Insert metaphor here

Hello,

Been a short while has it not? Life has just gotten in the way. I have been mentally writing this post for months, but as I am currently on holiday, I figured now was the best time. It is hard to switch off though right? I know I am going back to carnage and I want to savour every last drop of these seven days, but I find my mind can wonder…

Anyway, this post is definitely not about work. I suspect I owe you an update on the friend and her three weeks of utter joy.

I don’t really know where to start there. The week it all ended, the first few days were torture. She told at times she felt like she could feel her heart breaking. Then other times, she would go back to saying how lucky she was that she got that time with him. Madness to me. They are back to being best friends. I mean literally couldn’t find two people closer. They can look at each other for less than two seconds and know what they are both feeling and thinking. I know she sometimes will try to persuade him that they should just give it a go and be together, and he tolerates it because deep down it’s what he wants, but he can’t give it to her. I sometimes look at it and wonder if they aren’t both just torturing each other. Being so in love but not being able to just be together.

The point is that she lived – for three weeks she lived. And I think I said this in my last post, but just in case, it definitely showed me something. And this sort of takes us into this post. Just remember to bear with me, I do so love a tangent and going off on one.

So a few months before my friend went through her three weeks, I was driving back from my mum’s. Out of nowhere, I had an attack of – OMG what the f*** am I doing with my life? I’d come out of a relationship of nearly 11 years and had gone into another relationship which was slowly dwindling. I don’t own my own home, I am definitely not earning the millions Jake wishes I was, I couldn’t take us on the one trip he had asked for… I mean just the list of things was endless. And I topped it off with this final thought – OMG I am nearly 30 and look at everyone else around you Emma, they are miles ahead and you are failing.

I know, everyone, literally everyone in the world at some point in their life will have this exact thought. Maybe not near to 30, but the point is, we all look around us at some point, pop our heads over the fences and look at the colour of everyone else’s grass and think – oh s****, I am failing.

I am surrounded by people who own their own homes, some are on to their second homes. Friends are getting promoted, getting engaged, getting married, having kids, going on their 100th holiday of the year, their kids are excelling at everything and there was me. In my f****** VW Polo on finance that was in hindsight, a mistake. Driving back to an empty house, because Jake was at his dads, and I hated my then partner, and I was nearly 30 and omg… You got your violin playing? I know, it is so pathetic! Like I said though, I am 99% sure you have had this moment, and if you haven’t yet, you will.

What was really weird, is that as quickly as I had this barrage of negative thoughts, it went. I talked myself out of it. I was seeing a very good therapist at the time, and I thought through it all.

I was nearly 30, a lot of people don’t make it that far. Yes, my ultra long relationship with the father of my child had ended, but we were all happier. We are still friends, and most of all, both still working together to raise Jake. He’s found someone who makes him really happy and is great with Jake. Huge bonus for single parents around the world, to find someone who gets it and accepts this extra part of your life.

No, I didn’t own my own house, but I reminded myself that I still have these dreams of disappearing into Europe and getting a house in Copenhagen or back to Italy and my old family home. So sod it, I have no savings. I mean literally nothing. Jake asked me the other day how many ££ I had saved as he wanted us to look into buying a boat… He said you literally have nothing mum?! Yep Jake, nada. But. Every month, without fail, I pay my rent on time, I pay my bills, I buy food and I put petrol in the car. I have some left over so that we can do things. Occasionally this stretches out to cocktails. The main thing is, we are managing.

Yes, a lot of my friends are getting new boyfriends/girlfriends, getting engaged, getting married or having babies. I also know a lot of friends who are holding on to relationships because they too have been bitten by the fear of being nearly 30 or have just hit 30, and are worried that they won’t find anyone else. I am surrounded by friends who are loving their single lives and are able to go out and serially date, just like I am doing, and going on the odd trip, and loving life.

