One year ago today, my husband left me.
He’d told me he was leaving back on the 8th of January, and since then we’d been living a strange sort of life where we were still under one roof but not living together.
That part is a bit vague now. I know I stopped doing his washing and ironing. I stopped providing meals. But we were civil to each other. He was still working away, and I was still working from home. I cleared out cupboards and packed boxes for him. It all seems quite surreal, looking back.
And on 20th February 2019 the removal van arrived. We used the same people that I’d used to move in here six years ago, which was ironic. We’d organised things so that it would be obvious to the removal men what was staying and what was going. There were boxes piled up in the garage, the spare room, the dining room. We’d moved the things that were staying out of the way, so nothing would be taken by accident.
It only took a couple of hours for them to fill the van – his desk and chair, the spare bedroom furniture, his sofa, some spare crockery and cutlery, tools, pictures, all the things he’d accumulated in our life together.
I spent the morning making coffee for the men and keeping busy.
And then they were off. And he was off.
He gave me a hug. Unexpected. Odd.
I didn’t cry, not with all those curtains twitching. And then he was away, and I went back inside.
I still didn’t cry. I just sat. And I was aware of how quiet and peaceful the house was. Then I made myself a cup of tea and started to think about what needed to be done.
The first thing I did was to walk over to Aldi and buy myself a bunch of the brightest flowers I could find.
Then I got on with things. There were a lot of things that needed getting on with.
That was a year ago. And this is the last of the firsts – birthdays, anniversary, Christmas, and now the anniversary of him leaving. Time to move on.
Six months ago today, I started working as a kitchen designer for a major DIY chain.
I’d applied for a fair few jobs – teaching English as a Foreign Language to students at Leeds University, Casual Explainer at the Science and Media Museum, insurance operative at Direct Line, admin at a National Trust property.
I had a rather disastrous interview for the DLG job, but I got the Casual Explainer job. And I got an interview for the National Trust job – but it coincided with the day I started the Kitchen Designer job, so I had to cry off.
And so, on 20th August 2019 I walked into my first proper job in what felt like a very long time. It felt good.
The first day was all about uniform and training and being shown round the building and finding the loos.
The second day was in the Showroom, trying to get my head around everything, and being asked questions by members of the public that I didn’t know the answer to. And that’s how it continued for what felt like a long time – but bit by bit it all started to make sense.
And here I am, six months on. The things I thought I would never get the hang of are second nature to me now. There are still, occasionally, questions I don’t know the answer to – but I know where to look or who to ask to find out. And I’m not often stumped!!
It’s odd that the one year anniversary and the 6 month anniversary coincide!
I feel like I’ve reached some sort of milestone. I’ve survived, and I’m doing OK.
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