I promised you the headfuckery, the emotional fuckwittery, the messy lifeness, the mental rollercoaster. And what better day to write about all that than at the very end of the year? Here! Have it! My unburdening, so I can sally forth into 2017, lighter, happier, whatever, I don’t know.
In October I wrote that I had made a decision. I wrote that after
thinking, and dating, and sleeping with unsuitable people, and thinking that something might become A THING — and then realising that it wasn’t going to…
I had decided to try to get pregnant on my own. And making that decision was exciting, and terrifying, and empowering, and terrifying, and for a while it made me feel utterly invincible. Which sounds like a totally mental thing to say, but really it did. I felt like I had — albeit in my own time, which let’s be honest was about three years — come to a decision about something that I felt financially, emotionally and practically capable of taking on all by myself. I felt a bit like Superwoman.
As a result, I made a really stupid decision. I embarked on an ill-advised dalliance which I knew was going nowhere and I pretended to myself that I was OK with that. Superwoman me rationalised, “I’m going to Try To Have A baby next year so we both know this can’t go anywhere. I’m going to Try To Have A baby next year so in the great scheme of things this is all like so irrelevant.”
Despite years of evidence to the contrary, I kidded myself that I could have meaningless sex with someone on a regular basis, and that hey, I was cool with that. This was just me taking the opportunity to have sex when it presented itself (because who knows how often that‘s going to happen over the next few years?) And d’you know what, it was — fleetingly — really lovely. Not just the sex, but the casual pleasures that when you’re in a relationship, you all too quickly take for granted. A familiar body in your body, someone to make up a cup of tea for, someone to make you a bacon sandwich in the morning.
But it turns out I wasn’t actually Superwoman, in fact I was more like Icarus. And when my dalliance announced he was seeing someone else, I realised I was not cool with that. That actually I couldn’t have meaningless sex with someone on a regular basis and be emotionally detached about it. This realisation — and the accompanying self-loathing and self-recrimination — on its own would probably have been enough to bring me crashing down to earth. But throw in the fact that a good friend who had been living with me had just moved out, stir in a weekend spent with a load of couples and their kids, add a dash of this ridiculous incident that made me realise how exhausting it is just being single anyway, and simmer the whole lot with a lack of sleep and hungover existentialist angst, and it’s all too easy to go from flying one minute, to a sobbing, snotty, bed-bound mess.
So having spent a few months feeling totally fine with the decision that I’d made, and totally at peace with it, I was once again wracked with doubts, and fear, and all the excitement and the empowerment had evaporated, and that just left the terror. But that was a month ago. And I don’t feel like that any more. At least not as much like that. And I think that’s probably something I’m going to need to remember a lot in 2017. That sometimes, I’m going to feel OK about things. And sometimes I’m not. And that’s OK too. Because however I feel, I’m not going to feel like that forever.