Where d’you go?

I’ve talked many times about coincidences. I don’t believe in them. Let me clarify.

Think of the million and billions of pieces of information our amazing body processes each day. Just think about that. So much information, a crazy amount that our brain just dismisses as not important.

Mindfulness teaches us to stop and take note of those things we would normally dismiss. Have you ever done that? I dare you not to crack a smile when you realise you’ve just seen a leaf in the perfect shape of a heart amongst hundreds of other normal ones. Or by gazing in the sky for a moment, you see a clutch of low flying Canada geese – so low you can see some of their colours and markings.

However, the point I am trying to make, is that from time to time information- signs – come together mysteriously,  and the clichéd light bulb comes on. I don’t believe they are coincidences because with so much information saturating us each day, surely there would be such coincidences every day??

Of course, we can choose to dismiss and ignore these signs. We can acknowledge them and do nothing. What has stuck with me recently,  is that every second we make choices which change the very course of our life. Despite this, we choose to ignore or push aside or subdue certain choices, at times.

I started this blog five years ago. I had just separated from my husband and I knew that this was the end of my marriage. I felt a certain amount of hope, amongst the sadness, that my life was going to change. I was going to get the life I wanted. I had paid my dues, you see, I had put my heart and soul into a marriage that was never going to work. I walked away knowing I- at least – had given it everything I had.

I sit here, somewhat ashamed that this blog has failed. It hasn’t documented a new life because my life hasn’t changed a great deal. Sure, there are momentary changes. But so many of them were bends in the road, nothing to do with me and my will.

I will give myself a break and say that I am trying. I have made decisions- of course I have- which have affected my life. Finally getting the divorce. Choosing to date again. Allowing myself to fall in love with a man in another continent. Visiting him. Walking away from a successful and high paid career. So how can I say I failed?

Because I feel like I haven’t found my purpose. I’ve feel like I’ve lived someone else’s life. I can’t tell you how long I have felt that without even knowing it.

Now, as I said in my last post, I’m reaching the point of making some big decisions.  Ten months of dilly-dallying and I need to finally make some decisions. I must.

Truth is,  I’m desperately trying to find myself. I’m lost. I’ve felt lost for some years. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know my purpose. I don’t trust myself and my judgement any more.

I’m working on that. I’ve taken New Year by the horns and I am working on myself. I’ve signed up to some workshops and I’ve bought some books. I’ve allowed myself to think…ironic, as I think too much…but what I mean is actually think  about things that I have avoided thinking about.

I’ve tried to be someone I am not for twenty years. Yes, twenty years. My beliefs about who I am and who I should be, have fueled this. I’ve worn a mask. I’ve worked so, so hard to keep that mask in place and be the person I thought I should be. I’ve never believed I could be who and what I secretly want. I have no confidence. I have no self belief. Because a large part of my life has been a lie.

Despite best efforts, it is impossible to have and do everything we want in life. Millionaires commit suicide. Hollywood stars numb themselves with drug and alcohol. Simplicity is underestimated. Accepting that we can not do and have it all is crucial. Appreciating what we have and focusing on the essential things is key. (Hussey)

Whilst this has been milling about my head all week, tonight I had my first night to myself in some time. Scrolling, I found a new release:

The title was poignant. I’m lost. I need to find myself. It was worth a try.

I loved and hated this film. I almost turned it off half way through. Until I realised that  was because it made me uncomfortable. It made me face things I wasn’t ready to.

I’ve been running away from self-truths, from my beliefs – however erroneous they may be –  for many, many years. I’m not myself because I’m not allowing myself to do what I want. What makes me, me.

We are our beliefs. Who we think we are, we become. And as many of my beliefs about myself are negative, my life has been dominated by that.

I wrote recently about Mel Robbins and her work. She is fabulous. I follow her on Facebook and it seems like every day she posts something that just resonates..or at the very least, gets you thinking. A recent post was this:

I’m struggling to make decisions because I’m finding it hard to distinguish between my passionate my purpose. I didn’t know there was a difference.

I’m struggling to make decisions because of my belief system. It’s all wrong. And I’ve carried that round with me since childhood. The foundations are all wrong. Therefore the building and the workmanship are too.

