One of the things that has been hardest about being solo is – I’m trying to think of a better way of phrasing it but can’t- no one has to care. When your whole family is you and a two year old, you tend to be the one that cares about the family and yourself; CJ just cares that there is food on the table and cuddles before bed. I guess, for a whole bunch of reasons, it didn’t really hit me so much last year. But coming home from work and having a two year old who doesn’t really care how mummy’s day at work went? It’s a bit different.
The thing that’s made all the difference this year? About half a dozen friends (and praise technology, because half of them are overseas) who have made a concerted effort to check in, pretty much daily. None of them have tried to step in and replace my ex, and that’s not what I need. I’m not interested in finding a stop-gap measure “filler boyfriend” just so I don’t have to be alone. The day-to-day routine? I got it – well, most of the time. But the emails at work asking how my day is going? Love it. The messages following up how something important in my life has gone? Awesome. The friend who now only calls me by a pet name after I told them how weird it was to no longer have anyone calling me by a pet name – both hilarious and sweet (and no, you don’t get to know what it is!).
It’s made me so conscious of checking in on my friends who may be going through hard times. When life is going great, it’s so easy to float through life in your own personal bubble and not notice those needs that other people may not necessarily vocalise. I would never have asked these friends to touch base with me and be “my people” but they filled a need I didn’t even know I had. Of course I would love to have that one person to share all the good and the bad; I think that it’s just human nature to seek that companionship, to have someone who listens and whom you can listen to. But I am and will be forever grateful to those people who stepped up and it’s made me more conscious of looking for opportunities to be that friend in future. The friend that doesn’t give you what I think you need (although flowers and dark chocolate are always welcome, just saying), but the friend that meets the needs you have, to the best of my ability.