Happenstance

Definition of happenstance: a circumstance especially that is due to chance

Meriam Webster Dictionary

Do you believe in timing? Not timing as in the scheduling of meetings, or dinner dates, but the right timing for things to happen in your life?

For me personally, I have experienced a number of events that seemed like happenstance at the time, but as I look back and reflect, make me think that maybe, it has more to do with the right timing.

One fairly recent example of this is my breakup with a long-term partner. We had been in a relationship for almost 5 years. Things weren’t perfect, but they weren’t awful – I could see myself getting married to him, starting a family with him, growing old together. In my heart though, I knew that we weren’t right for each other. We loved each other, but our viewpoints on life were so different that we argued as much as we laughed.

Why stay? Because we had been together for so long, that both my family and his family expected us to – that future I could see for us was in part the weight of the expectations set out for us. I was also afraid – afraid of disappointing our families, afraid of being single again, afraid of not finding love again, afraid of the unknowns.

One night though, I happened to check his phone. Something I have never done before. And I found a message that I wasn’t meant to see. Long story short, we broke up.

I was sad, and angry – some of the things I was afraid of also eventuated; both our families were upset, I was single and feeling alone, and I didn’t know what the future held (I still don’t).

What I also felt though, was a giant sense of relief – a feeling that everything would be okay, and that this was the right decision; of all the rollercoaster of emotions faced, never once have I doubted this or regretted the choice.

What does this have to do with the right timing?

I have one unbreakable rule in a relationship: no cheating. I trust easily, but break that trust, and I find it difficult to rebuild.

If I had broken up with my ex over any other thing or argument we had in the past, I know I would have wondered “what if?”. I would have been stuck in a cycle of regret, pining after a fantasy version of him rather than being able to view it with a clear perspective. Instead, I broke up with him at the right time under the right circumstance.

And now? Even though I sometimes feel impatient about what the future holds, I also have a deep-seated sense of peace that I am exactly where I am meant to be for this season of my life.

Life isn’t always made of happy moments, but it helps to be reminded that everything happens for a reason at the right time (or, if you believe in God, His plan).

Just have a little faith.

Socially Awkward Social Life

Okay, so from my last few posts, you probably know that I went through a break up last year… and may be sick and tired of reading about it (oops).

So here’s a new chapter: getting a social life.

This time last year, I was sitting at home most nights and weekends, binging Netflix, eating chocolate, listening to sad songs and generally feeling lonely as f**k.

To give context, I entered into a long-term relationship pretty much the moment I moved cities, so my social circle was pretty limited; it involved my ex, his family, a couple of mutual friends, and a couple of work colleagues.

Yeah… with hindsight, I can see it wasn’t the best situation, but I got comfortable, and it meant I didn’t have to go through the rigmarole of making new friends when I:

a) find it an anxiety inducing activity to meet new people

b) find it difficult to make small talk, let alone keep an entire conversation flowing with a virtual stranger

c) have the hobbies (and as much recent pop-culture knowledge) as a 60-year old, making said conversation flow even more difficult

Yet, five years later, I found myself needing to rebuild (or rather finish building) my social circle. Here’s what I discovered though :

  • You don’t necessarily have to meet new people – you can deepen the relationships you already have

Small chats in the kitchen, drama-binging sessions in the living room, spontaneous after-work dinners.

Little by little, I got closer to the people around me and my world expanded, my friendships strengthened.

Little by little, I felt connected again.

Little by little, I am starting to live my best socially awkward life 🙂

Happy

When I was 22 years old, I got my first “proper” boyfriend.

When I was 26 years old, I experienced my first “proper” heartache.

At 27 and a half years old, I realised; life has no “proper” timeline.

Ever since I was a young girl, and  first discovered Mills & Boon novels, I have been a hardcore romantic. I thought my life would follow the course of those Mills & Boons heroines, I thought I needed a partner to be happy and fulfilled.

Becoming single again, after four years of being a ‘couple’, has proven that is NOT to be the case.

