Breakups are harder the older you get, and that’s a fact. Not only do you have to endure the heartache that is missing someone who’s been a huge part of your life for a considerable amount of time, but you’re also grieving for all the hopes, dreams and plans that will never come to fruition. (Better put those imagined baby names on the back burner!) You gave your time and youth to someone who you now have to forget, and unfortunately there is no memory eraser. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind was nothing but a fictional movie, and so our only option is to endure. But you are not alone in the battle.
We were sat on a beautiful big balcony, overlooking the sea but I sat there looking down forlornly at the bubbles in my sparkling water. “Is this rock bottom?” I mumbled quietly to my friend.
“I think so…”’ she replied, “But do you know what happens when you reach rock bottom, Pam?”
I continued to focus on the bubbles in the glass in a bid to stop the tears that were threatening to burst their banks at any given moment. I shook my head.
“The only way left to go is, up.”
A few weeks ago, at the end of a hike to the top of a volcano, we sat basking in the natural springs, dirty sneakers saturated with ash dust, thrown to the side of the rocks.
“Did you bring your slippers for after?” the girl I was with asked me.
I shook my head, cursing myself for being so unorganised. We had woken up late, cue me, throwing things into the back pack last minute. Water, sunglasses and sunscreen were the only essentials I had thought to pack in my sleepy haze, throwing in a swim suit last minute for good measure.
She threw her head back and laughed. “See! This is how I know that I’m ready to be a mom!”.
Her words have been playing in my head like an annoying song that gets jammed in the brain on repeat, ever since. How come at thirty years old, I wasn’t able to organise myself for a day trip, and yet here I was, daydreaming of a not so distant future that contained babies? I really ought to raise the bar to this girls’ level, I told myself. Yes… me, myself and I had work to do.
“January is going to be our year.” I was Skyping with my overseas bestie a couple of days before Hogmanay (that’s what us Scots call New Years Eve by the way). I thought ahead to my January work pattern and felt a tidal wave of giddy wash over mewhen I thought about the two weeks of annual leave that needed filled with some plans. Yeah, this year is going to be the year I travel more and actually have some more adventures, I told her.
Fast forward to the first week of February, and if that first month was a taster for the year ahead, then please tell me that the first month is just a trial run?
It’s foolish to deny the want to be popular. On some level, you want to be popular. It’s okay, everybody does. Everyone wants to be liked and actively seeks validation in belonging to a tribe. Denying it is no use; it’s pure evolution. But the fundamental question to women worldwide should be, which tribe do you want to belong to? The Superficial Squad who value everything materialistic, or the Sincere Tribe who only serve to nurture your best interests?
If just one more person had told me that I’d find it when I’d ‘least expect it’, you might have just seen me on the headline news for smacking said person in the face. Well, maybe not quite, but hearing the same advice ten times over from people in adorable couples who weren’t really in a qualified position to offer said advice, was getting more than a little bit tiresome to say the least. In fact, it was outright exasperating. I’d nod and smile at them all the while thinking, yes, yes… you really have no idea how heinous dating is in this modern world, but I’ll be polite and pretend that this advice has been useful.
But then, one ordinary day, something just happened. And it wasn’t at all like I expected.
And no, I do not mean the song by Haddaway, but you can listen to it here if I’ve put you in the mood for it.
“Here, I’ll forward the link to you now, and tell me your score!!!” My flatmate bounded enthusiastically out of the room in search for her phone so she could ping the quizto my inbox. We’d spent the evening gabbing away at the dining room table about “The 5 Love Languages” after she came across it on a podcast. “It’s a book you know.” My other flatmate chipped in. “I’ve got it on my kindle if you want to borrow it.”
Love languages? There are approximately six thousand, five hundred spoken languages in the world, and I had only learned one – how the hell was I supposed to understand five new ones all about L O V E ?