Tag Archives: single in thirties

A different take on the same old problem

28 Sep

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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.

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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.

A very peculiar Tuesday (and let me remind you again to go for your smear test)

16 Sep

Today was weird. Apologies if a fairly weird post follows.

Today was the follow up from my “abnormal” smear test. I went over to Homerton Hospital for a colposcopy.

The last time I was in Homerton Hospital was just days before the pizza of doom. When I came back from New York, peeing blood with terrible cystitis, and had to haul myself over to ‘accident and emergency’. I remember not feeling that my ex was particularly empathetic. I had no idea he was planning the break up. But that’s another story.

The colposcopy wasn’t nearly as bad as I had worried it would be. Honestly, not even as bad as the smear test itself. Once I was positioned right with my legs up in the air, I relaxed. It felt like a yoga pose. I like yoga. I could do this.

Bonus, I got to watch it all on a big screen and the doctor talked me through what she could see. All was looking fine and dandy ’til she put in the dye. And then my cervix started to resemble my throat when I had tonsillitis. It wasn’t too pretty a sight.

So what does it mean? There are abnormal cells there that could be pre-cancerous. They took a biopsy (which felt quite unpleasant). Those cells will go off to get tested and in four to six weeks I’ll find out what’s going on down there. Then, I might need treatment. Or all might be OK for now.

If this all sounds a little disjointed and unsure, it’s probably because that’s how I feel. Suddenly, a lot of information comes your way. Terms you’ve never heard of. Things you’ve never considered (can I go swimming after my biopsy?). And I have every reason to believe that everything will be fine. But who knows.

I came out of my appointment today, got on the bus, got off outside my flat, came upstairs, and cried for about an hour.

I emailed my friend, who emailed back with words of absolute sense and reassurance.

I went to a restorative yoga class (which mostly involves lying on the floor, relaxing).

I came home, made pasta, watched the news.

And my ex was front-of-mind the entire time. If we were still together, what would he be telling me? What would he be doing? Would he show the same lack of empathy he did back in July last year, that morning that I found myself at the hospital, in agony?

In so many ways I love living on my own. But I’d really like somebody to talk to tonight. Even a cat.

Like I said, it was a weird day.

The good news days

7 Sep

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I’ve moaned a lot recently about how tough it is living alone. How punishing it is to get through a stressful day, get a bunch of bad news, and go home alone to let it all marinade in your own brain with nobody to talk to. 

Well, today I’m mixing it up. Today I’m taking about the other side of things: the good news days. 

I’ve been quite down this weekend despite keeping busy swimming, walking, clearing my flat, and learning how to make origami animals (I’m getting particularly good at penguins). Today I had made my mind up: I was going to step things up a bit and go to a grown-up yoga class.

I’ve been going to the same yoga studio since May now. It’s very chilled out. The teachers are great. But I’ve been sticking with beginners’ classes. And the schedule just doesn’t have that many beginners’ classes that I can go to. For example, there are none at all on Sundays. (I guess they assume those of us less committed to yoga are busy partying and being hungover at weekends. Which is funny. Because I didn’t even speak to anyone yesterday except a man who stopped to help me when my swipe card wouldn’t work at the pool.) So, yes, back to the point in hand. I decided to go to one of the classes that are explicitly “not for beginners”.

Ivengar yoga was at 1, which suited me just fine. I trotted along, feeling weirdly anxious about the whole situation. 

I needn’t have worried. First let me tell you that the people in the grown-up classes are so much friendlier than the beginners. I got talking to a few of them before class – all nice, all normal, and (I absolutely need to tell you) all with killer bodies. 

The teacher was totally understanding of my non-superwoman yoga abilities, offering a few tips and alternatives along the way. But I did the whole class. The whole 75 minutes. And I did everything just the same as everyone else. OK, I’m sure I looked more like a baby elephant than the graceful swans who they appeared to morph into, but I tried. I even finished up with a perfect shoulderstand. 

There is something so empowering and confidence-building about trying new things and learning that you can do them. 

After class the teacher told me I’d done great. Wow. I felt like I was back at school and had just come top in my class.

I left feeling like I was floating on a cloud, stopped for a fro yo, and walked all the way home with a huge Chesire cat smile on my face. 

Now, the thing is, it would be lovely to have someone to come home to. Someone who I could tell all about this achievement. Someone to get crazy excited with me looking at the yoga schedule for the next week and planning every class I want to go to now I’ve broken than glass ceiling into “not for beginner” territory. 

I don’t have that person. 

But, for some reason, it’s easier to deal with keeping good news to yourself than bad. 

And, you know what else? If I was still with my ex, the chances are I would never even have tried yoga. 

I had a similarly intimidating situation at work on Friday last week. I had to run a workshop for a client, had done very little preparation, and had never run one of these workshops before. It turned out great. I think treating them to a spread of cookies and M&Ms helped dramatically, but I managed to put everyone at ease, make them laugh, and get them excited about the creative process. 

Clients. Workshops. Yoga. Going through life alone.  

I guess sometimes the things that scare us the most are the most rewarding. 

Which is good to know. Because I find life pretty scary right now. 

 

The thoughts that wake me at 3am

7 Sep

I’m awake in the middle of the night.

Someone in my building is having a party. The music is loud and obnoxious.

I was dreaming about a presentation I have to give at work on Monday. Not some crazy dreamworld presentation where you imagine you are presenting in your PJs to the cast of Friends about some random topic like the use of broccoli as a pizza topping. No, no. Just plain boring real-world stuff. About branding. Even at the weekend, my brain fills itself with work.

Because what else is there?

Going into hospital for a day next week to get my cervix checked out following a weird smear test?

Which yoga class to go to tomorrow?

How I’m ever going to clear enough stuff from my flat to get a new carpet fitted?

Why a certain friend ignores me these days?

Or the thought that reverberates. And only intensifies after a look on Tinder or eHarmony.

I am never going to meet somebody.

Meeting the feeling

1 Sep

I went to bed early tonight after my busy weekend. My head hit the pillow, and I immediately started sobbing.

As I type I can feel the cool tears tickling me as they cling to my cheeks. And, less poetically, a lot of snot streaming from my nose.

The past 13 months have taught me to try and put logic behind the feeling. Identify it. Meet with it. Work through it.

So here it is: all I really want is to meet someone to go through life with. And before you all start telling me to take up hobbies and spend times with friends, yes yes, I have and I do. But it doesn’t change what I want. It can’t. It can put it in a broader, more interesting context. It can keep me busy and distracted. But it cannot change it.

I do deals with myself in my head. That I don’t mind if I don’t get to have kids if I can just meet someone. That I don’t care about a wedding. And he doesn’t have to look like Ryan Gosling if he’s smart and kind and can make me laugh.

I know how lucky I am in so many ways, but I would give it all up to have what I really want.

Cue uncontrollable tears.

That is called “meeting the feeling”.

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.