I attended 14 schools by the time I was ten years old and had never lived anywhere for more than six months.
During the following five years this frenetic pace slowed a little and a semblance of stability crept into my life until I left home and resumed the ants in my pants jig that my earlier years had ingrained into me as being the norm.
At 30 my life hit a brick wall that stopped me in my tracks, and at 32 I moved into the council flat which 16 years later, I still live in.
After the first year in my new home, I hit a period of restlessness and uncomfortable anxiety.This abated once I realised the agitation stemmed from breaking a lifetime of conditioning by staying in one place for an extended period of time.
Following what I believed to be correct grown-up behaviour (okay I will be the first to admit that I am a late developer) I brought the flat, a move that was well beyond my financial capacity at that time.
Over the last few years, my desire to focus on my art and acknowledge a few health problems meant that I dropped my mundane work hours considerably.
Various financial misadventures and household disasters knocked me considerably and were exacerbated by builders and tradesmen who took advantage of my being a single woman living alone with no knowledge or interest in building, decorating and repairs.
I’ve been comfortable enough sleeping on a mattress on the floor, when my bed rotted after a household flood and I couldn’t afford another one. I brushed it off as being all in the name of art and a greater goal than base comfort, although I did think that perhaps I am a bit old to take on the impoverished artist role.
I couldn’t shift a recent chest infection, and discovered that due to aforementioned arsehole builders and shoddy post flood repairs, my bedroom was infested with mould, so decaying mattresses and other rotting sundries needed to be thrown out.
The other night I was lying on the sofa I sleep on thinking that if I don’t have enough money to buy a mattress,even a second hand one, does that make me poor?
No, not poor. Just stuck in a rut of unexplored options.
I need to challenge myself again. Sell the house, and move on.
I did the grown up bit, took on the mortgage, the responsibility, and settled down. I’ve had a lovely time in my beautiful home. I’ve broken patterns that had made me unhappy for a long time and now it is time to break a more recently acquired pattern; time to take risks and make changes.
Owning a house (or a crippling mortgage) no longer represents stability, comfort and security in my old age, it has become something that ties my focus to the future to the detriment of the present.
Time to let go.