If I ever grow up enough be considered a font of wisdom, this is what I shall say: Wait. Just wait. But live a life worth talking about in the meantime. Live it wholeheartedly. Live it so wonderfully, scrumptiously, deliciously well, that when that you have been waiting for finally whispers its way into your life it is but a gentle tremor in a world divinely established without it.
One day, digging around in the dirt of someone else’s yesterdays you will discover the saucer that finally completes your tea-set. Your little babba will walk, be potty trained and learn to mind his manners. Peace will settle upon your shoulders like a cashmere cobweb and the horror that is a financial crisis will pass. Because wait and this too, whatever it is that bothers your sleep will pass. This too will pass. This I know for sure.
In April 2006 the man I had lived with, made a home with and created a whole little life with, left me. You all know this. You were there. He went. He took up with a woman called Nicky. He wore his guilt like a straight-jacket and seemed utterly incapable of building anything remotely resembling a life worth living. My heart broke a hundred times over for him. For us. For Finn. For tomorrow and yesterday and for right now, for every moment when the sheer effort of muddling through my days, teeth gritted, seemed too much to bare.
But out of my gloom came tiny little joys. Joys that began to pile one on top of the other in little heaps of happiness I, for a while, considered best ignored. Ah, but it’s bliss having a huge cosy, comfy bed to yourself (True.. but hell’s bells it’s cold without a human radiator to keep you warm). Heavens making decisions all by yourself is soooooo liberating (And goodness knows you are kinder to yourself than he ever would have been in the face of a crazy mistake or two). And yes, tis a thrill and seven eighths to be having first kisses and first precious moments littering your days all over again (Though be prepared to get your heart a bit smashed if you are brave enough to go dilly-dallying down that route Missus…). And on and on it goes: eighteen months filled with new beginnings I never quite allowed myself to come to terms with because I was waiting. I was waiting. You knew it. I knew it, and all those poor men I half-heartedly dated but barely entertained, knew it.
I waited. And of course he came back. He sat at my table at the end of November 2007 and said perhaps? And I said yes, not now no, yes, maybe, perhaps, oh but I can’t and oh but how I want to. I want to live our little dream all over again. I don’t want to be the single mummy at school. I want my boy’s Daddy to wake him up in the mornings and I’d like somebody to take out the bins please. I want to make plans for tomorrow. To have someone to laugh with. To cry with all over again. Somebody who know’s me, who gets me without me having to deliver the well rehearsed lines I’ve delivered religiously on too many unbearable first dates. I’m sick of myself and would like to have you back in my life to dilute the very essence of me if you don’t mind so very awfully.
And so we danced around each other for a month or so. Without commitment. Without a hug, a cheek proffered or a promise made and it felt all so right and terribly, terribly wrong. Who was this man taking up room on my sofa? Was I thinking about him on the dates with others I continued to enjoy? Could I imagine him sleep walking his way through my life again? Was that the ache of Mark induced exhaustion I could already feel creeping through bones? Yes, yes I think it was…
It was pure nostalgia and even I can’t build a life built on a vintage love affair. And so we declared it over before it had begun. And relief snuggled up with me. Ate breakfast with me and poured me a glass of wine at the end of a long day. Because I can’t fix him. I shouldn’t have to and I don’t want too. So I’m choosing a life without compromise instead. I’m choosing a box full of memories stashed on top of my wardrobe. I’m choosing a relationship based on the kind of adoration I won’t have to share my bed with. Respect for all those years we were happy. I’m choosing life without him and though I can barely believe it, theres a bit of me doing a downright demented happy dance, because it’s over. I waited, He came back and my life had already filled the gap where he used to be.
My life. Hmmmmmm. What to say about it now? I’m on a silly diet and my hand is in a splint. That man I adored as a teenager sat on my sofa the other night, wine glass in hand and kissed my neck and I giggled like a school girl and pouted too much and worried about whether I’d put the recycling boxes out and everything is ok. More than ok.
All of a sudden the wait is over. Because not knowing what will happen tomorrow is just part of the game isn’t it? You don’t have to be good at it, it’s the taking part that counts.
And I’m taking part with every fibre of my very daft being. To 2008!