Defining Figures

Last night, I was reading my friend’s journal (with her permission), and she was writing about a really good friend of hers who had passed away. She didn’t know him for very long, but nevertheless, their friendship was deep and his impact on her life lasting.

This made me realise a couple of things:

  1. The strongest friendships aren’t always the longest ones
  2. You never know what kind of impact you may have on someone’s life

Quite often, I take for granted the effect that a comment or gesture may have on someone else. Something that I say as a passing remark may be stuck on record in someone else’s head. Something I don’t even remember doing may be an everlasting memory for someone else.

This was a timely reminder.

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.

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.

Nostalgia

I’m currently sitting here at work, looking out the window. It’s a beautiful winter’s day with a robin’s egg coloured sky, and fluffy white clouds. The sun is shining, and you can hear the sound of rustling leaves as a breeze whispers through the trees.

I don’t know what it is, but days like this really remind me of my hometown: childhood memories of playing in my backyard, schoolyard memories of lunch with friends on the field, college memories of walking on campus.

The ordinary moments which have become the “good old days”.

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” – Dr Seuss―

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?