Sunday, 6 November 2011

When the Goal Posts Move

I'm not really sure what I'm going to write here. I've mentioned a few times over the last couple of months that I have been going through hell, and I'm not sure how far to go with explaining that. It hurts to write about, it hurts to think about, and it could possibly hurt some people to read about it, and I don't want to hurt anyone. There has already been far too much hurt going around lately, although in the midst of all of this, new friends have been discovered and old friendships have been, for the most part, strengthened. I also want to protect privacy, because it's not really fair to go splashing personal business about that could impact several people, and blogging about the situation could also make things worse.

Basically, the rug has been pulled out from under my feet and staying upright has been a bit tricky lately. The whole thing doesn't make a lot of sense, and I don't have any answers, but I do know that what is going on at present is largely unwarranted. The outcome of it is that Grant and I are going through a really tough time right now, and won't be getting married, at least, not this year.

And no, he didn't sleep with someone else.

And neither did I!

And nobody has cancer.

That we know of.

Touch wood - I really don't need to add THAT to the list of things to worry about...

It's just a really tough time, one that defies description, and I guess if you're close enough to be involved then you probably know most of it.

Oh, and we ARE still engaged. I have only taken the ring off twice since this nightmare began, once to clean it and once to make pastry. None of what has happened has changed my love for the big schmuck. In some ways it has made me treasure him more, and the situation also has the potential to incite some positive changes to our world. It's just... hard. Bloody hard. And it won't get easier for a long time, and even when it does get easier it will still be hard for quite some time.

The only reason I'm posting about it is because today (presuming I figured out how to schedule this post!), Sunday the 6th of November, is the day we were supposed to be getting hitched, and instead we're spending it apart. My would-be bridesmaids will have whisked me away for the weekend, which will probably involve drowing my sorrows in wine and cheese. I don't know whether any amount of wine or cheese or company will help me focus on anything besides the fact that all my hopes and expectations have been shattered and that the love of my life can't be by my side on - not just our wedding day, but on our anniversary.

Words can't really describe the pain and the confusion and the anger. I can't compare my situation to Jennie's - she recently lost her husband Mikey and has bravely kept blogging throughout it - but I still don't know if Grant is coming home, and if so, when. And I am terrified that I will lose him, and I am terrified that I never made the effort to appreciate those little things - even just being able to reach out and touch him, or pick up the phone and call him, or know that I'm safe and secure and loved with him lying beside me in bed - and I am terrified that I forgot to tell him how much I love him the last time I saw him, and I am terrified that I forgot to notice how he smelt and tasted and that I will forget how he smells and tastes. There's more, but I won't go on. That's a lot of fear for one defective little heart.

So besides sharing my troubles, I am also taking the opportunity to explain how this impacts my list of 101 Things to do. You may have noticed a flurry of activity on my blog - twenty posts in two months, which is probably 3 or 4 times my normal posting rate. This list has kept me busy, and gave me something else to focus on. And maybe that means that it's not entirely the positive experience it should be - because I'm stressing about posting - but it's still keeping me busy, and that's a good thing. I'll probably slow down a little, but for now, here are the items that may or will change:

#8 - Make my own wedding cake. Well, I may yet do that. And it may well be within the 1001 days allocated. But it also may not be, and, short of having access to the Delorian, there will be no way of telling for quite some time. I'll keep an eye on this one and if it looks like it ain't going to happen, well I guess I'll change it to "make a super-fancy, highly-decorated cake for someone's birthday". Or something. Watch this space.

#35 - Exercise 4 times per week in the lead-up to the wedding. Well, I guess I should change that one to "Exercise 4 times per week in the lead-up to the hike". And again, this may still apply within the 1001 days but I'm changing the goal because it makes sense to do so.

#52 - Take Grant to the snow. Could happen, but might not. Change to "go skiing again". I realised recently that the last time I skiied was in January 2006 in Liechtenstein. Yes, I've skiied in Liechtenstein. Hah. How's THAT for a travel brag!

#59 - Take Grant to Kangaroo Island. Again, could happen, but might not. Change to "organise a camping/4WDing trip with friends"

#73 - Get married. Hah, totally NOT a foregone conclusion after all. Don't count your chickens, people! I'm not really willing to change this one because it feels like giving up hope that this horrible situation will sort itself out, but I honestly don't know what to replace it with. Maybe "be in a loving relationship, and be thankful for every day that you have them in your life". Hopefully that's with Grant. If it's not, hopefully I have gotten over the pain of it not being Grant well enough to actually make this happen.

This post probably comes across as callous because it may seem like I'm writing Grant off, but I'm not. I am absolutely not. I am just being realistic. He is still the centre of my universe, but I can't guarantee that these things will work out the way I had planned anymore. Being realistic will make me feel like less of a failure.

I guess you never can guarantee anything in life.

So all of you, take a moment - not just now, but every single day - to appreciate what you have. Life is short, and it can be cruel, and it can be unfair, and it can certainly be unpredictable. The person who holds your heart in their hands may not be there tomorrow, or, if they are, they may crush your heart. Make long term plans, by all means, but make sure you enjoy the little things. Socks on the floor don't matter that much, when it means that the person is actually there to leave them lying around.


  1. I'm glad that you can modify (most of) your goals to make them work for YOU... because even if Grant was available right now, they are still *your* goals!

    Being realistic is good. And I think it shows your strength that you can *be* realistic.

    And please remember that you are 'safe, secure, and loved' - even when it is just you in your bed. Your friends will make it so, to the best of our abilities!


  2. Vanessa you really are an amazing woman. What ever happens I fully support you.
    I have been thinking about you a lot today.....
    Jen xx

  3. So sorry to hear this Vanessa, I'm thinking of you and hoping that these troubles pass sooner than you are expecting,
    sending a big hug your way,
    From Erica

  4. How successful were we at the drowning of sorrows? xx

  5. You write so beautifully about what must be such a hideous time. Have been reading in the shadows for a while, but wanted to reach out and say I hope things brighten soon.

  6. Hey everyone, thanks so much for your kind words and reassurance. Life's a funny journey, and it's good to know that there are people both in the real world and the bloggy world to remind you of the positives.


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