Picking up the pieces. 


When a boy broke my heart in college I remember my mum came and gave me big hugs whilst I cried myself to sleep.I was on summer holidays so I moped around feeling sorry for myself for a few days, talking to friends about what a knob he was and that there were plenty more fish and the sea and that he didn’t deserve me etc etc. 

15 years on and I’ve found it’s not exactly the same process.

I have to go to work each day and pretend to be fine. I have a daughter to look after, who I don’t want seeing me with tears running down my face or a sad face. I have a life to lead and luckily, in some ways, I have stuff to keep me busy so I don’t have time to dwell, but when the tears come it feels exactly the same. 

A boy has broken my heart. 

He hasn’t done it in the same way as any other. I don’t even think he meant to do it, but here I am sobbing with mascara down my face feeling like a 17 year old who still just wants a hug from her mum and for her to tell her everything will be ok. But really, being honest, deep down, I just want a hug from him telling me that everything will be ok. I even think he might need that type of hug too but we’re in a place where neither of us can communicate that to one another. 

New relationships, when you have to deal with real, grown up life around you, are much harder than the new relationships you have at 17. The worst you have to deal with is infidelity but what else should be expected from a hormonally challenged 19 year old boy I guess.  

When you’re 32 there’s baggage involved. There’s trust issues which you have waded through, there’s vulnerability issues but you let your guard down and there’s communication issues. There’s children who’d been introduced, there’s jobs to deal with, there’s family who were expecting to meet him, there’s friends you’d told everything about him, there’s history for both parties and it’s all bloody tricky to deal with. 

I understand this all, yet here I am with my heart broken at 32 and it feels absolutely no different to that heart break 15 years ago. 

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I have a confession…

I have a confession and those of you who follow me on Instagram may have twigged by now…

Nope, I haven’t had a mental breakdown…well not quite anyway!

 

Nope, I’m not pregnant (thank goodness)

 

Nope, I’ve not killed someone at work and writing this from a prison cell (that’s probably the most likely of these three options)

 

But yep, this serial failed dater actually has a lovely, legitimate boyfriend. Sound the fanfair!!


My first sneaky photo of us.
My first sneaky photo of us.
To those of you who have never read my blog before this might not seem like a fanfair type event.  Everyone has relationships don’t they?  But after three long years of being single and dating a myriad of idiots, knobheads, commitment phobes and emotionally unavailable men I finally seem to have found a good one.  The coveted needle in the haystack.

 

It was a marvel that I ever met this guy in the first place though as I cancelled all my dating apps (yes, again) and declared that I would be single for a year without looking for ‘the one’ (yes, again) after I got screwed over by a deceivingly ‘nice’ guy (yes, again).

 

There was, luckily, one guy who slipped through the net though and despite all my new promises to myself we kept chatting and eventually managed to meet up and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

Now we have been dating for three whole months and I think I’m getting the hang of how to have a boyfriend at 32 and when there’s children involved. Yet another learning curve to make my way up but I’m enjoying it so far.

 

I was even brave enough to ask for our first 'couple' selfie.
I was even brave enough to ask for our first ‘couple’ selfie.

30 things I’ve learnt since being 30.

It was my birthday last week and I’m now the ripe old age of 32.  A huge amount seems to have happened over these past two years, some of which is documented on this very blog as I started writing just after my 30th birthday.  I feel like I have learnt a lot, sometimes the hard way and some I have just happened upon through pure fluke so I’ve jotted them down to remind me.  Some are a bit deep, others entirely the opposite but all are true to me.

  1. Having children doesn’t mean you must cut your hair shorter. I for one look awful with shorter hair.
  2. I can, pretty much, make it through any challenging situation…just.
  3. You only live once. A cliché but a damn true one so make the most of it!
  4. Your health matters, so pay attention to it.
  5. Experimenting is a good idea in all areas of your life…food, fashion, f…(you get the idea).
  6. Making a mistake is not the end of the world.
  7. Tell your real friends you love them.
  8. Unfollow or unfriend people off Facebook or Instagram whose posts irritate you.
  9. I still don’t like goats cheese no matter how many times I try it.
  10. If I stop moving I seize up and it’s a lot more difficult to get going again.
  11. You will meet amazing friends in the strangest places if you are willing and open to find them.
  12. I wear my heart on my sleeve which can sometimes means it gets bruised more easily..
  13. Earl Grey tea is actually very nice.
  14. My wardrobe now has less clothes that are better quality, rather than the other way around.
  15. Same with my make up.
  16. Bright lipstick isn’t actually that scary.
  17. Sometimes I would rather eat an amazing salad that something deep fried.
  18. Saying ‘No’ and standing your ground is amazingly empowering.
  19. You are allowed to aspire to be in a job which you love…goals are good.
  20. Dresses actually suit me much better than trousers.
  21. Being selfish isn’t always a bad thing.
  22. Doing something good for someone (even if very small) is one of the best ways to boost your mood.
  23. I now ‘mum dance’ but I still do it anyway.
  24. All parents are winging it.  They are lying if they tell you other wise.
  25. Despite all my body hang ups people still seem to find me attractive, therefore I shouldn’t worry about them so much.
  26. I’m now much less tolerant of just smiling and nodding.
  27. My eyes are my best feature. (Sorry boobs)
  28. Netflix is definitely worth the membership fee.
  29. Being a single mum means my daughter is my best friend and my enemy number 1 all at the same time.
  30. Being a single mum is incredibly hard work but incredibly rewarding.

