Can You Feel That?


Can you feel that?
The stabbing feeling in your chest?
The piecing pain as your heart beats against your ribs,
Like a desperate prisoner banging on the bar of his cell?
Or the lump as hard as a rock lodged in your throat?
Restricting airflow,
The choking sensation as is the stings getting tighter?
The inability to expel any sound?
Can you feel the knot that twists your stomach?
The contortion?
How about the throbbing headache?
The skull shattering combustion of your brain,
So consuming.
Can you feel it?
The cold sweat dripping down your back,
Glueing your clothes to your skin?
Suffocating your body with each movement?
How about the turbulent tremor?
The aggressive shaking,
The ache of bruising muscles?
Did you feel that?

Can you feel the agony you put me through?
It’s about time you did.


The Worst Date I’ve Ever Had.

Dear Blog,

Back in 2015, newly single and hoping to find the man I will eventually marry (still working on that), I was browsing dating websites like they were facebook, painstakingly reading countless profiles for anyone who vaguely suited my set of preferences. I was young and naive but thought I was ready for the bigger things in life. Silly 22 year old me.

Anyway, one day, a few weeks before Christmas, a dude messaged me. I browsed his profile, analysed all his photos and decided to give him a chance. The first 2 dates were OK but there wasn’t much chemistry between us. That became all the more clear on date number 3.

On the morning of our third date, I was getting ready for what I thought was going to be a nice walk around a local park with this guy and his dog. It sounded like a good bonding opportunity and something I desperately needed as I was becoming very aware of the lack of ‘spark’ between us.
During the drive to pick me up, this guy had had a sudden change of plan. He decided that we should go to his house and watch a movie instead. I was made aware of the plan change once he had already picked me up…
I wasn’t exactly thrilled nor am I the type of person to ‘Netflix and chill’ that quickly into knowing someone. My day got progressively worse from there.

The guy hadn’t told me that he was still living at home with his parents so once he opened his front door, both his mum and dad were there. His mum hugged me, offered me food, I politely declined before being abandoned in the hallway while everyone else went into the kitchen. It was the longest minute of my life and there was a distinct lack of photos or art work on the walls to provide me with at least a little entertainment.
Once the dude returned, we headed upstairs to his bedroom…


…I walked into a bedroom that could have equally belonged to a teenage boy, not someone a year older than me. Clothes had been thrown across the floor, a stack of plates were towering over his computer and the room just stank of stale boy. It was very obvious that this guy hadn’t thought about inviting me around until the moment he drove away from this pigsty. Being a little taken back, I sat on his bed while he flicked through the movies, pre-downloaded on his PS3.

That’s when I noticed it.

Right in the middle of his grey duvet cover was a huge, the size of a grapefruit huge, ketchup stain. Now call me high maintenance but if you invite a girl over to your house, you might want to change your bed sheets first!
He had picked The Hunger Games to watch. Great, two and a half hours of avoiding this stain. As the movie played on, the guy put his arm around me and invited me in for a cuddle. I was so rigid, not really wanting to be there and trying to avoid this stain which I had managed to curl my body around.
We stayed like that for a little bit until his mum strolled in and asked him if he wanted anything to eat, I quickly jumped up, which probably made me look more suspisious. He asked for some sausage rolls. No one asked me if I wanted anything, seemingly having learned from our previous encounter.

A short while later, his mum reappeared with a plate of about 6 sausage rolls and a bottle of ketchup. It became evident that this was a regular meal of his and the ‘sauce’ of the ketchup stain (I couldn’t resist making that joke).
So we were about halfway through the movie, he was nomming away on a pile of sausage rolls while I remained rigid, wondering if this was now my life when his older brother wondered into the room (does anybody knock anymore?!) carrying his baby son. He introduced himself and gave me a brief interrogation and thrust the baby into my dates arms.

