Loving the Olympics, hating the congestion!

I am hugely excited about the Olympics. I enjoy watching all the different sporting events and seeing the wonderful athletes so determined to do their country proud. I also think that any event that helps unite a country is a worthy event, and we’ve had a few of those this year.

London is looking spectacular, cleaning up the city for the event has been well worth it and walking along the South Bank has been a pleasure.

The congestion however, is another matter all together. It is doing my head in! I keep hearing Boris telling me to ‘get ahead of the games’ and plan my route during the Olympics as we are expecting a huge number of visitors into the capital. This is all very well, however, there aren’t many routes I can take to get into work and all the different ways are likely to be struck by Olympic traffic, so I’m not entirely sure what I’m meant to do! The website they direct me to for support isn’t much help and I don’t have the option of not going into the office. Today I was in Victoria at about 11am and the number of tourists was immense, all dragging huge suitcases and standing in inappropriate places.

This is almost empty in comparison to what we’re currently experiencing!

I want to be welcoming to all the visitors and charitable about their lack of knowledge for underground etiquette, but quite frankly when I’m hot, bothered and rushing around it is extremely hard to do! The transport network can hardly manage the everyday traffic so I’m not sure how it’s going to manage all the additional people travelling across London. I can only hope that a significant amount of Londoners have left the capital for the summer and this will balance it out.

I have tickets for a couple of events and I’m looking forward to watching the rest on TV. I sincerely hope that team GB manage to obtain a significant amount of medals, but regardless it will be fun. Although I’m worried about the congestion and am sure it will cause me plenty of annoyance over the next 6 weeks, I’m giving London a ‘gold’ for the effort they have put into hosting the event and hope it’s great for everyone.

Is Something better than Nothing?

This is a question I’ve been asking myself over the last couple of weeks as my relationship with ‘scrabble friend’ has ended. We got to that same place we’d been in before where we realised that the whole time we were together neither of us was likely to meet someone else as we either didn’t look, or we compared everyone else to each other and they didn’t match up.

We talked about making a real effort to look for other people but I just couldn’t manage that. The thought of him telling me he’d found someone he wanted to pursue things with, and so our relationship would have to end, broke my heart; if the relationship had to end better to be now when we both cared for each other deeply than when I felt angry and bitter towards him. I think part of me wanted him to say we should give it a go and be more than friends with benefits, but I also knew that would never happen. I’m not sure if he knows it, but he has some ‘finding’ of himself to do before he gets to a place where he could make that commitment. He is still searching for someone he can settle down with and have children, I can’t offer him this, so unless he had a radical rethink it was obvious to me our relationship would never move beyond what it was. I loved what we had but wanted more. I want someone to share my life with, to come with me to see friends and family, someone who feels like my partner.

We discussed the situation, went round in circles and then realised that the most sensible thing to do was to say goodbye and cease all contact – because without that we would likely slip back to where we were. That was a couple of weeks ago and now I’m trying hard to cope with the aftermath of saying goodbye to someone who has been my best friend for a year, who I love very much and who I don’t regret one minute of the time I spent with him. He gave me a confidence I was lacking and I will always be grateful to him for that. We had a lot of fun together!

I’m in that place now where I feel like I have nothing and I wonder why I gave up what we did have. Should I have just let it continue and see what happened, isn’t something better than nothing? Maybe neither of us would meet someone else and we could have continued enjoying each others love and friendship. I know it’s unlikely and that we did what we did because it was the sensible thing to do, but sometimes being sensible sucks. I miss him loads and he was such a formidable scrabble opponent!

I’m alone again, questioning what my life is all about, whether I will ever get to a place where I feel content. I know being in a relationship isn’t the answer to all that. I see many people in relationships that don’t make them happy but they fear being on their own; I see how insecure those relationships make them and realise the longer they stay the harder it will be for them to leave. My friends tell me I’m strong for having the courage to end something that wasn’t right; I hope that’s true.

