Before I begin, this is a long one! I wouldn’t start unless you have a good 15 minutes 🙂
Where do I begin?! I guess the beginning is a good place to start. It’s all well and good reading about the single girl’s adventures on foreign shores… Often I would imagine that it doesn’t cross the minds of the reader as to how I came to be a single twenty-something on Sydney soil?
My adult life certainly didn’t start out that way. Whilst at high school I was interested in my studies and worked hard to do well in my exams. I always knew I wanted to be involved in the media and knew that I had to demonstrate that I was a hard worker and eager to succeed, even at the tender age of 16. My friends always described me as a ‘career driven commitment-phobe’ and laughed that I would end up married to my work.
No-one was more surprised than me when I met my first boyfriend, Aaron through mutual friends just before I left high school for college. He was tall, dark and handsome, played semi-professional football and was two years older than me. He was the type of guy that all the girls fancied and I couldn’t believe that he even looked at me, never mind asked me to be his girlfriend. I felt like I was the luckiest girl on Earth.
It also transpired that my cousin ended up falling for his cousin, random I know! So we would all go out together all the time.
I went off to college for two years, then I went off to Liverpool for university. I decided to live in to get the full experience so Aaron used to come and stay with me one weekend and I would stay with him the next.
Now when I first started going out with him I was strong-willed, confident and didn’t take any kind of crap. If he was an idiot I would wait for him to get in touch, if he didn’t make plans to see me I would do something else with my friends. Something changed however when I went away to university. As he grew more insecure it pushed him the other way. I’d find myself travelling home at the weekends and he would advise me that he was seeing the lads, so I’d sit in on my own as I’d held off making plans with my friends to see what Aaron was doing. I was never invited out on these nights as they were ‘lad’s nights’.
At first I kept quiet as I knew that I was that one that had moved to university whilst he stayed at home living with his mum and working for a small local business at the end of his street. We had different dreams, but essentially we loved each other and I saw past his ambitions (or lack of them) as I loved him for him, not his status or career.
It was only when I started to secure work experience in London working for dream titles such as Heat magazine and FHM that I realised that our paths were maybe a little too different. When Aaron did well at work – got a promotion or good reference/ feedback from a client I would tell anyone who would listen, if he scored a goal or his team won at football I’d be there by his side supporting him. It was one Sunday afternoon, we were in the local pub with his mates and I’d just got back from a month’s placement at FHM in London. One of his mates had asked where I’d been as they hadn’t seen me for a while, as I look around, none of them knew. It made me realised that I either didn’t come up in conversation or he’d gone out of his way not to tell his friends that I’d been doing. I began to become disillusioned with the relationship; it was the straw that broke the camel’s back one Bank Holiday weekend when he told me he couldn’t see me on the Sunday as he was out ‘with the lads’, which would be perfectly fine, only he also said he wouldn’t do anything with me on the Saturday as he wanted to ‘save himself’. So I told him I deserved better and walked out, he didn’t chase after me.
To follow: Why I took him back, the bumps in the road and the painful reunion 18 months later at our mutual friend’s wedding…
I decided to end things with my ex after a series of events that made me realise that I deserved to be treated better. A had a month off uni and really took some time for myself, I’d recently found out that my Grandmother had cancer so spent a lot of my time with her. I was gutted as Aaron didn’t get in touch, even though I knew that he knew what I was going through. In my infinite wisdom I sent him a letter explaining how hurt I was, and that despite everything, I thought we were at least friends.
The letter became the catalyst for him to try to woo me back, after several bunches of flowers, heartfelt apologies and long phone calls, I decided to give him another chance, more fool me!
The first year was blissful, he took me to New York as a surprise for my 21st, he always put me first and was there to support me on my graduation day. Had he changed?
It was shortly after my graduation day that I started to feel pains in my abdomen, we were due to travel to Australia together for his birthday in the week after I decided to go to the doctor to get it checked out. Only I didn’t make it to Australia as they found I had a large Dermoid cyst on my ovary and couldn’t fly as I had to have it remove immediately. Aaron went to Australia anyway as I faced major surgery on my own. His excuse was that I could get the money back on insurance, whereas he couldn’t…
I ended up having to have my ovary removed and the recovery was long and hard. To make matters worse, they’d also found a smaller one on my left ovary so I had to have half of that removed too, less than ideal! He returned to the UK shortly after my operation and was there for me throughout my recovery.
A few months later as I was well on the road to recovery Aaron and I were advised that we really needed to look at options in terms of IVF, as I was only 22, it made sense to have embryos frozen as I could get another cyst and end up infertile, I did not want this, no, no, noooo!
So after a long and hard chat we decided that we would go ahead with the procedure as we both said we wanted to be together forever anyway, ahem!
