And then my best friend asked me to marry him

22 Aug

My dearest blogger friends, again it has been the longest time since I updated you on the surprising tale of the Pizza of Doom.

I keep thinking I’ll just finish. I’ll just stop writing and be done. After all, this was a place to play out my agony with nobody to judge and everybody to empathize. I have no need to write here anymore. Years have gone by since the only relief I got from the pain was putting it out here on cyberspace.

But when I got my annual reminder to update my WordPress payment details in order to keep this domain name, I just couldn’t walk away and let my little blog disappear into oblivion. And, of course, being a nostalgic and self-reflective cat, I started to read the story of April four years ago.

It reminded me that back in those dark, dark days, reading the blogs of others who had been through similar experiences kept me sane. Or maybe I wasn’t entirely sane, but it made me feel sane. It made me feel less lonely. It gave me hope. Just a slither. But hope, nonetheless.

So for any broken, bashed and bruised hearts out there, I want to keep telling you my story, however ad hoc my blogging status may be.

Just over three weeks ago, on the rooftop of our apartment in Brooklyn, my best friend, soul mate, and love of my life asked me to marry him. I sit here writing to you today with a ring on my finger and a heart – and life – full of love and happiness and excitement for the future. I never thought this day would come. It was something for “other people”. It was something “unfathomable”. It was something that passed me by when karma forgot me.

You know, back in that blurry hell of heartbreak, I remember people telling me that I would look back and laugh at it. I don’t. I look back and cry, because it hurt like f***. But I also look back and know that it prepared me for everything else. It made me, well, me. And I like me.

Now, I do realize that life won’t always be smooth and sunny sailing. I know there will be hard times, and tough times, and downright bad times. But I thought nobody would ever love me, and that I wasn’t capable of loving anyone. As it turns out, I fell in love with the greatest human of all.

And if you think that’s good… wait for it… we also got a cat.

 

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Surprise

6 Mar

I’m pretty confident that nobody will read this post since I disappeared off the face of the earth for 18 months. I can’t just waltz in and out your blogging lives like this.

If anyone does read, I wanted to update you on life because this sad little blog has a happy, happy ending.

And I’m going to write more. I’m going to write my happily ever after. But today – for reasons I won’t go into – I read a few old posts. They broke my heart. For myself. For poor, agitated, heartbroken me just trying to get through the day and living the agony out here on WordPress. And for those who went through it with me, with their own scars to bare. And for anyone putting jaunty little terms such as “How can I get over a broken heart?” into the Google and landing here on Pizza of Doom.

I am struggling to even remember how to use WordPress. It’s been entirely too long.

But the short version of the past 18 months is this: I am living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan. I don’t miss London, but I do miss my friends. Work is great. I’m traveling a ton. I’m getting pretty good at copywriting in American English complete with missing “u”s and “z”s over “s”s. I’ve made great new friends. I’ve put on a humiliating amount of weight, but – hey – the food in this country is too delicious and plentiful. I’ve also met a wonderful creature in the form of my boyfriend. The love of my life – my best friend and absolute soul mate. He was made for me. I truly believe he’s the reason I had to go through everything I went through. To get me to here. Both physically and emotionally. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him.

My dear blogger cats, I hope you are all doing wonderfully. I wish happiness and love and amazing things for all of you.

And I promise to start a new blog. Maybe something a little lighter like being a Brit in NYC. I don’t think pain and sadness becomes me. Damn, maybe I’ll just blog about The Bachelor. What those girls could learn from me…

 

Two years gone by

31 Aug

Hmmm. Not sure if anyone will read this post. I’m not sure what any of my readers are up to these days. It’s been a very long time. So long, in fact, that WordPress has kind of changed and I’m not entirely sure how to use it anymore.

As if to prove that point, my screen keeps freezing. But I’ll keep writing anyway. Because that’s what we do.

It’s been two years and 28 days since the Pizza of Doom, dear friends. Is it pathetic that I know that? Probably. But bear with me. I promise, I’ve done you proud.

Two years ago right now I was still a mess. The man I thought I was going to marry had broken my heart. I was about to start a terrifying new job. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. A lot of the time, I was struggling just to breathe. I know that sounds ever so dramatic, but the pain was physical. And deep.

