International Women’s Day.

We all know some badass women, don’t we? Women that are just bloody awesome. Women that are fantastic role models, inspirational and just downright incredible.

Today is International Women’s Day – a day observed since the 1900’s to commemorate the movement for women’s rights and celebrate women across the globe.

(It’s also my brother’s birthday – Happy Birthday Matt!)

 

I’ve been lucky that all the women in my family have been pretty damn awesome. Strong, independent working women who have raised me to stand on my own two feet and have confidence to go out into the world.

My Dad’s mum was such a woman. She’s not been around for a few years now but I will always remember certain things about her that made her a badass:

  • She became the second ever policewoman (WPC2) in Lincolnshire in the 1940’s at a time where women just didn’t really do that. She absolutely loved it and used to light up when telling me about it, even though she hated the fact she only got sent to minor crimes (the men got sent to the major/dangerous/interesting ones).
  • I’ve never met someone so stoic. She’d had crap thrown at her throughout her life from war to rationing to bereavement to just general life but just got on with it, no woe is me from her.
  • When she got burgled at age 92 when two men broke into her house and ransacked her living room in front of her, her reaction afterwards was to wave her walking stick around saying “I would have given them a few socks with the stick if it wasn’t out of reach”.
  • She valued her female friends immensely throughout her life.
  • She was fiercely independent (sometimes to the point of being stubborn). Even in later years when her mobility wasn’t so good she still refused any help and lived by herself in the middle of nowhere.
  • She rode around on her bike well into her 70’s, and even when her handbag got whipped out and stolen from the front basket, she refused to let it stop her.

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What a top woman. If she was still around for me to tell her that she’d tell me I was talking nonsense; she was modest too. She’d also freak if she saw what I’d done to her clock she left me so probably a good job I can’t tell her.

I probably won’t have children of my own, so I can only try to be an inspirational role model for my niece, and help her grow up to be a confident, curious, strong, happy woman. A badass woman.

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Dreams.

I sent a link to my old blog (the 2012 photo-a-day one) to someone the other day and while I was on there getting the link, I noticed I’d done a ‘dreams’ page. Just stuff that I fancied doing. Since I stopped that blog I’d not been back so this list so I’d totally forgotten I’d written it. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to see I’d actually done a load of them since then, unintentionally (although I guess it figures that they’re all stuff I want to do in the first place). I now need to update the list; I’ll have a think.

These are things I want to do, see, experience or achieve. I’m going to give the list a good go starting in 2012 but I’m going to keep updating it when I think of new things so it’s likely to be a never-ending list 🙂  Well, that’s one thing I didn’t do – I promptly forgot all about it
 
  • Go to Peru and trek the Inca Trail – Booked for July 2012 😀 Done 😀
  • City break alone – Done 😀
  • Complete a photo-a-day project in 2012 Done 😀
  • Eat more healthily Kind of did, on and off…
  • Drive across America
  • Volunteer in Africa Done
  • Keep running Done 😀
  • Travel around Vietnam Done
  • Visit Australia and New Zealand Done
  • Do another bungee jump Done
  • Do another parachute jump
  • Visit a rainforest – Will be visiting the Amazon in July 2012 as part of my Peru trip 😀 Done 😀
  • Go to Cornwall – Booked for October 2012 Done 😀
  • Climb Snowdon Done
  • Run along the beach Done 😀
  • See the sunrise after staying up all night Done
  • Do the Sydney Harbour bridge walk Decided against it when I had the chance
  • Go back to South Africa Done
  • Get a tattoo Done 😀
  • See my grandparents more Moving away and bereavement hasn’t helped with this but I do try and ring my Nan regularly
  • Make someone feel happy
  • Run a half marathon – Entered for September 2012 Done 1:57:28 😀
  • Complete the Wolf Run (http://www.thewolfrun.com/) or similar Done 😀
  • Grow my nails – Done – November 2012. How long they will stay grown I don’t know but for now they are grown 😀
  • Visit more places/attractions in Lincolnshire – Moving away didn’t help with this
  • See Stonehenge Done
  • Go on the bone marrow donor register Done
  • Make a will Done 😀

Only three things not crossed out. A lot has changed since 2012; lots of different things now that I fancy doing. Another post on that will come soon.

