Come on in!

9 Aug

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Where have I been? That’s the question you’ll be asking when you see an email pop up in your inbox telling you that I am posting again. Well I am not dead, you can all huff a sigh of relief knowing that the stress of post graduate life has not killed me! Now when I say this you’re not going to really understand it, this is largely due to the fact that it doesn’t make sense, the time restraints upon the information I am about to give you are fairly limited. But I assure you, it happened.

In the time since I last spoke to you I have fallen in love, fallen out of love, fallen in love with someone else, fallen out of love with that someone else, had to make a choice between the someone else and the someone and found that maybe it is best to stay single until you get your shit together.

Now, the ability to discuss all that has happened in a single post is something I would love to have but, don’t. So instead my dear friend I am going to bring you up to date with everything post by post and, if I am still breathing when we get to the present, well then you can help me figure this all out.

So it starts, as with most incredibly complex love cycles, on a date. I’d arrived 15 minutes late, on purpose. This is a new thing I’m doing now not because I want to keep a guy waiting and wondering if I’m going to turn up but, because I don’t want to sit waiting wondering if they are going to turn up. We’d chosen a casual place to meet this is always good, pretentious places often result in pretentious dates, so casual places suit the casual date. He was there  already and true to his gentlemanly form had remembered what drink I liked and order it for me.

Jack Cradle, as I had learned was his name, was the stuff of movies, do you know what I mean when I say that? He’s the kind of guy you could easily find in a romance novel and he certainly could have played the lead male role in The Notebook. But today he was just my date and as I said it was casual so expectations where not exceptionally high.

“You’re late” he whispered into my neck as he hugged me.

“I thought this was a casual date? Time is irrelevant on a casual date” I said reminding him of our agreement not to get into date mode.

“Yea, I didn’t think that was serious. But if it is I may just casually find someone else half way through the causal date” he said, winking with a smile.

That statement set the tone for the entire evening, it was all jokes, laugh and, ease. How could anyone not enjoy the company of someone you don’t have to put up a front with? It lasted four hours until we were both exhausted from laughing and decided to make the walk home. I didn’t ask him to walk with me but I was glad he did.

“So what happens at the end of a casual date?” I asked as we were nearing my place and I realised I didn’t want to say goodbye.

“Well, a number of things can happen. We can casually say goodbye? We can casually kiss? Or you can invite me in for a casual cup of coffee and…”

So I had a choice, leave this as one of the most amazing dates I’d ever had and say goodbye. Kiss him and then say goodbye or, not say goodbye at all and possibly invite the world of trouble that comes with inviting someone in. Well, I’m sure you can guess what I did.

We’ll make it work

27 Jun

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Well I can only apologise for my absence. As it turns out it was not  due to my laziness. In fact this time my absence was due to me becoming a productive member of society! Yes it is true. Believe it or not I am actually making my route to success. Now where does this route begin you ask? Well on Friday, I found myself at an interview. An interview for a position I would love to undertake. I’m not entirely sure how I got to this place but it seems as though planning and perseverance was a great help.

This year has been hard. Graduating, living, dealing with one family argument after another and, what I have come to find is that maybe at the end of it all, all we really have is ourselves. People in life can be crutches but when the going gets tough, we really have to be strong enough to pull ourselves out of the dam, brush ourselves off and keep on moving.

For me after realising that my relationship with Liam was very much over, I decided that my career had to take primary focus. No longer can I sit on a job I don’t enjoy just wishing my 20s away. So I’ve been pushing, applications have been flying and somewhere along the way I realised that it is going to take a lot longer and more than I ever believed. Needless to say I was beginning to lose hope. And then came the email from a magazine I have dreamed of writing for since I could read and, an interview that would lead me to have a little more faith in myself than I’ve had in a long time.

It may sound mean to say but even if this internship is the only thing I’ve accomplished…really accomplished this year it’s enough to take away some of the shite times I’ve had to put up with. I guess in our 20s a time when uncertainty is rife, we have to hang on to the little things and really trust that it’ll all work out in the end!

Peace!

Playing Games

19 Jun

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Life hasn’t exactly been crumbling lately but, it hasn’t exactly been perfect either. This year in fact has proven to me that life in my 20s is going to be particularly difficult. Far gone are the days when I considered life a game, one that I was just figuring out how to play. Life now appears to me like a minefield and any step I make could result in a catastrophic explosion. Is that really what it’s supposed to be like?

I hadn’t spoken to my brother in about a week. Since our argument regarding his choice to flee London following a bad relationship, we had been avoiding each other. If you don’t include the passive aggressive messages we were sending to one another through my mother, then this has actually been the longest we’ve ever gone without speaking. But Sunday was one of those days. One of those days in the calendar year that calls for family to come together for the sake of a parent. Father’s day!

