Restless in London

I woke up this morning, as I have many times in the last week or so, with a sinking feeling. At least it’s not as bad as it was last Saturday. I woke up in my friends’ flat in Manchester, ready to help pack boxes ready for their move to London, but I could not shake the feeling I woke up with, and this will sound dramatic, but it was the feeling of impending doom. Luckily the move came off without a hitch, and the feeling had disappeared by the following day.

Today all I want to do is call you. To check if you are ok, for you to see how I am. I miss our morning phone calls.

But I guess that was part of the problem. Even though it’s been a long time since we physically shared a bed, you were there most mornings, to cheer me up when I was down, or to just be there to say good morning and share our feelings on the day ahead. But I am a single girl, and I should get used to the fact that from the time I wake up until the time I say “Morning” as I walk in the office, that the only person I will speak to is my cat. I have a housemate but he is never up before I leave for work.

One of the reasons I’m in this pickle is because for all intents and purposes, I made you my surrogate boyfriend. You were the man I turned to for everything. When I won tickets to see Ryan Adams, you were the first person I asked to go with me. You already had other commitments, and of course, I ended up going alone. Maybe that was meant to be. The universe’s way of telling me that I won’t be getting what I want. But the fact is, I should not have made you my first choice. Because I will never be yours. And to quote Walter, Bill Pullman’s character from Sleepless in Seattle, I don’t want to be anybody’s second choice.

So I will resist the urge to ring you. Or Facebook message you. Or text you. Or Whatsapp you. Just know that I am thinking about you, and that I hope you are ok. The cessation of our friendship will not be having the same effect on you as on me, but I know that you will be missing having a friend there, as you too work through your own life problems. I wish I could be there for you, but I can’t. For my own sake, I have to become the strong person you were always telling me I need to be.

I hope one day that we will be friends again. For now, I have no choice but to write about how I feel, because I know that calling won’t do either of us any good.

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Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Remember this pain.

Remember this pain.

Remember this pain.

This is the second time in my life I’ve had this conversation. That dull ache in my heart, that tells me it is time to face the truth, admit defeat. The battle is over; the war is lost.

We’ve said our goodbyes, and sadly I think it will be for good this time. I can’t bear to think of my life without you. But that’s what it is; my life. Without you. Because your life is without me.

Remember this pain. Don’t let it happen again.

My Wrecking Ball – Ryan Adams (2014)

Solo Flight

A few weeks ago I won a pair of tickets to see American Singer-Songwriter Ryan Adams (not to be confused with the ever-so-slightly-more-famous Canadian-singer-songwriter-Bryan Adams) at the iTunes Festival. In case you haven’t heard of it, the iTunes Festival is held every September at The Roundhouse in Camden, London, and showcases around fifteen or twenty musicians during the month. iTunes gives fans the chance to win tickets for as many artists as they want. This is the fourth year I’ve entered and finally won tickets. I can’t help wondering if this is because I am actually living in London now.

Despite my joy at winning tickets, I had a job of trying to get anyone to join me. My close friends were all busy, so were work colleagues. I resorted to a general Facebook post offering the free ticket, but while some of my American friends would have jumped at the chance (especially my friend Mark who has seen Ryan in concert twice), the Brits were slightly less inclined to go. In the end, the guy I’ve had a few dates with said he would go, despite having declined previously.

We arranged that I would head over to his place first and that we would go to the concert from there. Due to the engineering works taking place in both Twickenham and also further north, it took me over an hour and a half to get to his place, half an hour longer than it should have done. After indulging in what two consenting thirty-somethings would do, I asked him what time we would need to leave to get to the concert. To which he replied, “Sweetie, I’m not going to the concert.” I stormed out.

While I have no problems doing stuff on my own, since I have travelled overseas on my own and even been to concerts abroad alone, I was rather pissed off at having to go to the concert by myself, especially after what had happened. I had been expecting to go alone since it wasn’t looking like I would find anybody, but having somebody offer who then had no intention of going really pissed me off.

Although I am angry with him, I am more mad at myself. For many years I have met guys and rushed into intimacy in a blind bid to find “the one”. But of course I always end up feeling disappointed and used, metaphorically “lying cold and naked on the floor” to borrow words from Aussie songstress Natalie Imbruglia.

The main problem is, when this happens, my self-esteem plummets. I feel like I will never find someone, and ask myself why does nobody ever want a relationship with me? The truth is, it is very rare that a great sexual encounter will lead to a relationship. I do know of a couple who are expecting their second child after a one-nighter at a party (well, not after that party obviously…you know what I mean). But sadly they are the exception; because most guys just don’t want to know after the deed is done.

Despite going on my own to the gig, and being stood behind a lovey-dovey couple (which is enough to frustrate me on a good day) I really enjoyed the concert, and I’ll be listening to a lot more of Ryan’s music in the future.

Recently, on the way to work after a very bad morning, I stood at the train doors waiting for them to open at my station, and it occurred to me that what those people waiting on the platform were about to see was my very grumpy face. I realised I didn’t want them to see that, and so I made an effort to put a big smile on my face. And you know what, it really did make a difference; I felt so much better. So lately, I’ve been trying to make more of an effort to smile, especially when I feel like crap.

Last night I had a counselling session (which was good timing) and then I met a friend at Oxford Street. On the bus I reapplied my make-up after my tearful appointment to make myself look and feel better. Using my recently-discovered ability to smile through the pain, I made a concerted effort to put a smile on my face as I entered Debenhams to meet him. As I greeted him, he still commented on how thoroughly fed up I looked. So despite my best efforts, neither make-up or a forced smile were enough to hide the glumness I feel at this latest dating disaster.

I guess a still have a long way to go in not allowing my relationships with men affect my mood and my self-esteem. Last night with my counsellor I made a list of the qualities I want in a man, as well as some ground rules for dating. While I have no intention of going back to internet dating anytime soon, the difficulties in meeting someone the old-fashioned way make it likely that I’ll be back online within a number of months. Armed with my list and instructions on what not to do, hopefully I can navigate this minefield a little better and without setting myself up for situations in which I only end up getting hurt.

I wasn’t going to make this a music blog, but since it’s partly about Ryan Adams, I feel I want to share at least one of his songs. Come Pick Me Up was the last song he played as part of the two-song encore. It’s about getting hurt yet going back for more. Which I think sums up this blog.

Come Pick Me Up – Ryan Adams (2000)