March – 2017
When I persuaded myself that I was. Actually going to start to look for a place to I’ve I put several warnings in my brain to let me know that I was in for a crazy time. Trying to fit in viewings, work, teaching, fun and everything in between was going to make life feel incredibly busy and no doubt noisy. I was not wrong…. Let’s do the big news first.
After viewing several places I found myself wondering what it would take for me to actually think that I could live in a place. I was treating it the same as when I was viewing house shares nearly two years ago. Trying to be present in the building and putting letting my imagination tell me if it was the right place for me. The thing is that I struck lucky first thing and found a place that I certainly could have gone for but I told myself not to go for the first thing house I saw. I guess I had to see several more to know how I felt about it. Several houses later I am no closer to finding somewhere and the house I first saw and liked was still on the market.
Then something turned up, a really nice flat on the Bath Road that was on the market for £195,000. This flat was seriously cute and almost immediately liveable. The agent told me that they were putting a deadline in for offers in a few days and to submit any offer in writing by e-mail. Now there is probably a name for this type of operation but I’m just going to call it blind bidding. Basically what I think happens is they present the owner with all the offers and if the owner is stupid they don’t take the one offering the most money. Now maybe it’s just me but I never intend to pay more than what the advertised price is. So with my bid of less than the amount advertised I sort of knew that I did not stand a chance.
A day later my friend Carol came to Bristol to visit and see Sue Perkins with me. Now Carol is not an expert in buying houses, she does own one and has gone through the process herself but I appreciate her opinion and took her to see the two that I like. The one I knew I had no chance with that I had already put in an offer for (and not received a response as yet) and the first one which still sat in my brain. She liked both, we had some beers and a chat about all sorts of stuff which basically told me that I should also put in a bid for the first one I saw. A few days pass and a bit of negotiation my offer of 170k turns into 180k and is accepted.
Since then my brain has had random moments of panic. All of a sudden this whole house buying thing has become very real very quickly and I know that I still have a mountain to climb. I spend quite a bit of time and energy trying to suppress my excitement and set my expectations as low as possible. I have had a conversation with the bank where they have agreed to loan me a stupid amount of money and the solicitors have been activated. There is still a gigantic hill to climb but I am slowly plodding on.
Party like there is no tomorrow
Since things at work and house things have sort of compounded stress onto me I have been needing to find release. I’ve been out almost every weekend, I’ve seen two amazing films both from Korea called The Handmaiden and The Train to Busan. I cannot recommend both of these enough, they poop all over what Hollywood has to offer in my opinion. I went dancing, actually more than once. There was an event celebrating International Women’s Day which was a DJ event with good music that I got dressed up for and thoroughly enjoyed. I went out with the Bristol LGBT meetup group and danced the night away. I’ve also been able to spend some quality time with friends which I really appreciate§. Again I miss my friends in London but there is no way that I am traversing to see them all the time. I’ve been in Bristol 2 years nearly and not one of them have been to visit.
I’ll be honest.. I can’t remember the last time I got my teeth checked or cleaned or anything. Let’s face it I hate dentists, I hate them with a passion. I should have sorted out a dentist when I decided that I was going to try and stay in Bristol but that thought fell out of my head and was then lost and buried deep under a bunch of other stuff. Finally, after perhaps years, I went to get my teeth looked at. If you think that the last time I remember getting them looked at I think I was still living in Streatham which was probably around 10 years ago.
Needless to say, the dentist was less than impressed by this and set about cleaning my teeth professionally. I hate this, it’s just so uncomfortable and they can be so unforgiving that it does nothing for my fear and hatred of dentists. Still, she was impressed that I did not have any major cavities and just a problem with a receding gum line due to the lack of cleaning. I tried to use as many mindfulness and breathing techniques as I could to not flinch or panic or react and mostly failed but we got there.
I need to do better at this, my brain is so wayward at times.
I am one week away from finishing my Improv lessons and the thing is that I know I am going to miss it. I am going to have a massive hole in my Monday evenings where I no longer push my limits and can feel that I will need to find something else to replace it. It does not have to be Monday but it does have to continue to help me build confidence and hopefully let me explore creative outlets.
I think I am braced for the sadness that will come with the loss, although in my current quite fragile mindset I’m not so sure. What’s that you ask? Why am I so fragile? Keep reading…
There is no perfect time to take on counselling. Well maybe there is and I have yet to experience it. I caught myself for the train writing a conscious stream of thoughts with no real direction, another of my many one way conversations with myself. It was in this conversation I recognised a feeling, the feeling of being trapped and starting to be my own worst enemy and that triggered me to give the counsellor in Oxford a call to see if he had some space for me. He did and so I am going back to him once a week.
I like to think that progress is being made but emotionally I’m fragile at the moment. I know this because while I was in the Gym doing some yoga and a song came on that provoked an emotional leak. I wonder what people think about a man who continues to perform whatever yoga move he is currently doing with tears rolling down his cheeks. I’m sure any normal person would have stopped or tried to distract themselves from the painful thought but this is me you’re talking about and I’m weird. I’m trying to convince myself that my emotional bucket is full and the tears that I am producing is just that bucket overflowing. I’ve not been able to find the right headspace to have a good cry and hopefully make the bucket less full. It feels like that will help but it’s not something I can force. I wrote more things sitting on the train home a few weeks ago and touched a nerve and again my eyes decided to demonstrate this leak. You sometimes can’t choose the time you cry and in fact, you should not have to. I no doubt made the person I was sitting next to quite uncomfortable but it’s not something I should control right now it’s more about being mindful it’s happening and why.