It’s more than a shoe-thing

I’ve had this blog in my head for quite a while now.  I’ve wondered whether it’s just because of my desire to indulge my shoe thing.  And I do have a shoe thing.

I simply love shoes – boots, thongs, heels and runners – I love them all.  Except wedges.  I don’t really do wedges.

In my profession I figure it’s entirely acceptable to have a veritable rainbow of runners that even have their own space in my house.

Andrew knows I love shoes…to date I think he’s bought me two pairs of runners and three pairs of Birkenstocks.  My girlfriends tease me about my shoes…last year we went away for a girls weekend, two nights away and I managed to justify taking five pairs of shoes!

And these are my pride and joy…my Jimmy Choo’s…because every girl should have a pair of ridiculously high, ridiculously expensive heels in her collection.

Anyway, this blog really isn’t just about me wanting to share my shoe obsession with you.  It’s about a whole lot more, and it’s taken quite some time to get it right.  As I write this I’m sitting in Tom’s Kitchen, Chelsea in the middle of London’s chilly winter.  Yesterday I started trying to get the words out and they wouldn’t come.

Then last night I had dinner with my oldest friend – Gaynor.  She’s the kind of friend that will be in my life for eternity – sometimes we don’t see each other for years but it’s always just the same when we get to hook up.  We laugh, invariably cry a bit too and generally set the world to rights.  The very best kind of girlfriend.  She’s been with me through thick and thin.  Through boarding school, puberty, boyfriends, fiancé’s, husbands and death of husbands.  She is quite simply incredibly precious to me.

It was following last night’s dinner, where she met Andrew for the first time, and we talked through the crazy events of the last 12 months in my world that I had an amazing release to my blogger’s block.  During my run around Hyde Park this morning I found my words!

Saying yes to life

Last night we talked and laughed about some of my more entertaining life choices.   Ok, so mostly we were talking about how I’ve not had the greatest of success when it comes to men.  Only fair to let Andrew know what he’s let himself in for I suppose!  Remember, Gaynor has been through them all with me.  My first boyfriend who for some strange reason that I can’t recall now was known as ‘Beef’ (his real name was Neil).  She’s been through my three engagements, two marriages and one divorce.  Not to mention the one that died on me.

On the face of it I’ve really not done so well when it comes to affairs of the heart.

I’ve been criticised for falling in love too easily, for being too nice and naive, for saying “yes” when men ask me to marry them.

Note to self: if anyone else ever asks me to marry them, the correct answer is “no”

I can regale you with tales that always make you laugh but afterwards makes me question myself.  I end up feeling ‘less than’ somehow.  Like a very big joke.  And I always wonder why anyone would want to be with me, given my track record.

So this morning while I was out running in -3 degrees celsius it dawned on me that everyone else might question my choices, my decisions, but they really don’t know the whole story.  From the outside looking in my love life bit appear to be an hilarious joke, but it’s not always that simple.

You haven’t walked a mile in my Jimmy Choo’s.  You cannot possibly begin to comprehend the full story or the motivations that led to the choices…the yes that should have been a no.

No judgements

My life, my choices.  Your life, your choices.  No judgements.  And that’s what I thought I wanted to say in this blog.  But actually there’s a little more to it.  The point is about learning from those choices and growing as a person through those experiences.

Each time I’ve got it less that right, I’ve learned.  About myself.  About men.  About how all this shit works.  I’ve learned I’m not big into religion.  That I might be great housewife but I am also capable (and need) to do so much more.  I quite like to drop the odd f-bomb, and it doesn’t really hurt anyone when I do.  I’ve learned to guard my heart a little bit more and that control and manipulation isn’t real love.  I’ve learned that I don’t need a man to make me a whole person but that the right man walking on the same path as me, side by side makes life a whole lot more fun.  I’ve learned that sex and passion is really important to me.

And I’m still learning.

One life – love hard, laugh hard, love hard

I didn’t really intend to tell you all about my love life but I think it illustrates perfectly what I am trying to say.  In this life we don’t get a rehearsal.  We don’t get do-overs.  We make choices day in and day out. From the tiny and seemingly insignificant to those life and death moments that require a fair amount of thought and consideration.  Whatever choices you make – about how you live your life, parent your child(ren), who you love (and who you don’t), where you live, what you do for a living…well they are your choices to make.  And yours to own.  No one should judge you for them.  When you reflect and question your own choices, learn and grow.  That’s what makes for a full and interesting life – full of colour.

So, if you’re going to walk a mile in my shoes…can you pick me up some beer on the way back?

Twice in the last week friends have joked that I should write a book on the crazy that is my life.  I won’t bore you with that I promise, but it’s certainly been eventful so far.

“I won’t take nothing for my journey now” – Maya Angelou

Do I have regrets?

Maybe…yes.

Can I change my past?

No.

So learning and growing is all I can do.  It’s all any of us can do.