Monday, 21 October 2013

re-arranging, waiting and running out of time

houseOct13850 I think there is huge irony in the fact that I am trying to write a post about feeling stuck and here I am, sitting here, stuck for how to start it. I've also managed some impressive procrastinating, which has included making a marinade for tonight's dinner. Well, I like to put my time to good use!

The reason I am feeling so stuck is that I want to move house. Does that sound a bit ridiculous? I feel John and I (and the Babycat) have outgrown where we are now. We've been here for just over four years and it is the first place we bought. This is so important to me; having a home was somewhat tenuous when I was younger so owning a home now, and having that security, is one of THE most important things in the whole world to me. I am so lucky and grateful to be sharing that with someone I love. And now... now we need the next step. There has been only one time in my life when I lived in a building that was more or less perfect for me – a huge, four storey Victorian house share in Whitechapel, 10 years ago. We were only there for 6 months but the steep staircase and split landings, old windows you could climb out of to reach the roof of another room below and use as a terrace, the rows of chimneys you could see from the bed at night... it was completely run down and rickety and had terrible peeling wallpaper and it was beautiful. Since then we've lived in modern buildings and they've not been a patch on that 150years+-old stack of bricks.

Now we have our own place and I'm ready to move on again. It's been so wonderful having something that feels permanent, but now that feeling has faded again, and everything feels so temporary, like I might just have to pack up everything into bin bags and run. I'm tired of having to move the bike to get to the book case to get to the second box of things below the stack of magazines. We don't have loads of things (although I may have a dress or two!) but we don't have any room for them. A place for everything and everything in its place is a very good idea indeed, and one we can't live up to here.

But it's also much, much more than that. We were hoping to buy a house last winter, but due to budget and other things we have to wait until next year, and I feel like I'm old hold. It doesn't help being an expat who checks out houses in London, gasps at their cheapness compared to here (yes really!) and gets so homesick that even choosing to stay in Melbourne isn't straightforward... but that's another post (or ten!) for another time! Basically, now, I am ready for things to change and I don't want to wait. I feel like the boat is leaving and I'm not on it. For some reason, moving house feels like it would change everything, get everything moving again – and maybe it wouldn't technically, but that's how it feels! I want to do more, do new things, to see if I can create the kind of life I've always wanted and be surrounded by the things I love, and be proud of what I do. I got so much closer this year but there is so much more! I'm tired of being scared or being distracted or being held back. I am ready to jump!

So, this leaves me looking at this bookshelf, and seeing it needs some rearranging – and also not seeing the point of bothering. Yes I can keep it dusted and keep the books straight and maybe even read one every now and then, and having fresh flowers has been extra nice after such a long time without, when spending money on fresh flowers felt so pointless because I was sick and tired of the four walls anyway. But surely I can do better than that. If I'm going to be here for a reasonable amount of time longer I need to make it as good as I can. It might be pointless to paint the bedroom (I'm over the yellow!) or to get new bedsheets or a rug but I can do little things to make it homely, for now. I also can't be the only one feeling out of sorts with their home. How do you feel about yours? Are there little things you can do to feel happier with your surroundings? Maybe we can share some ideas? Because dwelling for too long, well, that won't do anyone any good!

I can also be happy about what is going to be happening over the next few months. We are getting married this summer (after the world's loooooongest engagement) and at last it feels real and exciting. We are going overseas early next year and then I feel like I can really settle down for good – ideally in our new (old) house. So there is a lot to look forward to. I just wish it was that little bit closer.


Selina said...

I'm 25 and a series of unfortunate events has meant that my plans to move out of the family home has been thwarted. It was meant to happen last year, now coming to the end of this year, I know it will be at least another, if not 2 years until I can make my own space. I'm very dissatisfied with my life and I'm trying to get back on the first rung again but at the moment even that isn't happening. I know that feeling all too well

Jessica said...

Congratulations on your wedding plans, what fun! I know what you mean about feeling stuck with house-stuff. In nearly 11 years of marriage we have moved house 7 times, (and country three times), and in the 2.5 years up to that I moved twice myself and then a third time in with the man. Just over a year ago we finally moved into our first bought house, but (what with having three small children when we moved in, a pregnancy shortly thereafter, and now a new baby as well as the three only slightly older children), we still have quite a few boxes waiting to be finally unpacked. And now the mister has already started talking about our next house, even if only in a "one day" way, making it hard to finally get to the last things. Of course there is also that lack of enough places to put everything, which makes it harder.
Could you not even now invest in the sort of things that can come with you to the next house? Bedsheets and rugs might be just right for making you feel like you are not putting everything on hold, and if you buy things you really like, rather than that are just stopgaps, then you should still enjoy them when you do eventually move. Good luck!
PS. Reading of your super-long engagement, one can't really help but be curious. It sounds very romantic, indeed even old-fashioned (my grandparents had a very long engagement late 40s- early 50s as he had to finish dental school to be able to support a household). If you ever fancy a post on your love-story I'm sure it would be interesting, though of course I quite see you might not want to.

