One month later…

This morning I realised it had been a whole month since I left Bath and I shook my head, amazed. That went really fast.

When you decide to make a change it can take ages to get to the actual jumping off point. There’s all the preparation and procrastinating and fretting and double-guessing: is this the right thing to do? What if it goes wrong? And then the day arrives and you make the jump. You move house. You leave the country. You tender your resignation. You tell him you can’t live like this anymore. And before you know it time is passing and you’re living in your imagined future. You took your courage in your hands and made it happen.

You did it.

New beginnings are best when you embrace them. There have been several times in my life when I was convinced it was game over. That what had happened was surely earth-shattering enough to halt the sun in its tracks and stop everything. But no, the sun carried on rising and setting dispite what was going down in my little world. Time passes and we can either adapt to our new situation or flounder. Sometimes it takes a lot longer than you’d like, but you do reach a point where the new becomes the familiar again, even if the new was borne out of the fire.

New beginnings are a wild ride. I feel completely remade as I work my way through this transition, and the process has been far from smooth. I’ve swung between the highs of falling back in love with the city to the uncomfortable realisation that old ways of being just aren’t going to work in this new place. There’s always something that you hadn’t prepared yourself for, always an emotion or situation or possibility you hadn’t factored in. It’s never what you thought it would be, but in my experience it’s often better than you’d pictured. The trick is to stay fluid, to be gentle with your remade self and to lean on the familiar practices you can wrap around your shoulders like a cashmere blanket.

This is proving to be incredibly fertile time, for even as I’ve been turning round and round like a dog trying to find the right place to sit, I’ve been making notes towards something that’s been wanting to be born for a while — i just didn’t have the right headspace. Until now.

I’ll tell you more about that next week :)

16 responses
  1. cococita

    Your post makes me smile as I can relate to what you write because I experienced it myself rather recently and … still experience the magic of new beginnings, as in fact, every nanosecond offers new chances. That’s such a lovely thing to know, isn’t it?
    Can’t wait to read what you are brewing now … :)
    Hug from Belgium!

  2. kathryn

    i can really relate to where you are…that was me 14 years ago. took forever to ask for a divorce and then move to CA with my 2 small kids but after 2 months in CA that fear and anxiety subsided and the excitement of a fresh start sank in and i’ve never looked back! but i could have used your very wise advice back then!! i’ll keep it in mind for my next big move to Montana in a few years!

  3. jane

    just letting the juiciness of that sink in … easing into change is such a huge gift to embrace and your experience with moving to London is inspiring <3

  4. Zarina Ávila

    I look forward, at this precise moment that I know I have to make decisions about many things in my life. Thank you!

  5. Diane

    Bravo for you and this new beginning!! I am planning to make one of the very changes you mentioned in your post in just about 5 months from today. After 25 years of a situation that has blessed me in many ways, but just doesn’t fit anymore- at all, it is time to make a big life change. I want to approach it with excitement and anticipation, but fear of making a big mistake is the prevailing thought gremlin right now. I think I will turn to this post often, for inspiration as well as a reminder that change is not to be feared, but embraced. Thanks Susannah, I feel like this post is a special gift just for me.

  6. Iris Ztarr

    I love your posts on change and moving. 18 months ago I moved countries (temporarily) to the other side of the globe. The teething phase that came after the honeymoon phase was difficult but it’s improving all the time. The camera and walking has been a lovely practice to engage in. Thank you for your lovely photos and stories. I look forward to your reading about your new offering!

  7. mELISSA j

    Thank you Susannah. I find myself right now at that point of starting anew, and it’s hard and scary, even though I know it’s right. I think some of the fear is that this could really be “it” now, and that’s the most frightening thing of all!
    (formerly Melissa Jaine – see I even changed my name ;)

  8. Bruisemouse

    Wow! That month has flown by. You should feel really proud of yourself for the changes you are making. It is so brave of you.
    I am incredibly intrigued about what else you are planning.
    Take care and enjoy the weekend.
    PS. I’m loving your column in The Simple Things. So thoughtful.

  9. Helen

    Great post Susannah. My new mantra is:
    Stay fluid, be gentle, lean on………

    Wonderful advice, thank you.

  10. Steph

    Ach, Sus, you put it so well… I am still trailing Kensington and Notting Hill and Holland Park and so on and so forth (collectively referred to as Estate Agent Hell), as I am getting closer to STOPPING THE PROCRASTINATION, and while every evening I go back home mentally arranging all my tack in whichever latest place I’ve visited, the morning after I’ve got my heart in my mouth over the very same. It’s NUTS because I need to up sticks from my hotel (surely 10+ years are enough procrastinating for anyone?!), but I am somewhat mentally intertwined with being-between-two-places. It’s all I know. It’s how I live. But I don’t want to live like it any longer. Yuk-o-rama. And it’s already been a MONTH for you! Man!! Your first Crimbo is coming up! Your first… lots of them! Enjoy. You’ll be very happy.

  11. Alicia

    Wow, your writing here…. Just wow. So much truth in this.

  12. Rachel

    I cannot believe it’s been a month. This past year has flown by!

    Totally agree with what you say about waiting to do something and then it comes and time flies! I’m right in the middle of the waiting for the next big thing to start (blame the lawyers), and when it does I really want to be conscious of it happening and not let it fly past!

  13. La plume et la page

    An interesting post! Have a good week-end Susannah!
    (As you, I’d like to jump. But I think it’s not yet the right time… which will come soon! I hope!)

  14. Kim

    “The trick is to stay fluid, to be gentle with your remade self and to lean on the familiar practices you can wrap around your shoulders like a cashmere blanket.”

    What I love about reading, Susannah, is when an author can put into words what I am feeling in a way I never could. I am going through a big move right now too (back to Canada after 25 years away) and your experiences have helped me. There are certain expectations and worries that go with a move, but staying fluid and open helps to welcome and even marvel at the surprises.

  15. Catherine Denton

    Your bits of home are lovely. I’m so glad you have the headspace now. Can’t wait to see what you’l. reveal!

  16. Erica

    Loving these moving posts. I just moved cross country last month myself, also returning to a place I formerly lived, though I’m not happy to be back. ;) Your perspective is great and I totally get the going with the flow thing. We really do have to take the initiative/ownership to make the best of our life situation. Looking forward to hearing more as you settle into your next chapter.

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