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Will take clothes off for money.

My boss said to me a few weeks ago “You know, there’s a name for people who take their clothes off for money”. OBVIOUSLY he was joking around and referring to my new foray into the world of life modelling, rather than any seedy underworld second career I might have.

I wrote about deciding to be a life model (I just wrote lift model to start with, not sure that would be half as interesting or how that would actually work) a few weeks ago, but that was before I’d done it. Now, I’ve done it three times; I’m practically an old hand and thought I’d share my thoughts so far.

It’s an interesting thing; people are fascinated by it and if you tell people their reactions seem to split into two camps: a) sniggers and comments about naked women and male artists getting excited or b) exclamations of “I couldn’t do that”.

I guess nudity is a ‘thing’ in society nowadays. We British aren’t really known for our laid back attitude to it, and if you look in most media it’s sexualised so much people can’t look at a baby being breastfed without feeling offended or uncomfortable. So the idea of getting your kit off in front of a stranger, let alone a room full of them, is pretty abhorrent to a lot of people. Add into that mix the affliction that is low body confidence (especially in women) and it’s no wonder everyone’s natural reaction is ‘no way’. We’re not encouraged to find all forms beautiful; to embrace nudity and all shapes and sizes.

However, in the art world, it seems to be different. It’s a completely contrasting environment; one where the model is looked at like an object to be drawn, the artists noticing things like shadows, changes in direction, spaces and curves. They’re not looking at whether your arse is big or not, whether you have cellulite, or wondering how you got that scar (I fell in a ditch when I was 14). They’re not judging the size of your breasts, or how big your tummy is, or whether your bingo wings move when you move (tip: you can’t move anyway, so no problem). They actually don’t give a shit about you. You’re almost a piece of art yourself, sat like a statue, in front of people to look at. You could almost say the art is in the creation process of the pieces over the two hours, model and artists both, and not in the finished pictures.

There’s lots of reasons why people feel shy being naked, but a lot of the time it’s in a different context. Sitting in that art studio is completely different to say, getting naked in front of a new partner for the first time. Or having to get changed in front of a group of people you know at the gym.

One of my reasons for trying this is to see how I did actually feel in that first moment of having to sit there, starkers. I’d say I’ve got pretty high body confidence mainly; I’m pretty happy with how I look, it’s all I have and if I don’t love it then what hope is there for anyone else to? It’s who I am and I’m healthy and can do stuff, that’s the most important thing to me. But it’s one thing saying this, it’s another thing talking the talk.

I’ll not lie, I was a little nervous when it came to it that first Wednesday. Stood with only a dressing gown to cover my modesty, while the room filled up with PEOPLE. It all of a sudden became real, and felt very odd to know I wasn’t wearing anything underneath. I felt a bit like I was in one of those dreams where you’re naked, no one else is and you can’t run away because your feet are stuck to the ground. I even checked with Alex (the tutor) that I should be fully naked, just in case I was actually supposed to wear underwear or something and I had got it all wrong, as somehow that would have felt even worse. But no.

They were all stood behind their easels just about ready to start and I had to do a last minute dash to the loo. Nervous wee. Then, before I knew it I was perched on a box in the buff. And as soon as that first second was over, I relaxed. Well, as much as you can. Because THEN, I realised that there’s actually other things to worry about than the being naked thing. Like, take a bit of time to get comfy before you settle into a pose. Because you’ll be there a LONG time and although it sounds easy, staying in the same position and not moving AT ALL is really pretty hard and takes a hell of a lot of concentration. Every few minutes I’d realise my muscles had tensed up without me realising and I’d have to concentrate to relax them. And repeat, many times (the class is 2 hours and apart from a short break you’re sitting for all of it).

