Winging It: Life, And How Not To Do It

So, I decided to take the weekend off from blogging. In fact, I took the weekend off from most things. I temporarily forgot about my to-do list, and basically just relaxed. To be fair, I think I deserved it.

Since my public meltdown on here the other week and the support I received from some of you amazing people, it feels like all of my worry and anxiety and stress has kind of deflated. It doesn’t feel as important anymore, as if the very act of writing it down has neutralised the negative feelings. Instead, I feel a lot more chilled out, and also a little indifferent. Why should a job I don’t particularly care for have so much influence over my life and my emotions?

Of course, I am merely avoiding the issue and I know it will raise its ugly head again very soon, unless things change. We have a new member of staff starting next week so things may improve. But after 18 months of the same or similar levels of shit, I’m sceptical. I think it’s time to move on, and my current indifference is merely an emotional plaster that will eventually peel off.

If only life was easier and we all had jobs that we loved, and relationships with 100% trust and loyalty, and happy home lives with enough money to pay the bills and holiday every year. If only.

I’m guessing there must be people out there who do have all of this, and if you are one of those lucky people, I am jealous.

I’m at such a crossroads in my life right now that I need to sit myself down and give myself a good talking to. I’m 42 this year – why haven’t I figured out where I am going, what I want to do, who I want to be with? Should I have this figured out by now? Or am I destined to waste my days away in passionless jobs just to pay the rent, coming home to my cats and my books and my wine. Actually, I don’t mind the latter, but do I really want to be alone forever?

Ok, I need to compile a short-term bucket list. What I want to have achieved by the end of 2019.

Yep, 2019. Plenty of time then, so I don’t really have any excuses. Here goes..

  1. Enrol on the life coaching course I’ve had my eye on. I know what I want to do but I don’t have a lot of confidence in my abilities, mainly because it is something I haven’t done before. Ask me to lead and organise a team of people, or process a pile of timesheets and I will amaze you. But life coaching? Zero confidence in myself. So, get qualified, join the ACCPH (Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists) and go from there.
  2. Book a holiday. Anywhere really, although preferably somewhere nice and hot with interesting places to visit and a beach. And cocktails.
  3. Get a new job. Yes, I know the #1 thing is going to happen, but I still need to pay the bills before I build up a solid client base. And I can’t keep dragging myself into the hellhole I currently work in.
  4. Open myself up to the possibility of love. Ok, this is probably the one I’m least confident about as I don’t have much faith in people. But it would be nice to have someone in my corner for once.
  5. Have more faith in me. I’m a mess really, aren’t I? If I had more faith in myself, I wouldn’t even be writing this list. I know I have strengths but I get scared when it comes to applying them to something I really want. And then I run away and hide.

Life coaching? I think I need someone to coach me before anything else. After all, I can’t wing it forever.

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Putting My Pieces Back Together

Somebody asked me today why I was single. What’s more, they delivered it with an incredulous tone to their voice, as if there was something wrong with being single. As if there was something wrong with me.

Maybe there is; the juries out on that one as we speak.

There is quite a simple answer to the question they framed, although I wasn’t sure they had the time or the interest to stand there and listen. I don’t think they actually expected an answer; they just wanted to point out that I am single.

As if it’s a curse or something.

I’m single by choice, and have been for a long time. Don’t feel sorry for me. I do have opportunities; I just choose not to take them up. And the simple but actually quite complex reason for this is people.

People are dangerous to my mental health, with their drama and their thoughtlessness and their nasty comments and their hurtful actions. Or is that just the people I have chosen in the past?

If so, then the problem lies with me, and my ability to attract assholes and allow them to treat me badly for far too long.

I don’t have the best track record. My first real boyfriend cheated on me. My second boyfriend also cheated on me quite extensively, gifted me with a (luckily treatable) STD and tried to accuse me of giving it to him!

Boyfriend #3 was a narcissist.

Back then, the term narcissist wasn’t bandied around as much as it is today, so I had no idea what a poisonous creature he was. Stupidly, I had convinced myself I was in love, and allowed him to belittle me, estrange me from my friends, gaslight me, and basically destroy my self esteem.

When you hit rock bottom, the only way is up and it took me quite some time to find myself again. When I fell pregnant after he bullied me into coming off birth control pills and refused to use condoms himself, I told him he didn’t need to stick around. He insisted, and was pretty horrendous throughout my pregnancy.

As soon as I met my little boy, I realised that I had never truly experienced love until that moment, and the narcissists hold over me was gone. He accused me of changing; I told him he no longer had the power to mentally abuse me.

10 years later, I can’t regret the relationship because it gave me my son, but my past experiences have messed me up. I don’t trust easily, my expectations are too unrealistic, and I see hidden agendas everywhere.