The Dainty Dolls House said...

I understand what you mean...we wish to move as well, we meant to do it some years ago, but other things got in the way. But, I am hoping we will soon. I hope you will too & find somewhere you both love. Getting married, that's oh so sweet :))) Am very happy for you! I hope everything will fall in place for you & wish you both a lot of happiness xx

Sarah said...

Congratulations on your soon-to-be wedding!
This post really resonated with me. Though I am nowhere near the stage of owning a home, it is something I have always dreamed of. I've always wanted a place to "fit", a place to feel comfortable and call my own. Right now, it and many other things are out of my reach. I feel like I am somehow missing the boat, as life rolls on without me. I'm trying to throw myself into new experiences and life, but in the meantime, it's comforting to know I am not alone.
Great post

Liv said...

I've recently discovered your blog and love it! It's an added bonus that you're in Melbourne too!

I've been feeling the same way about where I live at the moment. Having grown up in very colourful, creative house built by my parents means that renting, as I do now, can be hard to really make a space your own. I tend to re-arrange even if I've no idea if I'm going to stay on for that long. It can give a breath of fresh air that might be needed. An alternative to painting the walls can be hanging up large pieces of art or making a kind of tapestry out of some fabric that you like the look of. I've just changed the curtains in my bedroom, which I made out of vintage tablecloths from the op shop, and that did wonders! Other than that I try to keep planning and refining ideas of what an ideal home would be (pinterest helps a lot with this).

The flowers are a great idea! Can't wait to hear what else you come up with!

Anonymous said...

Although I am only renting I am now living in my dream home with a fire place in my room, something Ive always wanted and never thought I could really have. Having lived in small renovated apartments living in an Edwardian house which suits my style has made a difference to my mind state. When you are a very visual person, which I am guessing you are..., its so important to feel you can express you true creative style in your home rather than simply molding you style to fit the house. Having said that, these things take time and are worth waiting for. hang in there and I'm sure you'll find the perfect place. x,x

Hellcandy said...

Dear Marianne,

London calling here!

I feel like I can hugely relate to what you've just said. My bf is from Melbourne but I'm a Londoner & we live in a little flat smack bang in the west end.
It's hard to feel settled when London isn't the natural home to my beloved Aussie. Despite the hact that we both love it here things can be challenging & we definitely feel like we have out grown our little Victorian town house flat! I want my own wardrobe!

But sometimes the little things are what can ironically get us though. Take comfort in warm sunny days, your adorable Baby Cat & a beautiful wardrobe to die for!

It sounds like you're on the right track & whilst it may take some time just remember all the good things do :)

Maybe next time I'm over that way (April) we can catch up & I'll bring you a good old British care parcel filled with M&S goodies! x

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. At a different level but my life is currently on 'stand by' mode as I call it.
Waiting for the things that will happen at their right time, but not right now. In the meanwhile I feel like it's taking too long and 'it's not worth bottering atm' vs 'but I can't live like this' going on eternally on my head.

Alli said...

Yay!!!!! You are getting married soon! That's super! I can't wait to hear (and hopefully see) about all your plans. My wedding was 12yrs ago( July this year), so I really love hearing all about weddings (as mine was way back in 2001!). Please make sure you post heaps about it :) How exciting!!!!!!
I know the feeling of wanting to move. Unfortunately, we don't currently own a house. But, we are renting in a nice street, with lovely neighbours, in a nice family friendly area in Melbourne (perfect for us with our 2 little boys) . Beore that, we were renting a house for 5yrs in Brisbane (we moved in March this year). I was SOOOOO over that house, so this move was like a breath of fresh air. New environment, new surrounds, has been wonderful. We would like to buy in the future ( I have sooooo many interior design ideas that I've dreamed about for years), so fingers crossed we reach that dream. Hope you reach yours as well, and find the perfect place where you and John feel that you are happy and home :) xxoo Big hugs

Alli said...

Sorry....that should have said 'Before that'. Sorry for the typo.....temperamental IPad :/

Study Mommy said...

