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The start.

Where do I begin? I suppose the place to begin is with the end.

Today I ended my marriage.

Overwhelmingly, I feel sad. A deep, dark sadness that weighs down my spirit.  What else can I feel after a thirteen year relationship? After we brought three beautiful children into the world and created our family? With so many happy memories of family days out, birthdays, Christmases,  holidays…

I don’t hate my husband.  I don’t want to hurt him or make his life difficult.  I am not angry with him –  not even frustrated any more.  And I suppose that is the problem; for our marriage anyway. That’s how I know I have made the right decision because it has not been made with anger or bitterness or resentment.  I have made it because I truly believe it is the right decision for all of us.

I cried as he cried.  This man has supported me through the death of family members, through anxieties about work, through insecurities about myself.  He has loved me despite my weight, my temper and my inability to put the dirty washing in the basket. He has always believed in me.  And today I have taken his world away from him. I take no pleasure in his pain; no matter his wrong-doings.

Because, of course, there were problems. But I respect and care for him enough not to intentionally publish them in this blog, no matter how anonymous.  All that I will say, for anyone who is wondering, is that the time has come where I cannot stand anymore arguing.  There is nothing left to say.

So, this blog is not about him or us.

It is about me.  A thirty-six year old mother of three children who is now separated from her husband.

Us to me.

The start.

 

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Happy Guilt

Wildcard and I have a verbal dance. Not being a dancer, I can’t complete this analogy properly but will say it is tango-esque.

He’s a joker, a teaser. Making me laugh for hours and hours is one of the ways he has consistently showed me his love this past few years. He delights in it.

Occasionally though, he will say something a little to the left of laughter…or, more likely, my mood will not see the humour in it. I’ve observed this trigger and know that it’s entirely to do with my fear of losing him and of not being good enough. We then begin our dance of tooing and froing…of empassioned pauses and fast turns, emotional filled, shocking and tense.

Last night’s gem isn’t hard to qualify as I was clearly in that mood yesterday as you can see from my post. I was feeling fear and doubt.

After writing that post, he called as usual, and I tried very hard to raise my positive energy and cast away my fears for another day. And I succeeded at first.

He then made a joke. It was a common one, something he says regularly- daily, even. It’s a joke which I laugh at, accept, feel warmth about 98% of the time.

Today though, I followed up with a question…

And he, as usual, continued his joke. No, he didn’t think of me that way. It didn’t even enter his mind.

The dance stops dead. The female lead freezes and stares at the male.

I was triggered. My mind shifted out of our usual joking – the joke we had had every day – into new territory. It side stepped into a new beat.

I questioned again, digging, clarifying…emotions overriding common sense. At this point, I’m glazed over, mind racing. There’s a lump in my throat and I feel the too-familiar tingle of tears in my eyes.

She spins and turns away….he stalks towards her.

He’s not oblivious. He knows that I’ve entered the dance, stamped my feet and sauntered away. He, of course, chooses to dance.

He questions me – why am I crying.

I reply, I’m not. I’ve managed to stop it.

He retorts, you haven’t. You look like you will explode.

The dance continues.

So I ask again, you really don’t think of me that way?

Yes, he says finally with humour and depth and truth in this eyes. I think.

At that moment she relents and is swept into his arms in a final montage of love.

He says I’m stupid, of course, with humour. Why would he be with me if he didn’t think like that? Why do I ask these questions when I know the answers? Indeed, why do I? The voice of sense is in my head…she sits there smug, knowing the truth but watches as my inner imposter takes the lead for a spell.

This morning I called him when I woke. He was in a good mood and as we greeted each other, he gave a huge grin and was chuckling to himself as he did something on the phone.

“Why are you laughing?”

“Nothing.”

This of course makes me nervous. My brain goes into overdrive- what …or who…was he laughing at? Was he speaking to someone else when I called? Have they sent him something?

“Why are you nervous?” He asks.

“I’m not.”

“You are. Why are you nervous?”

“What were you laughing at?”

“I’ve sent you something. You haven’t seen it yet.”

