THE SINGLE LIFE

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After a year and a half of being betrothed to a beard, I have found myself in the single seat.

And I have no idea what I am doing.

There’s just way too much to think about.

All of a sudden I have to make sure I don’t get too drunk on a Friday because there is no one there to throw a jacket over my shoulders and chaperone me to my bed whilst singing songs from Frozen en route – except for my girls of course – but they’re normally ten gins down with me. I now have no excuses for putting on a few extra pounds because there is nobody overfeeding me Maltesers on the sofa anymore. I have to think about how I am dancing at parties, make sure that I look decent enough for public consumption more than just 50% of the time and I have to re-learn how to make sexy (but never starey) eye-contact with strangers because one wrong move apparently and you can end up giving your number to someone who – let’s face it – isn’t even halfway up your street.

It’s safe to say I am out of my depth. It’s also safe to say I am not alone in this.

I was talking to a guy at a house party on Saturday about the fact that he has found himself newly single for the first time in ten years. It has been 18 months for me and I’ve lost all control of my hands and – apparently – tongue, so imagine how he feels? He said a hot girl asked his name the other night and he shouted back, “I have a girlfriend!” and ran away. I could tell he was struggling with being a suave single male addicted to retail when he began performing show tunes (solo) all the way until 6am with a deranged look in his eye. Luckily for him he’s very good looking and I’m fairly certain he’ll grow out of it, otherwise I’d have told him to give up and find a cave to reside in with Lloyd-Webber for the rest of his life.

But back to me and my own incompetencies.

Adjusting to being single isn’t solely about struggling with being back in the dating game. It’s about watching a lot more Netflix and eating fewer takeaways. It’s about having a lack of warm jumpers to wear around the house, turning down plus ones to weddings and not having to compromise, which, I guess, is what your twenties were made for. But it is hard, no matter what Queen B says.

Although this newfound single status has been thrust upon me unwillingly, there is nothing to do except for enjoy it for what it is: a whole lot of me time. Of course, realising that the break up is a good thing will have to be scheduled between tears and regretful emails (no I’m not overly formal, I’ve just deleted his number), but it will happen. I just need to keep reminding myself that being able to put on a face mask of an evening trumps a spoon and some cake in bed. And let’s be honest, nothing beats a cuddle and some chocolate gateau, so this might take a while.

Basically, I’m single. And it’s a bit weird. And a bit sad. On the plus side however, it will probably make for some excellent writing material.

I will inevitably keep you posted on what I’ve been up to.

Wish me luck!

FREEDOM – A GUEST POST

large (1)When I was young I was free.

Of course, we all were. We didn’t have jobs, rental agreements or hangovers, we were just existing in a wonderful state of sometimes-euphoric mostly-moody teen angst, where the only thing greater than our lack of responsibility was our cereal intake.

Then, one day, something happened, and our longing to be adults who were taken seriously smashed us in the face harder than the floor did that time we tried skateboarding in the Tesco car park, and we realised that all along we’d been tricked into following a false dream.

We were rewarded with responsibility when we worked hard and proved we were deserving; finally being left alone in the house when our mum went to play squash of an evening at age 13 (and inviting our much older and frankly creepy boyfriend over to watch South Park and make out), being given complete control of our own computer priviliges at 14 (and looking at weird sex forums on the AOL chatroom), even being gifted the holy grail of deciding our own bedtime at 15 (and wrecking our sleeping pattern by forcing ourselves to stay up until 1am just so we could say we did).

At the time, we were oblivious to the fact that we were being slowly integrated into the adult community. We were under the illusion that these fun perks were the main components of adulthood, that choosing our own dinners (spaghetti with hot dogs cut up in it) and having free reign of the TV on weeknights (Hollyoaks > The Simpsons > Dream Team > Bad Girls) were the biggest decisions we were ever going to have to make.

Inevitably the fun slows down as we realise that when they start to give us actual cold hard cash in college our mum will tell us we have to use it to pay for our own clothes and junk food, rather than Colin Farrell wall calendars and hair extensions like we were planning to. They’ll start trusting us with being able to get ourselves to class on time but won’t tell us that we’ll actually feel obliged to be there, and that bunking off in the park in the sunshine will make us feel anxious and sweaty, not warm and relaxed.

When you escape to university you start to think that maybe you were right all along – adulthood is brilliant! You can pass your semesters without going to a single lecture thanks to the miracle that is the Internet, you get money for nothing – literally nothing – and can spend it on whatever you want, and people practically force you to spend your time having fun rather than focusing on your responsibilities.

Eventually, though, your university years pass you by and the fun suddenly stops. Everybody tells you that your “real life” is about to start but in reality it feels like everything is coming to a grinding halt.

We resign ourselves to getting a job and go through emotional turmoil from our very first day of the nine-to-five existence, wondering how we’re ever going to survive fifty years of getting up every day and going to work without being discovered and becoming a worldwide star or bagging ourselves a billionaire husband before the age of 22.

We flirt with the idea of becoming exotic travellers like the girls we see on Instagram who spend their time modelling bikinis and getting high, but very quickly realise that we are neither cute enough nor rich enough to kick start that venture. Bizarre job choices become more romanticised than ever and one day you’ll find yourself thinking “I probably could be a professional wrestler” in a bid to settle yourself in any profession that doesn’t involve ever stepping foot in an office and spending the third day in a row helping Neil fix the printer.

We wonder if freedom will ever come again, if we’ll ever be blessed with the familiar but distant feeling that anything is possible, and then one morning we find ourselves curled up in bed at 5am after a really shitty 24 hours, so we call our best friend from the comfort of our flat that we decorated all by ourselves and are actually pretty proud of, and we venture into the city to climb a skyscraper in our pyjamas, buy a hot chocolate with money that we earned through our own hard work, and watch the sunrise over the tops of the sparkly buildings that once inspired us to think we could rule the world.

It’s on those mornings, above the clouds, whilst the city sleeps and you and your best friend eat croissants and slag off boys for a full fifty minutes, that you realise that this freedom is a better freedom than any you ever could have imagined when your mind was frantic and your thoughts were wild.

This freedom is real.

Written by Emmy Christmas.

A girl who wrote something perfect for this moment in my life, without even realising it. An angel.

Follow her on Twitter here, she’s hilarious.