Twelve months ago today, my life changed.
It’s been exactly a year since I moved to Manchester, since I separated from my wife, and since my life changed in a whole variety of significant ways. My current torrent of work hasn’t given me much time for reflection, which is possibly a good thing – but above everything else, I think I’m just proud of the fact that I made it through the last twelve months. Back on September 29th 2008, I had no idea exactly what I was going to do, whether I was going to be able to earn a regular living from proofreading books (considering that I’d only done it about three times) and – once the dust had settled from the move, and I had a chance to actually understand what had happenned, the main thing I can remember is just the horrible feeling that I didn’t know what my life was for, anymore. I was on my own, and I felt so horribly broken that I didn’t think I’d ever be able to put myself back together again.
And you know what? I survived. It wasn’t easy – and there are still plenty of times when I really don’t like being on my own, but I’m coping with it and, in my own way, I’m enjoying it. The most important thing I’m telling myself is to make certain the positives outweigh the negatives, and while there might be a lot I’d like to change about my current existance, I can happily say that there is more good than bad. And I’m engaged in a whole series of projects and activities to try and get myself the life that I truly want – they may take a long time, but I think I’m okay with that right now. I’m doing well – I’m surviving both psychologically and financially, and I’m making new friends and acquaintances – my life may not be a social whirl of non-stop activity, but I am fitting in my fair share of fun, and one of the nicest things about the Gollancz party last Thursday was simply being able to spend an evening hanging out with an extensive crowd of people, a large proportion of which were really happy to see me.
In short, I’m doing well. I’m surviving. And while there are points where the echoes from last year, and from the rest of my marriage, still hurt – but they don’t hurt as badly. The injuries are healing. They’re never going to completely go away, but they are gradually fading, and I’m feeling like I can cope. I don’t know where I’m going to be in 12 months time – but considering I survived the last twelve months, I have a certain degree of confidence. And if I am still staying with Anna, still chipping away at the bigger problems in life, still inhabiting the wilds of Manchester… then that’s okay. I’m liking Manchester more and more – to the extent that, if and when I’m able to get a place of my own, I might actually settle in Manchester for a little while, if only as an interim stage. Nothing definite, of course, but I’m leaving lots of possibilities open.
So tonight, I’m relaxing, and drinking a pleasant glass of white wine. Things may go up, or they may go down – but I’m going to survive.
I’m happy tonight. And I hope you are, too.