Oh. So when he was laughing and doing something on his phone, he was actually sending me something. Oh.

I look at my phone and he’s sent a series of photos and I gasp and put my hand to my face and then laugh with him. At first, I don’t remember him taking them but eventually the memory breaks.

The photos are intimate but in an innocent way. We are in bed together and it was one morning when I was there. In the photos he is shirtless (it was the height of summer) and I am wearing a vest top but we are cuddling: with him looking at the camera and me with my head against his chest. Intimate, innocent, but kind of sexy. In the first of them, the angle isn’t great as I look at the camera too, and it’s not very flattering for me, and I remember telling him I didn’t like the photo so I moved to rest my head against his chest and closed my eyes. In the others, it’s recorded a loving moment and I hadn’t remembered or realised he’d taken so many.

There’s been a few times I’ve thought I’ve caught him taking surreptitious photos when I’ve been reading or when I was crying at the airport, saying bye to his mum, and I’ve just gone along with what I was doing- if he wants candid photos, let him. I take them often enough. But I’d forgotten this moment, and in its intimacy I realised once again that he loved me when he took them and he loved me enough this morning to have been looking at them before I called. So, yes, he does think about me in that and every other way.

I ended the call in happy guilt. Guilt that my mind jumps to the negative, so quick to allow my inner demons to cloud my judgement. Happy that he has proved again that he loves me and wants me.

About an hour later he called again, this time in his car. He was waiting for his parents as they were travelling to see family for a special event. He looked jaw-droppingly good. I asked to see what he was wearing and he panned out, a little reluctantly.

I told him he looked delicious, and he said he’d brought the blazer jacket I had bought him some time ago.

“Is that the jumper I bought you too?”

“Yes,” as he moved the camera to show me again and I glimpsed the ring I made him and the watch I bought.

“Baby! It’s like I’m there with you!”

He smiled shyly and looked to the side – the gesture he makes when he’s showing his true emotions. He laughed a little, and showed me his footwear – which I’d also bought him. 😍

“Oh baby, I’m there with you, hugging you with the jacket and jumper and ring and watch and the shoes!”

We both laughed and smiled at each other and then his parents got into the car.

As we ended the call, I thought about the fact that today, he had surrounded himself with many the things I have bought for him over the past three years. He didn’t need to – he has other things he could wear that I haven’t bought. But he chose to.

Now, I’m just happy. 🥰

You win, You lose

I’m on a little break. I’ve been doing some much needed housework today. I don’t know if it’s just me, but before we put up the (probably dusty) Christmas decorations, I feel like I need to Christmas clean the house.

Today I’ve started in the kitchen. I’ve washed a lot of dishes, cleaned windows and window ledges and wiped down cupboard doors. It’s now 4.20pm. Thing is, I don’t put decorations up in the kitchen. Hmph.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I probably need to go back to the doctors which is an irony in itself. I feel like I need to go because my anxiety seems to be over-riding my ability to make decisions. Yet I’ve just, finally, made the decision to go to the doctors.

On the whole, I’m ok. I’m functioning. I’m going to work, cleaning the house (of a fashion). I’m showering. Eating. Communicating. I’m not lying in bed.

But I’m also not happy. My brain is like a car engine on high revs. I’m constantly thinking, worrying, contemplating, indecisive, annoyed with myself, anxious. My choice to take action is working as I’m functioning. But there is no contentment, no happiness, no peace.

I don’t want to go back on antidepressants. They’re a very necessary sticking plaster but I’ve been on them before. Don’t get me wrong, there are times I just want my mind to numb. I’ve sick of thinking and feeling. But having been depressed before, having had an additional major anxiety episode …I recognise that this is different. I’ve managed so far without taking anything. I’ve not fallen apart, though I’ve felt close.

I don’t know what the answer is, other than going to speak to a professional. I don’t want to be on medication if there is another, better way of reconditioning my brain to work differently. But if medication is actually what I need to be on – coming from a family where all my mother’s side have had major depressive episodes – then, begrudgingly, so-be-it.

