I moved to Cardiff. On my own. It was a brave move.
I grew up in Northampton. It’s a huge town and growing up wasn’t that much fun, there was never anything to do, but I managed. As a kid we had a lot of day trips, never holidays, so I got a feel for different places and never wanted to come home from a day at the beach. The older I got, and the more friends I had, more boys I hung about with, I began to discover more places, and realised how shite Northampton actually was.
Living just an hour away from London by train, I discovered I quite like the big cities. All the buzz, vibrancy and so many people. Fair enough, there are a lot of people rushing about in London, but you can still sit there and be at peace with yourself and people watch.
Two of my best guy friends were gay, so I went to Cardiff mardi gras with them in 2006 and officially converted! The place was amazing. My friends and I sat down the bay and uttered the words “We should move here one day”….. The seed was planted…
In 2008 after uni finished i really wanted to get a job in the West mids area, just to escape going home, but family issues prevented that, and alas, it was back to Northampton for me. Truth be told, i actually despised the West Mids, i just wanted an excuse not to go home. Another opportunity presented itself the following year but I wasn’t stable enough emotionally to even attempt to escape.
In 2010, after working my ass of to gain experience and the right qualifications, i got my dream job and assumed that was it. Stay, and work my way up….. but then I met Gareth on an online dating site. A beautiful Welsh guy, living in Cardiff and it was love at first sight. Well, from my screen anyway. We talked for 8 months before I convinced him to meet me and try the long distance thing out. I know its sounds silly, but by this point we were already in love with each other. Unfortunately, love doesn’t conquer everything, and we couldn’t get over the arguments and our physical relationship finished in 2012. The closeness we’d built up over time couldn’t be forgotten and we remained best friends. Obviously we still had feelings for each other and the arguments continued, but we’d still talk. Probably because of habit, I don’t know.
I lost my job in mid 2012 due to redundancy and over a period of about 2 weeks decided I was going to move! To Cardiff!!! I had nothing in Northampton, I felt like a failure and was becoming very down because of it. I told Gareth and he said I was an idiot to move with no job, and itd only end in tears. Ha, it was the determination in me that he once loved, but he clearly doubted I was capable. If nothing else, id do it to prove him wrong. I hate when people doubt me! A small part of me also thought perhaps we could work if I was living in the same city. An element of risk yeah, but who cares. My redundancy money came through, and it was my full wages owed. I spent 3 months saving extras from a temp job I had. Id have enough for a deposit and 3 months rent, and general spending money so I didnt have to claim jobseekers allowance -I always feel guilty for being on benefits.
I didn’t tell many people, just important family and close friends. I didn’t want to be judged in case it didn’t work and I had to come back! Plus id been ranting and raving about wanting to move, i figured theyd assume i was all talk. That’s shame im not sure I could deal with.
My temp job ended, I found a room (massively stressful experience!)… Less than 2 weeks later, I packed up my stuff and went. No leaving party, no big goodbyes, no tears, no frigging goodbye cake!! Just went.
It was a struggle at first. Ive had some awful jobs, lived with some idiotic, dirty people, found it difficult to make friends, but Im finally starting to feel settled.
After being here for a good few months, Gareth kindly ate his words 😀 😀 😀 😀
On the 23rd July 2014, I’d have been living in Cardiff for 18 months. When people ask why i moved here im never sure what to say. “I met a boy”, or ” i was bored”, or “i needed to start afresh”… I guess truthfully a combination of all three. I was truly madly deeply in love when i moved, both with him, and the place. I still love living here and that wont change. Theres one thing i know for sure, I’ve stayed here for myself!