A different kind of Valentine…

Two months ago to the day, I was sat in this very spot at Heathrow Airport- same terminal and same stool in front of  the very same coffee house;Cafe Nero (my preferred coffee house chain, not only because the coffee is great but that 10th free coffee never fails to make me feel rather pleased with myself!). I was sitting here bursting with excitement to jump on a plane to Orlando to visit my gorgeous guy. My boyfriend and the man who told me, one day I would be his wife.

Today I should have been with him celebrating this international day of love. Instead I’m sat here at Heathrow terminal 3 in front of Cafe Nero, by myself, typing this blog. ( cue the violins…)

Lets fill you in with the finer details of the last two months shall I?

On my last contract away, I met, fell in love with and became a little infatuated if I’m totally honest, with a yank. Over the last few years working for an American cruise line I have become rather a sucker for an American- but having dated a couple, this time I was convinced it was the real thing, I’d found the one. After finishing the contract we said our emotional goodbyes as at that time we had actually decided to leave the relationship when my contract ended. This was how I’d dealt with other ship relationships in the past, however hard it was at the time to end it, it seemed like the sensible thing to do. I have always been a practical and rather realistic person when it came to love and relationships, so letting my head rule my heart was something I had become accustomed to.

Fast forward to a few months later, I had been busy with a one women tour and we had kept in contact intermittently, going back and forth with the idea of one of us visiting the other. Then one day I just made the call, we wanted to see each other again and missed one another terribly so I bit the bullet and booked a flight out to Florida.

From that point on we started planning our trip together and past that, our possible future and a way we could make this work. We were in love and didn’t care what it took to stay together- it was worth it, right?

We spent a magical 8 days together in Florida before christmas. We stayed with his awesome aunts and even took a two day trip to Disney World. We knew it was going to be a challenge to plan the next year; making sure we saw each other enough and to secure a contract together on a ship, but we assured each other we were in it together, forever.

Things began to fall apart when he got back on a ship and our communication suffered. Although these days ships have much better internet access than even a few years ago it is still an expensive service and not at all reliable. We messaged a lot but it was no substitute for talking on the phone or in person. I thought our relationship was strong enough, so did he (or I thought he did).

I had been Skiing with my Dad and brother for a week in Italy, we had had the best week, perfect weather and it was so refreshing to spend quality time with my family and ski again after a few years of missed trips. However, pretty much the whole week we spent arguing over messages, tensions running high as we couldn’t talk it out on the phone. Messages are NOT a healthy replacement for speaking, I knew this, but we carried on messaging for some form of connection never the less. As I would say to him; if we don’t have communication in a long distance relationship, what do we have?

I sat on the plane at Turin airport- he messaged out of the blue saying he was mixed up, and wasn’t sure about his feelings for me after a tough week of petty arguments. I knew what was coming-in the past I’d been the person telling someone else that before, I’d fed them the same lines, so as soon as he used those words- I knew. My stomach was in knots the whole two hour flight home and I hardly ate a thing that day. We spoke on the phone after I returned home, sure enough it was over. I was livid. So angry with myself that I had let myself fall for everything he promised me. I had NEVER put love first in my life before now, the one time I do, I choose the wrong flipping guy! Typical.

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This is a picture I took that day in the park, it was exactly how I was feeling- a shadow of my former self. I felt I was very much standing alone… I was so, so wrong, I couldn’t have been surrounded by more love.

After a couple of weeks of mourning the relationship, lots of crying and lots of love from my amazing friends and family, I was slowly getting used to the idea that my 2016 and beyond was going to be very different than I had carefully planned.

I’m not the type of person to sit around feeling sorry for myself for too long ( I did for a few days, but then I got annoyed with my own self pity). I remember a clear turning point. I went for a run in a London park- it was a beautiful, sunny winters day- I got half way through my run and I could feel it coming, bubbling in my throat, I stopped and burst out crying. I walked for a while and carried on crying and thought to myself; ‘this is ridiculous, get a grip woman. You are not the first person to have your heart broken and will no be the last, use this to better yourself and learn from it, and then move on!’ So I began my road to mending my fragile broken heart, adding a few fresh stitches, day by day, stitch by stitch.

Which brings me to today, Heathrow airport and a very different experience sitting in front of Cafe Nero than I’d had two months previous. But, I’m looking forward. Without this breakup I would have never started this blog, I wouldn’t be using my redundant flights to fly out to see my gay bestie in L.A. today and I wouldn’t be feeling as grateful for all the love, energy and support my nearest and dearest have shown me over the last few weeks.

Thank you friends and family, you are my whole world and I’m truly blessed to have each and every one of you in my life. The British don’t say it enough. I love you all and on Valentine’s day 2016 I feel more love in my life than ever. It’s not the romantic kind, its better. It’s Fralentines day!

So I’m off to L.A to carry on adding to those stitches, one by one with help from a man that loves me unconditionally, without question, a true friend.

Always keep a floating, even when you feel like sinking…and if you need help- your friends will most surely throw you a life ring…. I’m extremely lucky mine is a Hollywood shaped one!

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