Archive | June, 2014

What I have

15 Jun

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OK, I’ve thought about it and decided the best way to deal with not knowing who I am anymore is to start with the good stuff. So here we go: ten things that I still really like about myself.

1. I like that I make what is probably the best aubergine parmigiana in the world. No, wait. Definitely the best. But it’s not just the parm itself I like, I like the fact that I only make it for people I love. Because it takes hours to make and stinks out my flat, it’s reserved for very, very special friends and family. I like that I show my love through food. It keeps me authentically Italian. Or at least part Italian.

2. I like that I’m not arrogant. Yes, yes, of course I’d like to be just a little more confident at times. And not doubt myself so damn much. But there’s no fear of me ever alienating people by being an arrogant twat. So, you know, yay me for that.

3. I like how much I love animals. I like that I’ve been helping to keep pandas alive by sponsoring them for the past five years. Not to mention the monkeys, penguins, leopards and tigers who I’ve also donated to. I like that I stop to say hi to cats and dogs who I meet in the street. I like that I can sit in the park for hours imagining the conversations that dogs are having with their owners.

4. I like that I laugh a lot. OK, so maybe the therapist and Irish Two reckon I come across as miserable, but I know I spend a lot of my day laughing. I know it only takes one look at this clip to set me off in hysterics. I know that before all this happened I used to regularly have trouble falling asleep at night because I was laughing so hard at things that had happened during the day. Life is funny.

5. I like that I can make fun of myself. That I know I’m a geek. That when someone leaves a date with me after only 40 minutes, pretending to be ill, I find it humorous enough to post on Facebook.

6. I like that I’m one of the most empathetic people I know. It’s probably because I’m such a bl**dy sensitive cat, so at least I do have the ability to channel that into helping others. And I like that I feel good when I do help others. I’m no saint. There’s nothing selfless about it: it makes me feel nice. But I’d rather that made me feel nice than kicking kittens or tossing hedgehogs at a wall. Or breaking people’s hearts.

7. I like that through everything that happened last year I never missed a day of my new job. I never thought about it at the time, but physically forcing myself out of bed and into the shower when I was lying, sleep-deprived, food-deprived, tortured by sadness, with tears streaming, is one of the bravest things I’ve ever had to do. There were days I considered giving up. I very nearly asked to take a month off to get my sh** together. Who knows, maybe I should have. But I chose to keep going. And I did keep going.

8. I like that I have learned appreciation. Some of my friends met the love of their life before they even turned 21. Some shortly after. And they are nearly all now married and making new people. I’m alone. As far as I’m concerned, life has spoilt them. When it happens for me, OK, if it happens for me, I’ll appreciate it so much more. If I ever find someone who actually likes me enough to want to spend their life with me, I’ll never take them for granted. Never. Ever.

9. I like how excited I get about stuff. I like that I start packing for holidays weeks in advance. I like that I count sleeps and make lists and daydream. I like that last time I went to Disney World (unfortunately the time that I broke up with the ex-before-the-ex), I was so excited I ran out of the hotel room without my flipflops on. My ex sometimes told me I got, “too excited” about things. What a f***ing c***.

10. I like my friends. My real-life friends. My blogger buddies. All of you. I like that I can pick up the phone to people around the world, or type out an email, and know there’s someone at the other end who cares and who’ll respond. And I like knowing that if all these wonderful, smart, funny, caring people value me as a friend, then I must be wonderful, smart, funny and caring too.

Maybe I don’t exactly come across as a ray of f***ing sunshine right now. But as a buddy put it earlier in the week, my beating heart was ripped out of my f***ing chest. I’m allowed to be sad sometimes.

I’ll get back to the person I thought I was. With a little more baggage. But a lot more wisdom. Eventually.

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What do I have?

14 Jun

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I had a couple of weird conversations this week that, frankly, knocked me for six. “Oh, don’t bother listening to people who make you feel bad!” I hear you cry.

And usually I’d agree. Except in this instance it was my therapist and Irish Two. My therapist is a professional. And she’s never been wrong before about stuff. Irish Two, well, I knew he wasn’t being an asshole. He was delivering some home truths.

I’ve always considered myself a bubbly, friendly, happy joy to be around. Turns out I don’t come across that way at all. I come across as “low energy” and “unhappy”. Or, “nice but sad” as Irish Two put it.