A year ago I wasn’t sure that I would ever get over what had happened. I was frustrated by my inability to move on. I was angry and bored, and I felt that life had let me down terribly.

Well, dear buddies, I stand before you today (or write before you, I suppose) a new and very happy woman.

Have I met someone?

Nope.

I’ve had a few comical dates. I’ve had a bit of a fling with someone. But I feel so detached from the world of relationships that the very concept of having a boyfriend never really crosses my mind.

So here’s what is going on:

  • Work is good. I’ve worked hard, and I’m enjoying it. I’m travelling lots, I’m meeting new people. It’s exciting.
  • I’m exercising. I swim pretty much every morning. I’m doing Kayla Itsines too. OK, I’m only on week 2, but that’s something. I walk about 9 miles a day. And I’m still loving yoga too.
  • I went to Japan on my own for a month. It was incredible. It scared me, and surprised me, and delighted me. It left me unafraid, with an appetite for travel. And sushi.
  • And the biggest news of all – next month I’m moving to New York. I’m transferring with my work and starting over stateside. Am I terrified? Of course I am. But I’ve come to realise that the scariest things usually work out the best in life.

So I wanted to write today, because it is more than two years, just to say that I’m doing fine now. And, if you happen to stumble upon Pizza of Doom because you’re feeling sad and heartbroken and reaching out into cyberspace, then I can promise you that it will get better.

But, remember, nobody else is responsible for your happiness. Just you.

Putting my heart back together

28 Dec

I haven’t blogged in a long time.

My apologies, but I needed a bit of a blogcation. In truth, I’m not sure whether I should continue to write here on Pizza of Doom, or set up some new place to post all my ramblings. Not because I don’t love what I’ve created here – I do. But because my life is finally moving on.

This week it will be 17 months since the man I loved – the man I thought I was going to marry and have beautiful children with – ate half a pizza and told me he had never been in love with me. What followed was nothing short of hell. I didn’t know true heartbreak before this happened. I didn’t understand trauma, or depression, or myself.

I remember when, five years ago, a friend of mine had her engagement called off. Her boyfriend of five years had met someone else. That first week after it happened, I reassured her, and I told her, “I promise it will never feel as bad as it does right now.” I should never have said that, because I realise now that she was still in shock. She was still processing things. Her pain would come to a sharp climax sometime later, and then linger for months that turned to years. I want you to know that this friend got married (to someone else) just before Christmas. She has a baby girl. She’s very happy now.

I think my pain was at its worst for the duration of the first six months following the Pizza of Doom. Oh, you can read that pain right here on my blog. But, what scared me, was when a year later – even over a year later – the pain was still here. I thought it would never go away.

Then, all of a sudden, something shifted. Funny how it happens. One day I thought to myself, “Hmmm, you haven’t cried in like two weeks – weird.”

There’s a passage in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hussein that explains how it works with my eloquence than I ever could:

“I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”

Now, I’m not sure that I’ve quite reached forgiveness. But I’ve reached contentment.

I refuse to feel sorry for myself that I’m still single at 32. Yes, the world is f***ed up for the fact that nobody celebrates you past graduation unless you’re getting married or having kids. But I don’t need to let that drag me down. I’m lucky. I can travel. I can buy things. I can live and create the life I want. And, if someone comes along, fantastic. But I can’t just sit here waiting.

I’ve started making changes. I’ve booked a trip to Japan. I’ve cut my hair (which I hadn’t had cut in nine years). I’m swimming and doing yoga and making sure that I celebrate things for myself – because nobody else will.

And, here’s something, I’m going to Japan on my own. It makes me slightly anxious, but it doesn’t scare me. Before, it would have. Before him. While we were together. Immediately after. I wouldn’t have had the confidence or the guts to pack up and head to the other side of the world for a month. Now, I do.

You see, this experience has changed me. It has totally changed me. All for the better. I am more sure of myself and comfortable in my skin than I have ever been. I’m resilient. I’m empathetic. I like myself a lot. If I do meet someone, if I do one day get to be a parent, I’ll be all the better at it for this experience. I guess it’s our darkest moments that test what we’re made of. Here are some Ted Talks to illustrate my point.

