Two years ago, I was in a very different place from where I am today – mentally, emotionally and even physically, it has to be said.
I was a couple of months into what seemed like the start of a possible new career in policy research with a bit of SPAD (special adviser) thrown in for good measure. Working for a council was a world away from working for a newspaper but I liked the change of pace, the different ideas and skills needed, and loved my new workmates. Still do.
But I had a big black cloud over me because my dear wee mammy had passed away early in January 2010. I can’t express what her loss meant to me then and still does now – I miss her and think of her every day, as I still miss and think of my dad, 10 years gone in March. In the weeks afterwards, I must have lifted the phone a dozen times a day to call mum, only to tear up remembering she was no longer there.
I’d put my flat on the market because my lousy neighbours had made living there even more miserable and agreed, with my brothers and sister, that once it was sold, I’d buy mum’s house (we all owned it collectively).
And in the midst of everything, I was trying to finish the degree I’d started five years earlier – my dissertation loomed like a 12,000 word timebomb in my imagination.
My life, I guess, was in a state of flux. I felt very dissatisfied and uncertain of where I was going and what I was doing. I wasn’t lonely, though. Having come out of a relationship a couple of years earlier, I was actually quite content with my own company – well, my own and that of the dug.
My dissertation loomed like a 12,000 word timebomb in my imagination
A few months earlier, my friends Lorraine and Philippa had brought a friend of theirs, Debbie, along to a night out. Unbeknownst to me or Debbie, this was their attempt at matchmaking.
Cilla Black, eat yer heart out.
We may not have caught on right away to what they were up to but left to our own devices and getting to know each other through that most blatant of social media, Facebook, we got our groove on and are now happily hitched. Yay for us.
I’ve divested myself of my property portfolio (aye, sold two hooses) and swapped Glasgow for Sussex. I’ve abandoned all ideas of a career in policy research and indeed the public sector (hell, how bad was my timing in moving into that in the first place?!) and taken up dog walking with online content writing to fill in the gaps.
Fair to say, we’re not in Kansas now, Toto.
Anyway, sorry for all this reminiscing but I was prompted to write because I realised yesterday that this week marks exactly two years since Debbie and I decided we were on the road to being more than Facebook friends.
And I was also inspired because my state of flux of 2010 is nothing compared to what my sister is dealing with right now, having relocated from New York to Lisbon and now to England in that same time frame as economic chaos tramples over every opportunity to start again.
Oh yeah and she’s just given birth to her second child, too.
Starting over again is never easy. Even with amazing backing and love from family and friends, it isn’t easy – both Louise and I have had that wonderful support from our brothers in recent times and I know we will both be forever grateful for it. The ‘boys’ have done my mum and dad proud – they may have shaken their heads at how we behaved with each other when we were kids but the example they provided for us has been a fantastic one.
I consider myself a hopeful person, always optimistic – I’m a great believer that something will always turn up. Thankfully Louise shares that same outlook and, like the spring that’s now in the air, she sees new life and new hope around her.
Oh yeah and I did finally defuse that 12,000 word timebomb and got the dissertation done.
For all the bloody good it’s doing me now!