So I’m left wondering: was I always this way? I thought I was starting to feel more like myself. Was I ever a bubbly, friendly, happy joy to be around?

Ugh. I do not want to be a big old drain on everyone else’s happiness.

I lost my mind for a couple of days, emailing everyone I know asking what kind of person they think I am. I also had some email chat with a blogger buddy (you know who you are) who made me feel approximately ten thousand times better.

But when I wake up every morning I’m still feeling confused as to who I am and who I’m supposed to be and who I was before the pizza of doom. Through the whole mess of the past ten and a half months I never doubted that I’m a good, kind, fun, friendly person. If I don’t even have that, then what do I have?

Yes, what do I have?

It’s not an entirely rhetorical question. I’ll answer tomorrow.

Oh. OK. Yeah. What am I supposed to do now?

12 Jun

Apologies for writing less, my buddies. I’m sure you miss my ramblings terribly.

The problem is, I thought I was OK. So I was thinking, “What shall I write about, then?”

And then I had therapy yesterday.

And now.

Now. I. Think. I. Am. Having. A. Breakdown.

For real.

I have harassed a few friends on email today. I have met Irish Two for lunch and cried on his shoulder.

I’m seeing a friend for dinner.

And a margarita.

Where does the good go?

9 Jun

It was a year ago this coming weekend that my ex came back from his first stint working in New York.

It was the second worst weekend of my life. (The worst being the fun-filled weekend of the pizza of doom, which was to follow a few weeks later). I came in to work the following Monday and collapsed on a colleague in tears. It’s all a little bit blurry in my head. I guess I’ve blocked a lot of it out because it’s too painful. Or too embarrassing. But I remember telling my friend, “I don’t think he feels how I feel anymore.” I felt like a different person came back from New York that weekend. And this different person was kind of a dick.

But, my goodness, a year ago this week I was giddy with excitement about him coming home. I remember I was on a film shoot and wouldn’t stop babbling away to the client about everything I had planned. I made him his favourite red velvet cupcakes. I booked a table at our favourite restaurant and cocktail bar. I counted the sleeps. I left work early on the Friday. Stupid girl.

Because there was a different energy in the air that Friday evening. As though he didn’t know what to do with me or say to me. But I put it down to jet lag. Like I say, stupid girl.

But this whole concept of energy is something Irish Two and I were discussing recently. How you can sense tension in the air, how you can feel calm in an environment, how energy can be palpable. I’m no physicist. So it’s actually from a book about ghosts and ghosthunting that I discovered you can’t destroy energy – you can only transfer it. Yeah, I think most people learn this stuff at school.

So if you invest so much energy and so much of your being in loving someone, what happens with all that love? I was a good girlfriend. No, a great girlfriend. But what’s become of all that energy? I guess that’s why we are programmed to try and find someone to fill the void. Because we have all this energy and capacity for love which is suddenly rendered redundant. But it’s such a positive force. Where does it transfer to? And is it ultimately just going to be wasted?

Where does the good go?

 

Don’t you remember?

5 Jun

I’m doing OK right now. Today I had a three-hour client presentation that went brilliantly (if I do say so myself). I came home in the sunshine, and packed to head to Brighton for the weekend tomorrow with my best friend from Edinburgh.

Has enough time passed for me to heal? Maybe. But I’ve also been actively batting away thoughts of him. I don’t allow myself to think of him. At all. Because it does still hurt. It might do forever. But I do not intend to spend the rest of my life being “hurt”.

No space in my brain for stupid, happy memories. No room to relive the stress of last summer. No reason to hurt myself by going over and over the worst time of my life. The shock. The grief. The falling apart.

It’s all packed away in a bit of my brain I don’t care to visit.

Except the one thought I can’t bat away is whether he thinks of me. How he told me he’d spent his whole life looking for me and would never let me go.

I must have meant something to you.

Don’t you remember?

Ten months since the break up

3 Jun

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I’m sitting at my desk planning holidays that I won’t ever take. Killing time before my yoga class. And I just realised that today marks ten months since the pizza of doom. Ten months. It’s a substantial period of time. But I guess not that substantial when it comes to grieving the loss of everything you ever wanted.