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And this is also alongside feeling so hot (the first week it was BOILING, I swear it was like a million degrees) that I was sweating like a bastard. Actual droplets, rolling down me with nothing to catch them (bloody tit sweat Ruth), with me acutely aware of them and the fact I could do nothing about it and with a lamp shining on me it would have been pretty damn noticeable. This bothered me more than being naked until I just realised that actually, there was nothing I could do about it, it’s what the human body (well, my body that day) does and hey, that’s life. Accept it and be confident. So I did. And I did eventually cool down and stopped looking like I should have been in a bikram yoga class.

And also weird things happen while sat there (although I have had this before, maybe I am just weird) where I feel like parts of my body aren’t connected to me (so like sometimes I feel like I’m floating, or my head is loads higher than it is, or my hands feel like they’re in a different position – I think it’s because they’ve gone a bit numb). It’s a bit like being in a bit of a meditative state, and also I start to wonder if I AM actually moving, but can’t look to check and just can’t quite tell what my body is doing as I feel so disconnected to it. And there’s also the thing which we coined as “the monkey on your shoulder” in Spain earlier this year – have you ever walked past a river or been on a balcony or something and had an urge to throw your phone (or similar) off it? Like a little monkey is sat perched on your shoulder whispering “go on, throw it off, throw it off, see what it would look like down there? Throw it off, throw it off” into your ear, and you have to try really hard not to, because your brain knows that you don’t really want to throw your phone into a river. Because I’m concentrating so much on not moving the monkey starts telling me to wave my arms around or kick my leg out some other involuntary spasm. Like Will in that Inbetweeners episode where he takes drugs for the first time and can’t control his arms.

The last two sessions have been reclining poses which basically means I’ve been laying down. This doesn’t mean it’s any easier though, although I did make sure I got into comfier poses at the beginning which helped a little bit. The problem with these is I have to also concentrate on trying not to fall asleep, which actually is pretty hard and I felt like those days either back at school or at work in meetings where you know your eyes are fluttering but you just can’t help it and really hope that no one notices, only this time it’s harder because a) everyone is looking at you constantly and b) you can’t make any movements to help wake yourself up.  I don’t think I fell asleep.

In fact, I’ve had a few compliments on being a good sitter, and how well I do in not moving (maybe I did fall asleep) and been thanked by the artists for making it easy for them to draw me. Alex called me a professional (again, not a reference to a seedy underworld second career) and I’ll take that compliment!

I have every intention of carrying this on as a bit of a side hobby when I’m needed, I find seeing the pictures fascinating as I can’t really draw very well myself, and I love seeing all the different styles, techniques and personalities in the drawings and have found that I’ve really loved the experience. It’s liberating, interesting and different.

But no, I won’t share any pictures. One because they’re not my pictures to share and I haven’t asked for permission to publish them, and two because it would actually feel tantamount to publishing naked pictures of myself.

 

 

 

Move on.

I sent this picture to a friend the other week, a friend who was having a tough time with something, someone.

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It’s spot on. Easier said than done, of course. I’m sure we’ve all been there. Toxic relationships, toxic friendships, maybe even toxic family or toxic work environment.

And sometimes, we cling on, even when we know we shouldn’t. Feeling bad, even though the brain tells us not to. Ending up not feeling good enough for someone, or understanding why something won’t go our way or someone won’t feel the way we want them to.

Relationships can be really fucking complicated. Or they can be easy. Or both. So many people stay in relationships that aren’t healthy, that are toxic. Relationships they really need to get out of. But yet they stay; for a variety of reasons. Scared to be on their own, scared they won’t find anyone else, children, financial reasons, sometimes abuse and control. Sometimes people don’t really realise they’re unhappy, but maybe they know they’re not happy but perhaps don’t feel it’s enough to do something about it. You know, sometimes people are looking for a reason to leave, and that if there’s not a big ‘thing’ that happens, then low level shit behaviour is not enough to leave or end a relationship/friendship etc.

