I’m on holiday, staying at my brother’s house in a village in Wiltshire. It’s a several hundred year old thatched cottage, with roses round the door and chickens out the back – all gloriously and comfortingly English. In fact, as I type this I can hear someone mowing their lawn outside, as well as the insistent drone of bees and wasps on the lavender that borders the path.
My two and a half year old niece regales us daily with the unexpected things that bright children trot out to the amusement of adults the world over – at the moment it’s a burgeoning interest in words (‘Botticelli’ is a firm favourite) and a delight in stories “out of your mouth, Aunty Trucie Woo” involving a pixie named Minga.
My two month old niece is bonny and thriving, and loves nothing more than being held by an open window to feel the cool breeze, especially if there is something with strong contrast beyond to examine with round eyed wonder.
And I still have my magic touch with babies and children. 🙂
My youngest sister has already been down to stay for a couple of days and the rest of the family descend tomorrow. Heaven help us.
I’ve even managed to fit in a trip to visit one of our sister companies, which went rather well. As a general rule, I’m not much of a forward-planner, but if I ever want to come back to the UK from Oz I’ll need a job and this particular company makes beautiful books and isn’t based in London – two points in its favour. I actually found that I’ve worked with three of the staff before in previous jobs, too, so that was handy. The potential is there, should I need it.
The only unfortunate part of this trip has been the realisation that I need to break all contact with the man I’ve loved unrequitedly now for several years. We spent a wonderful day together on Tuesday, walked along the canal from Avoncliff into Bath, talking and sharing pretty intimate details of our interior lives all the way. Then we sat in a pub and talked some more. In all, we spent about 9 hours together and I wasn’t bored once. We’re so ridiculously compatible it seems obvious to me that we would bring out the best in each other, but he seems genuinely scared of that possibility. And I refuse to allow myself to indulge in absurd self-loathing as a result. I’m fit, healthy, intelligent, creative and attractive. Repeat ten times.
Anyway – of course – he was quick to tell me that he’s just started seeing someone else. She sounds just as wrong for him as the others but he’s just as convinced as he was last time that this time it’s different. I’ve heard it before and I simply can’t bear to hear it all again without saying what I really think… which is never welcome, is it?
So, to spare us both I’ve had to say goodbye, once and for all. I’ve unfollowed his various digital trails to remove the temptation to contact him in response to one of them. And its okay, it’s his choice: I can only make my own choices, not his, and I choose to walk away, head held high, and not look back.
However, one very good thing has come out of this; I had thought I was, if not content then certainly resigned, to remaining single and childless. But I find that the combination of helping to look after my nieces and thinking about what I want and need in a relationship has made it clear that I am not ready to give up on my dreams. I want a husband and I want a family. I know I have something good to offer as both a partner and a mother and I am determined to find it. Illogically, I have been expecting one man to give me a chance when I wasn’t giving other men a chance. That changes now.
From today I am focused on my present and future, no longer on my ‘might have been’ tomorrows.