Honestly I struggle sometimes with writing this blog. Not because I have nothing to write but more because I am not sure which bits to write about. How open should I be?
From the beginning I made it clear that this blog would be a raw, emotional description of my journey. However I was mainly writing for me; to let friends and family know how I was doing after the suicide of my partner. I was surprised when strangers not only started to read it but also told me that it helped them and could help others.
But this is a personal blog and it can be hard to be fully honest when you are posting your words to the world. There will always be things I don’t talk about. I have to take other peoples feelings into account as I write and I am not the only one grieving for Bob. However this is my story and so I will keep trying to be as honest as possible and that brings me onto all I have being doing the past week.
Cycling! Of course cycling has been a big part of my week. My bike and I feel almost bonded together now. If I’m not out cycling I will be thinking of all the bike related items I need to spend money on…cycle clothing, cleaning kit, chain oil (who would have thought there were so many choices of oil?!), Zero tabs, energy gels…the list goes on and on!
I spent the last weekend in the rolling hills of Herefordshire with two of the other Coast 2 Coast in a Day riders. My parents kindly lent me bike rack and car so that we could all travel down together. However I don’t feel it was too much of a sacrifice for Dad as he got to pose in my convertible all weekend in exchange. I expect the greenery and sunshine helped but I was deeply impressed by the county. It felt like a slightly different pace of life than Notts. Roads were narrower and quieter and I’m always impressed by a “bless you” from a friendly stranger as your hay fever takes over in the centre of town.
Saturday found us steadily climbing Hay Bluff, a 2221ft hill which sits on the border of Wales and England. The heat of the day soon had me running out of water but I was able to gratefully replenish from a stream (no electrolyte tabs in the water but it was cold enough to give me a good brain freeze!). Awesome views from the top meant compulsory group photos before a fast descent down to a lazy lunch in Hay on Wye. In total we racked up 70 miles with almost 4000ft of ascent and although it was clear that the other two ladies were stronger cyclists than me, I was pleased with the ride. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to recognise that others are stronger and that you need to work harder just so long as you don’t let it intimidate you or get you down.
Our hosts for the weekend were one of the riders parents and they refuelled us with a delicious barbeque on Saturday night. It was certainly the sign of a good day in the saddle that I was in bed by 9.30pm.
Sunday was a shorter ride but we really worked together as a group. It had only taken a day and we had learnt so much about each others riding styles. We were all taking our turns at the front which meant zipping along at 18-20mph on the straights. Calls back of ‘hole’, ‘crater’, pizza box’ and ‘sheep’ meant that none of us came a cropper at the obstacles Herefordshire’s roads had to offer.
Arriving back in Nottinghamshire I was feeling so much more confident about the big ride, particularly as reports came in of other C2C riders weekend cycling exploits.
But I also felt lonely. Sunday afternoons are always the worst for this, the time when I miss Bob the most. I miss him every day; thousands of tiny things bring memories back. Thousands of words which will never be spoken now and memories which cannot be shared. I know this will never go away, I will never forget. Bob will always be in my mind, there won’t be a day truly without him.
But he is not coming back and I am not used to being alone. I have been in long term relationships for the last 11-12 years and I want to be in one again. I cannot replace Bob and there is no point in trying to replicate him. Somewhere out there is someone different; someone with some similar traits to Bob but also with their own distinct personality. Some one who can take me on and understand that I have a past which I won’t deny. Some one who will move with me into the future.
Here comes the honesty…I have joined a dating website. I am looking because I want to share my life. I want to honour Bob by continuing to have adventures and by keeping on enjoying every day. But I can’t wait for him to come back. I don’t know if people will judge me and say it is too soon (if you are undecided it has been almost five months) but I think (hope) that those who love and know me will be behind me. I probably won’t meet someone quickly and even when I do it would be a miracle to find my perfect partner straight away.
Why a dating website? Why not just let it happen organically? Well, I’ve seen it work for others and with all the exercise I don’t get out to the local pubs and bars very often. I have gone for a sports related dating site in the hope that I can meet someone with similar interests…if I’m going to be out on the bike all the time they are just going to have to join me or I will never get to see them! As to my profile, well I haven’t mentioned how my last relationship ended, no one mentions that in their bio. I have just done what everyone else does and written about my own personality. Time will tell whether I meet someone who I want to share my past and future with.
In the meantime I will enjoy the company of my awesome friends and family and, of course, my bike!
Be More Relentless.
I now mainly write on my new blog; An Adventurous Girl. I would love it if you would join me there by clicking here.