Life Update: Hollypop is Moving!

Happy Friday! Today I want to write a more personal blog post today, as some real life changes that will be coming up soon will be having an impact on my blog. So I want to give you a life update and just talk about the upcoming changes.

So as you’ve guessed from the title, I’m going to be moving house (again). This is an extremely positive change for me, as I will be moving closer to family again and ticking off a goal that I’ve been working towards for several years. My husband and I will be moving to Bristol for his new job, which is an exciting and stressful change for both of us. This is an incredible step forward in his career, and will bring me to job opportunities that aren’t available where we’re living now.

I’ve wanted to move to Bristol since my mid-late teens, as I’ve visited the city many times throughout my life. This extended throughout university, as my train commutes to and from home meant passing through one of Bristol’s larger train stations and seeing sights of the city. This always reminded me of how much I enjoyed visiting the city and how much I wanted to live there. So one of the goals my husband was in agreement with me on was to aim to move there, a goal which is made possible as his career in software development can grow and develop in Bristol.

One of the things that you may not be as aware about, is that while I run this blog a significant portion of my time, I am also a freelance video editor with a huge passion for streaming, content creation, and creative hobbies generally. Bristol has a lot of opportunities for video editing jobs and developing a career in this area, which is one of the major reasons I was settled on moving to Bristol someday. I lived in Cardiff for 3 years while I studied my degree in English & Contemporary Media, and while it was a lovely and friendly city, my mind always drifted to Bristol. It has a brilliant balance of city-living that I became accustomed to during university, convenient proximity to my family, which living in Cardiff and in West Sussex both presented difficulties with, as well as opportunities to develop professionally that West Sussex particularly lacks for me.

The past 9 months has been quite a difficult period for me, as the move to West Sussex was a very difficult time, but also very necessary for my husband, and one I’ve supported him through wholeheartedly. It was a mandatory step for my husband’s career, as it let him put his foot in the door as a software developer, but because of issues regarding his visa – he is a Canadian citizen – it’s also mandatory that he earned enough to stay in the country when he renews his visa every couple of years. This meant that the move to West Sussex from the south west of England had to happen as the same jobs that would have given similar opportunities, didn’t pay enough to meet the visa criteria. The job he’s about to leave met the criteria and provided him with job experience he’s extremely grateful for.

Initially we were optimistic as the job opportunities for me looked promising when we moved here to West Sussex: I had job applications ready to submit as soon as we got unpacked, having checked the job market just before the move. However as soon as we were settled and I was in a position to attend interviews, those jobs vanished and it remained that way from then on out. Unfortunately, because we moved just before the Christmas period started, the jobs I had been looking at were Christmas temp jobs that vanished while we were in the process of moving here, and those same roles didn’t reappear. The job market also remained empty, leaving me feeling extremely low and feeling deflated. If you’ve been in this situation as well, you can probably empathise with how demoralised this made me feel, but I’ve made the best of it.

Throughout these 9 months I’ve used my work from home situation to focus on this blog, my freelance video editing, learning new skills and streaming for my Twitch community. For the most part, this has been productive, but it’s also made me realise that being my own boss, so to speak, required me to learn other time management skills that I couldn’t just transfer over from my experiences working in a conventional work environment. It’s also required me to develop the ability to be motivated off my own desire to achieve and to care about my own personal wants, and not just what is required of me which the combination of was enough working for an employer. I don’t consider myself a lazy worker, but my general attitude towards myself isn’t particularly kind, so this has created obstacles for me to overcome: I don’t have a boss or manager to meet a checklist for, or fellow employees to boost each other’s morale. It’s just me and my effort, and everything I work towards is entirely about working for me. This has proven very difficult for me as I don’t see myself as worthy compared to putting my effort into helping others. This isn’t a particularly healthy attitude at times, so if you have advice to help overcome this, I’d love to read your suggestions!

This has been met with other difficulties, including mild chronic health issues that have taken up a lot of my time and energy, as well as managing existing mental health conditions, including my depression and anxiety. These are issues I’m handling to this day, and expect to for the rest of my life, but some of my physical difficulties became much more apparent or got worse in the past 9 months. If you’d like me to talk about these health issues a bit more, please let me know: I’m not shy to talk about it but I’d rather give the topic the respect of a dedicated post if there’s interest to get to know my personal situation better. It would be too easy and unfortunate to not elaborate on such a sensitive and important topic within this one.

Do I regret the past 9 months though? Absolutely not. While I’ve had moments of difficulty and struggle, it’s been an extremely valuable change for my husband and I. Had we not made this change, we would have spent 2 years (or more) in Canada. While I have nothing against Canada, it would have required me to be really disconnected from my family, who are a very important support network for me, and being able to visit them relatively easily is extremely important for me. While my family and I would have done what was needed to get me home in the case of emergencies or great need, moving to Canada was our worst case scenario as my husband moved to the UK not just for me, but because he aspired to live here for many years regardless of me being in the picture. We have plans to visit Canada again in the future, but our goals are to be here in the UK, and we’ve worked hard for this to remain our reality. For my husband, the move to West Sussex has let him step properly into his new career, having no formal qualifications and using online courses to obtain the skills that got him started as a software developer. Seeing his success has made me really happy and he has given himself more reasons to be proud of himself. As his life partner I do feel a sense of pride as well, but his achievements are entirely his own.

But what does this move mean for you? The reason I’m writing this post today is to keep you in-the-loop, something I know I do a terrible job of doing as I reduce my personal circumstances and experiences to being unimportant or just plain uninteresting. So I’m making the effort to fight this mean attitude I have towards myself, by sharing a success in my life that’s important to me, because you are important to me too. This blog has been a personal project and love of mine since my second year of university when I started it: and although I’ve had phases of hiatus or inconsistency, I still love this blog in spite of some of the obstacles that throw me off guard or make me doubt whether this blog should even exist (or continue to).

With this move in mind, I will be a bit more inconsistent for the following month, as it will require a lot of my time and energy to prepare for this fantastic change. I do however plan to keep my content at it’s best when I do post, so I hope you won’t write me off while I work through this busy period. My next Empties and Products I’m Passing On posts are going to be monumental, as I’ve been preemptively working on decluttering my makeup collection (again) so next week’s content are likely to be split between these two posts as I know my empties particularly, will need to be a mini-series of its own. I know, it’s crazy, but you’ll understand what I mean when I publish those posts next week/the week after next (guess who’s just checked her calendar).

Thank you for taking the time and interest to read this life update post, I can’t thank you enough for the support you’ve given me so far. It’s been really refreshing and uplifting to sit down and write about a more personal topic. I haven’t written a post like this in a long time, and I forgot how vulnerable yet empowering it can be. So thank you one more time, I hope you are happy and healthy, and I’ll speak to you again very soon!

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