Left standing

Last week I got stood up.

Not in the old school way.  I wasn’t left standing awkwardly in a pub on my own. But I was stood up in the ‘millennial’ way. I was blocked on WhatsApp. I hate myself for even uttering those words but, 15 minutes before I was meant to meet up with this guy, I was blocked. The only reason I knew this before getting out of the house and being stood up for real was because I was running late – as always. I normally hate that I am always late for things but, in this particular instance, it saved me a lot of public embarrassment.

I was still embarrassed by it though. I had chatted to this guy for over a week. We had had daily conversations about life, the universe and everything. He seemed like a genuinely decent guy and I will admit it, I had a bit of a flutter. He was good looking, he was a full participant in a range of topics of conversation, he usually messaged first which I took to be a good sign. We seemed to have stuff in common and we made each other laugh, or so I thought.

I had told my friends I was going on this date, my mum had been booked to babysit, i’d done my hair and make up (and looked pretty good if I do say so myself) and then it didn’t happen. I was upset, angry, confused but also completely mortified.

I have no idea why, in the last few moments he decided he didn’t want to meet me.  I’m not going to make excuses for him as I have done for other men. He is a coward and a dick but it didn’t hurt any less even though I knew this.

I hadn’t been on a date for a while because I was fed up of knobs (literally and figuratively), I was fed up of being let down and I was fed up of wasting my time and I managed to have it happen all over again.  Unfortunately it doesn’t hurt any less the more it happens.

After yet another bad experience I did wonder if I should just give up on the prospect of a healthy, happy relationship with a bloke all together but, after attending a well-timed mindfulness workshop in London I realised that there is no point in dwelling on the ‘whys’ and the ‘what ifs’ of the date, of my love life or my life in general, it will only hurt me further  stop me focusing in the important things.  I should only be concentrating on what is happening now, as this is the only time I have any control over. So I think I shall make the most of the here and now and see what comes along whilst I’m getting on with it.

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The Single Mum’s 29 (ish)-Day Challenge

Whilst wasting time passing some time on Pinterest I came upon an infographic entitled ‘The Single Girls 30-Day Challenge’.  Now, I am single girl (…lets not mention that the rest of my divorce still hasn’t gone through yet…) but not many of the challenges seemed particularly realistic so I tweaked a few and ended up with this, much more do-able, 30-day challenge.  But as its the 1st February and I’ve crossed a couple off it can be my 29 (ish) day challenge.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

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Sending out a signal.

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I think blokes must have a radar that picks up when a woman is feeling slightly lonely and vulnerable, either that or I accidentally sent out my version of a bat signal!

I had pretty much cooled off any conversations with other men whilst trying to work out what was happening between me and my ‘friend’ who we’ll call Mr M for now (or knobhead depending on what mood I’m in!) but once I’d found out he was a complete an utter knob with no knob and I needed to move on and get the hell away from moping about him, messages started coming in. One may have been because I popped on to match.com again to see whether there were any new faces (FYI there weren’t) and I got spotted online by a previous date, but I have had three other men from dates past contact me and I have no idea how their timing is so impeccable! I am, however, being strong and trying to remember why we only had a couple of dates the first time round. See, learning from my mistakes already!

The best timing has to be the Facebook friend request I got from someone I worked with 9 years ago! He was 16 at the time and I was 21!! After a bit of a catch up and chat he confessed he had seen me on tinder and thought he’d get in touch! He said he had always fancied me and remembered the time I’d (probably drunkenly) told him that “if he was older..”!! He used to play rugby at 16 and had always been good looking and a bit charming but 9 years on he had a bit of cheekiness to his repertoire as well. I did keep thinking “you’re 16!!!” as we chatted but he isn’t – he’s a very hot, rugby playing 25 year old. Now what stupid woman wouldn’t investigate the potential there!? In fact I can’t think of a better antidote to knobhead than that!

The only way is up..?

