I had only a few days left in Staffordshire before moving up. I still had a raw mix of emotions even 9 months after splitting up from Lauren. I still had depression from thoughts of what could have been, anger for how things turned and anxiety for not knowing what was going to happen when i moved up to Nantwich.
I seem to be having the worse luck in the world throughout 2018. The day after i saw Lauren, i got a puncture on my rear tyre when travelling up to work on the M6 motorway. I didn’t know if it was bad luck or no luck but it equated to the same thing. It just added to my frustrations.
There was one more yoga session in Cannock i wanted to go and for once i was hoping and wishing Lauren wasn’t going to be there after seeing her twice since i gave her stuff back and the letter (chapter 13). Fortunately, she wasn’t there and i was able to really enjoy my session at Cannock. It would also be my last session with instructor Kelly who had been a good person to me since i broke up with Lauren. Kelly gave me a hug after the session had finished and i managed to have an honest conversation about why things between me and Lauren went wrong. I do miss Kelly and also Rachel at Cannock as they are good people as well as awesome Yoga instructors.
Come Sunday 23rd September 2018, it was time to move away again. I wasn’t excited about the move given the fact that I’ve moved around several times before. I was relieved to be moving and trying to get away from the stress that i had been under since the start of the year. But also gutted as well. As i left Burntwood where i had been staying with my mum, i went through Hednesford where Lauren works and used to live just having a little reminisce of the good times i spent with her and continued the reminisce by going through Cannock by driving past her home and also her nan’s home too. I’ve only been through Cannock one more time to empty my contents out of storage but asides that, i have purposely avoided travelling through Cannock as it always reminds me of Lauren.
I got to Nantwich in my new home. Jackie, the landlady, welcomed me with a cup of tea and she was making pancakes for her son George and his partner Katie. It made feel welcome but i won’t lie in saying it was strange to be sleeping in a new room again and to stay somewhere now in the long term where it wasn’t your own home.
The first few months in Nantwich were strange. I like the town and I’ve managed to catch up with a couple of people i know from work and friends of friends but living it Nantwich didn’t feel like “my home”. I don’t think I’ve had that feeling since i left Milton Keynes because i loved that house, the town and my time with Jade. I did like my own home in Tamworth which i rent out now but i wouldn’t get another 3 bedroom house on my own again. I want my next “home” to be with a loved one, or rather “the one”. I’m hoping she is around the corner real soon.
Part of the problem after i moved up to Nantwich was that i didn’t have much money to spend other than on necessities. It meant that other going to work, i was spending most of my time inside where i’m living now. I was really bored and i couldn’t rinse my thoughts of what had gone on before i moved up. Not only that, i felt like i got in everyone’s way if i was in the kitchen or living room. There wasn’t a dining room (until a couple of weeks ago as i write this) so there wasn’t much space to stretch out as such.
Because of the lack of activities i ended up quite lonely meaning i still hadn’t got over Lauren.
I would often google Lauren’s name to see her Facebook profile picture when i wasn’t logged onto my account. But the one time i googled her name, i came across her Instagram account and found new pictures of her since we broke up. I got butterflies in my stomach and actually had to physically remove myself away from the laptop as it made me upset. This was at work too. I hid my sadness inside and barely talked to anyone at work as it wasn’t anyone’s business to know about my personal life. One of the photo’s i found on her Instagram account was one she took of the Trolls figure i gave back with the letter and the status she put alongside the photo read “When you say bye to the last chapter and wait for the next to begin 💜😊”. It was the smiley face emoji on the end which i took to heart as i took it as she relieved not to see me ever again and this was backed up when she was avoiding me at the following Yoga session 2 days later. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the last time that i would visit her Instagram page as a ghost as there would be several occasions where if i was ever feeling lost and lonely and would think about her then her page would be the only place where i could see her. I really do miss her even as a friend too.
I had a 24 hour kart race arranged to participate in at the start of October. This was the best thing to happen to me so far as i part of the winning team in our class! As a team, this was our 3rd race together with 2 podium visits and one win! That was my last kart race and as i write this now, i have 3 x 24 hour races coming up this year plus a few shorter endurance races to compliment these. I feel that i’m getting my hobby back to where it should be again.
I get paid on the 20th of every month but the payment i had in October was different. I got my expenses back from my previous work trip in Spain which meant i had cleared my debts completely. Because of this influx of money back there was only one thing i was going to do and that was book my holiday to Australia. I had made my mind about going there when my auntie contacted me in August from a post i put on Facebook. It was do with making a pizza from scratch and she asked if i wanted to come down and make one down there and use her pizza oven in her back garden. I didn’t need asking twice. I was due to go on holiday in Spain in May but had to cancel that due to a lack of money and trying to finish off the work in my house before renting it out. I would make up my visit to Spain for work but making up for my holiday would come by going to Australia. Come 23rd October, i would finally book flights after days upon days of research of finding the best flights and the best way of getting around Australia. When this was finally confirmed, i was so ecstatic. I couldn’t believe that i was actually going to go to a country I’ve always wanted to go to. I only had 44 days to wait before i would fly off. The accommodation would be booked after but at least i got the main cost out of the way.
The holiday booking did mean that i couldn’t do much again until my next payday in November. Back away from holiday booking, i was still trying to find my feet with what to do with my time outside of work. My ex-colleague at Bentley told me about joining the running club he goes to with South Cheshire Harriers. I went along and found that i could do a 7 mile run quite comfortably which took me by surprise. I’m still with the running club and go every Tuesday and Thursday nights.
