Tag Archives: marriage

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.

You never know what’s coming

27 Jul

WHix4

Well, a year ago tonight was my last “date” with him.

We were in New York. We went to an incredible little Mexican place in the East Village and ate tacos, drank cocktails, and talked. He was talking about, “if we had a daughter”. Little did I know he was weighing up his options there and then. I remember walking home, and him telling me I looked cute as a button. I didn’t know he was saying goodbye. And when I got on a flight the next day to head home, I didn’t know that just a week later I would be on a last-minute flight to my parents’ house in Scotland, numbed with vodka. And that when I got there I’d lie in bed and cry. For four days.

Because he was never in love with me.

Today I met up with my old flatmate. We moved into a flatshare together seven years ago, and lived there for three years. A lot of sh** went down in that flat. I was the dumper and the dumpee repeatedly, while she was in a long-term relationship, then an engagement.

That engagement ended when the guy she was engaged to, well, ended it.

She’s a mum now. And – I am delighted to report – not an annoying mum in the least. In fact, probably the most chilled out mum I’ve come across. Her career is still hugely important to her. She works five days a week. She can hold a conversation without stopping mid-sentence to dramatically stage an intervention as her baby eats a leaf. I know the pain that she went through four years ago. And I think it has helped make her into the woman she is today.

She thought she had her happy ending.

I thought I had mine.

You never know what’s waiting, just a week away.

Who are we all, anyway?

5 Jul

Alaska, two gray wolves at the forests edge.

Yesterday was our company conference.

This means that my day started super early at a hotel in central London, making small talk and eating stupidly small croissants. We then had a whole day of “exploratory” exercises that were meant to help us decipher who we are as individuals, and as a business. The day was run by an external company. I (and most other people) took an instant dislike to the man running it. Ugh. He made my skin crawl. He was a fat man on a massive ego trip, and also a man incapable of referencing any success story (business or otherwise) that featured a woman. He also misquoted Steve Jobs. Repeatedly.

It has to be said – the feedback from most people was that the highlight of the day was a five-minute presentation I gave in the afternoon which compared our important marketing work to the work of Dr Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy, and then went on to assign “animal spirits” that illustrate our company culture. In case you’re wondering, we are penguins, wolves and cats.

I’m just showing off, but the point is, the rest of the day felt simulated, manipulated and very, very inauthentic.

What was authentic, was sitting in a pub sixteen hours later, drinking wine and talking about life and love and – essentially – who we are with two of my colleagues. One, a man, married, in his early 50s, once divorced already. The other a girl, around my age, very recently married. And then me. Single as a hungry mole.

We were discussing our own love lives. I was telling them more about the pizza of doom. The guy was discussing his first marriage. The girl was talking about how different she and her husband are, and how that helps them to fit. It was deep, dude. And we were all agreeing that life and love take all kinds of different shapes, but none is less relevant than the rest. Nobody is less important because of their circumstances. What is important is that you’re happy.

In the past few weeks, I feel happy again. My heart feels glad. I’m sure you’ve noticed a change in my posts. I’ve certainly noticed a change in my ability to keep mascara on my face.

Now, this brings me back to the wolf animal spirit. You might be wondering what that was all about. Perhaps it sounds ferocious or brave. But, no, the wolves are a symbol of support. We have a fiercely supportive culture in my company. Just like a pack of wolves, in which everyone has a role. In a pack of wolves, there are hunters, protectors, there are even wolves who play the clown to keep everyone’s spirits up. They all do their thing well, and I’ll bet that their wolfy self-esteem is all hooked up in that. They don’t need to aspire to be anyone else because the other wolves value them for being exactly who they are. And that’s got to feel good. Everyone wants to be loved for being themselves, right?

Likewise, in my company we all have our own roles to play. Our niches. Whether we’re creative, or best at strategy, or building client relationships, or project management, we find what we’re good at and we do that. To the very best of our abilities.

Which is kind of how it is in life, right? Clearly, I have missed the boat on being one of those girls with the perfect love story. But that doesn’t mean I’m not perfect (imperfections and all) just the way I am.

Sea tears

10 May

I’ve been quiet this week because, well, I’ve been lying on the beach. I’ve got into a nice routine, starting with a 6 am run every morning.

But this morning was tricky. Because last night I dreamt about him.

I dreamt I was at a hotel in Ireland. And everyone was telling me that this is where we were supposed to get married. I’m not sure who these bearers of upsetting news were. I seemed to be on my own. I guess the hotel staff just wanted to rub salt into the wound.

Anyway, made myself get up and run in spite of waking up close to tears. I ran as far as I could on the beach, then kicked off my trainers and walked back through the water.

And it’s only then I realised I was crying. Salty, watery sea tears.

That dream is what it all boils down to. For all the times he told me he’d spent his whole life looking for me, I genuinely felt I’d spent my whole life looking for him. I loved him unconditionally. And, yes, I wanted to marry him and spend my life with him.

But it will never happen.

Another life lesson from Grey’s Anatomy

30 Apr

Cristina-Yang

Christina to Meredith, “Your life looks different because it’s filled with houses and husbands and kids, and mine looks the same. But I’m doing this alone. And that’s just as hard.”

I’d rather be Christina anyway.

Trying to find happiness

20 Apr

fc,220x200,baby_blue

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.