With Blackjack and Hookers "I'm going to write my own blog. With blackjack. And hookers."

11Dec/160

Choosing home

My moving plans were rather unpleasantly turned on their head this week, when my landlady emailed to say that, oh, oops, the flat had sold much more quickly than anticipated... and that I would need to move out by the 28th.

Of December.

This was rather unwelcome news, as I did not have anywhere lined up to move to-- the place I'd looked at last weekend had fallen through (alas), and although I had some potentials to look at this week, none were ideal. And, of course, I leave for Cyprus on the 22nd, which gives me even less time to get myself organised.

You may imagine the swearing that ensued. There were also tears; it was a frustrating evening.

Several days later, though, and I think I'm largely sorted. I've sublet a room in a pretty uninspiring flat in Angel until the end of January, which gives me breathing room (and has the benefit of being surprisingly cheap). In January, two coworkers and I are going to hunt down a three bedroom flat or house to rent together. I'm hesitant about living with coworkers - I fear we'll see too much of each other - but I'm also really, really pleased about this: I feel hopeful about the prospect.

I think it's because I trust them, and that makes it easier to imagine this place as a home rather than just a place where I have a bedroom. I would like that; I miss that.

I have a place to store my belongings for a month or so, so now it's time to start packing them all up in preparation for them being picked up and taken away. It feels a little bittersweet, and I wasn't wholly sure why, at first.

Yes, this room has been as much of a 'home' as I've had these six months, but I'm not really sorry to leave it. I think the thing that is really giving me pause is that, for better or for worse, this flat was the first place I've ever lived that I chose for myself, 100%. Everywhere else has been chosen for me, or chosen in conjunction with others. I found this flat; I made arrangements to view it; I made the decision to move in.

Issues with my flatmate aside (and, of course, this rather inconvenient need to move at short notice), I don't regret that decision. It introduced me to part of London I might not have explored much, otherwise, and it has been mine: the place where I really started to figure out who I was on my own. In that regard, it has served me well.

I'm not terribly looking forward to the next few weeks; I don't really enjoy a lack of stability, and that's certainly what it will feel like, having only a very temporary home. But the end result will, I think, be worth it-- more time to make the right decision, more time to find the right place. I'd rather wait, now, than desperately sign a lease on something immediately, and be stuck in what could be a worse situation.

In the meantime, I'm a little aghast at how much I seem to have accumulated in the past six months. I moved into this place with a large suitcase, a small suitcase, and two shopping bags (okay, and a backpack). I will need boxes, to move out.

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