I don’t understand…

burning-question-mark

I don’t understand. That’s the phrase I’ve most wanted to say since my relationship break up a little under a year ago. I don’t understand why he left me. I don’t understand some of the ways he behaved that left me feeling insignificant and unimportant. I don’t understand where the man I loved disappeared to – how those big, soft brown eyes that made me melt each time I looked into them, turned to stone. I don’t understand how someone can just up and leave, moving to another country without even a second thought for me and the many important times we shared. I don’t understand how I am the one left still hurting and in recovery and how he came out of this unscarred and with a fresh new life to start…it’s as if our time together never happened. I don’t understand any of this…and yet I have realised the words I’ve uttered most have been ‘I understand’, ‘I get it’ and ‘it’s okay’. It was almost as if stupidly I thought that by showing my understanding and compassion he would finally realise what he was letting go of.

But how can I understand a person who goes from seemingly deeply in love with someone to ice cold and mechanical? The logical side of me tells me it didn’t just happen overnight but when I think back, trying to wrack my brains for the clear signs I missed, I just cannot find them. So tell me, how on earth am I supposed to understand something that is just so alien to me? A way of being that no matter how hard I scour the text books and articles, I cannot find an explanation that gives me peace and takes away my deep pain. Most days I still look at my phone, annoyed that yet another day has passed and he doesn’t give a shit about me. I try to take comfort in the fact that at least now I manage to keep my dignity and not let my hurt and disappointment pour out and onto him. I am wise enough to know when a battle has been lost but the sad fact of the matter is that while he is saved the fight, I carry on my own internal battle every day. But at least finally, I have found a way to live with it – something I thought in the beginning I’d find impossible to do. The earth shattering pain I felt at the start has dulled it’s intensity… but I fear it will be something I’ll carry now forever.

For a while I even tried being like him – shutting off and trying to erase our time together from my head. Even now I keep trying ways to turn off my feelings or to focus on something else. Throw myself into work, take up running, go out partying…I even tried counselling because I was convinced through his coldness that I was the weird one for feeling so broken and lost. Normal, mature people apparently just turn feelings on and off like a tap and weak people like me are just slaves to emotion. But despite my efforts, it hasn’t worked and I am not ‘over it’…or else it’s taking much longer than expected. I like to think the latter since I am well out of options to try.

So why am I writing this? I don’t really know is the honest answer but this evening I just felt the pull towards my notebook. I guess I realised that since I met him, my writing passion has been dulled and I really really want to get it back. There are so many things I want back – including my full, unhardened heart. This is the start of my writing recovery so please, if you are taking time to read this, accept my apologies for the lack of coherency and flow…one day soon I will get it back.

I suppose writing is a pastime that inevitably leads to facing feelings, accepting them and painstakingly working through them. For so long I was being told directly and indirectly that allowing emotions and feelings through was somehow wrong or weak. But I so badly want to get ‘me’ back and I eventually want to feel proud for being a passionate fierce-loving woman who feels things deeply and intensely rather than the shame and annoyance I have running through me at the moment. My heart tells me to be proud of loving someone so fully and unconditionally but my head says I just learnt a hard lesson and I must try to avoid the same experience again at all costs. Usually my heart wins out in the long run so I guess I just have to wait it out and keep rumbling on with the ebbs and flows of hurt a while longer.

So something (despite my writing hiatus) I still really want to do is to finish with some thoughts about what I’ve learnt so I can at least feel that something from this experience will serve to make me a better person (plus a blog post for me just doesn’t feel right without it!)…

  1. It’s okay not to be okay – nearly a year on from a completely broken heart and I’m still not okay (despite what I’ll tell most of the world). People will often tell you the usual accepted timescale for these things but the reality is we all do things at our own pace. The guy who broke my heart was over it within a matter of weeks but for me it may take a year or longer – does that make me weaker or less resilient? I like to think not – just a sensitive soul who connects deeply
  2. Just keep trying different things, something will stick – when you’re feeling low and miserable we tend to think of our usual ‘feel good’ go-to’s to pick us back up again. For example with me, that used to be writing but for a while there it just didn’t work. There are so many things in this world to try, the one thing I’ve learnt throughout a tough year has been to just keep trying – sometimes it’s the weirdest things that help to distract you for a bit or ease the pain
  3. Not everything has an answer, resolution or explanation – I’m not sure I’ll ever understand my relationship break down and the seemingly cold and clinical approach my ex took to moving on…and I just have to find a way to accept that. Some things in life don’t end neatly or with clear reasons why and if we keep chasing after an explanation that may never come, we can end up holding on to pain for longer than is necessary.