I woke at around 7am on Sunday due to a call from my mother:

“You are definitely coming, aren’t you? Make sure you send your dad a text or something before you arrive. You don’t have to bring a gift but make sure you have a card. I think a card would be nice enough, he doesn’t want much”.

At 7am my only role in the conversation was nodding silently because my mind was filled with worry as I thought about the prospect of seeing my brother. But, family was important to my parents on these days, so I got dressed and made my way to my parents’ house. I knew my brother would be there because since his break-up he’s been living with them,  just while he “figures out what to do” and pays the rent so the woman who cheated on him can live in his flat (bitter much?).

I walked in cautiously as the smell of roasties tickled my nose. My dad’s music blazed through the house and he was in his own world when I kissed his cheek and wished him a happy father’s day. My mother was in the kitchen preparing her signature Sunday roast and my brother was nowhere to be seen.

“Where’s Zav?” I asked my mother looking around.

“Upstairs. Dinner won’t be ready for a while so why don’t you go up there and have a chat with him?” my asked, although  it seemed more like a command than a question.

I didn’t want to be the one to make the first move, I mean I knew I hadn’t exactly been supportive of any of my brothers decisions this year but, that was largely due to the fact that they were all bloody stupid. I like to think that his anger towards me was due to him knowing exactly how stupid he’d been but again, that’s just my opinion.

Walking towards my brother’s room, I started to feel nervous. I’d never been in a real argument with Zav before, maybe he was a horrid person to argue with, maybe I’d have to grovel.

I knocked on the door and upon his request entered the room. There he was my brother, my best friend and probably the one person who has really guided me in my 20s. Why had we argued? Was it worth it? I didn’t even remember.

He was sitting on his bean bag chair playing a playstation game that we both loved. I didn’t exactly know how to rectify an argument with my brother so I walked up to him and asked:

“Two player?”

“If you want” he replied smiling.

So I took a seat beside my brother and without any further interaction, we played a game avoiding minefield’s together.

A man walks into a bar

16 Jun

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I have no money! None! I know sometimes people will say they have no money but still have the money to buy one “little” thing. But genuinely I’m being honest! I have no money. Now this is not new news, I have known for a while that I am on the route to the land of nada. However, I haven’t wanted to bore you with the details of my finances on a daily basis. This is mainly because, if you’re anything like me, you may have just graduated into this shite economy, without a bloody clue how you’re going to survive and are thus equally depressed.

I too was among the many, who thought that going to university would give me some sort of advantage in life. I too am among the many who have recently realised that, that was totally untrue. Life is hard and getting rich is even harder.

So, after 17 missed calls from my bank and 8 from my landlord, I needed to relax, ease myself in to a place where money was not a worry. And where did that take me? To a cocktail bar in Soho, where a single is £7.50 and it’s all up hill from there. But, I did’t care. I needed one night where the argument with my brother, the loss of my beau, and my money worries did not have primary focus. Now, my friends are in a similar place but they too agreed that it’s on the nights that you’re feeling low you should do something fun, whether it costs a pretty penny or not!

So there we were Mya, Em and I at a bar in Soho getting royally smashed, without a care in the world or a shred of dignity to our names. I have to admit I was fairly glad I didn’t know anyone in this place until…..

Turning towards the bar I saw him looking directly at me. His face was one I knew instantly, largely because of its beauty and those eyes. I remembered those eyes from the moment he kissed me. My eyes were open at first, as were his until we both settled into the moment and our lips entwined. It was Jack, the art collector who lived in Paris. I met him just last week, in a gay bar, where I discovered he was not gay following one of the best kisses i’d received in a while.

I was planning on avoiding him because I was currently tipsy and had also been tipsy the first night we’d met. This is not a good look!  I didn’t want it to appear as though I was tipsy 90% of the time, which may be the way things are going! But he saw me, so with all the sense I had in me I perked up, straightened up and smiled. He was more handsome then I remembered and though I hadn’t exactly invited his kiss in through the door, I was happy he’d been assertive enough to give me one. I was even happier i’d excepted it when I saw him again. He looked amazing and as he walked over to me that beautiful smile crept across his face.

“Well there’s a face I’m glad I didn’t forget” he said walking in my direction and loosening the top button of his shirt.

I smiled, glad he hadn’t forgotten me.

“I’m impressed you remember me from afar, I mean the last time I saw you, your face was inches from mine”. I cursed myself for the shitness of  the line, it wasn’t witty at all. Damn tequila.

He embraced me and smelt…..like a man. Before long I was inviting him and his equally attractive male friend to come and sit with the girls and I. Now, in comparison to my friends, I am much better at holding my drink. They however used their intoxication as an excuse to grill Jack on the kiss and ask why he hadn’t had the decency to buy me dinner first.

“I guess it was stupid of me but I’m happy to make up for it” he said, looking in my direction.