I am not getting paid millions, but in all honesty, I have no idea what I would do with that much money anyway. Plus, my job is amazing! I get to travel, I work with very cool people, and my work allow me to swan out the office whenever I need to go and be a mother. There was a time when I had the balance of work and home life really badly wrong, now home time is home time. Work waits. Don’t get me wrong, speak to my friend Ursa and she will tell you that at least once a week I have a meltdown and she has to slap me. But otherwise hey, work is good.

The biggest thing that kicked me out of this spiral was something my therapist said. She said she was excited for me hitting my 30s. Emma you have almost lived your life backwards, she said. I was settled in my 20s. I had the baby, the amazing relationship and a budding career. And now? I have the entire world. I am nearly 30 and no, I don’t have someone waiting for me when I get home from work every night who can share a glass of wine with me. I do have Jake though. I have friends that get it and support me and come to visit whenever possible. I have an amazing family.

I know what you are all thinking. Isn’t this a really obvious post? I am not sure it is though. Recently, the amount of people who have pointed out that I am nearly 30, that I am not married, that I have a child, that my job means I am not capable of being the ‘little woman’, that I shouldn’t be chasing dates, that I should be saving my money to buy a house… I mean opinions are thrown at me a lot. Apparently, I am very intimidating for men because I have my s*** together… Do I?! And intimidating? Why? I don’t know.

Anyway, I kicked myself out of the negativity, I got home, I eventually got rid of the bad partner and embraced freedom. I embraced turning 30. I will be honest, it’s August and I don’t turn 30 until December… but I am definitely not dreading it as much as I was…

Then my friend went through her three weeks of bliss, and I thought you know, if it takes me another 20 years to find that, I will wait. If I don’t buy my house until I am 60 right before Jake shoves me into a nursing home, that’s okay too. And my best childhood memories of holidays are the ones my mum would do in the garden for us, because she had no money either. You make life what it is.

I sound very preachy don’t I. I definitely in no way have my s*** together. I am muddling through and I love it. I told you I would go off on a bit of tangent.

The last few months, even before the post about my friend, I have been thinking about this post. The entire world expects you to be at a certain point in life at 30. There is so much pressure on having your own home, of your kids being perfect and of being supported through it all by the perfect partner.

Christ, I tell you now, I would rather be single than be miserable. I would rather be single than settle for a life with someone who doesn’t make me happy. I would rather spend hours with Jake playing football than spend time with someone who can’t hold a conversation.

I love that I don’t own my own home, though at one point I wished I did. But I fixed that by getting an allotment, because all I actually miss is a garden.

Jake is slightly over sensitive, but he is amazing. He is so funny, so clever and able to hold his own in a room full of people.

F*** society. F*** the people who are throwing pressure on you to be at a certain point in life. Grab life by the balls.

And here endeth the lesson. I promise no more preachy posts… for at least another few months.

Enjoy your summer kids and do all the things I would do.

xxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

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Swinging pendulum

Hello,

At what point in life do you finally say to yourself, what other people think of me really doesn’t matter. Or are you just born that way. Or do you just wake up one day and think – f**k everyone, I am happy so surely that’s what matters.

It really baffles me. I mean, I have a severe fear of what other people think. What they might say. What they might be thinking. Would they do whatever I am doing? Would they handle things differently? If so, how would they handle it? Does it make me a bad person that I am not doing or thinking along the same lines? Does it mean that there is something wrong with me, that I am a bad person for not reacting the same? For acting in a way that someone else may not?

God, that was torturous just typing it. I can imagine reading it might be the same thing. I mean torturous in the sense that you are rolling your eyes and screaming – of course you’re wrong! Well, I guess that is what I am hoping for. Because in truth, the above is really my day to day. Sometimes, I keep it at bay and it doesn’t trouble me that much. Sometimes, like today, it is almost crippling. It can completely stop me in my tracks.