So to recap, there is now me, my date, a baby and a ketchup stain. It is getting  very crowded on this single bed. Now I think babies are great and the day I have my own excites me but I haven’t had much contact or experience with them so I just sort of ignored this poor kid. His uncle was doing most of the entertaining anyway.

Nothing else happened during the movie, but I was so overwhelmed by my experienced that I asked to go home and promptly (and gently) let him know that I didn’t think things were working out. He didn’t take it very well, called me manipulative but we had only met 3 times. I don’t even know if he’d had a girlfriend before, that’s what little I knew about him… But he clearly left a lasting impression. I will never look at ketchup the same again.

Over It, Over Us, Over You.

This whole ‘Lets remain friends’ thing was only to humor you. I knew it was never going to work. Besides the history, friends come and go with the seasons and as you know, I was never very good as holding on to the special ones. Sure, I wanted to keep you around. I wanted to hear the jokes again, the laughter. Maybe I wanted to see that cheesy grin reflecting in the mirror as you creep up behind me to give me a hug while I brushed my teeth one last time… Oh wait, you never once did that.
Ok then, perhaps I wanted to keep that sense of familiarity. Meeting people, getting to know them, its such hard work and I’m not the kind of person to just put myself out there on a platter, letting any ol’ random who takes an interest, have a bite. Finding someone, a person, its hard for me. And you’re so close by… But that’s selfish and while the future may set off the atomic bomb in my stomach, triggering the hypotension and perspiration all while resulting in an overload of anxiety, there is this small hope, almost excitement that I will find the person of my dreams. The person who showers me with affection without being asked to. The person who will ultimately be everything you weren’t: Enough.
Alright. I’ll be truly honest. The reason I kept you around was because I was scared. It scares me. The whole “us being over” thing. I thought, that just maybe, for the first time in my little insignificant life, that you were the one that all the magazines, all the movies and TV shows talk about. I thought you were my ‘Forever’. And I can’t accept that. Like William Wallace, stood in the middle of the battle field, surrounded by the bodies of fellow fallen warriors. I raise my arm, shout at the top of my aching lungs: “You may never take my freedom!…” but my freedom means nothing if I don’t have you.

Ready To Move On.

Dear Blog,

It has been almost 5 months since I re-entered the single zone. It hasn’t been an easy journey to get to this stage, with so many little thing reminding me of the person I honestly thought I would settle down with. So many dreams that could only have been shared together, gone to waste. But there isn’t a day that goes by where I regret my decision to walk away. And I know he feels it too.
As unexpected as it was, our break up was the right decision for both of us and 5 months on, I finally feel free. I no longer love him, long for his company. I am over him.

That feels so good to say. I could shout it from the roof tops: “I’M OVER YOU!”

I finally feel ready to begin the “Don’t die alone” quest for the 4th time on my 25 years on this planet. However, this time, things will be very different.
Before I met my most recent Ex (wow, that sounds awful), I had only been single a few months. Within 6 weeks of my previous relationship ending, I had made an online dating profile and actively seeking companion number 3. Looking back, I was not in the right place in my life for another relationship and the desire to be love and have security ultimately overrode my rational thinking. That’s not to say that I did not give my Ex my all. I put all my effort into our relationship but perhaps because of my initial thought process, I sabotaged us before we even had time to bloom.

This mistake will not happen again as I have consciously spent the last 5 months reflecting on my behaviours during the previous 2 years. What I did, why I acted in such ways as well as what I actually want out of a relationship. I was a fool and a bully for ever thinking I could mold someone into whoever I wanted. So no matter how long it takes, I will find someone who fits.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not searching for my soul mate. I honestly don’t believe they exist. I believe that multiple people can be ‘The One’. I just need to find one of them. I want to be with someone and think, no matter how difficult the time might be, that this is enough. No more wondering if the grass is greener, just simply being content with life and knowing that what I have is not worth losing. A grown up relationship.