Ah yes, I can totally relate as this sounds like me 5 years ago. Having to wait (instead of instant gratification) is actually a good thing though as it gives you the opportunity to have a really good look around to find the perfect property. I used to fall in love with every house I'd see...not good. You have to make the decision with your head as well as your heart or you can make a big & costly mistake!

Congratulations for your upcoming wedding! Can't wait to see what your dress will be. Sounds like you have many wonderful things to look forward to (and lots of planning to do)!

Anonymous said...

I live in Winmalee and at the moment, honestly, I am just glad to *have* a home. Countless people I know have lost their homes and all their possessions (and pets) in the bush fires. Houses just a few doors down from us have been destroyed. There is nothing that makes you appreciate your home (even if it's small, cramped and crumbling like parts of mine are) like the very real possibility of losing it.

I sincerely hope that I never again become complacent about my surroundings. That said, I know I'll still get grumpy some days and wish I had a different this-or-that. In the past when I've felt that way, it's helped to keep my surroundings clean and tidy. I also find it's refreshing to just move things around and display things in new ways.

Amber Jade said...

I know precisely how you feel. I've moved around a lot in my life and I do get a little antsy staying in one place, but I also very much have outgrown where I'm living.
I'm living in Darwin and real estate prices here are shocking even compared to the rest of Australia which spurs a desire to move interstate again. But I have so many family members here along with close friends that leaving isn't as simple as it should be.
Best of luck with your plans and I hope you don't go too crazy in your current place in the meantime!

Dana said...

I know the feeling! I am renting and have run out of room. There's no space to store anything so things get left out. I can't have the apartment how I want it so I don't feel like bothering. I want to own a house and have a garden (currently saving like mad for this to become reality).

I have made attempts to make my place homely and bought lavender containers for the balcony, a rather nice painting for the wall and always buy fresh flowers. Maybe if you rearrange a few things it will seem like a new space? I would recommend enjoying your home whilst you are here in the present and just make a few but noticeable changes until you can move :-)

Madeleine Cocolas said...

Hello lovely Marianne!

I do know exactly how you feel. Feelings of being slightly dissatisfied without being able to put your finger on it. I hope you do find a wonderful house though - we're in a one bedroom apartment without enough cupboards at the moment which is not super ideal.

But that is so exciting you guys are getting married!!! If your travels next year bring you anywhere near the Pacific North West let us know - we'd love to see you both again!!


Kristel Klear said...

Amen, sister! I know how you feel, I am at the exact same point right now. Been in my appartment for 4 years (no, really) and in june next year we will move houses. But knowing the deadline did not make things better, it just makes the waiting more frustrating. And I wish I could come up with something to say that would make you feel less ... gloomy about your stuck-ness. Maybe that you are not alone feeling stuck. There is more of us out here.
Btw, how exciting, you are getting married!!! Did you already find that perfect vintage gown? And which era will it be from?

Jessica Cangiano said...

Thank you for sharing such an intimate portrait of some of the thoughts and dreams that have been at the forefront of your mind lately, honey. As someone who also grew up (for part of my childhood) in family where having a home wasn't always a secure given by any stretch of the imagination, I can wholeheartedly relate to your feelings when it comes to the incredible assurance and comfort that owning your own home instills.

We, like life itself, change and evolve and when that feeling, nestled right down in the pit of your stomach, that the time to come move once more arrives, I've learned its usually best to go with it (even if you have to wait a while to make that happen). It's yours soul's way of telling you that bigger and better things are waiting out there for you to discover and weave them into your world.

I wish you nothing but the best with everything you both have planned/are dreaming about, and look forward to hearing more about these exciting chances in future posts.

Big hugs,
♥ Jessica

Debs said...

I know what you mean. We feel the same from time to time about our place. But then we work out the cost of buying another place and moving here in Sydney and then figure a new look for the house would be more cost effective. At the moment our house has been given a cafe look - and strangely more people are popping in for coffee........

Teresa said...

Oh, I know how you feel. While my situation is different I can definitely emphasise with the feeling of being stuck. It's a hard rut to get out of but the past has proven we have before so we will again! :)

Hopefully getting married and going overseas will help things fall into place for you.


esme and the laneway said...

‪Selina‬ : it's so frustrating, isn't it. It's not easy but make the most of living in your family home while you can (like I will with my current place too) because that it is so special to have that available. x

‪Jessica‬ : oh my goodness, you have been busy! So many houses. No wonder those boxes are not unpacked :) You're right, I could get the smaller things, I am just so fixated with a fresh start at the moment with all of that. And I should talk about my engagement more, soon! x

‪The Dainty Dolls House‬ : thank you. It's reassuring to know that lots of us are in the same boat (or watching it sail!). Wedding stuff is good. Strange in some ways but good.

