The Waiting Game

So much unhappiness in the world.  So many unhappy relationships.  It seems like everyone I speak to is unsettled with their boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband, partner.  It is all I can do to convince them to leave. For it is my experience, that once someone is unhappy in their relationship, that can never be changed.  

Perhaps the conversation between us becomes a happy one for a while; normal life takes over and they tell me about what they did at the weekend, they skirt round the underlying issues.  But those issues always come back eventually.  And what can I say to them?  Except leave? 

I had no-one to tell me that.  I didn’t discuss my unhappy marriage with a single person.  Well that’s not true; I kind of did once, when I was drunk, but I denied it after that.  The day I left my husband I stood in my mum’s kitchen while she was on the phone for ten whole minutes before she realised why I was stood in her kitchen, on my own, on a weeknight after work, without my husband.  That’s not her fault, of course, just a a result of the fact that my leaving came as a shock to everyone apart from me.

I wish I could believe in the hope that things can get fixed.  But I can’t.  Because I don’t believe that can ever happen.  

I do know people who have stayed together, long after one of them told me they were on the verge of splitting.  This couple are now married with a child.  And I believe their relationship will hold.  But they are very few and far between.  

As I think about how long I’ve been single, and whether I wish I could be in a relationship again, even the wrong one, just to be with someone, and the thought leaves me cold.  Yes, I would rather be alone.  

Being alone is hard.  But at least I can look in the mirror with a clear conscience, and know the person standing in front of me is the one I want to be with.  

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The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 29

Well, it’s Day 29, and why do I suddenly feel like time is going too fast on this challenge?  While the countdown was in the 30s, it still seemed like ages but now it’s down to the twenties, you just know it’s going to go super fast.

After meeting with my Study Coach yesterday at uni, I had set myself the challenge of seeing every day as a 9-5 job.  I did set my alarm for 8am as planned, although I got out of bed at ten past nine.  Technically I was ten minutes late for my first day at work, but I figured they always let you start late on your first day.

Somewhat surprisingly, I stuck at it all day.  With the exception of lunchtime, when I had to pop out, I sat in front of my computer all day applying for jobs.  I set up a spreadsheet so I could record which jobs I’d applied for and what date.  I even contacted a couple of people about rooms in shared houses.  Today has been a successful first day.

I’m looking forward to getting up tomorrow, for my second day of work.  I need some structure in my life.  It’s time to put that structure in place now, especially since I have closed the door on something major today.  When I nipped out at lunchtime, I went to the County Court to apply for my Decree Absolute.  The lady behind the glass told me that, as of 1:03pm, I was now officially divorced.

After more than three years, it’s official.  My longest relationship with a man, other than a blood relative, is over.  While I’ll never forget the ten years we spent together, it’s time to move on.  Life is waiting.

The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 38

After yesterday’s blog, it was pointed out to me by several people that today, was in fact, the 1st April, not tomorrow. Therefore I had a whole 24 hours less to make a decision about going to America to work for the summer.

After much soul searching, crying, more soul searching, and a bit more crying, I decided not to pursue the J-1 visa which would allow me to work in the States for the summer. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, and I wasn’t particularly happy about coming to that decision, but I think it’s the best decision for me.

I have been waiting for many years for the opportunity to start the next chapter of my life, and I think that is what finally persuaded me. I want some stability in my life, and that was instrumental in my decision. I shall soon have finished my degree, and will be divorced. I will be free to start a new career, in a new city, and without the constraints of Uni workload and the knowledge of moving away making dating impossible, I will have the time and freedom to start dating again. While I realise that having a man is not everything, a happy, healthy relationship is something I have wanted for a long time and I look forward to getting that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you meet someone new.

I’ve applied for a couple of jobs this weekend, and found a few more to apply for. I’ve printed some copies of my CV to take with me to London. I’ve done some reading and note taking for my assignment. All in all, I’m feeling positive for the future.

The Twelve Week Challenge: Day 44

The eagle-eyed among you will notice that it is now Day 44, and haven’t we already had a Day 44?   Well as I  mentioned briefly yesterday, I’ve decided that since I’m now half-way through The Twelve-Week Challenge, that I would start counting down, towards the end, or rather the beginning, of the next chapter in my life.

