I love Autumn. After the wash-out of a summer we’ve had, it’s nice to see the season properly change and to rediscover woolly jumpers, hats and gloves. Dog walking in this weather is lovely, seeing the leaves changing colour and lauding it about in my new Hunter wellies – not a fashion statement but a necessity, I promise! They do look good though…
On Saturday I spent an indulgent night with my parents. We watched all the usual suspects on the telly accompanied by fish and chips. There’s something really comforting about being in my old house. No effort to be made and cups of tea and Kit Kats on tap. The novelty wears off after approximately 24 hours but while it lasts, it’s lovely.
On Saturday morning my mum pointed out that the wardrobe in my old room was full of my stuff and I may want to take a look through it. I obliged and stumbled across a treasure trove of photographs, diaries, love letters, mix tapes. A veritable ‘This is Your Life’ style time capsule of friends, family and lovers past and present.
In the not too distant future, I am sure I will go through it all again. In particular, there is a locked box of stuff from ex1. I was 18 when I met him and our relationship pre-dated social media. There is no electronic record of our relationship but I kept everything. Ticket stubs from our first cinema visit, empty cigarette packets, champage corks, letters, tapes, dried flower petals, his signature on stuff, guitar plectrums. A hopeless Irish romantic he wrote me letters, poems and postcards all declaring his undying love for me and his intention to be with me forever. There is no bitterness with ex1. I believed every word he said because at the time, he meant it. In the end it just wasn’t meant to be. He was the perfect first boyfriend and I will never forget what we had together.
Not so well-hidden were the cards from ex2. One from our first Christmas together in which he declared his love for me, told me this was it and that I am ‘so good for him’ he never wants to let me go. There are others, one from the Valentines two weeks before he left me, telling me how excited he was to be building a future with me. I never started a memory box for him. Maybe I knew.
Then I look at the one card from Karate Kid. We had our first weekend away together after four months and I arrived to find a card and present telling me he how the last 4 months had been incredible and he looks forward to many more anniversaries with me. This morning he sent me off to work with a care package that Paddington Bear would be proud of telling me he wants to look after me forever.
Do you see where I am going here? Don’t get me wrong, I’m a true believer that it’s better to have loved (and been loved) and lost, but at what point do you start to become even a teeny bit cynical? Karate Kid loves me. He has told me and I have no reason not to believe him. After a particularly drunken and sexy night out he even told me that he wants to marry me and have a family with me. In all honesty, it’s probably a little early for that but whilst there’s a devil on my shoulder shouting GO FOR IT YOU IDIOT, a little part of me is taunting me with my biggest fear. That I am just unlovable. That on paper, I’ve got it going on. I can even sustain this façade for several months when I first meet someone. But once they get to know me, the illusion fades. I’m a fraud. And after 6 or 7 years! Well by that point it has become completely and utterly untenable that I may be a long term prospect.
I am not looking for sympathy here. I feel incredibly lucky that I have loved and been loved. It’s just that when I read other blogs by women my age, a lot of them seem to have found ‘the one’ and are so incredibly sure of this fact that I wonder what I have missed and, more importantly, whether I will ever have that confidence to stick with it and believe that it’s not all going to go up in flames. How the hell do you know?