Contrary to what I believed, I find myself happier than I can remember being in years. I find myself discovering new hobbies and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I find myself becoming empowered, and learning not to settle for “just enough” or waiting “until the right one comes along”.

I find myself realising that I need to be happy with myself and my life as it is first, and not worry about finding someone to spend it with.

I find myself hopeful.

Breaking-Up is Hard to Do

I’ve heard it said before, but never understood it until I experienced it myself: breaking up is hard to do.

Seriously, it’s tough. The range and depth of emotions that comes with it is unfathomable; love songs and romance novels take on a whole new meaning. Suddenly, you are part of a sisterhood/ brotherhood of the broken-hearted.

I’m single… the first time I said it out loud, it was weird. And tough to say without triggering an outburst of tears. In my instance, the relationship had been slowly crumbling for years – but to be honest, no matter the reason, when someone who is a major part of your life is no longer in it, it hurts. That’s just basic fact.

Let yourself feel that hurt.

Know that it will get better.

Know that healing won’t be a linear process; there will be days where you think you are over it, and then others where you can’t stop grieving for the future lost.

Know that you will emerge from this heartache stronger and happier than you have ever been before.

From someone who has come out on the other side

I Have a Question

Why is it that when we are children, we are taught that we can be whatever we want to be, that the world is our oyster, that the only limits to what we can do is our imagination?

Why is it that as we get older, we are taught to do something practical, you can’t live on dreams, and that following our passions comes only after chasing the cash?

Sometimes it is a matter of luck, sometimes of circumstance, sometimes of motivation. But what if, despite it all, the possibilities are endless, the future is in our hands, and we have the ability to shape it?

Think of JK Rowling, Dolly Parton, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs and Jack Ma; humble beginnings to household names.

What if we can make it, like they did?

#Goals

I’m not usually one for writing goals or New Year’s resolutions.

But this year, I had a feeling that something needed to change in my life; I needed to push myself outside of my comfort zone and expand my social circle, and this became the aim of 2021.

I’m only three months in, but in these months I have for the first time in my life:

– Gone to a social badminton event by MYSELF where I knew NO ONE

– Gone on a blind date

– Went to a games night (by myself again, knowing no one)

– Got asked for my number by a stranger (and initiated a coffee date!)

These things may not seem like major events, but as a shy, awkward introvert, let me tell you: they are!

Each event was scary (sweat inducing, anxiety causing, nervous laughter type of scary); but it is so worth it.

Life Mottos

In my almost 27 years on this earth, I have come to believe in two life mottos:

1. Things happen as they should and when they should

2. Always try your best

Some people think these two mottos are contradictory (if things are going to happen anyway, then why try?), but I think of them as complementary.

See, I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and that events unfold when they should (as a believer in God, I do think He gives us what we need, when we need it).

However, this doesn’t mean that we should take a passive approach to life and WAIT for things to happen; unless you’re extraordinarily lucky, good things don’t happen by chance.

This is where the “trying” comes in. Always try your best and take advantage of opportunities, because if you don’t try, you don’t know what could happen. Trying gives you a chance – whether that’s to gain knowledge, experiences, win the lotto, whatever. Not trying gives you nothing – literally nothing.

And if you put in your 100%, but the outcome isn’t what you wanted, that’s because something better is waiting for you down the road.

Every time I am afraid to take the leap, I remind myself of the above – and every time, a month, weeks or even years later, I have had an “Aha! That’s why I…(insert moment of revelation here)”.

So, note to self: don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back. Put your best foot forward. If it happens, it happens.

😊

Ps. I now have an insta account (@sociallyawkwardetiquette)

Reminders to Self

1. The only time I should look at someone else’s bowl, is to make sure they have enough.

2. Everything happens in its own time. Don’t try to force it.

3. Karma is a bitch.

4. Everything happens for a reason.

5. Don’t measure my life using someone else’s story.

6. I am blessed. I have good family, friends, career, health. I don’t have everything I want, but I have everything I need.