Charmed by an Ole Charmer

I sat on the Cleveleys prom this afternoon. It was a chilly, but sunny, clear skied afternoon. As I only have a few more days left of being up here I was making the most of the seaside serenity.

A pensioner came and sat beside me striking up a conversation. From asking her, “Have you lived in Cleveleys long?” I learned that her name is May and she is 96 years old; partially sighted, blind in one eye since birth. Despite her years she is very spritely and walks daily, weather permitting; often the long, 4.5mile, walk from Cleveleys to Blackpool, which I often do too; and she sequence dances twice a week. She had moved to Cleveleys in 1974 from Manchester; her first husband died from cancer, just before he was to turn 50. Ten years later she started seeing another chap, whom she married some four years later. Seven years after they moved to Cleveleys, having bought a bungalow together, he too died of cancer. This was now 1981. She’s been on her own ever since, although she has a large family of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She lost out on two pensions from the quick and premature deaths of her husbands, such were the circumstances those days; and she nursed her first husband at home for three weeks, through his violently painful and agonising death. They had just celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary that year. Although both losses must have been so heartbreakingly sad for her, she said, “I have been lucky. I was blessed with two good husbands.” Sitting with her, listening to her reminisce, agreeing that our lives are mapped out from the moment we are born; hearing the absence of any bitterness or need to grumble despite the incredible emotional and financial struggles she has had, was very humbling.

It is something that I have been thinking about over the last few weeks. I have always said I know how lucky I am, but in truth, I don’t really think I do. It took a recent text from my ex, reminding me of how lucky I am, that struck a cord. Maybe because in comparison to her own life I am indeed lucky. The most I have suffered in my years are from depression or from having my heart broken. I have been in considerable debt in my time, but that was my own doing and a situation I have since rectified. For the most part I think I have been in a constant state of disappointment in life, since my teen years, and this I can only attribute to ridiculous levels of expectation; not only from life, but from myself. My standards are high. I expect far too much from myself and I expect life to provide me with what I feel I deserve. So when I don’t achieve a goal, or life doesn’t send me where I want to be……I get disappointed….and so the downward spiral would begin.

What a fool am I. And it’s taken me 36 years to work that out. Mind you, I was always a late bloomer. ūüėČ

When someone says to you, ‘Count your blessings,’ don’t just hear the words being spoken. Actually listen and take it on board. We should all count our blessings. If life has a plan for us, then we should all just sit back and enjoy the ride; stress less about the things of which we cannot control and only concern ourselves with the things that we can. Positive reinforcements are out there in abundance, but we only fleetingly acknowledge them.

It’s time for me to expect nothing of myself, or of my life and just bloody live it! Because, actually I have been living a charmed life, I just couldn’t see it. At least I’m still young enough for that to have an effect on the rest of my years.

May and I wished eachother a happy new year, as I do to you now. Enjoy your evening; and as of this moment, if you have ever been as guilty as I for placing too much importance on the things you don’t have in your life, concern yourself not with what you feel is lacking and concentrate more on what you do have. That which is meant for you, will come.

Love,

Joey
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Love vs Dollar

I used to think I had it all. I was 22, in my first relationship, openly gay, in love with my soulmate. We had debt up to our eyeballs, repayments stretching our budgets, no money to afford anywhere near a good living. One year, for Christmas, we spent hours making a variety of chocolate truffles to box up as gifts because we had no money for presents….but it didn’t matter. We had a lot of fun doing it and we felt good that it was a personal touch. Nothing in life seemed to matter back then because we had eachother. Seven years after it began, it failed. I was ruined.

I have strived to better my lifestyle since then, which I did. I worked hard to pay off all my debts, which I did. I enjoyed the lifestyle, through a decent paying job, but has it brought me happiness? No. Has it brought me peace? Well, to a degree, yes. And after the last attempt at love failed it begs the question, just what else do I have to do to be happy?

The love of my last girlfriend made me happy but the relationship was so fraught with problems that it’s hardly surprising it didn’t last. Just being honest. Though no-one can say I didn’t try all I could to make it work.

So what now?