I don’t like who I am now. Not really. I don’t like being perceived as weak and indecisive and emotional. I’m tired of worrying though.

I will be going to see Wildcard in exactly 4 weeks.

As is perhaps understandable considering my general mindset at the moment, I’m feeling a real spectrum of emotions. It’s safe to say I probably always do, and probably need to search back through these posts to prove it to myself. But this time feels a little different.

I long to see him, touch him, love him. But fear seems to be over-riding my excitement at the moment. I’m no longer scared of travelling and haven’t been for a long time, and just feel the usual mild angst of ‘Hope I don’t forget tickets/passport etc’ or ‘Hope my connections all run smooth’.

No, I’m scared of what may or may not happen whilst I’m there.

Long followers (thank you!) Of my blog will know that I want to marry this man. They know that he has told me he wants to marry me, but there are things he needs to organise at home before making that massive leap to marrying and moving to another country, culture and language.

I’m scared he won’t propose again. I’m also scared that he will.

We’ve just passed three years together. Covid is an annoying blip on the radar not an incoming meteriorite. Some of the conditions he needs to see at home to prompt a life with me are beginning to happen. So…you’d think it would be possible, for him to propose. Believe me, my over romantic, over active, over thinking brain has constructed lots of exciting ways for him to propose this trip. Cue disappointment leading from unfulfilled expectations. Been there, redesigned the t-shirt to a full body suit.

I want this man like I’ve wanted no other. I love him like I’ve loved no other. I love everything about him. Everything. I want him to propose. I want to take our life off slow-mo and get started on the real-life us part.

I am also, absolutely terrified. My work situation is tenuous as I continue float about, refusing to make any real decisions. Therefore, my finances are also nowhere near where they should be, to get married and move him here. Therefore my house is also absolutely 1000% not ready to receive him, with the ever growing list of work that needs doing.

My son is struggling. My daughter is struggling. My sisters are struggling. My ex is struggling. I’m struggling.

Life is in flux at the moment. And bringing someone here, someone who will rely upon you to keep them safe and secure and happy when your life is like that… well, it’s not fair.

It needs more than love, doesn’t it?

If , and that really is a big if, if he were to propose, I have no idea of when he would want to marry. I don’t know how he sees a wedding. I do know he would want to apply for the visa shortly after.

And this is another little seed of fear spouting and growing and invading… I should know, shouldn’t I? He should know my life is in flux, shouldn’t he? Maybe my sister was right, all those years ago. Maybe Wildcard and I don’t talk about the deeper things enough.

So, if he proposes – or not – I both win and lose.

But this is what I do know.

This man found me when I was broken. Barely a year after my dad’s death and my major breakdown. He found light inside me that I thought had gone out. He’s coaxed that flame through covid, through the major anxiety period of leaving my career and my indecision ever since. He’s still here. He’s still calling me, and loving me and giving that little light the fuel it needs.

So, I win and I lose. But maybe, for now, that’s ok.

Manual

I’m in the bath again. This time I’m soaking in perfect lavender…the water is pastel and little lavender flowers dance on the top.

I’m trying to relax. I’ve just had a huge row with my daughter.

It’s been coming for a while. We are both frustrated with each other.

I’ve long thought – well, for the past few years since my daughter hit 15 or so – that the issue with teens isn’t just the hormones. It’s the transition- the metamorphosis from child to adult. They don’t know who they are so we don’t know how to interact or respond.

And, as I’ve just explained to my daughter, there’s no manual for us parents. There’s no chapter specifying that now is the time to back off and let them be their own person. There’s no chapter which says now is the moment to let them make their own mistakes, even though it hurts you to watch, knowing you may have helped some way.

I don’t know when to be a mother and when to back off.

I’ve been told, in no uncertain terms, when I’m interfering. In temper, yes, I’ve been told that my opinion is not wanted and that I need to keep out of it. And it’s hurt, a lot. She’s made decisions of which I’ve had no part – not even in the discussion and consideration stage. I’ve not been wanted and have been repelled.

