Well that was….

Not the day that I was expecting. The much anticipated and built up meeting was done and dusted in one hour and fifteen minutes with little in the way of conversation or questioning beyond, “oh you work there, do you?”

I felt a little let down.

But enough of the underwhelming meeting.

I have today navigated myself around London Town, on my own, and more importantly in the rush hour commute with just a couple of wobbles to show for it.

Wobble the first came as I was carried out of the late arriving train onto Paddington platform with little or no clue as to where I was going next, so I stood, centred myself and swore at my phone as I tried to work out which tube station I needed to get on, and where I was supposed to get off.

Wobble the second came as, once I had located where I needed to go to get on the tube, I waited on a cramped, people filled, tiny piece of platform (because of building works) and tried not to fall forwards onto the track.

Once on the train I actually impressed myself. Despite feeling like a more tightly packed thing in a vacuum packed packet of tightly packed things, and having the tube driver from hell, who insisted on violently jerking the train on a regular basis I made it where I needed to go.

After my meeting I discovered I was in luck with my timing of my trip. A twitter fiend I had been trying to meet up with for not just a long time, but the first time was also at work, and was less than a five minute walk from where I had been at my meeting.

It was not only nice to meet up and have something to do while I waited the four hours for my train home, but it also gave me a purpose, a place to go. I think if I had been at a loose end and simply meandering around to kill time I would probably have had a few more wobbles. Simply because it would be too much to cope with being in a busy, crowded place, alone, for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

So I enjoyed the best two hours I have ever spent in a tuve station. Sitting drinking tea in the back office, chatting over everything and anything, while watching the daily life of a tube station on the CCTV monitors.

After that I did something I do alot, but didn’t think I’d ever do, if that makes sense. I went off to the pub alone for lunch. I don’t usually think about it because it’s something I do all the time at home, but a strange pub, by a tube station in the middle of London, I had once thought was a never going to happen scenario.

Hiding behind my laptop and the pubs free wi-fi, I grabbed a quick snack, treated myself to a pint of beer and whiled away another quick 45 minutes before heading for my train home.

I did feel a wave of apprehension beginning to build again as entered the station and tried to work out where my train home was going to be, but it soon passed.

Now I’m on the train.

I am on my way home. My feelings are mixed. It feels strange to have coped so well on my own. It feels good, but it also makes me wonder why I have been so nervy in the past, and why I can’t do it so well when I have people with me.

I don’t know is the honest answer, but for now I am going to be happy with being better. Better for knowing that it really isn’t so scary after all and yes, I can do it all on my own.

London part one, The Journey

It was an early start this morning. That wasn’t the problem, neither were the several degrees below zero temeperatures, as my boyfriend and I left the cosy warmth of our first floor flat, and descended the stairs to a darkened car park and an ice covered van.

Black and depressing, it fitted my mood, and seemed an appropriate start to the day I was facing.

“and if you want to get rubbed all over with goose fat”

You hear the strangest things on the radio when you are flicking through the channels looking for something to listen to in order to try and lift your mood.

I don’t think I’d ever want to be covered in goose fat, would you? They don’t even do it for cross channel swimmers now, because rescuers cannot get hold of them to lift them out of the water if they get into difficulties, although that said, swimsuit technology is brilliant nowadays, and I doubt that I would ever be undertaking a cross channel swim. I doubt if I could even swim the 50m length of an olympic sized swimming pool.

But I digress as I’m nervous. Fortunately for me the few miles to the train station was easy and quiet with all thr traffic lights on green, as we left later than I had planned and I didn’t want to miss the train as my tickets were for specific trains only. I made it though, to a startlingly changed train station, which I had last seen in the midst of it’s rennovations.

“you didn’t set that off did you?”

It’s the simple things that help you relax in life isn’t it. I’ve been worked up over this trip for weeks, and sometimes when you get to things actually happening you wonder what all that fuss was about.

I’ve been scared of catching the train, not because of it being something I’ve never done before, becuase I have hundreds of times, but because I’ve never done it on my own, and because I do have a habit of throwing myself in at the deep end my choosing that the first time I do ‘go it alone’, I pick a commuter train into London.