Free from his hold over me, I have made some pretty bad decisions in the past decade, when my heart has been crying out for a soulmate but searching in all the wrong places. I have now been completely single since 2015.

Do I miss the companionship? I don’t think you can miss something you’ve never had. None of my past relationships have been particularly happy, with cuddles on the sofa and ‘you and me against the world’ togetherness. In all honesty, I would love to find that. But I still to this day look in the wrong places, and I don’t know how to stop that.

So, you wanted to know why I’m single, random work colleague. The simple reason is, people have broken me and I need time to piece myself back together. This involves: staying away from people.

One day, I hope I’m ready for a real, grown-up, authentic relationship with somebody who loves me and who I can trust implicitly. But first I need to love and trust myself, and I can only achieve this by allowing myself to heal.

5 Tips For Staying Single (The Definitive Guide To Being Weird And Alone)

There are lots and lots of posts out there giving relationship advice, or “how to find love.” Some of us, however, don’t want to find love, date, be in a relationship, or even speak to the opposite sex, or anybody for that matter.

So what are the best ways to put men, or women, off you completely? I have to admit, I am an expert in this. Following on from a few dating disasters, and just everyday life working with idiots, I decided to give up on my love life completely, and have been steadily building sky-high walls ever since that nobody is ever going to consider scaling.

But do I never get lonely? Actually, no. I love my own company and have become strangely addicted to my drama-free life. If I want adult company then I can always initiate it, but why bother when I can spend time alone.

Don’t I miss being with someone? Nah, not really. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I’m quite an odd person who needs a lot of time to herself, and other people don’t always understand this. It has taken me a fair few years of relentlessly pushing people away to achieve this level of contentment and I’m not giving it up for anyone.

Sounds miserable and spinster-ish? Well yeah, I suppose it is to some people, but not to me. I can do what I want, when I want, with who I want – or with nobody, which is even better.

Here are my five pointers to putting people off you completely.

  1. Consistently ignore all attempts at communication via phone, email, WhatsApp, Facebook, whatever. In the end, they will get the message.
  2. If you notice somebody keeps throwing you one too many glances or trying to strike up a conversation, just start acting like they don’t exist. Yep, completely blank them. Unless they are some kind of persistent weirdo, they will give up sooner or later.
  3. Be deliberately foul or argumentative to the opposite sex. And never smile. Surefire way to put people off.
  4. Argue with yourself in public. This is a tad extreme but works wonders. Who wants to associate with the crazy freak who screams at herself in front of other people?
  5. Stop washing. Also extreme, but I assume it would work. I haven’t ever had to resort to this because my resting bitch face is enough to put the bravest of people off, but it’s certainly an option.

Good luck out there! And remember:

March 5th Memories

Monday was a significant day for me, although I wish it wasn’t. Every year when March the 5th comes around, it reminds me of Him.

It the birthday of The One That Got Away.

Well, I say The One That Got Away, but what I really mean is The Bullet I Dodged.

Even though, I still think of him. But not in an I Wish You Were Mine kind of way. More a What Was I Thinking kind of way.

There is always The One that you fall for with your entire being, only for them to break your heart so completely that it will probably never heal again.

And even if it does, it will always have fault lines and missing pieces.

He was that person. I thought it was real love. I thought he was The One. But now I’ve come to my senses, I’m not sure what I was thinking.

I no longer miss him. I no longer want him back. I no longer think of him when I wake each morning, and last thing at night.

But he does still cross my mind, more often than I am comfortable with. I’m certainly not in love with him anymore. I liken it to an important lesson that changes your life forever, and which stays with you until you learn something new and just as important. Like figuring out algebra or something. Having my heart smashed into pieces by him has taught me the hardest lesson I have ever had to learn – that my low self-esteem has led me into situations I should never have even considered being involved in.

Now I’m learning to love myself instead of men who really aren’t worth my time and effort, I suppose it is only normal to mull over the mistakes I’ve made in the past, and the lessons I’ve learned.

That’s the only reason I still think about him. Because this heart is now closed. This heart is now healing.

5 Tips For A Happy and Single Valentine’s Day

“Well, it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow and I still don’t know what to get myself,” I said to my co-worker yesterday.

Yes, it was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, a little joke between single people. And I’m sure you’ve heard it before.

It’s definitely something I’ve said before, on many an occasion. I worked it out the other day – I have been officially single for 10 years. Yes, 10 years!

Well admittedly, there have been a couple of hiccups along the way, but the last time I was in an official, proper relationship on Valentine’s Day was in 2007.

Okay, so it’s 11 years. I can’t count.