I’ve spent this evening with family in a home I’ve been coming to for most of my life, since my Aunt and Uncle moved here some 25-30 years ago. I loved being part of a couple, with my first love, bringing her here, sharing my family with her. I had it made. We had a future. As it turns out, that future didn’t involve her! Still, I got over it. Took me 4-5years but I got over it.

I look at my cousins, married with kids of their own, and although I don’t want kids, I can’t help but wonder, why not me? Why have I got to this age without a snifter of ‘the one?’ When everyone in my life tells me I’m so worthy, why does she elude me? I know good things come to those who wait, but Christ…!

At the moment I have to hold my hands up, surrender to life and just go with it; keep up the hope that one day I will be settled, that one day I will have what I want, what I deserve. I may, currently, have a job that earns a decent wage, but I have always maintained that I would give it all up to have true love; to feel truly content again.

What’s the point of money when there’s no-one to share it with? And who needs money when all you need is love?

JG

Onwards and Upwards…or in my case Southwards

Which is harder; breaking up, or moving on?  Back in August, the actual break-up itself happened over a couple of weeks, but for me, moving on has taken months; and now that I am finally, literally doing it, life feels slightly more surreal, but not necessarily in a bad way.

My ex and I were only together for 18months.¬† It’s barely any time in the grand scheme of things, but when it’s love, a nanosecond is all it takes to ensure a break-up to be painful, confusing and heart-breakingly soul destroying.¬†¬†I can imagine what you are thinking….’get over it already,’ ‘shit happens,’ ‘there’s plenty¬†more fish in sea,’ etc, etc; and fair play, you have a point.¬† Consider though, that I am a fool with love.¬† I may not fall very often but when I do it¬†is everything to¬†me; and as a deeply (and somewhat irrationally)¬†sentimental person, I am doubly doomed when it comes to love.¬† I have done nothing but allow sadness at the loss of my relationship (which I had waited so long for), the guilt for my part in allowing it to fail, and the consequential limbo, to¬†overwhelm me.¬† I let my world come to a stop¬†and to a point, on several occasions, where the resulting depression would make me wish for an eternal sleep.¬† There is no-one, nor indeed any situation¬†in life¬†on this Earth that is worth feeling like that over.

So, after all of this grieving and healing I am in a place, spiritually, where I no longer feel guilt, I wouldn’t even say there is sadness, but there is a melancholy upon reminiscing.¬† Now, though, it is¬†combined with such an overwhelming sense of thankfulness, of happiness.¬† I am packing up my belongings, a lot of which have been given to me by, or bought with, my ex and I am happily taking them with me.¬† I wrote a poem,¬†a couple of months ago, describing unpacking my belongings and then repacking them and putting them out of sight as it was too hard to see them.¬† The memories would initially make me smile, but that emotion was instantly replaced with intense sadness and I would breakdown and cry.¬† Now, though, I just feel happy.¬† Happy that it even happened; that although she wasn’t my forever, she was mine for that time and a piece of my heart will forever belong to her.¬† (oops a teeny tear welled in each eye just then.)¬† I will take these things and remember the love that accompanies them, not because I am pining for something I can no longer have, rather that I am so thankful I had it in the first place.¬† Nothing, nor anyone can ever take that away.¬† The scars on my heart will always send a pulsing shockwave through my body when I think of what was lost, but my thankful soul will rescue me from pain.

I am happy to be starting over.¬† I am being given a second chance with this move…. to achieve the things I didn’t the first time around and boy am I gonna make it work this time!¬† My ex moved on in the¬†quickest of¬†ways, distracted from life with another relationship, within no time of our split.¬† This did not come as a surprise to me, but¬†it was¬†the additional factor that secured more¬†weeks of agonising soul searching, self questioning and a distinct absence of understanding of what the Universe thinks it’s playing at with my life.¬† She has made her declaration that she is trying to find¬†new happiness and is on¬†a quest to find herself and I wish her well.¬† Personally, I believe a new relationship is the last thing you need when¬†trying to learn how to stand alone, but we are different people and deal with things differently.¬† Now I am ready to make the same declaration……to find my own happiness again, of which I have every right.¬† (Took me a long time to recognise that.)

