Well, today the sun shone in more ways than one, and I feel relieved and grateful.
I started the day badly, feeling even more tearful than I had on Saturday last weekend. I decided I must take advantage of the lovely weather and went out into town. This first trip was aborted fairly quickly, as I found it really difficult to cope with the fact that although it was Saturday, and sunny, there was a huge discrepancy between this feeling and the feeling I’d have had if I’d been out and about with him on such a day. I started to feel incredibly alone, seeing (as it seemed) everyone else playing happy couples or happy families, and felt that everyone could sense my sadness, which made me tear up again, so I headed back home.
It was clear, though, that allowing myself to be defeated in this way was just plain stupid, and since I desperately needed a haircut, I shortly set out again, this time admitting I felt crappy, but I was on a clear mission. Wondered whether to get a totally different cut, but settled in the end for the usual style, not wanting to make a rash decision in a vulnerable moment.
A little later I met some friends for lunch. So as to take advantage of the weather, we went to a pizza place that has a wonderful inner courtyard, with high ivy-encrusted walls, lots of sun and a big patch of blue sky at the top, so that you feel that you actually could be somewhere in Italy. They’d been following my blog postings, so we talked once again about the things I wrote in my last post, went into a bit more detail about my grievances, and I told them about the decision I’d made based on the advice friends had given.
Although I felt clueless when I wrote that post, it was clear when people’s different viewpoints started coming in – some as blog comments, others as private e-mails or phone calls – that there was some advice that really felt totally right, and some that I just didn’t feel it was the right thing to follow just at the moment. Don’t get me wrong – I hugely appreciated everyone’s thoughts and want to thank everyone who gave their insights and advice, but there was one friend who said something that struck an immediate chord. He said that one option was to “tough it out” with the contact thing, a kind of exposure therapy rather than the option of cutting contact. I quickly drew the conclusion that – and I’m sorry to repeat this again to those who’ve already heard this, but I was quite impressed by my metaphor… – sealing yourself off in a germ-free environment isn’t going to strengthen your immune system. Obviously the exposure approach won’t work if I continue to allow myself to be upset by everything that comes from that one source, but having thankfully received assurance from said source that none of it was / is meant to hurt me, I’m going to give it a try, anyway. And my mind has been a lot more at rest since making that decision.
Anyway, back to today. I explained my decision to my friends, one of whom had given me the opposite advice, and they saw the sense in what I was saying. After lunch we sauntered round town a bit, going into the cathedral and observing the market stall-holders packing up after the day. My friend even retrieved a stray rose head from the ground, one very like the one in the picture I posted in my first blog entry.
Afterwards I went to buy a new phone: retail therapy this time. My phone / answering machine setup hasn’t been working as I wanted it to since I got an internet connection at home, despite valiant attempts by the ex to set it up differently, and so I’d constantly been missing calls because the answering machine had cut in and couldn’t be overridden. I now in fact have a system with a phone downstairs and one upstairs, which will be a great improvement and will hopefully prevent me from breaking my neck haring downstairs every time the phone rings.
Later on I met up with another friend for a drink. Again, we sat outside and watched the world go by, compared notes on relationship or breakup woes, and rolled our eyes at the numerous members of the Freiburg jet-set who seemed to make up a lot of the clientele. Afterwards we went for a very aimless but totally relaxing walk, talking about plans for the future and options for the present.
I could have met my friends again tonight, but home was calling, I wanted some time for reflection, and I knew I actually wanted to do a few domestic chores before the day was out. So the washing machine is doing its best, I’ve put my shopping away, and I’m hoping the day will come to a relaxing close.
It’s a relief and a pleasure to have been able to record some positive things today. Let’s see what tomorrow brings…