I move slowly through the park, my steps perfectly in time with the music filling my head, hair buffeted by squalls of wind. The asphalt is coated with a thick layer of pale pink blossoms; the tiny flowers drift, confetti like, from the trees, into my hair, onto my shoulders. I flick at them, absent-mindedly, lost in my thoughts.
A year ago today, I wrote a post about leaving the father of my child. Re-reading those words now, it almost feels as though they were written by someone else. I suppose, in some ways, they were. The woman who wrote them had been sleepwalking for the longest time. She knew her life wasn’t making her truly happy – and writing this blog had helped her come to this realisation – but was terribly afraid she did not possess the strength to break away, start a new life. She was beginning to see the light: that being a mother didn’t have to mean burying her own personality, her own needs, deep inside; denying their very existence. That way only bitterness and simmering resentment lay.
There followed a turbulent year of dizzying heights and desolate lows, filled with an intensity I would never trade for a return to my old life. Out of the ashes of the relationship which ended in March stepped a woman who has finally learned how to feel comfortable in her own skin. Who has understood, at long last, that being alone can make a person feel more whole than being one half of an ill-matched couple.
Out of habit, I still lie on the right-hand half of the bed, rarely straying over the invisible line which divides it in down the middle. But I no longer sleep fitfully when there is no-one by my side. And the nightmares have left me.
I move slowly through the park, buffeted by the wind, music filling my head. And realise I am smiling at no-one in particular.