For me, a new relationship is the last thing on my mind.¬† I only enter into a relationship when I have real feelings for someone, which is why it happens so rarely.¬†¬†There is far more beauty and purpose in sharing a life with someone you are genuinely in love with,¬†rather than¬†being with someone just because you don’t want to be alone.¬† That’s not to say that the latter is wrong, it’s just not for me.¬† I will find someone again, when the time is right and I am¬†in no rush.¬† There’s a lot I’d prefer to achieve on my own, first, but as life has its own plan, I will keep an open mind to it all.

JG

The Heart Knows Best

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When relationships break up, what happens to the love? Is it forgotten? Sealed off within the heart and laid to rest? Does it fade? Or does it continue to burn throughout your life?

The heart never forgets the love it has felt. It is our brain that teaches us to carry on regardless of the emotional upheaval. It’s survival instinct. We shouldn’t be, forever, caught up in the haze of loss and misery for a relationship that no longer exists. We can’t keep asking ourselves why…. Why did it happen? Why didn’t it last? Why weren’t we right? We have to move on. We have to overcome. This in itself causes me great unrest. I believe in love. I believe in the power of love. I believe that love is fine and rare and should never be taken for granted. Love deserves respect, loyalty, honesty, trust. When I feel it, I give it 110%, because that feeling doesn’t come often to me. So to love someone only to lose them confuses me. Not an uncommon reaction obviously, but it’s a confusion that halts my world. It demands understanding, answered questions; some of which are unanswerable, but are, never-the-less, necessary to ask.

The brain is an amazing organ, allowing us to evolve through the toughest of times. The change is painful, the growth insurmountable and the results, well, evolutionary. We have to carry on. I‚Äôm sure there are better ways of doing so than others, but we all move on in our own way and in our own time; ‚Äėwhatever is right for us.‚Äô Accepting one thing as a constant‚Ķ.although the truth may elude us, everything happens for a reason.

So, love……the love in my heart still exists. That love will never die, yet, nor will the desire to have love again ever dissipate. Though the relationship has gone, the love for that person remains; a permanent fixture, locked within its own unique space in my heart and soul forevermore. And no matter what, even though life had other plans for us, nothing can ever take away that beauty.

Reasons To Be Cheerful…….

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I am a moody Gemini.¬† There, I said it.¬† I, Joey Glover, am a moody Gemini.¬† Oooh that feels good to finally come out. ūüôā¬†¬† But it doesn’t make me a bad person…!¬† And it certainly doesn’t make me ungrateful for all the wonderful things I have, or have had, in my life so far.¬†

It’s always worth reminding yourself, that even when things go wrong; when life doesn’t go your way; or you find yourself distinctly unhappy, blessings should always be counted.¬† The really hard times will come when you lose those blessings.

I am thankful for my parents; without their acceptance, support, understanding, not to mention their home, I would truly be alone.  Knowing there will come a time when they are no longer here is inconceivable, despite my advancing years.

I am thankful for the love I have been fortunate enough to receive, in all its forms.¬† The love of a partner is second to none, but I have much love from friends near and far, and from my family; some of whom I am so close to that I can’t imagine my life without them.¬† I am blessed to have them all.¬† Love itself is a blessing.

I am thankful for the love I have been able to give; it enriches my life, gives purpose and happiness.¬† To feel love emanating from your soul is a wonderful thing.¬† Those whom I love, or have loved, certainly know about it! ūüôā

I am thankful for my friends for helping me weather my storms; for checking in, offering comfort or stern words as appropriate; for championing me when I feel worthless.  Their selflessness and generosity, whether being a simple inbox message, or an arrival on my doorstep is forever appreciated.

I am thankful for my job.  It may not be my ideal vocation, but it has enabled me to right the wrongs of my financial past; provided a lifestyle that I, and others, have benefitted from; and it gives me the freedom to work as and when I feel like it.  Now that is a true blessing.  Being self employed gives me the gift of time.

I am thankful for my auto-pilot, guiding me through my days, regardless of how I feel; bettering me now for the potentials of my future, even though some days, in this difficult year, I have wished I’d forget the significance of breathing.

I am thankful for my cat, for bringing me laughter, companionship and love. 

I am thankful for my morals and principals.  I believe they make me a good person, a better person.  Regardless of how I feel about my own life it is never my intention to do wrong by people.

