Breathe

What am I thinking?

Plans have changed, and not necessarily to my liking. Apparently, I won’t be staying with Mom 2, but I will be moving to the United Kingdom to stay with relatives. My mother’s first cousin passed away suddenly a couple of months ago, and she left behind a large, lovely house. Two of my younger cousins are currently living in it, and they have a spare room which they (and my second cousin, the official owner of the house) have kindly offered to me. The house has been in the family over 50 years and is far beyond paid for. The only expenses are the taxes, utilities, and upkeep but split three ways (or more) it’s very little. I believe that the room they have offered me is the same room I stayed in back in 2001 when I went to visit. My mother was quite close to her cousin when they were young, and although I did not know her well, I do know that she was a sweet woman and I’m sad she’s gone.

I’ve been in e-mail contact with the cousins who live in the house, but I haven’t seen them in 8 years and they were only 12 and 13 back then. It will also be weird living with a couple of young’ns, not that I’m complaining. They are a lot of fun (if their Facebook profiles are any indication), and if there’s one thing I could use, it’s fun. My mother had me registered as a British citizen when I was very young, and fortunately, I still have the original paperwork from the Home Office. Once my passport application is complete I will be eligible to work anywhere in the UK or EU while maintaining my US citizenship.

Part of why I’m not staying with Mom 2 is transportation. She lives in an area with no public transportation, and nothing but houses for miles. It would be difficult to have a job there without my car, and I can’t afford my car. She did offer to pay for my plane ticket over to the UK. I’m (still) selling off all my furniture, my CDs (boo hoo), most of my books, as well as other odds and ends I’ve collected over the years. I’ve made enough money to ship over a few boxes. For whatever reason, Mom 2 is 100% convinced that going overseas right now is the best thing for me, but I’m not so sure. While that was ultimately the plan, I’m feeling very rushed. How on earth does someone plan an overseas move in a few weeks? Mom 2 has lived overseas twice before, but I assume she had a lot of help because her moving expenses were all covered by her husband’s employer. I am grateful for her generosity, but can’t I stop and breathe a minute?

I feel like I’m preparing to be a hobo. I am not taking anything electrical (except my laptop) because they have different outlets there and it just seems useless. I’m trying to limit myself to only some clothes, some books, some mementos, papers, and photographs. Unfortunately I have a lot of all of the above! I’m so slow with this process and I don’t know why. I guess I’m just panicked.

My main concern is that my family over there doesn’t know or won’t understand that I’m kind of a wreck at the moment. Mom 2 keeps saying that when you’re in distress, it’s best to be with family. Kind of an odd comment coming from her because she actually knows my immediate family and is as appalled by their behavior as I am. I would never stay with them or be around them during any time of distress, so I’m a bit nervous about trusting anyone I’m related to (even though this is the “nice” side of my family). What if they hate me? Of course it’s possible that Mom 2 just doesn’t want me to stay with her. I wouldn’t blame her and I really don’t know.

I’ve been using Craigslist to sell my furniture and other items with varying degrees of success. Many potential buyers have stood me up, but I have re-homed several items. Whatever I can’t get rid of I will just have the Salvation Army pick up. I’m still getting evicted, but it’s taking forever, much to my advantage. If I hadn’t been so paralyzed I might have sold all my furniture earlier.

One odd thing I’m looking forward to is getting rid of my car. I still owe money on it, but I’m going to go for a voluntary repossession. That car has been nothing but stress and trouble. My car battery died while I was getting my passport photos. I was so frustrated I almost abandoned the vehicle right there, but I still need the car for trips to Goodwill and to transport things I’m selling, so after much internal debate I decided it was best to spring for a new battery. I was able to get a jump but then my car died again while I was stopped at a traffic light and on my way to buy a new battery with the money I should have been saving for shipping. Once it died again, I was rescued by several men from a nearby tire shop. They pushed my car across several lanes in heavy Black Friday traffic. This is what happens when you can’t afford AAA or a tow truck.

Once again I am having lung problems and revisiting my pneumonia symptoms. I think is part of why I’m so sluggish. I’m going to have to go to the emergency room or some kind of walk-in clinic. My father never smoked a single cigarette, but was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) about 20 years ago. In nonsmokers, COPD is usually caused by either heavy exposure to second-hand smoke or fumes or (more likely in my father’s case) a genetic deficiency of a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin. You can understand my concern.

My friend is coming over in a bit and will move some of my things to her place. I’m not sure whether to have my stuff shipped to the UK from her place or mine. I’m guessing hers because it would be nice to get out of here as quickly as I can. I’ve moved on my own so many times and this is the slowest I’ve ever been. Every time I pack or move anything, I find 10 more things I need to handle. Also, this is quite scary, so I’m sure I’m sabotaging myself on many levels.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Breathe

  1. Clarissa

    Good luck with your move to the U.K. I hope you keep blogging after your move. I wish you all the best…Clarissa in California

  2. Oh my god, I’m so jealous about the citizenship! Our dream is to get to England to live someday, but one of us has to get there without citizenship or spousal status, so it’s difficult to visualize a good, permanent way to get over there.

    I think this is fantastic news. I understand your discomfort with the situation, but honey, free health care! If many of your problems are health-related like you think, getting treated and back on medications may turn your whole life around.

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