Today I’m going to start to get to the heart of why this blog exists. Why I’m doing it, why I feel it needs recording, and what I hope will come from it. It’s not a pretty story, but I really hope it will have a beautiful ending.
I’m going to start about 15 years ago. I was 29, beloved only child, excelling in a job that had just “happened”, magically, as if the universe knew what I didn’t, and a couple of months into a relationship with the man who would become my husband. I was happy. HAPPY. Knew it, felt it, breathed it. CONSCIOUSLY happy. Do you know how rare that is? To actually stop in the moment and realise that you are giddily, self-fulfillingly, HAPPY?
If you ask me Who I Am, I will tell you. I am Debbie Miles and I am fucking awesome. I am the best at my job in the country, known by name, by directors of the Bank I work for. I have won awards, changed how things are done and delivered unthinkable performances. I am FEARLESS. And relentless. I am in my prime.
Fast forward 4 years. I now have a daughter and find that parenting is NOT my bag, I have resigned from the job I loved to move, with my husband, to a part of the country that is practically comatose, and that has no job opportunities for me, and I am miserable. Ask me Who I Am and I realise, amidst tears, that I am a wife and a mother, two roles I never sought, never wanted, never craved. How did I get here?
Fast forward another 5 years and I am in another relationship. I am a better mother, much better, but I still don’t know Who I Am. Oh and I just fell out of love with my job. After 2 years of being brilliant, my new boss wants to do it all himself, and I feel I have been demoted. He’s also subliminally sexist. I’m not pretty enough to just “sit there and look pretty”. Work turns to more shades of shit. Who Am I? The Girl Who Never Fulfilled Herself.
By accident, I become The Crumpet. As I’ve described in that blog, I turned a growing love with nail polish into an obsession, and seized it as the vessel of my greatest unfulfillment – writing. All my life, I’ve been obsessed with reading and writing, and have seen myself as an unwritten writer. Suddenly, a nail blog gives me an opportunity to share my voice with the world … and play with nail polish.
So as my work life turns to shit, as my relationship turns to shit, as I grow fatter and more depressed, more defeated within myself, I can finally say – I Am A Blogger. And that is how I get through 4 years of my life. Being a blogger allows me to box all the other crap in a corner and ignore it. Not being loved, not being financially secure, not being amazing …? That’s fine. I’m A Blogger. What started as an outlet becomes my invisibility cloak …. and now, 4 years later, even I can’t see myself anymore.
There’ll be other times to tell you about the joys of blogging. The highs, the pride, the friendships. And also the lows, the trials, the frustrations. But this post is not about that. This one is just about ME, and how I became someone who was not me, and how I crawl back over the glass to get to ME.
So about 3 months ago, my boyfriend of 6 years announced we should part. Not so much of a surprise. I haven’t loved him in 3 years (we’ll save that for another post). He agrees to semi-stay until our lease is up at the end of May, which gives me 6 months to adjust to the fact that for the first time in my life, I’m going to have to be an adult. There will be no one to support me emotionally or financially (in truth, that hasn’t happened for years either), but this time, there will be a physical absence, and my alone-ness will be a tangible thing. There will only be me for me – and how can I be there for me if I don’t know Who I Am?
And that’s where you find me, now, as I type this post. Doing my cartwheels in the abyss again, except this time it’s an abyss of a different kind. This isn’t depression, this is SURVIVAL. For too long, I used nails and blogging to fill the void, avoid the void, pretend I was devoid of the void …. Now is the time to own it – I AM the void, and I need to fix myself, and work out Who and What I Am.
So ladies. that’s where I’m at. That is my goal and this is my journey. You’re welcome to take a seat and enjoy the ride.