This summer a woman came up to me in Waterloo station. She told me that she’d read the book and that she related to my insecurities and thanked me for the honesty.
I thanked her for walking up to me in Waterloo station and blowing my mind.
Then she asked me the question that I have been asked many times since the book came out: What happened with the Greek?
I’ve been asked this question on American and Polish TV couches, by French magazine journalists and Israeli newspapers. I’ve had enquires passed on by my Irish cousins and my mum has been quizzed by her teaching colleagues. It’s the most asked question from the book.
So what has happened?
Well, the Greek is still in Greece and I am still in London and he is bemused to be the subject of international media enquiries. He came over to visit before Christmas and he joked about whether we would be papped when we were out.
We weren’t. Obviously.
So we are still in each other’s lives and we live separate lives. We are close friends.
And this brings me to my next project: LOVE.
I want to go back to a question I pose in the first book: does happiness have to equal marriage and kids? Or at very least a long term relationship.
I hope that the answer to this is NO yet still we live in a society that sets this as the gold standard and a part of me still questions myself about why I have avoided the my whole life.
Am I scared? Avoiding intimacy (to use therapy speak)? Or is that just not my path?
Are there different ways to have love in your life? And if so what are they? Because while I love my freedom, I get lonely.
So. I’m going to find out what’s going on. I’m going to read all the relationship books and see what I can learn about commitment, communication, love, intimacy, vulnerability, self-love, body-love, how to handle conflict (which scares the shit out of me) and how to nurture friendships – which is something we’re expected to just be able to do without any thought or effort!
I’m going to figure out if I should be building my life with another person or whether that’s not for everyone.
I don’t think it’s just me struggling with these issues. Apparently we are living in the loneliest time for humans. Many of us live or work alone, which can make us isolated. We are also less likely to know our neighbours than a generation ago and the whole swipe left disposable Tinder culture are making many of us feel like we are invisible and disposable. I wrote a piece for the Telegraph last year about how to make friends and there was a big response from people who for various reasons found themselves without friends. This feels like a shameful thing to admit but it’s common.
So that’s it! I’m not sure what form it’s going to take. I don’t think I’m going to be able to go as full on as I did for the first project – because it nearly broke me. I want to test myself without testing my sanity… and the sanity of everyone around me. So we’ll see how it all takes shape.
For now I’m off to an event on Thursday night about SOLOGOMY which is the act of marrying oneself. Yup, apparently that is a thing! I’ll report back from that and also I’ll be reading books about single. Turns out there are loads – The Unexpected Joy of Being Single by Catharine Gray being the most recent, All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister, Spinster by Kate Bollick, Singled Out by Bella De Paulo and Going Solo by Eric Klinenberg.
I think this first month will be about maybe changing the mindset that says that being a single is a failure, a sign that we’ve not be ‘chosen’. I’ve already read The Unexpected Joy of Being Single and it’s such a good re-framing of things. I’ll post about that next.
I’m hoping some of the books will tell me to buy myself flowers and jewellery! If so I’ll do that… in the name of self-improvement, of course. And for those of you who know about me and money – don’t panic. I’m not being so much of an idiot around that these days. Still a bit of an idiot but much improved.
And that’s it. I feel a bit nervous to be blogging again and entering into something that last time turned my life upside down, mostly in a good way but, you know, there were darker moments. But also I look forward to learning and I’m doing it with the mindset that I’m ok the way I am – nothing is broke and I don’t need to be fixed. However, I still have many things to learn.
I’ll also be blogging about other things too – I’ve had a few questions asked about writing, which I’ll answer and if there’s anything else you’d like to know then please let me know.
The first book would not have happened without you all reading and caring and supporting me through it and I cannot thank you enough.
I was thinking of doing a once a week newsletter. Does that work for you?
As I start again a big part of me is saying ‘Get over yourself, nobody wants to hear more, you narcissist’ And yet while my mind is telling me that, I also know that me learning and living out-loud has been a help to some people and it seems to be a good use of me in the world so I’m going to keep doing it.
I’d love to hear from you. Do you embrace your singleness or does it make you feel like a failure? Do you know you want to be with someone or do you feel ambivalent? Do you want kids?
I’d also love to hear about the relationship challenges you have if you’re in a relationship. It can be very easy to think, as a single person, that once you have ‘found’ someone you’re all sorted. Do you sometimes miss your single days? Did finding love offer you everything you thought it would? Is your life better with someone than it was without? Is having kids everything you hoped it would be?
I would like this to be an exploration (is that word as bad as ‘journey’??) of how we can all get along better and have more love in our lives. It seems like something we could all do with at the moment.
OK right that’s it. My critical voice (which is much softer since I fell madly in love with Eckhart Tolle, but still there when I write) is telling me that this is all crap so I’m just gonna post before I can change my mind!
LOVE LOVE LOVE xx
PS please do get in touch and tell my your news. xx
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