I would really like to find someone to share my life with, who is that ‘special person’ to me. I fear this won’t happen, that I’m destined to be on my own forever. I know it’s common to feel like that at the end of a relationship, the challenge is not to let myself sink so low that I go to that dark place of depression where it feels impossible to get out. I must think positively but it is hard as internet dating doesn’t seem to work for me and I don’t really meet anyone any other way. I’m trying to engage myself in activities to meet others but more importantly just to enjoy myself, but I’ve never really found that hobby that gets me excited. The more I question whether I will find anyone the more I wonder if something is better than nothing and if I shouldn’t have left things as they were because I miss my scrabble friend so much.

Heart versus Head – that age old dilemma!

I have always been ruled by my head. I used to wonder what people meant by being ruled by their heart, for me that seemed so illogical. People have described me as being a strong, intelligent, grounded, sensible individual (they have also described me as being an awful lot of other things too, some not quite so pleasing, but that’s another blog!). I’ve always thought that I’m viewed this way because I follow my head and don’t let emotions rule. I’m sensitive to people’s feelings but logic and rationale have always led my actions.

That is until now. Now for the first time in a long time I am having a head/heart dilemma and don’t know what the right thing to do is. Last July I met scrabble friend. He emailed me through a dating site suggesting that from our profiles he thought we would get on. I thought he was too young, lived too far away and pretty much represented everything I didn’t like in people. I emailed him a cut and paste email giving him the brush off. He responded immediately saying that he would have appreciated a personal response rather than a standard email. I found his cheek appealing, it seemed we were both online at the same time, so I sent him another email and before long they were flying back and forth as we started to get to know each other. To my surprise I enjoyed his conversation, had similar views to him and when he showed me his pic I found him to be cute, if not a little young looking!

We discovered a shared love of scrabble and it wasn’t long before we were meeting up on cam and playing scrabble on a regular basis. We had a real connection of minds, I felt I knew him from the moment we started talking together and although I have struggled all my life with trusting others, I trusted him. I have no idea why I felt this way but I just knew I was safe with him.

I decided that it might be fun to spend time with someone younger, that I might not find them intimidating and so would feel more open to exploring my sexuality. I have never been body confident and this has hindered my exploration of my sexuality as I didn’t feel I deserved to enjoy this side of myself. With this in mind I met up with scrabble friend and we started to enjoy having fun together and he truly helped me develop confidence in myself with regards to my body and sex.

We both agreed that we weren’t suitable long-term companions. He wants to meet someone he can marry and have children with, this is not my future. There was a time when I hoped it would be but I have long passed that phase and now I want to find someone who can bring out my adventurous side, help me to take risks, someone who passionately adores me and who I adore back. Someone I can travel the world with, whose mind I like, who knows me and loves me anyway!

There was a blip in our relationship when scrabble friend was unexpectedly, and if you ask me totally inappropriately, asked out by a nurse while visiting the dentist. She was bright and cute and he couldn’t resist her. Not to be hard done by I found myself a fireman and for a few weeks we were otherwise occupied, but checked in with each other regularly over scrabble. When both our relationships came to an end, we started spending more time chatting on cam and playing scrabble. Inevitably we decided to meet up and of course one thing led to another and we started having a sexual relationship again. Only this time round we agreed that we should both be free to date other people and look for our long-term partner, but that we would enjoy each others company until such time as one or other of us met someone else. We are both logical rational thinkers and this seemed like the sensible approach to take.

This has been working well. We have enjoyed each others company lots; when we’ve had a bad day we get on cam and talk about it, when we’re feeling in need of some company we meet up but if that’s not possible we get on cam and spend the evenings together playing scrabble and talking. It’s not unusual to start chatting at 5pm and have to make ourselves say goodnight at 1 or 2am. I have no idea what we talk about, other than knowing we’ve talked about anything and everything and there is nothing we can’t talk about. We communicate well and are very open and honest with each other. I truly love his company and find myself choosing this over other things in life, particularly dating. I think of all the awful people I’ve been on dates with and none of them are a patch on scrabble friend. The thought of spending even a few minutes with them when I could spend that time with scrabble friend is horrifying.