I’ve just explained to her that I don’t know what she wants from me, one moment to the next. One moment she’s an adult living her own life. The next she acts like a child and I’m failing by not treating her like I do her younger (and admittedly needier) siblings.

There are times I’ve felt like a failure for not being more involved, more insistent. There are times I’ve failed because I’ve been too demanding and domineering.

It’s not unusual for a teenage daughter to class with her mother.

So, why is there no manual?

My daughter said to me, that we don’t have a normal relationship. I told her to define normal…. every relationship is as different as every personality and ecery circumstances around it. A manual is pointless for that reason – it will not help everyone.

I’m not sure what the answer is. Communication, I guess. We haven’t communicated well because we’ve been hurt and scared to hurt ourselves and each other more.

Another thing to add to my thinking list. 🤔

Mermaid

I am sat in the most beautiful azure blue bath, sparkling with gold glitter, feeling like a beautiful mermaid.

My daughter bought me a relaxation bathing kit for my birthday in April. Since we don’t have the fire on until winter, I’ve waited until now for hot bath water.

The bath bomb was blue and the top looked like golden crystals:

I’m not a bath bomb fan per se – I’ve heard stories that they’re not always great for your skin – but this was a beautiful and expensive gift that I’ve waited to use. The bath looks and smells beautiful and I feel like I’m in a tropical lagoon.

I’ve always had a vivid imagination. As a child (teen), long before we worried about the price of electricity, I would have long showers pretending I was in a waterfall or tropical pool. I could construct a whole narrative.

I also used to play outdoors alone, imagining myself in magical worlds or giving myself superpowers. On my pony, I would imagine we were winding our way through narrow cobbled streets on a quest, not exercising in a grassy paddock.

I love being imaginative and creative. At the moment, I’m starting on the decorations for my step sister’s wedding cake. I craft, sew, paint and draw.

One of the many things I loved about being a teacher was planning exciting lessons. Having to complete pupil voice each year, it was pleasing to note that my schemes of work were often the most popular.

It’s what I miss about teaching. Now, lesson plans are standardised. Everyone teaches the same. And, I get it. Shared schemes save workload and support new/inexperienced/ supply teachers. I introduced shared schemes as a Head of Department. But, I rarely enforced them. We had common assessment points. We had set assessment objectives. But I allowed the creativity of the teacher and the necessity to adapt learning for the climate of an individual classroom to dictate how those assessment objectives were taught. Today, many schools feel like examination conveyor belts. Pupils and teachers are bored. I was bored.

Being a tutor means I can plan bespoke, individual lessons to allow these vulnerable and disengaged children to enjoy learning again and feel successful. I love it. I love this job. But the pay and conditions are poor. I’m not compensated for printing and buying resources, or the many miles I travel between houses. There’s no security.

Following my dabble with Mindvalley’s Lifebook earlier this week, I found a few additional resources online to help. I can’t afford the $500 price tag. So, I’ve got to do it myself and I’ve found maybe 1/2 of the tools to help me.

One area of consideration is career. I’ve realised, and probably known deep down for a long time, I no longer care about my career. I have no ego. I’m proud of my successes and sad about its demise but I don’t care anymore about titles and power and notches on my career belt. What I love, is helping children and being creative.

And that, in a nutshell, is what my long desired business is about.

For now, again, it is parked. I can’t afford it at the moment and my focus needs to be on making enough funds to survive, my son and my own mental health.

Today was horrendous. My anxiety had hit tsunami proportions. I was actually shaking – something I’ve not done for 5 years. Tomorrow I have a meeting in my son’s school – the school that ended my career – and I have to face going in there again and try to be strong and fight for what my son needs.

Thank you to my recent reader for liking ‘glamorous’, a post of mine from last month. I always read the post if it’s been liked and not recent. It’s amazing how coincidentally, my own words are pertinent. This was exactly that.

Wish me luck tomorrow.

Rain

Why don’t we do the things we want to do?

I ponder this question frequently. Or rather, I want to ponder it, but my Fort Knox brain shutters come down as it knows this is something triggering. I try to ponder it.

There are many things I want to do and I don’t do them.

