You’d be forgiven for assuming that I never think of this place anymore. It’s been 15 months since my last post and, whilst it feels like I’m sending this one out into the void (seriously, how and why are you reading this?) I decided it was time to say something here anyway. This blog was originally intended as a kind of curated record of my life, and well… life has changed.
Tim and I went our separate ways a couple of months ago, after ten years together and mountains of memories and travels and shared experiences. He’s living in a cute little apartment closer to the city and I’m still in the house that was ours for six and a half years. It’s our first time living in different parts of the city that we chose together and everything is different now.
It’s weird, staying in this house. There are rooms that look exactly the same as they always did, and there are times when I expect to turn the corner and see his shoes, or his desk, or that one fucking drawer that was never, ever closed. For a while there it amazed me how even that drawer, now tightly shut, represented a loss.
It took time for Tim to find his new place, but eventually he did and then the removalists came for his things while I was at work. My best friend told me not to go home alone that night, but that’s what I did and the world did not end. Bit by bit I’ve rebuilt my home to disguise the indents in the carpet, the ghosts of furniture that I used to own but don’t belong to me anymore.
The furniture has been the easy part to solve.
Time is making everything easier, just like every feel-good movie promised. I’ve figured out a morning routine which allows me to empty my dog and get to work on time. I’ve started managing utility bills for the first time, and my old self-confidence is returning from wherever it’s been hiding. I’ve stopped behaving like Olivia Benson every time I come home to my empty house, and I haven’t trawled cat adoption sites or dreamed about dying alone in literally days now, so I think I’m going to be okay.
There’s more to this story than I will ever write about here: the ‘why’, the sacrifices and collateral damage, the utter heartbreak suffered by both of us. What I will say is that there was no third party and we have parted carefully as friends.
Now that the fog has lifted, for the first time in ages I can look ahead with a smile and truly appreciate the things that I still carry with me. I know that I was so incredibly lucky to have been loved, and to have been a part of a wonderful family on the other side of the planet for the past decade. Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have loved and been loved by each of those wonderful people.
The challenge for me now is to take the lessons I have learned from the past year, the terrifying and brave promises I have made to myself, and carry them into some sort of new future that will be so much different than the one I had previously imagined. For me this means taking some big risks and keeping my bruised heart open when it would be so much easier to build a wall. It means settling for nothing less than I deserve, advocating for myself like it’s my job, and filling my life with the good stuff.
And hey, there is so much good stuff to be thankful for. These days my home is full of rad 90’s tunes that remind me of my happiest years, a warm pup, and friends who have turned up and been my refuge. I have good health and good fortune and my burdens feel lighter. I am excited by a future full of brand new possibilities.
So, I’m back. Everything is different. What have I missed?
A letter from Anna Spargo-Ryan to her daughters: I hope someone breaks your heart all at once