Sunday 24 August 2008

The Third Way- The Future I Choose

My life is back.

Those four words are so simple, yet they mean a lot.
I have faith and hope, and a bizarre kind of way, love. And everything that is wrong with my life, is rectifiable.

And it's great to be able to feel that way.

About this time last year, I really was starting to feel that my life was potentially heading towards being as good as it had ever been. There really was only one cloud on the horizon.
That doesn't need going into really. Those who know, will know that that cloud become the most horrific ordeal I ever, or will ever I'm sure, have to live through.

But it's over now.

It's over.

And the difference has been amazing.

You can't go back. You can't make it as if it had never happened. My life hasn't- and can't return to the way it was before the ordeal.

But is it BETTER as a result?

Yes, because what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger and the whole experience has been a fascinating- if brutal- learning curve.

So life has begun again. But this isn't like the restoration of King Charles II after Cromwell, or the Bourbons after Napoleon. It's not as if the past year never happened.

It's a new era completely.
After all, I'm thirty now.

And now I'm finally able to take stock of what I want from life. What's practical and what's not. And how to go about it.

First things first.

The ordeal being over has meant several things have already returned to normal, and the rest can, in time.

Lack of continual worry, being able to focus more on closing, rather than losing deals because one's thought processes aren't sharp enough, means that in real terms the last month saw me have my second best month EVER (My best was last October), and I'm earning what I was. This month looks like I'll kill it too, and bearing in mind this is dead month, that's pretty damn good.

We're talking about two hundred pounds a month better off.

But there's more. Back in January- when the ordeal was at its height- my heavily pregnant flatmate departed to pastures more suited to a newborn baby than this flat, which essentially serves the needs of a slightly bohemian lifestyle.

And sorting out a replacement was something I really couldn't focus on.

But now my mind has been free to tackle that. I've had viewings, and there is someone I have in mind who fits the bill.
Asian female, mid thirties, own business, nice person.

And no, I don't sleep with my flatmates. Recipe for disaster. I just don't really care for living with other males. I suppose the Baker kind of treats this as a sort of home and does kind of live here some of the time, and other friends often sleep here, but living? I don't do living with blokes.

So that's another three hundred quid, potentially.

I can live comfortably again. Five hundred quid on average, every month, better off.

And there's the rest of it.

I kind of decided to take a kind of sabbatical from women last October. I say sabbatical, because I do this from time to time. The ostensible reason is, that it's for me to sort my head out about what I really want from women, sex, love, and life.

Now I've kidded myself that this one lasted such an inordinate amount of time because of my sincere dedication to working these things through.

But that of course, is complete bollocks. If I hadn't had so much crap on my plate, the sabbatical would have ended the same way they always do.
After a month or two, it gets too much and with the best will in the world, something soon happens to make you weak.

There are several reasons this one lasted so long. One of them will be alluded to later. But reasons Two and Three were; Being too absorbed with stress and worry to pick up on signals from, or be interested in, the opposite sex and being too snappy and arsy to be of much appeal to the opposite sex. I seem to have accrued a lot of phone numbers whilst drunk or otherwise over the last year, but never done much with them.

Now that weight has lifted from my mind, well, let's just say I'd forgotten just how much temptation is about and just how poor I am at resisting it.

Only my perspective has changed a little.

Because something bizarre happened over the last year, something I never really thought could happen.
Let's just say I'm starstruck. Kind of Head over Heels.
These things creep up on you when you least expect them to.
Only these things aren't really that simple. For the purposes of this post I'm going to call her Haydee, and if you're thinking this a reference to the Count of Monte Christo, it is.
You don't need to know any more than that.
Suffice to say, in practical terms, though I think I would want to have her in my life ultimately as the person I share my living space with, I rate that idea as having the same probability as Birmingham City making it into Europe.

Anyway, I was sitting in the pub earlier assessing the salient points of reality.

  1. If I work at my career, no reason why I can't still go all the way. So, I made some mistakes in my twenties. I was a naughty boy. No reason why I can't one day be a Company Director- even if I'll never now have a political career.
  2. I'm still not sure how long I want to stick with sales. It's a living, but it's not the calling of my heart. That's why I blog, really. But I have faith again, that that's going somewhere. Some positive things have happened there. I know I want to write, writing is what I enjoy doing and if I was in a position to say 'shove sales up your arse', I would.
  3. I can live comfortably. With more money and no reason now to drown my sorrows in alcohol, life can be good. It IS good.
  4. I CAN reclaim normal relations with my family. They were approaching some degree of comfort before, and they can do again. I really do think we can return to me popping round every month or two for a meal and we can return to the way things were, with the general consensus that my personal life is not a subject for discussion.

So that's all that.
And now to points that I've been mulling over of late.

When you're little they spin you all this crap about happy ever after love stories. And it doesn't correspond with reality.
This afternoon I was reflecting just how much I often totally go against all things I preach, in my own subconscious outlook. I preach reality, but I still cling on to fantasy in my head.

