Single vs Plural

 

writer and her dog.jpg
A writer & her dog

I’m going to say what no feminist, or girl gang member, is supposed to say; I like being in a relationship. I love it, I love being a We, being an Us.

I feel safer around others, don’t get me wrong- I love my own space. I like sitting by myself, reading, writing (sound like such a geek!) and watching the TV I want to watch.

I read a lot of Danielle Steel novels through my adolescence, the trauma of heartbreak and the drama of finding love made a lasting imprint early in my life. I was transformed from a shy girl to a hopeless romantic within a year, as soon as the wave of hormones took me over at 13 years old.

I watch re-runs. I can watch episodes over and over until I find new bits to laugh at. I watch shows like Sex and the City, Friends and Downton Abbey. As I nervously giggle at Samantha’s sexcapades or cheer Carrie on in her fight to win Mr Big, or cringe at Chandler’s bad luck in early relationships and frown at Mary’s stand-offish, stubborn attitude – I am thankful that I am not alone, that I have found my other half, and that I’m NOT single.

I know, sacrilege! An independent woman, declaring that she needs to be in a relationship, needs to have a man next to her, am I mad?

But, now I live with a chronic illness, I have begun seeing myself as somewhat unreliable, with a fragility that I cannot control and an insecurity that sometimes gets the better of me, despite how hard I try to get a hold of myself.

 

The thing is, I can’t even remember what I used to be like before I was plagued by chronic pain and worrying if I would be ill again next month, or trying to describe and explain every single pain I feel, desperately waiting for my next Dr’s appointment.

And to imagine dating, or trying to explain why I am the way I am, to a stranger, doesn’t bear thinking about. My illness has turned me into a needy, insecure, reassurance-seeking, crying, stressy mess. A mess which my husband is legally obligated to clean up. I feel incredibly guilty that I wasn’t like this when we first met, it’s almost like I’ve lured him into false pretences, like the don’t worry I’m on the pill trap, only with less sex and more late night chemist runs. Nick is incredibly patient and understanding, and I know I married a great man.

So, while it’s awesome having ‘me time’, and that I’m irrevocably in love with my husband, I’m also close to him, like best friend close. And the fact that I can tell him everything, makes life with this bag of shit illness easier to live with. He gets it. He gets me.

If I didn’t have this best friend, I wouldn’t be living it up with my single girlfriends like the girls in Sex & the City. I’d be living at home with my parents, sharing a room with my little sister, spotty and an emotional wreck.

After just 7 words; I’ve leap-frogged back to 2004. I’m a prude, a bof & socially anxious. I have the same school friend that I have now with the same senses of humour but without the worldly knowledge we possess now.

In the words of Ace Ventura: “No, spank you very much.” My life may not be perfect right now, but it’s a damn sight better than it was back then. That’s good, right?

Progress.

 

Advertisements

beautiful

(byoo-tuh-fuh-l)

adjective:

1.having beauty; possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, etc.; delighting the senses or mind:

a beautiful dress; a beautiful speech.

2.excellent of its kind:

a beautiful putt on the seventh hole or the chef served us a beautiful roast of beef.

3. wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.

 

The word beautiful has been used throughout time to identify someone or something of excellence. In this world, beautiful has defined celebrities, fashion models, even cars.

In a simpler time, I could call a sunset “beautiful”, or describe a kind-hearted person: “he has a beautiful soul.”

In the past, I myself have attributed beauty to a woman with curves, with a clear complexion and a dazzling smile, to a woman who can walk in high heels with sophistication, who is able to have a perfect set of nails and her hair just right.

It has taken a trauma for me to realise how shallow my own point of view actually was. I apologise to women everywhere. I feel like I have been brainwashed by social media and magazines and society’s “perfect woman”. I foolishly reached for this unrealistic, ridiculous beauty. And now my eyes are open.

Over the past month or so, I have witnessed someone close to me go through such a tragic time in her life. So distressing was her pain, I struggled to know exactly what to say or what to do to help. It has been hard for me to see her struggling; growing up- we never thought we’d have to face something so difficult.

And yet, she has dealt with her pain with such grace, I am astounded at her strength. This is my close friend- my best friend- I thought I knew her completely but she has floored me. I am inspired and awed at how she has been able to manage this sad time with so much dignity. She has reached out to me, even in her time of grief and been so supportive of me. Her pain has not changed who she is. This lady is a truly beautiful person, inside and out.

What makes a woman beautiful is the way she picks herself up after falling, the way she dries her eyes and puts her make-up on. A beautiful woman is confident and loving and does not apologise for her weaknesses. She is grateful for the small things in life, and is able to smile in the rain.

Vanity and beauty do not walk hand-in-hand as I had thought. Ladies, you will never be as you are now ever again, savour this moment.  See how beautiful you are, through the eyes of someone who loves you. Love is beautiful.

I am overwhelmed with how much love I have for my husband, my partner in life. He has the power to make me feel incredibly beautiful with just a look. After surgery, I now have 8 scars on my body. These are my battle scars, proof of my pain & my own rough times. As I pulled away my dressings, seeing my wounds for the first time, I was upset at how they would look. Would my husband still want me? Will I be able to love myself?

My husband has never caused me to doubt his affection or wanting of me. He calls me beautiful. He knows that beauty is not only on the outside, it is in the kindness in her soul, what she is willing to do for her family and in the way she cares for the people around her. I dare say, we’re as in love as ever.

When you struggle in life, it forces you to count your blessings and be thankful for the people in your life. That is beautiful. Having someone that knows you inside and out, is beautiful. My scars, evidence of the war inside my body, the proof of my strength and that I was able to come out of the other side; are beautiful.

Beauty is everywhere. Do not limit it to vanity or superficial ideas. See the beauty in your life, in the people who have always been there for you. See the beauty inside yourself.