So I’m sitting here contemplating (on what the face of it), would appear to be one of the most crucial years of my life.There are very few moments in life like this. Times when you’re swept up in a whirlwind of change where you can quite literally (take a step back) and see that every single decision that you make at this point in time will have far reaching implications for you and the rest of your life as you know it. In the past I’ve been swept along by it. This time it’s different in that I’m fully in control of it.
Middle age Mile Stone
So I’ve just turned 35 and I remember being a fresh faced 16 year old thinking about all the things I would have achieved by now. Back then I considered 35 to be middle aged (now i’m here I feel anything but middle aged – more like a sprightly 25 year old), and when I think about where I’ve come from I guess I can justifiably be quite proud.
Getting Hitched – Milestone
I got married last year (October 2014) to an amazing man (one that I never thought existed). He proposed after two years and we wed after a two year engagement. A well known soul singer sang at our wedding reception and it was wonderful. After getting pregnant at 18, splitting with my son’s dad and struggling throughout my 20’s to singlehandedly provide for my child (financially and emotionally), I had given up on ever finding ‘a decent bloke’. Approaching 30 and with my son growing more independent by the day, I was getting ready to live out the remainder of my life as a MILF. I have a decent job, was planning on getting a fabulous car on HP and planning two holidays a year to Caribbean….. then this guy shows up (who totally wasn’t my type initially but he grew on me) and he turned out to be my knight in shining armour (ladies – it can happen, I found mine at 30).
Buying my first property – Milestone
I’m also very lucky in that I finally managed to get in the property ladder this year (after 15 fackin years of renting). No easy feat I can tell you, particularly as I have no degree, started out as a teenage mum (with no support from extended family), I live in London and spent most of my adult life single juggling continuous employment and singlehandedly raising my son. I’ve fought tooth and nail to keep a roof over my son’s head no matter what life has thrown at me and I always told myself ‘whatever you do anything in this life – make sure you leave something for your child’. With perseverance (and after embarking on a major mission to restore my dodgy credit score) I finally brought a two bedroom flat in West London’s Shepherds Bush in May 2014 (brought without my husbands help I hasten to add, this was something I had to do for myself). The purchase was my investment – something that affirmed that the struggle has all been worthwhile and when I leave this earth it will go to my son (and now I know that I’ll die happy). I can breathe now. I feel like I did my bit for him and now I can relax.
I’ve lived in London all my life, and it breaks my heart to see the way things are going for the twenty-somethings downwards. How alot of the kids are being set up to fail with these extortionate university fees yet a lack of decent paying jobs. What kind of life are we leaving for our children? So much wrong with the UK at the moment but I’ll save that for another blog post……if I start moaning about London this blog will turn into a dissertation.
Moving – Milestone
So along with this marriage malarky – all these other things come into play like ‘babies’, where are we going to live?, future priorities and a natural consequence of this has been a decision for us to move to a larger and more affordable family home in the suburbs. My two bed flat a stones throw from Westfields will no longer be sufficient to hold my current family – plus the babas that will no doubt soon be coming our way. Everywhere is virtually unaffordable aside from East London – so we’ve just also completed on a 4 bedroom family house in Dagenham. This is obviously a major wrench for me. I’m moving from one side of London to the other (an hours drive from all my friends and family) and let’s not beat around the bush. The difference between where we’re moving from to where we’re moving to is pretty evident in all aspects from crime rates, to healthcare facilities to schools (I raised an eyebrow when a friend referred to Dagenham as ‘Daggers’). Despite my reservations (I’ve always been a risk taker never a follower) and moving now just feels right. Dagenham has no choice but to go up (despite what I’ve heard to the contrary) and if I still have this blog in 5 years time I’ll be able to give you an update on how we’ve got on.
It’s weird. As one chapter of my life closes it’s like another one is beginning and at 35 I feel like I’m being born all over again. This time my new world is being shaped by my choices rather than as a result of circumstance and while I’m a bit nervous I’m also excited about what my future will bring.
Brave new world 🙂