You Can Call It Another Lonely Day…

As I get older, I have begun to realise that life doesn’t necessarily have a set plan for you. What you once believed to be a truth now becomes not a lie, but an untruth. Perhaps it was never to be believed, but it’s all to do with your perspective, and how you see things. Sometimes you have to take off the rose-tinted specs. And then place them in the bin. No, retrieve them from the bin, and stamp on them until the pinky glass shatters to a million different pieces.

I once wrote a blog about a trip to Italy, where I had gone to see my favourite singer, Eric Martin, play a gig. Travelling at the time of the ash cloud, I was stranded in Venice for a few days. This took place a few months after I separated from my husband, and I was searching for that one person who eluded me. It has taken me a long time to realise who that person was.

It was me.

Sitting in the Hard Rock Cafe in Venice, faced with being exiled in another country indefinitely, I heard Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way, and took that to be a sign that I was at least on the right path.

Last year, one of my housemates had left his Fleetwood Mac greatest hits CD in the kitchen. Never one to miss an opportunity, I opened up my laptop and imported it into my iTunes.

The first song on the album is Go Your Own Way. While the song still holds that powerful suggestion to me that you can go your own way, literally that you can choose your own path, having listened to the album over and over, I realise that the song does in fact have a completely different meaning:

If I could, baby, I’d give you my world
But how can I when you won’t take it from me?
You can go your own way
Go your own way
You can call it another lonely day

As readers will know, the last few years have had a heavy focus for me on finding a relationship. At times when I should have been studying, I’ve been so wrapped up in a guy that my focus was never on what I should be doing. And I asked myself, how can I give you my world if you won’t take it from me?

What becomes clear, as I sit on the National Express heading North, is that Ishould have been asking myself why I won’t take the world that is being offered to me?

I’ve had the opportunity to go to university, to study abroad, to live in another country, to travel extensively and to live in one of the biggest capital cities in the world.

Yet I am faced with spending Christmas Day alone. The fact is, I have no money, as debts have built up since I finished university and made the move to London. I haven’t managed the little money I have had well, which has resulted in more debt and finally running out of money the week before Christmas. But this is nothing new. I have always taken the view of money that “you can’t take it with you.” Well that’s to be applauded, but I also realise while I am on this earth that it’s difficult to live for free. You can’t be ruled by wealth, true, but I know from experience how hurtful it can be to have nothing. But it is always at the times when I want to show those people who have supported me throughout the year, how much they mean to me. This Christmas, I have run out of money, and I can’t afford to buy some of my closest family the presents I want to get them. Some I have even had to say I will give you yours when I get paid on the 30th December. How shitty is that.

Yes, it’s been a tough year for me money-wise. But it’s not like I haven’t had a roof over my head, or food to eat. I have treated myself to clothes or shoes or a coffee because, to justify it to myself, I need to treat myself.

Otherwise I will get nothing.

I wish I could say this is the first time this has happened, but it isn’t. Many, many times before have I been in this situation. Penniless, at a crucial time of year, because I have mismanaged my money for the other twelve months.

This year I want this to be the last time I have to worry about money. By Christmas 2014, I want to be financially stable.

The last two New Year’s Eves have seen myself and my housemates host a house party, and this year will be no exception. The first year, on New Year’s Day, we wrote our resolutions for the forthcoming year and sealed them in an envelope. Last year, on New Year’s Day, we opened them, cringed at the resolutions we hadn’t kept, and smiled proudly at the few we had.

My resolutions for 2013 wait patiently in an envelope in my bedroom. I know, before I even open it, that I have achieved few of the ten aims I listed last year. Sadly, I know that this New Year’s Day will see me listing many of the same once more. But next year, I must change. Because I’m swimming round in circles and getting nowhere fast.

In 2014, I want to be financially and emotionally stable. I want to look back at the pages and pages I have written and know that I finally got over that block which has crippled me, particularly over the last six months.

In 2014, I want to go my own way, take the world that I have within my grasp and make it my year.

You Can Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac (1977)

Blogger’s Note: This post was originally written on the afternoon of Friday 20th December 2013.

Jogga-Blog No. 4 and 5: AKA The Return of 33andlostinlife

Out of all the titles you could possibly have expected me to pick for my first blog post in almost two months, I bet you didn’t expect to see the words “Jogga-Blog”.  In fact, this is the fourth and fifth Jogga-Blog combined, because my first London-based jog occurred on Thursday evening.  While afterwards I was most pleased with myself, the closest I got to blogging about the experience was thinking about it.  Well, you know what they say, it’s the thought that counts.

Today I was up early, so I decided to take advantage of the nice morning, before the heat became too overbearing, and take myslf off on another jog.  Once round the park without stopping this time.  I was most impressed with myself.

You may be wondering why it has taken me so long to write another blog post since the publication of The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 1.  I’ll do my best to fill you in on what has happened in my life over the last seven weeks, and from then onwards I shall attempt to keep you updated on a more regular basis.

I managed to find a lovely flat in West London, which I’ve settled into now.  My “housemates” are slightly older than me, but it’s nice to be with people who are full of stories from their lives.  I love listening to them talking, because it gives me inspiration for writing.  While this is the first time I’ve put virtual pen to paper in some time, I’ve been jotting down notes in my mind.  My little notebook that I use for my writing ideas got dusted off the other day, and I’m delighted to say that some of my ideas made it onto the page.  But I finally feel like my creative juices are starting to flow, which makes me happy because the pipes have been clogged for some time. Now though, that all my university work is finished, I can write for pleasure, without having to worry about deadlines, and I am thrilled that my ideas may finally find a place in the world.

