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Illustration by Sarah Steenland and Torre DeRoche

 

I’m going to tell you a tragic story of the most terrible imaginable thing in the world.

I’ll wait while you grab a box of tissues…

Once upon a time, there was a healthy, professional Western woman in her 30’s who found herself in a major life crisis due to one terrifying fact:

She was suddenly single.

Life was being a total bitch to this white, able-bodied woman. It wasn’t quite the wonderland she’d come to expect from the Disney movies. Happy endings were not real. Walt was a liar.

For starters, dads die, which sucks for obvious reasons. But worse: these kinds of disasters have a way of coinciding with other major disasters, such as a long-term relationship ending, because motorbiking the world is definitely a lot more fun for a free spirit than sitting on the floor of a hospice room. Who wants to be caged up like that when you can be thrusting your body into wind and bugs at 80 miles an hour?

Viva la dead bug!

The worst part about getting motorbike’d by your significant other is that it tends to happen at precisely the same moment that – despite everything you believed up until an hour before your 30th birthday – wrinkles, depression and grey pubic hair are conditions that don’t just happen to a tragic sector of the human species called The Elderly.

They are happening to ALL OF US.

This rude awakening thrust the dear protagonist of this story so deeply into a state of turmoil that no Louise Hay affirmation could cheer her up. Manifest this, Louise.

Eckhart Tolle could set off dog paddling for a melting icecap for all she cared, because despite her considerable efforts to train herself into thinking that time is a meaningless construct of the modern world and that the only state of being that exists is The Now, all the The Nows were still tallying up into a cluster of shitty yesterdays and a cluster of shitty envelopes from the tax department in shades of white, then pink, then red.

Time was real.

Time was urgent.

The news was a bleak reminder of this:

ANTARCTICA SET TO LOSE ICEBERG THE SIZE OF DELAWARE!

Yes, global warming was quite important, sure.

But who cares about rapidly vanishing wildlife when you’re rapidly losing sex appeal?!

Unlike Antarctica, her deterioration was visible every morning in the mirror and no wrinkle cream could relax the gathering Roman numerals of worry between her eyebrows.

Worrying about being single was only making her singledom worse, which made her worrying worse, which made her singledom worse, which is something called a positive feedback loop.

(She learned that in an article about climate change.)

(It was anything but positive.)

Even a pricey, celebrity-endorsed facial cream that boasted a key ingredient of Petri-dish human foreskins for skin renewal seemed little more than a gimmick, but she was desperate.

She bought it.

It burned her eyes.

It also made her an actual dickhead.

Things had gone from bad to worse.

One day, after a burst of energy that was entirely caffeine induced, she booked a plane ticket on her credit card, on a whim, just like that, with the click of a button, because she was so impulsive and brave, and therefore hopefully loveable?

She wondered if this meant she was courageous and full of chutzpah, on a wild and daring adventure called life, or if she was a madwoman who was free-falling in a death spiral, nose to ground, both wings on fire.

Nobody can ever know the answer to this for sure, but here’s one thing we can all be sure of: Nobody loves a madwoman.

And so she uploaded a meme on social media that said “Carpe diem!” and 12 people liked it, which helped to convince her of option one: She was full of courage and chutzpah.

Spain. A destination that would look great in the background of her photos, because if your life falls apart in the woods and nobody is there to Instagram it, does it really make a sound?

She needed to disappear to a destination that could only be described using lots of desirable adjectives like ‘quaint’ and ‘dreamy’ and ‘charming,’ a place where she knew she would never run out of meandering, self-indulgent strings of descriptive language. The more fluffy adjectives she had at her disposal, the more padding she had between her private animal rawness and her neat public façade.

There, surrounded by quaint eateries and charming architecture, nestled among the dreamy fog-shrouded hills, she would journal each evening about the cute errors she’d make while trying to speak the local language, such as “Pass me the fuck,” when what she meant to say was ‘fork,’ which would make everyone laugh; which would make that dark-eyed, long-lashed man look up from his pasta to hold eye contact with her for a steamy length of time.