The excitement of having my dissertation handed in has left me not really knowing what to do with myself, although tomorrow I won’t really have that problem as long as I make a start on my next assignment.  As I’ve mentioned already, having my handed dissertation in, while being a huge weight off, is an anti-climax when I have another four assignments to do before I can say goodbye student life.

This morning I decided I ought to get back onto the job search side of things, and called a publishing recruitment agency in London.  While the woman on the phone was polite, she told me there really wasn’t anything they could do for me without any publishing experience.  So I should seek out some work experience, then consider coming back.

I’m not sure I expected them to say anything else really, because I know that publishing is a very competitive industry.  One of my worries, over the last two years while at uni, was getting some “relevant work experience” and while I have done some extracurricular activities such as my radio work, I haven’t actually done any publishing experience.  While I have applied for work experience with some of the larger companies, I’ve never heard back from them.

After that, I did a search online for other, less specialised recruitment agencies, and got all over-excited about a PA job in Dubai.  Halfway through re-shaping my CV, I had to ask myself, do I really want a PA’s job?  While I love the idea of working in Dubai (23.5 degrees north of the equator!), when I think back to when I actually was a PA and…well…I hated it.  I realise I am not so good at organising somebody else, I’d much rather have a job where I can manage my own time and my workload.  If there’s one thing I learnt from working in London last time, it was that you shouldn’t do a job you hate.

I’m not talking about the job you do day-in, day-out, like the one I had in the NHS for so many years.  I’m talking about the job that really makes you so terribly unhappy, either because you hate the work, hate the company (or both), or because you know in your heart that actually you’re not so good at the job, and thus feel like a failure.  Having been, in my time, a hotel receptionist, a paralegal, a medical secretary and a customer service assistant (although I was told by the temp agency it was a data entry clerk), I realise that there’s no point in doing a job you don’t like, and I vowed never to do these jobs again.

The last time I worked in London was in 1997-8.  I didn’t even have a mobile phone, let alone the internet.  I remember one of my colleagues at the hotel where I worked was the first to get a phone; I used to ring my parents from the payphone across the street.  I had a nice collection of BT Phonecards at one point.  I worked in the hotel for nine months, before finally securing a job as a Paralegal for one of the big City law firms.  I’d been for endless job interviews, and finally got offered two jobs.  I chose the one working for the company with the big posh offices, although that was pointless since my office ended up being in the old part of the building anyway.  As a paralegal, I used to prepare documents, and take them to banks for signatures.  I don’t mean your average High Street branch, I mean real, investment banks.  I was basically a glorified delivery person.  And I hated it.

While my job was pants, I also rented a room from a woman in Brick Lane.  At first she was chatty but after a while she seemed to take to avoiding me.  It left me feeling really awkward, and I remember going to my room and crying after a horrible day at work and not feeling any happier once I arrived at home.

After spending a year living in London, which was the deadline I had given myself, I held my hands up in defeat, and made plans to come home.  My job was on a three-month probation, so it really wasn’t a problem for me to leave.  I had signed a six-month rental agreement at the flat too, but my landlord had no problem with me moving out after only four months.

I will never forget the conversation I had with the woman from HR.  She was asking me why I was leaving and I, of course, got upset and told her that I hated the job.  She asked me what I liked doing, and I told her that I enjoyed typing.  While in London, I’d gotten my Computer Keyboard Skills qualification from Pitman (the first, and last time, I ever got a distinction) and typing was the one thing I could do well, although as a Paralegal, I didn’t have too much typing to do.  She told me that I should have said, that they could have moved me to the typing pool.  But by that point, I’d made the decision to come home, and didn’t want to disappoint my parents by telling them I wasn’t coming back after all.  So I came home.  I did a few temp jobs before getting a permanent job with the NHS, where I worked for twelve and a half years.  I bought a house, got married, lost the house, got divorced (well, almost).  But I have always regretted leaving London.  I didn’t admit that for a long time, because it was as though I wasn’t grateful for what I’d found since I came back.  But really, I should never have come back.

