First of all — wow! I wasn’t expecting so much comment-y kindness, so thank you all so much! You made a (young! I’m still young!) woman in Bath feel very loved over the last 24 hours. And it’s great to know that I’m doing something right :-) So I’ll keep doin’ what i’m doin’ and will try to weave in some more stuff about photography/writing/blogging as I go.
Yay for community!
So there was one comment in particular that made me sit up and take extra notice. Sweet EMC wrote: “I love your photographs and the way you represent your life, both photographically and in words. It sounds, although I’m sure it’s not (just because no-one’s is) almost perfect. And that’s a lovely thing to look at — especially when one is in the mire, as I am and have been for a while, of finding a new life.”
And my second thought, after soaking in the kindness of EMC’s words, was “Oh no! Has this turned into a happy skippy sunshine blog lately where only good things happen?! Because that couldn’t be farther from the truth!”
So in an effort to redress the balance and let you see what is really going on around here, I made two lists: 1. Things that are GOOD. and 2. Things that are SHIT.
Things That Are Good.
Everything is put back into perspective within five minutes of being in our Blondie Bear’s company. He is the Nutella on my spoon, the film in my camera and the sunshine of my life. My relationship with my family has never been better — we are enjoying the salad days and it’s really lovely. My sister is my best friend and soul mate. It’s all good.
2. The book(s)
Yep, I can’t deny that the book stuff is good too. It’s been a huge learning curve, and i’m so grateful to even be in the position to learn all this. It also makes me feel extremely vulnerable, but I just tell myself that even if everyone hates it, at least I sat down and did it. A childhood ambition realised.
I work seven days a week which is probably neither healthy nor wise, but work is my sole focus right now. There were many years of unemployment after my love died and it’s remembering that desperately lost time — and the mountain of debt I accrued, that I’m slowly chipping into — that spurs me on today. I’ve found the meaningful work I’m so passionate about and I’m proud to stand on my own two feet because it hasn’t always been this way.
I have some truly awesome mates, both here and abroad, and I thank the universe for them every day :-)
Things That Are Shit.
1. Love life
I don’t have one. There was that short-lived ill-fated foolish-but-needed flingette I had in January 2008, and a date with The Most Unsuitable Man For Me in September 2008… and that’s it, folks. I’m so single I’m like a nun, but I’m betting nuns probably have more of a love life than I do. In all honesty i haven’t exactly been looking, and working seven days a week from home means I don’t get to mingle with eligible men in the workplace (or anywhere else for that matter). I am really good on my own — I love my own company and love being able to support myself (see no. 3 above) but as I approach the seven-year anniversary of my love passing, i do find myself wondering if I’ll ever bump into Noah’s future uncle. As the next 12 months are booked solid with work commitments I don’t imagine my situation is going to be changing any time soon, which makes me a little sad. I miss morning kisses and breakfast in bed. I miss the companionship (though I don’t miss the bickering and endless laundry that seems to come with a relationship ;-) So when you’re in bed with your loved one tonight, snuggle up extra close and be glad they are there. I wish for that too.
Even admitting this makes me feel like a cliche, but it is the truth — since I gave up smoking at the end of 2008 my body shape has changed radically. Like, two extra dresses sizes. Like, out-of-breath when I walk up the stairs, wobbly
thighs everything, radically. There is nothing in my wardrobe that i wore before I moved to Bath. I know it’s my age, and my sedentary job, and my dislike of exercise and my cigarette-replacement activity (and writing a book — a lot of this is book baby weight) but still, after a lifetime of slimness, I am finding it hard to navigate my new curves. And it’s been getting me down and makes me feel less confident about solving issue no. 1 above. I don’t feel like myself. I’ve lost my minxiness. And I am so bloody tired of feeling bad about this. I eat heathily and well, and the last few months i’ve started to move more, but still it seems that this is the body i’m taking with me into the rest of my life. :-/
PMS really does make half of my month a freaking misery. I’ve talked about it here before. I’ve blathered about it (probably too much) on Twitter and Facebook. I am sick to death of my hormonal challenges. I’m sick of thinking about it, I’m sick of trying to cure it and i’m mightily sick of enduring it. This issue also affects issues 1 and 2 above. (Hmmm. I’m sensing a theme.)
This is a relatively new phenomenon that has made itself known over the last six months or so. Basically issues 1 + 2 + 3 = a new obsession with issue 4: feeling the fear of 40. Or — less melodramatically — I’m facing up to the fact that my reproductive years are fast disappearing and if I wanted to give Noah a cousin that’s probably not going to happen. And it’s surprised me to realise I’ve a lot of sadness around this. I was feeling pretty sure I didn’t want children, that I was comfortably ambivalent about it and would be fine if it didn’t happen. And then I became an auntie. And even though my conviction of the hardness and sacrifice of parenting has been confirmed 100% as I watch Noah’s parents, I’m also witnessing the alchemy of family: creating ones own and enlarging the one you were born into. Even through the exhaustion we weave magic with Noah. My heart has been made bigger, and I guess I’m learning that there’s room for more than just me and a future companion in there. But as I count down to my 39th birthday, take stock of my non-existent love life and witness my radically-expanded waistline spilling out of my jeans, I wonder if I missed my chance a few stops back. (That slapping noise you just heard? That’s me slapping myself around the face to GET OVER MYSELF. Bloody PMS. See? It makes me say whiny things)… so I’m trying to make peace with the idea that i don’t know what will happen — there’s no need to panic just yet — while still acknowledging this new tender place inside me. It’s one a lot of women share, no matter their age.
See what fun it is to be in my head? Happy happy joy joy!
Note: I’m not looking for any advice or solutions for my list of shitness, loves. Just venting and sharing and letting you know what’s happening on the other side of the computer screen. Maybe some of you can relate to how I’m feeling.
If you have any slices of reality you wanna get off your chest feel free to share in the comments :-D