Of course he would!

Everyone would want to pass her a fuck!

She was so loveable!

Well, okay, she felt more like “a pathetic looser” than “loveable”, but she hoped to become loveable somewhere on her journey, when she met that One who could help her iron out her brow wrinkle and deeply furrowed life crisis.

That One. That Person. That Soul Mate. She’d been promised this person by every love song ever written, every film with a feel good ending, every sickening couple licking faces in the park, poking at her empty heart with their forked tongues.

Once she found Him – that handsome and intelligent, masculine-but-soft, kind-but-confident, talented-but-humble, stoic-but-able-to-cry-in-sad-movies, into-dogs-not-cats, funny-but-serious, successful-but-not-too-busy-coz-Netflix The One, her life would finally begin.

Yes.

He was out there.

She knew it.

She just had to find him.

There was no other option.

Without him there was no point in anything, really.

She had wrapped her entire life force around this one simple goal:

Find love.

True love.

Everlasting, movie-style love.

And then, armoured in romance, her life could begin for reals.

After that, she totally had plans to get straight onto some bigger issues, like the acidification of the oceans and the widening poverty/wealth divide and all other problems that existed outside of her own navel.

Only then could she become the kick-ass warrior she truly wanted to be.

Goddamnit.

Life could be so disappointing.

The End.

Who is the wanker in this story?, I bet you’re wondering.

Yeah, okay, she was me a couple of years ago.

But I know I’m not alone in suffering from this wretched way of thinking. Being single can be a terrifying prospect for many of us. Researcher Stephanie Spielmann studied fear of loneliness in 3,000 people and found that:

“… due to a fear of being alone, people tended to either stay in unhealthy relationships or settle for partners who were not ideal.”

Do you realise how crazy that is?

We would rather be MISERABLE than single!

But here’s the thing: after my Very Awkward Breakup, once I got over the fear of being single (which took about a year if we’re being honest), I realised that being solo isn’t actually all that terrible. In fact, it’s kind of magical sometimes.

With a freed schedule and a lot of heart to spare, I was able to nurture new forms of love. Love for friends. Love for new passions. Love for reading, for wandering, for the planet…

Being alone ebbs and flows like relationships do, with good days and bad days, pros and cons. For example, you get to spend your free time exploring your own interests and personal growth, which is an incredible gift … but there is nobody there each day to see you grow, which sucks. You don’t have anyone to chat with each evening about the minutia of your day, which is a downside … but you’re also not emotionally invested in someone else’s minutia, which is liberating.

It’s worth considering that everything we believe to be so terribly awful about being single comes from stigma and myth, not reality.

To get rid of these myths, we need to stop taking pity on singles by setting them up with that weird guy Darren from accounting and start recognising that they’re experiencing a wonderful (if temporary) gift of freedom that we should encourage.

We need to stop discriminating against singles through relating to them like they’re broken, tragic and lost. Maybe they’re courageous as fuck for leaving an asshole when so many among us endure miserable marriages out of fear of solitude.

We need to start sharing more empowering stories around other forms of love besides the romantic kind…

Calling all stories!

To celebrate the September release of my new book The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World – a story about overcoming heartbreak – I’m inviting you all to share love stories, but with a twist:

I want to read love stories that aren’t the traditional kind. I want stories that express how deep, nourishing connection isn’t limited to the confines of romance.

Sometimes it’s a really good friendship. Sometimes it’s a restored connection to a parent. Sometimes it’s a pet. Sometimes a passion. Sometimes it’s a lamp post named Sookie.

Tell me a love story. Help me break the myth that romance is the only way to feel deeply connected to love. Help me make singledom a less terrifying prospect.

As philosopher Alain de Botton says:

“Only once singlehood has completely equal prestige with its alternative can we ensure that people will be free in their choices and hence join couples for the right reasons; because they love another person, rather than because they are terrified of remaining single.”