Bollocks.

Just not being happy is enough of a reason. Of course it is. Yep, easier said than done, but also easier done than said sometimes. Short term pain, long term gain. If a relationship, friendship etc is making you unhappy, then you can do something about it. You don’t have to stay with that person. You don’t have to make a go of things, or make an effort.

Because that’s the ‘sunken costs fallacy’ that causes people to make poor relationship decisions. “I don’t want to throw away X years together” for example.

Are you basically saying to yourself that you’ve invested so much that you cannot notice your thoughts and feelings telling you to end this relationship? This divorces you from you inner thoughts and the quiet feelings that might guide you in your life and you can end up in a neglectful relationship with yourself. In other words, thinking about what already has been may prevent you from deciding what you want your life to be.

It’s a mistake to think that the amount of investment in a relationship automatically adds value to it. It doesn’t. The value of the relationship consists of what is happening in the present and in the future. The past is done. The past is useful in predicting the future, but the past by itself doesn’t actually add any value. The length of a relationship or the amount of effort put into a relationship doesn’t actually add value. If it’s clear that a relationship won’t serve you in the future, your previous investment in the relationship won’t change that and you’ll still be in the same position.

Yes, it’s hard, but don’t let the rest of your life be dictated by what has been. It doesn’t have to continue to be. What your future contains is down to you.

And so to my friend, I told them, yeah, I know you can’t just turn off feelings and all that, but you can try to look at things objectively, look at what’s been and what could come, think about your own integrity and self worth and realise you’re worth more, much more than that little crapbag who wasn’t the person you thought, who wasn’t the person you fell in love with. That person never existed. You don’t need someone else to validate you or make you happy. That comes from you. Other people just compliment that.

Go be a bourbon drinking dancing unicorn instead.

 

 

BMF turn arty

BMF isn’t just some fitness classes in the park a few times a week. It’s a community; a friendship group, a ready set of like-minded people to do stuff with, mostly there’s always someone who’s up for anything. Like Enid Blyton’s famous five, BMF Cheltenham are collecting a list of adventures:

This time it’s BMF turn arty. Alex, our resident artist at BMF, offered to organise an evening of portrait drawing. No burpees or running in sight, just easels, paper, snacks and a little tipple or two.

I offered to be the portrait model to see what it’s like being a model for artists, mainly because I want to try life modelling but also because I am shit at drawing, and being on that side of the easel wouldn’t have worked out well. This meant I got to basically sit in a chair and drink wine and eat snacks.  Sounds pretty good to me.

The group had the hard stuff to do. Alex talked a bit about how to draw faces, and sizes and perspectives and stuff (in all honesty I was concentrating on taking a few photos and eating crisps at that point), and then went through a series of exercises to start with, such as time limited sketches and musical-easels, everyone moving around the easels drawing over each others drawings. The hardest part of that seemed to be people knowing which way clockwise was.

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Nigel’s first attempt at drawing was excellent. I thought he’d captured my best side.

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As the evening progressed, so did the banter behind the easels. I couldn’t see what they were drawing or referring to, so it was quite amusing. But at that point I was just concentrating on staying still and trying not to pass out due to the fact the room was about eleventy-million degrees due to the heatwave that week.

The artists moved onto charcoal and some kind of magic paper that they could rub out to make light bits and rub everything out if they went wrong. There’s probably a technical name for it but I have no idea what it is. I just thought of it like some kind of artistic manual etch a sketch.

After a while, a silence filled the room. The banter stopped and everyone got their concentrating faces on while creating their masterpieces, and after more snack/wine breaks the room was full of pictures of me, Sian and Maja (who also sat). Which was a bit weird.

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I thought everyone did brilliantly, and yet again it was just a top evening with a cracking group of people. So many laughs, bit of bants and for a lot of people a chance to try something new.

