Sunday, November 27, 2011

Moving on...

Anyone who knows me or has had a cursory read through my blog will know that much of my writing has been devoted to relationships.  The relationship with my lovely husband, family, friends and the breakdown with my Ex.  Some things in life are simple and joyous.  But that last one has been a work in progress since May 2009.  I've faced some really crappy times, both emotionally, legally and financially.  It has also not affected me, but also Peter, as I know there are times when the past never seems to stay where it the past.  But life is complicated.  And in true form, just when you feel that life is taking nice steps forward in directions you want it to - BAM!

A couple of days ago I find a facebook friend request...from my Ex.  I have to say it freaked me the fuck out.  No message, just a request.  It had been 12 months since I had to deal with him about the settlement of our old life.  I posted a question on facebook: was this an olive branch; stalking; or a headfuck.  My glorious friends far and wide jumped in with an overwhelming response that considering how messy the breakup was, they were choosing options B or C.  I was in a panic.  The ignore button on the friend request was looming large, but after the anger I endured through the breakup, I didn't want to 'poke the bear' (as we say in our house).  How do I say no without incurring any wrath?

I luckily received a message from a mutual friend (who is in contact more with him than me).  She said she thought it was an olive branch and that there was nothing malicious in the request.  She said he seemed to have moved on, well and truly, and is harbouring no ill feelings or anger towards me or the break up any more.  Even so - she still thought it was a bad idea.  She said she'd try talking to him about it and help him to see this.  I couldn't thank her enough.  

I guess what this has shown me, is that even after talking to a psychologist about the breakup, I was still carrying around the fear of bumping into the Ex.  I knew it would happen eventually, and my heart would race if I was at a gig and saw someone with any similar physical resemblance.  I imagined every scenario or possible outcome.  But any which way I looked at it, the fear loomed large.  On hearing the news from our mutual friend, I actually began to think differently.  Perhaps I could let the fear go.  Let the hurt go.  And the guilt, I was feeling for having found a new and wonderful relationship.  This news, in a way, had the power to change everything.

It's never nice to cause anyone pain.  It's very hard to put yourself first.  But when it comes to happiness, you may have to learn this, no matter how painful it is.  I see other people struggling with this, and the tumult of emotions and thoughts that come along for the ride.  But somehow hearing news that the Ex had moved on meant that I could too.  Completely.  I can stop carrying around the fear and guilt.  This stuff takes time, and I am sure that I'll still be shaking should I find myself in the same room as him.  But hopefully civility will be the goal for everyone concerned. 

I am so happy and contented with the home Peter and I are creating.  I feel able to be the person I'm supposed to be.  And with each step forward, and each day of working through the past, I find myself not looking back nervously over my shoulder, or feeling the past nip my heels.  I am making a happier future for myself, my beautiful husband and our lovely friends.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Things have been a little quiet online, and that's because it's been very busy in real life.  Peter and I bought a home together.  After 10 months of looking, we finally found somewhere that ticked as many boxes as possible, that we could afford.  We offered a 30 day settlement, which now seems crazy.  But I had a months leave from work already booked, and settlement would fall smack in the middle.  So much for my month of seeing people, and running errands for myself.  It all flew by in a busy swirl.  And as always, it took a while for the internet to be reconnected.  It's nice to have my desk set up again and a quiet space to sit and write.  I don't miss our old noisy neighbours at all.

Peter and I have lived here for about three weeks now.  Boy time flies.  We've still got some boxes to sort out, but we're getting it together.  My friend Kaz, who's out from England at the moment, visited and said how different I seem in the new house.  She explained that when she saw me a couple of weeks before we moved, I was hunched in the shoulders.  But now I seemed to have my shoulders back and head up to the world.  I guess it shows how I felt.  Our old rented flat was a great place for me to retreat to, after the break up.  It was small, but cosy and had a great feel to it.  It was where Peter and I really began.  We had a space of our own and I could relax and recoup.  I was happy to have a big security gate  and traded outdoor space for cheaper rent and closeness to a tram, shops and work.  But after a while, I so missed the extra space.  As soon as the settlement money came through from my old life, I started trawling the real estate websites.

10 exhausting months later we found our home.  It's still a two bedroom townhouse, but it has more space than our old flat and a small front and back courtyard.  It's a converted workhouse in the old Pentridge Prison.  We were sceptical about living on such notorious land, especially when the large bluestone wall is the boundary of our backyard!  But the moment we stepped out of the car, the lane of townhouses has an incredibly lovely feel.  It is a bizarre mix of old and new.  Our building is about 130 years old and heritage listed, but inside is about 5 years old.  It has lots of exposed brick and high ceilings.  Somehow the quirky mix suits us.  Feels like us.  Even the loan adviser at the Credit Union, where we have our home loan, said it looked like the perfect place for us.  Hilarious.

I have a bit more space to breathe and stretch out.  We can have visitors and have it not seem crowded.  And best of all it has a great kitchen.  Peter and I have space to stand either side of the island and make dinner together.  And I finally got to buy the wedding present my Mum & Dad had promised...a washing machine.  No more spending weekends at the laundromat.  It's funny how I used to take some of these simple pleasures for granted.  But after cocooning for two years, it's time to emerge from the safe house, and into our new lives.  It feels great, and there are some wonderful discoveries in our new Coburg hood. There is a cafe a short walk away, called Little Deer Tracks.  It's a vego paradise with fabulous coffee.  People smile as we pass them, as there are so many people living here, but somehow it doesn't feel crowded.  We're both so happy as it feels like home.

There is something quite amazing that happens, when life turns a corner.  New adventures and the joy that is found when change signifies hope.  I am a tragic collector, verging on hoarding some things.  I do find it hard to let go of some stuff.  Objects, photos and ephemera all mean memories to me.  But as we were moving endless boxes of stuff into the new place, I had a moment where I knew I'd reached a point of being able to let some things go.  I'd left so much behind in the breakup, that perhaps I'd clung to what I had.  But now life is heading somewhere new and exciting, with someone fabulous, that I need to make space for the life that is ahead.  And that is quite a lovely feeling.  I know I've mentioned this quote before, but Einstein said "life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving".  Ironically, I feel I am moving forward by finding somewhere to lay down roots.  To find a home, with my lovely man and have kittens who love the new space feels like a reward for some of the harder times over the last 2 1/2 years.  And I don't think I'll be taking it for granted.