If we have an idea of what would make us happy though, why don’t we do it?

I’ve dabbled in enough self help and personal development mini sessions to know a lot of this is to do with fear, failure and our brains protecting us. It also has a lot to do with confidence, self esteem and self preservation.

I know I’m not happy. I’ve not been truly happy for a long time. I also know that knowing I am unhappy makes me more unhappy with myself.

From everything I’ve learnt this past few years, I know that taking action has a big part to play in the journey to getting out of this.

And I have been. (Cue self celebration). I have been taking small actions recently. I’ve not given up or given in. This is real progress when you consider how I coped 18 months ago, and four years ago. My road to recovery this time has been shorter. I’m still on it of course, but I’ve started on the road quicker.

Take today, for instance. Yesterday I was moody and unsettled. This morning I’ve been in my head, so much so that I have a headache. But I’ve done two things today. One, I completed a Mind Valley Life Book questionnaire (which links to a course I can’t afford, but the report is very helpful) and I am currently sat in my garden, in the rain, periodically throwing a ball to my dog.

And why is this progress, I hear you ask? Because by completing the questionnaire, I’m trying. I’m fighting. I’m taking action. I’m refusing to dwell in the bog of my unhappiness. I’m trying to uncover all behind my brain’s Fort Knox so I can get the hell out of there.

And, by taking my dog out in the rain, I feel better. Yes, I’m wet and cold. But….I felt bad about not taking him out and now I have. And I proved that a little discomfort actually isn’t so bad when it is for the greater good. My dog is perfectly happy:

My issue, of course, is that I’m not sure where I’m heading. I’m still lost. Floundering, floating, directionless. I’ve an idea where I want to go. But I’m not sure. Scared. Terrified.

I have a lot to be happy and grateful about. I am blessed in many, many ways. This also makes me unhappy because I feel bad for feeling unhappy when I shouldn’t be.

I don’t know how I got here. I don’t know if it is a midlife crisis. My Dad dying. Unhappiness in my marriage that I stuck at for far, far too long. Covid. A Long Distance Relationship that exhilarates and frustrates me. Inherent mental health issues. Burn out. Potential neurodivergence. The collapse of the UK’s education systems and society. War. All of the above. Just me. I don’t know.

I guess it doesn’t matter but its in my nature to search for answers and source to the problem so I can solve the problem.

I love my life and hate my life.

I want someone to help me find answers but I also want to find them myself.

I want structure and I want flexibility.

I want to be a good mother and I want time to be me.

I want to lead but I want to be a team.

I want time alone but don’t want to be on my own.

I want to fill my time doing what I love but I want to learn new things.

I want to fill my time doing what I love but still be productive and efficient.

I want to fill my time doing things I love but don’t actually do any of them.

Why don’t I do the things I love, if I love them so much..?

What is it…?

I’m 42.

Is this a mid life crisis? Is this what it feels like? I’ve had a successful life in Western terms: University education, promising career of promotions, married, children, mortgage, own car. Admittedly, no savings. No drugs, crime or deviance in my life.

So why, please tell me, do I feel like I’m at that godforsaken crossroads AGAIN? The one where I have absolutely no idea which path to take.

And…what’s worse…I have no one to ask.

Yes, yes…I know…it’s my decision to make. My life, my decision.

But a rather alarming thought hit me before, as I was stewing in the unfortunate circumstances surrounding me. I genuinely have no one to ask. No father. My mother is, sadly, no longer the person I would go to for advice though I love her dearly. My younger sisters are struggling in their own lives. I have no grandparents. And…well…

Wildcard. Maybe my sister was right all those months ago when we argued. Maybe he and I don’t talk about anything deep and meaningful. I don’t tell him everything. I try. I give him the headlines, hoping he will understand. I’m not sure he does. And he rarely comments. Sometimes I ask him for an opinion and he won’t give me one. He says he doesn’t really understand or he doesn’t know. Not in all situations, granted. But in enough for it now to worry me.

But, what is it?? These are my problems and I have to deal with them? Or he’s my partner so we’re in this together? Hypothetically, of course.

