I will be honest, reader, I am feeling a little stressed. Not bad anxiety, but the sort that makes your stomach heave now and again, and makes you question everything. Now I have to admit that I have always been a fairly bad decision maker, but when the chips are down I will do it. Well, about 10 months ago I made a monumental decision, those of you who have read my first few entries will know that it was the decision to leave this huge, sprawling city and move to a more rural location 200 miles to the North where I only know a handful of people (very small handful). If you are reading this in America, then 200 miles doesn't probably sound like much at all, but within England, it feels a long way.
Yesterday my flat appeared on right move.com and I eagerly looked upon it with the eyes of a buyer. It was about this time that the unexpected stress kicked in. It hit me what a monumental decision this is and how life changing it will be. Don't worry, this post is not going to end with me saying that I have changed my mind and that I now want to embrace a future of overcrowding, hideous long journeys to and from work standing in packed out trains and picking my way through the filth on the streets of (my part of town) suburban London. No, I have certainly not changed my mind, but at the same time, this city has been my home for the last 19 years and it hasn't been all bad. When I arrived as a student in 1992 I could (amazingly) afford to live in a nice ish part of town, now it is a mega expensive part of town and I have been forced to go further and further away. But I enjoyed my time, it was exciting, there were theatres, opera houses, bars that stayed open all night, men selling food on the street at 3 in the morning and for a young man who had come from a tiny town it was brilliant and exciting. I made good friends while I was studying, some of them remain true friends now still, all these years later, some on the other hand drifted away, as is the nature of relationship. A few years passed and in my mid to late 20's I found myself living in a horrible bedsit above a fried chicken shop in a horrendous suburb of the city, but it was all I could afford at the time. I sank lower and lower into a depression and it was a part of my life that I closed the door on and would not like to revisit. Yet, why was I in that position? - because London is not kind to the people that are employed, but poor. But life got better eventually and by my 30's I was on a fairly even keel, but the signs of discontent were there. I moved further out but the commute took its toll and I ended up moving back nearer in again, to my present flat. It is beautiful and peaceful here - yet it is only a 15 minute walk to that horrible, chicken shop flat of my nightmares. That is also the nature of this city, you can be in the most beautiful area, and 15 minutes walk later, you are in a place that makes you nervous to walk about in the dark. But still, like I say, one way or another, for better or for worse, this has been my home for 19 years. My friends are all here, my life is here. But......my heart is not.
So big decisions are good, we must conclude, even if you are pathologically bad decision maker like me. Changing your life for the better is great and can never be underestimated. And maybe, just maybe a bit of stress is good for you too, now and again, certainly when the results will bring you closer to your dream.
But I still feel nervous all the same.........