One thing I was arguing recently to a friend was that we are moving to a classless society, in the sense that tacitly, regardless of occupation, most people under forty now have much the same outlook and aspirations. That distinction between the morals of the middle and working classes is gone, for those under forty.

The thing is, so many of us in so called 'professional' sectors, feel we still have to conform to a moral code we don't actually believe in. And in my case, that's actually WORSE, because I openly say I don't believe in it. I actually believe in Free Love and I openly speak in favour of it.

The point is, the so called 'working' class don't pretend to believe it. They actually live lives which better resemble the way of living I think is more natural and they do it openly. We 'professional' people still feel compelled to try make nuclear families and marriage and all that work.

Yet looking round my local, I realise that most of the people there lead happier and more honest lives.

They don't have stupid expectations. They get on with real life. It's only those of us who have to put suits on feel we have to try live lives politicians and other 'moral leaders' think we should. Because we're actually more brainwashed. We WATCH all the discussion programmes, we READ their newspapers. These people don't. They just get on with THEIR lives. They emote to people as they find them. It is only us in suits feel we need to stick to archaic- and unrealistic- ways of living.

And ones where we lie.

Life doesn't have to be as simple as a choice between holding out for The One and settling. There is a middle way. One ordinary people choose, without thinking about it.

So, points.
  1. Ideally, yes, I want children. That doesn't mean I want a family, not necessarily. What it means is that I'd like children who I have regular contact with. I don't believe that has to involve spending your life with the mother. It's possible I may already have children, but even if I followed that up, I'm not part of their lives and never could be now. What I mean is, I'd like children who I give names to, and grow up baptised Catholic, supporting Birmingham and at least seeing their father on a regular basis. And with the relationship between myself and their mother always being somewhere in that spectrum between people who live together and just good friends who get on amicably and both have the best interests of the children at heart.
  2. I don't really want to commit to anybody. With exceptions. And those exceptions are clear. I don't really like being alone, but nor do I want to be attached. Not in that way. Not a permanent commitment. Because it would be wrong. It would be a lie. Any arrangement I got into with anyone, it would have to be on the understanding, it was just for as long as it lasted. What came of it, would come of it, and yes, we could be good friends, GREAT friends even, friends who live together and sleep together, but love everlasting? No. That's only possible, I think, with two women in the world.
  3. Regardless of the situation, if Angela showed up tomorrow and said she'd come for me, I'd go. I'd go off with her into the sunset. Nothing would hold me back. And I'm not going to pretend it would. If I was with someone, I'd leave and go with Angela. I promised almost two years ago that would be the case, and to be fair, it's a promise I'd keep in all but one situation. What I actually said 'The offer always remains on the table- I'll never withdraw it.' And I really don't think I could resist going off to a lifetime entwined in those slender ebony limbs. Angela is not The One, I know that now, but she's still the most stunning woman I have ever come across and she could walk all over me all she liked, no it wouldn't QUITE be true love, but it would be the next best thing. It would be true lust and true adoration.
  4. There is one woman who would still take precedence over Angela. I can't see there ever being a situation where I ever had to choose between her and Angela. The chances of such a situation arising are infinitesimal. But if it happened, I'd choose her. And that's Haydee. She is The One, I know that.

How to be realistic about this?

Quite simple. The way ordinary people do who haven't got their head up the arse of idealism. Live in reality.

Of course it's Haydee I want. And she knows I'll wait for her. But let's be reasonable about wait. What it means is if she called, I'd come. I'd drop everything and build a life with her.
But she may never want that.

And I'm thirty now. And looking round the pub, I realise there are plenty of options.

Options, as in, ones with no expectations.

There are plenty of girls out there who aren't looking for love everlasting. They know it's not real. Not in the world of The Star.

They expect that in their life they'll live with several different men and have children by more than one of them. It's normal.

They don't expect a lifelong commitment, they don't expect the father of their children to be the love of their lives. They don't plan to have children, but they don't plan not to. One day they'll just tell you they're pregnant. But they don't expect that to affect how long you stay with them. Relationships to them aren't an all or nothing deal. There is far less of an expectation of fidelity on either part.

This is the world of the women that up to now, I sleep with often, but have relationships with never.

But maybe I should.

In many ways, they're often actually NICER people.

Why not just take these things as you find them?

Why not just stop the acting? Just be honest, don't tell them you love them, or that you'll be there for life.

Some of you may think I'm awful for saying this, but I'm happy with that. Happy with doing that. Staying with someone as long as we stay good friends, and then when and if things don't work out, taking that as it comes. Not fighting to preserve it. Just moving on.

Settling? No it's not settling. It's not settling, because I'm not accepting it as final.

Haydee knows I'll wait for her.

But that might BE forever.

So I've just got to be practical about how I pass my time as I wait.

And I think- finally- I'm looking forward to the future.

Life really is so much easier if you're just HONEST with yourself and those around you.

