Archive | August, 2014

What we’re all really looking for

31 Aug

Well, buddies, I haven’t posted in days. I even missed my next ‘Friday with Friends’ slot, despite having a great post from my blogger buddy Liz. You’ll have to wait for next Friday for it. Sorry for the delay.

I’ve been busy, you see. Busy at work. Busy in general. And in Scotland all weekend. I came up for a friend’s 30th birthday party and also managed to catch up with a few other friends, and spend some time with my parents. Now, I’m on the train back to London. Somehow I’ve managed to book myself onto the train that stops pretty much at every station on the way down the country. It was supposed to take six hours. We’re running late. Which gives me a lot of time to think. 

This weekend and saw and heard of several people who recently went through bad break ups who have now met new lovely people. I’m happy for them. It makes me feel glad inside. Genuinely. And it gives me hope that karma and fairness and all that other stuff is out there in the world ensuring that people get what they deserve. However, that also makes me question whether karma forgot me. 

It’s been nearly 13 months since the pizza of doom. I haven’t been single for this long since I was 24. And it’s not just that I haven’t met anyone, it’s that I have absolutely no idea how I would ever meet someone, and no faith that my heart is going to kick back into action. Which, in turn, leaves me wondering if there’s something wrong with me. How do I get my heart to move on? Sure there have been flutters over the past 13 months. Irish Two made me flutter a little when we first met. A friend I had connected with through this very blog gave me a few little flutters. But Irish Two has no capacity for emotion. And that friend, well, he pretty much ignores me these days. All of which reinforces my heart feeling more bruised than anything. 

I think I deserve for something nice to happen. 

And I fully appreciate that many of you reading this are probably thinking, “You silly girl, pull yourself together! Move on! You have a good life and great stuff going on!”. 

Sure, I know I do. 

But we all know that lovely feeling of sunshine moving through you when you meet someone new. Waking up feeling joyful. Going to bed feeling loved. 

I love yoga and swimming, but they are no replacement for having someone’s arms around you, and looking forward to adventures together.

If longing for that makes me a bad person or selfish or ungrateful for everything that I have then I think we are all bad people and selfish and ungrateful. Because I’ve seen in people’s faces this weekend how a new relationship can change them and bring them back to themselves.

And I think, deep down, we all want that.  

 

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Going to the movies

25 Aug

catmoviesforTiff

I’ve always enjoyed going to the cinema alone. 

Well, not always. When I was a teenager I couldn’t think of anything worse. I used to sometimes see people at movies alone and think there was nothing sadder in the world. “Please God,” I remember thinking, “Please God don’t let me end up as one of these losers who goes to the cinema alone.”

When I was living in New York six years ago I got used to taking myself to the movies for something to do when I had no friends to play with. Last year, taking my broken heart to escape in front of the big screen for a couple of hours proved very therapeutic. I guess the experience is so immersive that it actually managed to take me away from my own misery for a little while. Now, it’s concentrated April time. It’s something I do for myself, just because I enjoy it. 

So, yup, I am now regularly one of those losers who goes to the cinema alone. 

Today has been a rainy bank holiday, so I went to see ‘What if?’. Basic plot rundown (without any spoilers): Wallace and Chandry (interesting name choices, I thought that too) meet at a party. She has a boyfriend. He is fairly recently heartbroken. They become best buds. But are secretly in love with each other. 

Well, doesn’t that raise a lot of sh** for me to think about. I have only just today decided to be friends with the dude I went out with on Friday night. Why not? He was good company, although I didn’t fancy him at all. And then there’s Irish Two who I do fancy, but know I can’t be with because he has no emotion. Irish Two and I are going swimming together at 7am tomorrow. He really has become one of my best friends. Do I still want to have sex with him? Hell yes. But we won’t. Because we’re genuinely friends. 

All this was running through my head during the movie. That, and how noisy the person behind me was eating their popcorn. 

Then comes a whole part of the movie where Chandry’s boyfriend is working abroad. She struggles. She hates it. At this point I found myself wiping unexpected tears off my face. 

It took my right back to last summer when my ex first went to work in New York and started treating me like a piece of sh** on his shoe. I remember sitting on my sofa with a friend, trying to act all happy and cool, but my voice cracking as I told her, “I’m finding this really difficult”, and then dissolved into tears. Now, Chandry’s boyfriend in the movie is an OK guy. He doesn’t treat her like poo, but she still struggles. It made me feel so sorry for myself. I found myself apologising to my heart for putting it through all that. Apologising in my head, you understand. I wouldn’t talk during the movie. Especially not to myself. 

So, what’s my point?

My point is that I deserve better. 

And while I still sometimes cry over my ex and what might have been, if I keep reminding myself how he treated me last summer, I can keep reminding myself that he became an asshole. 

I deserve someone who’ll hold my hand through life. Through the challenges. Through the work stuff, the family stuff, the friend stuff, the difficult stuff. Through the happy times. Through the fun. Through the sadness. And through silly, sentimental movies on rainy bank holiday Mondays. 