 

 

Be thankful for all.

JG
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Clarity in Storm

There are scarcely enough words to justifiably describe the ferocity of this tide.¬† My teary-eyed solemnity soon replaced by the instant fear that I may in fact be granted my fleeting wish of being washed away.¬† It surges into the sea wall as though it were running scared from a terrifying, unseen evil….or, that the sea itself is the evil; hunting and destroying all in its path….

Second chances…………….

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Two years ago I agonised over a decision to relocate to the North West, from the South East, to follow my folks who moved up¬†in their retirement.¬† Roughly six weeks after the move I found myself seeing the girl I would end up in a relationship with and consequently move to live with.¬† 18¬†months later I was back in the family home, relationship over.¬† It’s taken me a while to come to terms with everything; not just the relationship, but also life, in general.¬† Now, I am left wondering…….what happened?!

I found a Zumba class when I first moved up here in late 2011.¬† I had been doing it for a while, back home, and didn’t want to stop.¬† As I have started to feel more like my good ole self, I decided to return to that class.¬† While I was there, standing in the back, stepping from foot to foot to the music, eager to start, an odd feeling came over me.¬† Although I am a different person to the me two years prior, here I was in the same class I frequented two years ago….living at my parent’s, as I was two years ago…….planning to return to work in the new year and move into my own place, as I was two years ago.¬† Just where did two years go?!!!!!!

It’s like I fell into a deep sleep, had an extremely vivid dream, and then woke up; just as though nothing real had taken place.¬† To make things even more bizarre, I have had a contract offer from the same place I worked at before relocating……and accommodation, which I was in whilst working there becomes available Xmas week……so, effectively, if all goes to plan, I will be in the same job, practically in the same flat, dahn sahf again.

You can imagine the questions that have flooded my tiny mind……where did those two years go?¬† Why, if life intended on returning me from whence I came, did I have to make the decision to move my life and all my gear up here in the first place?¬† Why the relationship?¬† Was it (and I mean this in absolutely no disrespect to my ex) a stepping stone to my next?¬† Was it just to teach me a lesson that will stand me in good stead in the months/years to come?¬† In relationships to come?¬† Why, since the break up, did I decide to ditch the day job and do something that I thought would make me happy, if I am to now abandon that new philosophy and return to work (apart from needing an income of course)?!!¬† Why?¬† Why?¬† Why?!!!!!!

I see nothing in life as just coincidence.¬† I always look at the bigger picture.¬† I don’t view my life on a day to day basis, I think long term.¬† I believe in everything happening for a reason.¬† Whether that is because I am Faithless, but still being human, I need something to believe in; or because it is actually true; I have to justify events and create perspective.¬† I know, precisely, the various lessons learned from my last relationship.¬† I am painfully aware of the reality of it all.¬† It’s only now that I can look back fondly and thankfully, but without emotional attachment.

It may be some time before I know the reason for it all.¬† Deep down, I think I do already.¬† As a friend has frequently pointed out to me, all that has happened has taught me what I don’t want in life.¬† Although intentions of living near my folks were good, in reality, I am not of retirement age.¬† When I moved I wanted to settle down from all the constant to-ing and fro-ing that comes with being a contractor; I was knackered!¬† I worked all hours, I travelled all over in my spare time, visiting friends and family;¬†I certainly¬†lived, but I’d had enough.

You could say I got precisely what I wanted.  I moved, I found love, I settled down.  I had someone to come home to.  I worked when I wanted to, had plenty of time out when I wanted to.  It was a good position to be in; in fact it was an amazing position to be in.  Now though, after everything, my priorities have changed.  I am no longer in need of finding love.  I no longer need to settle down.  I have no desire for a relationship any time soon.  I am happy to live my life as it happens, without expectations; even, dare I admit it, patiently.

So these past two years may seem to have passed in the blink of an eye, but I feel like I have been given a second chance.  Life provided what I thought I needed and in the process it taught me to chill out, to not place so much importance on finding love, and more poignantly to not feel duty bound to follow love when your gut advises you otherwise.  All that is meant to be will happen in good time; whether it be another lesson to learn, or the real deal.

So thank you life, I heard ya!  Time to enjoy my freedom.

JG