How it will work:

I will pick three winners myself and re-publish them on this blog (with your permission, of course). You can publish your piece in any way you please – on your blog, on Facebook, on Medium, in the comments section below, or by private message if you’re feeling shy.

I’ll be looking for honesty and heart, so don’t hold back!

If you do publish publicly, please let me know you’ve submitted your story by hashtagging #friendlove and linking to my Fearful Adventurer Facebook Page, so that I can find your entries. Tag your friend if you feel like sharing the love. Tag my new book if you feel like telling people about it. That’d be great.

Open to US / Canadian entries only for postage reasons.

Competition closes on September 1, 2017.

Prizes!

I have three Worrier Survival Packs to give away, which contain everything you need to get through a bout of heartbreak and crippling existential panic (except for a new planet – sorry, they were out of stock).

Survival Packs contain:

  • A copy of The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World.
  • Keep Calm and Carry On plasters (for all the blisters you’ll no doubt get after putting one foot in front of the next).
  • Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye sunglasses (to help focus your affections towards nourishing friendships).
  • Strawberries socks (to remind you to keep your eyes out for magic).
  • A carry bag for your wine (because obviously).

I’m excited to read your stories! xo

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12 Response Comments

  • Nessie  August 10, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    Here’s mine then. It’s called:

    Not A Spider

    Matt followed me out into the kitchen, pulled open a drawer and handed me a packet wrapped in brown paper. He had written my name on it, and drawn a holly leaf in biro.
    ‘What’s this?’
    ‘Just something I found, thought you might like it. I didn’t want to give it to you in front of everyone, for the sake of your dignity, but I wanted to make sure Amy was on hand just in case.’
    ‘In case of what?’.
    ‘Oh just bloody well open it Charlie. It’s Christmas, it’s a present. Just don’t go all bat-shit if you can possibly help it.’
    ‘You’re worrying me now. What is it?’
    ‘For the sake of fuck. If you don’t bloody well tear the paper off, I’ll take it back and -‘
    Matt made to grab the parcel, but I held it away from him.
    ‘Alright, I’ll open it. Trying not to go bat-shit. But if it’s a spider, so help me I will kill you. With my bare hands.’
    ‘It’s not a fucking spider. How many flat rectangular spiders do you know?’
    ‘I try to know as little as possible about any spiders. OK, here goes then.’
    I turned the package over and started to peel the tape off, going slowly because Matt was making me nervous. I was worried about what the present was going to be, and how I might react to it – it didn’t seem like something I was going to be overjoyed to get.
    Matt was jiggling with frustration, and I could see his fingers twitching as if he was having to stop himself from tearing the wrapping off himself.
    I unfolded the paper to reveal the back of a wooden photo frame, and before I turned it over, I briefly wondered if it was a picture of me scoring my try for Australia. That would be OK, maybe a bit emotional, but it wasn’t like I didn’t have tons of photos of it from every conceivable angle on my computer. I had a way to go before I had enough pictures and framed shirts to warrant a rugby shrine like some of the older players had in their lounges, but maybe this could be a start.
    I turned the frame over, and had to look at the two people smiling up at me for a few seconds before I truly recognised them. I hadn’t seen their faces for over ten years, had started to forget what they really looked like. But this was my mum and dad. Mum and Dad, who were lost to me and I thought I’d never see again. I was speechless, motionless, breathless, as I stared and stared at the photo, while memories and feelings flooded into me.
    ‘Say something, mate. Do I need to call the men in white coats?’
    I looked up at Matt, tearing my eyes away from my parents. I couldn’t speak, could only shake my head.
    ‘It is them isn’t it?’
    I nodded.
    ‘Thank fuck for that. I’d hate to have given you a framed picture of two random people for Christmas. Nothing says ‘you don’t know me at all’ like the wrong – whoa steady on there, man points at stake.’
    I had put the frame down on the counter and pulled Matt to me in a fierce hug. This was overwhelming. I had done a fair amount of searching for pictures on the internet in the years since my parents died, but had never come up with anything. It hadn’t occurred to me to ask Matt, computer genius, to help, and now he’d found a picture, a good one too, without me even asking.
    ‘You’re fucking amazing, Matt. Fucking amazing. How the fuck did you find it?’
    I let him go, and picked up the picture, hungry to see it again. I ran my finger over their faces, feeling the frustration of not being able to actually touch the two people under the glass, but overjoyed at being able to look at them. They looked younger than I remembered, though more dated, and subtly different from the pictures I had in my memory. Time had begun eroding the clarity of their faces in my mind, and this reminder could not have been more welcome.
    ‘I did a bit of detective work. I went online, found an old newspaper report, no pictures, but it said where your dad worked, I contacted the company, and there were a few people who were still there from back then. Sent a letter asking if anyone had any photos of Tom and Lucy Collier. People were great, so helpful – I’ve got loads more, mate, you can have them all, but this was the best one’
    ‘You’ve got more?’
    ‘Yeah, I put them all on a flash-drive – here.’
    Matt held out a small plastic drive. I took it like it was a precious jewel, which it was in a way.
    ‘Thanks. You don’t know how much …’
    My voice tailed away as my throat closed up with emotion.
    ‘Yeah I do. You don’t have to say anything, I just wanted you to have a picture of them. It’s not much, I know, but you should at least have that.’
    ‘It’s everything. Oh you bloody bastard, I haven’t done this for ages.’
    Tears were streaming down my face and Matt tore off a bit of kitchen roll, handing it to me with a smirk.
    ‘I love turning you into a fucking loony. Makes my Christmas that bit more special.’
    ‘Happy to oblige, then.’
    I wiped my eyes, and looked down at Mum and Dad again.
    ‘Can I show Amy?’
    ‘It’s yours to do with as you wish. I was personally hoping for pride of place on the mantelpiece.’
    ‘Your arse won’t fit on the mantelpiece, you’ll have to make do with hogging the sofa like usual.’
    ‘Oh the wit of Collier knows no beginning.’
    ‘Thanks mate.’
    ‘Pleasure.’
    I walked into the living room, where everyone was watching ‘Elf’.
    ‘Ames, there are some people I’d like you to meet …’