I have a reserved seat, will it still be there? How will I find the right carriage? Will it be marked? Will the train be packed? Standing room only? I’m in a quiet coach, will it be quiet? Will I be left alone? Will people want to talk to me?

These were all the worries going round my head. A hundred times over and more.

As I approached the barriers with a nervous look on my face trying to decide which of the two tickets was the right one to use to open the gate, I saw one of the station guards approach, friendly and polite I asked, “This may seem a stupid question, but coach A is at the front of the train right?”

Not so stupid at all it seemed, for Coach A is actually at the back of the train, since I am going backwards, but the guard simply said, “move out to the left of the platform, and Coach A will stop roughly around that sign over there.”

It was simple, and as I stood there, with just one or two people milling around where I needed to be, I relaxed a little. Only a little however as right around then the alarm went off in the British Transport Police offices and didn’t stop blaring for over five minutes. Apparently the key pad on the door to shut the alarm off wasn’t working properly. Probably the cold I thought. It was then when friendly guard chose to come out, be nosy and giving me an amused look asking “you didn’t set that off did you?”

The simpleness of a little banter, wore another little edge off my coat of wariness. This is normal, I can do this.

It is quiet on my coach. It should be, I picked a ‘quiet coach’ on purpose. I like the stillness of the quiet, people reading, working, dozing.

Fifty minutes into my two hour journey and no one has sat in the reserved seat next to me yet, although we are about to stop at the biggest station on route so I expect that will change here. There’s not much movement otherwise though, just one or two people migrating into my coach from the next along, as two of the carriages have no heating, and it’s a cold old day out there.

I wonder what I look like to other people. I am sat with just write room open typing this as I travel, it is a form of therapy, it is helping me realise all of this is normal.

I am wondering if the random shifting of tenses as I write is annoying my reader, I am wanting to go back and put it all right. I am not going to. I am going to sit here for a while soaking up the quiet, indulging in the sounds of the train on it’s tracks, and not thinking about how I am going to make it from Paddington station to Tottenham Court Road during rush hour.

I am going to enjoy the rest of my journey on this train. I am going to arrive at Paddington, find a coffee shop, and get a drink. Then, and only then will I allow myself to worry about the next part of my trip.

For now, I am just going to hit publish.

Tweet you later.

Love, The Fairy.

xx

A tiny little glimmer

Of hope, of strength. of something.

Don’t get me wrong, despite all of my outbursts, and the blackest of days I am a strong person.

I know because of where I am now, after everything I’ve gone through over the last few years. I’ve gone from having everything worth having, home, marriage, lifestyle, and a reasonable amount of disposable income. To nothing, no home, no marriage, no money etc. etc. I won’t go on, I’ve been there, done that and bought the t-shirt, towel, and souvenir snow globe, but if you’ve been through divorce then, you know.

However, despite the fact I’m still deeply indebted to the blasted banks due to the ex, I have managed to get myself a brand new home, and get back on the property ladder. I’ve built a new life with a new man, which in itself has been extremely difficult and challenging due to my own selfishness and insecurities that stem from my failed marriage. I’ve also done a lot of growing and changing, and I’ve done it all on my own, because the stubborn part of me that comes from my Grandmother won’t allow me to ask for help, it just expects you to know when I need it, and if you don’t? Well hell, you’re all rubbish, and sod you I’ll do it on my own anyway, I always do.

Yet still I suffer the darkness, there are things I want in life, goals to achieve, that I can’t have or won’t let myself have. I feel I am ‘undeserving’ and that I’m not entitled to be good at what I do, that I am not the sort of person good things happen too, and I never will ‘amount’ to anything.

Then there are moments, like today, when I’m driving home in my car and since I’ve just finished the book I’m listening to I switch to music, and I sing along loudly and badly to something I love and a strange little feeling creeps over me, just for a fleeting moment. I feel positiveness, happiness and hope.

I am just as worthy of success as anyone else.

I am just as capable of achieving my goals as anybody else.

I can do this.

It only ever lasts a minute, but for that minute I am a god. For a tiny glimmer of a moment I can do anything I set my mind too, and no one is going to stand in my way because I deserve this as much as anyone else.

Now, how do I make that moment last a lifetime?