It’s one year on from that moment I fell apart. It’s taken a long time but I finally feel good and not just occasionally, but almost every day.
I’d always believed in karma and that everything happens for a reason. So I struggled for a long time to understand what that reason was.
When my plans to see a friend in Scotland this Easter fell through (which felt like deja vu of last year, but obviously a lot less terrible) I opted to go away with a walking group instead. And that was when the penny dropped.
I’ve been trying too hard over the last 12 months to find people I belong with.
I had a nice Easter weekend but it was the second group I’ve tried out dominated by people old enough to be my parents. I’m not ageist, most of my friends are much older than me, but I’d have had a better time if I had gone away for a weekend on my own, which I’ve not done since last Easter. I used to love doing that, but haven’t wanted to be alone for a long time. In the last few weeks I’ve really been thinking it’s what I need most.
Then I had a weekend away with my outdoor friends and for the first time ever I took my knitting. And I realised two things really stupid.
After everything that happened last year I’ve spent the last year trying to feel a sense of belonging, of friendship. As well as all that happened with men and jobs, it was also a year in which one old friend used me and then betrayed my confidence, and my best friend wasn’t around at my darkest time and then left me when she changed jobs. It’s stupid as she’s not moved away (yet) but that’s how it felt. I felt incredibly alone.
But in the last few months I realised I have had friends all along. I know that sounds stupid, but it’s taken a really long time not to feel lonely and to be content in myself. I don’t even recognise that person I was last year.
I actually have fantastic friends, in my knitting group who I share drinks and giggles and ideas, a good bunch of friends at work for drinks and giggles (some of whom are single too so that helps!)
As for a group of friends to hike with and share my other passions, I’ve had them all along too. So the second stupid thing is finding that they accepted me even with my knitting. A group of people accepted the whole me and not just the part I’d let them see.
Why has it taken me till being 32 to feel like that?
I have lots of friends who I can share laughs with, weekends away and who inspire me in different ways.
So, April has been a great month for realising I’ve always belonged, I just hadn’t seen it. For finally being old enough to no longer care what people think. I’d been trying so hard to find something new I hadn’t realised I already had everything I ever wanted.
Well, I’m still single so that’s not entirely true. I’m not ready to even consider dating yet and it could easily be another 12 months before I am. But in this moment I’m enjoying everything I’ve ever wanted – going away with friends and spending my evenings doing everything I’ve ever wanted to do and couldn’t.
I even see some of my married friends looking on envious as I have time to do what I want. Meeting someone scares me still, I’m not sure my confidence level is high enough yet to go for it or even take potential rejection when it all fails. It will take me a while to trust again. I don’t want a repeat of last year ever again.
But the thought of being single doesn’t bother me anymore either. In fact the thought of giving up anything I’ve now gained bothers me more!
So I never changed jobs – I realised the one I have is ok (and my boss likes me enough to let me have extended leave – bonus!) And I’m finally doing freelance work too which is going to keep me very busy this summer but is something I wouldn’t have done otherwise.
I never moved house – but then after a huge throw out of possessions last summer, I realised I love where I live and its where the people who’ve helped me the most are (even though they don’t know it).
It bothered me a lot when my best friend changed jobs and announced she is getting married and eventually moving away. It was like being abandoned and betrayed, all over again, and it made me feel truly alone. But then I realised I actually have a strong network of friends around me, and while they might not know me as well, they’ve helped more over this last year by being there to hike with and knit with. They were there when I needed them.
I don’t know where Life is going anymore but at least I’ve stopped worrying about it. In fact the only thing missing from my life – other than love- is a dog. If I could have a dog I don’t think I’d need anything else. I know Im being weak by wanting unconditional love from an animal but I know it would make me happy. I just wish I could sort my job out so it was possible.
I’ve rambled. I just felt I wanted to say that I’m finally ok. I’m better than ok actually.
Love to you all x
(I made this at the weekend)