Now let me tell you, in my dating life I usually search for one thing, just one. This one thing tells me whether or not it is ever going to work and if it’s even worth trying. If I don’t have this one thing well, it’s a waste of both our times. Butterflies. This year only one person has given them to me. Liam. But, as I was forcing myself to know every day, he was gone and I had to keep on living.

Life in your 20’s isn’t always about being super responsible, swearing off men, or having everything totally figured out. Life in your 20’s is about making the mistakes, growing from them, meeting people, striving to succeed and of course, it’s about those boys.

“Yes” I said, without a second thought.

And we’ll see where it goes from here!

“We need to let go”

13 Jun

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Well, it came. The message I had been expecting, although I hadn’t been expecting it so soon. That’s not to say that I was really holding out hope for any other outcome, or maybe I was. I’m not entirely sure. To be honest, maybe I was holding out for an entirely different outcome but I got exactly what I had expected.

Since Liam left my life has kind of become a back and forwards existence. I’ve been standing in limbo. Unsure whether to go out there and join him on his travels or stay here and pursue the life I want for myself. I hadn’t really had a clear answer that would push me in either direction until today! When the message came I knew exactly what it was, he wouldn’t have messaged me to say anything else. I woke up around eight and saw the notification sitting there, waiting for me like a frenemy about to give me some awful news but smiling while they were doing it. Clicking, I scanned quickly and got the general jist. After the casual “Hi, How are you?” questions, there it was.

“We need to let go”

I’m not going to tell you what else the message said, but let me just say he’s moving on and wants the same for me. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see why he felt that way. I’m a distant part of his past, trying and failing to scrape my way into his present. The message in so many ways told me that for now, its best we live our lives to the fullest individually.

I sat there starring at the words I’d been expecting to hear since the day he’d told me he was leaving. I don’t know why they upset me so much, we had agreed to move on but seeing them written there affected me in ways I can’t tell. I think the most painful thing about it was, I agreed. I agreed that it was time to let go. I agreed that I had no intention of catching a plane and flying out there to see him and, that waiting for each other was stupid. I agreed in a sense that we didn’t love each other enough for that. And, in that agreement I was saying goodbye.

I didn’t respond to the message, I doubt there was much I could have said. The last part of it asked that I keep him in my life, if he was worthy and when I was ready. I wasn’t ready yet though. So I closed my laptop and then my eyes and waited for the lump in my throat to disappear.

Bitchin at breakfast

10 Jun

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As I have mentioned before, my brother is important to me. In this life of friends that come and go and issues that come and go, my brother has been my constant. We can literally get through the hardest of things and somehow find a way to come through it together. Our most recent rift was all to do with the woman he’d met and married all in the space of two weeks. My doubts about the relationship had little effect on my brother and he progressed forward in it, the result of which was a pregnancy. So with that in mind I had no choice but to jump on board. That board would be a very temporary placement, as less than a year in, his wife cheated on him. This caused my brother to doubt everything about their relationship, and when she unfortunately lost the baby, he knew it was time to bow his head and say goodbye. Being a gentlemen he left her the apartment he had worked so hard to keep over the years and had since moved back in to my parents place, which is probably the most awful thing about this story, living with my parents again! I mean I love those guys but the first time round was hard enough, add a second time with a divorce and it’s all too much to bare.

Now, I knew that despite their helpful and supportive nature my brother was desperate to get out and, when he invited me out for breakfast in Hoxton yesterday, telling me he had a plan, well I assumed it was a new place, a new apartment. Whatever I assumed it was it wasn’t and so began our first real rift ever.

He was there when I arrived which was shocking for him. I was usually waiting around for him in places but there he was waiting for me with to full breakfast platters. Ever since the separation had begun he had always looked bleak, sad, but not today, today he looked at ease comfortable and I like to see him that way.

“So, the man with a plan! Let’s hear it?” I said, avoiding all the small talk that’s not necessary with family which he seemed to appreciate because his response was direct and to the point…unfortunately.

“Yea, well you know how I am, always wanted to explore but never really wanting to cut my ties to London. Well I think I’m going to go away for a while, a few years and set up shop somewhere else”.  He said with ease.

Now, let me first clarify that my response had nothing to do with the fact that the other man in my life had recently left me to go and explore the world and let me also clarify that my response had nothing to do with me not wanting my brother to be happy. It does however, have everything to do with the one trait of my brothers that I hate. This trait is something I never mention because I genuinely never want to think of my brother as having any negative qualities but there it was starring me in the face.

“You’re running away. That’s exactly what this is, it’s not a plan, it’s an escape. Instead of staying here and dealing with the mess that you created when you acted on the most stupid impulse ever to marry and impregnate a girl you hardly knew, you are choosing to run away and flee like a coward!”

