Since last I wrote I have mostly been being sentimental because when all’s said I’m done the WeeGee is nothing if not a sentimental old fool….
As I write I’m sitting in my packed up living room, trying to come to terms with the fact that it very nearly isn’t my living room anymore. It’s worth mentioning, I think, that tonight is the LAST EVER night I will spend alone in this little flat that I’ve come to call home.
I moved in here a little over three years ago at a time when (and I don’t mean to be melodramatic) it felt like my whole life was falling apart. It wasn’t just that a relationship had come to an end – although with hindsight I know that the grief that came with that was a large part of it – I’d lost friendships, support structures, routines, every single reference point that I thought I could rely on. I was all at sea and there was no shore, or at least no shore that I could find. I’d been lost before, plenty of times in fact, but when I moved here I was lost in a whole new way – mostly because I was lost alone.
Of course the heartbreak subsided because that’s what it does – it was that thing that people talked about when it first happened ‘time’. I didn’t believe them then and if it happened all over again I still wouldn’t believe them because the heart doesn’t learn lessons nearly as well as the brain does. I guess you need the time to happen before you believe it’s going to help.
Once the heartbreak was over I didn’t feel like I’d been left with very much – a silent flat and a WeeGee who not only had no idea who she was anymore but who also didn’t really care was pretty much all I had in my head for the longest time. It was the worst of me – the worst of who I’ve been and worst of who I can be. Everything was nothing and it wasn’t so much that I wanted to be dead. I just didn’t care one way or another. My brain has taken me to some spectacularly awful places but this was the first time that I didn’t feel that I had anything to get better for. I’d been unwell before, sure, but there had always been people around to save me. This time, all I had was myself and I’d never much cared for her
Needless to say, I’ve learned an awful lot since I moved to Kingston. I learned how to be with myself, and how to let myself be who I am, and, to a certain extent, how to forgive myself. I’ve learned how to put one foot in front of the other JUST FOR ME. Most importantly of all, I’ve learned how to save myself from the worst my brain has to throw at me.
I thought I was going to hate living alone, and for a long time, I did. But eventually I realised that I needed to be alone because I’d become so used to fitting in around other people that I had no idea how to be me when the other people weren’t around anymore. On reflection, maybe that’s the most important lesson I learned here: I matter. And I matter whether there is anyone else in my life or not.
At this point, it seems worth a bit of fast forwarding because the time I spent alone, coming to terms with myself and working out who I might be if I ever grow up put me in a new place. It put me in a place where I was ready to meet Mr Awesome Thing Number Five, who, I would like to put on record, is the love of my life. I don’t love Mr Awesome Thing Number Five because he loves me and I don’t adapt myself or lose anything of me in loving him. I bring as much to his life as he brings to mine – I’ve never had that before because I never cared enough for myself before. I’ve always been too willing to please and too quick to compromise no matter what the consequences. Who knew that you had to learn to love yourself before you could make space to love any one else?
Living in this little flat gave me my life back and helped me to learn lessons that I might not otherwise have learned. What it also did is give me the opportunity to move on sensibly in a grown up and deeply loving relationship that has a future. Being heartbroken seems like a lifetime ago but it gave me things that I never thought I would have. Nothing you ever feel is wasted; everything you survive is significant. Hope is the most important thing of all.
Lots of love, WeeGee xoxoxo