There’s a lot of work to do. But I choose to find myself.

The beech tree

I am living in the same house that I was brought up in although it is somewhat altered. I’ve lived here for 38 of my 40 years.

I bought the house from my parents 14 years ago and extended it. The garden is huge but not as big as it was when I was a child as it was then a small holding.

Before the extension was built, there was a line of beech hedging that ran along the side of the house and drive, separating the farm. The hedge was tall and my dad cut a walk way through it so we could access the caravan-come-play den. Even when the caravan was gone, the archway was an entrance to a magical world or a great escape route for hide and seek. In spring I loved to touch the slightly furry unopened leaves.

When the extension was built, the hedge came down – all except one lone bush. That bush became a tree.

Over the years I’ve had a few rows with my dad about this tree and others. Whilst I love trees, I’m not sure they should be that big and so close to the house. I also believe in some strategic pruning to help them retain a good shape. My dad disagreed. He loved trees and didn’t believe in pruning.

Dad died, but the tree still stands. In spring and summer, I love sitting back in my chair and gazing up at the patterned leaves against the blue sky.

This summer, I moved my seating area to under this tree and fought with dead leaves and bugs to wrap fairy lights around it.

And now, in autumn, I love gazing at the changing colours and tactfully ignore the thousands of leaves I should be brushing up.

Life changes. We change, we shift. We can be quick to dismiss something, lodged in a mindset that ends up being the wrong one. We should pause, reflect , and see things for what they truly are – not what we suppose them to be.

Update and reflection – part two

So, I did message in the morning to wish him a good journey, just the once. I didn’t respond when he did because it wasn’t needed.
My calmness was rewarded with messages in the afternoon, a video chat half way on his journey and another when he got home.

Yesterday, his first day back at home, he called me as I was leaving work (which is really early for him), when I got home and then he was messaging me throughout the evening as he visited family.

At one point he called, a silent video, whilst we messaged. We talked about how we had been having amazing sex that time a week before, and it was so hot and exciting to see his guarded but obvious facial expressions as we wrote to each other.

He called again when he got home. Things seemed back to normal. He asked if I missed him. He asked if I loved him. He questioned my feelings, particularly in response to the fact that I have been married.

He struggles with this. He doesn’t believe me when I say that I didn’t feel for my husband like I feel for him. That sex with my husband wasn’t like how it was with him.

I am being entirely truthful when I tell him this. And this, this is the source of my anxiety because it is true. Yes, I loved my husband. We were happy, for a short time. But the majority of our relationship was filled with unhappiness and doubt. I worked so hard to make it work, for years. I told myself: that’s what you do when your married, you work on it. There’s no such thing as a soul mate. You find a good person, accept their flaws and work on it.

The cracks in the relationship with my husband were there in the first year. If I hadn’t got pregnant within the first year, we probably would not have stayed together. But I pulled him along the path of a serious relationship, hoping that each stage would cement those cracks: live together, get engaged, buy a house, get married. They never did. The cracks became a chasm. Years of little or no sexual intimacy. Him sleeping on the couch. An 18 month separation. A third pregnancy from a one-off unprotected sexual encounter in the hope that it would repair the awful sex life we were having following getting back together.

My postnatal depression following the birth of my third child was in direct response to the fact that I knew that nothing had changed. My marriage was over and had been for some years. We stayed together for a couple of years after that, but he slept on the couch, we had no intimacy and we argued continuously.

This feels very different with Wild Card, irrespective of the long distance.

***********************

It was getting late as we talked and I told him I would let him sleep as he was in work the next day. He said no. He told me to ‘come here, next to me’ as he lay down, eyes weary.

‘You want me next to you?’ I asked.

‘Yes’. I lay on my bed too and just watched his face as his eyes closed. I could see the softness of his lips, his dark lashes resting on his face. And I was transported back there, to him. When I closed my eyes I could remember the feel of his body next to mine, the sound of his breathing, his smell, my feelings as I lay with him… loving him, and feeling loved in return.

Eventually we said goodnight, sent kisses and ‘I love you’s and the call ended.

