Friday, February 9

Saying Goodbye To My First Flat


I made the decision with Benji that I was going to move in, and 12 days later, I was almost fully moved and completely set up again. Once I plant a seed in my head, that's it, I'm going for it. There's no holding me back! I'm the type of person who likes to just get things done, so when I knew I had to move my whole life into boxes, along with semi-decorating the new place at the same time, I looked at it like one big challenge, which I broke down into lots of little tasks. I've been so busy organising, packing, buying new furniture, clearing out old furniture, de-cluttering, changing my address and basically moving my whole life into someone else's house, that it hadn't occurred to me how much I'd miss my little place. I was almost distracted from the emotional side of moving house, which wasn't something I hadn't experienced before. Is it finally time to say goodbye to my little home?

When I moved in 18 months ago, it was a bit of whirlwind. I moved pretty quickly from my dads, back to my mums, knowing full well I didn't want to stay there very long. It was just temporary until I found my own place. I envisioned I'd probably be at Mum's for 3-6 months, but within a month, we found somewhere for me. I completed the paperwork, got all the right references, paid the deposit and before I knew it, I was picking up the keys. I didn't have much time to unpack at my Mums, it happened SO fast. We even went to Ikea and picked, bought and built the furniture all in the same weekend of getting the keys. Once I was in, I was SO content. I had FINALLY settled somewhere. It wasn't hard to say goodbye to my parents houses at all. I'd spent the past few years yoyoing between them, and both their places didn't feel like home to me anymore. I was desperate for my own space and independence, and my Mum was very supportive in understanding this. I had just landed myself a new job in Marketing, and although it was extremely scary taking on lots of bills and new responsibilities, I was ready.

The first few months felt pretty normal. I didn't need to adjust to life by myself, it just felt right. I was so busy at my new job, that the flat became a little cosy place of peace and serenity. No one was telling me where to put my shoes, when to do my washing, what I could watch on TV or how loud I could have my music. One of the rules at my dad's was 'no showering after 10pm', because the noise of the boiler would wake him and the dog (which is fine, I was just grateful for a roof over my head and a hot shower, so no biggie!). But you can imagine the grin on my face, when I stood in my shower gone 10pm for the first time, letting the hot water just fall on me, with that satisfying feeling that I could actually shower when I liked, AND for however long I liked, because I was paying the water bill myself now. It was a real 'pinch me' moment that I'd been waiting for. I could do whatever the hell I liked. It was MY house!

I spent the next 8 months with hardly any time at my flat. I was working 40-50 hours a week, going to events at the weekend and dedicating my time to my work and career. Until at the end of 2016, I decided to quit my job and found some freelancing work to run alongside my blog and channel. Suddenly, I was working from home for the first time ever. I transformed my 'dining table' into a 'desk', and lived the next year in a really happy bubble of what it was like to be self-employed. The flat became my work space too. I filmed collaborations for brands, edited all my videos, walked to the local coffee shop, and got savvy in adding decorations and touches to make the place feel even more like mine. I broke a few rules and put more nails in the wall for photos than I should have, but I always kept in clean and tidy. I was really proud of my place, and it was very much loved.


Going back to my new found freedom, I honestly believed I'd be having parties and people over all the time when I moved in. I even bought some shot glasses, wine glasses and plenty of plates and cutlery, thinking I'd be the hostess with the mostess! How was I wrong! I ended up hardly hosting, at all. I never had a party, only one spontaneous pre-drinks gathering with my closest pals. I loved my space so much, that I didn't want to share it. I didn't want anyone coming into it. It was my little bubble and I liked it that way. Besides, it was quite small and as I was working from home all day, I liked accepting any invitation which got me out of the flat, rather than kept me in it. I spent most evenings curled up in a ball, in a blanket, with a cup of tea and Gossip Girl on Netflix. I was so happy.

When I met Benji, it was obvious that the space was too small for us. Over time, we fell into a routine and spent most weekends at his house. As a freelancer, I was more flexible with my work commitments, and ended up staying Sundays and working from his house on Mondays. Eventually, my time was almost split 50/50 between the houses, and we started talking about moving in together. I'm a strong believer that you can't put a time frame on when people are ready for certain milestones in relationships, I've seen some couples get married after only a few months of knowing each other, whilst others have been together over 10 years. I knew I wanted to live with Benji pretty early on, but I let fate and time do it's thing.

At the beginning of 2018, we re-assessed our goals and plans for the year ahead, and I have two big ones. I want to continue to travel, whilst saving for a house. Not an easy task!

In terms of circumstances, I know we're quite lucky. Benji lives with his dad, who's hardly ever at home due to his work and relationship. This leaves the house empty 95% of the time, so it made sense for me to move in. His parents were very supportive and welcoming, and I'm extremely grateful to his Dad for his generosity in letting me live in the house so cheaply. Because of this, I can now start saving for my share of our mortgage, whilst accepting opportunities to travel and continue freelancing. The goal is to obviously buy with Benji one day, but we are aware that plans and circumstances can change and who knows, we may even rent between buying, but we'll see how things go. If anything were to ever happen to us (god forbid!), I can always move back in to my Mum's or rent again, but we're optimistic and have faith in how solid our relationship is.

Life has a funny way of working out, I often just go with my gut feeling and hope for the best. Some opportunities are not what I had planned, but that's okay. I can't control the future too much, but I can get a better control on my finances, and set the foundations for the next stage of mine and Benji's relationship. It's a big step, moving in together, but when you know, you know!

For now, I have a few weeks left to wrap things up at my flat, there's some furniture to go into storage and some cleaning I need to do, along with having professional carpet and window cleaners in. My last official day is February 20th, when I know I'll cry happy and sad tears, because my flat really was one of the best things to happen to me over the last two years. Finding my feet into adulthood, seeing my relationship with Benji blossom, transitioning from full time to freelance, cooking actual meals for the first time and more importantly, learning a lot about myself. That flat was more than just a flat, it holds so many happy memories, it changed my world. Even though it's the right thing and I'm so excited to live with my boyfriend, I'll be so gutted to let it go.

I'll always have a piece of my heart there.

ps. If you're interested in my moving updates and new house, watch my Weekly Vlogs every Monday at 6pm!
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