Simple, four letter words that I don’t feel that often. And despite the other four letter word I feel right now – sick (stupid stinking cold) – I feel like that now. I’m having trouble sleeping because of this cold and I’ve been sat here reading and knitting. My yarn got tangled so I had to stop and undo the yarn vomit, and put some music.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but untangling yarn vomits can be quite calming and therapeutic, so I feeling a little soothed anyway, and then my music player shuffles to Songbird by Eva Cassidy.
I adore that song. It was one of my favourite songs for years and then when Neil and I got together and we didn’t have an automatic song, I decided that Songbird would be our song. So, after that all went kablooey the song became hard to listen to. Until this evening. Despite feeling ill, tired and fragile, for the first time in several years listening to that song didn’t reduce me to tears and melancholia. It made feel happy. And hopeful.
Neil. He’s another four letter word. I know I have some followers who weren’t following me a few years ago so let me give you a brief rundown. We met in November 2007. Instant love. Bliss, happiness, future, delight. Depression. Mine and his. Incompatible depressions. Mine makes me clingy, his makes him withdraw. Combine that with a sixty mile distance – which for two people who didn’t drive might as well have been six thousand – and it got messy. We broke up. Got back together. Broke up again. Stayed friends. Got back together a year later. Semi-successfully, but only seeing each other once or twice in a year until I couldn’t deal with it anymore and broke up with him.
I loved him with all my heart. Did from the moment I saw him, and still do. I often wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t broken up with him. I think we’d still be together, but only because he never would have done it. He was mid-depressive state and his last months and months whereas mine can be over in a day. He would never have broken up with me, but he would have stayed distant and not seeing me, and hurting me without meaning to.
That was nearly two years ago. And I’m not over him. In the slightest. I moved another two hundred miles away in July and came to the unfortunate conclusion that we’d probably never see each other again. Which broke my heart all over again but I don’t regret moving because that was, and still is, what I needed. I will never get over him, but I’m ready to move on. I have been for a while. I’ve been on the dating scene, tentatively. And maybe I’ll find someone else.
He’s still one of my two best friends. We talk every day and he bails me out of messes at least twice a week. I don’t know what I’d do without him. My other best friend isn’t happy about that. He thinks that I’d be better off with a clean break, and that I’m never going to let go. He’s probably right. May e it would have been better for me, and for Neil, if we hadn’t stayed friends. But we did, and I don’t regret it. I wouldn’t change it.
The other day, utterly randomly, during one of our complete-bollocks conversations, Neil called me “sorta perfect”. It wasn’t entirely out of nowhere. There was context to it, but I won’t get into that here. The general gist was that as things stand with both of us, we wouldn’t work as a couple. For lots of reasons, not least of them being the two hundred and sixty odd mile distance between us. But, all of the reasons on my end are things I’ve been wanting to sort out. Things I’m taking big steps to change and resolve. More about those in my New Year blog post coming up in the next day or so.
And he’s working on some changes his end too. Nothing will be quick. Not this month, this year. My changes and plans are going to take at least five, more likely seven or eight years. And even though a tiny part of me knows it’s unlikely, the bigger part of me is a hopeless optimistic romantic who thinks that maybe in eight years time, when things have changed, our stars will align and Neil and I will come back together.
I’m not going to rely on that. I’m not going to spend the better part of the next decade planning for us to get together, or saving myself for him. I’m going to get on with my life. I’ll work on these big plans and changes, I’ll keep on dating and maybe I’ll find someone who really is the love of the life and we’ll get married and have lotsa babies. Maybe I won’t. Who knows? But for once I’m not afraid of the not knowing. If I find a new prince, then yay. If I get another chance with my Neil when we’re better for each other, then yay.
In the meantime I have hope, and calm. I have plans, and a future, and a life. I have a best friend who may not agree with how I feel about Neil but who’ll continue to support him and help me in any way he can, just like he has been since we met. I have a wonderful family who love me. I have a small group of friends who are so perfect it doesn’t matter that I can count them on the fingers of two hands. And I have Neil, just as he has me. If never anything else, we will always be friends and I will support him in whatever he chooses to do, just like I know he’ll continue to support me.
Even if he does roll his eyes at all this gushy mushy stuff.