Twelve months ago when I was writing another (now closed) blog and before I started 30 something and breaking up, I spotted an interesting article on Post a Day about writing a letter to your self one year hence. It was a post that struck a chord with me so I wrote about my situation and how I was feeling at the time. That anniversary is today. I read the letter before work this morning, absorbing and remembering how I felt back then. I won’t reproduce it here because it has too many personal details and to cut them out would leave barely anything left.
I’ve decided to write two more. This is my response:
To me in July 2011,
I would like to promise that it will be an easy twelve months for you, but I can’t. Fact is that it will be one of the toughest years of your life, though when I look back now I can say that you have probably just had the worst day of this whole situation. You will have bad days and some where you do not even want to get out of bed. You will have days where you want to run away from the world. But you need to work your own way through that, and I know you do not run away.
The twelve months in from of you will feature a lot of time soul-searching. Eventually you will start to feel a change in yourself, the first stirrings of feeling positive about the future and eventually the good days will outweigh the bad. The end of the year will be especially tough and I know that you are already dreading Christmas because you and wife always made so much of it. I will not lie to you – at times you will feel so utterly hopeless; but it’s only a week and you’ll appreciate the break.
I am pleased to say that you will go on the holiday you booked. Despite the sad atmosphere, you will both enjoy yourself and do lots of interesting things. At times you will wish that you went on your own – it might even have done you good to do so. She will decide she wants to go, then she will decide that she doesn’t and finally she will change her mind again. It is important that you stay the course and tell her that you will go regardless. She needs to see that you can have a life without her.
You don’t need to worry about couple’s counselling, I know you feel you will be judged whether the counsellor is a man or a woman but the one that you both seek help from is nice, professional and just what you both need right now. She is a caring and approachable person but you will witness fleeting moments of “telling it like it is”. Don’t fear having those one to one sessions either; you need them. This is your chance to explain how you really feel. Too much of this relationship has been about wife and her mother with you always the outsider – I know you don’t really want to admit it to yourself now but you will come to realise that you were a gooseberry in your own marriage at times. Realising that is part of your getting over it. Those sessions will be a big help but perhaps not in the way you might expect.
Sorry to say that you will still be in the same job in July 2012 that you are doing now but it isn’t for the lack of trying and you are still living with wife. Times will be tough but now, in 2012, I can feel that the right job is just around the corner – it has to be. You are getting interviews and you’re getting positive feedback so it isn’t all bad.
Mother-in-law’s neediness will be a problem at times and she will in ways that are so completely inappropriate. You will start to see her in a new light – if you aren’t already. Wife will also present some difficulties. She will use all of her old tricks in expecting you to accept the position she wants you in – especially when it comes to how much contact you will have after you separate and how she imagines how much input you will have into each other’s lives. Don’t let either get their own way and tell them so. It won’t be easy on you as they expect you to provide answers that you no longer feel obliged or able to give. That’s the bad news.
Now for the good news. I know that Miss X is not at the front of your mind right now but your friendship with her will become stronger in the coming months. Yes, you’ve spoken to her a little recently since she broke up with her boyfriend, but in July 2011 it is not as much as you used to, not as much as you are about to and less often than you’d like to. She is going through a tough time and she feels she has nobody to turn to. Talk to her and make the effort to resurrect a friendship that has been neglected.
While I’m on the subject of Miss X, you will meet her in 2012 and you will have a good time and do lots of interesting things. The week that you will spend with her will not be enough but when you come back you will feel changed, more relaxed, revitalised and ready to face the world. She will make you laugh and you will make her laugh. You will get on like old friends and work through a lot of stuff inside your heads.
Your journey is not at an end in July 2012 and you still have a way to go so keep your chin up and your chest high.
Very best of luck,
You in 2012
And the other letter I’m not going to write here because it will be to read one year from now. If this blog is still going, you can read about it then.