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche  August 17, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      So beautiful. So, so gorgeous, Nessie. Matt is the absolute best. I have a picture of my dad on my fridge and a little headshot of him framed in a tiny heart near my desk. I know how precious these impressions are, but can only imagine how meaningful it is after ten years. What a friend.

      Thank you for sharing your story! (Also: your swearing is hilarious.)

      Reply
  • Janice Nigro  August 14, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    You asked for different, but maybe this story about my hat fits with the theme of solo travel…I call it “The dead hats society.”
    I wasn’t one for wearing hats until one day at a conference in San Diego for cancer research. It was terribly warm and very sunny (I was living on the foggy side of San Francisco), and I thought, I need a hat.

    It was easy to find a hat in San Diego. Even one that was fashionable as well as functional. This hat was so fashionable that a French guy in Tahiti was moved to finally speak to me after three days of diving together. “That’s a great hat!” And a dive guide in Bonaire once said, “I might forget you, but not that hat.”

    It was not a big hat. Something collapsible that I could throw in a bag but use especially on the boat tenders for diving near the equator.

    I loved that hat. I still have that hat, although I almost lost it once on a bus in Orlando of all places. But that was in the beginning, when I wasn’t used to wearing a hat.

    If you wear a hat every day, you will notice how little time it takes before the hat that was once navy blue, for example, begins to look gray. I think all hats, regardless of the color to begin with, eventually become some shade of gray after time. It impresses upon you just how much sun you get every day without even feeling it.

