Life's better with cake and a sprinkle of fairy dust
One helluva ride. That’s my pet name for the past fifteen months. This is not one of those posts where I cry whoopie and exclaim how amazing life has been, and post pics of cute cakes and chillin’ with friends. In case you are new to this blog, this is not one of those blogs.
Alright, maybe it used to be.
Fifteen months ago, I would have sat chillin’ with friends and bitched about our lives in general. We laugh about our difficulties over drinks, make silly jokes about fate and say whatever, eff life. We count our losses as gains when together and vow to become better, stronger humans.
Less than a handful of individuals are privy to the details of what I have lost (and gained) the past fifteen months. To most I appear to have a pretty decent mastery on life.
Nothing, though, prepares you for the nightmares that hit when you’re alone, the grating fears that you are too far gone down the wrong way. Nothing foreshadows the angst of counting what should “rightfully” have been yours and the realisation that life may have taken you for a spin to the cleaners.
Nothing feels quite like the impending loss of what was once “my/our 72 square metres of happiness”, or the dread of trudging down the supermarket aisles, wondering what you could possibly get for dinner past ten pm, that wouldn’t leave another imposing jar of clutter in a place you once called home. You give up on dinner after a few tries. Then on us. And then nearly on life.
Last week, I skimmed through my girlfriend L’s Tinder account for a laugh and found most of the profile descriptions nothing short of incredulous.
“Laidback guy, likes to drive, yoga, groceries, working out at the gym and then kicking back with two glasses of wine.”
“Wakeboarding in Bali, occasional golfing.”
“I hang out at coffee joints in town after work, reading a book… love walking in the rain.”
I turned to L and asked an honest question, “You mean… the rest of the world really lives like that?”
She solemnly and brutally informed me, yes they do. Then gives a very distraught me a comforting pat.
Unlike the rest of the yoga-loving, wakeboarding, grocery-shopping world, L and I are working girls, and by “working”, I mean we work two to five full-time jobs rolled into one on any given day, take public transport and barely survive every month. And by doing these, we are not even bankrolling loads of money in our banks. Between the two of us, there are family responsibilities, loans to repay and dreams to build all on our own.
Well, here’s what my honest Tinder profile, if I had one, would read like.
“I’m a real early bird. I pee, brush my teeth, go to work, squeeze in a midnight run if I’ve still got any energy before bed. Repeat. No space to cook or store any groceries. Yoga hurts.”
Last night, L deleted her Tinder account.
One of my new year resolutions is to practise gratitude. I am grateful for… a very kind and affordable divorce lawyer.
After putting down the phone with said benevolent lawyer, I heaved a big sigh of relief that this separation wasn’t going to clean me out like it did some of my friends. Or drag the pain out longer than necessary.
With renewed vigour somewhat, I put a little spin to my daily routine. I took a very rare day off, had tea, sushi, caught a movie with a friend and ended the night with drinks and conversations about broken hearts and dreams.
I started running, blocked out Tuesdays for Zumba, picked up a tennis racket again (for the first time in 14 years). I booked myself a full body checkup, set a few fitness goals, checked out a dating app recommended by a customer, liked a few profiles, then promptly deleted and uninstalled said app after a week. Men that can’t spell just don’t do anything for me, sorry.
Ideas poured in at work. Funny how creativity flows in solitude. I worked on two new business plans and shared my ideas excitedly with whomever would listen. Now, all that’s left is to find a couple of venture capitalists or figure out this crowdfunding thing.
L commented this was like Dana ver. 3.5. Off the cuff, the comical me flipped my hair and went theatrically, it’s the new me, darling.
Except there isn’t a new me. It’s the grown up me. The me that takes care of me. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially… it took a broken marriage, a tough struggle to start building an empire and a couple of reality checks to learn that I will not live eternally, nor will another person bring more meaning into my life than I will.
I’m not jaded. Maturity and being jaded aren’t quite the same thing.
It’s learning I’m not perfect, neither my broken soul nor my scarred body, but I’m okay with that.
It’s calling a truce with all the feelings I’d been fighting and then, looking up and saying aloud, to no one in particular, YOU TAKE OVER NOW.
It’s been one helluva ride. Now, hop on or eff…