Does he care when I’m upset or stressed? 100%. Does he try to cheer me up? Absolutely. Does he give me answers or suggestions? Occasionally. Am I trying to talk this situation positive? Yep.

My career is a stalled car. Quite a fancy one. I’m currently trying to decide whether to strip it for parts, fix it, dump it or upcycle it. I. Just. Don’t. Know.

What is it at the moment? Please reach out and let me know what you think of this….everyone around me seems to be struggling. My ex is off sick with stress. My youngest sister is at rock bottom. My other sister is struggling financially and feels something is missing in her life. My mum and partner are about to be made homeless. My eldest son was suicidal and has just been excluded from school. My daughter is as lost as me…barely finished studying, failed to get into Uni whilst also claiming she didn’t want to, walked out of an apprenticeship over poor conditions and pay, has no direction and is currently constantly ill and unemployed.

Is this a midlife crisis? Or is this just a really unfortunate set of circumstances? Is this Covid? The UK recession? The cost of living?

If this had happened 4 years ago, would I have had the strength and confidence to help them, like I used to? Should I be thinking about this…or again, are these their problems to solve? Do I carry their weight on my shoulders unhelpfully for all involved?

What is it? I’ve no one else to ask.

Anniversaries and celebrations

Afternoon!

I’m once again sat in my little wilderness, having a moment to think and journal.

I’ve worked this morning. Slowly but surely, my tutoring is picking up. After some issues with references (bitter referees rather than my wrong doing), I accepted more tutoring hours for now. When I get a full week I should be able to tick over financially whilst I consider my longer term goals.

It’s a beautiful day. And a good mood day for once.

Life continues its ups and downs. I’m still convinced I’ve done the right thing, but the right thing has led to a rather rocky path. I will get there though…just not sure where there is….can you relate?

This last week I celebrated three years with Wildcard. It was bittersweet really: I’m so happy to be with him but sad I’m not with him. So are the joys of a long distance relationship. It hit home a little more at the weekend when my mum came to visit. She’s funny with him – laughing and joking – and I love it. But I wondered, morose, if they will ever meet. Will he ever get here? Will he ever propose?

Mum and I were discussing her step daughter’s wedding cake which I will be making in a fortnight. We all talked the wedding and dresses and flowers…and again, I wondered if it will ever be my turn.

Yes…I know I’ve been married. But this is different. I feel different. It’s sad to say that, to admit that…but I want everyone to see and share in my absolute happiness and love for this man. That’s a very different to last time. And again, I don’t think it will happen. Not how I want.

It left me feeling very anxious and vulnerable all weekend. To be fair to him, he called me multiple times when my mum was there – so much that my family joked about it whilst my heart swelled. I want him there, so much. So much.

I have seven weeks to go before I am with him. Yesterday someone read a post from my fourth trip with him and, as always, I read it to remind myself of what happened.

Oh goodness…! I relived him coming into my room at 5am, neither of us able to sleep as it was my first night there. I felt the hugs and the warmth and the intimacy and my heart ached to be near him again.

His mother passed her driving test this week and I’m praying this will give him the confidence to finally make the decision to commit – I know how much worry for his parents is a factor in his hesitancy. It’s so easy for me then to daydream that he will propose on my next visit. But.. I’ve been there before, and expectation leads to disappointment. It will happen when – if – it’s right. I know he loves me, I really do. I just need to be patient.

In other news, following a little trip of her own, my sister has been reinspired by our business ideas. She’s considering moving in with me for a year or so to help me financially and to prepare for the business and also to help her save to hopefully buy her own place. Watch this space.

Goosebumps

My breath caught in my chest and the air around me seemed electric, as my eyes zoomed in on the words. In those milli-seconds, the world stood still for me.

They were the same words.

Earlier

I’ve procrastinated again this weekend. Yesterday, in attempt to calm the tsunami of my mind, I decided to write down every thought that was plaguing me over the course of a couple of hours. Because I can’t just wash the dishes. Oh no. My mind races. I lose track of what I’m doing…I engage in repetitive behaviours. So, instead, I wrote it down. It didn’t take long to fill two sides of A4 – a long, long list of to-dos, should-dos, could-dos and what ifs.