Bottom line…our journeys are all different and happen at different paces. If you’re going through something tough right now, try to keep some faith (like I’m trying to do!) that this will come to pass – even if it does take much longer than you wanted! Keep on keepin’ on lovely people 🙂

Good girl gone bad?

goodandbad

People are good or they are bad. Is it really so simple? People throw judgments like these around every day, reaching a decision based upon the information they have to hand at that point.

You have a bad run at work, all of a sudden you’re a bad worker. You let down a loved one, all of a sudden you’re a bad person. Sometimes it surprises me how few people are willing to stop, think and perhaps ask more questions about a situation before reaching a judgment. I liken this to going to the gym – it can take you months (perhaps even years!) to build up your fitness levels and just days or weeks for it to disappear. Is it the same when it comes to our characters?

Before I go further, it’s worth saying that I know we as humans are programmed to make judgments, if we did not then decision making would be nigh on impossible. But something I’ve noticed recently is that the weighting given to a person’s ‘good’ behaviours and ‘bad’ behaviours seems off – it strikes me that to be ‘good’ you have to work bloody hard but to be considered ‘bad’ it can take just one or two actions. If this were illustrated in pictorial form it would look like a set of scales with one side having a huge pile and the other just a smattering…but the scales tip in favour of the lighter side.

I suppose all of this could just be put down to differences in perspective. For example, I know lots of people really value consistency and a meeting of expectations so when you do something(s) that goes against this, it results in feelings of disappointment and frustration. My own perspective is slightly different…I have always found the dark and light in people fascinating – it is part of what makes them beautiful. When someone is their imperfect self, the more real and raw they are being. It isn’t to say they can go around being awful, disrespectful or anything like that but rather I can forgive a relatively high degree of undesirable behaviour because I believe that it indicates something deeper is going on. Perhaps it’s my psychologist’s mind at play 😉 But… I am yet to find many people who will allow me the same understanding. How many people do you know who would still be standing there even in your darkest moments when you are not yourself? And not just standing there but holding your hand and telling you how okay it is to be imperfect.

Sometimes a few tough times come along and they really shake you one after the other, to the point where you can question who you are, what you stand for and why you bother trying so hard. When these things happen, of course you won’t be the same person for a while. But does that mean that you’ve somehow fallen from grace because you’re being selfish, moaning a bit or being sad? Are you no longer valuable for all the times you were at your best? Are you less strong because you can’t always find the strength to put on a brave face? And the big one that kept coming up…Are you destined to be alone because you can’t always project the people pleasing version of yourself?

These are all questions that run through the mind when those around you appear not to really ‘get’ it and / or don’t want to. I am thankful to say that for me personally, I’m coming through the other side of some dark times but I wanted to write this blog anyway to pose some questions that I think we can all reflect on a little more in a society where mental health issues are on the rise: am I being fair in my judgement of this person that I care about? Am I looking at the whole picture of who they are or just reacting to this snapshot of a time when they are acting in a hurtful way? How can I gather more information about what’s going on before I react? These questions I believe can help us to be better and more compassionate managers, friends, partners and people.

Before I finish up with the usual key reflections, I do want to emphasise that by trying to take a more forgiving stance on ‘bad’ behaviour I am not excusing sustained and repetitive hurtful interactions or cases where you have to sacrifice your own well-being long term to take account of the bad sides of someone you care about. Rather, this blog is about those people where if you were to take a step back and weigh up of the time you’ve known them, the main of it has been positive and good but there have been some times recently where this has taken a hit or something has happened that shocked or saddened you about them. We all have the right to be respected and treated well but sometimes it just isn’t possible for people to be the person we want them to be 24 hours a day for the rest of our lives.

So, in reflecting on all of this here’s three things I personally have learned:

  1. Behaviours are usually indicative of something deeper – ask more questions. More often than not, we judge behaviours because these are the tangible things that are obvious to us. Someone behaves in a certain way therefore it must mean XY or Z. But in many situations people behave in a particular way because they can’t or don’t want to verbalise whatever is going on in their head. Taking someone to one side and reflecting back in a kind way what you’ve seen and asking whether there’s anything they want to talk about could be all it takes to fully understand the situation.
  1. Be honest but be kind. Most people welcome some honesty from those they care about but the way in which it’s delivered is absolutely key. Generally people push back and / or defend against honesty delivered in a cruel or uncaring way but will react better to honesty they perceive to come from a place of caring and support.
  1. Take a step back, if you must judge someone then do it fairly. Have you got all the information you need in order to make the judgement you’ve made? We very often have a tendency to judge first and then seek out information to back it up – to affirm that we’re right. Try to fight against the natural inclination and approach it the other way around – gather more information through questioning and then make your judgement about what’s going on.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t profess to get it right all of the time and I’m well aware of how difficult it is to press ‘pause’ and gather information when you’ve been hurt, let down or disappointed by someone. But the conclusion I’ve drawn is that if it leads to the end result of a salvaged professional or personal relationship, it is well worth trying.