What I can do though, is the single life. I love it. And it does make me feel a little superior when February 14th comes around. I don’t have to brave the shops to buy a ridiculously over-priced trinket, or mull over a funny and mildly insulting card, or a smooshy one.

(Funny and mildly insulting all the way, if you were going to ask.)

And if there is a part of me that looks on enviously at loved-up couples proudly declaring their adoration for one another, it has been buried deep down, rarely to be seen.

But I am aware that not every single person out there is as cynical and hard-nosed as moi. In fact, some of you hate being single, and hanker after that perfect love, or even just a little companionship. Being single does not sit well with some.

Regrets and wishful thinking are the worst things to dwell upon on Valentine’s Day. Remember: you don’t need another person to complete you, or make you happy. That lies with yourself. A relationship should be an added extra to an already happy life that you have created – not somebody else.

So what can you do to pamper yourself this Valentine’s Day?

  1. Be kind to yourself. If you are feeling down because you are surrounded by lovey-dovey couples as you queue up in the supermarket with your ready meal for one, don’t. Instead of focusing on other people’s happiness, focus on yourself. Do something that makes you happy. Get out of that queue and add chocolates and wine to your basket. Or ditch the ready meal altogether and take yourself out for a meal at your favourite restaurant. Being single doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in the things you love. Romance yourself!
  2. Be grateful. Instead of lamenting your single state, think about the things you have to offer in your next relationship. Accept that the past happened for a reason, and that the lessons you have learned can be applied to your next romantic encounter. List 3 advantages of your single life. For example, mine would be the freedom to do what I want, when I want without having to consult somebody else; being able to come home after a tough day at work and curl up with a book in silence; the independence I have. Life isn’t always hearts and flowers in a relationship.
  3. Meet up with family or friends. There is no reason to stay in and dwell. Get out and about, meet up with people, do something to take your mind off those negative thoughts. It is perfectly acceptable to have fun as a single person on Valentine’s Day. After all, let’s face it.. it is only another day. And, believe it or not, you aren’t the only single person in the world. Who knows what could happen while you’re out and about?
  4. Renew your love affair with yourself. Remember all of the things you love about yourself and write them down. Start an inspiration journal, and jot down the things you are thankful for every day. Learn to like yourself again. Take personality quizzes, read up on your star sign, get to know yourself as you would any romantic interest. Reaffirm your importance to yourself.
  5. Spread the love. Show some kindness to somebody else. Cook for a friend, buy a gift for a loved one. Do someone a favour and not only will they benefit, but you will feel amazing!

Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️

Eternally Single.

So, as Valentines Day approaches and the shops are filled with heart-shaped balloons and over-priced flowers, that difficult question arises that I have to contend with every year.

What should I get Mum for her birthday?

Yep, my mum was born on Valentines Day, which is quite sweet. Can be quite pricey though if I decide to buy her flowers.

Nevertheless, she will be the only person I’ll be buying anything for on February 14th.

Another year as a single girl. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I was in a relationship on Valentines Day. If I wrack my brain..

2007. Yes, I have been single for going on 11 years. Well, there have been a couple of hiccups along the way, including the doomed love of my life. But none of them were real meet-the-parents, change-my-relationship-status-on-Facebook types of relationships. More a string of disappointments and bad judgements.

So I remain a Single Pringle for Valentines Day 2018, and it really doesn’t bother me – it never has. Having worked in retail for so many years, VD is just another over-priced event designed to sell more crap in an attempt to prove your love for someone.

Do I sound cynical? Maybe I am, or maybe not. Do we really need tacky mugs and teddy bears holding hearts to show our love for someone?

The answer is a resounding NO. If you love someone, they should know that year round, and not just on one day in February. Cute cards with romantic messages are lovely, but they shouldn’t be used as a way to declare your love – unless you are a secret admirer or looking to break the ice. But long-term, relationship kind of love should be shown regularly, and not just as an afterword in a card.

Yes okay, I’m single so I really shouldn’t have an opinion on this. But I was once in a relationship – yes really. He wasn’t into showing love of any kind, and Valentines Day was always approached in a half-hearted, if-I-have-to kind of way, which effectively killed off any thoughts of romance. It, along with a plethora of other failings, eventually killed off our relationship too.

Nowadays, I like being single. No hassle, no drama. Also, no flowers, and no cute cards with teddy bears on. In my experience, the romance I dream of doesn’t exist for people like me, so I’m quite happy to buy a romantic ready meal for one and open a bottle of wine in front of the telly. No expectations, no disappointments.

Okay, don’t listen to me. I’m a bitter, love-less singleton.

Who needs Valentines Day? In fact, I propose a second Halloween instead. Loads more fun.