This is a love story, the wrong way around.
Six years ago I was living in London, and had my whole life planned out ahead of me. I had been dating Mr T (lets call him) for almost five years. We rented a flat together, had joint bank accounts, he was my partner on my visa. We had packed up together and moved to the other side of the world. His furniture was left at my parents house, we were sure we would return together. We went to amazing places.We had a great bunch of friends. We laughed most days. We went on happily with our day-to-day stuff. We had made a life together, over there.
I watched my friends get engaged, one by one. I became desperate for Mr T to propose to me. Why didn’t he want to commit to me? I had our life planned out. We were going to move back to Australia, then we were going to save money, have two kids and live happily ever after. I had the next ten years planned out to a tee.
In retrospect, I was trying desperately to clutch onto a life that I knew deep down was wrong for me.
I waited. And waited. And waited. I ignored the little things, that then turned into big things, like the fact that his work mates seemed surprised that he had a girlfriend, that he told me I had to get to a certain weight before he would propose and that he did not support my decision to go back to university, even though I was desperately unhappy in my job.
I hopped on a plane back to Australia for a holiday, without Mr T. Spending time with my family, I felt like me again, for the first time in a long time. I let the stress go from my job and I felt the sun on my face and the sand in my toes. I felt like a new person.
A bunch of old friends and I met up and celebrated the new year, and the (now) Husband (who was an old friend) was in that bunch. A feeling grew in my stomach that I couldn’t ignore. I am not proud of what happened next, but I ended up hooking up with the (now) Husband.
Still clinging onto my former life I told him that it was only a fling, that my life was in London, that I was so deep in it with Mr T and I had my life planned and couldn’t look back.
I spent the next week guzzling wine and stressing to my sister about what to do next.
When I got off the plane in London I started to cry straight away. Mr T knew something was up and I had to tell him. We spent the whole night talking. It was the darkest night of my life. It turned out, that he wasn’t so sure after all, he had in fact asked my parents to propose in August… and never asked me six months later.
I went straight to a girlfriends place the next morning suitcase in hand and she took me in no questions asked. The Husband and I were skyping every now and then but at this stage I was not making any promises to anyone, I only knew I had to end things with Mr T.
If I could do this to him, then I shouldn’t be with him. That is what I knew.
I moved out into a flat share, and skyped with the Husband more often. Mr T moved in with someone else pretty quickly.
The Husband turned up a few months later, parachute in tow (from his base jumping days, which are thankfully now over), a bag of electronics and enough emergency equipment to last us five days in the Utah desert for a pleasant walk in the Cinque Terre. (These are the things you don’t learn on Skype.)
When I was around the Husband, it felt to me for the first time in my life like the love you see in the movies.
Like when you think of someone or your favorite ice cream and you smile and your heart melts. It was simple. I did not want to be away from him.
We flitted around Europe, he returned home, and I followed in tow about four months later.
A year later we were engaged. A year after that married and today we celebrate three years of marriage.
You can’t have it all planned out. You can’t force things if they are not there, things you force will eventually become undone.
I have learn that I can’t have everything all the time, that it’s as much about him as it is about me. That our decisions are about us, not he or I alone. I have learnt to live in a bit of mess. He has learnt to live with a cat. We have learnt to be mindful of each other, no matter what shit goes in our day.
I don’t know if we are having babies or where we will be living in the next two years, or what our life will bring us. I don’t have to have the route planned out any more.
Today I am happily uncertain of lots of things, but sure of one thing and that is that whatever I do, it is going to be with him.
Love you my Ginger Hunk.