Graham and others encouraged me to put my experience to good use in a new way and after hours of work (with lots of help and support from my lovely man) I applied for a role as a Children's and Family Worker for the Methodist Church in nearby Biddulph. I was so excited when I was offered the job! I actually couldn't think straight for a moment & had to remember to breathe! I love this new role in my life and enjoy the connections I am making and the difference I feel in working for a church I love and respect so much! I am working with some wonderful people and am making friends in the community, both where I work and where I live!
My Dad was born & raised in nearby Tunstall (part of Stoke-on-Trent) and it was through his cousins, Bev and Bernard, that I initially met Graham, and when we first started dating they were very encouraging and supportive. I love that I get to spend more time with them as Bev is like a big sister to me and it is so good to have folk who've known me since childhood around, as having grown up on the other side of the world is not that conducive to having life-long-friends you can spend time with.
There are, of course, challenges associated with making such life-changing decisions, and both Graham and I have a lot of hobbies, interests and "stuff"... I am trying to reduce what I have so I can move everything into the home we share, whilst Graham is also trying to sort through his belongings to make more space for those things I currently have in storage. Then there's the working out of our routines, with different ideas of what is "normal" and different tastes, habits and routines. We are finding it so important to talk through everything and not judge. Easier said than done, but I think we're managing to do it more than we don't! I also miss my many friends in London, and the opportunities which living in that amazing city gave me... I especially miss my London Culture Seekers and LOTNA (Sci Fi) friends with whom I spent most weekends pursuing our common love of things like history, architecture, theatre, cider, sci fi, cosplay and so many other things in between!
Graham's family have welcomed me with open arms and I feel such a part of their lives... His gorgeous nephew, Liam, is the cheekiest, brightest boy with wonderfully red hair! I get along very well with Graham's parents, brother and sister-in-law which is so awesome!
I love my life and it is ready to take the next step towards loving my body and my own personality more... I might be better than I was, but I know I can take care of myself better and be more able to serve as a lay worker, as a friend, as a family member and as a partner to a wonderful man!
Watch this space!