LEEDS – 23rd December, 2016
It’s been a long slog to get here, and it’s involved some of the darkest and most miserable times I’ve known. Sofa surfing for a month is not a great feeling… I am immensely grateful, mind you, it’s just I hate being a burden and, at 36, you don’t expect to have to do this stuff. Fortunately I am blessed with a selection of the finest friends and family known to man, so I get through it, and get the money bollocks sorted and finally there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I don’t like adulting. It’s complex and boring and I’m crap at it. But I’ve surprised myself at the level of strength and resilience that I seem to have acquired since anything like this happened before. If anything positive can come of all this, it’s that I know I am able to cope with a lot more than I thought I was able to cope with. If life can throw this much shit at me and I can come up reasonably okay – and it’s very very much an ongoing process – then I can do a lot more than I thought.
I am surrounded by some wise people. Put it that way.
I used to be a bit of a crier. I’d cry at films… weddings… EastEnders. Sad stuff… happy stuff. Latterly that’s gone away, for whatever reason. It takes something pretty hardcore to get me going these days. Marley And Me on a flight to Argentina, sandwiched between two strangers, that was a good one. But all this has taught me how to cry again. Which probably isn’t a bad thing – keeping feelings cooped up is surely no good for anyone – but it’s not so good when it’s every day… and I’m driving… or in Asda. I’m learning how to control it and it’s not always easy but it’s another learning experience.
I moved back in yesterday and woke up this morning with very much a ‘this is the first day of the rest of your life’ feeling. That’s probably a good thing. I’ve inherited a cat, which I didn’t expect, but she is beautiful and brilliant and furnishing me with a lot of cat love. She definitely knows when I’m feeling sad.
And now it’s Christmas. I haven’t even thought about it. Fortunately I’m always well prepared and have bought everything I need to – albeit a slimmed-down selection, as my outgoings have just (more than) doubled. That’s fine though, it’s not what Christmas is about. Christmas always makes me melancholy, for whatever reason, and this year is definitely no exception. But in spite of the enormous kick in the bollocks that I’ve just been issued, and in spite of a bunch of money worries that just won’t go away, and in spite of the rejection, bitterness and loneliness that I am inevitably going to feel, I have plenty to be positive about – not least the knowledge that I have the best friends and family in the world.
Heading back East with Chris Rea in the morning to my sister’s for the usual Christmas thing. Five kids running around this year, which will be totally fantastic.
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