    That hat has become a dead hat, however. At some point, my mother started to suggest that I needed a new hat. While I knew she was right, I wasn’t about to give up that hat. That hat had been with me around the world. I took it to Norway for my seven-year sabbatical and back. I took it to Indonesia, Palau, French Polynesia, Bonaire, and countless other pieces of paradise around the world.

    It’s still with me. But now it is second to my new first dead hat.

    I visited some friends in Tasmania for Christmas three years ago. There everyone wears a hat. It’s the law for children under a certain age, probably because of the unfortunate intersection of the genetics of the population that settled there and the diminishing ozone layer. So hats are everywhere. Cool hats.

    I went into a ranger station to get some hiking maps with my friends and came out with my second most fabulous and fashionable sun hat. This one was even more stylish than the first, but still very functional. Everywhere I go, people tell me they love my hat. There goes Janice again, traveling in that hat.

    It has been three years on my head, two of which have been in southern California and a half year in Phoenix-in summer-mixed in with all of the other places I have visited-Italy, Indonesia, Sicily, Capri, and everywhere in Hermosa Beach.

    The Tasmanian hat has reached that point of being a so-called dead hat. It has turned dead hat gray. I have been taking both hats with me on dive trips, one for the tenders and one for every other use, but I am no longer sure a distinction is necessary.

    When my mother said something to me about replacing it, a friend of hers casually suggested that since it came from Tasmania, it didn’t seem as if that would happen any time soon.

    I can’t imagine giving up the hat. The hat is easily washable so that it pops back into its stylish shape immediately following a round in the washing machine. In my neighborhood, people quickly recognize me because of the hat. They remember me as the woman from the farmers’ market with that hat.

    I never thought much about people and their hats. Except for the British, but these are not real hats. Recently my sister was showing me a photo of her husband fishing in Belize. “He needs a new hat,” she said. He too has a dead hat, I thought, one he probably wasn’t about to give up.

    It’s difficult to give up a hat when it’s been everywhere with you. This is the essence of the hat (or anything else you must have with you, especially for travel). It’s after all when the adventure begins, putting on the hat.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche  August 17, 2017 at 2:04 pm

      A hat! Of course! Why hasn’t Hollywood written any great love stories about people and their hats? They live on your body, shade you from the elements and become a vital part of your identity. Just like a standard marriage, really. 😉

      Thank you for your story, Janice!

      Reply
  • Lynn  August 16, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    I awoke to the sound of silence. No snoring, no significant other leaping out of bed and banging around in the kitchen. And I was warm – all of the covers piled on me, and me alone. Stretching luxuriously across the whole double bed, I smiled. After several years of sleeping alone, I’ve learned to enjoy it. Not that I wouldn’t be open to sharing my sleeping space, but I don’t need that to be happy. It’s a very good thing to know.

    After a perfect storm of major challenges – getting laid off from my job when the company I worked for was sold, losing my home as I couldn’t afford it without a job and wasn’t managing to get myself hired, and going through a divorce from the man I’d been separated from for some time, I was growing increasingly depressed. Like being mowed over by a several-ton iceberg.

    It was then that I started to listen to that small voice inside, which said, “Great! Now you can sell all your stuff that you have no place to store, and take your small divorce settlement and travel around the world!” Wtf?!! Um, no, I think I’ll ignore you, you crazy little voice in my head. But the voice was persistent, and eventually, I gave in.

    It was November, and there was already a foot of snow on the ground in Michigan, when I took my backpack and stepped on to the first of 3 planes that would fly me to Australia, to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef. Over the next year, I would couch surf and house sit and stay in hostels and visit 14 different countries, literally around the world. It was the most incredible year of my life so far. Yes, I traveled solo, but met so many wonderful people of all ages and nationalities and my faith in humankind was restored, over and over again. Fish swirled around me over colorful coral formations, rock wallabies ate out of my hands, I watched lightning zig zag through the sky over Uluru, toured the opera house in Sydney, and that was just in Australia. My journey took me to New Zealand, where I tooled around the South Island, swimming with dolphins, hiking higher than I otherwise ever have dared, and flew in a helicopter over the glaciers. Thailand was next, where I sat in silence at a 10 day meditation retreat, splashed along the shore of beautiful beaches, stayed with friends of a friend in a small northern village where an elephant roamed the street, and listened with glee as 6 new friends sang happy birthday to me in 6 different languages under a giant banyan tree.