Today has been more of the same. A morning call followed by a longer afternoon call where we played games on messenger – that was fun. He played with my youngest for ages too which earned him even more of my affection. Another call on the way home from the gym. And again this evening…

I love every second. I love the way he looked at me tonight. I even love that my sister asked why we were not talking on the phone and he replied:

“She knows me and I know her. We are talking with our eyes.”

And my goodness, were we…

This is what I have got to try to remember when I’m panicking. Days like today.

Final thoughts…

On Lost Soul.

I can’t tell you that I won’t ever mention him again because I will. Maybe the next time that I see him, months from now or maybe I will reminisce about my time with him, good or bad. But for now, unless something new happens, I will not post about him after this. I think it is the best way to move on.

I survived my weekend. I coped. I was strong. OK, yes, I was really angry but I’m not angry now. I’m fine.

I will admit to one thing though.

Yesterday, I purposefully went to see my brother in law knowing there was a chance he would be there. That wasn’t why I went exactly, but it contributed to it.

I actually wanted to go so I could speak to my brother in law about the situation, as we have done before. I couldn’t get hold of him on the phone so I decided to call round. I even filled my car with things that needed to go back to my sister’s (I swear she thinks my house is an extension of her cupboard) which again, needed to be done but wasn’t my incentive to visit. As I was loading my car my son came home and wanted to come with me: all the better to add to the lie, but it somewhat lessened the strength of my purpose. I couldn’t talk about things with my son there, so why was I going?

We arrived and my son offered to knock on the door to see if my brother in law was in. I stayed in the car, heart pounding, questioning what the hell was I doing.

My son shouted that he could see someone/thing through the glass of the door and it became clear that it was my three year old nephew. The blinds twitched and I saw a face at the window. For a second, I thought it was Lost Soul – only when I entered the house did I realise that was not the case. The power of the imagination, eh?

We unloaded the bags into the house and had a brief chat. My brother in law said he was intending to visit today anyway so my nephew and my youngest could play and this suited me fine as it meant we would be able to talk. This finally ended my suspicion that Lost Soul was hiding in the house somewhere, waiting for me to leave. Pathetic I know, but I could have sworn it was him at the window and it took so long to open the door…

Just another way of how this situation has messed with my head.

My son safely upstairs in his room and the younger ones playing, the conversation began.

I relayed everything that had happened in the last week, from his comments, flirting and kiss last weekend, to the events of Saturday.

Give him his due, considering how close my brother in law is with Lost Soul, I can’t fault his loyalty to me. By the end of the conversation I felt reassured: there had been no occasions where I had instigated the flirting; Lost Soul always started it, did flirt, did say he was attracted to me and did say we had a connection; his ‘dear friend’ comment was ridiculous. And finally, that although we acknowledged that Lost Soul and I could have been good together, he was still playing the same games/didn’t know what he wanted etc etc.

My brother in law said he was proud of me: for putting myself out there and for calling Lost Soul out on his behaviour. He laughed at the ‘dear friends’ quote too, “what is he going on about?!”

I assured him that when Lost Soul and I came into contact again there would be no atmosphere from me. Mainly because I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of thinking that I was heartbroken over him.

I don’t know what I am. I feel a kind of release in that I don’t need to wonder any more or regret what I haven’t said. I’ve been open and honest and – strong. Something I have not felt for some time. There is almost a freedom to the feeling.

Of course I am still questioning everything. How much I imagined or willed into being compared to how much he led me on and manipulated. How much he actually meant. How much I was influenced by my physical attraction to him, blinded by it.

I had a difficult evening with my daughter last night, which is a completely different story, but at one point she said that she hadn’t spoken to me about how she struggling because she knew how difficult I was finding things. “And then last Sunday you were so happy and then the next day you were sad again.”

I was so frustrated that he was the cause of both of those emotions. That his minor attentions could make me so happy and then so deflated when they ended. No person should have that much power over you, whether they do it intentionally or not.

Equally though, if this has all been complete nonsense, how would love feel with someone who actually does want to be with me? Someone who values and respects me, who I am attracted to and connected to. If I feel so strongly about this farce, then who knows how amazing the real thing will feel.