The lost “I love you”s

24 Aug

I’m tired.

I spent the past week dating like a crazy person. And when I wasn’t dating, I was swimming. Also tiring, although much more satisfying.

So tonight I climbed into bed early. Into freshly washed sheets. In a newly cleaned room. But I cannot sleep.

My mind has been on one of its wanders and has dredged up a memory that feels sweet and acutely painful all at once.

My ex and I struggled to sleep while cuddling. So we’d have a good snuggle up in bed (and sometimes more, although not on school nights since he decided it was too exhausting), then we’d say goodnight and fall asleep with just our feet touching. And as we turned over to our separate sides of the bed, we’d get comfy, then whisper, “I love you” to each other.

Ok, so it turns out he never meant it. But it felt real at the time.

In my opinion, everyone should end every day that they have here on this crazy planet by hearing “I love you” from someone.

Love is why we’re here. And however your day has gone, whatever the next day has in store, hearing “I love you” is the greatest reassurance that you’re meant to be here. It’s a promise. It’s praise. It’s someone feeling that your whole being that lies next to them is worthy and wanted. It’s someone missing you even for the seven or eight hours that you sleep.

Other than from my lovely friend Jennie, I haven’t heard “I love you” in over a year.

And you know what else? I haven’t said it either.

Date night number three

23 Aug

I’m on my way home from my third date this week. Don’t judge. I haven’t dated in ages.

Anyway. I am yet to snog anyone.

Last night and tonight were the same story. Nice date with nice guy who tried to get romantical but I did not want to get romantical with them.

Now is the hard bit. When I leave the date, and my mind starts to wander.

Will I ever find anyone who I like the way I liked my ex?

Friday with Friends: Crystal

22 Aug

It’s Friday-ay-ay. And a bank holiday here in the UK. Nice. 

Even nicer, today is my first go at Friday with Friends, when I’m handing over my blog to one of my greatest and most gorgeous blogger buddies to guest post. This is my way of saying “Thank you” to my new friends for their support over the past year, and also my way of celebrating the communities and friendships that can be formed right here on WordPress. 

Today’s post is from Crystal at All the Things that I Don’t Wish. Crystal was one of the first people I connected with on here, probably because of a heartbreak timing coincidence (I started my blog on the day her ex told her he was leaving). I feel like we’ve been through war together. And I love her no-nonsense attitude that means she went to bed the other night “mad as hell” that I’d had to pay for my own dinner on my crappy Tuesday night date. 

So I’ll shut up now, and hand over to the lady herself. (No spoilers, but the real kicker is in the final line.):

I don’t know of any little girl that hasn’t, at least once, sat at her bedroom window and gazed out at the world with wistful sighs and musings on what her life will be like in twenty years. What kind of man is going to come whisk her away on his white horse? Surely someone will fall madly in love with her while she’s walking down the street in a rush to her important job. Or maybe she will happen upon a quaint little coffee shop and walk through the door. As the bell jingles to signal her arrival, their eyes will lock – and the rest will be history.

Or maybe she’ll know the boy from childhood and they will grow up to fall in love with one another. Maybe he’ll promise her the world and the stars and the moon, and then take it all away from her in one swoop of his hand. Maybe he’ll say the words “I love you, but not in that way,” and every whimsical romantic notion she ever thought about or dreamt of with him, will fall from her heart and lay broken on the ground at his feet.

I was (un)fortunate enough to dream of the first one and have the latter become my reality. I sit here at my desk reliving the year ago on August 20th that I sent Andy an e-mail telling him that I knew something was wrong. I could feel it. I could sense it. He was so distant. More than once he had left to go somewhere without me, and left me crying on the bed wondering what I had done wrong. He claimed there was nothing wrong and I knew different. Intuition is one hell of a power for a woman to have. I had finally had enough and I sent him an e-mail from work. I knew he wasn’t awake yet, but I knew that he would read it as soon as he got up. The three things he did every morning while drinking his coffee was read the news, check Facebook, and read his e-mails. I hadn’t heard from him by lunch and sent him a text to which he did tell me that my fears weren’t unfounded; he was in fact moving back to Indiana to be with his kids. He didn’t want to marry me or anyone else, he didn’t want a relationship, he didn’t like the intimacy that came with it. He was content getting laid every so often and having the rest of his time to himself. That’s what he wanted. That was completely opposite from everything that we had discussed.
I had bought a honeymoon cruise to the Bahama’s. We were six months away from being married. We were unstoppable. There was no other couple like us. We were the powerhouse and poster-children for a beautiful relationship. We were finished. After sixteen years of friendship and a year of plans being made to be married – we were done. It was over. I was broken. He was cold. All of this seemingly meant nothing anymore. I cried an ocean of tears. I cried alone and in front of him. I begged to continue our relationship even long-distance. I told him that surely something as beautiful as what we had could withstand distance. He had no interest in it. I begged him to continue living with me until he had saved up enough money to leave. He did. I had him for three months after that.