    Cambodia brought me through magnificent Angkor Wat, and a friend from the States and I were able to buy a young man his own tuktuk so he could start his own business (I had the time and she had the money, which she wired to me in Siem Reap). Japan came with a stay in a ryokan, a Japanese-style hotel in the mountains with hot springs pools, where cherry blossoms drifted down like snow. Croatia was filled with island hopping and exploring the history and culture. Fairytale Bled in Slovenia brought magic of it’s own, including a renaissance festival at a castle with fireworks sparkling overhead at night. Italy – what can I say? The food, the wine, the scenery – and a couch surf even sent me out on an antique classic boat around the lagoons of Venice, drinking Prosecco with my host and her friends. There was a house sit in the south of France for 2 adorable little dogs that included my very own swimming pool amongst fields of sunflowers. And Barcelona, Spain, full of Gaudi’s fantastical architecture. I’d always wanted to visit Ireland and Scotland, as that’s where many of my ancestors are from – both were mystical, and felt in a strange way like home, even though it was my first time there. In the highlands of Scotland, in exchange for hiking twice a day in the rain with a crazy border collie, I had free accommodations in a Victorian mansion, with it’s own turret and a hot tub overlooking the loch. I ended my year around the world with more house sits in England, in a quaint village near Bath, and a flat in Hove, near Brighton. It was exhausting and exhilarating, with many ups and downs, and I did it alone! Yet not alone, as I met people wherever I went, and a few friends met up with me along the way here and there. I learned that being single can be one of the most fulfilling life choices available. Now, almost 2 years after my year around the world ended, I’m still living as a solo nomad – I spent 6 months back in Thailand writing a book about my adventures, several months house sitting through California, and now almost a year in various places in Mexico. I head back to Michigan this October for the first time in 3 years.

    Am I disappointed that my story doesn’t have a traditional fairytale ending, with Prince Charming to carry me off? Nope. I have something better. A different kind of love story. I’ve rescued myself, gone from love lost to love full, from victim to hero of my own journey. I can put on my own glass slipper, but I find I prefer the comfort of flip-flops and the fun of silicone flippers. Although I remain open to meeting a partner, I feel no sense of lack in being alone. In fact, I have a gloriously rich life full of wonder, beauty, adventure, family, and friends, old and new. I’ve found that security and happiness lie deep within myself.

    As for love, I have found that there are many ways to fall in love, besides the romantic kind, when you travel. I’ve fallen in love with people in general, those who remind me how easy it is to make friends out of strangers, how much kindness there is in the world. I’ve fallen in love with adventure—when I don’t let fear overtake me—to step outside my comfort zone and embrace the unknown. I’m continually falling in love with culture, including customs, music, food, and art. This not only breaks down barriers and brings even greater appreciation for the world, a more certain view that we’re all one, but also creates immense enjoyment. I’ve fallen in love with the whole planet: manmade cities, and nature, great architecture, and other-worldly landscapes. And then there is falling in love with oneself. We’ve been taught to think this is selfish, narcissistic, but if we don’t love and value ourselves, how can we expect others to love us? There is a difference between self-love and selfishness. I’ve struggled with this from childhood, but on this journey, I think I’ve made progress. With no one along to tell me I’m not valued, and meeting countless people who show me I am, the world has become a benevolent place. Home is here, now, wherever that may be. I’ve learned how strong I am: I’m able to trust myself, make decisions, and handle more than I ever thought possible. Solo travel has provided this. Do I have any regrets? About taking limited funds and spending them on this journey? Heading off not knowing where I was going, how the whole path would unfold, or more strikingly, what I will do when it ends? Nope, not one. It would have cost as much or more to stay in the US, and I would have missed out on all of this. I would have always wondered, What if I had followed my dreams? This way, I know.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche  August 17, 2017 at 2:14 pm

