Don't Worry, Baby.

There comes a time in every girls’ life that we are faced with the - often daunting - realization that we are turning into our mothers. In my case, this has been a slow, terrifying process. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mum. She’s the best. But she - like most mothers - is a worrier. And recently I’ve realized, so am I.

The last two nights, I’ve dreamt about my ex-boyfriends. Not in any kind of sexual, or enjoyable, way, they’ve just featured - as supporting actors, if you will - in improbable, illusionary situations. Mentioning this on the way to work, one of the girls suggested I look up the ‘meaning’ of this in a Dream Dictionary. Well, with only so much entertainment derived from the ‘commuting hour’ of Radio 1, I thought “what the heck”. Here is what it said: 

To dream about your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend or ex-husband/wife, that you and your ex are kissing/fighting or that you and your ex got back together again suggests that something or someone in your current life is bringing out similar feelings you felt during that relationship with your ex. The dream may be a way of alerting you to similar behavioral patterns in your current relationship. What you learn from that previous relationship may need to be applied to the present one so that you do not repeat the same mistakes…

Well that’s all very well and good, except I’m not in a current relationship, and I’m pretty sure the only guy I’m interested in at the moment isn’t stirring up any feelings of nostalgia, remorse or regret. But being a worrier, I worried. Are there similarities there - subconscious or otherwise? Am I doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past? The more I mused, the more reasons I thought up as to why these apparitions made an appearance in the first place. As some of you might know, I’ve recently moved to Bristol to start a job in fashion marketing. A job I landed with the help of one of my ex’s sisters. The same sister who, until recently, I was living with. My other ex’s sister gave me an internship last summer at a creative agency in London, which was crucial in gaining the experience necessary to even apply. Was this the reason I’d been dreaming about them? Was the relationship I have with their siblings “bringing out the similar feelings” I felt during my relationship with them? I’ll be honest, it’s definitely something I worry about. Because, let’s face it, it’s not particularly normal - let alone healthy - to shack up with your ex’s sister and pretend you’re not going to be reminded of them from time to time (or every day). My best friend has a pretty strong opinion on the matter. She simply can’t get her head around why I would put myself in a situation that made it impossible to forget and move on from my exes. And, if I hand’t had any experience in remaining friends with exes’ families, I’d think it was pretty fucking weird, too. Do I worry that I won’t escape my past relationships? Yep, all the time. Do I worry what people think when I tell them that I lived with my ex’s sibling? Or that I’ll never meet anyone new without them being slightly freaked out with the situation? Affirmative. But that is the reality of my life - I now talk to my exes’ families more than I talk to them (which is, at the moment, not at all). Does this make it awkward? Yes. But I don’t pretend like they haven’t made a conscious decision to be friends with me. I never expected - nor forced - them to have any degree of contact after my relationship ended with their brothers. It just turned out that way. 

So what is it like to be so close to families who’s brothers have broken your heart? Hard. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel anything when they talk about them. I worry if I made the right decisions, if I made mistakes I can never reverse, if things could have been different. They are questions I will never know an answer for, yet cannot stop thinking about. Every day I spend in their company resuscitates the pain I felt the first day being parted from them. Yet, in a way, I have the best of both worlds. My biggest worry when we were in a relationship was not what would happen to us after we broke up, but what would happen to my relationship with their family. Because, when you break up with a boyfriend/girlfriend, the general rule is that you also break up with their parents, siblings, and friends. Yet it hasn't happened to me. And I’m pretty sure it’s not because I’m too fabulous to let go of. Looking objectively at my life, I’d say I have it pretty good. My dream job, a respectable 2.1 degree, the prospect of travel, new friendships, and relationships, that come from living in a different city. Yet I dedicate my spare time to worrying about the minuscule aspects of my life I’m not happy with. I’m not happy I no longer have any contact with two people who played such a huge part in shaping who I am today. I’m not happy I still feel remorse, regret, and sadness over how my relationship with them ended. I worry that I will never find a real connection to anyone ever again, that I had my chance and let it slip away. I worry that I’ll have a great job, a life filled with worldly experience, a beautiful home, and no one to share it with. 

Some of you might roll your eyes, tell me to buck the fuck up, that I’m only 22 for Christ’s sake. And I’d totally agree with you. But I am my mother in one aspect: I am a worrier, trying to be a warrior. 

Belle x

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