Thursday, November 25, 2010

Home and Happiness

When the morning broke and the sky fell down,
It went black as night and the wind blew round,
And stole your directions you lost your way home,
And you felt like a passenger left by the road,
But I'll tell you the reason you couldn't get home,
Cause there's nowhere you've been and it's nowhere you're going,
Home is only a feeling you get in your mind,
From the people you love and you travel beside...

These are lyrics from the quite lovely Stornoway song Fuel Up. I have been enjoying listening to their cd in my car. In fact I found myself getting a little teary the other day. I was quickly running errands after work, and heading back to Carlton to meet my friend Em and catch a movie. I was struck by a beautiful part of their song, and was caught in the sheer happiness and delight of the moment. Life was now heading in the exact direction I had waited so long for...and a wave of complete joy swept over me. I tingled and felt tears welling up. I guess I have learned to appreciate the simplest things in life, which for so long seemed unattainable.

I really love these lyrics, as it's something I feel so deeply now. I have always been a creature of habit, and hated moving. I don't mind travel, but it always feels great to come home. But my sense of 'home' has changed. I was able to walk away from a house I used to love, with no regrets. And I know that I could honestly follow Peter anywhere. Anywhere! I have always needed a safety net before. Familiar job, familiar suburbs, familiar family surrounds etc. But taking the giant leap of faith 18 months ago, and learning to let go of many things either through circumstance or trying to ease the legal situation, has changed me. I have found that letting go can make the load lighter and make me feel free. The important thing is that Peter and I are together and happy. For being with him feels like 'home'.

Interestingly this also coincides with us beginning to search for a home of our own. And after an initial feeling of nervousness on Peter's part, we are now becoming comfortable and more focused on what we like. Somewhere to start. Begin our life in our home. It's the battle between price, location, condition and compromise. But we are finding our way together and realising the list of priorities. It will be great to have a little more space, and be able to put up picture hooks or paint walls. But most of all I miss having a garden. A courtyard would be just fine, as I could grow things and sit outside occasionally, and maybe we could rig up something so the cats could get more fresh air and sunshine than the windowsills give them at the flat. Any way we go, it will be another move forward. A consolidation of our future. And I'm sure wherever we find ourselves will feel like home. For home and comfort and happiness are all things we find within ourselves. And luckily for me, also the person I'm married to.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Life is getting somewhere back to what could be described as 'normal'. It has taken some time to get used to that thought. I have had some days where I have felt so light, as the weight of the last couple of years has been lifted. And it's quite a nice place to finally find myself.

I was talking with a work friend this week, who broke up with her partner. She was sending him an email, explaining things from her perspective. After going through that decision myself recently, I asked her why she was doing it. What did she want to get out of the letter? She said she wanted closure, and for him to understand how she felt. Of course what happened in the ensuing days was a number of emails back from him, and the distress of my friend continued.

It made me realise that my choice not to send a letter to my Ex was right for me. My friend Denise has said that even if I did send it, was there any guarantee that he'd 'get it'. After all, he didn't understand some things after 13 years together. And she's right. There are moments in your life when you realise that the only way to get closure is within yourself. And that can be a tough one.

It upsets me that there are a couple of people out there in the world who think badly of me. An ex-boyfriend and an ex-friend (that I know of!). There are some things in life that you just can't make right. Learning to let that go is hard, and learning to reconcile that within myself is harder. I can't control it at all. Interestingly, it pops into my head that I am 40 now. I don't think there are many people out there who reach 40 without some form of baggage or emotional scarring. I got a message from Daniel this week, who in describing a relationship said it was an "enigma based on what scars life has left behind". How poetic, how beautiful, how true and how sad. It seems we all carry around little dark marks on our hearts where we have been hurt or caused others pain. And learning to live with that is a skill in itself. I am pleased that the scar I carry has not effected my ability to connect with another person, or my depth of feeling or ability to love and trust someone. I know people who hide behind the scar or don't learn from it. Perhaps that's the point. The mark is there as a reminder. A sign that we have lived life, not always well, but that we can learn from it. And my lesson is to let the scar heal, and live with it.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I am exhausted. My limbs are heavy and my eyes are tired. The adrenaline has come and gone, and there is a sense of numbness. It has been a big couple of weeks. After waiting for four months for the house settlement (due to some bad paperwork by the previous owners to us) the cheque was picked up from the conveyancer last week. I can stop paying rent and mortgage, and have a nice nest egg to buy myself a car and plan a future with Peter.

When I told people, I think they were expecting a huge hurrah from me, but there were still a couple of things that needed sorting. The Ex and I had a joint account which we'd set up to pay the mortgage out of. We both needed to be there to close it and get the money out. I was so nervous. I was fearful of meeting up, as I have given up trying to predict his mood. I spent sunday afternoon sobbing on Peter's shoulder. I'm 40 years old, recently married, and I just felt like I wanted my Mum to come with me. But there are times in your life when you have to face awful, confronting things head on...alone.

Tonight after work I walked slowly to the bank. Not much was said between us. The tension was palpable, my mouth was dry and any delay seemed to take an age. The money was divided, debts were paid, items were exchanged and a parting shot was had. I picked up my box of things and walked away. That's how 13 years ended...17 months later.

Life never really prepares you for these moments. You can't plan, you are full of fear and worst case scenarios, and contemplating strategies. But in the end you make a judgement call in a split second. There was nothing left to say. I felt no need to fire back a parting shot myself. What was the point? Peter and I chatted over the weekend, and the best analogy we came up with was cutting something free and watching it flow down the river. Many months ago in this blog wrote that it felt like I had one foot in a bear trap. Any struggle just caused more pain. I have cut myself free and although a little battered and bruised, I am walking towards a lovely and happy life.

I think it will take some time to realise that the stress is over. To get used to not having so much in my head, like the constant lists of things to do. They are all finally done. Life can be simpler. Happier. Calm. The past is finally where it should be; in the past. The processing can begin properly. It has been a long time in the holding pattern, and I feel like tomorrow I can take my first steps without the weight of the past hanging over me. That I can stand up straight and breathe deeply. It's time to exhale and let go. It is done.