Archive | December, 2013

Goodbye, asshole

31 Dec

Well, buddies, I find myself kind of wordless.

I’ve written, and rewritten, and deleted, and written my new year post. When I read them back, I just don’t like the person doing the talking. That in itself kind of sums up 2013.

So I’m going to keep this post fairly short. I know that every year is a chance to grow and go on a journey and blah blah blah. I’ve read everyone’s Facebook statuses. But the fact is, 2013 has been the worst year of my life.

I like even numbers, so I’m holding out great hope for 2014.

Looking back over the year, the things that stick in my head are the incredible acts of kindness of some of my friends. And a few total strangers. And a few people who were total strangers but who I know consider to be good friends right here on WordPress. You know who you are.

2013, you’ve been a total asshole.

2014, please be kinder.

Making my peace with the Irish

30 Dec

My ex was Irish. Is Irish, I suppose. I don’t know why I talk about him in the past tense. After all, nothing about him stopped when he broke up with me. It was me who stopped.

I stopped feeling. I stopped sleeping. I stopped dressing properly, wearing makeup or drying my hair. I stopped eating (Christmas has seen me put all the weight back on through my love of cheese, don’t you worry). I stopped reading. I stopped getting out of bed for a while.

Amongst every other emotion I’ve been through in the past few months, I stopped liking the Irish. I would hear Irish accents on the bus and wonder why they had to taunt me like this. During the X Factor final, one of the boys from Westlife was on giving his expert musical opinion (kind of risible, anyway), but he said the word “amazing” with exactly the same intonation that my ex’s family used. I spontaneously sobbed like a mad woman. Maybe worst of all, when I could finally face reading again, I couldn’t read anything by Marian Keyes – one of my very favourite authors. She’s Irish.

I started her latest book, ‘The Mystery of Mercy Close’, yesterday. I’ve nearly finished it. It’s brilliant. And the Irish sayings, the language, the places she alludes to, they’re actually helping me to make my peace with everything.

Incidentally, the book is about a woman around my age suffering from depression. I know depression is a devastating illness, and I’ve only brushed with it over the past few months, not been pulled mercilessly down as some are. But the vivid descriptions of her hopelessness. The matter-of-fact distress. The sadness. Those are the elements of this book that have me turning the page corner and putting it aside for a few minutes just so I can cry.

The Irish? The Irish I can cope with.

In fact, I’ve been talking to a guy on eHarmony. Irish.

So we will call him ‘Irish’.

He’s from the other end of the country from the ex, so that’s good. He really makes me laugh and we’ve been sending each other crazy long emails. He’s back in London next week. Irish used to live in Japan, writes stand-up comedy, loves animations, and lives really near me. I am a big fan of all these things.

Maybe Ireland isn’t out to get me. Maybe I just had the wrong Irish man.

Passive flirtatious behaviour

26 Dec

Happy Boxing Day.

I have spent the day lying around on the sofa at my parents’ house, eating my body weight in cheese and chocolate. I’m not complaining.

I am complaining, however, about B.

Latest update: he texts on and off. He was super lovely when I had tonsillitis. We last texted on Christmas Eve. I waited for him to text me on Christmas Day. Nothing. I waited for him to text me today. Nothing.

Meanwhile I notice that he has once again checked out my eHarmony profile. What is with this passive flirtatious behaviour?

Dude, just say hi.

I know what you are thinking. But I can text him. But I can call him. Yes, I can. But I did so on Christmas Eve, and I am not about to become the psycho who will not stop texting. I was that girl between the ages of 18 and 29. I have learned a little self-restraint in the past two years. Just a little bit. OK, a tiny bit.

Ahhhh, B, so ridiculously handsome and yet possibly somewhat of a non-starter.

Never mind, never mind.

I honestly think 2013 has hurt so much, that I can cope with just about anything these days.