I wanted to get back into doing Yoga as well but i found this more difficult to do as i still had Lauren in mind whenever i thought of Yoga. The yoga i did before was actually Hot Yoga where i found doing this in a hot environment more beneficial and actually more enjoyable. I couldn’t bring myself round to doing yoga in a completely different environment, as in with a different company/ownership, so i went to Eden Hot Yoga in Stafford which also owns the Cannock and Lichfield studios where i went before. The first session back was on 16th November and this was a strange session. It was with a instructor called Diane where she did things completely different from what i was used to with Rachel and Kelly before. There was no soothing music to go along with the poses, the studio initially wasn’t as hot as i was expecting and i didn’t find the poses challenging either. I kept going with trying other sessions at Stafford and happily i found the necessary classes i could continue my practice with - Melanie on Sundays and Donna on Mondays. Both of them recognize me from my time at Cannock where they were both practicing with me but i unaware who they were until i came to their classes in Stafford. I’m glad they are there as it has helped me with wanting to continue where i left off from when i left practicing in Cannock.
It felt like an age from the point of booking my holiday to Australia to the point of actually going but come 7th December 2018, i would leave England for 5 weeks returning 12th January 2019. This would be my excitable day since i went to Le Mans for the first time in 2013. I would this opportunity to finally unwind completely and try and switch off from everything before. It wouldn’t be hard to switch off from work, i actually found that to be easy. But even when i landed in Australia, i couldn’t fully switch off completely about what had happened throughout 2018. I did had Lauren in my mind and occasionally had some wishes that she could see the views that i was seeing when i was down under. Even before flying out, i had one final look at her Instagram page as i couldn’t help it and even noticed a pattern with some of her posts that she put up and one user called James liking most of her posts. This was niggling in the back of my mind when i came to have dinner for the first night in Sydney. I searched who he was on Facebook and found out that he put up a status update that he was in a relationship. I couldn’t see who he was with but as i clicked on the comments, my worst fears were realized when it was indeed Lauren who going out with him. I slammed my fist on the table and shouted to myself ‘Damn!’ as i realized that Lauren had moved on. My honest thoughts and feelings were that i was happy that she was happy but not happy with the fact that she wasn’t with me. I felt so gutted, just as gutted as the day she broke up with me. It did stick with me for a couple of days but i knew from there on in that i had to try to move on. As the night drawed in, i was towards to the Sydeny harbour quay where i had a magnificent view of the harbour bridge and of the Opera House at night. I was going to make sure i was going to enjoy this holiday.
The day after finding out Lauren had a new boyfriend was a bit weird as i was carrying around the camera that she got me for Christmas the previous year so there was always going to be a little reminder of her around and perhaps some slight guilt about using the camera. Once i got over that initial barrier, i was able to concentrate on doing the things i wanted to do in Australia. I would spend 9 days in Sydney, followed by 3 weeks in Tasmania and finally 4 days in Melbourne. My time in Sydney would be very busy which looking back i really enjoyed as i able to concentrate on enjoying myself. I loved Sydney and i can’t wait to go back there again. Next time though, i want to bring someone along with me i.e. “the one”. I think my overall highlight from Sydney was actually a very simple one - on the last 2 nights, i was on my own but decided to go to the open top bar near to the Opera house and have a few drinks with a view of the harbour bridge opposite me and the opera house alongside me. It made me really happy and relaxed at that point and made being in Sydney really unique to me.
My 3 weeks in Tasmania would be of a relaxed nature but my highlights from there were of the 2 mountain walks that i did. This helped me rinsed me of any negative thoughts that i had before in case i was thinking of Lauren and her now new boyfriend. I had determination of not giving up in life and getting what i wanted, so in that moment it meant climbing to the peak of each mountain i climbed. Along the way i saw some amazing views which I’ve kept to myself and not shared on social media as they are very personal to me. When i got to the peak, the feeling was so liberating. On my own, i would shout and scream “WOOHOO!! YEAH!!” out loud. Tasmania has a lot of greenery and is great for long distance walking. There were times where i had to go the beach and have moments on my own reflecting on what has gone and what could have been but unlike my thinking before it didn’t eat me up too much. And it would be where on the beach reflecting by myself where i came up with the thought of writing these stories to get out of this out my head. But before i would write chapter 1, i had my holiday to finish off first!
Melbourne was a completely different environment again, even from Sydney. A lot more busier and cosmopolitan. The highlight from there is an easy one - a day visit to Philip Island seeing the Penguin Parade at night. It was one of the most unbelievable sites I’ve ever seen. I was so giddy with excitement and admittedly got emotional at the end of the night. It capped off an amazing end of my long holiday and i was gutted that i had to leave. The 5 weeks out in Australia had been totally worth it. Rest assured that i will be going back out there sooner rather than later.
After 5 long weeks, it was back to reality and i did have some post holiday blues and some blues that i had before i went on holiday with trying to adjust back to life in Nantwich again. Since I’ve been back, I’ve taken some positive steps in my life - I’ve been on a CBT course which i self referred myself in before i went away as i wanted to understand i suffer from Anxiety and Depression, I’ve joined a Meetup group in nearby Stoke where I’ve met people who are of similar age to me and share some common interests too and I’ve arranged to get my karting schedule back on track this year by participating in the big races this year.
And finally, writing this book has helped me understand and let go better of what has gone on before. I have reflected with thoughts along the way and most of them have been on Lauren. It’s not often where you are involved in a deep loving relationship even though in this case it only lasted over a year but i did find her to be the most sweetest and nicest of people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Even if she doesn’t know it, i wish her well. I know that one day i will find someone who is even sweeter and will deserve my love. I’m not when that day will come but i know that i have to be patience and that the opportunity will come to me and not for me to seek it.
If you have read of any my chapters, I hope you have found this useful and hope you can find the strength in yourself to keep on fighting.
Love and light x