      Gah, Lynn, so inspiring! This story speaks straight to my own experience and straight to my own heart. Your year off was incredibly action packed! I know how much courage it takes to get out there and do this stuff alone: not just in being a loner wandering about in the world untethered, but also in choosing to spend one’s finances – and future security – in this way. So well done! You deserve every glorious memory, every bit of wisdom gained and each magical moment spent in your own company. Thank you for sharing your story!

      Reply
    • Marlene Gill  August 17, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      So beautiful, Lynn! Thank you!

      Reply
    • Torre DeRoche  August 17, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      This was heartbreaking and beautiful, Angela. “”Jizo is the U.P.S. guy of the afterlife.” Aw, I bet he carried all of your love and toys and snacks straight to where you needed them to go.

      Thanks for sharing your story with us. x

      Reply
  • Marlene Gill  August 17, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Having experienced estrangement from family members in the past, this blossoming love in my life fills my heart and helps me realize the perfection of being with a child. How perfect it was to get lots of one-on-one time with Sophia. I got to walk up and down the avenue and into the little alleys with her shopping for the birthday gifts of her choice. There was a light drizzle as we walked, my arm around her shoulder and her arm around my waist. The next day we sat knee to knee on the low beach chairs drawing letters in the sand and chatting about everything that came to mind. I wrote letters on her back with my finger and she guessed what I was writing: “SOPHIA IS KIND.” I had a walk with her and uncle on the beach. There is so much kindness and love in this little girl’s heart. It is beautiful to experience that with her.I love being a grandma to Sophia and know that love comes in many forms. That love that sometimes goes away for whatever reason some people choose to do, will always arrive down another path. I love being on this path with beautiful 6-year-old Sophia.

    Reply
    • Torre DeRoche  August 17, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      “That love that sometimes goes away … will always arrive down another path.” A truly touching insight, Marlene. I’m so happy you’ve got Sophia in your life. Thank you so much for telling us your story.

      Reply
  • Stephanie Johnson  August 18, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    I discovered the deepest of loves in my life only after losing the love I thought I would have forever. When my boyfriend of almost two years sent me a text that read, “I’m not sure I want to do this anymore,” during my seventh period class, I immediately felt shocked. I texted my mother who promptly informed me, “I think he’s just an ass.” My mother listened to me cry over this boy but constantly assured me that some boys just suck and moving on from them is best. My mother taught me at this point in my life that sometimes tough love is the best love. She did the same thing when I was seven and had an imaginary boo-boo on my back. I had been wearing a bandaid on this only-visible-to-my-eyes wound for almost a week when she kindly offered to rub my back. I think we can all probably see where this is going, but my seven year old self most definitely did not. She ripped that bandaid off before I even knew what was coming and told me it was for the best. And it was. I see an unwavering love from my mother every single day of my life. I see it in the way she lets me call her mother even though she says it makes her sound like an overly-strict parent who beats her kids. I see it in the way she is constantly giving and giving and giving even when she herself is running low. I see it in the way she tells me that sometimes the hardest things you have to endure will be for the best. Like losing the boy who promised you a lifetime of love or experiencing the pain that comes with the removing of a week old bandage. My mother has never tried to tell me that life isn’t hard, and I respect her more than she will ever know for that. My mother taught me that love is honesty and love is living through the growing pains and allowing them to stretch you into the person you are meant to be. Love is my mom sending me the quote, “Sometimes you’ve gotta chuck it in the fuck-it bucket and move on,” and me making that my daily mantra. Love isn’t always boyfriends or girlfriends or spouses or partners. Love is simply my mother telling me like it is and me sucking it up and listening.

    Reply

© Torre DeRoche 2017. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce any material from this blog without written permission.

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