Ben and I are worried about the same things but our fears are quite different.
Ben is afraid that we will succeed in acheiving our short-term goals only to be flummoxed by what comes next. He’s afraid that we don’t have clear long-term objectives. That we could feel secure in our first two years in France only to suddenly realise our calculations were out, or that we have been too confident or complacent, and that actually we can’t make ends meet. Reading between the lines, he’s afraid that we’ll have to give up our dream lives once we’ve fallen in love with them.
I’m afraid of settling for a property that ticks most but not all the boxes. I’m afraid of making the wrong choice, and being stuck living our dream lives in a place that is just wrong enough so that the mismatch is felt every day. I’m afraid of regret.
We’re both keenly aware that we have one chance only at this. And we’re both feeling pressure from ourselves to get it right. We’re aware that we can get what we want for our budget, but that it’ll be down to what property is on the market and the buyers looking for a house like ours and the exchange rate at the time. We are subject to factors beyond our control which press upon us. It’s not going to be easy. We’re not going to be spoilt for choice. We’re not going to have tens of thousands put aside as contingency. And we only have two weeks on the ground to make a decision about where exactly we want to live.
We wish we could just go with the flow. Wish we could sell up, pack up, and rock up and shack up wherever for however long until the right place came up. Maybe we WILL do that if we don’t see a property that tugs at our hearts and makes us feel it’s the one. Maybe we will just hand in notices and move out as quickly as possible and relocate with no home to move to. But right now, that dooesn’t feel safe enough. We don’t feel that brave.
Maybe it’s because we were forced to leave our thatched cottage haven a month after Seb was born and with our things in storage, move into two rooms above a cafe, no kitchen, no bath, no bed. We felt homeless, even though we visited our new shell of a home everyday. Maybe that’s the source of our fear.
But for all that fear, there is a part of us both that has already left this home for the next imagined home and life it brings. We’re already gone. We’ve already let go. We’re already there in every way that matters. We can’t and won’t wait any longer than we have to. Our lives will be on hold now until we turn that key in our new door.