Sunday, 13 June 2010

Just close your eyes and jump

When I was a young thing Mum and Dad decided to send me to go and have swimming lessons.
For the most part I liked them. I took to it pretty well and enjoyed splashing about and learning to swim my first width and the like. I just had one small problem...

...I was terrified of jumping in.

One morning the teacher got us all out of the pool and asked us to line up on the side. My knees were already knocking together, I just didn’t want to do it. And then I came up with a cunning plan. I would do the tiniest jump ever, just a little bit away from the side and then the side of the pool would still be close to me and everything would be ok.

I watched the other children leaping off the side of the pool. There were a couple of helpers who were in the water with us and some little girls and boys were aiming for their arms and flying off the side of the pool. Not for me. I had a plan.

I was last in line. The teacher tapped me on the shoulder and I put the plan into action. Just one teeny tiny weeny jump. I jumped...

And landed smack on my backside on the pool’s edge. I can still remember the pain that shot up my spine. My Dad, who was sitting along the side watching at the time, told me later that his first thought was “My god, she’s paralysed herself.” The pain was unbelievable. And I made sure everyone knew how much it hurt. I screamed like a bitch.

I was helped up from the side of the pool. It hurt to even walk and they let me hobble into the changing rooms and told me to sit down. I sat and I sobbed. A few minutes later my teacher came in.

“Come on. Lets get back in the pool” he said to me. I was absolutely horrified and protested but he insisted. He was very wise and knew that the best thing for me to do was get back on the horse, or in the pool, whatever, basically I had to do it straight away or my phobia of jumping in would get worse.

Reluctantly I agreed to go back to the pool. I got there and sat down on the edge, ready to ease myself in. The teacher tapped me on my shoulder.

What are you doing?” he asked
“Getting back in the pool” came my reply
No no no. You’re going to jump back in the pool
“But what if I do it wrong again?”
You won’t. You’re going to jump into the pool this time.”
“But what if my head goes under?”
Then you’ll come back up again. Just close your eyes and jump. Everything will be alright.”

Simple. But true. And so I followed his advice, jumped properly this time and yes my head did go under the water and yes I came back up again, but most importantly I managed to overcome my fear. It became a standing joke amongst everyone there about my failed jump into the pool, a joke that continued to the point 6/7 years later when my swimming teacher was teaching me to be swimming teacher. No-one would let me forget it. If anyone mentioned jumping or diving in to water, a little wink would be thrown my way.

And I’m glad they did because I thought about this story a lot in the past few weeks. Especially what Paul said to me.

“Then you’ll come back up again.”

And so. On Tuesday. I closed my eyes and I jumped.

And ended my relationship.

I haven’t been happy for months now and I’ve tried to make things better but I can’t. Something just isn’t right and I think that the boyfriend deserves more. He deserves someone who is happy and fully appreciates him. Maybe I’ve been stupid and will forever go down in the annals of time as The Girl Who Gave Away The Perfect Boyfriend, because he really was. But sometimes perfect isn’t enough. There needs to be something more and that something, whatever it is, is missing.

I could stay. Nothing was drastically wrong, we didn’t argue, he adored me and would have done anything for me. But I wasn’t happy. And I can’t stay in a relationship where I’m not happy. Yes stability is great and wonderful and yes I have given away my shot at marriage, babies and houses, but I can’t settle.

Maybe one day I will settle, maybe I’m being unrealistic (although I don’t think I am). But the fact remains that at 27 I can’t make a life with someone if I’m not really happy. Imagine a lifetime of being ok but never really being happy, always knowing in the pit of your stomach that something is wrong...I just can’t do it.

I hope you won’t judge me too harshly, although I fear that some of you will. It’s hard to properly convey things in a blog. Especially when you don’t know the people involved. I’ve tried my hardest to explain in the above two paragraphs but I’ve done my best.

And although I’ve gone down, I know that I’ll come back up again.


Smiffy's Blog said...

Ahh, bless you. If it doesn't feel right then you've done the right thing...for you and for him. You've been very strong considering what you've been through over the last few months - and I bet it would have been easier to have stayed together then to break up so I really admire you for that - you tough cookie you. So now, onwards and upwards. Sue x

Jill said...