My friend said to me today that I need to prepare for going to London this time, that I don’t want to have to come back if it doesn’t work out.  I agree that I need to prepare, but I won’t be coming back.  Except for visiting friends and family.  I don’t belong here, I have never belonged here.  If things don’t work out in London, then I shall head elsewhere (preferably somewhere closer to the Equator), but I won’t be coming back to Lincoln.  That much I know.

 

The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 31

I’m actually highly embarrassed writing this blog post.  It’s 2:14am, and this blog is 2 hours 14 minutes late (at least, since you also need to add how long it takes me to write it.  But hopefully that won’t be too long at this ridiculous hour).  I was only talking to my Life Coach, Jon Richelieu-Booth, earlier today about how I’ve pretty much managed to stay on top of these blogs, with only a handful of late blogs during this challenge.  But here I go again, and the reason being, you won’t be surprised to hear, is a member of the male species.

As I finally switch off my iPhone’s Have You Blogged Today??!! reminder, which I’ve been snoozing every five minutes since 9pm, I realise that I have a history of making the same mistakes over and over again.  During the time of my university career when I need to be focussed on my work, I have let myself get distracted by the idea of meeting The Perfect Man.  I had just about given up; or at least parked the idea until after I was done with uni.  But no.  The internet dating site I was telling you about the other day, the one where you can’t actually talk to people came up trumps, with a rather good-looking guy sending me a message along with his mobile phone number.  To quote an Eric Martin song, I’m a Sucker for a Pretty Face, and the idea that this particular pretty face may finally be the Man of My Dreams was just too much to ignore, even for two weeks while I rid myself of the dissertation that has been haunting me for the last two years.

So I started messaging said guy, and arranged to meet him this week.  He doesn’t live nearby, so it would have meant a full day away from home.  Long story short, something just didn’t feel right and I had to go along with my gut instinct, and actually walk away from aforementioned hot guy.  He didn’t seem particularly upset, sending me a “Bye babe x” text.  Babe.  Even if it was only for two days, I enjoyed having somebody call me babe, and the excitement of thinking this could be the one.

Of course, afterwards, I went into mini meltdown.  I couldn’t do anything, except cry my eyes out, and lay on my bed.  I’ve somehow managed to snooze while snoozing my blog reminder.  It’s a miracle it’s still going off to be honest, a lesser person would have just switched it off hours ago, but like the reminder for my tablets, I refuse to switch it off until I’ve actually done what the reminder tells me I should have done, otherwise I will forget (hence the reason for a reminder).

I realise that I let myself get distracted because, deep down (or on the surface really) I just want what I’ve always wanted – to be in a loving relationship with the guy of my dreams.  Maybe the reason I’m struggling to finish off my uni work, is because it will finally mean doing what I’ve been trying to do for years, which is to escape from my home town and all its ghosts.  After 34 years, 22 of them spent hankering after the guy I thought was “The One”, well I finally have to admit I was wrong.  He wasn’t the one.  He wasn’t even a maybe.  By finishing uni, and moving away, I’ll finally be putting the last nail in the coffin on The One That Got Away, as I always thought of him.

I am prone to repeating the same mistakes and not learning from them.  A reminder of that came in the form of a letter, received while I was away over the weekend, from a debt collection agency.  It was asking if I was indeed the person named who used to live at blah blah address.  Yes I am.  But I worry as to why it is asking me this, in relation to a “Business Matter”.  Read: unpaid debt.  This is from a time when I was married, in fact I haven’t lived at that address for over four years, and I thought all our debts from that time were paid off.

At the time when my divorce is almost finalised, I’m less than impressed to receive something like this out of the blue.  Almost like a reminder that your past will always be there to bite you on the ass.

After I finish writing this, I will switch off my laptop, crawl under my duvet, which hasn’t hosted me since Wednesday night, and switch off the touch lamp my mum gave me last time she came over.  I’ll go to sleep, with The Bish next to me, and when I wake up tomorrow, I’ll start on my dissertation.  Time to banish those ghosts.  Get those last 2000 words written, and then time for editing, before getting it bound and submitted in time before the deadline.  No more distractions.  I can’t afford to lose focus on what’s important; that I am a third of the way through this challenge, and therefore a third of the way closer to being able to say goodbye to all past mistakes, and move on to a brand new page, and the chance to reinvent myself.  I cannot lose this second chance at life.  My parents are waiting to see me graduate this September, along with the person that matters most.  Myself.