However (my therapist says it’s OK to say this out loud so I’m just going to say it), I hate being single. I hate it. Not because I’m needy. Not because I’m desperate to get married right this minute (I have other plans for at least then extra few hours). Just because I love nothing more than being close to someone.

B, well, I don’t know that we will ever get close.

But someone will want to be close to me. Someday.

I smell nice.

Last Christmas

25 Dec

Last Christmas I gave you my heart,
But seven and a half months later you ate half a pizza and then told me you had never been in love with me,
This year, to save me from tears,
I’m hoping next year will be better.

Musings of a Grinch (a single Grinch)

24 Dec

Ahhhh, Christmas Eve.

We made it, my fellow blogger elves. We made it to Christmas. And I know at times we didn’t think that we would.

I haven’t blogged in the past few days. Partly I’ve been ill, and partly I’ve been having some kind of bipolar tendencies. One minute I’m high as a kid full of sugar plums, buying everything the shops have to offer and singing Christmas carols to myself. The next, I’m lying on my sofa sobbing uncontrollably because I’m going to be alone forever. And ever.

I’m entering into the Christmas spirit, regardless. I bought my mum and I reindeer onesies, which have gone down a treat. But, I swear to god, Facebook was designed to make us all feel rubbish about ourselves at this time of year. If I see one more picture of a baby dressed like an elf I will scream.

The fact is, you matter less when you are single at this time of year. Family plans revolve around the people who actually have other halves. Conversations revolve around the people who have kids. Or are kids (which doesn’t make for the most interesting dialogue). Last Christmas I was so ridiculously happy. My ex and I were constantly texting and Skyping. Kind of sickening. Kind of gut-wrenchingly heartbreaking.

Tomorrow I get to be the spare-part sister (a role I play so well) at my sister’s house.

But then it’s Boxing Day. Which means Boxing Day sandwiches and plenty of sleep.

And then this stupid year is nearly finished.

Next Christmas, you mark my sarcastic words, things are going to be different.

If they aren’t, I’m going to avoid Facebook like the plague in the month of December. And possibly book myself a flight to Hawaii.

A little reflection

21 Dec

Today I went to see the psychic who I saw the week after the pizza of doom.

It was a good experience. We concentrated a lot more on my career and what the hell I am going to do about that area of my life. She assured me, once again, that I am getting married and having two kids. And she seemed to know exactly how I feel right now. Mainly that I am slapping on a big smile for Christmas, but regularly crying because I’m terrified I’m going to spend my whole life alone.

Just as interesting, though, was my journey to her house. The same journey I made on the 10th of August.

The 10th of August was a hot day. I was wearing a crumpled dress and flip flops because I had no clean clothes and no ability to dress myself. I had no makeup on. No jewellery. My hair was wet. I stopped at Starbucks on the way and sat shaking while trying to drink my coffee. I listened to Taylor Swift as I walked up Holloway Road. I met the psychic and almost immediately burst into tears. I spent an hour wiping my face while she assured me that, “This had to happen.” A mantra I have repeated to myself ever since. I left and sat in the park with my friend Trudi and her kids, trying to enjoy the simple pleasure of them saying cute things and doing funny things. And the I got the bus home, wondering how the hell I was going to get through a Saturday night in my flat, on my own. I was actually terrified.

Today was quite cold, and very rainy. I wore a clean dress with warm tights and my winter coat. And a hat and scarf for good measure. And all my usual jewellry. And makeup. I stopped at Costa on the way and treated myself to a full fat gingerbread latte. I sat and drank it, watching the rain, and people rushing around doing last-minute Christmas things. I listened to Christmas music on my way up Holloway Road. I chatted away to the psychic, about family and work and dating. I left, went into town and picked up some odds and ends that I still needed for Christmas. And when I got home, I immediately put on my pyjamas and revelled in the warmth of my flat, the smell of my scented candles, and A Muppet Christmas Carol.

I cried tonight. Hard. I was thinking about how my career is as successful now as I could ever have hoped it would be. But I’m the most unhappy I have ever been.