I felt better after. A little scared, but better.

And since, I’ve been semi-productive. I’ve crossed some things off the list. I’ve prepared my teaching for tomorrow. That’s it. I’ve not moved forward on my business. I haven’t uploaded the documents for my supply agency interview tomorrow.

This evening, after my adoration filled video call with Wildcard, I decided to watch a film. I logged on the Netflix and searched through the romantic comedies. Yesterday, I’d really fancied watching ‘Sweethome Alabama’ but it wasn’t on Netflix. Instead, I got drawn to ‘How do you know?’, a Reece Witherspoon film from 10 years ago I somehow have missed. It’s about a man and woman whose lives fall apart but end up meeting. I enjoyed it. There was a particularly poignant moment about the creation of playdough and the idea that one single decision can change someone’s world.

Well, tonight I searched for a film and saw ‘The Secret”. I recognised the actor but wasn’t sure from where. I read the blurb and it wasn’t dissimilar to last night’s film and was kind of on my wavelength so I watched it. It had Katie Holmes in this time: singles mother of 3 down on her luck… it turns out, after a mid film Google search, that the male actor is the same one out of ‘Sweet Home Alabama’…

I again watched, enjoyed, and loved the message of positivity…search for the good in the world manifest it and you will find it. As someone who’s been living in negativity for a while, it again was a poignant message. (In fact only this morning I was wondering why bother getting up).

The film ended and, motivated, I searched for some courses again. The last one I found which started on November 1st, I could not afford. I found some leads and shut down the computer.

I quickly checked my phone, having a quick look at WordPress. And there it was.

I always look at my notifications, grateful for anyone who likes my writing or signs up for more. And if it’s not one of my latest posts, I always read the post to remind myself of it. I can’t tell you how many times that has been therapy itself. The sheer coincidence of a post I’ve forgotten about, ending up being exactly what I needed to read and remind myself: I’ve nearly written a post on this a number of times.

So, when I looked at the notifications tonight and saw ‘Dare to Dream’, my heart missed a beat. Because that was the subtitle to tonight’s film. “The Secret: Dare to Dream.”

I’ve never seen that film before and I wrote that post a few months back. Tired of being too scared to actually think about what I want, I made myself meditate and just let the Dream roll. One of the key lines from the film is, “if you don’t know what you want, how will you know how to ask for it?”

My post was about Wildcard, my family and my health. I admitted how I want him to be a part of my life and family. This morning, when I went back to sleep, I wondered what he even saw in me. He’s proved his love for me again and again today.

Now, I need to let my worries and stresses, my should-dos, could-dos and can-dos go and just allow myself to actually decide what it is I want and go for it. Dare to Dream.

Frozen heart

Hey there,

I know I’ve been quiet again. From nothing to daily posts…and then I go again.

The day after my last post, reality hit. I started writing a new post.. mainly along the lines of ‘what have I done?’. Repeatedly.

It didn’t help that a colleague messaged me to tell me big changes had happened at my (now) old school. Should I have just waited?

No, I shouldn’t. I can’t deny my financial worries haven’t plagued me all week because they have.

But…

The same day I got a call to say I had been cleared to work. Wednesday I met the young man and I started tutoring him Friday. I also told the company I wasn’t happy with the pay, and they’ve raised it and extra £5 an hour.

Thursday I went for an interview at another agency. It’s local, I like the manager, and he’s said he can find me work and – more than that – he’ll find me exactly the right place.

Friday afternoon I got a call from a third agency. They’ve said pretty much the same thing – they have contacts, they can find me work. They mentioned a job that I can start immediately, subject to checks etc. It will be until July.

So…all in all…I know, financially I’m in for a rough ride in the next few months. But I will get there.

As usual, I’m undecided in which route to take. I’m not planning on making a decision for a day or too.

I can’t…I just can’t get my business idea out of my head. I’ve talked about this..or a simple version of this… for 8 years or so. It won’t come out of my head.

