In February 2013 I packed my bags and moved from Nottingham to Milton Keynes for a job.
Fast forward to this year and I realised that I wasn’t all that happy in the job, and the thought of continuing endlessly in a long distance relationship was adding to a general feeling of misery.
So in June I packed my bags again and came back to Nottingham to move in with Stu.
The 2 year stint in Milton Keynes changed the landscape of my life quite dramatically, and despite being glad I went, there are times I wish I hadn’t.
I find myself now trying to adjust to a change in the people I see every day and work with, friendships that have disappeared while I was away, learning how to live with a partner and finding ways of carrying on doing the things that I love to do.
While I was in Milton Keynes I rediscovered my love of horse riding. This is a hobby that sadly fell by the wayside due to snapping my achilles in 2011 and just being too busy at the weekends. In MK I found a really great stables that had an adults lesson on a week night which suited me as it meant I had the whole weekend free and didn’t miss lessons when I was up north. I work 4 days a week now, so initially when I came back I started having private lessons on a Friday at a stables that I had ridden at for several years prior to leaving. Unfortunately I wasn’t happy with the quality of the teaching, and really missed the group lesson atmosphere. So last week I went to a stables that I haven’t been to since 2009, because they have an adults only lesson on a Thursday night. It’s hard to explain but I was nervous about this. Much as I am nervous about a lot of things now I’m back. Suffice to say there was nothing to worry about, and I had fun. Probably not the best quality teaching ever, but it’s better than nothing.
And so onto what the underlying problem is since I’ve come back; I worry about seeing people that I don’t want to see. I worry about what to say to people that I used to know quite well. I miss some of my work colleagues from MK, and I miss having that rapport on a daily basis in the office. I miss having people to ride bikes with. And I find meeting new people very hard. And I’m still finding it weird living with someone. (it’s not the first time I’ve done it, but it’s the first time I’ve moved into someone else’s house).
Initially when I came back I felt like a failure – this was the one Big Thing I’ve done. And here I was back again. And all my stuff was in storage. And I missed people that were in MK.
It took me at least 3 months to start to feel normal again. I’m making small steps forward: I’ve joined a road cycling club. I’ve made the effort to see 2 friends in particular. And I’ve got the horse riding sorted. There’s still a lot to do, but I know I can only do a little at a time as I get mentally exhausted and need to hide away.
Don’t get me wrong, coming back isn’t all bad. I’m definitely enjoying having a nice City centre again, with great places to eat and drink. And living with Stu has been a lot easier than I envisioned – we’re both quite set in our ways, being that bit older, so there’s been plenty of opportunity for ‘heated discussions’, but fortunately these haven’t materialised.
Perhaps with the passage of time I won’t see this return as a failure. Maybe, on reflection, it’s been a trying year. Nothing major has really gone wrong, but I feel like nothing has been quite right either.