So, as far as I'm concerned the deal pretty much is this.
I know who I ACTUALLY want.

But I'm open to anyone who has certain qualities while I wait. I just don't offer commitment. I'm not averse to seeing someone regularly, even possibly having some kind of shared living arrangement, but I don't offer commitment. I offer an open relationship, and nothing else. I don't offer permanency. It lasts till one or other of us really has had enough. And as far as I'm concerned, that's the first argument. The first argument, will also be the last argument. And if they want children, I don't have a problem with that. But don't consider that to tie me down in any way. I promise to provide for the children if there are any, but I don't promise how I do that.

Angela? I'm not waiting for her, no. If she came back, I'd go off with her, simply because, with the exception of Joanna and Haydee, she's the most amazing woman I've ever come across. I don't miss her, but if I saw her again, I wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.


It will, I realise always be her. And I will wait for her. Forever. In the ways that really matter.

And if, if, that miracle should ever happen, then yes.

She and she alone of all the women in the world can expect me to do that I will never do for anyone else, ever. And that's a promise.


Because I do actually love her.


Anonymous said...

I told you so!! See Crushed, it happens when we think it wont. :)

Anonymous said...

posts like this are very good for sorting things out in your head. I'm glad you are feeling a whole lot better with out such a weight on your shoulders. It's something like a europhic feeling when we can look at life and see a future again.

Anonymous said...

...euphoric is what I meant ;)

Anonymous said...

Love can be worth waiting for. It usually sneaks up on you though, as nunyaa illuded to. Btw, I noticed recently that there is a 'love calculator' online. Not that I recommend it. Just a factoid.

Anonymous said...

btw, congrats on getting major things sorted, and coming through a hard time.

Anonymous said...

nietzsche had his moments didnt he :)

nothing worth having comes easy in life crushed, you have to fight for it.

Anonymous said...

It is good that you are getting things sorted in your head!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad for all the good news, like life being good and you getting along with your family again! :-)
A well-expressed post, even though I may not agree with all of it (and haven't met those women who don't mind just having kids without the husband being around... the closest I can imagine is that fat girl in Little Britain... I forget the name now). As for waiting for Haydee, waiting to me means just that; no other woman, even in the meantime. But as you say, since she knows she might never choose you, it's nice to have that assurance that even though you wait, you won't suffer because of it; you'll still live your normal life. That way, there's less guilt in not choosing you.

Anonymous said...

Crushed, Nice to see a happier more optimistic element showing in your posts.

On happily ever after. You can have it, so long as you are both willing to pay the price…

Remember infatuation/lust is not love, though it can lead to it.

The price is, having consideration, being kind, thoughtful and considerate of each other. Of being willing to bite back on the occasional (there is a limit)frustration, soak it up. Touching each other at odd moments and holding one another, kissing, holding hands.

It’s trite but never, allow yourself to go to sleep angry with your partner. Giving them little unexpected treats and kindnesses, like cooking a nice meal, or buying them flowers. Chocolates are usually good. Taking some interest in their favourite sport or hobby. Try to look nice for each other.

Oh and talk to each other.

Any relationship is like a house. Eventually it need the gutters cleaned and some new paint. You have to clean the windows, clip the hedges keep weeds from the drive, dust and sweep… It needs maintenance and that does not just happen.

Don’t be blinded by your idealism, but at the same time don’t entirely abandon it either.

Anonymous said...

Nunyaa- Yes, but it's best to be philosophical about these things.

And realistic.

Kate- Yes, certainly life has just felt amazingly good recently. It's bizarre really. Life really can be good.
It really IS a release. And right now, I really do feel I have something positive to live for.

Benji- Ah, but is love something you can calculate?

In some ways, perhaps.

Cheers, it was hard, but as I said, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

Crashie- I know. But you have to choose your battles wisely.

But when something really is worth fighting for, you know.

If something is really worth it, than it's not so much whether you win or lose, but how you acquit yourself.

CherryPie- Yes, I think so. I'm not saying this post necessarily represents the final chapter, but I think I kind of know what I want.

So it's just go with the flow, live in hope, and see what the future brings :)

Eve- Well, I've still got to try sort things out with my family. I've sorted things out with my Gran and she was poss the worst affected.

You should come visit some of the pubs I drink in.:)

As regards Haydee and how I wait, she knows I'll always be here, should she ever decide that why, but the one thing I like to believe is that I can always be honest with her- and that's a first in my case, as far as women are concerned. You see, she's kind of one of my best friends as well.

I like the level of trust and honsty we have.

Moggs- Would I lay money on happy after?
Actually, no. When it comes to betting I'm pretty cynical- I always follow my head.

It's about like the World Cup, you have FAITH England can win, but you're going to put your money on Italy.

I can't complain, really. Things are good. I'm starting to feel right now that it's not out of my reach to enjoy life in a way I'd never have dreamed possible at one time.

I have this faith that everything will work out for the best.