Can We Talk About Men?

I've always been really open and honest on my blog. I've never held back when talking about mental health or any other aspects of my life if I've felt it necessary to share.
And then my separation happened and I just hit this wall where writing about things felt wrong. Not because of it being personal. My "husband" agreed that it was OK for me to write about it if I needed to because he knew how much it helps me. I wouldn't write about it without his consent.
But I think I felt stuck because all of a sudden  I didn't fit into this "ideal" when it comes to bloggers, or to the community I felt I belonged to and was part of.
I wouldn't be blogging about those perfect family days out, I wouldn't be taking family portraits featuring both parents. I wouldn't be talking about our plans for the future, or sharing Instagram photos of what an evening looked like in our house once the boys went to bed.
I wouldn't be going to blogging events and hoping my husband would get on well with other bloggers husbands. I wouldn't be sharing the gifts we exchanged at Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mothers Day, Father's Day and for birthdays.
I wouldn't be praising him for those times when I needed him to take over with our children because I felt unwell.  I wouldn't be sharing dinner plans or date night selfies.

All of a sudden, in a world I only just fit into anyway, I quickly felt so disconnected from.
A lot of it is just your own thoughts, you make things up. But also, people to tend to step away.
There are people who no longer know what to say to you, or who no longer have any interest. The ones you considered friends.

So I thought for a while about where I want to go with this. Do I want to go in a different direction?
Do I want to paint this "perfect single parent family" picture where everything I post makes it seem like we are doing so well and I am this super strong independent woman who "don't need no man yo"?
Or do I stick to who I am? This person who does like to over share.
This person who relies on her blog to help empty her head and take some of the weight off her shoulders.
The person who wants other people in her situation to almost look to her for advice or as someone to show what the reality is as a mum who is going through a divorce and having to cope with life and it's changes.

I want to do that.
I want to still be me. To be that person who maybe inspires people or helps someone.
I don't want to change who I am or what I do just because I don't fit into certain ideals.

So....then there comes the topics when it comes to this new lifestyle.
And that's where I struggled.
For so long I wanted to talk about guys and dating and held back because, well, I felt it would be frowned upon.
And then I realised that the Facebook and Instagram posts I tend to look for most of the time are those woman in my situation. I want to see what they are doing, how they are coping and I realised that maybe I should just embrace this space of mine and just get on with it. 

My life isn't now about perfect family weekends on a 1936 wooden yacht.
It isn't now about romantic date nights where we sit and get drunk on champagne or Prosecco and eat far too much.
My life now is about talking to men on dating sites, going on dates, speaking to men on nights out and I want to write about it.
I want to share my experiences.

I think the main reason for this was because of a wake up call at the beginning of the month, as I was on the train home from staying at a guys house, and I realised it was OK if I didn't see him again. I for once felt confident that I didn't need to be desperate to see him again or feel desperate for him to want to see me again.
I was genuinely ok with it and I didn't feel sad.  I felt as though if I didn't hear from him again it would be ok. And decided myself to not make any effort in contacting him.

I felt almost like it was a wake up call and I realised that each man I have dated or had any kind of "thing" with has given me something to learn from. They have all been good for me in certain ways.

And I feel quite proud of that. I feel proud that I can look back on these, I want to say encounters but it may paint a totally incorrect image, experiences and take positive things away from them. I can say I learnt something about myself due to those experiences.

In the past year I have started to believe and look into spiritual beliefs and I do think that every person who has come into my life has done so for a reason.
I think I can back this up too and that I have enough "evidence" I guess to prove this.
These are just little things, and I know people don't necessarily believe in spiritual ways but it brings me a lot of comfort and has given me a massive amount of confidence for a long time. It helped me make decisions, it helped me when times were extremely tough.
And when I am ready I will write about my faith. But I'm not ready just yet.

I'm going to talk about them.
I am an adult. I am 30. I am single. And I want to talk about men.
I need to talk about men.
And from now on, if I feel the need, I will talk about them.

