I didn’t really know what to write about this morning, I wasn’t sure how to get these typing fingers working today. I’m still not entirely sure how this post will weigh out by the end – I have a habit of just typing without thinking of the piece as a whole – which is why they often feel disjointed and poorly balanced. But the idea is, it gets the grey cells twitching and my fingers moving over the keys fluidly.
I was missing some inspiration really, my head is full of one thing – my book. I am ready to start straight away today, but I didn’t want to abandon my blog either. I just couldn’t think about what to write. Then I looked over to the empty side of the bed (yes I usually start the first part of the day spreading my files and papers across the bed only moving to my work room in the afternoon!) I looked at the smushed pillows and the half drunk glass of water on the bedside table and I thought about my boy.
I am a very lucky girl, for so many reasons, but many of them stemming from the belief this man has in me. I have never had a huge amount of self confidence – find me a girl who genuinely has (who is also pleasant!) – but through this friendship turned relationship, I am a much stronger person, I am a much more confident person. I am more self assured and certainly more cynical (those of you who know Steve will know the cutting affect he has had on my humour and wit!). He saw something in me that I never really knew was there and showed me the way to let it shine.
Steve, whether he knows it or not, was my best friend at University – it started really when we became the sadly singled among our group of friends. We would spend a lot of time together sulking over the people who had callously cast us aside (it may not have been as brutal as all that, we are still friends with the two ‘offenders’ but allow me some creative licence here!) We found we had much in common with our taste in music and comedy, but it was more than that, we could spend hours wittering nonsense to one another about anything and everything – he made me laugh.
There was a couple of months in these early days when we called one another boyfriend and girlfriend, but this was untimely. Issues for our pasts still surrounded us and despite the brilliance of these short weeks, we knew friendship was really the only way forward.
We were good friends, even living together for a year with the wonderful Lynne. We watched and supported each other in and out of short lived romances as well as with some of the more complex issues that life sometimes throws at us. Steve was the rock I needed while going through my PGCE (which was hell) and my first year of teaching. He was the one I could shout at, cry at, throw things at and generally lose the plot at – he kept me in the here and now. He kept me rooted. He kept me sane. Steve was incredible and I am still amazed to know how he could put up with such a person for so long – but he did, without me ever having to ask.
It was three years after we’d made the relationship ‘mistake’ of our undergrad years. I had started applying for teaching positions up and down the country, Newcastle, Wiltshire, Worcester – anywhere new and exciting! I had my heart set on Newcastle-Upon-Tyne for various reasons, my lovely Cie lived there and some interesting gentlemen folk also lived in that direction! But nothing had come to pass. Steve too was looking for new jobs at universities father afield than the Northwest. The summer holidays had come and it looked as if the two of us and our friendship would be separated before the winter set in. I was sad about the prospect but not unduly concerned. Steve at this point knew me best and I had faith that he always would.
Then one night, a week into my break of six, Steve went on a date. I was home alone, my house mate at the time being elsewhere. I received a text on my phone letting me know what a great time he was having – I was a little confused. Why text your friend in the middle of a date that is going well? A few hours later my phone rang. It was Steve. He’d had a good night out, was now walking home but he needed to talk to me. it was the early hours of the morning, it was thundering with rain and he sounded quite adamant. Having nothing better to do, I picked up the sodden boy and drove us back to the house he lived in with smelly boys!
Cups of tea were made and then we sat, in silence, for a very long time. Steve fidgeted in his chair and I sprawled out on the sofa drifting off to sleep. After what seemed like hours (I was very sleepy), Steve finally spoke. At first I wasn’t sure what he was saying, some question about whether or not he should be with me. I thought I was there to glean all the gossip from his hot date, not this question! I was taken a back, bowled over, knocked down with a feather – pick whatever saying you like! It was a shock. I drove home pretending that I needed to think about it, but all the while knowing what I wanted. Knowing that this made sense, he was my best friend, he knew me – really knew me! I loved him.
This July will be five years since that night. In these years I have learnt to know who I am and what I want out of life. And I owe so much of my own personal growth to the support of my boy. Career wise I may be a little hazy, but I know essentially what I want. I want to write books and not to let the real jobs rule my life. I know now I am allowed to do what I want that makes me happy, I know I am allowed to follow my dreams and I know I have the abilities to achieve them. Without Steve I would be a much lesser person – more than likely curled up in a ball rocking somewhere because nothing I longed for was being realised. I would probably be a far less cynical person (!) but that has simply added another fascinating dimension to my being!
I also know, that all this was already inside me, they were just well hidden behind the self loathing and non-existent levels of esteem. These aspects rectified through the love and support of my Steve, I now know who I am, what I want and where I want to be. And every imagined picture of my future life has one very firm fixture – Steve, holding my hand and understanding me better than anyone else ever could.