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.

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Settling in

Hello,

You will be pleased to know that we moved from Bangor and arrived safely into our new home in East Sussex. The weather has been constantly pleasant, even on the day that we left Bangor, which does feel like a slight slap in the face because I was feeling ever so miserable that day. It was harder than I thought to walk away from the place that had been my home, that had been where Jake had grown into the wonderful, tantrum throwing, stair falling, laughing, jumping little boy that he is. I have made friends that will last a life time, I know I sound mushy but I’ve never had friends like these. Anyhoo… I miss Bangor and all the people in it.

I am back in Sussex though, and tomorrow I am off to see where I will be working which is exciting… I mean it is but oh I so wanted to get a job that was ever so slightly related to what I want to do with my life. I am going to start advertising my proof reading skills on a free lancing website so that will hopefully get me going in the right direction.

I must dash, jobs to apply for and exercise videos to do, my life of excitement never stops.

Also please don’t forget to vote for my blog in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2012

http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/Nominations_are_open_Cosmo_Blog_Awards_2012_

Just fill in what category you feel I should be in and vote 🙂

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The Escape Artist

Hello,

Well today has been a slight slack if I am honest. Hardly any of my targets were hit, and I blame that thoroughly on the fact that the builders keep turning up, saying they are going to finally get the job done, and then promptly leave and leave me a note telling me that they will return at the weekend. Which means I have to be out of the house all day on Saturday. Excellent. Not.

However, I did get to see my wonderful friend Gigi, who I have not seen for a whole three weeks 🙂 I did have to deal with a very tired Jake. He didn’t much of his dinner, and I can promise you, it was amazing. I did a vegetable cous cous, with juicy, diced pork, cooked with apples and onions, and yummy spinach. Now you tell me, who on earth wouldn’t devour that?? He has about half his plate, so it wasn’t that he didn’t like it. He was just very tired. So, because I am such a witch of a mum, he went to bed with no pudding. There, judge away.

When I picked him up from nursery yesterday, they informed me that they have to be extra careful and create special measures to ensure that my son does not disappear. And there was me thinking I had managed to squash all personality traits of his father out of him. That will teach me. The thing with Jake is, he is curious. About everything and anything. He likes new things that mean he learns more, and going to explore. Which sounds good right? The problem is, he is pretty good at becoming practically invisible on his little jaunts, and thus causes all responsible adults within close vicinity to have major heart attacks. And have to create new ways of keeping him within sight, and entertained at all times.

Anyway, I am off to bed as I am once again beyond tired, and need to get up at the crack of dawn to crack on with this work. Did you like what I did there? With the crack? I am telling you now, I can be hilarious when I want to be… ask my friends.

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Day 1…

Hello,

Well I can honestly say that I thought I would never have to set foot into the library ever again once I got broadband. However, thanks to my leaking house, here I am. I suppose I shall have to make the best of a terrible situation. And it really is terrible! The weather man promised me rain today, instead I can see blazing sunshine!! It isn’t fair 😦 anyway, silver lining right? Or light at the end of the tunnel? Not sure which fits best, but there we are.

The aim today is to get my Short Story essay done and out-of-the-way, or at least reach 3000 words. And I will then do some dissertation work tonight. The reason for doing it this way round is because I have about 20 books for my dissertation, and only six for Short Story, so do the maths 🙂

Jake was dropped off at nursery today, and I had to tell them his leaving date. I actually got a bit tearful (perhaps hormones…), because he has loved it there and they are such a great nursery. They have done so much for us, and have really helped me to help Jake flourish and do well in everything.

Right, best get cracking. Might get a cheeky drink first though… what’s the saying? About feeding your brain? Wouldn’t be amazing if wine increased brain power? Right, yep…. essay.

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Crunch time- Goodbye Facebook

Hello,

Well, it struck me today… about a minute ago when I was talking to Mike… that for me, university will finish in exactly three weeks and two days. I also remembered that the whole point of this blog was to explain what life is like studying and being a full-time parent. Mike also pointed out that maybe it would be a good idea to give up Facebook for the said time period, so that my distractions may finally disappear. Wishful thinking I hear you say. However, I like challenges. In fact, as much as I complain about pressure and create it, I thrive on it (excuse the arrogance). So, I decided on this plan. I am going to now officially give up Facebook, (as soon as this post is published) and I will write on here every morning, letting you know the ‘To Do List’ for the day, what Jake will be doing, and whether I have contemplated suicide due to the stress of everything. I will then post a blog in the evening, letting you whether I have completed everything on the list, and how it is all going. I figured this would cover my need to be on Facebook, and it also means that the blog is being used for its correct purpose 🙂 also, I can send potential employers to it and hopefully convince them I am a fantastic person to employ!!

Mike also believes that I should give up Twitter, but I promptly told him to shut up. I am slowly getting back on top of things, which feels fantastic. However, I am slightly annoyed that after one of the better nights sleep in a long time, I feel like I have been awake for roughly a week. Builders also turned up today to fix the leak in my house, so we had to leave the house… Jake took me out for lunch 🙂 But again, it’s such a shock that it is almost over. I’m not sure how I am meant to feel, I suppose it will hit me once I have completed my final piece of work.

I am feeling pretty shitty though, as I had my family up all week and they only left yesterday. As I write this, my eyes are literally swimming with tears. I have such a great group of friends, but hand on heart, this year has been the hardest year I have ever had since leaving home at 18. My nan rang me about an hour after they left, and she said ‘well, I assumed you might be feeling a bit lonely’. And that was it. Like a waterfall, I didn’t stop for about 30 minutes. I am very pathetic aren’t I? Going about how great my friends are, yet bawling my eyes out the moment my parents leave. I am pretty certain there are people who are far more lonely than I am. But the moment my nan pointed it out, I thought oh God, it will be ages until I see them again. And I can’t go home once I am finished. Not because they don’t want me 🙂 just because there isn’t any room for us and all the crap I have collected over the last few years. It is so hard though. I can’t really put my finger on what has made me feel this way, but this year has, as I said, been tough. I suppose it could be the realisation that this is the final stage of my ‘adolescence’, which my mum has mentioned several times. But she says she is more scared than I am. it isn’t because of people either, no one is making me feel lonely, if that makes sense. So what is it? I don’t know. All I know is if someone had said to me  a week into the first semester you can home if you want, off I would have popped. I feel bad saying that, because there would be a lot of people who would love to be at university. But it’s how I have felt. Jake has helped though 🙂

I am off to London on Friday for a hospital appointment, I am going for the whole day and going to take advantage of it by printing off my CV and looking at areas to live in. I am very excited!! I also get to see some friends from home!! And possibly have a cheeky shopping spree, but who wouldn’t whilst in London!!

Anyway, I am going to go to bed, as I am exhausted and getting up early tomorrow. Wish me luck on my non-Facebook attempts 🙂 I really don’t want to fail, I have a feeling if I do, I will end up owing Mike big time, and he is mega annoying when he gloats.

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