Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome

Sadness and hope

For the past few months, I’ve been seeing someone.  Sadly, now I’m not.  It turns out that it’s much harder to get a relationship working when you’re in your mid-thirties with two children and all sorts of baggage than when you’re a student in your early twenties.  And sometimes, even if you try really hard and both do your best, some things are insurmountable.

It’s been interesting though.  And enlightening.  And fun.

Stopping seeing him has made me very sad.  For a while, it felt as if all the joy had gone from my world.  Things I had hoped for are not going to happen.  I woke up at 3 o’clock the following morning with the searing realisation that he is gone from my life forever, that his interesting thoughts and perspectives are no longer available to me.  A friendship I had valued and enjoyed is lost.

However, it’s much easier to survive this knowing that it’s not the most terrible thing to have happened to me.  I know from experience that actually, with time, pain does lessen.  I am waiting because I know I will feel happy again.  And, while I feel sad now, the girls still need collecting from school.  I need to get their uniforms ready for the next day and the dishwasher still needs loading.  I find that if I keep putting one metaphorical foot in front of the other, it keeps me moving forwards.  The act of keeping our lives continuing despite my grief forces me to believe that life does continue.

And, this weekend, while the girls were at their dad’s house, I was kind to myself – and so were my friends.  On Friday night I went to a games night where we played K2 – one of my mountaineers died not once but twice due to bad luck and ineptitude – and ate chocolates.  On Saturday I met my best friend in Leeds for coffee, cake and some shopping, and then spent the evening watching Doctor Who and wishing for a boyfriend like Rory.

Then yesterday I headed into Manchester for a Quaker meeting full of inspiration about austerity, protesting and how we relate to the Tories and state power, then a Quaker business meeting and a silent vigil on the steps of the Meeting House about poverty and inequality.  Finally I joined friends for the anti-austerity march through the streets of Manchester, followed by a rally at Castlefield, hearing Owen Jones speak, and discussion on the way home with my friends about how we can bring about effective change.  Being part of a crowd of 60,000 – 80,000 people who all believe, in diverse ways and with different language, that something better is desirable and achievable, is incredibly uplifting.  Seeing so many people I know, and thousands more that I don’t, being prepared to come out and march and take action gives me a sense of hope and purpose.

My mum says that at least I can have the confidence that there are people out there for me.  I’m not so sure just now – having tried to make a relationship work with someone I really liked, its ending feels more like evidence against her theory.  Despite this, I still look back and think this has been a good experience: I’ve learnt things about myself and what I want, and how to do this relationship thing as well as I can.  So I’m moving with hope into the next good part of my life.

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