After we’d returned home from our Bulgarian adventure we had planned on going camping to have a second holiday where less could go wrong. However by this point I had been home from London for over a month and our routine was right back at square one. Lara and I had seemed to work better when we were off doing our own thing, exploring our own lives, as opposed to living in each others pockets. Also, being completely honest, camping isn’t really my thing at all.
I told Lara it would be more than Ok with me for Heidi and her to go camping in Cornwall without me, and I meant it. They had a great time while they were away from what Lara relayed to me over the weekend. On the trip down there they enjoyed singing along to Celine Dion at the top of their voices, they laughed and joked and BBQ’d the nights away. I stayed at home and had a quiet weekend, I remember my mum asking if everything was Ok between me and Lara.
I was honest, I said that we went long periods of time where I felt Lara didn’t appreciate me. That she seemed to keep me in the friend-zone and it seemed very unfair. We even talked a little about what kind of a future I saw for me and Lara. I did see a future, we’d been together over four years by this point and although we were taking time out to pursue our own ambitions I never once for one minute thought that Lara wouldn’t be a part of my future. Why wouldn’t I? If I couldn’t see a future for us why would I continue with our relationship?
So I would daydream of what life might be like for us. Lara was going to college and looking at universities, although she still wasn’t sure on what job she wanted after Uni she was clearly working on improving her options. As for me, I was determined to get out of the contact centre I had been in for nearly six years, I’d seen what our head office in London had to offer and I was keen to make the most of it. So where did that leave us?
For at least three years while Lara would be away at Uni I would have plenty of time to get my life in order. I could go to London if I wanted to and take holiday when Lara was home from Uni. I’d imagined several scenarios, including an idea that if I took a job in London that Lara might want to explore Universities in the area so we could be closer together, perhaps even live together. Lara started looking at a course at Twickenham and I remember going with her to the open day. I thought she was on the same page as me, I knew the course in Twickenham wasn’t her first choice, she still much preferred the idea of the one in Bath.
Back then my ambition was to spend just enough time in London to further my career prospects. It really did feel like no one took me seriously where I was, so after a few years away I might be able to head back to the Somerset countryside and walk into a better job. Thanks to all the amazing experience I would gain while in the big city. It seemed like a reasonable idea, I just had to put the wheels in motion. Almost everything I was working towards during this time was with the idea that Lara and I were building a better future for ourselves. One where we could both be happy, fulfilled in our respective careers, better off financially and always still together.
I thought I had Lara’s total support in this. As I fine tuned my CV and found positions to apply for she never once expressed any worry, fear or doubt about me moving away. After all, she’d be leaving for Uni just the next year, what was I supposed to do, sit around and wait for her? It’s only when I look back now that I can see that she wasn’t perhaps as supportive as I thought she was, sure there weren’t any objections, yet she never volunteered to help the process along. Like I would have done for her.
I found several jobs to apply for and I did. I had an interview for a technology role in our Central London office, in fact I had two or three interviews for that position. It was a new department and the role had a lot of grey areas since the team didn’t really know how the job would evolve over the first few months. For that purpose they thought they wanted people more qualified than me and I wasn’t successful. However it’s funny that in the months that passed they started taking on colleagues from my current office in Somerset with much less experience than me, I was a little put out by that but I didn’t give up.
After a while I was contacted by the guys I’d worked with in West London, they didn’t currently have anything available in their team but the department was hiring. By this point I was desperately unhappy with the idea of continuing to work in the contact centre so I went for it. For two months I went back and forth between Somerset and London for interviews frequently. It was a very busy time for me and the recruitment process could be really slow at times. There were days when I thought it wasn’t going to happen for me and I just wouldn’t find a good fit, yet I’m quite a persistent little devil when I want something so I certainly wasn’t done trying.
The first interview for the role in West London was a group affair. Around 12 or 13 of us were bundled into a room together and given quite generic interview questions. It was honestly the most bizarre interview I’ve ever been to, it was almost too fun to be considered an interview. There was a team work element and a discussion element but I just couldn’t see how the tasks set for us would test how well suited we might be for an office admin role.
I knew that if I passed that first stage I’d be contacted within two weeks for a second one-to-one interview. It was October by this point and I had been back in Somerset for nearly three months. I had some time booked off to go to Cardiff with my gay family. By the time we were leaving for Cardiff I still hadn’t heard anything and I was losing hope fast. My daydream was beginning to feel like a distant dream by this point.
When we travelled up to Cardiff I was hellbent on forgetting all about this for a few days and just enjoying being with my friends and Lara. We had a great time planned including going to see Katy Perry, Alan Carr and lots of shopping. Sometimes you just need to take a break and come back at life refreshed and reinvigorated. I was planning on using our trip to Cardiff to do just that.