If anyone who reads this also happens to be my Facebook friend, you would have noticed an exponential increase in the number of sad songs and cat photos I’m posting. This can only mean one of two things: either I’m trapped in my room with only a cat and the internet, or I’m going through a break up.
Actually, both options are clearly the same thing.
As always, I have struggled to write this one. Why the hell did I call this blog ‘Lady Breaks’, and not ‘Lady Wins’, or ‘Lady Miraculously Prospers’, or even ‘Lady Has Largely Uneventful Life’? I guess at least I always have things to write about this way.
Almost two years ago my world fantastically collided with an exotic backpacker, let’s just call him ‘The Foreigner’. I wandered into a bar, all scared, naïve, and man-hating, and basically floated back out, hopeful, excited and happy for the first time in forever.
Our romance was intense. It was as if because we knew our time was limited, we tried to jam-pack a zillion memories into two working holiday visas. We went on fifteen (!) holidays, we lived together, we bought a cat, we stayed with each other’s families, we held each other ridiculously tight every night.
The Foreigner picked me up and helped me heal. He helped me see that there can be joy and love and fun after divorce. There can be hope. He taught me that, even though I have been spectacularly rejected, I am worth loving.
However, this break up has been unexpectedly traumatic for me. I was stupidly under the impression that it would be semi-manageable because a.) I always knew we had a predefined, visa-ordained timeframe; b.) We weren’t ending on bad terms at all – in fact we probably were at the height of our relationship when our time ran out; and c.) A two-year romance surely can’t compare with a fourteen-year commitment.
I was wrong.
What I hadn’t taken into account was the fact that The Foreigner had been not only my saving grace, but my Band-Aid. He had covered the gaping hole left from losing my husband, family, friends, house… even my beloved dog. For two years, I didn’t have to confront much of this grief. It’s only now that he’s gone that I can see how empty Christmases, birthdays, Easters, and even just weekends really are.
In all honesty I doubt I would have been able to cope with these emotions two years ago. The Foreigner really did come into my life at the exact perfect moment, and I have to have faith that he has left at the exact perfect moment too. Eventually I did have to confront these feelings.
So for now, I am learning to be single through copious cat videos, Tinder tutorials, and a diet of Tim Tams and kale. Stay tuned for inevitable awkward first date stories.
Love love love x