A COLOURFUL LIFE · CONFESSIONS

Confessions of a Single Mother: Two Years Later

It’s been so long I can barely remember what I even used to write about on here. A friend asked the other day how long it had been since I wrote a blog post, I meekly replied “two months..over two months..”.. Which really doesn’t sound like long but in the blogging world I have already flat-lined. The poor blog has been a ghost town whilst it’s writer runs around trying to be an actor and a Mummy at the same time. (Which is going just swimmingly, I’ve only cried a small reservoir of tears trying to balance the two..)

But no, despite a 10 week absence, I AM BACK.  

Having lost my blogging mojo somewhat, I spent a good few minutes last night going over old blog posts, in the hope of finding something that might spark something. (I have been writing a lot recently – a lot meaning every day– but it’s been mainly journalling and script-type-stuff that is no-where near ready to share). Then, after many posts on Maia, and ditching sugar and..books, I discovered this post, entitled “Confessions of a Single Mother: I Will Survive”. 

My my my, did that girl have a lot of energy. (The girl from December 2015, called Angela, who wrote that, somewhat joyous, glass-half-full-if-not-spilling-over, ode-to-the-single-life post..)  I can barely recognise myself in parts of it. So upbeat, so sprightly, so ready to take on the world. I read that post now and just think “Awhhh, look at you, all that hope, a genuine belief that everything would turn out okay..”.

Fuck.

Two years later. Some of that hope, well, I will admit, it’s starting to… dissipate. Not in a “I’M GOING TO DIE ALONE” kind of way. I won’t die alone, I have a daughter and by then maybe even Grandchildren to be by my bedside. Plus that’s the beauty of being Asian, I have a HUGE Filipino family, many of whom I would not recognise in the street, so either way it’s highly unlikely I’ll die alone.

No, that’s not my concern.  My concern is that I’ve just sort of accepted being alone, and therefore that’s how things will stay, for a long long time. I’ve gotten so used to being single, that it’s just the way my mind works now. When guys show me affection, I quite literally think “this is not normal” and freak out. One guy I was dating held my hand the other day, and it was like some kind of alien gesture I had never come across on planet earth. It was nice for a bit and I acted like I felt normal, but actually I was thinking “What are we doing, really?! I’m not going to marry you, so, can I have my hand back now please, this is inconvenient, I need my hand.” 

So whilst part of me is clearly relationship-averse – “Oh you think I’m cute and funny and you want to see me again?… GET AWAY!!!”– the other part freakin longs to be in a relationship. It feels sad to even admit that, as if it makes me weak or God-forbid needy. (Being needy is a huge fear of mine). 

And that’s not sad, it’s natural, it’s evolution. Part of the whole shitty/miraculous package of getting to be a human being is having certain biological needs and ensuring they’re met – I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about straightforward human contact and that hormone, oxytocin that’s released when you hug someone. Sometimes, A GIRL JUST WANTS TO BE HELD. It’s not always about getting naked. I’ve learnt.

I have dated a lot this year. Ask any of my friends and they will name at least three of the people I have dated. (Some lasted longer than others, obviously). I have learnt a lot from these people, both about myself, them, and people in general. I do not regret putting myself out there, I do not regret sharing parts of my story with these people, or taking time out of my week to meet with them. And it’s tiring, to keep telling your story – or part of it – over and over to strangers. It’s like a script and as I’m reciting the words I just feel myself caring less and less what their reaction is. So then I sort of switch off. I’m bored of telling my story to strangers. I just want to live my story and not care whether I happen to be in a relationship or not.

But I’ve begun to really care. And now I can’t get that thought out of my head. And now I’m starting to hear that saying going round my head: “It’ll happen when you least expect it”. And I do believe that. It’s a wonderfully-frustrating, almost paralysing saying because it indicates you have no power over when you meet that person. Powerless, you might say. Joy.  So it’s no wonder I feel like maybe there was once this boat sailing off to an island full of lovely, decent, great guys who may have actually liked the fact I have a little person in my life..AND I MISSED THE BOAT. I got the timing wrong and turned up late to the harbour and only just caught sight of a teeny tiny speck of a boat sailing off into the horizon. (*I know, there was never a boat, no island, no grouping together of ideal men in one location as such, but the point is, I feel like I’m slipping behind.)

