I spoke with a stranger today. A counsellor of sorts, let’s say. Despite my more up-beat posts of late, and they have been more up-beat, I have for the past 4 days been slipping for seemingly no reason, back into a melancholy state. Bemoaning my circumstances and just generally feeling quite lonely, heartbroken and sorry for myself. I dont know what sparked it, I have been feeling so good these past couple of weeks and all of a sudden I was back on my er…backside once again. I have no idea what hit me. So, today I succumbed and I spoke to someone. It was quite an in-depth conversation (on my part at least) and as I rambled on about Mr X and all of the misery that is still being generated from that absolute disaster of a – let’s say, “relationship”- I was preparing myself for the typical sympathetic ear, the sympathetic response and the standard “you deserve better”.
Instead, what I got out of it was a very to-the-point response:
“First off, the fact that [Mr X] has bought a house with his new girlfriend is in no way an absolute indication that he is happy and settled or that it will work out”.
Ok I have to pause here, this is not to say that I want the guy to be miserable. I dont, I want him to be happy, I know he must be misunderstood I know he has in the past found it difficult to commit and I also know that at some point he was hurt pretty badly too. BUT, (I am ashamed to admit) there is a little part of me that was horrified by the revelation that this man, who I was head over heels in love with, this person who could not commit to a relationship with me for even more than 1 week at a time could so easily find someone else whom he is willing to now settle down with and spend the rest of his life with (presumably) after such a short period of time. In all honesty. Im a little jealous that he gets to settle down in blissful happiness before I do. There it is. Im JEALOUS. And Im miffed that it wasnt me who he found such happiness with because I was in love and he should have loved me back, dammit! Thats how “happily ever after” love stories are supposed to work!
“Secondly, get over it. You are focussing too much on the past and what you cannot change and there is no guarantee that if you had stayed together you would be happy”.
True, I have spent a good part of this blog trying to convince myself (and you) that the dream I had for my future with Mr X was exactly that. A dream. A fantasy. And more than likely, something he would never have been able to live up to in reality, so I was probably destined for disappointment regardless of how our relationship panned out.
And then my counsel said two things which stunned me. The first of these two things was that I am a very “home” focussed person, home is really where my heart is, Im emotional and I love deeply all of the special people I have in my life. So, I need to just focus on making my new house a home (because where I live at the moment is anything but a home) and loving the people who are here for me now, rather than wasting my love on someone who doesn’t even notice (although, I would like to think that love is never wasted).
Effectively: “go work on your house and forget about it!”. Which is a quote from a movie I might have watched once or 50 times.
In the next breath he told me that my life is good and if I just concentrate on being happy with my life as it is, work on my house, feel comfortable in my home and basically get myself out of this state of limbo that I have effectively been in for 3 years now, then everything else will fall into place.
Effectively: “Build it and they will come” (thanks L- I nearly broke out into riotous laughter at this point).
or alternatively, as I have mentioned before in this blog “Concrete Swans”.
Strange how the advice always feels so much more convincing when you’ve forked out $$ to get it, as though somehow if you’ve paid a ‘professional’ it is validated. But in a way, it is. This man has hordes of people filing in and out of his office on a daily basis. People who are married, people who have children, people who have lots of money and a career to be in awe of. Yet none of these things guarantee their happiness. Why is it that we always look to others and see what they have and believe that if we only had that, then we would be happy? Why do we always assume that everyone else is happier than we are? People have careers built on the fact that the majority of people are not happy!
I know my dear friends have been telling me ALL of this for 18 months now. And Im sorry that I only half listened to it. And Im sure there will be more moments ahead when I forget and I doubt. But I do not apologise for paying to get counselling from a complete stranger because at the end of the day, if exited that office with a “hell yeah, my life is actually pretty good, what have I been so worried about?” attitude, then as far as I’m concerned, the money was well spent.
I hope that this conversation will be a reminder to me in the future when Im having a bad day and I will take comfort in the knowledge that my path is my own and how I handle my journey is what will define me, not the destination. Because lets face it, the destination for all of us is the same, and it doesnt involve a big house, or a white picket fence or regular holidays in the Maldives, or the ‘perfect’ bikini body.
And so it was that I dropped off to sleep last night with a smile on my face, and awoke this morning in anticipation of the days to come.