While I am away for a few days, I am sharing a series of guest posts from some awesome bloggers. Today’s post is from April, who describes herself as
…small but strong. Scottish, but have been living in London for the past nine years. I love coffee, cats, olives, and watching reruns of The Golden Girls. I can’t stand spiders. Or Richard Gere.
This year, I turned 32. And while all my friends are getting married and creating new people, I’ve been facing the toughest year of my life. Alone. Because last summer the man who I thought I was going to marry ate half a pizza and then told me he had never been in love with me.
It’s been a year of learning. I’ve learned just how low you can feel, and then woke up feeling worse the next day. I’ve also learned just how much you can grow as a person, and how important your connections to friends and family are. Dare I say it, I’ve learned what it really means to love.
My blog www.pizzaofdoom.com started as a way of getting the terrible thoughts in my head out of my head. Over the past eleven months it’s become a collection of musings and tales. Many of which seem to help others feel better too. I suppose, it’s become a success story. Not least because I can eat pizza again these days.
Her writing is like her – wee but strong, wisdom contained in punchy and witty prose. You only realize you’ve learned something after you stop laughing!
Who wins in a break up?
I’ve always been competitive to the extreme. It’s the reason I can’t go ten-pin bowling with friends. Or run with other people. Or play Monopoly. Ever. So, when the man I thought I was going to marry ate half a pizza before telling me he’d never been in love with me and sashaying out of my life, I didn’t want him to win.
Specifically, I didn’t want him to move on and find someone else before I did. After all, justice, karma and basic human decency would seem to dictate that I should immediately meet someone smarter and more handsome, and then live happily ever after. That would be fair. Right?
Well, nearly a year after the pizza of doom, I have not found someone else. I have a strong feeling (based on nothing more than my guts and a visit to a psychic – yeah – it’s been an interesting year) that he has met someone. Regardless, I’m alone. Which makes that crazy competitor inside me really, really mad.
But as I look back I realise, while I haven’t gained a new partner, I have gained an awful lot. I’ve dated. Yes, it took longer than I expected to be ready. And, yes, one real gent from Tinder abandoned me after 40 minutes claiming to be “extremely unwell”. But I’ve kissed other men. I’ve slept with someone else (and it was fantastic). None of these men turned out to be the love of my life, but one turned out to be a good friend who I’m now planning a trip to Japan with, and who I meet up with every week to write. Because – oh yes – that’s right – I also started writing again. I started a blog. I got back to working on lots of little writing projects that had been forgotten. And turning words into stories makes me feel all kinds of excited.
Desperate for distractions, I tried new things too. Started an Italian class (buon giorno). Started running. Started yoga. OK, I get a tad competitive in yoga (I was the first person in the class to manage a handstand, I just need you to know that). But things that I began as “distractions” have become my favourite parts of the week, and brought new people and connections into my life.
So do I lose because I haven’t found Prince Charming yet?
I’m no scientist, or an expert in any sense of the word, but I’m pretty sure our competitive instincts are the same as our survival instincts. We’re wired to compete because if we outperform others, we live. Survival of the fittest. Well, when I think about how much I’ve accomplished, I know that I’ve done more than survive. Because when my dreams got crushed, my world got bigger. And I got wiser and stronger. If I’ve outperformed anyone, it’s the April I would otherwise have been.
It really doesn’t matter what my ex is doing. Or anyone else for that matter. Because when you move beyond the realms of survival, life is not a competition – and love is certainly not. What’s important is that you’ve faced challenges and come out the other side feeling even stronger. That you’ve taken the decimated foundations of your life, cleaned them up, and built something even better.
All that really matters is that you’re happy. Because when you find that happiness inside, you can’t make comparisons with anyone else. It’s a personal thing.
So you don’t need to compete to come out on top.
I know. Because I win.