The sun has set beautifully on 2015

So I’ve been AWOL for quite some time. 

Basically 2015 was a whirlwind, amazing year. Well a few initial hiccups then amazing for the majority before turning a bit shitty in December but I’ll get to that. 

First I want to tell you why I’ve been quiet for so long. I’ve covered off the first half of the year during previous posts on my #100daysofhappiness so I’ll just give a whistle stop tour of the second half. 

In June, myself and 4 of the best ones completed our new year challenge. We ran a half marathon. When I say ran, I actually ran. The entire way. I never ever thought I would be able to do it and with actual blood, sweat and tears through training we managed to achieve it, together. The dream team! 

To reward ourselves, we headed off to Ibiza shortly after. God I love that island. The weekend was full of laughs and memories that will last a lifetime. I want to share the places we visited but I’ll save that for another post! Sunning myself with my best girls, partying to Kisstory at Ocean Beach and experiencing how the other half live at Blue Marlin were definitely highlights for me! 

  

In August my parents celebrated 40 years of marriage. What an achievement! They are a shining example of true love, married at 18 and still having fun together 40 years later. My aim is to share the same kind of true love with someone myself one day. If I can have even 10 years experiencing the same depth of love they have for each other then I’ll be happy. I don’t want to settle for anything less. 

A reoccurring event in my annual calendar is V Festival. Those who have read my blog know about my love of music and I am so lucky to welcome some of the worlds best bands and artists to a festival on my doorstep every August. 

The following week I headed off to one of the most anticipated events of the year… My friend’s wedding in Rome. There were many things going through my mind prior to the trip as it was my first time in Italy, I’d never experienced a wedding abroad before and the thing that was making me most apprehensive was that these friends (and all the other people going) were people I had met through Mr Long Term, so he himself was going to be there too. I was nervous but I needn’t have been.  

Rome turned out to be everything I wanted and more. The city and food were amazing, the wedding itself was INCREDIBLE and I laughed until my face hurt every moment of every day there. Most coined phrase ‘when in Rome’ made almost any behaviour acceptable. I also met someone, who I’ve named Mr Nice Guy, you’ll hear more later. I’m so honoured to have been given the opportunity to celebrate with the happy couple and experience the love surrounding them, something that I will never forget. 

  

After four days at home, I jetted off to my happy place in Majorca where I spent two blissful weeks with my family. Sunbathing, eating, drinking, repeating. 
  

On my return to the UK I wasn’t met with the usual horrendous blues I have when I leave there. Many reasons for this included dates with Mr Nice Guy, one of my girls getting engaged, another two giving birth to their beautiful babies and one of my closest friends asking me to be her Maid of Honour next year. 

The final few months of the year sped by with lots of nights out, weekends with Mr Nice Guy and work being so busy heading into the festive season. 

So, Mr Nice Guy. Who is he? He is exactly that. He’s fun, good-looking, so kind, adores his family and is loyal beyond words. I made some great memories with him which made it all the more difficult when things didn’t work out for us just a few days before my birthday and Christmas. It was a bit of a shock as things seemed to be great during my visit to see him the weekend before.

I’m not really sure what happened. I questioned myself (and still do occasionally) wondering if it was something I did wrong. Did I say or do something wrong? What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t he want it to work? Why is this happening to me again? Feeling so sad at a time when you are meant to be full of Christmas spirit is really hard. So I got drunk a lot with my friends. 

But now, I’ve focused on the fact that everyone crosses your path for a reason. His reason? To show me the sort of person I’d like to be with and that there are actually some decent single guys left out there. I’m really happy we met and that I had the opportunity to get to know him. 

What now for 2016? 

Well even though we are only 10 days in, it’s shaping up to be quite some year already. 5 weddings plus 3 hen weekends, a new baby in the summer (not mine, obvs), 2 wedding cakes to make and 10 days in Majorca in the Autumn. But I have also felt the need to make some big changes to my own life so have been focusing on self development. 