There is a huge adrenaline rush when I think about the future and who I may end up marrying. Weather I am 5 or 25, I am still a woman and ultimately, marriage and children is what I see before me.  And as you get older, the more your focus shifts when looking for a potential mate. Back when you were a hormone driven teenager, it was all about looks and whoever would kiss you. That focus shifts gradually from looks, to personality to who can provide the support and partnership needed to raise a family and maintain a healthy relationship. It is a fascinating thing to watch, especially when it happens to those around you. You might have a friend from school who always dated the most popular guy, the player, only for them to now be in their mid twenties and settled down with someone of a complete opposite personality. At least that’s how I can view my life.

While I have no current intentions of actively hunting for the next ‘love of my life’, I am admitting that I am healed and ready to progress into 2019 with a clear head. Who knows what our lives will be like in a years time? It’s all rather exciting…

Soldiers of Love.

Face to face,
Meters apart.
The dusty battlefield sketches out our territory.
A gentle breeze compliments the dusk sky.
Lets do this.
I fight for the future.
You fight for the present.
You’re slow off the bat,
I aim my words,
Knowing exactly which ones to use and where they’ll hit.
In one swift motion I fire.
“When should we move in together?”
“Do you want children?”
“Shall we move away?”
“I hope we grow old together”
“What about marriage?”
“Imagine our first home.”
In rapid succession,
They fly towards you,
But you play your card,
Defence mode.
My words fly closer and the dust uplifts.
I catch my breath,
The dust clears.
You dodged every word.
Your loyal move.
I wipe my brow,
I’m not done yet.
I try my next trick,
Flicking though my arsenal,
I find what I’m looking for.
In a frenzy I shoot,
Miniature family and friends sore in your direction.
Accompanied by whispers of laugher and joy,
Quizzes and birthday celebration.
Topped with all the adventures we were going to have.
I can see you panic.
Don’t get overwhelmed now.
You were unprepared for this fight.
Your inventory is empty.
The wind picks up.
You try to run.
But you take the hit.
As the dust clears,
You stand motionless.
Blood trickles down your nose.
I have little remorse.
I see that you’re weak,
So I take another chance.
Time to use my ultimate weapon.
I step closer to you.
I smirk.
I know what it will do to you.
What she will do to you.
I release the cat.
Sprinting at full force,
She targets you,
Eyes fixed,
Claws primed.
Clouds cast over the closer she gets,
Thunder rumbles.
You don’t stand a chance.
She was always your weakness regardless what you tell yourself.
On impact,
Claws rip chunks of flesh,
Screams fill the battlefield,
Echoing afar.
Shes psychotic.
I have my own battle scars to prove it.
Claw piece deep,
Puncturing vessels.
As you collapse from the pain caused by such a small thing,
As the blood begins to drain away,
You surrender.
I call off the cat.
She retreats back into the shadows.
I am victorious.
I approach your limp body as you gasp for breath,
For mercy.
I hover over you.
With your last ounce of strength,
You surprise me.
You throw memories.
I’m unprotected,
Flashbacks hit me over and over,
Theme parks,
Date nights.
I’m wounded.
I won’t be defeated,
I represent too much!
I’ve come too far!
I watch you,
Your fading.
You know it too.
I don’t want to kill you.
I’ll wait until the next fight.
As I walk away,
You use all your power and fire your final shot.
Your ultimate weapon.
I know it’s coming.
I can hear it rushing towards me,
I duck and roll.
“I love you.”
It lands on my neck,
Theres an explosion of light.
I’m down.
I’m hurt bad.
I can’t move.
You crawl towards me.
Your pain is audible.
You find your feet,
Clutching your broken body.
We look into each other eyes,
In unison,
Utter one final sentence:
“It’s over.”

I’m Single But I won’t Play The Victim.

Dear Blog,

Since my break up almost a month ago, I have sat down and seriously reflected on my part in it. I ultimately said the words “it’s over!” in an argument caused by his lack of communication and overall lack of commitment. Or so I first thought.