And you thought BMF was just fitness.

 

Get your kit off.

So I’ve just arranged to be a life model in a couple of weeks. It’s been something I’ve wanted to try for a while, ever since I’ve wanted a painting of me for my bedroom and a off the cuff remark about that ended up with a drunken half naked drawing session with a recruitment consultant/amateur artist from London called Will.

Let’s get this clear. 

I’m not an exhibitionist. I don’t like being the centre of attention, and don’t really like being stared at by groups of people.

You’re probably thinking why then, choose to get naked and stand around while a group of people stare intently at you for a couple of hours, and immortalise you to canvas?

My answer would be “why not”?

I’m a big fan of getting out of the comfort zone. I think it’s good for me to do things that scare me a little, make me a little nervous and stretch me. MASSIVE fan of trying new things.

I don’t particularly mind being naked as such (I’ll go topless on holiday, for example) and like to think I’m pretty body confident. But this will really test this. Am I actually? Or is it one of those things that’s easy to say but not so easy to do? If I’m a bit nervous, does that mean that actually I’m not as confident as I say I am?

Society, culture and the media all have different views on nudity that we’ve grown up with. When I’ve told some people about this, there’s sniggers and smutty remarks. Others are horrified and tell me they wouldn’t be able to do it. Does this say something about me, them or our attitudes to nudity in general? We’re pretty much all the same under our clothes, so what are these cloaks we carry around and hide behind?

This is art. I can’t imagine anything less sexual or sensual than sitting or standing naked in an art room under a lamp being scrutinised. I’m pretty sure the artists aren’t going to be sitting there leering at me and making judgements on my body. If they are judging, then that says more about them that me; it’s their business, not mine.

I find it fascinating to think that me, in my raw naked form, will be turned into pieces of art by a group of people with different perceptions and interpretations.

I’m really looking forward to exploring all the different feelings and thought processes that are going to come with this experience. Will it be liberating? How will I feel that first time? It’s all unknown. Right now I can only guess, in a couple of weeks I’ll know for sure.

Paps: keeping life interesting since 2011.

If we were having coffee today…

Clare T wrote a post about if we were having coffee today, and at the end asked “If we were having coffee today what would you tell me?”.

Well Clare.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I have a shitty cold and feel pretty awful, and am wondering why the hell no one has come up with a cure for the common cold yet. I’d tell you it’s on the back of me resting for a week having injured myself falling off my bike. I’d tell you how bloody unfair that feels, and how spoilt and childish I feel for thinking that way. And how I hate starting a blog post so negatively, but it’s the first thing I feel today.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that I totally get how you feel about having the time and headspace to write. I’ve had a few articles in my head, only to struggle to put them down on paper (so to speak). I’d tell you though, that I did stop procrastinating on my assignments for my journalism course, and got the results back – only about 2 minor (constructive) comments. I’d tell you it gave me a massive boost that maybe I can do it.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you I’ve been cooking from the Lean in 15 cookbook. There are so many tasty recipes in there, but I’m not quite following the pre/post workout bit; I need to get better at that bit. I’d tell you I have a fairly healthy diet, I just have a big appetite for chocolate and cake too, and can’t seem to just have a little bit when I eat them. But I’d tell you that it’s not really for weight/image reasons (I’m quite happy with what I look like), it’s for health and performance reasons, but that I’m not disciplined enough to follow something strictly and ‘eat to perform’, but that often I do wonder what would happen if I actually did, what I’d be able to achieve.

