My life is not going well. In fact it is not going at all. In the space of a fortnight I have left my job, moved out of my flat and split up with my boyfriend. Regular readers of my column will know that the latter addition is not a welcome one. To say I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under my feet is putting it mildly, a much clearer picture would be painted if I said that the rug has been pulled out so quickly that I never even knew it was there.
I have spent the last two weeks analyzing my life in true Bridget Jones-style. In this time, my travels have taken me far and wide. From my friends living rooms to the comfort of a self-help book, and a barman. Yes, dare I say that on one occasion I sat at this bar, on my own, pouring my woes out to the barman as he eagerly poured more booze down my throat.
I felt like a character from Sunset Beach. But they all agree on the same thing. I need some control in my life apparently. CONTROL.
Fucking fantastic. Well let’s just see if I can rustle some up then. Control is now one of those words going around my mind, in much the same way that happiness swims around the mind of a manic-depressive. Where do I get it? How do I feel it? Has it really been so long since I had this precious commodity that I actually don’t know what it is? Quite a scary thought. This is one of those times when you know you have to do some serious soul searching, but I honestly do not know where to start. I mean I feel like a bit of a hippie saying that I “need to find myself, dude”, discover what I want, think about the guy I really want to be with. And isn’t this all a little clinical and calculated?
I don’t want to be thinking about the right man and nor do I feel very capable of making any life changing decisions. I shall simply surf the wave of my suburban lifestyle until I do know what I want but will I ever? I have visions of waking up one morning with a parcel awaiting me, bursting with my control and direction. In fact, make that a parcel hand delivered by God, so we can have a little pep talk afterwards, just to make sure I know what to do with it all.
Some people never even have to face this kind of crisis, or so it seems. There are some girls who have never had and probably never will hear a guy tell them that they cannot commit any more. I mean, surely if the guy had strong feelings for you in the first place then that would be enough. He would be so scared of losing you that he would have to face “commitment”. Well there are obviously girls out there who, with a flick of their eyelashes can convince a guy to forget his phobias. How do they do it? Is there a club that teaches them their tricks? Am I wearing the wrong mascara? Or is it because they are in fact in control of it all from the start? And if you wear your heart so fucking obviously on your sleeve, like I do, then have you lost the game before you even started?
I don’t think any of us really expect an answer to such questions. Things are just never that black and white are they? Well, right now, the right answers, the only answers are at the bottom of that bloody bottle!
Some thoughts on your situation.
Control isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s inherently restricting, because it’s generally based on stability, security etc. and therefore offers little scope for spontanaiety, experiencing new things, etc.
People with safe jobs, a good pension, and nice wallpaper have control. They’re also frequently dead from the waist up (probably down too). You’re 24 – you can and will meet new people, you can and will get a new career.
About 18 months ago I lost contact with every single close friend I had. Overnight almost. People I’d known for 10 years. I imagined it would be devastating. In fact it opened up a wealth of new opportunities and experiences. I’d gotten into the habit of behaving a certain way, talking a certain way, doing the same things. Scary though it is, it’s incredibly liberating to have your life thrown into chaos. There are no boundaries, no restrictions.
As for women batting there eyelashes, and casting a “commitment spell” over us guys -d’you really want that?? There are thousands of guys dying to commit as soon as possible. Only because they’re scared of being alone, or scared of not having control.
A final thought – I recently got promoted at work, and it’s a little scary in the sense that I don’t know how to do all the things I need to. But it’s also tremendously exciting to face a new challenge. The point is that our perception of change is relative – a job promotion is viewed positively, a relationship split negatively.
Let me end on a cliche – the grass is always greener on the other side. If you’re relationship had lasted for years and years to come, d’you think you might have started to miss the freedom and excitement of single life?