I’m sad, but I’m happy.

I’m sad that he’s not in my life anymore. I’m sad that he didn’t want me. I’m sad that we’ll never have a life together, or get married, or have kids, or join our families together. I’m sad that I’ll never kiss him again. Or feel his arms around me. Or lie on him while we watch Mad Men. I’m sad that I’m sure he has moved on. I’m sad that he’ll forget me. I’m sad that all my memories now drip with heavy, heavy regret. And that I’ve had to try not to think of him at all, or I know that I’ll never be able to move on. Because I’m sad to say that deep down I do still love him.

But at the same time, I am happy. I’m happy that I know I’m through the worst of it. I’m happy that it’s changed me. Although it caused me to question everything, lose all my confidence, and hate myself for a while, I’ve had to readdress things and build myself back up. I’m happy that I genuinely feel this is a better, more empathetic, loving, mature version. I’m happy I met Irish Two and that we’re friends now. I’m happy I started yoga. And started running again. And that I’ve hardly cried at all in the past week.

I’ve questioned myself, and where my faith lies (not a religious sense – I’m not religious – just in terms of where I put my trust, because we all have to put it somewhere), whether my arms really are too fat, and why anyone wouldn’t want me in their life. I’ve asked myself whether I’m too nice. Too self-critical. Too emotional.

It’s been a long journey. And I’ve some way to go. But let me promise you this, if you’re going through what I’m going through then there will come a point that the heartache lessens. Although you would never have wanted this to happen, there will come a point that you realise you’ve done OK. That you’ve learned. That you are a better person for it. Because you can’t go through something that rips up every feeling in your body and not come out stronger. If you did, you’d be defeated.

There is no denying I’m addicted to Nashville.

Well, I really like the words to the song ‘Wrong For The Right Reasons’.

Think of all the morning stars you would have missed

If you hadn’t weathered through the dead of night

Every single heartbeat you didn’t skip

Was the answer why

‘Cause the bridge that burned took you out of the way,

Made you turn around until you face the demons

Ten months ago I was about to have the worst night of my life. Tonight I have yoga, Mad Men catch up, and then bed before a crazy day preparing for a pitch tomorrow. Life isn’t how I dreamed it. But it’s OK.

 

The return of Fit but Flaky

1 Jun

Well, here’s a surprise.

It was wayyyyy back in December that I dated B. We met on the eHarmony. He was the first person I dated after the ex. And I couldn’t work him out. It took two (good) dates to get to the kissing, and then he flaked out, randomly sending me texts every few days that lead nowhere, and exhibiting extreme passive flirtatious behaviour. I christened him ‘Fit but Flaky’.

In the end, I texted him early in January and said that it had been nice getting to know him, but that he obviously didn’t want to meet up again and that was fine, but that I hoped 2014 would be good to him. He texted back almost immediately to say he’d been busy. And I ignored him.

So I wasn’t sure what to do when his picture popped up on Tinder on Friday night. The beauty of Tinder is that you can swipe right to say you’re interested and the person at the other end won’t ever know unless they are interested too. Now, B is incredibly attractive. So I’d be off my fricking head not to swipe right.

What do you know, B had swiped right too.

He started the conversation. And it was a good conversation. He apologised for being flakey, but said he’d had a lot on his plate and was just being rubbish, but that he really liked talking to me (and kissing me) and was really glad that we’d met. I said not to worry – that compared to most men he hadn’t actually done anything wrong. I told him about the ex and that back in December I probably wasn’t really myself anyway. He was really nice about it. I told him about the Tinder date last week that lasted a whopping 40 minutes. He was nice about that too and swore it couldn’t have been my arms that put the dude off. He even went as far as to say that I don’t have sausage arms. Which was nice to hear.

In the end I said, “Well, we got on so well, it would be a shame not to be friends. Do you fancy a coffee sometime?”

To which he replied, “Cocktails and I’m in, but you must forgive me if I make a pass at you. You do have the cutest outfits.”

He’s right. I do.

I said that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but that – regardless – it would be nice just to catch up.

And so we’re going for cocktails next week.

He’s still one of the most curious cats I’ve ever come across. He’s also the most ridiculously good-looking person I’ve ever snogged.

What on earth is life going to put in my path next? I’ve given up trying to guess.