My "husband" is in a relationship and is happy so I don't feel like it is disrespectful towards him for me to share anything about that side of my life now, because it doesn't involve him. And the fact he is in a relationship makes me feel a lot more like it's ok for me to talk about my experiences.

So, can we talk about men? Yes. The good experiences, the bad ones and the cringey ones because although my life may not be perfect, and may not fit in to certain ideals, it is real.
And for that reason it deserves to be shared just as much as any other story, whether the family be perfect or not.



It's Hard

It's hard being second best.
It's hard being a second thought.
It's hard being the one people forget about.
It's hard being the one no one is proud of.
It's hard being the one people don't praise so much.
It's hard being pushed aside.
It's hard when your ideas are forgotten or stopped.
It's hard when all you hear is about how great everyone else is doing, but when it comes to you, no one knows what it is you do or that you've done.
It's hard when you make an effort, and when it's not recognised.
It's hard when you feel exhausted at how hard you've tried to show you don't think you are any better than anyone else.
It's hard when that's ignored.
It's hard being the one who no one takes seriously.
It's hard being the one who is a constant maybe.
It's hard being the one who everyone shuts away.
It's hard being kept a secret.
It's hard having someone say things to you, so much that it gets your hopes up.
It's hard being the one who constantly feeds everyone else's ego.
It's hard not having your feelings taken into consideration.
It's hard not being taken seriously.
It's hard then having to cope with that moment that it becomes too much and you snap at people you don't want to snap at.
It's hard when you get to that point when you snap and you think that maybe, just maybe, finally someone will take you seriously but instead...they laugh at you.

It's hard having to pretend to be ok.
It's hard to be laughed at if you cry.
It's hard having to paint on a smile.
It's hard to be around people.
It's hard.
When all you want to do is hide away.
When all you want to do is find people who actually care.
It's hard.
It's really really hard.



Not Knowing What's Next

In life I think we all have this idea or picture of how things are going to be, or how we want things to be.
Expectation. Idealism. Dreams.

I dreamt about being married young, to an older man.
Two children...which I pictured as a boy and a girl, the girl to either be called Daisy or Evelyn, who would wear the cutest beautiful dresses and have long hair accessorised with pretty bows and clips.
And to complete the family, two dogs. An old English sheepdog called Jack and a Lhasa called Meg.

I would be the ideal trophy wife.
 Slim, with perfect make up, a hair never out of place and with the latest fashions hung up in my mirrored wardrobe.
A clean, tidy, organised house. Where people walk in an gasp at how I can run such a house with two children, two dogs and a husband.
 I would only serve home cooked meals. We would eat lots of healthy veg, and dessert would mainly consist of fruit salads and ice cream.
 Evenings would be the perfect routine with bath, story, cuddles and sleep for the children. Ending with time downstairs with my husband. Candles, wine, cuddles, watching good tv or sitting and each reading a book.

I probably spent too much time trying to live that ideal that I didn't accept, and probably still don't accept, that life is ok the way it is.
I am doing a good job despite my life not looking like that ideal.

I was on an hour long train journey last week. I'd just spent a day with someone who was a potential.....I don't know? Boyfriend? Love interest? Whatever.
I realised on the train home that for the first time, since leaving someone who I had met or spent time with on "potential-relationship" basis that I didn't think too much about where it would go.
I felt ok with the fact that we might see each other again, or we might not.
I felt ok with the fact that I might go through that again, spending time with someone and then it not going anywhere.

I've always been this person who wants something to plan, something to look forward to.
I think that was probably one of the big things in my last relationship. It was knowing at the beginning that we would have this future to look forward to and to plan.
We would buy a house, we would get married, we would have children and then have that "happily ever after".
And for a while I have felt anxious, and uneasy at not having that anymore.
I have my children, it is a lot to expect someone else to take them on too.
I don't know if I would or will get married again, or if I would or will have more children.

I know that I am the type of person who needs someone, not to look after me but to be there. Even if it is just as a [male] best friend with no romantic link at all.
I think I am now in this place where I have accepted that I can't control or predict everything that will happen in my life.
And that's ok.
It's ok not knowing what is next.

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