Do you believe in the one? I did. When I was young the idea felt intoxicating. A perfect match. One day I’d wander into the path of my heart’s desire & we’d trip right into love.
I loved all those classic romantic destiny type stories. I still do. Hugh Grant fumbling adoringly & Cary Grant being impossibly charismatic. Real life lacked such charm. I had false starts and wrong turns. The one who wrecked my poor heart. The one I wasn’t ready for, the one who wanted too much and all the ones who were just no good. That thrilling ideal became more complex.
My first big crazy disaster was followed by some close calls. Flirtations & flings. Trigger shy, right? I fell for Mr Big and Mr Darcy, but didn’t do much falling in real life. I skipped, through experiences good & bad. Some were lovely, though didn’t quite fit. Others were terribly misshapen mistakes. Most were relatively easy. Sure there was some hurt, but no devastation. I started to think that old soulmate theory was a ruse. In a world packed with variety perhaps there were multiple probable mates. Many flavour combinations that could work with a little customisation.
Then there was Mr Almost. Nearly all the things I’d always wanted. I think I recognised the difference the moment he entered my life. It wasn’t easy. He was complicated & stubborn & damaged. I am too. It was real, though. He made me feel perfectly at ease & totally alive. I wanted to climb into his brain and study him. I was frustrated, excited, soothed & challenged. I’d have turned myself inside out to make him entirely happy. I couldn’t of course. He couldn’t do it for me either. There are things that can’t bend. And yet, it still felt like fate. The spark never wained.
Grown ups have to do the grown up thing. You accept reality. Move along. There are new people; attention grabbing for a while. Until they pale. Comparison will dull the shine on a new beau. There’s making do, which isn’t as tragic as it sounds. You can have a lot of fun with someone who isn’t your destiny. There’s something to be said for building a life with a person who wants what you want. Happiness probably doesn’t stem from fierce passion. I wish I was the kind of person who could believe that with feeling. That steadier, softer, simpler kind of love is actually really nice. If only I hadn’t felt the wild & raw variant, it might be enough.
So, now I don’t know about one true love. I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle. There are lots of possible matches for everyone, but we don’t get unlimited chances to find them. What I’ve learnt is while the idea of ‘the one’ is alluring. The reality of ‘the one that got away’ is much more powerful.
If you enjoy my writing you can support me on Ko -Fi
2019 has barely gotten going & it’s been rough already. In a matter of weeks I have lost my baby & my boyfriend, which is less than an auspicious beginning. If I sound flippant, I’m not, I’m just trying very hard to put one foot in front of the other.
The demise of my pregnancy is devastating. My relationship’s end is sad, but the right decision and that’s about all I have to say on the topic. I find myself approaching the year (and my life) alone again. Being single hasn’t ever worried me all that much. I’m definitely not scared to be that kind of alone. Childlessness on the other hand, terrifies me. What do you when you’re facing your biggest fear? I haven’t a fucking a clue.
For the time being I have taken the clichéd approach of one day at a time. I’m trying not to spend every day at home in my jammies (there is however a lot of crying on the sofa). Functioning is a struggle for a multitude of reasons. Primarily, I am exhausted. I’m always tired. Add even less sleep, the effort it takes to contain my anger at life itself, the fact that I will not stop bleeding, so despite the blood transfusion my haemoglobin level continues to flag and you get extreme fatigue. Having a different emotion every 5 seconds is tiring. Battling (& often failing) to contain the tears is wearing. Breathing & washing & conversing & not screaming is all taking gargantuan effort. The truth is I’m not managing very much. I’m practising being ok with that.
I recommend spending time with people who don’t expect too much of you. I’m giving priority to anything that give me comfort; my little people & potatoes pretty much have that covered. Hot baths have featured heavily as has ‘fake it ’til you make it’ make up. There was one afternoon of day drinking with a lovely friend that actually helped a lot, but not something it would be wise to make a habit of. My purring cat is a godsend. I’m reading, sleeping whenever I can and endeavouring to be gentle with myself.
I have no clue how to tackle the overwhelming sense of guilt. Chipping away at how ‘not fair’ this is may well take the rest of my life. I’m focusing on the small stuff. Giving myself a pass on the growing mountain of washing, the ideas that go unpitched and being awfully rude to the person who called about my non-existent road traffic accident. I find it harder than you’d imagine to let that stuff go. Being hard on myself comes easy. i have learned that when life gets you on the ground it’s worth tackling the instinct to kick oneself whilst already down.
I didn’t have time to mark World Poetry Day through the week, but it would make me sad to ignore it all together. I’ve been smitten with the art form for as long as I can remember. It has basically provided me with a literary landscape to wander around with my feelings. Thus, I must pay homage to some poetic masters & share a few lines of my own.
What better place to start than with Plath. I suspect Sylvia Plath is probably a favourite of every girl who’s had a brush with crazy. I actually read her prose before her poetry, but obviously fell hard immediately upon discovering her poetic genius. This is one of my favourites because it mixes prime fucked up Sylvia with some classic romantic imagery.
Melissa Lozada-Oliva is new discovery, but I can’t get enough of her. Her work covers feminism & race & more. She gets right to the nitty gritty of the female of colour experience with both clarity & humour. I love the structure of her poems & the words she chooses to place her emphasis on.
Maya Angelou is another writer whose poetry came second to me. I read her autobiographies first & once I had begun reading her words I never wanted to stop. Every single line she ever put to paper is so utterly & completely Maya. A women who knows who she is & embodies herself in everything she does is the ultimate inspiration. Her poetry gives me life, which I believe is exactly what she intended it do.
Which just leaves me. I wrote a lot more poetry in my darker days. It seems my mind reaches peak poetic prowess when in despair. So, this one’s an oldie.