It’s a muggy and rainy day here in Wales. I’ve just got back from the community bookshop, where I dropped in to talk to the chairperson about a new voluntary position. His name is Guy, and he was very chatty, communicative and welcoming. He showed me around and discussed how the shop operates in terms of stock, finance and history. They earn enough to pay the £300 rent and give any profits to local charities. It’s entirely staffed by volunteers, and they are quite well staffed, so at the start I’ll just be providing cover for people who need a day off. I was a bit disappointed about that, and it means it will be harder to commit to any other volunteer jobs, as I want to be available to work in the bookshop.
After my discussion with Guy I meandered up the high street and went into a few of the charity shops. This is not something I usually do, but I didn’t want to sit here at home for too long drumming up activities for myself, so I decided to diversify. I didn’t find anything, but it was quite nice to loiter a bit longer on the high street than usual and do something different.
Charity shopping was something my ex really loved. He loved it, but he was also ambivalent about it, as he was always finding bargains, which meant he continually forked out for things he didn’t really need. He was always giving himself a hard time about his charity shopping, and saw it as a bit of an addiction. I was feeling like I was following in his footsteps as I perused the shops.
Between shops I happened to run into him. Funny, when you run into someone who is on your mind. The last three weeks, as I’ve said in earlier blogs, has been the longest time that I’ve barely seen him in. This is because he’s moved out of town, and I haven’t contacted him, which I usually would, just to say hello and ask how he’s doing. But as it’s all one way traffic, I’ve decided to refrain from this habit, and in consequence, I find myself still grieving our relationship. It comes over me in waves, and when it recedes I find myself grateful that the end is in sight. But at other times it feels as though it’s an endless process, and that I will never fully recover.
In general, I’m feeling a bit more upbeat because I went to my local AA meeting last night where I have a job making the tea. People were friendly, I re-connected with friends, and felt energised by the process. It’s good to have that community, and to feel a part of something, when I’m otherwise feeling pretty unmoored. A few of us made an arrangement to go swimming in the sea on Sunday morning, which is another thing to look forward to. I’ve got a new bikini from Toast, and I’m looking forward to trying it out.
Another positive result I had yesterday was that my therapist got back to me and has room to see me again starting in September. I’m really looking forward to having someone to talk in depth to again, someone that has a lively mind and seems to get me. I’m also getting a call this afternoon from another volunteer co-ordinator to help me look for suitable jobs in the area.
All in all things are looking up. Sometimes it’s important to go through periods of feeling totally lost for new perspectives and activity to emerge. For a long time now I’ve been stuck on this idea that I’m an artist and unable to be able to participate in activities involving other people and community life. I’ve worked alone, stuck in my fantasy of the ideal life for me. Even when I’ve not really had any success beyond encouraging remarks from fellow students and one exhibition of my painting. I’ve finally faced up to the fact that I need to change direction. That being so isolated and stuck out on a limb isn’t working for me. I wished I realised this years ago. But I suppose at least I don’t have to be stuck with a feeling that I ought to have pursued my dreams and not knowing how things might have turned out if I had. From now on I’m going to content myself with ordinary pleasures: going swimming, volunteering and maybe someday being able to hold down a job.