This is so classic. Classic twenty-something freaks out about being single.  Classic twenty-something doesn’t want to lag behind her engaged/soon to buy a house together/soon to hit the 5-year-long-term-serious-relationship friends. But to be quite honest, it only really dawned on me, clearly, about this time last week. Up until then I had always known I was a single mother by relationship status. “Yes I am Angie, yes I am single, yes I am a mother”. But I hadn’t always FELT like a single mother. I hadn’t felt alone. I hadn’t really acknowledged my alone-ness. I hadn’t allowed myself to acknowledge how shit it was, to be raising a child alone. Whenever someone had commented “That must be tough..” I’d quickly brush it off with “Oh yeh but it’s okay cos I live with my parents so they help a lot”. And that is true, I do and they do. But that doesn’t take away from the tough part. It doesn’t take away from the “at some point, I would quite like to meet someone, and sometimes, I wonder when that point will come”.

I am allowed to wonder. But I don’t want to spend any more time wondering. Or longing. (There’s been a lot of longing, like when I see a cute couple kiss each other goodbye at the station, I’m like “awhhh that’d be nice..to have.. but NO NO, admire the cuteness, be happy for them and then look away, in fact, keep your eyes on your own train woman”).

I’m quite literally busier than I have ever been with Maia (turns out four year olds have quite the social calendar..) and other stuff which I will write about another time. So really, now that I’ve acknowledged my apparent ALONE-NESS (I feel lighter even just saying the word ALONE. I AM ALONE. Not Lonely. JUST ALONE ) and I have patted myself on the back for getting this far as a single Mummy and not letting the following occurrences occur:

a.) I have not taken up smoking or some other un-affordable habit.

b.)  I have not let myself go. Well, I have gained 20lbs from comfort eating (the alone-ness..) but most of my jeans stretch and I can still look in the mirror naked and like what I see.  (Also sometimes Maia will have a tantrum and instead of being an adult I will go downstairs and eat chocolate, then return upstairs calmer, clearer and momentarily energised, this I have decided is reasonable behaviour).

c.) I have not done anything that constitutes bad-mother-behaviour like, well, I’m not going to say on here, but there are many things I regard as lousy-mum-behaviour and I haven’t done any of those things in the last four years.

Now that all of this has been acknowledged; how far I’ve come, how much I’ve learnt, how shit life can be but how I can actually cope on my own and actually be happy on my own,  I can, well…..TAKE A BREAK (from all the dating and the longing and the effort)

Because I have tried.

And now I am tired.

So I am stopping/hitting pause. (For this year, I’ll probably start again in January – Christmas can be a real tough time for us single folk.) 

Of course, I joke, but thankfully, I’m never really alone. (It’s a great word though, has that dramatic effect). I have my people. People that listen to these woes. People to laugh with me about some God-AWFUL dates. People to remind me of my youth, my freedom, my pretty-fucking-awesome-life-in-general. I love these people. (Post on them, an ode to my friendships, right here). It’s so easy to look for what you think is missing and feel the need to fill that gap, but truthfully I don’t think a boy/man/guy would do that for me right now. I think I need to focus on other ways to fill that gap. Because there are 101 other ways. And I’m forever exploring them. And it’s forever an adventure. And sometimes it doesn’t even feel like there is a gap. Sometimes I am full full full in all the right ways. I think I need to sit with these feelings, this restless feeling that I am somehow missing out on something great. Because I have something great right here right now.

Myself.

I am the only person I will always have a relationship with for the rest of my life. 

I am the only person I can truly count on.

I think I got this.

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2 thoughts on “Confessions of a Single Mother: Two Years Later

  1. Really great to read this darling, I know exactly where you’re coming from! I met Bill when Charl was 8 years old, had had a million “boyfriends” but no one in my life that meant anything! When I met Bill I knew (you just do) that he was “the one for me” cannot explain it to this day 28 years later!!! Keep on being the wonderful you, and the wonderful mum that you are. None of us know what’s coming.
    Please can I gate crash lunch when you and Jo meet up again?
    Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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