Archive | April, 2014

Tube stop of doom

24 Apr

Marble_Arch_stn_roundel

I went to a friend from my old work’s leaving drinks tonight. Just before I left my last job, we moved offices. Right across London. I didn’t spend long in the new office. And most of the time I did spend there I was rocking back and forth in tears post pizza of doom.

So heading back to West London tonight and jumping off the tube at Marble Arch station brought back a few memories of that horrific month. I felt so drained that I couldn’t face the tube back then. I used to take a very long bus ride to get home. And cry the whole way. Listening to Taylor Swift. Yeeesh.

So how did I feel being back there?

Honestly, like the whole thing was a dream. Or maybe a nightmare. The past nine months are a blur. I have no idea how I got here.

But I’d rather be here than back there.

The crazy hours

23 Apr

crazy-cat

I love coming home from work in the evenings. I love kicking my shoes off, putting on pyjamas, microwaving a kids’ meal, and spending quality time with my TV.

I look forward to it all day.

And yet, these are my crazy hours.

Because when everything else stops, the bit of my brain obsessed with the ex and my absolute terror re being alone forever wakes up.

And taunts me.

So every night I go to bed and find my pillow soaked from tears as I’m falling asleep. But when I wake up in the morning I don’t want to go to work at get all busy and distracted. I want to lie in my bed. It’s so comfy. Mmmm.

I go to work, and count the hours until I can go home and relax. Yet it’s not unusual for me to get home, put my key in the door, and start crying before I even get into the building.

I don’t have a point tonight or even a message.

I think I’m just a bit nuts.

But it’s been a hell of a nine months.

Aren’t I entitled to be crazy?

Life lessons from Grey’s Anatomy

22 Apr

greys-anatomy-season-10-pca

I found myself with no MTV favourites stored on my Sky box tonight. So I decided to tuck in to season 10 of Grey’s Anatomy.

Ahhhh, Grey’s. We’ve been through so much together.

If there’s one thing I have learned from Meredith and friends (including George, Lexi and Mark – God rest their souls), it’s that the tough times in life make you who you are. The traumas. The unexpected. The bombs, plane crashes, and crazy ass snipers. It’s how we respond in those situations that marks out the kind of people we are.

The day-to-day doesn’t challenge us or shape us. And you definitely couldn’t make ten seasons out of it.

I might still be going through the worst year of my life. But, keep watching, the best bit’s still to come.

Friends without benefits

21 Apr

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Irish Two and I went to see The Lego Movie today. Then we went for Vietnamese food. Then we walked home in the rain.

It had all the makings of a perfect date, except we were doing it as friends.

At dinner I gave him career advice. He gave me relationship advice.

Since we became “just friends” I’ve been hoping for more. I’ve been hoping for benefits. Sexual ones, to be precise. I’ve seen the Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake movie. I’ve seen the identical movie with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. These both convinced me that a friend with benefits is a real asset. Though I’m not sure this was supposed to be my take on them.

Nothing.

Not even a kiss from Irish Two.

Did he never even find me attractive?

I know it’s probably better this way. This way we actually stand a chance of being friends. I stand a chance of moving on. But I do miss the sex. I miss feeling desirable.

Of course, there are other benefits. As long as we continue to watch movies and eat meals without any touching at all, I can neglect to shave my legs, and I needn’t worry about doing anything to my bikini line.

After all, nobody else is doing anything to it.

Trying to find happiness

20 Apr

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I’m just back from a weekend in Edinburgh with friends and family, and I had a great time. My friend Sarah took me to a posh hotel for a cocktail tasting menu. I met a friend’s new baby. I hung out with my nephews. I ate a lot of chocolate. Good times all round.

When I’m in Edinburgh it’s always quite in-my-face, though, just how alone I am.

All my uni friends and my family have moved on to create lives for themselves complete with other halves and, now, babies too. The life I’ve created for myself mostly revolves around MTV and frozen yogurt. Which isn’t really the same. At all.

I had coffee with my friend Jennie this morning and was saying, as I so often say these days, it’s just hitting home that I might not meet someone and I’m going to have to deal with that.

It’s something I thought about on the train heading back to London. Which led to one of my all-too-regular-breaking-down-in-tears-without-even-realising-it incidents. Awkward.

All I have ever wanted is to meet someone who loves me, who I love back, and to have kids. It was my priority as a teenager looking ahead to an exciting future. It’s my priority as a thirty something looking back wondering where I went off in a different direction from my friends.

