I have never been a religious person. That marriage, which ended last year, did not start out with a Church ceremony. I regarded TJ’s Christening in the same way as Sex and the City’s Miranda would – if you don’t believe, then it’s just water on a baby’s head.
Yet, things regularly happen which are completely out of my control. You probably get that too. It can feel like someone is offering a metaphorical helping hand to guide us through both big and small life decisions. Let me explain …
In just under a year, I will be filing for a ‘no-fault’ divorce. That means all TJ’s dad and I have to do, aside from jumping through some legal hoops, is to have lived separately for two years. No finger pointing, no apportioning of blame, and hopefully the most amicable possible solution to one of the most difficult things I will probably ever have to face. It seems archaic that people like us have to wait two years before truly going our separate ways when a relationship ends. However, it has been in the news this week that the law may be changing, removing that two-year wait clause. Let’s hope the law changes sooner rather than later so others no longer have to play this painful waiting game.
Not long ago, I joined a choir to curb a bit of midweek loneliness. I haven’t looked back since the first rehearsal. I’ve met some great new people and I get to bust out renditions of everything from Jennifer Hudson to Moana once a week. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.
One of my best friends recently did a Tarot card reading for me. I had been dubious but, after a glass of wine, I decided to try it out. A card which represents music literally fell out of the pack. The book explaining what each card meant then fell open on that exact page. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes then I wouldn’t have believed it.
It was just over two years ago that I wrote my first blog for Kiki Blah-Blah. Reading it back now, I don’t recognise that person (and not just because I still had boobs then, thanks to breastfeeding). So much has changed in that time. None of it was expected when I first joined the Kiki Crew. However, one of the many pleasant surprises has been the amazing fellow writers I have met along the way. People who have enriched my life, and who I would never have met if it wasn’t for this lovely website. A great, but not exclusive, example of this is my friendship with the fabulous Hayley. She recently spent the night on an air bed in my son’s bedroom when he was with his dad and I was struggling with life stuff. Unselfishly, she drove, she cooked, she listened and she put me to bed when I had passed out on the sofa. She’s a true star and I’m glad she came into my life. And to think this all started because I met Queen Kiki Sareta when she was my wedding make-up artist back in 2010…
In the words of Britney, sometimes a girl just needs one. I have been single for a year now and I’ve had more metaphorical ups and downs in that department than I had bargained for. Remember the man on the motorbike who ghosted me? Well, I gave him another chance didn’t I. I double texted and risked getting it thrown back in my face once again, and that’s exactly what happened. We did exchange a few texts and we even agreed to meet up again … before he fell off the edge of the earth for the second time. But, it gave me the closure that I needed to move on.
A few months ago, I matched with a very handsome man on Tinder. I don’t think we spoke back then, and I have since deleted Tinder because of the hell hole that it is … and moved onto Bumble. So, imagine my delight when that same very handsome face came up as a match on there too. This time, conversation did happen, as did meeting up in real life. So far, so good. I’m not sure if that would have been the case when we first crossed online paths, for my own reasons rather than anything else.
The most important relationship is the one that you have with yourself. Never mind two years ago, I don’t often recognise the ‘me’ from the beginning of this year. I am more confident, loud and alive than I think I have been for over a decade. The wrong relationship repressed me and I morphed into a person who I didn’t like. I read a fabulous article about how self-love is actually not about long walks and hot baths – it’s about a painful and destructive birth of a new self. I couldn’t agree more with this by Jamie Varon:
“Before self-love becomes a liberation, it is first a burden. There’s the anger at who treated you poorly when you didn’t know to ask for better treatment. The anger at yourself for what you’ve allowed. There’s the grief for lost time. There’s the strangling necessity to push people and things out because there’s no room for them. There’s the loneliness and isolation that accompanies the growth of self. There’s the new boundary lines. There’s the new range of the word ‘no’ and the terrifying realisation that love isn’t synonymous with joy. It’s synonymous with growth.”
Unlike my soon to be ex-husband, I needed a long period of recovery to get back on my feet after our failed marriage floored me. But, everyone recovers in different ways and over different time periods, so I won’t hold it against him. Maybe he was supposed to meet the person who’s now his girlfriend to make him happier than he was under the same roof as me. Maybe she’s the one for him and I was merely a decade of distraction. Maybe, who knows?
A lot of people seek solace in religion. It’s undeniably a lovely concept that we’re being looked after by an unknown who sees the greater good in all of us. Personally, I don’t buy it. But, that belief in bigger things doesn’t have to come from a God. It’s a belief in your own conviction. It’s belief that the right things will happen at the right time – even if it’s not always been that way in the past. It’s a belief that, you know what, we will all be OK – even insanely happy and bouncing off the walls – if we stay true to ourselves. That’s also what I have been doing and I know I will continue to do so … even if I have some bruises to prove it.
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Jude is a 30-something mum-of-one who charts her adventures as a single parent while juggling her kid with a career. There’s no sugar-coating the truth with Jude – she tells it as she sees it, hears it, lives it and experiences it. But, this isn’t a how-to guide to parenting – sometimes, it’s quite the opposite! Jude isn’t ashamed to admit to her own flaws whether that’s in raising her son or navigating the ups and downs of relationships. She hopes to show other parents out there – single or otherwise – that they are not alone with the tantrums, tears and all that goes with it. But, above all, Jude wants to show what a fabulous experience parenting is – for just when we all need that reminder of why we signed up to the mum/dad role in the first place!