‪Sarah‬ : thank you. We are waiting and aiming together x

‪Liv‬ : thank you! And welcome! These are good ideas. I think I've been doing some of them for so long that I just want the next bit and I need to be patient for a bit longer!

‪Anonymous‬ : oh your place sounds amazing! And I agree with you 100%. It makes the biggest difference, so once the urgency of having shelter is taken care of, the next natural step is to make a home. And the building itself is so important. x

‪Hellcandy‬ Ahhhh hello London!!! Wow, living in the West End sounds fun and full on. All that stuff just there on your door step! You're right, it is nice have a guaranteed summer and Babycat (although we both curse the 40C days!) and so many nice things, too. And it would be wonderful to have a coffee (does London do good coffee!) and ahhaha yes please M&S and prawn cocktail crisps!!! :D x

‪Anonymous‬ : doesn't it suck? Stand by mode, exactly. We will both have to be patient for a bit longer. x

esme and the laneway said...

‪Alli‬ I forget that I don't talk about the wedding on the blog much, and I should! Congratulations on your 12 years :) And all fingers crossed for you. It's great that you're in a nice street though, with lovely neighbours – so important! Let's hope that 2014 brings us all some good news!

‪Study Mommy‬ : thank you! Will definitely post about the wedding more :) and you're right, it's not good to rush into house buying. It's just we've been ready for so long that it would already be well past instant gratification! But next year will come soon enough :)

‪Anonymous‬ : the NSW bush fires have been frightening, and awful, and so early in the season. It's terrifying how they put things like simply having a home in different perspective. But we can't always live in emergency mode – I've been in very unsteady situations regarding housing before and I'll never forget what that's like, but I can't stay put in the grateful stage of just having a roof over my head forever; I have to move on and progress. I can only hope that the bush fires are over soon and my thoughts are with NSW x

‪Amber Jade‬ : oh, isn't moving interstate/overseas with family here and there so, so hard! It really confuses things even more. Darwin house prices must be astronomical! Best of luck to you, too. x

‪Dana‬ : your ideas are brilliant. I love the lavender one too! I should definitely plant something :)

‪Madeleine Cocolas‬ : hello Madeleine! And thank you so much :) Ugh, cupboards, our kingdom for more cupboards! It would be amazing to see you both again :D we're heading to Europe next year but hey, John's never been to the US and there's no time like the present so maybe we can get over there too! x

‪Kristel Klear‬ : thank you so much. The alone-ness is the worst bit, probably :) it is comforting to know it's not just me, even though I know that of course it isn't – hearing other experiences of it is helpful. And yep, wedding dress is here, it is 1940s and I really should post about it shouldn't I?! I hope the next few months fly for you and you are moving before you know it in the best way x

‪Jessica Cangiano‬ : you are so, so right, it's so true. You are very wise xxxxx

‪Debs‬ : haha well that's a change of style that has made differences! :D

‪Teresa‬ : thank you. You are so right, things always do eventually change! And I have good things to look forward to, so I shouldn't be too glum for too long :)

allyhallam said...

Oh, how I sympathise!
I constantly dream of living in a beautiful space of my own, but am constantly dividing time between my parents' house in the country, and my boyfriend's house and my aunty's house in Melbourne. I've pretty much been living out of a bag for the past four years, and can hardly bring myself to put things away, let alone decorate!

Sarah said...

Reading this post and the comments has made me glad to know that I'm not alone in feeling 'stuck'. I hope everything falls into place for you soon x

Cakelaw said...

Congratulations on your forthcoming wedding! That's wonderful news.

ns said...

I found your response to anonymous very interesting, re - the bush fires and the fact that you can not always stay put in a grateful state. I read this on Tuesday, and found myself saying that out loud to a friend yesterday regarding my job. i.e. Yes I am grateful for my job, but I can't stay that way forever and not find a job that is more fulfilling. So there you go! I'm updating my CV and gonna make that change (cos Lordy knows I'm dreadfully unhappy in my little cubicle). So thank you dear Marianne, you affect people in more ways than you know. x

esme and the laneway said...

ns : thank you, I think that is the best/nicest comment I have ever had. Good luck with your job search and I hope you find that happiness very soon x

Susie said...

Having just moved house I know exactly this feeling. Had ours up for sale for 2 years, and wanted to move for about a year before that, but due to circumstances we couldnt sell.

Having finally done it- I cant believe we are here- the house need lots of work but this is our "forever home" now.

Good luck lovely xx

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