Requiem for Dream
On the 6th of December 2022, I picked up the keys to a quaint Victorian house 0.2 miles from the beach (I can’t see the sea from any of my windows but I do have the continual sounds of feral seagulls, so it still feels like the beach is near me.)
It should have been the happiest moment of my life - for the first time in my life, at 38, I owned my own property, completely and totally in my name. And it was a happy moment. It just happened to be tinged with sadness. After having come out of a marriage where companionship was what I craved, it felt deeply sad - well kind of pathetic - to have no-one to share such a momentous experience with.
With that too was the realisation that I’d actually done it: I’d moved out of the central, commuter belt and I was taking the first step to starting my new life. That’s been exciting but not without its challenges - which even now, 6 months later are still very much challenges I seem no closer to overcoming, especially at this time of the month when there is no money coming in and no silver lining which promises more.
I mean, I did think about things. Moving a business that was very established in Glasgow to Girvan was never going to be straightforward. I knew I was going to lose bookings - especially headshots. What I hadn’t predicted was how much of a mess I was going to be in.
To the outside world, especially in August 2022, I was doing amazing. I thought I was. I was glowing, effervescent, radiating with masses of positive energy. I was manic. Properly and totally riding an adrenaline rush that came from freedom. I had been in a marriage that hadn’t really ever worked, longing for something that was never going to materialise and suddenly all this potential was before me. Like actual real potential. A new life. New friends. New business connections. Leads which converted. Romance. The dreams I had were actually coming true and really quickly.
But come October, November… the cracks were starting to show.
I was working on my dissertation - yup, I was in my final year of my second degree (the one I always wanted to do that in 2019 I got fed up dreaming of and made happen) - and I just couldn’t do it. For the first time in my life, a looming deadline - like actual, physical, hard nosed deadline - wasn’t enough to spur me on. It wasn’t enough to make me do it. For each deadline I needed an extension because I couldn’t complete what I needed to. As in, I had thousands of thoughts swirling but couldn’t put a single word on a page. I made excuse after excuse but the truth is that I wasn’t coping.
I was 38, newly single after failing at marriage, living at home with my parents while my daughter was with her step-dad, facing the futility of securing a mortgage and failing at the degree I’d dreamed of for 20 years.
What did I really expect? That it would be plain sailing? That I could walk out of one life and into the next with no impact? Well, yes. It’s what I’ve always done in the past.
In 2008, I bought my first house (with someone), by 2009 we’d both left (him in 2008), the masses of negative equity meant it was unsellable and it wasn’t until 2020 that the house was sold and all ties cut (the mortgage was with Airdrie Savings Bank which liquidated in 2017 and after that I never paid much attention to what happened, so there wasn’t really a tie in terms of communication.) At that time, I jumped ship easily and happily from one life to the next. But did I? I remember it like I did but actually, it’s the only time in my life I did drink quite heavily and engage in one night stands: my behaviour became rather promiscuous in a way I’m not at all proud of. But I was 23, a single mum, I had just finished my probationary year as an English teacher and accepted my first “proper” job. I wasn’t really doing anything wrong. I just wasn’t actually doing anything right either…
Certainly, this time it felt different. I felt like I was crumbling. It seemed like I was on a treadmill and each day losing a little piece of myself. And the thing is even when I secured the mortgage, moved into the house, started living my dream life, experienced opportunity after opportunity, life wasn’t (and still isn’t) any better. I’m walking a tightrope. I’m standing on the top of a cliff. I’m poised, ready to jump. I’m not scared of jumping into the unknown but I’m worried for where my mind is.
I’ve always been self-assured. I’ve always known myself. I’ve always been able to trust my instinct on everything. And I’ve always believed that the decisions I’ve regretted (there are few) have been the ones I’ve postulated over.
But since October, I’ve found myself in a state of extreme overthinking (there are areas in my life where I am an overthinker - a trait that until now has managed to rein me in instead of hold me back) which is making it difficult to take the actions I normally would. I sort of feel that I’m somewhere between insisting on being self-destructive and wallowing in self-pity. Neither of those places are conducive to living the life I envisage for myself. And it’s been going on for too long. Since January, I’ve been sick of listening to myself, sick of hearing excuse after excuse surround my world and now it’s June and guess what, a lot of those excuses are ever present, ever consuming and absolutely holding me back.
The thing is, everything I used as an excuse is gone. I’m happy with the decision to end my marriage - it wasn’t right for either of us; I’ve settled into my new house and new town and actually do make the effort to interact with people (this is momentous for me); I’ve finished my second degree (I was gutted to get a 2.1.) The only thing left to do is work at building up my business again. My energy and focus has to be on reaching a point where initially it sustains me again and - sooner rather than later - it provides me with the life I want. The life I left everything for.
This people, is my blog.
This is the story from now.
If you want to follow me on my journey - that’s the uncensored, absolute truth of what it’s like to leave behind a cushy life in Cumbernauld’s Suburbs and start again on your own - sign up here.
I have no idea how frequent these writings will be; what tales of heartbreak you’ll have to endure (there was a mini, dramatic one last August and proper, gut wrenching anguish several times since then with the guy I do think is the love of my life - and too raw to be able to write about); what moments I’ll have that will have you chuckling in amazement and despairing at my stupidity, impulsiveness and sheer lack of common sense; or what wisdom I can pass on but I promise you, if nothing else, you’ll be entertained and you’ll be enabling me to fulfill another dream - that of being a writer. I’m now finally getting my ass in gear and making that one happen too. I might even tell you about the publisher I took a handwritten copy of a short story (when I was 13 I thought it was a novel) to - it was called (I think) “A Sound of Magic” and this was 3 years before Harry Potter. That might have been my big moment and I may have screwed it up. But we’ll see.
But, yeah. Sign up. Become engrossed in the musings of my mind (what I would have called this if someone hadn’t beaten me to it…)
And… have an awesome day. Because no matter what, everyday should be better than the day before. You know that improve by 1% thing? Imagine if we applied that to every day?!
Ps. This might become a members only blog but for now, there’s this single post and the rest will be delivered by email. I want to be able to be real and true and I can’t do that in quite the same if it’s public.