I’m going back to uni to complete my marketing diploma, I’ve never been more focused on saving money to achieve my goal of buying my own home, I’m going to learn Spanish and I am determined to shift the last 10lbs that has been lingering during 2015. Basically, I’ve chosen some things to achieve that I am solely responsible for so basically my happiness has no reliance on other people. If I don’t achieve these things, I can only blame myself. On the flip side, when I do achieve them, I’ll be able to feel immensely proud. 

I hope 2016 is the happiest yet for you all and that your hopes and dreams come true x

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All the single ladies…

I’ve come across a few articles recently which talk about being a single lady…. Cue Beyoncé singalong. 

They talk about various things, like Internet dating, how dating in your 30’s is a different ball game, characteristics of a single 30 something, why it’s better to be single, why it’s better to be in a relationship… Blah blah blah.  

When I wrote this I was sitting on a train back from Liverpool where I spent a weekend with some special friends and I read an article entitled ‘I’m happy being single but no one believes me’ then it struck me, every article takes a side. You either have to want a boyfriend and be desperate or want to be single and hate men. There’s no middle ground and it annoys me! 

This article talks about the fact that she is happy being single because she doesn’t want a boyfriend. It categorises single women into those who don’t want a boyfriend, the eternal ‘spinsters’ (God, I hate that phrase) and those who are desperately seeking their knight in shining armour, sitting around worrying about growing old on their own.

But what about those of us that are happy with life, not needing a man to complete them but not ruling out a forever love either?  These articles are so stereotypical and assuming… It’s ok to just enjoy life and see what happens but the articles never say this!! 

I truly am so happy but that doesn’t mean I don’t want a boyfriend, I’m just selective. I have a very fulfilled and busy life which means that I don’t have time to waste dating people who don’t want the same things as me in life. And maybe there isn’t anyone who wants the same as me, and if there’s not then so be it. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m the only one who’s just on the fence about being single and being in a relationship.

Having said all of that, it is lovely to make memories with someone, laugh with someone and cuddle up watching films with someone but it’s also absolutely lovely to do what you want, when you want, with who you want, stay at work late without feeling guilty, buy what you like, make last minute plans AND have the bed to yourself too!! 

Katie x

Strength…

There’s lots of happy days to update you on…Life has been pretty full on over the last month so I’ve not been blogging BUT today I come to you from a very happy place! Not literally, I’m in my kitchen… but just generally. First, an update on my happy days…..

Day 43 – Had a visit at work from a lovely friend

Day 44 – An evening of lols last night with my girls to celebrate Miss Laurian’s birthday

Day 45 – Little visit to see my faves today even if I wasn’t the usual fun Auntie Katie due to a LOT of booze last night

Day 46 – Went upside down with no hands at pole tonight! Whoop!

Day 47 – Lovely catch up with friends and their kiddies

Day 48 – Free Boost because my name came up in their social media campaign, lovely catch up with Trottski and came home to a really lovely card from my Auntie Susan

Day 49 – This time next week I’ll be packing my bags to head off to Liverpool! Excited!!

Day 50 – Worked with a lovely group of young girls today. Giving back to the local community makes you feel good!

Day 51 – felt good to get back out on an outdoor run

Day 52 – had a lovely evening with some lovely ladies

Day 53 – Just finished a pretty awesome cake and went upside down with no hands again tonight

Day 54 – PANCAKES

Day 55 – packed my case ready for my weekend in Liverpool!

Day 56 – Found this forgotten photo from Thailand

Thailand
This doesn’t take us to today (I am on Day 77) but I’ll post the rest of the days later.

Now, I want to say, I dread to think how I would have been feeling over these 77 days if I hadn’t embarked on #100daysofhappiness. It’s been tough but I’ve found that forcing myself to see the positives each day has really helped and I was beginning to feel loads better about life.

