Life was better without her, but it wasn’t always easy to begin with. Despite the relief and the space I had to focus on myself it was still difficult at times. I didn’t have any answers, just suspicions and vague feelings about everything that had happened. And a whole lot of residual anger.
Time passes, like it always does. When it does one of two things seems to happen. The truth comes out or you just begin to care a little less. I had already started to care less, I knew there was no going back. It had been a ‘clean break’ and I knew it was time to look forward. I had enough experience with break-ups to know how the next chapter of my life would go.
I hadn’t expected to find out the truth, but I did. Or as close to it as I’ll ever be likely to get anyway. It was enough to prove once again that my suspicions had been right all along. It was also enough to irreparably damage at least one friendship of mine. I thought I had cut Megan out of my life where ever that was possible. No more mutual friends, removed all the old photographs and posts about each other from social media. Cleansed.
I went to dinner with a friend of mine who lived close by. Throughout the course of dinner I was casually informed that one of my friends was still in touch with Megan and informed of a few snippets of information I hadn’t really wanted to know. Things about Megan’s health and who she happened to be dating. I didn’t want to care, but I was angry.
I was angry at my friend for not being open with me about still be friends with my ex. I wouldn’t have put her in the position of having to listen to be bitch and moan about Megan if I had known she was still talking to her. My friend thought that meant I didn’t trust her. I felt strongly enough at the time about not wanting Megan in my life in any way at all, I didn’t want her to know about my life either. So I dropped this friend.
My actions were extreme but it needed to be done. I needed space and I didn’t want to keep hearing snippets of information that would make me sad or angry. Having mutual friends wouldn’t help with that. It already hadn’t.
I had found out that I was right to have thought there was more to the break-up than meets the eye. She’d moved on too quickly, happened to be dating the guy from work that I knew had a thing for her, the guy she stopped talking to me about after I’d pointed that out. It made a few other things slip into place and I knew then that it was becoming more likely that she had cheated on me.
I didn’t spend much time reflecting on that. I could have agonised over all the times she stayed late at work to use the gym and probably wasn’t doing anything of the sort. Or tried to pin-point the exact moment when she changed all the passwords on my laptop and her mobile so I wouldn’t see what she was up to. It just wouldn’t have been worth it. I let it go.
I decided my life would take priority for a change. I wasn’t even going to really try to date or anything. I had too much I wanted to get out of life. Things that I always seemed to put on hold for other people. Whether I was helping someone get a new job, move house, get an education or just be there when they wanted me, everything I had done for almost the past 9 to 10 years of my life had been about pleasing other people. I was done.
It didn’t happen overnight, it didn’t happen all on my own steam either. I had friends, the same ones that had been there for me before and will always be, once again reminded me of their worth. We planned adventures and my life has been full of great experiences.
For starters I buckled down at work and really turned things around. I managed to get a new job and then another new job. Taking pretty decent pay rises along the way. I managed my money better so that I could do the things I really wanted to.
I was lucky enough to see the Northern Light three times in one year. Once in Iceland with one of my best friends, once in Canada with my family and once walking home from a night out here in the UK. I also went swimming in Iceland’s blue lagoon and visited the Golden Circle where I was able to stand on two continents at once and see the geysers burst into the air.
I turned my colleagues into friends and we had some great times. Including ice-skating lessons, lots of tequila and nights I probably never will remember all of the details from. Or find out who that girl was with the green hair and why my friend had a photo of me and her on his phone the next morning.
I planned and went on holidays. I’ve been to Spain with one of my oldest friends and spent the evenings along the beach drinking cocktails or the days exploring Barcelona. I have been back to Canada twice where I went whale watching and have been lucky enough to see killer whales, humpback whales, sea lions and seals in the wild.
I even did a three week solo road trip through mountains where I spent days hiking, kayaking and looking for wildlife. Found the wildlife when I spotted bald eagles, harbour porpoises and a bear. Trekked through forests in search of waterfalls and other amazingly beautiful scenery.
I spent my birthday in New York and managed to do all the sightseeing I’ve always wanted to do. I have been to the top of the Empire State Building, the Rock, flown over Manhattan in a helicopter and cycled the Brooklyn Bridge. I’ve even danced on the bar in Coyote’s. Wandered aimlessly though Central Park and ate dinner in a diner while the staff sang show tunes.
I went on holiday with two of my best school friends where we explored the hippy markets in Ibiza, went on an amazing sunset cruise as we sipped champagne, danced with Spanish senior citizens even though we couldn’t understand a word they were saying and joined in with the cheesy entertainment.
That’s just the travelling, there has been so much more. I’ve spent many great nights out in London, staying out so late that I can see the sunrise in the rear window of the taxi as I’m heading home. Helped a friend tick things off her bucket list before she had to leave London, like see the Lion King and fly a kite (it’s a Mary Poppins thing) on Primrose Hill. Rescued the kite when it got stuck in the tree.
We’ve pic-nicked in Hyde Park enjoying the day-drinking. Visited tall buildings, walked the South Bank, danced all night, sang karaoke really badly but enthusiastically. Made more friends, found a local to hang out in, had a whole pub sing me happy birthday and spent New Year’s Eve on the Thames watching the awesome fireworks (twice).
Now, that’s just the partying with friends. I’ve even done things for myself that I thought I wouldn’t. Like getting a better job in my company (twice), bought a new car and getting my first tattoo, then getting another one. I picked up the piano again and started teaching myself to play. I been to so many concerts and gigs, both with friends and rocking out solo enjoying the fact that I have a unique taste in music which isn’t shared by all my friends. Lastly I started my own website and got back into my artwork and wrote this blog.
I still me, I’m still a hopeless romantic at heart. I still love to read romance and watch films with happy endings. I still cower behind the cushions when I watch horror films. I would still rather go on three holidays a year than ever think of owning a house. When I’m in a relationship I still give everything I have to give, I just won’t give up on me in the process. I know myself better now, I trust myself and my own judgement.
I have never been wrong to give someone my trust and love, it’s what they did with it that brought my world crashing down from time to time. I can’t say it’ll never happen again, but that’s a risk I’m still willing to take knowing that if my world does come crashing down again that I know how to handle that and if it all comes together I know that it’ll all be worth it.