Here is the other crazy thing. I’d imagine you might be reading this and be thinking – well, she has a fear of what people might think of her, and she’s typing it out to the entire world to read. (I mean the web by that, not the idea that billions of people are reading this)

The thing is, it is much less frightening putting something like this on-line, than actually having to sit down, face someone, look them in the eyes, and try to explain all of this. It is much less frightening not saying these words out loud, and watching people’s faces, desperately looking for a reaction and trying to decipher their true feelings. I don’t know what it is. But my god I could never say all of this to an actual person. I mean, I know I sound crazy but I am not sure that I could have anyone else tell me.

The pendulum bit comes in because on the other side of all of this, I need the opinion of family and friends and loved ones. I crave the need to know that maybe someone at some point has felt what I am feeling at any given time. Surely someone else near me gets scared like this? Or over thinks about everything like I do. Or is just plain scared. Scared of taking a step. Wondering if it is the right step. What will the consequences be of the step. Who will judge me? Who will I loose? Who will stay?

It is exhausting. hence the question of when does it end. I do think some lucky buggers out there are just born with a f**k everyone else attitude. Not in a horrible way, just they are strong and confident in their choices and their actions, and don’t always need to have the reassurance of someone else. You know, the whole black and white, and not so grey. I mean everyone at some point needs a little reassurance?

My other question is, or rather, the other thing I wonder about it – how long until this kind of way of thinking wears thin? At what point do family, friends and loved ones go – enough. Enough of your needs, enough of you wanting answers. Just live.

That’s the answer isn’t – just live Emma. Jeez Louise just live. Stop thinking. Stop worrying. Trust your gut. Trust your heart. Live.

And then I ruin it, I think, by saying – well, that just sounds kind of selfish. Because you can’t just live can you. You have to think how you’re living moment might affect someone. And what if they don’t react well to the way you live.

Oh good lord, I have lost the plot haven’t I? I swear as well, I wasn’t always like this. Well, I don’t think I was anyway or not this badly.

And if any of my friends were saying this to me, I would be screaming at them and telling them – go live! Fuck everyone else. You have to be happy, because the people who love you, and I mean really love you, won’t care if the choices you have made aren’t choices they would have made. They wont care that maybe actions you are taking aren’t ones that they might take. They won’t care, it will not matter. They will love you anyway, they will want you to be happy. Because you won’t remember this bit, you will remember the happy stuff more.

Mind you, who on earth takes their own advice hey? Not me apparently.

So, all that aside. 2018 thus far has started well. We celebrated Jake’s 8th birthday. Can you believe he’s 8? Well, actually he’s 8 going on 58. He’s a perfect mixture of child, adolescent teenager and little, old man. He also has a crazy sense of humour, comes out with things I could never in a million years think of, and is rather cool.

2018 is going to be great. I am determined to get to 31st December 2018 and be able to say that I lived a bit more, had a little more of a f**k you attitude, and enjoyed every single moment that came my way.

I would say that’s the plan, but maybe not making it a plan and just enjoying the moment will help me achieve the goal? Who knows.

xxx

P.S. I realise a swinging pendulum may well have been the wrong metaphor for this particular post, however it felt like the right one at the time… Judge away, I am doing the same.

Merry Christmas

Hey!

Wow. Today was intense right? Surrounded by family and friends, or maybe you’re with new family members or you’ve just had a new addition. It’s all a lot.

Mine has been so weird. I mean, I knew it would be hard but gosh, did not feel like Christmas at all. With Jakey not being here and things the way they are, I have felt lost at times and even I have noticed how quiet I’ve been.

My youngest brother has been amazing at checking in on me, and generally just pulling me through. It’s odd enough for us anyway being four brothers and sisters. So with just the two we felt like we needed to really go the extra mile.

I spoke to Jake in the morning, thanks to some excellent advice, meaning I didn’t get fobbed off. It’s just weird you know? There’s someone who is meant to be there and they aren’t. I’m sure you’ve all felt this at times.

I’m just grateful because I have people around me and some aren’t as fortunate.

So whatever you’re going through this Christmas, I hope you have the people you need by your side pulling you through.

I get Jake tomorrow and I cannot wait! I suspect he won’t be as thrilled but there we are. I missed speeches from him today so that’s what I’ll update you with tomorrow!

