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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…

 

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.

Baking

25 Oct

Cat-Baking

I’m great at baking. I’m great at cooking too. Another two reasons I am astounded to not be married, and to not even have a boyfriend.

The thing is, after the Pizza of Doom, I kind of gave up on both. I used to bake for my ex a lot. He always referred to the time I first made him red velvet cupcakes as “a significant moment in our relationship”. It was. It was the night we officially became boyfriend and girlfriend. After he asked me. After only four dates. Still bitter? Who me? Anyway, I’m sure there is some deep-rooted psychological reason, but ever since the break up I cannot get red velvet cake to come out the right colour. So I gave up. I have nobody to bake for. There was no pleasure to be had in creating beautiful things in my kitchen. I just stopped doing it. And on the cooking front, well, is there anything sadder than some 32-year-old spinster cooking for herself?

I actually did start cooking again after last winter saw me chalk up around 57 colds and viruses. It was time to reintroduce vegetables. I still eat toast most nights. Or kids’ ready meals. But, sure, I’ll make meals and freeze them in pathetic little single portions for when I get in from work at night.

Baking, though, remained untouched. Somehow it’s a much more emotional thing. It’s a “nice to have” a “nice to do”. It’s love, presented in sugar, eggs and flour. And I’ve been losing weight, so the last thing I need is a batch of brownies and nobody to share them with.

Very recently I began baking again. I made a gingerbread brownie thing for a friend, and then took the remains into work for my colleagues. I gave some to Irish Two. Everyone loved them. And I really enjoyed baking them.

I find Saturdays tough at the moment. I invariably end up in tears at some point. And that pain, that deep deep pain, hits me in the chest towards the end of the day. Yet Saturdays are also my favourite days, because I go swimming and take my favourite yoga class. Today I got a mani pedi and chose bright orange polish that reminds me it’s autumn.

And then I came home and baked. Just for me. To make my flat warm, and let my living room well up with the smell of spices and sweetness, and to have something delicious to eat after my homemade autumn stew.

What’s my point? I’m wondering the same thing as I type this.

I guess it’s that, when life isn’t how you want it to be it’s all to easy to deny yourself niceness. It’s all to easy to ask, “Why bother?”. Why bother dressing up when you have nobody to dress up for? Why bother cooking when it’s just you? Why bother going for a pedicure when only the yoga people at yoga class see your toes? Why bother caring?

Well, buddies, you should bother, for this simple reason: a little bit of sweetness can change any situation. Not a lot. Just a pinch.

Still here

22 Oct

Oh, hello again.

In the past 48 hours I’ve had four readers ask me why I’m not blogging anymore. Man. I felt bad.

My dear buddies, I am still here.

Truth be told, as well as being busy at work, I’ve felt a bit like I’ve let you all down.

Because I’ve been feeling a bit sad.

Day to day, I’m fine. I’m doing enough yoga to turn me into elastic. Work is going well. Pumpkin spice lattes are back (yay!). But I feel like there’s a sadness under my skin that won’t shift.

Dear God, I’m so embarrassed to say it, but here we go: I’m not over him. Nearly 15 months on, I still cry over my ex. Is that at all normal? Probably not.

I’m ashamed to write any more sad little posts rambling about my heartbreak.

So, starting tomorrow, I’m making a shift here on Pizza of Doom. I’m going to try and be more empowering. Although I’m mad at myself for still being sad, I’m also stunned at myself for how far I’ve come in the past year. So that’s the side I’m focusing on.

You all know I’m a heartbroken cat. But from now on this is my space to talk about everything I can do in spite of feeling sad. And, of course, moan about the absolute horror of being single in my thirties.

I’ll do you proud, buddies.

Promise.