Tag Archives: single

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.

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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.  

 

How do you measure a year?

21 Aug

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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.