When boiled down to the bone, there is far FAR more than meets the eye. We had been together just over 2 years and although I’m still hurting, the more I think back, the more I realise I haven’t lost much at all. You see, like many people, I wore rose-tinted glasses during our 2 years and had been imagining this partner that I wanted. In denial or just refusing to believe that the person in front of me was never going to match my fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, He was a decent guy and I honestly wish him all the best in the future but we were so different. I have always been the ‘planner’. I need to know what’s happening, when, where and why. I have been like that since I was small and I don’t necessarily think it is a bad trait. He, however was far more… I’ll say ‘relaxed’. His attitude was that he’s going to live until he is 160 so why stress now. Equally, not necessarily a bad trait but it certainly didn’t match my ‘3 steps ahead’ personality.

Deep down, I’ve known for a very long time that this wasn’t going to be my happy ever after. We have argued constantly and our only fun times were when we were away from home. When we had been dating for 8 months, I found out that marriage and children were not in his future. He didn’t just ‘not want them’, He despised them.  I should have been honest with myself back then and saved us both from this heartache. But I didn’t. I thought I could change myself. Not him, I loved him, inspired almost. I thought I could change my desires. So I pushed children and marriage to the back of my mind. I ignored the overwhelming broodiness that swept my body whenever I helped deliver a baby at work or any of my friends told me they were expecting and accepted that once we moved in together, that would be my life until I died.

So as I type this, I could easily drag his name through the mud, if I wanted to, I could make his life hell… But I don’t want to. I would be a hypocrite to. How can I possibly blame him when he was honest from the start? I could blame him for dragging this relationship out when he knew how much I had wanted kids but he wasn’t in charge of our relationship and I certainly can’t force him to take responsiblity. That is something he is going to have to come to on his own. But I refuse to play the victim when I am just as much to blame, if not more so, than he was. All I can do is learn from it.

I have changed so much about myself in the past month. Every single one, for the better. I am moving in July, to a house more suited for Clove and I. I’m trying to repair fractured friendships and bond with my family more. I am learning to love myself, to make a name for myself, to test myself in ways I would never have dreamed. I have begun my Arctic One Challenge, which will see me push my (very unfit) body to its limits for charity. I am volunteering for a music festival, something that will test my fears as a teetotaler and all round introvert. And the biggest change: I have deactivated my Facebook account. I realised that a lot of the conflicts in my relationship involved things other people were doing. I would compare myself and our life to those of people I haven’t spoken to in years. Facebook played a huge part in influencing me and how I was treating my partner. I don’t want to make that mistake again. Overall, I feel better for deleting it, it’s trying to find something to fill that routine now. I have to admit that every so often, I quickly log back in and spend a sneaky 3 minutes catching but before deactivating it again but its going to take a little bit of time to adjust. I used to have the app open all the time so whenever I looked at my phone, Facebook was there.

Break ups are hard. I can’t lie about that and the older I get, the more tiresome and exhausting they become. However, they can be a great opportunity to reinvent yourself, discover what you love, take up new hobbies. My one piece of advice would be to do as much stuff on your own as you can. I have been aboard 3 times now and each time was with an ex. Those memories are tainted. So I’m going to go somewhere on my own. Make memories that I earn, that no one can take away. Memories that define me.

I Absorb Personalities.

Dear Blog,

At the moment, life isn’t as easy as I would like it to be but it has given me a lot to think about such as, me as a person and where my issues lie. Then I had a thought, an epiphany if you will: I have a personality draining demon.

As I have grown up, especially in the last 4 years, I have gone through a huge personality shift. Things I thought were important, things I’d dreamed off for years, faded into the background and I learnt life didn’t have to be linear, we aren’t in the 1950’s. I am free to go, do, be anything I want to be.