Doesn’t everyone deserve to have someone to spend their life with? I know I do. I’m such a nice person!

But I need to face it: it might not happen for me.

I may well be one of those women (and we all know a few of them) who it just doesn’t happen for. I’m not saying that all women need a relationship and kids to be fulfilled. But I do. I really do.

It dawned on me on the train that I have two choices. Either, I stay in this frame of mind – genuinely scared that I’m never going to meet someone, and so, so full of hope that I will. Or, I can make my peace with the fact that I just might not. That I might be on my own forever. That I might not ever have that special person who loves me the most. That I might not have kids.

I am really, really trying to get my head around this and feel good about it. It’s not enough to think, “I’ll be OK if I don’t meet someone.” That’s just surviving. I don’t want to go through life just surviving. I want to enjoy it. I want to think, “My life’s going to be f***ing fabulous, either way.”

So far, though, I just can’t get my head there. In fact, since I gave myself this ultimatum I haven’t stopped crying. I cannot make peace with the fact I might go through life alone. I can’t feel good about it. I can’t stand the thought of not having kids. I hate feeling like there must be something wrong with me and a reason why it just isn’t happening. And that I got so close, but wasn’t good enough.

I’m desperately trying to find happiness.

But I can’t.

Why I hate train companies. And my ex.

18 Apr

Unknown-7

I’m on the train from London to Edinburgh to see my friends and family over the Easter break.

When I got back from New York yesterday there was a whole thing with my tickets for this journey. By “thing” I mean “incredibly upsetting, aggravating, enfuriating and downright f***ing stupid situation”.

Let me explain. Remember in January I had tonsillitis? Well I had a booking to go up to Edinburgh and have a weekend with my friends. I’d booked it back in November when feeling particularly sad about my life one day. £160 for the pleasure of five hours on a packed train, rattling up the East Coast.

Well, I felt so ill in January that I couldn’t travel. So I paid another £30 to change the tickets to Easter weekend. I was supposed to pick the original tickets up from a machine in the station, but since I wasn’t using them I did not. I got my new tickets emailed to me. Boom. Only three months to wait to use them.

So yesterday I printed off my tickets and realised that I also needed the originals. Jet lagged. Tired. Confused. But never mind, I went down to the station to get the original tickets.

Tickets no longer on the system.

I had several phone calls with East Coast Mainline. The answer to each one was this: your tickets no longer exist. You need to buy new tickets.

WHAAAAT?!

I finally got through to a nice man called Stefan who said to buy new tickets, then write and explain and they might (note “might”) refund one of the journeys.

I had no idea what to do. New tickets were an additional £250.

So I did what I always do when I need help or advice: I called my Dad.

And his advice was, “Life’s too short. Pay the extra money. Go and see your friends.”

I took a moment and a few deep breaths. Made my peace with the injustice. Flexed my AMEX. And booked new tickets. Angrily.

But I feel OK about it, you know.

I want to see my friends.

And I booked the original tickets because I felt sad. I was ill because I didn’t sleep for six months. I didn’t notice I needed the old tickets because I was ill. You see what has happened here.

It’s all his fault.

Well, his and East Coast Mainline’s.

New York

16 Apr

Manhattan Office Vacancy Rate Drops In Second Quarter

Well.

I haven’t blogged because I’ve been working my paws off.

But.

I also haven’t dissolved.

I’ve been in New York for five days. While I’ve hardly had time to eat or sleep let alone spend quality time in Sephora, I’ve also not had time to think too much about the ex. Or his summer here. When he decided that he’d never been in love with me. Sh**head.

As it happens, my walk from the hotel to my office goes right by a restaurant where we ate in the summer, on a hot July night when he seemed determined to pick arguments with me and act like an asshole. The ribs were delicious, mind you. Whenever I pass this restaurant, I do feel a little stab. But it’s a little stab of anger. Not sadness.

I think I find self esteem in my job. I find my inner Beyoncé. Although I’m writing copy and lecturing people on branding, not hitting the stage in tight-fitting lycra, it is kind of the same. Really. It’s my game face. It’s when I muster up every ounce of confidence and go go go. And there ain’t no space for feeling sh** about myself. There ain’t no space for a man who eats half a pizza before breaking my heart.

So there’s four hours til I head to the airport. Just time for a quick run to Victoria’s Secret and Sephora, and another iced coffee.

Maybe even time for a slice of pizza.