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Well, these last two weeks have been the hardest in a very very long time. Every time I think I’m just about coping I get another kick and, to be honest (as I should be in my blog) my optimism and ‘Joie de Vivre’ which I pride myself on, is slowly sliding away. So far it has involved the ex contesting the divorce for no reason I can understand, a male ‘best friend’ managing to hurt me in so many different ways all at once, a flat tyre, a speeding ticket, work generally and a letter from work telling me they’ve over paid me nearly £400 and that they would be taking it out of my October pay (that’s nearly a third of my take home pay!) Just to top it all off I’ve gone off wine and can’t seem to bear drinking a drop. I know!! Nightmare!!

I won’t bore you with the details but I’m pretty sure I’m at one of my lowest points in a long time – my heart is severely battered, my anger is bubbling very close to the surface all the time and my bank account is empty – more than empty actually as I’m well and truly in my overdraft. I can only presume I was a mass murderer in a previous life and am now paying for my sins. I feel like a teenager but, unlike my 15 year old self, I can’t just crawl under the covers for a few days and cry my eyes out. I have a daughter, a dog, a job, a house and my sanity that needs to keep going and be looked after. I know I’ll recover, I am resilient and I know there must be some good days soon but I wish I could just press pause and get my shit together. I can’t let my daughter see me angry at her dad or crying because I am lonely and have been let down, so I need to breathe, adjust, pour a strong G&T and move on to the next challenge that will no doubt be facing me.

Someone warned me that the first year in a separation would be the worst but two weeks into the second year and I’m not sure I believe them yet. People also have been saying that all this crap must mean I’m due for something really good and I really want to believe this!! Win
the Lottery, a Knight in shining armour, a new job? Come on fate…I’m waiting!!

Single Parent Pessimist

Trimming the hedges.

Just on the off chance that something might happen with a potential ‘love interest’ at some point, I have started having waxes of an ‘intimate nature’ shall we say. Not so I look like a child, but more than your average high leg (more money too I found out!)

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I started this ridiculous habit by being the only person stupid enough to say yes when my friend; who is a beauty salon owner and trainer, asked whether anyone was available to be a model for a training course she was leading in Advanced Waxing Techniques.  Having been with the same person for ten years my need for personal grooming to this extent had pretty much diminished around the six month mark and I had never gone to this length (or short!!) before, so I was intrigued.  I had no prudish nature left in me after childbirth and as it was free and as I’m one for a bargain, I was lured in.

It wasn’t as painful as I had expected and it did look and feel good once the horrendous redness had subsided. However, as I was a model again a month or so later and, due to staff changes at my friends salon it feels like more women have now seen my lady bits in recent months than men! This was not the desired effect! The only thing it has generated so far is the need to send out a lot more Valentines Day cards out in February! Well it’s only appropriate don’t you think?

Cutting my losses and moving on.

So last week I finally decided to sign all the bumpf and send over a humungous amount of money to my solicitors to start the process of divorcing my husband.

Gulp.

It is just coming up to a year since we separated and after lots of disappointments and being let down by his lack of effort in prioritising his daughter I decided to just get the hell on with it. Waiting for two years seems like an eternity when I am definitely ready to move on to the next chapter of my (and my daughters) life. I’m hoping this decision and me finally growing some balls and making it, will help with me grasping my life and working out what the hell happens next. “The world is my oyster” if you will (if that oyster pays enough for a house, running the car, putting food on the table etc etc.)

 Next project is moving house. I have decide that divorce and a pre-schooler is not stressful enough so I need to entirely repaint and carpet my flat and get the hell out. I think I might have gone a bit crazy!!!

I would love to hear your stories about moving on and upward, these past few weeks have made my glass look a bit half empty so any stories to help the optimistic outlook would be great!

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Boxset Black Hole!

Apologies for little hiatus on blogging.  I had every intention to carry on regularly but then one of my friends suggested I start watching ‘Orange is the New Black’…and no-one has seen me since!  I’ve decided to have a breather between series’ and catch up on current affairs for a bit but OitNB is really good and I would thoroughly recommend it. 

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Boxsets have, so far, been my saving grace whilst whiling away the evenings wondering what the hell I do with all this quiet time once Charlotte’s (eventually) tucked up in bed and a vague sense of calm has been restored to the house (see previous post about housework!).

It started a couple of weeks into my seperation when my, also newly seperated, friend suggested I started watching Breaking Bad in my bedroom before I killed my parents with whom Charlotte and I stayed for a few weeks.  Two months later I came out of my room and wondered what I would do with my life now it had finished! I plodded on with reruns of Modern Family and a few Sex and the City episodes but didn’t want to start another all encompassing boxset quite yet.  Until now, obviously! It also means that I have another topic to add to my ‘conversation topics appropriate for first dates’ list which started off quite short, I must admit!

I stupidly mentioned I liked it on Facebook and someone suggested House of Cards so I don’t think I’ll be cancelling my Netflix subscription anytime soon!