Despite my crisis of confidence earlier in the week, most of the time I’m more than happy being single. I’m fully aware that not having anyone else to consider or factor in can be an advantage. I don’t mean that to sound callous; I’ve no doubt that children or a partner are generally life-enhancing and not simply another item on one’s to do list, along with “clean gutters” and “book smear test” etc. Without such relationships, though, there is certainly more freedom to please oneself. This freedom has come into its own this week. As well as the usual split of my working week between Warwickshire and Surrey, I’ve either had or still have to come a meeting in Birmingham, two separate trips to London, a party in Altrincham and a christening in Birmingham. This needs an integrated transport system (well, as near as we’ve got), a high level of wardrobe planning (every outfit required mapped out with accessories and then packed/hung on my wardrobe accordingly) and a huge amount of freedom to be able to come and go with noone to answer to.
The busy-ness of the week didn’t initially help my mood. In fact, I degenerated into snivly crying and felt very despondant at one point. A big chat with my mum helped, as did a big bout of journalling. While writing I realised two things. One is that sometimes we ask the wrong questions – turning it on its head and posing the opposite may be helpful, or at least illuminating. Secondly, something I was vaguely becoming aware of struck me as being definitely true. Ie a particular person once did like me and I managed to completely miss the MASSIVE signals. This realisation caused me to walk around this afternoon with a strong, almost irrepressible, urge to slap my own forehead. I didn’t slap myself but I do know I need to learn big lessons as to why I assumed A Person Like Him couldn’t possibly like A Person Like Me.
It’s 49 hours since my last post. I’ve had a lovely weekend but am feeling emotionally bewildered by it all. It’s as if I’ve suddenly woken up to the gap between myself and many (dare I say most?) of my contemporaries and I don’t know what to make of it. Part of me is very “each to their own” about lifestyle choices, but part of me is also terrified. It’s hard to remain confident and secure in your position and choices when you realise you’re the odd one out. And “odd one” it really is: of my friends, colleagues and acquaintances of my age, I can only think of one other person apart from me who is both single and not involved in internet dating (and I’m 100% sure that he’s not doing the latter). Everyone else is actively dating or in a serious relationship. When did this happen? Why single-ness so vigorously avoided? Have I missed the boat? I feel so shaken that I can’t actually discern how bothered I actually am or whether it’s simply a momentary crisis of confidence. I also know there are lots of other issues involved about fear of intimacy and not wanting to take emotional risks. It’s just all so jumbled in my head. Am mightily glad that I’ve got a very busy week to distract me from my angst. I’m hoping that either some sense of direction or at least a return to calm will emerge. I don’t want the next 49 hours to be as internally tumultuous as the last.
Friday night, 9pm: going to bed. Couldn’t be happier.