Just doing a brain dump, instead of writing up my research findings.
I have just returned from a mostly lovely weekend at the top of the South Island. One of my oldest friends and his lovely wife and two kids live in Nelson. So, my old friend, J – whom I have written about on this blog before (but not much lately) – who just cannot understand my state of mind, or my worldview since infidelity hit my life – flew down on Saturday morning to participate in an organised hill run/walk on Sunday. Sounds fun, right?
(Hint … nooooooooooooo!)
I am not at all fit at the moment. I have let my exercise regime fall down this semester, I just can’t seem to cram it in, and it is intermittent to say the least. Understandably, I have gained some weight. So, fatty me was signed up to do a 16km walk, entirely uphill, with two people who walk up mountains several times per week. I knew it was a big ask. But went anyway. Consequently, when my two companions, J and G were getting rolling drunk on Saturday night, with an 8am start in mind, I had two small beers over the course of the afternoon and evening. Great, no problem. Except I woke with a cracking hangover! WTF? I don’t drink a lot these days, and when I do, I know to avoid wine, as it makes me very ill, and I usually go for spirits. I thought two very small craft beers would be fine. G and J drank four bottles of wine and about 6 x 1.5L of beer between them.
And they woke up fine.
I, on the other hand, was wretched. Nauseous, with a pounding head, I forced a small amount of my breakfast down, starting on the paracetamol at 5am, and taking some ibuprofen prior to the race start. I went anyway. And got up that damn hill in a very slow time of about 2.5 hours. Every step pounded in my thumping head, and I dry retched several times. The other two bounced up there, J, at speed, taking pics, and chattering away to other competitors as she strode past them as they lay dying on the roadside.
I saw it as a bit of a metaphor. I had a good relationship, the longest of any of my friends, and I was a good partner, faithful, loving, caring and probably-too-giving. J has lived a pretty blessed life and parties hard, has a pile of kids and a very understanding husband. She hasn’t given up too much, and she just can’t understand why I am so hurt by Roger’s actions, “because you are meant to be together, he loves you so much,” life is lived on the surface for her. How many Facebook “likes” or Snapchat views can she achieve? (SERIOUSLY – we are 47 and 48.) She made all kinds of noises about walking with me, at my pace, when we said we were going to do this, and even at the start line, she was saying this. It lasted about 10 strides. And she was off like a rabbit, coming second overall, without racing. G, my local friend, on the other hand, knows, and he gets it. I think. He stayed with me the whole walk – despite me telling him I was fine, and would get there. Once I start something, I am committed! I don’t give up. I got my sick arse up that damn hill. Like I said I would. And my world imploded with infidelity anyway. Life was never meant to be fair, right? Too damn right!
During the weekend, we had opportunities to spend time in smaller groups. I spent Monday morning working on my pre-thesis project, with G’s wife, K, who is now very successfully selling real estate, and was doing her accounts – and whom I love – and we had a really interesting chat about those who seem to have life all planned out, in exactly the way “society” wants us to. Uni. Check. Good job. Check. Married. Check. Kids. Check. Lovely home. Check. “Stuff” (cars, clothes, jewellery, whatever-the-fuck-else) Check.
Neither K or I are particularly conventional, but each in different ways. She is fairly conservative in appearance, but a deep thinker, with a dry sense of humour and a wickedly quick wit – and they have worked hard and brought up two lovely kids, on little money, but loads of love and their focus has been building a property portfolio, and travel. Their own house is small, and has no “mod cons.” Their kids have never had all the technology and designer crap that many others crave. But, they are awesome kids, just getting out into the world. J has five indulged, entitled kids who have EVERYTHING and social media profiles that have caused the local town we live in to label them facetiously as “The Kardashians.” J sprinkles happiness and love everywhere she goes, but has no grip on the hard side of life, or the fact that she may just be spoiling her kids into a very unhappy and materialistic future. When a sad background of a teen we knew came up, she was shocked, like, WTF? THIS HAPPENS IN THE WORLD? Yep, who knew, J? I am always amazed at her lack of knowledge of what happens outside of her happy, little party bubble.
But, of course, that is just bitter old me speaking.
I felt my mood swinging all weekend as all of this swirled about. I was conscious of my “judgement” of her lifestyle, and was careful to be tempering it, knowing who I am today. The changed person, with emotional damage. I am a little more cynical than ever.
She made comments all weekend that I internally just rolled my eyes at, and very often, G, and K openly rolled theirs at me, lol.
I guess, the thing is, my world is so changed, and J has been trying to force me to fit back in the little hole she had me in, and I don’t fit anymore (and not just because I have a particularly curvaceous arse grown with the help of a lack of exercise!)
And yesterday was seven years.
So, there’s that.