It took me a while, but in mid-June I finally found a temp job, working in the Head Office of a high-end retail company.  The office is located only four tube stops from where I live, so the commute takes around 30 minutes door-to-door, which is not too bad considering I work with people who commute up to four hours a day.  The work is very similar to what I did in the NHS, analysing data, but instead of patients, it’s handbags and high heels.  I had a job interview for a writing position for one of these Daily-Deal websites just before I was offered this post.  While I was slightly disappointed not to have got the job, I think I’m coming to the conclusion that, for now, I’m happy with a nine-to-five job that I can do without having to stress out over it, where the people are nice and the commute isn’t too long.  I can get work on getting my finances back into a manageable condition, and use my free time to do what I have wanted to do for so long: write.  This job is temp to perm, which means it may become permanent in a few months.

You may be wondering why I bothered to do a degree in American Studies, if I was only to get a job the same as what I was doing before.  Well I got my degree results the other day, and I will graduate from the University of Lincoln in September with an upper second-class honours, or a 2:1.  This is reflective of the work I’ve done over the last four years, and while last year I may have been disappointed not to have received a first-class honours, right now I am just glad to have made it to the end with some sense of sanity.  When I started my degree, my life was very different, and what I want to gain out of a degree now is not necessarily the same as it was when I enrolled back in September 2009.  While I would still love to have the opportunity to work in America, I am learning to pick and choose my fights, and the opportunities for someone like myself to make the USA my home are slim.  What I’d rather do is focus on what I want to do, which is writing, rather than where I want to do it.  Days like today, where the weather is 26 degrees centigrade (79 Fahrenheit), and the forecast for the next six days is much the same, I’m more than happy to be in London, which is like a little greenhouse full of heat, where I can spend my lunchtimes sunning myself in the park, and the early evenings in the garden.

So I have somewhere to live, a job, and lots more time on my hands.  One thing I don’t have, is a relationship.  As you know if you’ve spent any time with me or my blog, that is high on my list of wants.  Right now, as much as I’d love to meet someone, I don’t have the money to spend on dates, or buying new clothes for dates.  But that is ok, because knowing myself as I do, it would be wrong to rush into finding someone, and people do always say it happens when you don’t expect it.  I can enjoy settling myself into my new life, and eyeing up the hot guys on the tube…

For now, life is good.  This chapter is still very new to me, and I’m very much finding my feet.  I’ve put on weight since my arrival, hence my desire to jog, and knowing that I won’t be able to afford to join a gym until possibly later in the year, I’m going to have to rely on my own resources and free exercise such as jogging and walking, in the tree-lined areas close to where I live and work.  By the end of September, I will have graduated from university, signaling the true end of the previous chapter of my life; potentially have secured a permanent job, and have made myself financially stable.  All the key ingredients for the basis of a happy life, on which I can build the foundations of the me I’ve wanted to become.  Please join me as the journey continues.  I’ve missed talking to you guys.



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.


Three Posts and a Maybe

So it seems like I’m going for the record: three blog posts in one day.  Never been done before, certainly not by me.  Today has been very down then slightly up, although I feel myself slipping again.  Part of me should be grateful; that at least I am writing, but why do things have to go wrong for me to be able to write?  Is it too much to ask that I be happy and still be able to write a blog about my life.

Like any good soap opera though, the good parts are few and far between.  It is the drama that makes it so watchable.  You’ll always find a high body count on Christmas Day in EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale (for international readers, the UK’s top Soap Operas and thus, the UK’s most watched TV shows).  But why do so many people tune in?  It’s not because they’re too exhausted to move after their huge turkey dinner.  Ok, well maybe it is.  But mainly it’s because the dramatic plots are what attract people’s interest.  People love a good murder, plane crash, unsuspecting spouse being served with divorce papers (yes, EastEnders’-Den-Watts-serves-wife-Angie-with-divorce-papers-shocker from Christmas Day 1986 still tops the countdown of any Christmas Soap Storyline Poll).

Now I’m not saying that my blog readers only want to read my blog when my life is going down the toilet.  Well, some of them might.  But I’d like to think that most of them read it and hope, like me, for better days.

I guess what has hit me most today, is that I have been upset over what really shouldn’t be affecting me so much.  The bare foundations of a ‘relationship’ (and I use this term extremely loosely), which really hit a brick wall before it even got planning permission.  In my first blog, perhaps during my initial reaction stage, I made it seem like it was the guy’s fault, but really it was more to do with circumstance and bad timing.  Which is really the crux of it.  I met a wonderful guy, we got on really well, we both liked each other, but our individual circumstances are such that we are both in situations where the next few months are crucial, and after that who knows where we will be.  He was sensible enough to see that it had to stop, which is something I was not brave enough to do.  But it still hurts, because once again I feel like I have been closer to what I want, namely a relationship; closer than I have been in a long time.  But the last one, almost two and a half years ago, ended after only six weeks, a consequence of circumstances hurtled way out of my control.

I am reassured by friends, at least you had only been seeing him a few weeks.  Yes, true.  But why I can’t I ever get past that magical month?  Anyway, the man thing is being shelved for a while.  I have 15 weeks until I am free to do whatever I want with my life; move to the Outer Hebrides, become a florist, maybe join the circus.  The world is my oyster.  Time to woman up and make sure I’m ready to seize the opportunity to move on.