I am sorry to hear that your relationship has ended, but no-one knows what goes on behind other people's doors, so therefore we aren't in a position to judge.

Don't think for 1 minute that this was your only chance at marriage, children, stability etc. I left my husband when I was 29. I had stability and the most beautiful home, but I wasn't happy and knew that it was madness for us to remain together. The next bloke I met, we moved in together, but that wasn't right either, so I ended that relationship too - I thought that was it for me. I was in my ealy 30's, but then I met Violet's dad - I now have stability, a wonderful partner (not perfect) and the most beautiful, funny little daughter anyone could wish for.

Be happy x

Taz said...

I wish I had been strong enough to do this many many years ago and I would not have had to go through it all now with my 2 kids lives being thrown into turmoil and being left feeling like I've possibly lost a lot of years.
It's a sad thing to admit that I never even wanted to get married and although it wasn't been all bad I was never really 'happy' in that relationship.
So as hard as it is to do and to go through - good on you sweetheart. Here's to the start of the rest of your life and keep that chin up.

Flitterbee said...

Well, that sucks :(

I very much like the swimming analogy and I can't help but hear Van Halen's Jump in my head as I read it.

"Go ahead, jump. Jump!"

James said...

Good luck on the way back up. :)

Laura said...

At the end of the day it is YOUR life and you have to do what's best for YOU. Only you can make the decision as to what's best.

Wishing you all the best on your journey back up!


The Curious Cat said...

I think what you have done takes ALOT of courage. I thought this was coming... To be honest, I'm pretty impressed. I'm a walking disaster zone myself when it comes to men and right now so many things are screaming at me to walk away from dating Mr Moorish but I like him ALOT and am unable to budge... (don't write back anything on my wall in case he reads it!). I always go for men that are maybe not quite right (maybe I like the discord and drama?) and then I never have the courage to do something about it because I don't like being alone...having said that...just writing this message and he just sent me the nicest text so maybe I'm just over analysing things! Either way relationships are bloody mind-boggling! But in your case, if it doesn't feel right- if your gut is saying no...I always say trust your gut...and even if your gut turns out to be wrong...well you'll know that eventually by how time and space shapes things and offers up new perspective.

Loved the swimming story by the way - though ouch!! And I hope you are will you be moving out of the house and back home? What will happen? xxx

PS Jill's comment is also a comfort hey? I sometimes panic a little at 28 when I see all my friends settling down, getting mortgages and having babies...but it is cool...she is right!

ana said...

Yes, you will come back up and things will be better, and you still have lots of time for marriage and babies, even if it doesn't feel that way now.
I thought I'd met the man of my dreams when I was in my mid 20s but he didn't want me and I was devastated and felt that I'd never have another boyfriend ever again. But I got over him and now I have someone else (who I met when I was least expecting it) who is certainly not perfect but seems to be right for me.
It will happen for you too, just take your time. Big hug for your courage too.

Heather said...

It wouldn't even have crossed my mind to judge you.

x x x x x x x x x x s

mooncalf said...

Best of luck! If anyone gives you a hard time I recommend you kick them in the shins. You've done what needed to be done.

And once all the turmoil is well and truly past you'll pop back out on the surface and take a deep breath. And the world will be continuing on as before.

Also, you're not actually in a Jane Austen novel. You're not totally on the shelf at 27 :)

Kim said...

I'm 28 and my six year relationship ended last year, to the shock of most of my friends and family who thought we were the perfect couple, destined for marriage and babies etc.. we didn't argue, spent most of our time together, had brilliant holidays and loved each other to bits. But we both realised there was something missing and couldn't shake this niggling feeling that there were other people out there that would be better for us, relationship wise. Everyone was shocked at first and sometimes it felt like our decision was hard to justify. But when you've got 'that feeling' that it's not right, then it isn't right - and it's not fair on either of you to stay in a relationship where you'll always be wondering 'is there something more out there?' So you've done a massively brave thing here and most importantly, you've done the right thing - so don't let anyone try to tell you otherwise, or judge you for it x said...