In 2014, I dyed my hair bright blue, straying away from my long, natural blonde hair. I saw a youtuber who had the same shade who seemed to have a pretty decent life at the age of 26 and I was inspired. So I changed my appearance to embrace this new-found youth. I have not been my natural hair colour since.  Now I know back then, I was more copying her rather than being motivated by her but I do still believe it triggered a change in me. From that moment, I have been absorbing different parts of people’s personalities.

Later that year, I got into an unhealthy relationship. I hold my hands up and admit I was 75% the cause and thankfully it didn’t last long. However, I met this person and listened to their stories, their families stories and was again inspired (can you see a trend?). This person was a keen guitarist and singer and although I have been playing guitar since I was 16, I am nowhere near pro (and unfortunately it is a skill I have completely given up now), I was starstruck. His favourite band soon became mine, I started taking my guitar more seriously and would often bug him so let me play on his until it became such a focus of mine, a obsession, that I soon overtook him and his passion until he couldn’t keep up. He went back into his shell like a freshly dried raisin. Then things ended.

So now we are in 2015/16 and I am this blue haired, semi-rock chic with guitar chords pumping through my veins. What would be the next thing I’d add to my arsenal? How about traveling.

In 2016, I met my current partner. When we met, I was hung up on the idea of getting married and having children. That was my goal in life. But when we met, I heard stories about living in Australia and Vietnam. Going from country to country on your own. This was like giving sugar to a bee. I adored that idea. I craved that idea. I stole that idea… Over the course of 2 years, children were out of the picture, replaced with plan after plan of going on holidays, month-long breaks and even moving to New Zealand. Everything sounded so exciting and was feeding this demon.
Cycling was another trait I adopted from my partner. Before I knew it, I was entering sportives left, right and center. I bought a bike worth hundreds of pounds, cycled everywhere and invested so much of my spare time watching cycling videos on YouTube. Weekends were filled with the urge to cycle more, further, faster. It was a sport my partner had partaken in since he was 8 years old and here I was, going crazy, addicted. I wanted it all but I couldn’t see that I was draining him. I was literally sucking the life right out of him and he became just another shell of who he had been. Because of me. So much inspiration that I adored but instead of cherishing his traits and talents, I wanted them for my own.

Here, in 2018, I am an energised, motivated, inspired ball of raging energy, yet I am alone. I took what I loved and I killed it.

I hope that I have found who I am ment to be and will stop this destruction otherwise I will end up with nothing to show but a list of failures and broken hearts. In a world with so much opportunity, where it is normal to go against the norm, how will I find my balance? Or am I still a naive 25 year old?

Mr Valentine.

Dear Blog,

Everyone knows about Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and maybe even the Easter Bunny but who here has heard of Mr Valentine? No one, right? Well, when I was a child, Mr Valentine would visit every 14th February and leave my sister and I, a card, some chocolates and one of those £1 goody bags you get from the supermarket, on our door step. It used to be rather exciting as unlike Christmas where Santa delivers presents during the night, we had no clue when Mr Valentine would arrive, only that it was after school and usually just as Dad got home from work (how convenient). We would spend hours after school, monitoring the windows and guarding the door until Mum would tell us to ‘give it a rest’.

This tradition only stopped when my family split during Mum and Dad’s divorce when I was 15. By this age, I knew it was a parent behind the Mr Valentine mask but I still enjoyed the surprize knock on the door. It was around this age that I mentioned it to a friend as a passing comment. I didn’t realize it wasn’t a nation wide thing and I suppose because a goody bag wasn’t a huge deal in comparison to Christmas, I’d never mentioned it before. My Mr Valentine because a running joke for a little while after. Not hard to see why, it sounds ridiculous now but it mean a lot when we were small.

I have asked Mum for a Mr Valentine origin story but apparently it was my Dad’s thing and he isn’t around for me to ask. I have to admit, I hate that man but I can’t deny that sending your daughters a valentines card every year to tell them they are love is a pretty decent thing to do.

I guess I’ll never know the reason’s Mr Valentine existed but I can say it will be a tradition I pass down to my own children and grandchildren.