Merry Christmas

Xxxxxxxxx

Life lessons of 2017

Hello.

someone told me recently that I have a tendency to find a quote or piece of text that will in some way strike a cord with me and how I’m feeling.

I mean, they are absolutely right. If you look at my Instagram or Pinterest account, a large section is dedicated to quotes, pieces of literature and sometimes funny passages that in some way highlight how I’m feeling at that particular moment.

2017 has been the year of feelings and emotions. 2017 has been the year where I think most of the big things that can happen in life, happened.

And this week, I feel like something snapped. I had a moment on Tuesday where every emotion possible hit me at once. And that’s when it hit me – this year has been a long one. And one filled with lessons, most of which I think I’m only just realising. As well as lessons, I feel like I’ve learned the most about myself, particularly this week.

Don’t you think it’s hilarious how at 18 you are desperate to be an adult, to be considered an adult and feel totally ready to handle adult situations because you know, you’re 18.

Then, you reach 29 (not old I realise but this is really based on my perspective) and you think – if I could go back to my 18 year old self, I’d have a list of things to say. Mind you, what 18 year old listens to an adult and takes on board what they say? Catch 22.

The point is, and what I’m waffling and trying to get to, that hindsight is a beautiful thing. That’s been my biggest lesson this year. I actually think I might try and make it the family motto.

Because it’s true isn’t it. You do all of these things, or go through moments and feelings, and take action. Then maybe 6 months later you look back and go – ah shit. Would do that differently now. And you say things like – in hindsight. Yep, beautiful thing.

So, what have I learned this year? Here’s the list…

– stop looking at other people and how they live their lives, it’s incredibly toxic and only makes you feel shit.

– put the phone down! And the laptop. And whatever other bit of technology I’m known to hold at some point in the day. I’ve missed moments, ruined conversations and stopped listening and that causes disaster.

– money really means jack shit. Literally cannot do a thing to make life any happier or better or more successful. Remind myself daily that I’m paying the bills, keeping a roof over mine and Jakes head, feeding us and putting petrol in the car.

– your real friends will not care if you have no money, if your clothes have not been updated in about 18 months or if you don’t buy them presents. Real friends just want to see you and see you happy.

– don’t make yourself feel shit for spending money on a cheeky takeaway or a cinema trip or doing something with your child. The moment you share will totally outweigh in value the money you have spent.

– be more resourceful. If you can’t have it, you can’t have it. You’ve survived this long without it and you’ll be just fine next month too.

– the people who really love you will go out of their way to make you feel amazing because they know it means the world to you. Don’t take that for granted and don’t throw that back in their face either.

– stop being so scared of talking. Talk. Talk a lot. Share your thoughts and feelings and communicated. Nothing will be resolved if you don’t open your mouth and speak.

– stop being afraid. Stop being scared of decisions and actions. Stop overthinking. You’ll never do anything or go anywhere if you can’t get over the fear.

– don’t be afraid of asking questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question. Ever.

– stop killing yourself with guilt. Give yourself a good talking to. Write down the mistakes you made and learn from them. Move on and be better.

– admit when you’re wrong. Be honest. It’s so much easier and less painful than going through interrogations and stories and everything else that comes with dishonesty and holding stuff back.

– read more. Read everything. Learn more. Fill your brain with information.

– it’s the little things that mean more. So note all the little things about people. Remember what makes someone smile, what makes someone happy and do it. There is nothing better than seeing a genuine smile on someone’s face.

– let go. For the love of god let go. Move on. Learn and move on. And do better. Bet better.

I realise some of these might be along the same lines, but these are really more to me than anyone else, so it makes sense in my head. Does that make sense?

I have had a real eye opening this week. A real moment where I saw myself from other people’s view point. Honestly? I hated it. Hated what I saw and what it made me feel about myself. And that’s the bit that no one warns you about at 18. You become this person and the things you were so sure on at 18 now have changed. It’s all different.

