As you know, one of the reasons why I blog is so that when I’m not here anymore, my voice still remains. So many times whilst I was growing up, going through problems and not being able to find the solutions, I would think to myself, ‘What advice would my Dad give me? What would he say to me, that would make me feel better?’ And I’d have to close my eyes and imagine, trying to remember his voice, and think about the words that he would say to comfort me.
I want my daughters, grand-children, great-great-great-great-grand children, to hear my voice, for them to know, that you are not alone. You’ve never been alone. And this – this, whatever it is that you are going through now? It will get better. I promise you. The universe has got your back baby, ride this out, you’ll emerge on the other side, stronger than ever.
When I was in my twenties, my mum was worried. Why wouldn’t I settle down and marry someone? Why was I so fussy? Why wasn’t I practical and realistic about life? Why was I bent on being alone? Mum was wrong. Her fretting didn’t help me. It made me angry. Why the heck should I settle with any old person? Why wasn’t I entitled to be with someone who truly made me happy? Why should I be with someone, for the sake of being with someone, just because society expected me to be married and have had children by a certain age – even if that meant that slowly, but surely, a little bit of my soul was crushed every day having succumbed to the pressure of ‘doing the right thing’. And anyway, who said that I couldn’t find someone to love, who loved me back in the way I wanted?
So, in the pursuit of happiness, I met some wrong’uns along the way. No one terrible. Nothing that is worth writing about really. They were just wrong. And deep down, I knew it.
One of the things that I truly, truly believe in, is that my father died prematurely, He was only 33 and definitely died before his time. But I honestly believe that he was always looking over us. Protecting us, guiding us, every so often, sending us signals that he was there…
The wrong’uns were temporary – but dealing with their bullshit taught me valuable lessons. Quickly, I realised, what I absolutely would never be able to tolerate in a relationship…and that knowledge helped and guided me towards finding ‘the one’.
And ten years ago, I found him. Or rather, he found me. Ok, we found each other. Yesterday, I was having a conversation with my daughters about this momentous occasion and suddenly I was bombarded with questions. ‘So how did you meet? Were you walking along the street and you bumped into Daddy? Or were you walking along the street and fell over and banged your head and Daddy helped you?’ I have no idea why I am the clumsy one in their heads and Daddy has to help me all the time – but that’s a conversation for another day I think.
The most crucial element of this story is – we didn’t find each other early in life. No – it wasn’t in our late teens or early twenties. It was late. Or should I say latER. We had seen other people. Not liked what we saw. Seen other people in relationships – some couples just seemed to work. Others didn’t. So by the time my husband and I met – we both had well-honed bullshit radars, and we both knew what we wanted, and most importantly, what we didn’t….
I can’t speak for my husband. I can’t say how much he loves me. But I know. Not by what he says – although he does always tell me how much he loves me…I know by what he does…
On Christmas Eve, ten years ago, when we finally got our act together, he and I met up. We chatted for ages, not wanting the evening to end, and then he said, ‘I’ve got you something….’ I was suitably mortified, because I was taken by surprise and hadn’t got him anything…but he silenced my embarrassment by saying something that stuck with me forever since. ‘I don’t know where this is going, I know where I’d like it to go though. And this gift is nothing major, but it’s something that I want to give you to solidify our friendship. Because even if we decide that we don’t want to be together, I always want you in my life. Even if it’s as a friend, I always want to know you…..’
Ladies and gentlemen – this! This is all I’d ever wanted in life. Someone who wanted me in their life – no matter what. Who valued what I brought to the table – and it didn’t have to be a physical being together – just me being there was enough.
I’m glad I never settled for any old person. I’m glad that being the dreamer that I am – I was brave enough to follow my dreams. I’m glad that I had made good choices in life. I’d listened to my mum when I was younger, studied hard, got a good job, became financially able to not HAVE to be with the wrong person, because I could support myself. And then, when I needed to be brave – be alone as long as it took …until I found that person who valued me more than anything in the world – I was able to do that.
I hope to leave anyone who is reading this, with a message of strength and comfort. Hold onto your dreams and don’t bow down to pressure from well-meaning people, because sometimes, those well-intentioned people are wrong. Don’t ever spend a second more than you have to, being with the wrong person. Life’s too short – it’s not worth it. Know that you deserve to be loved – be prepared to love back. Physical attraction is important – of course it is – but don’t be a cliché and go for the obvious traits. Be attracted by people that see you – not just your physical self – but you. They get you. They know you have flaws and still love you. Give the same respect back.
And know this – when it is your time, it will happen. It won’t always happen when it’s happening for everyone else. Don’t be discouraged by these man-made timelines. It will happen for you – when it is the right time for you. And you will look back and think – why was I sad all this time? Don’t you worry about a thing. The universe has got you. It always has…..