I know everyone does this – my blog and facebook feeds are full of people getting sentimental about the past year and the lessons they’ve learned, the people they’ve met, the triumphs and failures they’ve experienced. If I followed more forms of social media, no doubt they are also riddled with it. And I get why – once a year we get a chance to pause (thanks work for letting us off early!) and reflect on what we’ve done over the last 365 days.
For me, life is completely different to how it was this time last year. Back then, I was also sitting at my computer. But I didn’t have a job, I was alone in my house (apart from my pets) and I had no idea where I really stood with Simon. We’d been together briefly and then on an extended hiatus of sorts whilst he grieved his old relationship and tried to both push me away and lean into me. I had stuck around because I loved him and when I asked myself the painful questions the answer came back that the thought of my life without Simon in it hurt me more than any of the pushme-pullyous he was doing to me. I was reaching a point where I needed to know if it was all in my mind or not though (all the signs were to the contrary, but I tend to disbelieve it when people care that much about me!).
Later in the evening I was playing World of Tanks and he came online, as usual. Despite not seeing him for months we had talked nearly every day, either by text, phone or online gaming. We spent the evening alone in our homes but together in the battle world of tanks. A quick pause to watch the fireworks and we were back. We’d been flirting on and off, and had joked about me going over to see him the next day. As we said goodnight I said I’d see him in the morning. He laughed, I said I was serious, he lol’d again and we went to our lonely beds.
The following morning I screwed up every skerrick of courage I’ve ever possessed and piled myself and the presents I had bought him for his birthday and Christmas and not been able to give him yet into my car and drove the 45 minutes to his house. About 10 minutes from his house I had to pull over and inhale some Ventolin as the nerves kicked off my faulty lungs. Even just writing about it kicks the adrenaline of nerves back in – I really had no idea what reception I would be given.
Arriving at his door I took a deep breath and knocked. Waiting, I knocked again a little louder. A third time and no answer. I hovered uncertainly. I figured he might be in the shower or walking the dog. Or, a quiet but evilly determined voice in my head whispered – he’s avoiding me. I decided to give him a call. No answer. Sitting down at his door (on the concrete in the full summer sun), I tried calling after another 5 minutes and another knock. I sent him a message explaining I’d wait 15 minutes and then leave, all I was doing was dropping off his presents. Then I sat and waited. Strangely, a calm descended over me as I boiled quietly away on his front step. This was the moment where everything would be decided and I knew I’d done everything I could in this chance at love. As the minutes ticked by I became resigned to it being yet another pipe dream of mine, and started composing my farewell message. Just as I was about to hit send, his name flashed up on my screen. Answering, he asked me ‘Are you at my house?’. I said yes, I was, but I was just about to leave so not to worry. He said frantically ‘No, don’t go! Um…’ I said it was fine, I just wanted to drop off his presents and I’ll go, I can leave them on the doorstep if he didn’t want to see me. I could hear him running around and he started going ‘Oh f**k, no, just wait. My house is a mess, hang on…f**k’. And then he opened the door.
And the rest is history, as they say. I spent the day at his (yes, filthy) house, just chatting and hanging out. A few days later I went over again at his invitation and a couple of weeks after that he told me I was his girl. At this time of year, the things I’m thinking about in those nostalgic pauses we’re all taking are the big and little moments I’ve had with Simon this year. And how different my life would be if I hadn’t had the courage to take my heart in my hands and sit on his doorstep for those fateful 15 minutes. I’m so glad I had the strength to do that, because I am now happier than I have ever been in my life, and have the most wonderful best friend in my boyfriend. I hope everyone gets a chance to take a leap of insane courage and reach their dreams, whatever they are. 2013 has been a big, wonderful year for me. I won’t say goodbye to it with sadness, but look forward to 2014 – I have a feeling it’s going to be even more amazing than this year has been!