practical necessity of storage. We are hoping to build bookshelves, so for now all the books are living in IKEA bags under Aviva’s desk. I’ve only just found time to do a much-needed H&M Home order; I’ve been prioritising the practical purchases but I realised my room won’t feel like my own until that print I love is framed and there’s a vase of flowers on my chest of drawers. Little things, you know? I need to nest! I love prioritising the way my videos look and feel, so to not be able to live up to my usual standard made me feel like not making anything at all.
There’s been lots going on in the first half of 2019, but there has also been a hell of a lot of waiting. I’ve been learning to deal with it, and during the dealing-with-it part, I lost a lot of momentum. Most of my solution-seeking nature hasn’t been able to be utilised, and I guess that caused some stress I didn’t really understand, and ultimately burned me out. Feeling out of place had knock-on effects I wasn’t expecting; recently I realised I’ve been drinking more, spending way more time out of the house, and generally feeling out-of-sorts. I’ve started doubting lots of my gut feelings too, which feels super weird. Self-doubt spurred on by lack of physical parameters that bring you comfort. Home really is more than just four walls.
So if you’ve been wondering where I am, here’s the update. However, I think I’m finally out of the woods. Aviva and I have been in the house for two weeks today, we are mostly unpacked and things are beginning to settle. My frustration at feeling stuck when it comes to creating is fading fast – I’ve written three blog posts over the past month that I’m excited to share, and I’ve got some banging video ideas in the pipeline. It’s been a difficult six months in places, but I think I’m finally finding my feet in our new home.