I think you have done the right thing, if you feel that nagging feeling all the time that something is just missing, not right, then you are following your instincts well. You are still so young, and believe me, as someone older, there is nothing worse than looking back in life and wishing you had taken another path. Life and time goes so fast, it is so important to get it as right as you can! In long run, if you feel the way you do, and stayed in the relationship, it would have caused so much suffering, not only for your boyfriend , but for you, and any children you may have had. I am a great believer in following your feelings. There have been times in my life when I didn't and those situations have been awful!

No-one has the right to judge, and if anyone does, send them to me, I can't bare judgemental people. Why should they judge you anyway, you have done nothing wrong, how can following your heart be wrong?

I send you big encouraging hugs!
Suzie xxxx said...

I have been reading the other comments, and just thought I would say that it does take a lot of courage to face something is not right and to do something about it. (I know this too, from personal experience) SOmetimes we stay somewhere because we are scared to leave the stability and scared of going back into the big wide world. But you have shown enormous strength and courage. I feel proud to know you! Good for you. I know its not easy and your emotions will be in a turmoil, and you will be worrying about your boyfriend and how he feels, but keep true to your heart and feelings! xxx

Petit Filoux said...

I had a feeling that might be coming... Hope you're doing ok though and have people around to help you get through this. How could anyone judge you for this though?! It's your life after all, and if it didn't feel right, then that's it really, you know best. Good luck with coming back up, it's always easier than you think it might be xxx
ps loved the swimming pool analogy - can imagine how much it must have hurt though!!

Diane said...

I think that you have been very brave. No one else can have a say, because if the feeling isn't there, it isnt there. I hope you and the boy get through the next few months ok. xxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

If it's not right, it's not right. I admire your courage, I really do! I always end up staying in a relationship I don't want to be and then whine when I get dumped. Saddo much? :P

Like you said, you'll bounce back. You'll have some tough but exciting times ahead. You'll have times when you struggle but just think about the reasons you did it.

And in the end, if you are meant to be, you'll get back together eventually. Nothing lost, experience gained. And I'm all about the experience.

Florence and Mary said...

Hi check out WW magazines/Cookbooks and recipes online as there are loads of WW baking recipes to experiment. Tonight I'm hoping to make some WW smartie cookies.

Victoria xx

The domestic novice said...

I agree with all of the other comments - it takes a bucket load of courage to face up to the difficult things in life. It's often far easier to bury the niggles, for it to flare up further down the line. Lots of deep breaths. Cat x

LiLu said...

Don't ever settle, lady. You did yourself- and him- a favor, even if it doesn't necessarily feel that way right now.


jane said...

I don't think there will be any judging - you did the right thing, although it was brave and hard. There's no such thing as the Perfect Boyfriend - if he wasn't perfect for you, now, then that's all that matters. And you haven't given away your shot at anything. Take care...

Helen said...

I have just come across your blog so don't really want to butt in but (she says butting in anyway) sounds like you have done the best thing for you. Be kind to yourself.
Lily ( previous blog) looks as if it is the identical twin of mine. Got her at the end of last year just as I was starting chemotherapy. Fantastic company and I agree very very funny.
Take care

miss*H said...

i admire you, I really do. It takes real guts to end a relationship when something isn't just right and whether you're the one of the receiving end or not each person needs support and no-one has the right to judge


Garden Girl said...

hi sweetie, lovely to hear from you. Hope you're ok. Eight years ago I was living with a lovely guy, we were engaged, the frock was bought and the church was booked. We lived in the house of my dreams and everthing was perfect. Except it wasn't. I woke up one morning and made the toughest decision i have ever had to make-to call it all off. It was a terrible heart wrenching time for all concerned, but I never once doubted that I had made the right decision, and I still haven't doubted it to this day.
Eight years on and I am VERY happily married to a super guy who is MY Mr Perfect, we live a simple happy life and I love spending time with him. We are coming up to our sixth wedding anniversary at Christmas. If anyone had told me back then that Mr Perfect and I would be married I would have fallen on the floor in shock.

Life is full of mad experiences, most of which I believe are sent to try us!! You have to give yourself an enormous pat on the back for being brave courageous and thinking of Number 1. Only you know what makes you happy in the end. Good luck to you Girl!