As I sit here, just about to curl up and read before getting an early night, I’ve decided I need to change the way I think about photographs. Like this one that I discovered on my phone just now. I took it just because I loved the way one solitary building was picked out in a blinding golden explosion of light in the view from my office window one morning. I wanted to share how much I loved unexpectedly encountering it in a scene of such mundane familiarity as an empty office at work at 8am.
I take so many photos that never see the light of day. Not just that I don’t share them, but I barely even look at them again after taking them. You’d think, being all social media savvy, that I’d have clocked this already, but I need to stop thinking of photographs as capturing a viewpoint for posterity and being something to be saved. That isn’t actually how I use them any more (except on rare special occasions).
Instead photographs are a visual way of expressing where I am in any given moment and I should share them in the way I share my thoughts, as a clue to how I’m experiencing the world. My one disillusionment about the photos I take is that they so rarely capture the true beauty of what I see, as no camera I own can ever come close to the sophistication of the human eye. However, it is the same with the words I speak – none can be more than a shadow of whatever it is I am feeling. I’d still rather share than not.
I have huge news to share! I am buying my first home! How exciting is that? I can hardly believe I got here and I am taking a bit of time to appreciate just how I made it to this point. I’m fascinated to pull together just how it is that unformed thoughts and chance conversations end up stretching into my future and creating a possibility that has far reaching implications for my life.
I remember when buying a place of my own first became a distinguishable speck on my horizon. It was about 5 years ago when I found myself unmarried again. I had the audacity to entertain what felt like a vain hope to buy a place of my own someday. Even then I knew I wanted to buy a place on my own and not with the help of a spouse or partner. I had no idea how I was going to do it or even if it was just a daft pipe dream that I shouldn’t even be wasting my time thinking about.
Over the last few weeks as I’ve got to the business end of making it happen, actually plucking up the courage to look at flats and make decisions about exactly what I want, it occurs to me just how much support and nudging I’ve had from others in this huge milestone on my life. The drive, ambition and energy to do this has been all mine, but the support from the lovely people in my life has made all the difference.
It never ceases to amaze me how much support I get from the people in my life. Even when they barely register that they’ve contributed (a chance comment or suggestion, for example) that little thing can make such a difference. I used to think I had to do everything alone and that would involve going off to figure everything out without asking for any help or even to run ideas past others. My dreams and hopes would always be relatively small, constrained by what I knew on the subject and bound by fears of making the wrong decisions. As I’ve learned to let people into my plans and hopes the lovely people I encounter have opened up the world for me in wonderful and surprising ways.
Things I couldn’t even have imagined on my own become possible, all from a really simple starting point: a willingness to talk about what I’m hoping for and the snippets of conversation that ensue.
I wanted to close with a quick name check and point out the myriad contributions that have been made to my journey, many of them very simple things on the surface but of such huge value to me in the end.
- Misch – sharing with me her project of buying a place, including me viewing a couple of places with her and nudging me to get a mortgage agreed in principle
- Duncan – for getting so excited when I mentioned my formless, colourless plan to buy a place and then sending me a load of links to potential flats in Lewes, which somehow made it real.
- Annabel – for a no nonsense attitude that kicked me up the bum with “why wouldn’t you?” And a calm steer on money and value e.g. “That is a lot of money for what it is”
- Jay – for encouraging me to be clear about what I really wanted and not limiting my vision. I didn’t think affording a 2 bed flat was possible – I was wrong!
- Laura – for coming to view the flat I made an offer on with me. I needed someone to help me be objective and critical, while also sharing my excitement. She was perfect!
- Kay – for reassuring me it is okay that this project is scary and encouraging me to think about interior decor. Hadn’t even crossed my mind until she mentioned it.
And of course, there are so many more conversations and people that have contributed, but to list them all would take me days. My point is, we don’t get to the places we really want to go without a vast amount of input from the people in our lives. I am blessed and perpetually grateful for the endless support from others in my life.