I told myself that I really had to become better at keeping things black and white. I have a tendency to overthink, overreact, and worry about stuff. Which means I don’t see moments. And so I said to myself, you have to stop that.

But actually I realised, sometimes it’s okay to be a bit grey about things. And that’s my biggest lesson this year. I really have to learn about myself again. Re-discover who I am, what I want and who I want to be. And I definitely plan to hit that list above and make those changes. But I also need to remember who I am.

I don’t know right now. And that’s quite scary for me because generally I’ve always been pretty sure and have always pretty much known my own mind. Now? Not so much.

So that was 2017. In as small a nutshell as I could manage because I really do ramble.

Anything else to report? Why yes. Jake is just over 2 weeks away from becoming 8. 8 would you believe. He’s spending Christmas with Mike and so when I dropped him off today, I gave him a small present before we do our thing on Boxing Day.

I gave him my copy of The Adventures of the Magic Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton. It was one of the first books I discovered after moving over from Italy. At the age of 8 so you can see the significance. I told Jake we need to have more adventures. And that’s something I’m really looking forward to next year. More adventures with Jake. He comes out with the most amazing comments and thoughts and when we have adventures together, that’s normally when the best of him comes out.

That’s it. 2018 is going to be the year that I have adventures and just generally remember what I’m like.

Enjoy the holidays

Xxxx

What a year it’s been

Hello,

Well it has been one hell of a year. Real ups, downs and wtf moments that leave you speechless. 

Who would have thought that 2016 would be the year that Donald became ruler, Britain would prepare to exit the EU and that we would lose so many stars, so many incredible people that changed the lives of so many. I realise it could sound slightly dramatic but I still find it hard to think that Alan Rickman died. I imagine there’s a name in the list of people we lost this year that you find difficult to digest. 

The world itself has become a scary place. I think an eye opener has been the hurt humans can do to one another. Again, maybe a little dramatic but humans have not been kind this year. Of course that isn’t for everyone. Some amazing things have also happened and all because of the act of a few. I think that’s the thing to hold on to, the thing I plan to pass on to Jake. There is power in just one person doing something good and amazing. I know I’ve had the pleasure of knowing a couple of incredible women this year who remind me daily that one small, kind act is powerful. 

From a personal perspective, life has been interesting. I’ve had the fortune to travel to some amazing places, meet inspiring people, strengthen friendships and most incredibly, work out what’s important for me. It’s taken a while and a lot of mistakes but I think I’m finally getting there. 

I decided, upon hitting the grand old age of 28 (I know, I know I’m a dick) that things had to change. I needed to change. In all honesty, I don’t particularly feel like myself at the moment. But I think I can see the light and I’m beginning to think I know the steps that need to happen for it to all change. I realise some of this, or all of it sounds dramatic but then, everyone struggles with different things don’t they. I just realised that I need to be happy and like myself, which is ironic really because that tends to be the advice I give to people. 

Jake. Well, where to start? I definitely feel like I’ve achieved a better balance this year. You’ll remember the post I did about trying to be with him more and balance work etc. I have travelled a lot this year. But it’s been a positive thing because it means when I’m home, I’m home. I’m with him and enjoying time with him. What’s been a real highlight as well is that I was able to bring him with me on one of my trips this year. To share that with him was amazing. 

The thing is I just love to travel. I am slightly lazy but actually being still and not going anywhere is hard. I get itchy feet. I discovered this year my son is the same. 

Biased I realise but Jake is growing into an incredible person. He’s clever, funny, and so confident. The confidence bit scares me a bit because I don’t have it. For Jake though, nothing seems to scare him and I hope he never looses that. 

So this year really has just been a bit of a crazy ride. I am exhausted more than anything else and do look forward to kissing it goodbye. 

2017? No plans more just making wishes and enjoying each day. Definitely travel more, learn more, grow in general. Most importantly I want to find the person I was and be a little bit selfish. I want to be happy. Don’t want to die regretting anything. 

I know – corny as shit. 

Happy New Year x

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