19th April 2018
I remember as a child visiting my grandparents on the Essex coast on a frequent basis with mum and dad. Mums parents lived there and we would visit once a month, rain or shine, Winter, Spring, Summer or Autumn. I just loved the coast and had the advantage of seeing it in all weathers. My love affair with the coast started then. I continued to visit my grandparents once I came of age until such time as they passed away.
Fast forward to 2018 and I am now going to fulfil a dream of a life time. I am moving to the seaside. Holy mother of god, this is so damn exciting. I am turning cart wheels as I type I can assure you. This multi-tasking thing is a doddle you know.
I always thought that this would be a bucket list thing for when I retire, but no, I can do it with my work. A result. For those of you who don’t know, I have been working down in Hampshire since October at a sister site for my employer Airbus on the northern edge of the Portsmouth area. It is a 10 month secondment and I remain an employee at the Stevenage facility. Packing a case every week, living in a hotel for 2 or 3 nights a week and commuting round the busiest section of London’s M25 (western) is no fun at all I can assure you. However it has paid me back.
I actually like the job and the people down there (I’ll write about that in a minute) and I have been offered a job, permanently.
Today I came out of a meeting with HR and my boss and we have in principle agreed personal terms. All I need now is the offer and I will put my house on the market. I am going.
If I did not like the job, I would not be going. The job is the most important part of this. But an opportunity to work on my bucket list at the same time, well, why the hell not!
For the past 6 weeks or so I have been browsing the market for properties down there and I have decided that a sea view has to be in order. This has to be about location for me. It’s likely to be an apartment and if the location is as I dream my garden will be the beach and the lawns on the Southsea common. It is going to happen I can’t actually believe it! I have looked east and west of the coast from Portsmouth and also up into the South downs but I am always drawn back to the coast line. I have not physically looked at anything yet. This is a no-no for me until I have accepted an offer and sold my own place. I will of course look at other locations when the time arises but at the moment Southsea and Old Portsmouth are my preferred location. Whatever happens though. I will not be far from the sea or water.
But. I am not running away! Running from what? Life’s challenges. I have challenges in my personal life. Challenges that I am not winning. Challenges that upset me every single day. Those challenges will still be there I guess whether I am on the South coast or Hertfordshire so there is still plenty of opportunity to feel upset. What I am doing though is furthering my career and giving myself the opportunity to watch the sun rise over the ocean many times for the rest of my life.
A collection of sun rises taken on my commute to work January through April this year.
A view that will never tire of. I always prefer the sun rise, one because one, I am an early bird and two, it reminds me always of new beginnings, almost like the early buds of Spring as they appear from the harshness of Winter.
One thing I have noticed whilst being on secondment in Hampshire is how different it is working with people who never knew me before transition. It is much easier to be honest. They have nothing to get their heads around. They only know me as me and it is almost a breath of fresh air. That is not to say that transition in the work place has been difficult. Far from it and it has been by far the easiest part for me at least. I don’t think I will ever be “stealth”. I am proud to be a woman who is trans but, you know, it is “what I am” and not “who I am” and it’s nice for it not to be the first thing that people talk about. A lady who I work with has become a friend. She knows about me, but never knew me before. She said to me whilst we were having a meal before going to the movies the other week. “you know, I can never imagine you were ever man” of course I laughed and said I wasn’t, I just pretended to be one for a few decades. A flippant response I know but you know what, I need more people like her in my life.
Wish me luck…
All my love