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If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you how I have ideas for a new blog and papject (Paps project) but how every time I come to do some work on it I seem to have some kind of keyboard paralysis. I’d tell you that actually, I think it’s a confidence thing, and how I think I’m a little bit scared about what people might think and that it’s not good enough. I’d tell you I’m not sure where this has come from, as usually I don’t give a shit about what people think. I’d tell you that not having a TV can lead to more social media time, spent following amazing people doing amazing things and subsequently feeling inadequate.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that the way I fit my cleaning in, as well as training and a job, is to prioritise what I spend my time doing. It helps that I live in a small flat, but I try to be creative with my time. For example, fitting in morning swims and runs before work, so I can keep my weeknights free. Getting rid of my TV so I don’t spend hours in front of it, not really watching anything. I’d tell you I also went part time (4 days a week) to get a better work life balance. I’d tell you I clean little and often, rather than leave it to one big chunk that can seem insurmountable and take up precious weekend free time.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you how frustrated I feel at not being able to do much ‘proper’ exercise in the last week and a bit. It’s really not long, but it feels a lifetime. I’d tell you how scared that kind of makes me about my life if at any point something happens so I can’t do so much active stuff. But I’d also tell you, that makes me more determined to make the most of it while I can; to keep maxing the shit out of life and doing the things I want to do.

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If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you all about the plans I’m starting to think about for a January adventure. I’d tell you I’m desperately hoping my boss says yes to my leave request. I’d tell you about how excited I am for what I might be doing.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you how happy I am though, even with a cold and not being able to do stuff temporarily. How grateful I am to be healthy and fit on the whole, and how lucky I am to surround myself with great people and have the freedom to go do the stuff I want to, when I want to. I’d tell you making the decision to leave my marriage pretty much 5 years ago to the day is something I think of often, mainly because of how I have changed my life beyond recognition and actually, how it’s something I tried to sweep under the carpet as no big deal, but now realise it actually was. A fucking massive big deal. And how I’m not going to apologise for that, but rather acknowledge it.

Finally Clare, if we were having coffee today, I’d tell you how much I like reading your blog posts, and how I think sometimes you give yourself a hard time. I’d say it’s all about balance, and how sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Be kind to yourself 🙂

Let’s keep it going readers. If we were having coffee today what would YOU tell me?

 

Resting.

It’s important, most people that are active/do sport/compete know that. I know that. Hell, I’m top at resting most of the time and mostly make sure I actually do it. But, there’s a massive difference when it’s enforced rest. I want to rest when I choose to, not when I have to. Like on my week off where it’s mainly good weather and I could be outside running around and climbing mountains and cycling and all those other things I love to do.

I want to spit my dummy out and stamp my feet. IT’S NOT FAIR.

And I don’t even feel injured. My rib is now just uncomfortable rather than painful, and my knee feels fine (until I start to do too much on it, like running). So I’ve had a week of feeling lost and just pottering around feeling a bit meh and annoyed with myself for falling off my bike in the first place.

But, actually, as the week comes to a close, I’m kinda getting used to it. I’ve enjoyed it (in a different way). I’ve got outside every day (even if it’s just for a short walk), I’ve sunbathed on the roof, I’ve sorted all my stuff out (my cupboards have never been so tidy), I’ve read a few books and watched a film. I’ve batch cooked for my freezer and caught up with many friends. I’ve done a load of admin and ticked some stuff off my to do list. I’ve danced around my living room and gone for a little run. I’ve been out for beers and drank gin with my neighbour. I’ve researched and plotted possible future adventures.

And actually, (shhhhhh….) it’s been really nice. It’s been nice to slow down and enjoy time at home and just potter. I do feel pretty rested and rejuvenated. So maybe it’s not too much of a bad thing. And a chance to practice patience and a bit of self care 🙂

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Sunset stillness.

I went up ‘the hill’ (Leckhampton) tonight to watch the sunset. I’ve got a little spot up there (next to a little tree near the Devil’s Chimney) where I go if I need to sit and think and be reminded that there’s bigger things out there than myself, or give myself a kick up the arse.