It’s like April said – my loss was a terminal loss. It was like being with someone and investing all of your emotions into someone that you know isn’t going to be there in the end. It was watching something slowly die and grieving the entire time. I bought books on moving through the pain, getting over someone, endings in relationships – everything. I listened to sad, shitty music and went running on a regular basis because I didn’t know what else to do with myself.
The day after Thanksgiving, he was gone. We made love one more time before his departure, the night before, and then the next morning I left the house to allow him to move out of it and my life in peace. And I died a thousand deaths over and over again for months afterward.

I’d like to say that it gets better, but it doesn’t. Not really. You just learn to live with the pain. You go through life seeing their car driving down the road, hearing songs that remind you of them, going to stores alone that you both used to frequent together. It took me three months to go to the mall without crying. Every time I walk by a jewelry store, I remember us shopping for engagement rings. He was so excited, but not as excited as I was. I was going to belong to him. We were going to grow old together. I was going to be a step-mom to his kids. They loved me as much as I loved them. I loved him more than he will ever love me.

And eventually you move forward. You don’t move on, because how can you? You just keep going. It’s like driving a car away from a memory; if you look forward, you can’t see it. If you look in your rearview mirror, it’s always there. And that’s how it is. I drive forward in my life and when I look in that mirror, I see him standing there with his hand slightly raised, waving goodbye to me and to our life and to our love.

But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I loved a man so much that I was willing to watch him leave me if it meant making him happy. I love knowing that I have that kind of kindness and compassion in my heart. I love knowing that I can be hurt to the extreme, and manage to come out on top, even if I am wounded.

It’s the stuff that we are made of that shows how much we can go through. We aren’t to be underestimated. We aren’t to be pitied. We are to be celebrated. We are strong albeit a tad bit eccentric. If we can get through the love of our life crushing our dreams, there are few things we can’t make it through.

How do you measure a year?

21 Aug

ye4uAYR

I’m a sucker for a musical. Rent is a favourite. I always felt kind of special that there was someone in it called April (albeit the girlfriend who died of AIDS). Anyway, any fellow Rent fans will be only too familiar with the words of ‘Seasons of Love’.

So, how do you measure (pause for breath) measure a year?

It was one year ago today that I started Pizza of Doom.

Sitting in my old office, on a day that was far too hot for the air con to be broken, I started writing and writing and writing. Trying to get all the awful thoughts that had terrorised me for the previous two and a half weeks out of my head, package them up, and send them into cyberspace.

A year later, you know what, I’m getting there. I still feel heartbroken most days, but I know how to deal with it. I still cry every now and then, but I know it will pass. I’m proud of how far I’ve come. And I’m very proud of this blog. Not just because I can look back and actually read how much I’ve changed, but because I know I’ve been able to help other people too.

And other people have helped me.

I’ve made some great buddies through the world of WordPress. Many of whom I now consider friends in the real world. It’s funny that I can walk past a Starbucks sign that autumn coffees are on the way and think of a friend I’ve never met in Maine. It’s strange that I think about friends in Minnesota and North Carolina and wonder how you guys are doing. And I really miss the blog of a friend in Boston who’s turning her talents to other things now.

But isn’t that fabulous?

Although my real-world friends have been magnificent cats for the past year – and have put up with more than their fair share of miserable ramblings from me – my little online breakup community has been a real game changer.

So let me go back to my original question, how do you measure a year?

I think if I could chart my recovery from heartbreak it would be a weird and wonderful graph. Occasional highs, longs periods of lows, unexpected twists and turns and – finally – a gradual uphill climb. I think if I could add to that graph some of the conversations and advice I’ve had from buddies here on WordPress, I would see a direct correlation between the highs and the support that I’ve had.

And so on Pizza of Doom’s first birthday, I want to extend a huge, massive, ginormous “Thank you” to every single person who has taken the time to read my story, to comment, to help, to make me smile when nothing else did, and to give me something to wake up to in the morning.

As a way of saying thank you and having a little bit of a party in honour of my blog’s first birthday and all my lovely blogger buddies, for the next four weeks I’m going to run a little something that I’m calling, “Friday with Friends”.

Every Friday I shall be giving over my blog to one of the people who has been the greatest help to me, and become a true friend through this crazy world of WordPress.

Tomorrow we’re kicking off with Crystal, who I can always rely on to call my ex an ass, and stick up for me from thousands of miles away.

Until then… well.. I have a couple of days off work so I’m drinking coffee and watching Teen Mom 2 before heading into town to do some shopping, meet friends for lunch, and finally go for a massage this afternoon.

Then I might buy myself a cake.

Date night in Covent Garden

19 Aug

I should have trusted my guts. Any man who wants to meet at Covent Garden tube station is not going to be my husband.

I was bored. All night.

The sushi was good.

We split the bill.