And yet…I’m not really doing anything about it. Yes, I’m thinking a lot. I’ve done some planning. I’ve made a few small steps, unfortunately which haven’t got me even to the starting block never mind off it. But in my heart, this is what I should do.

My head.. well my head tells me to tale the financially secure version. The version which helps everyone but…freezes my heart.

After

I’m in a book hangover. I love it.

For those of you who have never been fortunate – yes, fortunate – to have experienced one yet, let me explain.

A book hangover overwhelms you. It’s when, after – and arguably during – reading a particular book, you get so engrossed in what you’re reading that the essence of the book surrounds you. It’s like being in that book’s bubble or fleece throw or…like that books lens. It’s a warm glow. You think about the book …its words, it’s essence….its ideas. How it made you think and feel.

I’ve read many, many books in my life. Only a small handful have made me feel this way.

I started, and finished, the book within 12 hours including some sleep. I started it last night, read 3/4 before forcing myself to switch off the light at 2am and then finished it this morning.

The book, ‘After you’ by Jo Jo Moyes, just gripped me. It’s a sequel to ‘Me, before you’. That also gave me a book hangover. I’ve had ‘After you’ for 18 months. I started it but wasn’t ready – its themes too painful. 

‘After you’ is a fictional book about living life, starting life again after bereavement. It’s a love story,  a life story. It’s not a self help book or a work of literary heritage. But it moved me to the core. It may not for you – and that, that is the beauty of reading.

I’ve read a lot recently – since finishing my job. That’s one of the biggest ironies of life- as a full time English teacher, I never have the time to read normally. Sad, isn’t it?

I’ve read lots of trashy novels of late – Shades of Grey and others. Sometimes that’s what I want to escape into – stories of passion, strong men and strong but feminine women. It’s not the sex, although there’s nothing wrong with a sexy scene, but I actually like these books. I like reading about how in even romantic fiction, relationships are messed up by people’s pasts, insecurities and jealousy.

And so, here I am. Back in my multicoloured garden, shrouded by my book hangover… which has deliciously merged with other thoughts and events in my head to find those amazing coincidences in life which make you sit up and listen to what the world is trying to tell you.

Life is meant to go wrong.

It really is. Read that again, let it sink in. Life going wrong, is actually right. It’s what is meant to happen. Every wrong turn, bump in the road, false start, stall, breakdown, cruise control,  speed chase….all of it is part and parcel of a normal life.

Often, events on the road of your life happen without you. You don’t cause them or instigate them, but they happen anyway. Sometimes, a seemingly wrong decision- or indecision- causes them. I don’t know what’s worse in that case. But it’s what we do after that matters. What we learn, how we pick ourselves up…it doesn’t matter how long that takes.  It doesn’t matter if we limp or crawl, jog or sprint. It’s just the moving again that matters. Because not moving, is not living. And we have to live to feel alive.

So, after a false start at my new school, today is my last official day there. I’ve spent it so far, finishing a wonderful book and then sitting in my garden with a coffee.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve left my job again. It doesn’t matter that I’ve spent 18 months feeling lost. What matters, now, is what I do after. How I move forward. How I keep going.

The path, road, I’ve been on doesn’t disappear as I move forward. If I turn around and look – something I’ve been doing far too much of – its still there. Every obstacle and every clear road is there for me to see. They’ve shaped me, in a way. But it’s more than that. I’ve shaped myself. I’ve had to adapt to each and every deviation.  I’ve had to overcome it all, one way or another. And I have. I have.

I’ve moved very, very slowly for some time now. But that’s the thing, when you’re moving. You can look out the car window and not have any idea what speed you’re actually going at. The world passes you by at seemingly the same speed regardless of how fast you’re actually going.

And that’s how life is, isn’t it? Time passes regardless. Every moment is a before and a now and an after. The trick is to hold on all at the same time and keep moving. Looking only backwards slows you. Staying in the now stalls you. Looking only forward scares you or makes you race without seeing what’s going on around you. Hold on to all three and just keep moving…moving towards your happily ever after.