It was the night before I was due to start the injections and he’d already left his ‘sample’ and he phoned me to tell me that he didn’t know what he wanted anymore and that he needed time to think, great timing. I figured I’d rather him tell me know than later down the line so told him I’d wait while he made his mind up… Only he never did make his mind up, he just left me hanging for 8 weeks with no contact and sporadic texts saying he’s understand if I didn’t want to wait but didn’t want to rush into a decision. Rush, yeah right, turtles have ‘rushed’ to the finish line faster than he was taking! After eight painful weeks I decided that he obviously didn’t feel the same way about me as I did about him so told him I’d make his mind up for him. I’d gone from a strong confident woman to waiting eight weeks for the love of my life to decide ‘what he wanted’. I was gutted.
I decided to pick myself up and do the IVF myself, I ended up with eight frozen eggs and it made me feel better knowing that I had them there, just in case.
My work was going well and I was happy just being me. That was until I found out that Aaron, wasn’t spending the eight weeks ‘thinking about what he wanted’ nooooooo, he was gallivanting with a Swedish girl that he’d met on a lads holiday three weeks before we split up – crushed is putting it mildly. He’d basically left me hanging on a thread as he waited to see how the other fling panned out – fabulous!
We never spoke again, I decided to move to Australia as it’s something I’d always wanted to do, so worked hard in Manchester as a PR by day and a cocktail bartender by night.
Stay tuned to find out how our paths crossed again
Fancy seeing you here…
Six months passed by quickly and before I knew it I was living it up in Sydney with thoughts of Aaron far from my mind. That was until I had to return to the UK in May 2009 for my cousin’s wedding… Yeah you’ve guessed it, I was maid of honour and he was the best man… only me!!!!
The first time I saw him in 18 months and I was walking down the aisle to him stood at the altar – not quite how I imagined it happening. I was sick to my stomach and to make matters worse his new girlfriend was in the church scowling at me throughout.
The ceremony was beautiful, we had to walk out of the church together, its tradition apparently, oh the joy. As the photographer shouted: “Look at the camera best man and maid of honour” I couldn’t help but jibe: “Ahhhh one for the family album hey!” he laughed and the ice was broken. We didn’t speak much but concentrated on having a great day for our best friends.
I departed back to Sydney and wrote him an e-mail saying how nice it was to see him and how lovely, ahem, his girlfriend is. And that after everything we’ve been through I hoped we could salvage some kind of friendship as we’re going to be in each other’s lives for a long time. Yup that’s right – what did I get back, zip, nada, nothing! The spineless boy couldn’t even be bothered to reply. I decided then and there to never make any effort with him ever again.
So imagine my complete exasperation when I decided to return to the UK for my most recent trip, yes the one I’m filling you in on now , when it transpired that it coincided with my cousin’s baby’s christening. Yes that very same cousin that is married to Aaron’s cousin.’ Sweeeeet, not!
I’d planned the perfect outfit, classy yet understated, a stunning Karen Millen dress. I’d asked my mum to order it from the UK as it was in the sale there, I requested a size 12.
The christening was the day after I landed so I got my hair done the night before, not that I’m bothered, honest! Ha! The morning of the christening went well, hair – check, make-up – check, dress – ch… NO! It wouldn’t even fit over my head. Upon closer inspection it was actually a size eight, damn ebay!!!!
With ten minutes to go I had to drag on a FCUK dress that can only be described as a Christmas decoration (in fact when I described it to a friend, she said oh yeah, the one that you’d wear to an Xmas party! Yes a Christmas party, not a christening taking place in your local church on a quaint Sunday afternoon) Sod’s Law – Why do you mock me?!
I got to the church and who was the first person I saw? Yep… Aaron! There looking amazing with his GF in tow. He didn’t even so much as muster a smile, he blanked me and turned away. The whole day his family were coming over and talking to me saying how much they missed me and he didn’t even acknowledge my existence.
So my blogging friends, I may dwell on the small stuff and not act the right way when it comes to the minefield that is the Sydney dating scene, but I have been burned before as I’m sure many of you have. It goes to show you can move to the other side of the world, but your past can still remain your present. I’m very aware that the way I act now is so different to how I did before I met Aaron, I guess life is a learning process and I make mistakes, we all do. It’s about learning from them.
I really feel like since I’ve returned to Oz I do have a completely different take on things and figure that if someone if worth spending time with and me opening up to, it wont involved me running after them (usually with them running in the opposite direction, ha).
I look forward to you guys to continue on this dating journey with me, no doubt with a few trips along the way!
Next update will provide an overview of the events that followed the christening – honestly it was like ex central! Hmmm they only want me know I’m on the other side of the world, interesting huh!