From Mozambique to Moseley

This is a breakaway blog post, nothing to do with Africa, just the ramblings of a deranged woman.

SO, as is my wont, I have upped sticks and fled everything that is familiar to me. What’s the difference between running away from your problems and making a fresh start? I prefer to think I’m making a fresh start, but it seems more likely that I’m just hopeless at life. Which seems like a pretty serious character flaw now I come to think about it.

Either way, I find myself now living and working in Birmingham (living on the outskirts of Moseley, luckily enough for the alliterative and themed title of this post). For various reasons I decided while I was away in Moz that I couldn’t bear to return to London. This wasn’t such a disaster – London is obscenely expensive, full of miserable people and doesn’t have enough green space (OK, ponies) for me to be happy there – but it meant leaving a lot of people who I love dearly. People who have seen me through some serious lows and some incredible highs, people who make me laugh so hard that wine comes out of my nose, people who, in short, make life in London pretty good fun, actually. So leaving London was not a decision that I took lightly.

I interviewed for my new job in Birmingham while in Harare, which was a pretty surreal experience. The agency works almost exclusively with NGOs which is exactly what I wanted – I love working for charities, but wanted to get agency side experience, so to find an agency that works with charities doing really interesting projects was a real stroke of luck. I’ve done two days so far, and it’s been scary and for the most part I’ve felt totally out of my depth, but that’s a feeling I’m very used to, so am trying not to let that affect me too much. The people have been warm and welcoming, but it’s so different to what I’m used to in terms of the office location (a business park), the commute (I drive in! No more stinky, expensive Tube!), and the fact that for the first time ever I’m not in an office jammed full of women – I am the only woman in the office, but I have been promised that this is set to change.

So here I am now living in a beautiful old house with stained glass windows, a conservatory and a big garden, my car parked outside, countryside and city close by, and an exciting role in a really awesome agency, and thinking about how much my life has changed over the last couple of years. Just 8 months ago I would never have believed that I’d have left my job, left London and a very nice house, spent 4 months in Africa, and moved to Birmingham. I thought my life was going in a different direction last summer, and it’s kind of scary how fast things can change, in unexpected ways for unexpected reasons. I hope my homesickness for London will pass, and that I meet new and lovely people here, as I did in London, and things work out job-wise and happiness-wise, because Jesus H Christ I cannot bear the idea of having to move house again…

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