That was my response and wow it was much harsher than I ever intended but it was honest. That was what my brother did, whenever times got a little hard he’d escape. The reason he’d gone to Cuba and met his “wife” in the first place was because he was fleeing an ex. He dove from one thing in to another and that was the truth. Now I am no expert on how to live but I do know that dealing with your problems is necessary.

My brother sat there stunned and then did something he’s never done before, yelled at me.

“Don’t come at me because you’re too scared to do anything different. You pass up every opportunity that comes you’re way because you’re scared of change and people like me intimidate you.” He said pushing his plate aside.

I had to laugh, not because he was mistaken, he wasn’t but because I couldn’t believe that he was judging me for staying put for five minutes.

“Ok, well if that’s how you feel, then feel that way and go, flee the city. What really astonishes me about you is you could have it all figured out if you wanted to. You could go back home and stop letting the girl who cheated on you live in your apartment rent free, you could go and get your old life back, but that would mean dealing with an awkward situation which you are incapable of doing!”

Again, looking back I was pretty harsh.

“Sorry I don’t choose to live my life surrounded in issues” he said getting up and running away from the situation, which as I said, was nothing new for him.

So there I sat, alone in a breakfast place, having just argued with my best friend. I wasn’t going after him, so instead I stayed, looked at myself in the conveniently place mirror and thought

“You’re such a bitch”

Although I’m never telling him that!

Boys, boys everywhere and much too much to drink

7 Jun

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I spent last night in a gay bar. Oh yes I did. There is nothing like a gay bar when you’ve sworn off men. It is the place to see but not to be seen if you’re a girl, unless of course your fashion sense is impeccable (which mine is not). So for me gay bars are my release, I can act how I want and not be at risk of getting slightly too tipsy and making out with a guy who on a good day looks like Ozzy Osbourne.

So after a day of nothingness I took my sweet little ass to the gay bar that had, after a countless number of break-ups, been my home. My roommate Jay works there and, considering how much he loves it, I expect he always will. I’d probably stay working somewhere where free-drinks were constantly flowing and attractive males were always trying to hit on me!

I arrived with Jay’s current Beau Adam, who promptly dumped me for his crew, leaving Jay and I to talk across the bar.

“Play me a song!” I asked feeling the need to dance to any tune that had a good beat.

“Sure” Jay responded pouring me the first of what was to be five martini’s.

By martini number three, I had made four best friends. All of who told me that swearing off guys was not a good idea. I needed to live frivolously, not worrying about what Liam was doing, or dating arrogant assholes but just explore myself, through other people.

“No, no and no! You guys are wrong. I don’t need to be with other people to get to know myself. If I do that I’ll end up with a shattered heart and mental issues that don’t even have names yet. When I’m single, I’m single. Singular. Just me”.

My four best where just showing their disapproval, when a voice from behind said:

“I agree”.

I turned behind me to behold the most beautiful gay man I had ever seen. His hair was perfection, not too long, not too short. He wore a casual T-shirt, with some witty statement I was too tipsy to understand, and the kind of smile that invites you to smile along with it.

“S, sorry” I responded, nervously before remembering that he was gay and I had absolutely no chance and therefore did not need to seem cool.

“I agree with what you said. When your single be single. Get to know yourself before you start knowing someone else”. He responded with another brilliant smile. He immediately appeared to me the most awesome person in the club, apart from my four new best friends…whose names escape me.

My final martini, a cigarette and a DMC later, I had learned that his name was Jack, he was an art collector and he lived in Paris. He ticked all the boxes for my new gay friend and the more he spoke the  more intrigued I became. I love meeting new people, although I’m never one to talk about myself loads, I do love conversations with interesting people. We spent several hours in the bar talking, before I decided it was time to catch the night bus home. Jack politely offered to accompany me, which I appreciated, seeing as Jay and co had ditched me somewhere around the 4th drink.

So there we stood two people one gay, one straight and tipsy, talking about life. I was just about to tell him that he was pretty close to becoming my new best friend when….

HE KISSED ME! WTF!

Now, remember I was slightly tipsy, so my thought process was slower but generally I was questioning why this gay guy was kissing me. Was he bi? Is this just what he did when he was drunk? And then I went through the night in my head. I mean he hadn’t said or done anything that would lead me to believe he was gay, other than be in a gay bar. But honestly these days you never know. So pulling away from what was, the most perfect kiss I’d ever received, I asked him:

“Are you gay?”

“Err, no I was just there with some roommates” he said, seemingly confused.

Well, that was it, no matter how hard I tried there was no escape from men, they were everywhere. They were escaping to Thailand, going on awkward blind dates and hiding out in gay bars when I had my guard down. I had broken my promise to myself. Shit!

I had to make an exit. So I told him I was going to walk home alone but, before I did, I gave him my number. I suppose you’d have to after a kiss like that!

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