A truly lovely weekend
So, I was a little apprehensive about going back to Leamington this weekend, but I am now so glad that I did.
On Saturday, Sarah hosted a wine and cheese night at Russell Court. This was part of the source of my apprehension; I hadn't been back to Leamington, let alone Russell Court, since Zoë broke up with me, and I was concerned about how well I was going to take it. Most of Saturday was a slight downer given a number of factors including the cold and the slight rain, not being able to buy new shoes, and a crap morning involving an alarm that should have been turned off the night before and not being able to get back to sleep again. I also developed a bit of a headache Saturday afternoon, partly due to dehydration, and possibly partly due to my scarf being tied too tight around my neck (!), so all in all I wasn't feeling 100% up for the event. But having a chat with Sarah before it started really sorted my head out (I've come to this conclusion before: I really need to learn to pick up the fucking phone when my head gets there, because talking always sorts it out now), and by the time people started arriving sometime after 7.30, I was really excited to be seeing everyone again and well up for the night's events.
In addition to the wine and cheese, we indulged in some YouTube-based mirth, including the fantastic Armstrong and Miller sketches of the WWII RAF Airmen (you really have to watch these if you haven't already!), a piss-take of Pachelbel's Canon, and the very funny Harry Potter Puppets (the second clip is better than the first...). It was so good to see my friends again, and it really surprised and touched me how sympathetic everyone was, and the level of concern they expressed. I guess I'd never realised the true value of the friendships that I have with these people, nor how much of an impact I make with the people that I meet. The event alone provided self-validation in truckloads, realising that, unlike previous relationships, I actually have my own relationships with this shared group of friends, and they appreciate and value me in and of myself, rather than seeing me as the appendage of their friend, which is how previous friendships have felt at times.
As good as the wine and cheese night was, though (and it was fucking awesome, just so you know ;), the icing on the cake of the weekend was having lunch with Zoë on Sunday. We went for a meal at Strada just off the Parade in Leamington, "our place" for eating out, and it was in so many ways just like old times. Certainly, it was everything I'd hoped it would be, and it has left me feeling that my friendship with Zoë is actually going somewhere and, more to the point, going somewhere good; something that I wasn't at all sure of previously. For me, the most telling moment was as I was leaving this evening: Zoë lingered at the door of her flat watching me leave. Obviously, I don't claim to know what was going through her mind at the time at all, but my interpretation is that it was disbelief at what she was seeing.
So this will be my mantra from now on for any day when I'm feeling even slightly down: I am a fucking good person, and for the first time in as long as I can remember I'm pretty fucking happy, too. I am infinitely stronger and more confident than I was, and I now know how to carry myself.
As I left Russell, Lorna asked me if I was all right. I nearly burst in to tears at this point, and a number of other times over the next half hour or so, because the answer was purely and simply "yes". I've said it before and I'll say it again - just as you think you're done crying, something new comes along. But this time, it was tears of happiness and relief, and not tears of pain and hurt, that were welling up. I'm mended; fixed; repaired. I'm me again, and I have a fantastic bunch of friends who will love and support me no matter what. And the most special person in the world most definitely falls into that category too.
Watch out, world; here I come! :-D