One of the gifts of the book tour was getting to spend time with some of my dearest friends and deepen my connections to pals I’ve made online. We talked about life and work, mused on our plans and dreams, and made space for plenty of laughter and gossip, too. Nothing unusual about any of that, for sure, but what was most interesting — and useful — to me was how often the topic of dating came up. In my “real life” at home I have no single friends — everyone I love and trust is coupled up with a significant other. Literally, everyone. So to be able to talk with single women about the twisted path we have to traverse to find love was so… fantastic. Liberating. Galvanising. Life-changing.
These women were aged from 29 to 49, so I’m not just talking about chicks my age. I got to hear about so many different experiences and peek in on so many different viewpoints. Earlier this year I dipped my toe in the online dating pool and found the water far too chilly for my nervous feet. But here were these amazing women boldly swimming in the water, surfing the highs and holding their breath for the inevitable lows. With every conversation I felt more excited to don my water wings and get back out there. Because it wasn’t just me who struggles with all this. They all do. And they are still trying, and hoping, and keeping their hearts open to the possiblity that someday somebody wonderful will walk into their lives and make the twisted path make sense.
Three and a half weeks away from home was enough time to cut the ties to this town. Living out of a small suitcase reminded me that home is not the place I live — it’s a feeling I carry inside me. Soaking in the energy of every city I visited made me more and more excited to take the leap to the place that has been calling my heart home: London.
So I am back in Bath, but it’s not for much longer. I’m currently down-sizing my possesions, letting go of anything I no longer need. My book collection has been reduced by three-quarters; 80% of my cameras will soon be listed on eBay. I’ve given away furniture and clothes. I’m working my way through every cupboard and shelf, editing my possesions down to the things that i absolutely love, absolutely need or absolutely can’t get rid of just yet. My college dissertation? Gone. The knitted cat my mum made while pregnant with me? She stays :)
This is the third time I have declared I’m moving to London on this blog. This is the first time I have been truly — TRULY — ready. To me, London means expansion. It means stepping into the life I want, the bigger, braver, bolder life I am ready to inhabit. And, frankly, it means being in a place where there are more boys to meet. Because, hey, that’s important too. Bath has been beautiful to me and I will always come back to see the magnolia trees bloom in the spring. But it’s time to move into the next chapter and there’s much to do in preparation. As I’ll be out of the country for much of October I have set my moving date to the first week of November.
It is done.
And, honestly, I couldn’t be more thrilled. Or more ready.