I recently told someone that the right one is out there and that sometimes the one finds us when we’re not really looking anymore, for whatever reason. I said this in the hope it would encourage them, but I have since been pondering on this because I started to have a sense that actually, a comment like that may not come across in the way it was intended, or might be the thing they’ve heard a thousand times and just didn’t need to hear it again. If that’s the case, I’m sorry.
I remember how I felt when people said similar things to me at a difficult point in my life. I knew they meant well, but it didn’t help. It was generally said by people who appear, to me at least, to have it all together. The near perfect life; lovely family, lovely home, loveliness openly expressed between them. They’re so damn lovely it almost makes you sick (was the feeling). Though we never know the whole story behind someone do we? Having pondered, I thought it might be good to tell just a little bit of my own story. I’m not sure how I’m going to fit what could be the size of War and Peace into a few paragraphs but I’ll try.
Some people can be incredible lonely even when they are with someone, in a group or a crowd. I know I’ve felt like that but you put your ‘happy’ face on for the world. You see loneliness isn’t just about being with other people. It’s not about missing your friends because they’re away for a week and your ‘lonely’ without them. Loneliness is something deep within you. An emptiness. If you’ve never experienced that kind of lonliness it’s difficult to describe, but trust me, it sucks.
Let me fast forward a number of years. I have three children and have survived (yay!) abusive relationships (a whole book of its own!) am now standing strong, single and independent. I had my own (rented) flat, a job and peace – oh thank God for the PEACE in our lives for the first time in years.
I worked with some good people, took courses in my lunch hour to improve my skills, and becumenical really good friends with a lady in the office. We used to round the week off on a Friday or Saturday night by going for a drink, sometimes a club and sometimes we’d just get together with other friends and have a ‘girls night in’. Haha, we often suffered the following morning from the copious amounts of wine we drank, but we always had a good laugh. Life was good and, quite frankly, I neither needed or wanted a man in my life. I was done with relationships thank you very much!
Famous last words.
A few months passed and my friend and I were having our usual weekend drink and decided to make a night of it. We were feeling a bit ‘meh’ and didn’t know where to go. As we stepped out of the pub we spotted a coach across the road. We’d heard about this coach but somehow had always missed it; we could never remember which night it ran and, to be honest we were usually quite happy staying locally. Well this night we decided to get on it. For less than £10 it took you to a well known (at the time) club in Birmingham picking up at various places on the way, the cost included your entrance fee, and at the end of the night it brought you back to your home town. This was a bargain, so a no brainier for two ladies on their own, even we could afford this. So we set off quite excited at the prospect of going somewhere different for a change. How outrageous were we?!
Well, we were probably about half way there when we both looked at each otheir knowing exactly what the other was thinking. I whispered “Perhaps we should have stayed in town after all.”
There was a group of boys on the same coach. I call them boys because although they were clearly grown men they behaved like boys. Well, more like lads rearly. Raucous, chatting about how they would ‘pull’, taking the mickey out of another who had been ‘dumped’ recently; trading slap stick juvenile jokes and ‘practising’ the corniest chat up lines you’ve ever heard on each other.
To cut what’s already a longer story very short, after refusing his offer to walk me home several times, I ended up with one of those lads, Pete. He had been the loudest and corniest of the group – just my luck eh! Neither of us went out that night with meeting someone on our minds, in fact on our second ‘date’ we made it quite clear to each other that this would not become a relationship, we just enjoyed each other’s company and it might be nice to go out together now and again. That was nearly 20 years ago!
We had two more children which completed our lovely famiy. He still tells silly jokes but now trades them with our youngest son. Oh how thy laugh and giggle while telling each other jokes such as
“Peeinmish who?” (uncontrollable childish laughter, from both of them!!!) 🙄
And all this came to pass because of jumping on a coach one Saturday night back in 1997.
What was the point of all this? I just hope that by sharing a little chapter of my own story, a few pages that were so very unexpected, it might help to encourage those out there who are going through a similar stage in their lives. Things can be tough, but when you least expect it, it can all change in the most unlikely way.
Has it been a ‘happy-ever-after’ fairytale’ with romance and roses every week since that night? Absolutely not! We’ve had our ups and downs, some quite serious. We’ve laughed till we’ve cried and cried until there can’t possibly be any more tears in us – then found more tears. We can drive each other crazy, but always come back to the conclusion that we don’t want to be driven crazy by anyone else.
So don’t give up hope. Don’t give up on yourself or give yourself a hard time. You are amazing just as you are. You are worthy. You matter and the world wouldn’t be quite the same if you weren’t in it.
If you’re looking for love, it might be just round the corner, or on the seat next to you in Starbucks or even on the next bus!
With love ❤