Then, out of the blue I got a text from Mr Not So Perfect to ask how I was. I had ALL the intentions of not replying but then 3 days later I got drunk. So at 4am, I stumbled through the front door and had the genius idea of responding. Good one Katie. It resulted in a bit of back and forth, no niceties from my side and obviously, the next day fear set in and I knew I had made a big mistake. When he then text again a few days later fishing for me to tell him I still cared for him, I told him to never contact me again and he agreed he wouldn’t. I was really proud of myself. But I regressed and suddenly went back to feeling the same way I did in the days after I found out the truth and it was really horrible.

BUT slowly over this last month I have been trying to put things into perspective. I’ve been through worse in life, I really have. It’s not something to talk about here but the love and strength my family and I had got us all here today so I thought, if I got through that, I can get through this. And it got me thinking, I have been devastated, sad and heartbroken over this numpty whilst other people in my life have been dealing with much bigger challenges, battles and heartbreak, suffering much more pain, worry and sadness than I have had to deal with in the last few months. I’ve just been too self-absorbed to think about it before.

Someone asked me this week if I’m happy being single and truthfully, I said I am. I am getting to know me and what I want in life. I love my life, I enjoy living it the way I do and it’s going to take someone special to become a part of it.

Something has worked though… Mr Not So Perfect stuck by his word for almost a month. Until earlier this week. He contacted me to again say he is sorry, he still thinks of me and that I will always be in his thoughts. I’ve not replied. I’ve actually found it laughable and it’s made me more determined than ever to keep smiling.

Lots of Love

Katie xx

A blessing or a lesson?

You often hear that the people who come into your life are either a blessing or a lesson.

A month or so ago, over a *few* bottles of prosecco with one of my best girls, we were chatting about life.  Since I found Mr (not so) Perfect, conversations about Mr Long Term dwindled but that evening there was a rare mention.  I think I’d said something about being with him so long was a mistake… I think (my memory is slightly cloudy due to the bubbles).  But then I corrected myself.

We had some great times together and made some very happy memories.  We were a good match and yes, it wasn’t meant to be but I can look back on the majority of my time with him and smile.  Yes we don’t love each other anymore but that really doesn’t make him a bad person and yes, he can be stupid a lot of the time but he has a kind heart.  He is/was most definitely a blessing.  Ms S told me how happy that made her and that one day she hoped I would be able to say the same thing about Mr (not so) Perfect.

I’m going to be honest (as always), I didn’t believe his story about his wife being pregnant.  I didn’t know what to believe.  But this week the wonderful world of Facebook confirmed that it was in fact the truth.  They will be adding to their family.  I’m not going to lie, it was like a punch to the stomach.  I thought it was another lie so that I wouldn’t spill the beans to her about his extra curricular activities.  It made me really sad for her, the poor girl thinks she has the perfect life, husband and family and all the time he has still been texting me wanting to see if I am ok.

What annoys me is that he gets to carry on his life as if nothing ever happened, he gets to go home to her, if he needs a cuddle, someone to talk to or to feel loved unconditionally, he has that.  I have to deal with what he’s done and live with a disgusting secret.  I have to pick up the pieces on my own, questioning why he did this and why to me?  What annoys me the most though is that I can’t understand how it’s possible to miss somebody so much when they are quite clearly one of the worst human beings on the planet.  Why is it not just possible for your mind to go ‘He’s a dickhead, you are not permitted to think about him anymore.’

I’m not sure yet whether Mr (not so) Perfect was a blessing or a lesson.

A blessing maybe because aside from being a massive liar and a cheat, to me he was perfect.  He did know how to romance a girl and make her feel special.  He did take me to some great places, give me the ability to feel something I never thought possible and we did make some amazing memories.  He became one of the most special people in my entire life.

A lesson maybe too though.  A lesson in trust, faithfulness?  A lesson to not be a free with my heart?  A lesson in what’s acceptable and what is not?  A lesson to always hold back 5% for you?  A lesson in how to be strong?

Or maybe it’s possible that he was both?

I don’t know, I am not there yet.  But maybe one day Ms S (and all my other readers) I will look back and be able to smile on this situation too.  Until that point though I will continue to put a smile on my face, embrace life and take each day at a time.  Nothing lasts forever, not even your problems.

