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.

Very little can happen in a month

23 Oct

So, just what has been going on in life that has been keeping me so busy? Oh, I’m sure you are expecting tales of amazingness. I’ve no doubt been to exotic locations and done loads of amazing work and met amazing people and been on amazing dates and done amazing snogging and maybe even had some sex.

Nope.

I’ve mostly been working. Travelling to places like Nottingham. Keeping myself busy with yoga and swimming. Doing handstands. Hell yeah.

Let me try and make my life sound marginally more interesting by breaking things into three categories: The Good News, The Bad News, and the News I Am Yet to Write.

The Good News

The good news is I don’t have cancer or any pre-cancerous cells. Yayyyy for my cervix. I need to go back every six months until my body proves that we’re planning on staying that way. But it was a massive relief. And I want to say a big “thank you, you lovely people” to all the buddies who messaged me with best wishes and to tell me everything would be OK. I was scared, and it helped.

The Bad News

Yup, pretty sure I’ll never get over my ex. I haven’t been on any dates since the incredibly boring man. I’ve been mulling a lot. Thinking about a future alone. Scaring myself. And then I just say, “screw it” and focus on work, or making my flat feel autumnal and lovely. Both of which are marvellous distractions, but don’t actually stop the deep down uncertainty and fear of never meeting someone.

The News I Am Yet to Write

So, I figure, I need to change. I need to do something that will take me out of myself and shift me one way or another. It’s been 14 long months since the Pizza of Doom and I still cry over him. Not. OK. Which is why I’m planning on taking a month off work next year and going to Japan. On my own. Scary? Yes. Exciting? For sure. And hopefully I’ll come back a changed woman and able to actually move on with life.

I’m not going ’til May next year. But hang on til then, and I can assure you this blog is going to get a lot more exciting.

In the meantime, I’ve missed you all very much. Thanks for bearing with me. I am trying.

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.

I remember Saturday nights

4 Oct

I remember when Saturday night meant drinks and dinner. And snogging and sex. And feeling like the luckiest person in the world.

I had a great day today. Swimming, yoga, catching up with friends, quick massage. Now I’m sitting waiting for the X Factor to come on, debating whether or not to eat the Krispy Kreme I bought on a whim earlier. It’s not the same kind of Saturday at all. I walked home past all the bars in Dalston tonight, and all the couples sitting outside doing, well, exactly what we used to do.

But I’m not crying tonight. I’m looking forward to seeing a friend tomorrow. I’m feeling good after yoga. I’m doing OK.

I don’t feel like the luckiest person in the world. But I do feel like a better, stronger person than the girl who believed that she was. And the girl who broke last year.

It is impossible for me to put it as poignantly or fantastically as this dude. My second favourite (Lauren Platt being my first) in this year’s X Factor. Enjoy.

The ability to believe

30 Sep

Well, buddies, the ‘Sex and the City’ gorging continues.

Tonight I watched an episode where Charlotte and Carrie attend a seminar about finding love. It’s about positive affirmations, and putting yourself out there. Because if you hope for love, you will find it. If you believe that you deserve it, you will find it.

Charlotte asks how long she needs to do this for. She says she’s been doing positive affirmations, and putting herself “out there”. But it’s not working.

She says she did find love. That she had a wonderful wedding. And then everything fell apart. And she is, “afraid that he took away my ability to believe.”

That’s how I feel.

I didn’t have the wedding. But I did find love. I loved my ex so much. Truthfully, a large part of me still does.

Lately I feel that there isn’t anybody for me. I know I’m an amazing girlfriend. I know I would be a wonderful wife, and a wonderful mummy. But I just don’t think it’s going to happen.

How can I believe that love is out there, when the only time I’ve experienced it, it was fake?

How can I believe it when he took it away?

A different take on the same old problem

28 Sep

sex_and_the_city_007

Sometimes I feel so lonely I could die.

I’ve had a run of weekends recently when none of my friends were about. This is perhaps the fourth weekend in a row that I’ve spent swimming, going to yoga, and watching TV. This weekend I decided to start watching ‘Sex and the City’ from the beginning. There is no better therapy. So much of it rings so true. And it makes me feel OK to admit certain things to myself. Like the loneliness. The fear of dying alone. The resentment of smug couples and yummy mummies.

It hit me somewhere between Season 1 and Season 2 that – although I want to meet someone – what I’m really missing right now is, well, more friends. I don’t want to paint myself as a total loser. I do have friends. But a combination of factors means most of them don’t live in London. Or, don’t live in London anymore. Work is super sociable. During the week I’m surrounded by colleagues who I genuinely consider to be friends. But the weekends. Ugh. There’s nobody, unless I jump on a train to Scotland¬†(which I’ve been doing more and more of this past year).

So maybe what I want isn’t necessarily a boyfriend.

I watch ‘Sex and the City’ and I’m so envious of that group of women with each other to turn to. That’s another thing – most of my friends in London are men. They’re fun. They’re great company. But it’s not the same as having a group of girlfriends.

So what do I do?

There’s no way I’m ever moving back to Scotland. But maybe I need to hit “Restart” on my social life.

I have tried this past year. I started yoga to try and meet new people. I didn’t meet anyone, but I discovered I love yoga. Maybe language classes would be more sociable? So I started Italian, but three classes in I couldn’t keep up with the homework and had to forget it.

If only there was a Tinder for making new friends. I have no idea how at the age of 32, settled with a flat and a career and ready-made life I go about creating a new social circle. Any ideas?

Because more and more I’m feeling like I need to prioritise. And as much as I want someone to go through life with, and marriage, and kids, and happily ever after, I also want someone to call after I’ve been on dates, and talk to before them, and visit Topshop with, and bitch about work over coffee, and eat pizza and watch DVDs.

I actually have a date this afternoon. I almost forgot.

Sometimes I wonder

26 Sep

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever feel normal again.

It’s over a year since the Pizza of Doom. I’m a different person now. I actually think I’m more confident, more resilient, more empathetic. I know I’m stronger than I realised. I know I’m wiser now. But I think, deep down, there’s lasting damage. There are depths of sadness which I never thought I’d reach – and which I hope I never fall to¬†again – but that scare me still.

Last night I went on a date.

The guy was really lovely. He has a great job, he lives quite near me and has his own flat, he has lovely manners. But I found myself picking away at him inside my head. Too nice. Too thin. Too boring.

He insisted on paying for dinner. Which, I’ll admit, felt nice. It’s been a long time since a boy bought me dinner. But then when he asked to see me again I felt I had to say yes.

So we’re meeting up on Sunday for a walk and lunch.

Which should feel nice, whether or not I end up fancying him and wanting to see him again. He’s a nice guy. It will be a nice afternoon.

Yet I found myself crying as I walked home from work tonight. Because he’s not my ex. He never will be. And I will never have my ex back.

I don’t think I’ll ever feel the way I felt about him ever again.

Which means I might be destined to be alone. Forever.