Wait, wait...before I scare you off, I don't mean that in a grand, rhetorical sense. I only mean what do I write about next? After a snapshot story of how I ended up in London, what follows - how I met my husband? Moving in together? Our wedding day? The gorgeousness that is my daughter, arriving into the world? Or straight into todays as we know them?! Hm.
I feel like I ought to cover the past first before moving into the present - you know, be all chronological to keep my OCD in check - so I'll give you the down and dirty on the split with my ex...a rubbish topic really but it's important to why I stayed in London, which in turn leads all roads to my hubby, daughter, and Life As I Know It Today. :)
So. Back to the past...
I met my ex at university on the very first day - we dated all throughout and afterwards. We lived together in Manhattan and eventually got married. (Perfect vision hindsight and all that, I couldn't tell you why we actually got married except perhaps we thought that had to be the next step...? Together for 7 years, I figured it's that or split up, and A) I don't think that I knew how to do that, and B) I wasn't aware yet of just how much I had let him take over my life and change me.)
Less than two years after getting married, he had picked us up and moved us over to London for his job. Granted, we had talked about living somewhere overseas in the abstract, as in we both thought it would be cool, but we did not have a conversation about the potential job offer / yes or no should we move kind of thing. (Knock, knock on Rebecca's brain in the past....this is your future self speaking...helloooooo!?)
Rapidly after arriving in London, it became pretty apparent that this wasn't going to last. I knew nobody in London, had never been here before, and I was miserable. Here's a piece of advice for ya - if you ever have to rely on one singular person to provide all of the companionship of family and friends, make sure that you have a really solid relationship with them. There are plenty of reasons why it failed, but one of the largest was that it turns out we had, after all those years together, no actual relationship. So that sucked. And then I was in a foreign country, going through a separation from someone who had been in my life for ten years, with very few friends around me, and thousands of miles between me and my family and my besties.
It sucked bigtime.
But even though I half wanted to tuck tail and run back home, move in with my parents, and figure all this crud out, I had never really lived on my own as a Miss Independent. When I moved to Manhattan, even though I lived on my own (and shared a flat with a tres cool chick who later became a bestie!) my ex was there too. Then a few months after arriving in London, things started falling apart, and within the year we were separated. By that time I had made a couple of friends and they rallied so hard around me, I felt for the first time since moving here, that I belonged here. I realized just how stiff of a backbone I had, for the first time, and desperately wanted to stick it out and make it on my own somewhere. So I stayed!! The ex moved off to Asia (adios!) and I stayed in London, to the bewilderment of my family and friends at home.
I learned so much about myself in those days. I realized that I could - and did - actually make friends in a strange place! In fact, I had made a fabulously good friend who saved my arse with the lease that my ex and I had just extended. And living with her turned out to be a riot - we routinely watched Absolutely Fabulous episodes (in character, naturally) and drank a lot of wine, and went out anytime and every time to keep me distracted, and she gave me her shoulder to snot on when I needed a good cry. Girlfriends like that are exactly what you need in your life. (Ta, Hels!! xx) I had also made a few fantastic American friends who I'd met through the ex, but I had the forever luck of keeping since he went off and fled the continent. I changed roles at work for a fresh challenge that kept me really busy and engaged during the day, and after a few months of figuring out how to really do this, live independently and make a place for myself, I bumped into an amazing Irishman that made me laugh harder than I'd ever laughed in my life (and he was - and is still - cuuuute!) :)
Everything happens for a reason. If I hadn't married the ex, I wouldn't have ended up in London. If I hadn't stayed in London, I never would have met my awesome husband...and that would have been downright tragic. And without my Magical M, I wouldn't have the absolute light of my life, my little girl and best mini friend. My life has turned out exactly the way it was meant to be! Now if I could only figure out how to handle the temper tantrums that Bug has started throwing...!!