It seems neither of us have done anything about dating other people and quite frankly I don’t know where would we find the time given we spend all our free time with each other! Our we in a destructive relationship? This is a question we have begun to ask ourselves. Whilst we continue with how things are the chances of either of us meeting someone else is limited. I’m also mindful that the longer we spend with each other, the more attached I will become to him and the harder it will be when he meets someone else. My head tells me that I should end this relationship because it isn’t healthy for either of us. We are becoming emotionally attached to each other.

We talked about how I was feeling and scrabble friend acknowledged similar thoughts but said he was trying to put them aside. I’m not sure what happened, I’m usually someone who has quite a good control of my emotions and rarely let them cloud my judgement. However, the moment I came to the realisation that I had to let him go I felt intolerable pain, it was unbearable and I knew that there was no way I could let him leave my life. When he too thought about what ending the relationship meant he cried and told me he wasn’t ready for that happen. We spoke about how much we adored each other, how much we loved each others company and just wanted to spend time in it. I told him I was worried that the more time he spent with me and got to know me the more he would learn about my ‘madness’! He told me that he loved who I was and nothing could change that and he wanted to know all of me. We spent hours soul searching, trying to decide the best thing to do. We even discussed losing the sexual element of the relationship so we could just be friends as the thought of having nothing was just too hard to manage. We went round in circles, our heads telling us to end and our hearts not letting us do it. Neither of us had the strength to finish it, we both enjoy it too much and have both benefited so much from having each other in our lives.

I have spent years protecting myself from pain, keeping myself safe from the possibility of abuse and have struggled to take risks. Years of therapy has helped me understand why I have done this but it has also shown me that if I continue to do it I am going to miss out on opportunities to experience all the highs and lows of life that make it rich and help us develop. I have to learn not to over-think and trust that even though I might experience difficult emotions that feel overwhelming, I will manage them and get over them, I’m stronger and more together than I give myself credit for and I need to get on and live my life. For the first time in a long time I am experiencing fluctuating emotions and feel more in touch with my emotional side.

I’m taking a risk, I am going against my head and following my heart. Scrabble friend and me, I know it isn’t forever but it is for now and I want to enjoy that while it lasts.

The Art of Giving

I have a friend who gets upset if I forget to send a card for her birthday or other significant event. I’ve explained that the fact I make the effort to come out and visit her on her birthday, celebrate the day with her, should tell her that I love her, not a card. Why is it that so much significance is put onto something designed to make the fat cats fatter?

"Oh, those foolish humans!"

I really struggle with day’s identified to celebrate certain events or concepts. It seems so fake to do things just because the day dictates we do. I much prefer to offer expressions of love to the people I care about in ways that are meaningful and come from the heart. I have always struggled buying presents because I’m expected to, rather than because I’ve seen something that I know someone will love and so I get it for them. Receiving a spontaneous gift is the most wonderfully rewarding experience both for the giver and the receiver.

So, today is Valentine’s Day, in case it had escaped anyone’s notice! As a young person the pressure to receive a card or some gesture from someone known or unknown was immense. It is a hidden pressure, a feeling that everyone else is loved, that because you haven’t received anything you are in fact unlovable. The beauty of aging is the understanding that nothing is quite as it seems and most people are riddled with the same insecurities as yourself! It is the knowledge we acquire with age that makes life easier to bear as we judge ourselves less against others and start trying to enjoy the life we have; because it could all be over tomorrow.

I know valentines is just the commercial exploitation of the sentiment of love. I don’t ever want to subscribe to it, enter into the spirit of it or waste my time and energy on it! That said, when scrabble friend sent a text saying Happy Valentines, my inner child was smiling broadly for a good few minutes!