Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Why it's good to keep things in perspective

Source: Jack Yong

Today my friend told me her step dad has been having an affair and her mum was filing for divorce after two decades together.

You might ask, what does this have to do with perspective? Well,  quite a bit. One of the things I've always struggled is, I tend to lean on being a pessimist rather than a optimist. Trust me, this is not my favourite trait and I wish I were the type to brush it off.

Without going into gory details, my friend had also become victim to the 'bad things happen in threes' rule which includes other life-changing situations.

As I listened her, all I could feel was empathy and sadness. Her hurt was also my hurt and I felt helpless as all I could do was frown and shake my head on the other end of the telephone.

How I wish I were there to support her through this incredibly tough time, it makes it so much more annoying that we are hundred or so miles apart. ('Babe, you just tell me when you need me - I'm here. Phone or IRL. Just let me know and I'm there' I told her.)

Perspective of the situation is important. This made me think.

She told me how life just seemed A-OK. In a short space of a week, POW everything has changed.

I can't even fathom what my friend is going through. What I do know, is that she will get through it. She may not even believe it yet, but she will. It may be a while until for her to process everything and to feel ready to handle the situation but I know 100% that she can absolutely get through this.

I shuddered when I remember a period in my life where things got bleak. July 2012.

I had been working in my first job in London just shy of two years, and I distinctly remember on the day before my birthday we were all in the staff canteen, joking around, talking about the new Fifty Shades of Grey book (about how we loved/hated it) until the CEO's PA came in and said: 'I think you all need to go to the main office'.

We all looked at each other in confusion. Eh? We walked to the main area where the company had been gathered.

Bang. Right there. We all got told we didn't need to return to our desks. We were given advice on how to claim for Jobseeker's allowance and then we got told that we had the next day to collect our belongings.


At this point all I could do was panic. My salary, if I'm honest, was crap. I was worrying about paying my rent in the first place when I HAD a job, now that the company had gone bust, how the HELL will I afford to pay my rent? I was living with my boyfriend at the time and was utterly gutted to make the decision to move out of the house we shared and to move in with my sister outside of London until I got myself sorted again.

The week after, I had moved. It all seemed incredibly surreal. The London Olympics had started, I filled my days with packing and trying to force myself to feel optimistic. My good friend Eri had pulled up to my front door and helped me shift all my bags of crap stuff, whilst playing 90s songs on the radio and feeding me strawberries and cream frappucinos (love you, Eri) driving down through London Bridge and onto the outskirts of London.

Once I had unpacked, I felt odd. Unsettled. But I tried not to.

I met up with my boyfriend a few days after I moved as we had planned to watch Deathproof. I remember his face when we were making our way to Shoreditch, and he had looked like he couldn't have given any shits whether he was there or not. I remember watching the film, feeling like a zombie, with no feeling whatsoever and thinking, WTF is this? It shouldn't be like this?

We got back we got into bed and tried to sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and just laid there, silent. I knew he wasn't asleep, and something had felt weird, the entire evening. I said out loud: 'I can't do this'.

The next morning, there were tears, a final break up 'chat' and just like that, I left.

I caught the train all the way to the my sister's flat and just sobbed. You know the kind where your throat is hurting because you are trying to hold back? Yeah, like that.

The next few months were a blur but were the most important. I had enough self-pitying. Screw this! No way am I just going to wallow here anymore!

I picked myself up, spent a few months working at a TV production company, then tried my hat at content writing for an internet company where I had the best few months partying before settling down back into a great company back in London.

Now this is where the real fun begins. I moved in with one of my best friends, partied, made new friends (and getting rid of the toxic ones), boozed and ate our way around London - living life to the absolute max.  I also decided from this point on that you couldn't put a price on travel - it's one of the most enriching things you can do. So off I went: Thailand, Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa, Italy, Australia again and the rest!

And then something happened. Something I didn't think would happen again (seriously, I think I had lost hope, even when Tinder had just come out then and I had a lot of bad dates...) I met a boy.

The boy introduced me to lots of new things, made me part of his family, introduced his world and his life to me, makes me laugh and has showed me happiness like no one else could. (Trust - a guy that makes you laugh is the key)

And here we are. Where am I now? In a place of our own, typing away at this with a glass of Cotes du Rhone in one hand with our cat, Monty ('Mont'ster as I so fondly call him) trying but failing to sit on my Mac lap.

It just makes you remember, perspective. Always think of the positive. There is always a positive in the situation. Things might seem so dark now that you wonder if you can ever get out of it, but with a little hope and some positive thinking, it will get brighter. I promise.

F x


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