Love Katie xx

PS – I had a message of concern from someone very special after she read this post. She said ‘your blog’s supposed to be about happiness and this made me sad’. This is NOT meant to be a sad post people. The moral of the story is that when Mr Long Term and I split up, I was so sad. Then some months down the line I was able to look back and smile. That’s my aim about Mr Perfect too, I’m just not quite there yet! I am ok though. Life is good xxx

Digital dating

Dating is fun, so everyone tells me…..

When Mr Long Term and I parted company, I was like a rabbit in headlights.  I had absolutely no idea what to do.  I hadn’t been on a first date for 10 years and now I was faced with starting from scratch.

Although to some I appear confident, bubbly and a total extrovert, I am most definitely not.  I am rubbish at making small talk, have low confidence and have a ‘unique’ sense of humour which doesn’t appeal to everyone.  Recent test results (Myers Briggs profiling) show that I am actually an equal measure of extrovert and introvert.  In addition to all of this, I know I can be very hard to please.  Good luck to the potential suitors out there!!

So anyway, back to dating.  Because there is absolutely NO chance of me approaching a hot guy in a bar myself, I decided that I would follow the advice of friends and join Tinder.  Wow.

Full of men, on your doorstep (or further if you wish).  You select the ones you like the look/sound of and if the feeling is mutual then it’s a match and you are free to chat away.  Here’s my breakdown of the guys I matched with:

  • 85% – match with you and then NEVER talk to you
  • 10% – Wanting hookups only
  • 3% – Those who want a penpal only
  • 2% – Normal people

But you know, it saved me from having to talk to people in the real world and end up tripping up, knocking their drink flying or saying something completely ridiculous without being able to hide behind my phone so I went with it.  I was then also recommended to Plenty of Fish, another dating site. I know a few people (in real life!) who have had success so thought it was worth a try.

Since joining these sites I have been on a few dates.  Most of them with guys I had met online.

The first one, well, I was sooooo nervous it was horrific.  The guy was actually really sweet but WAY too enthusiastic about everything.  Too excitable for me.

Then there were a couple with different guys, all difficult as chat was running dry at points.

Then I met up with a guy in London and we went for a drink (I was driving so just one for me).  He was really nice (bit short) but we got on well.  Then we went to a comedy club in Leicester Square which was great.  Except my date got completely hammered and kept heckling the comedians (REALLY not the one when you are on a first date) whilst stroking my neck and playing with my hair.  Anyone who knows me knows I can’t bear to have my personal space invaded or be touched by people I don’t know.   Last time I drive when on a first date.

Then on a night out at a gig, and thanks to my wing woman Anna, I met Mr Perfect.  It was normal-ish (after Anna pretty much saying ‘my friend fancies you’).  We chatted, it was clear we got on, we exchanged numbers and the rest was history.

Since Mr Perfect turned into Mr (not so) Perfect, I have only had one date.  He was a sweet guy but young, too keen and not for me.

Tonight I have another date (with someone else who is uber keen) and again I suspect, not for me.  That isn’t where the similarities end though.  For the 48 hours leading up to both dates, I have not wanted to go.  Like REALLY not wanted to go, mainly because I’m apprehensive and nervous. But, I will of course go because you never know.

Tomorrow I have my third date since Mr (not so) Perfect, with a guy I met in a pub this week and I am really looking forward to it.

So what’s the difference?  It’s most definitely the Chemistry.  Ridiculous as it sounds, you can feel whether there is a spark instantly when you first meet someone.  So when you meet someone for the first time under normal circumstances (i.e. not online) you already know whether it’s worth giving them the time for a first date.

As a result of this, I have deleted all online dating apps from my phone.  I can’t be doing with having to turn up on a date wondering whether they are tall enough, know how to hold a conversation, they will think I look better or worse than my pictures and ultimately, whether we will have that spark.

Bye bye Tinder, PoF and Happn.  Hello having to practice approaching guys in public, making small talk and hopefully some more comfortable first dates!

Katie xx