The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 18

Hard to believe that today is Day 18 of this challenge.  But time marches on, and I have been reminded of that today.

Today, at 9:45am, my divorce petition was due to go before a judge.  It was not necessary for me to attend; after three years of separation, it is merely a formality.

It is not that I am especially disappointed to be getting divorced, although I am sad that my 10 year relationship could have been reduced to this.  More that I had expected to have achieved more in my life over these last three years.  I thought I would be happy in another relationship by now, but in reality I am no closer to having a relationship than I was three years ago.  I have been out with many guys, but, really none of them could be described as boyfriend material.  As well as the relationship issue, I should have graduated from university last year, but I suspended my studies due to lack of concentration and motivation, and therefore I don’t have my degree yet.  I still feel like everything is not yet within my grasp, like I’m being teased with it, like a carrot on a string.

Shortly I will receive my Decree Absolute, and this will mean the true end of my marriage.  Along with the last few university assignments, this will signal the end of an era, the close of a chapter.  The start of a new volume.  Like the rest of The Twelve-Week Challenge, the end is something to aim for.

Preparing for one of my presentations due on Friday has taken precedence today.  I have been reading Janet Evanovich’s Two for the Dough, the second book in the Stephanie Plum series, and making notes for my assignment that I have entitled “Battle of the Sexes: Femininity vs Masculinity in Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series”.  If you haven’t read any Stephanie Evanovich, I suggest you do.  Think Bridget Jones with a gun.

Aside from my presentation prep, my dissertation has been put to one side until the presentations are out of the way.  Tomorrow will be a day for applying for some internships that close on Thursday.

All in all, I think I’m doing ok today.  Although that could just be the White Zinfandel talking.  But there’s only this blog standing between me and my bed.  Time to switch off The Doors playing through Spotify.  This is The End.  Time to Break on Through to the other side.  Night night, y’all.

 

Roses are red…

…violets are blue

I hate Valentine’s Day

It makes me feel like poo.

No, my blog hasn’t been taken over by an eight year old.  Although having watched Home Alone last night, I am convinced that Hollywood eight year olds at least, are the stuff of genius.

Childish poetry aside, here I am during this week that I dread.  I had a discussion with some friends about it at uni today and they were all like, oh it doesn’t bother me.  Well, yes, of course it doesn’t bother people who are in a relationship.  It’s only the singletons out here who despise Valentine’s Day.  I had only just started my blog before last Valentine’s Day, and I actually wrote some fairly positive blogs https://33andlostinlife.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/not-what-you-might-expect/, https://33andlostinlife.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/happy-and-i-mean-it-valentines-day/  despite being single.  But I can’t help feeling grumpy this year, maybe because yet again I am single for Valentine’s, with not even a whiff of a date.

I saw a funny picture on Facebook today with a caption that read, “If you’re sad about being alone on Valentine’s Day, just remember nobody loves you on any other day of the year either.”  Which did make me laugh.  A little.  Before I remembered that, unfortunately, it was true.

But I think I know why February is such a hard month for me.  While February 14th is a reminder of my singledom, February 1st is a reminder of the date I ended my marriage.  Although I do not regret my decision, I sometimes think I expected to have become more settled into my new life by now, and at least, three years later, to have been dating someone else.  But that is not to be.  No wonder I find myself looking at dating websites again, but after my last internet dating encounter, I am hesitant.  Plus, I have The Twelve-Week Challenge to think about, and nowhere in there does it allow time for dating.  But maybe when I’ve finished uni, and I am getting settled  into wherever I’m going to be, it’ll be time to try again.

For now though, I do have two dates in February to count down to.  The first, February 26th, is the date my divorce will go before the court.  It’s been a long time coming, and will finally give us both the opportunity to move on.  The second is something much more exciting, and one which gives me something to look forward to in February: my nephew Jamie’s first birthday!!!  Of course, he was born on February 29th last year, being a leapling baby, so he’ll be celebrating on February 28th and for a few days after that.  I guess February is not all bad, since I do have one little man willing to give me lots and lots of love and hugs.

 

 

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