Then I thought back to the 10th of August. And the week before that. And I realised how far I’ve come.

This had to happen.

I’m ill… again

19 Dec

I know I’ve mentioned before that I never used to get ill. In 2012 I had not one cold. Not one. In the first half of 2013 I did not suffer so much as a sniffle. It’s something I’ve always been very proud of. Perhaps too proud.

Since the pizza of doom I have had five colds. It hasn’t even been five months yet. Now, that’s a record.

In fact, this time around I seem to have raised the bar with what I am pretty sure is tonsillitis. Lovely.

This morning I had to present to my whole agency. I’d put together a great presentation about how Christmas advertising evokes emotion, and how we can use some tricks of the trade from the big retailers for our everyday creative work. I was excited to present. But last night I got approximately one hour’s sleep. And I had to start my presentation with, “I’m sorry, I don’t usually sound like Barry White.”

So all afternoon I’ve been on the sofa trying to keep on track of what’s going on in the office. Tonight I find myself trying to sort out stuff with our New York office.

Excuse me while I moan, but this is not what Christmas is about!

All I want to do is lie down. And cuddle someone lovely.

That engagement season photo

18 Dec

Amen to the girl in the red vest.


“I’ll get back to you”

17 Dec

OK, I’ll admit it. One of the reasons I felt so damn chipper the past couple of days was B. I liked him. I liked kissing him.

2013, why did I expect anything good to come of you?

B and I had rough plans to go out tonight. But he would have to “get back to me” to confirm. Well, he never got back to me. So I texted him this afternoon saying I guessed he couldn’t do tonight, but did he wants to hang out tomorrow. He texted back saying he was busy all week, and when was I about over Christmas.

Not the end of the world, I know. But if he wanted to see me, he would see me.

Here’s something else that I’m slightly embarrassed to tell you. Last night I was waiting, waiting, waiting for him to text. I couldn’t stand it anymore and went to bed before 9pm (knocking back a couple of sleeping tablets). I felt so anxious. He didn’t text.

Why can I not stay calm in this situation?

I don’t feel stressed anymore. I’ve made my peace with him not being interested. I texted back with a few dates I’m around over Christmas, but honestly I don’t really expect to hear from him again.

And I feel better than last night.


I guess the worst things is when you have doubt, but the hope is still there. Whether it’s the hope of a third date, or the hope that this really is the guy you’re going to marry. It’s the hope that’s agonising.

Because it’s the hope you want to protect.

Remember why

16 Dec

What was your best Christmas ever?

While you scratch your head trying to work out which year it was exactly, let me make things a little easier and hazard a guess that it was when you were a kid.

For me, it’s hard to differentiate. There’s a whole mishmash of glittery memories. A bike, a Barbie house, a hot water bottle in the shape of a mole (a surprising hit – well done, Mum), an art kit, ballet shoes, a riding hat, a lego train.

OK, before I sound like the most spoilt brat ever (and, no, I never did get the pony to go with that riding hat), I need to make the point that although I remember these things, it isn’t the things themselves that make the memories special.

It’s that fluttery, flappity, festive feeling.

Leaving school on the last day before the holidays, laden down with art and craft projects from the previous two weeks and cards from every person in your class. Watching ‘A Very Brady Christmas’ and ‘The Garfield Christmas Special’ with my sister. Going to bed on Christmas Eve, unable to stop wriggling from sheer excitement. Knowing that if you eat just two brussel sprouts you’ll get extra trifle for dessert. Curling up with your Nonna to play board games – and not even realising when she falls asleep. And snores.

It’s not about the things at all: it’s about the feeling.

Which is maybe why this year felt like such a grinchtastrophe. I just couldn’t shake feeling blue. But, I tried. I put up my tree. I made a playlist. I watched Christmas movies. And finally, something has kicked in.

I feel happy.

I feel lucky.

I remember why.

Rediscover Christmas, my buddies. Here’s a little bit of magic to help you out.