So… I Had To Break Into My Own House.

Dear Blog,

I enjoy living on my own, being able to do whatever I want without having to answer to anyone. It is pretty amazing. Except when you lock yourself out of your house…

Last week, I was walking home following a tiring 10 hour shift at the hospital. As I reached my street, I put my hand into my pocket for my keys… Only to find they weren’t there. Crap. My front door has a self locking system so I am usually pretty vigilant before I leave the house but for some reason, I wasn’t that morning.
I stood outside my house for a few minutes as the reality of the situation sunk in. As you might remember, I left my phone in Spain a few months ago and while I did eventually replace it, I hadn’t saved all my contacts. One of which was my landlord; the only person with a spare key.
So I’m pretty much regretting every decision I’ve made up to this point. My next idea was to get into my back garden. As I live in a terrace house, all the back gardens in my street are linked, meaning, should you wish, you can walk straight through to your selected house.

I first knock on the door of my right-sided neighbour, the one I have spoken to in the past. No luck. I knocked several more times before concluding that her and her partner were out. So I tried my neightbour on the left, who I knew was much more elderly. Thankfully she opened the door. I explained my situation and she allowed me to cut through her house to get to my garden. Brilliant!
Now I do have a back door that I keep locked at all times, for obvious reasons but I always keep the key in the lock. So the solution is there, right in front of me, just mere centimeters through a door. The problem is how I retrieve said key. Luckily, I have a cat who has a door of her own. Unluckily, it is a chip activated cat flap and she needs to be around for it to open.

So I gently tap on my window, knowing Clove is in the house as per usual. I wait. Nothing happens. So I try again, a little firmer this time. I can hear her bell but she refuses to come to the door. So I had to do the one thing I really didn’t want to do: I had to break her cat flap. I say break, it was more of a ‘dismantle’. I wasn’t allowed to screw it to the door when I moved in but it had been quite a snug fit that it didn’t really need screwing in. I was very thankful of this now.
In what felt like a heartbreaking scene from a Disney movie where the parent destroys something the hero adores, I began trying to dismantle the cat flap, bending it and twisting it to dislodge it from the door. It didn’t take long. By this time, Clove had ventured to see what all the commotion was about, though still not realising it was me trying to break into our house.

So I’m a step closer to the key. I was feeling pretty smug at this point. Strong independent woman here. I got down on the cold, wet ground and reached with all my might, through the gaping hole in the door towards the key… But it was no use. My arms were just millimeters too shorts to get a grip of it. Curse my small stature! But it’s OK,  I’m not out of hope yet. I rummage through my bag in aid of an arm extension. I first tried my water bottle, hoping I could rotate the key in the lock. Sadly that was pointless, the bottle was far too bulky and I couldn’t really feel if it was touching the key or not. Next I tried a pen. That worked better but still didn’t quite have the effect I was after. I was getting pretty frustrated by this point. I’d take off my coat and jumper just to see if that would give me the extra reach that I needed. Nope.

Perhaps its time to get some help. I didn’t really want to bother my elderly neighbour again, it was getting on for 8pm and the temperature was dropping. As I stood up, I noticed that the kitchen light was on in the to my right; The neighbour I thought was out.
I originally wanted to ask for her help but when she opened the door in her pj’s, it suddenly didn’t seem appropriate. In a brief moment of panic thinking, I asked if she had any tongs. This surprized us both but she was nice enough to let me borrow some.
With tongs now obtained, I headed back to my door, resumed the position and tried to grasp the key. Clove had now worked out it was me trying to break in but instead of being any bit of help, she thought it would be better to provide moral support by rubbing against my hand. Thanks, Clove…
My first few attempts at grabbing the key were useless, the rubber would not grip the metal key. I then reverted back to my previous technique of trying to turn the key in the lock. For a moment there was nothing but silence. Then suddenly…


I was in!

I have never ran into my house so quickly in my whole life. I did it, I manged to get into my own house, all on my own… because I manged to lock myself out, all on my own.
You’ll be happy to know that the cat flap did live to fight another day and I have since given my spare keys to a friend. What a night…


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?