I found the spot shortly after I’d moved to Chelts after walking up there after a conversation with a guy I’d had a short but intense fling with before I moved. It was something that imploded quite badly for all concerned and a lot of hurt was felt. I think it’s fair to say that I fucked it up, he fucked it up and neither of us handled it well. ‘Could do better at communicating’ would be top of a school report for that fling. Lots of reasons but bad timing and wanting different things also scored highly. Things have worked out for the best; he’s living the life he always wanted with the house, the girlfriend and the baby, which is ironically pretty much the same life I walked away from with my marriage (down to living in the same village), and I’m living the life I always wanted; moving away, going on adventures and not living that life. Neither is right or wrong, just what’s right for both of us.

Last Friday I bumped into him while out for the first time in nearly 18 months. We chatted. A lot. About all that had happened back then, and all that had happened since. Bittersweet conversations about what was and what could have been, but what now never could be.

What we lost most though, was a great friendship. It can never be the same, in fact, it can never now be at all. What I was reminded of was of how well we got on and how much of a laugh we had. And damn, do I miss that. Because that’s the main thing, right there. Underneath everything else, that’s important to me. And there will always be the part of me that knows that I could have had it. But I fucked it up.

I’ve come to terms with that now though, and deep down, I know it’s for the best. As I vaguely remember saying to him in a bit of a drunken haze, he wanted the family life and all I could offer him was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. But, doesn’t mean it still doesn’t hurt. Doesn’t mean I don’t need to go sit in my spot for a bit and get it all out.

I just really need to try to not fuck similar things up in the future. If I ever get the chance. All the people I meet so far are either dicks (and I’m rapidly losing my initial good judge of character), not actually interested in my brain or (in their own words) put off/intimidated by someone who’s independent and confident. Just because someone doesn’t need to be in a relationship, doesn’t mean they don’t want to be. There’s a lot of love to be given here. Just don’t ask me to go cushion shopping. And just because I don’t plan ahead doesn’t mean I am discounting the idea of ‘settling down’ with someone. Just my settling down doesn’t involve EastEnders and a trip to the local every Friday and B&Q on a Sunday for the next 20 years.

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Big girl pants.

 

Some days you have to put your big girl pants on, even if you don’t feel like it. Some days are just a bit crappy and all you want to do is sit and moan about how shit and unjust things and PEOPLE are and wonder what they very hell is wrong with you. And wallow. Wallowing is allowed though, you know. Just maybe for not too long, it can be cathartic for a while, then it just turns into self pity which is no good to anyone.

Yes, there will be a silver lining, yes, things happen for a reason and all that jazz. And yes, one day you will look back and realise that actually, this is probably a good thing, this was meant to happen. But now? No, now is for feeling a bit sad and wanting to eat garlic bread and Maltesers and get a fat food baby bloaty tum. Which actually, works to make you feel better, until you realise that will not actually help the situation and mentally make a note to go on a 12 mile run as soon as possible. Until you realise you’ve not run 12 miles in months and that’s as likely to happen as the whole of August being sunny in the UK. <shoves another Malteser in mouth>

Luckily, the big girl pants are big enough to go over the fat bloaty tum and you know the 12 mile run will happen, just probably in 3 separate occasions. And you know that sometimes, it’s not you, it IS them. And it IS their loss, as much as you might feel like it’s yours right now. And that no, there isn’t something wrong with you (although you do wonder).

The pants have superpowers. For those people going through a shitty relationship time right now (you know who you are), pull them up and embrace the power. Remember that one day this WILL all be a memory. There IS a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is shining brighter and lighter than ever before. There’s a new life waiting for you that, yep, isn’t the one you imagined, but maybe, just maybe it’s actually a whole load better. How about that thought? You are doing amazingly, you have no idea how much. You, at some point – months, maybe even years down the line, you’ll look back at this time, and wonder how the very fuck you did it. Maybe even laugh at the absurdity of it all. But right now, doing it you are, and with the utmost dignity. There’s no rule book, there’s no guidelines, just Big Girl Pants and a pair of hypothetical balls to strap on and fill them with.

Mine are Batman ones.