So I need to make a decision as to what to do with my blog. It will be here forever in cyberspace, hoping to offer comfort and advice and reassurance to poor broken hearts who Google points my way.

But I’ve finally put my own heart back together.

When you’ve been through the most painful experience of your life

2 Dec

I have been through the most painful experience of my life.

I have felt agitated by pain, unable to sit still or sleep through the night. I’ve had grief under my skin. I’ve found myself crying on buses, in shops, at my desk, and not realised I was even thinking about it. About him.

I’ve struggled to get out of bed, only to struggle to shower, and struggle to dress, and struggle to brush my teeth and look in the mirror and try to convince myself I’m better off alive rather than dead. And then struggle through another day, just so I can lay awake all night regretting myself.

I’ve made mistakes. I’ve learned from them. I’ve made more. I’m still learning.

I no longer feel like I am going through this. It no longer controls me.

If you are heartbroken, or hurt, please believe me it will get better.

I had reached the point when I never thought it would. I spent 16 months in hell.

Now, I believe it’s going to be OK.

Timing

2 Nov

Oh, hello, November.

How the hell did that happen? The year is nearly over, which of course means my brain starts doing gymnastics – going back over 2014. And it all comes down to this: I thought I’d feel better by now.

Last year I went on holiday in November. It had been a bit of a focus to just keep going, just keep breathing, just keeping working, just keep above water, for three months after the Pizza of Doom, safe in the knowledge that I could collapse on a beach for two weeks. And I was shocked to find myself on that beautiful beach, tears streaming, feeling totally depressed and still hurting like f*** over the man who broke my heart.

A year on, I’m about to go on holiday again, and – again – I’m shocked that I still feel heartbroken. Of course, I’m a lot better than I was last year. And, honestly, looking back over my year it hasn’t been so bad. I’ve achieved quite a lot. I’ve changed. I’ve refocused. But it still hurts. A lot.

It’s been fifteen months since that fateful evening when the man I thought I was going to marry ate half a pizza and then told me he’d never been in love with me. Why don’t I feel better?

I think a lot of it stems from the fact I haven’t met anyone else. At this stage, I figure the chances of me meeting someone and having kids are slim, very slim. That’s a tough pill to swallow on its own. But, then, if I’d met someone before now, I don’t think I would have been ready. I’m a very different person now.

It’s like this. Imagine you’ve made a cake. A beautiful cake. Delicious sponge. Sweet, swirly icing. It looks stunning. And then the man you think you’re going to marry comes along and smashes the cake up. There’s crumbs everywhere. It’s a sugar massacre.

And you still want cake.

So do you mash something together from what’s left? Or do you take some time to throw away the remains, wipe down all your worksurfaces, go and buy new ingredients, and start from scratch?

I want to start from scratch.

Maybe that takes 15 months, or more.

My first boyfriends

26 Oct

When I was nine, I fell in love for the first time. Well, “fell in love” as much as you can at the age of nine. I officially became the girlfriend of a boy in my class, who I’d been hanging out with for weeks. We both went to “Zoo Club” on Saturday mornings (it only strikes me as weird 23 years later that my school took us to Glasgow Zoo on Saturdays). We were also both really into Lego. I can’t remember how long we were officially together. I know that we broke up before my tenth birthday, when I was home (sick with tonsillitis) and he refused to sign my birthday/get well card from my class. What an asshole. Anyway, that guy got married yesterday.

My second boyfriend became one of my best friends towards the end of high school, and then we both went to study at the same university. It was during first year of uni that we officially got together. It was all very dramatic. I think we were more in love with the idea of being in love than we were with each other. We’d fight and then make up with the choreography and hyperbole of a season of 90210. To this day I’m sad that it ruined an otherwise lovely friendship. I broke up with him about a month before our end-of-year exams. Shortly afterwards he started dating a girl we’d gone to school with. Two weeks ago, they got married.

Incidentally, both of these guys have the same first name as my ex.

I guess he’s next.