“You recreate, begin again
Disengage from all that failed
Change your voice, change your name
New home, new life
A new place to hide
A new home in a new life”
New Home, New Life – Mike Peters
I feel like I have lived here forever but it is one year today that I collected the keys and moved into my first apartment.
And what a year.
Four weeks before I moved in I never even knew that this place, Westgate, existed! For most of my adult life I had lived just 38 miles down the train track from here, had many times passed through, on a train, to a destination further along the track. Still this place never registered with me.
The events that led up to me “discovering” this town/this apartment completely reinforce my faith, my belief that we are looked after, watched over, guided even, by a higher force.
It felt like my previous life was in tatters, I felt like emotionally I was slowly unravelling. Daily waving cheerio to my sanity. I needed a break away from everything, just a couple of days to myself to try to make sense of everything that had recently passed.
I didn’t want to travel too far from home, I was halfway through cancer treatment and I didn’t want to venture too far from the hospital in case I had problems. I also needed to be able to get back to my son relatively easily as all that had gone on (my health, the end of the relationship) had taken it’s toll on him too. Although a young adult he seemed vulnerable at that time. But I knew me staying there ranting and raving, crying all the time, not eating, was causing him daily concern.
So I checked online for somewhere cheap and cheerful to stay. The only place available in the whole of North Kent (no I didn’t believe it either!) was a room in pub/hotel with shared facilities in a village just 3 minutes on the train from Westgate. So off I went with the intention of just staying in the room sleeping and reading. But the weather was glorious so I went out exploring every day. Started to feel better was was still not ready to go “home” so I asked the owner if I could book another couple of nights. No. They were fully booked until Christmas??
So back online looking for a room for a couple of nights in places I knew or had at least heard of. Nothing! I was feeling very low and I have to admit paranoia was starting to creep in…. The world obviously hated me as much as my ex did! I really didn’t want to return so I threw the search wide. And just the one vacant room came up in Westgate at a place called The Knot.
Where I met René (I’ve already blogged plenty about this!), but it was what happened on my last day (I only checked in for 2 days as funds were running low), the landlord completely out of the blue said to me “you don’t want to go home do you?” I said no not really and this “stranger” replied “then don’t. Stay on for a few days.” As I was trying to explain that I’d love to but couldn’t afford to he interrupted me with “I know, but the room isn’t booked so it’s yours for as long as you want it”. There was no ulterior motive, he just seemed to want to make me happy. Very quickly I became good friends with his lovely partner Happy Friendiversary!
I did go back home after a couple of days but the room remained ‘mine’ and René and I’s relationship blossomed. A couple of weeks later my ex suggested that it was time for me to leave. We had originally agreed that I would stay until treatment was finished.
I knew I wanted to move here, although the new man lived in Holland I had made friends here and it really is the most stunning place. So I started looking at small ads for places to rent. So many never returned my calls, lots were “sorry it’s just been taken” and I was starting to worry. But at last I found a place to view. The first place I looked at, and it was (is) perfect. The moment the estate agent let me in I felt at home. Felt like I belonged. I asked if many had viewed, was told no I was the first but more were booked in to view the next day. I took it there and then. Four weeks to the day I first “discovered” Westgate I moved here.
When I was at my lowest I really believed I would never be happy again. I don’t follow a particular faith but I do believe in a greater force than me and daily I asked (prayed?) that I would be shown the way forward. And nothing will shake my belief that I was guided down the path I took. For me it feels more than happy coincidences.