Plenty of people will say that they appreciate you for all of your sides – good, bad and ugly – because they know it’s the right thing to say. But how many remain by your side when you really go through something deep, dark and soul shattering? That is the true test of strength in a relationship and if you are lucky enough to find that kind of a friend, lover or colleague then hold onto them for dear life 🙂

“The imperfections of a person, their frailties, their faults, are just as important as their virtues. You can’t separate them. They’re wedded.” Henry Miller

An addiction to crack…

Light

I was first diagnosed with the condition of ‘giving too much of a shit’ at the age of 5 by my favourite primary school teacher.

I had been out playing with a group of friends when one of them rounded on the other, pushing them to the ground and stealing their favourite pog (it was a 1990s game!). As the victim of this heinous crime (!) ran away crying, I turned to the kid who’d pushed them down and asked them if they were okay… As the teacher came round the corner to smooth things over, he asked me why I was involved in the incident. So I told him I had just been there at the time and for some reason felt sorry for the other kid. The teacher just chuckled and told me that one day my caring for the ‘mean ones’ would either be my making or my downfall. As a five year old child, clearly this made no sense to me and I happily shrugged and skipped off back to my game of pogs… but several years later and I’m reminded of his words in my adult life.

Why is that we care for some people so deeply and not for others, particularly when to the outside world our care is wrongly directed? I imagine that if you were to ask this question to ten different people, you might well get ten very different answers. Are our feelings related to the things they do for us everyday, the words they utter to build our confidence, the support they provide in a crisis? Is it because they are perfect in every way and they only make us feel good? When we find ourselves drawn to people, what is it that keeps us there – even when, at times, it seems crazy to stay?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently because on the whole, I think I’m a pretty good judge of character. I mostly surround myself with honest, caring and grounded people who I know I can depend on and trust. But I’ve also noted a pattern in being drawn to some quite complicated, complex and in some cases, destructive people too. When I care about someone it happens quickly and is pretty hard to shake, even when someone behaves in a way which is hurtful and to many, unforgivable. Does that make me stupid? Naïve? Ridiculous even? To keep giving my time to those who seemingly don’t deserve it…

The way I explain it to friends and family is that sometimes to get to the most beautiful parts of who a person is, you have to wade through the murky bits – with some people there’s just a whole lot of murkiness to contend with before you get to the good bit, but it has to be there. I guess I like the idea that much like the art dealer who finds a discarded masterpiece that others’ could not or would not take the time to see, that I’ll find the person / people who, with time, will be incredibly interesting and rewarding to be around. The diamonds in the rough 🙂 I know I’m not alone in this way of thinking, we can all surely think of a time when we’ve held onto someone even though we know they haven’t done a huge amount to deserve it and / or haven’t given us anything back in return…

So in thinking about this, there are the obvious explanations that spring to mind. Curiosity – perhaps the more someone behaves differently to ourselves, the more we want to understand and explain it. Self-punishment – perhaps we don’t believe we deserve any better so we’re willing to accept hurtful behaviour. Do-gooder syndrome – somehow we want to relieve the world of all it’s ills and pain, one individual at a time. The list goes on…

But I have my own theory – perhaps it’s the case that the things we seek in other people (be it friends, lovers, colleagues etc.) are sometimes the things we want others’ to find out about ourselves. By trying to understand someone who (for example) has treated you badly, perhaps you are somehow hoping they will try to understand you back. It’s a well known fact that we tend to seek out those who are similar to ourselves in life because it reinforces our view of the world and makes us feel our values and beliefs are the ‘right’ ones because they are shared (a several thousand word dissertation on the topic has emblazoned that particular fact in my mind! 🙂 But to dig into that deeper, perhaps alongside reinforcing our beliefs and values we are also seeking out ways to confirm that the not-so-great aspects of ourselves (our imperfections and cracks) are loveable and acceptable too. For example, by finding someone who is imperfect and broken, it makes it okay for me to be imperfect and broken too – an understanding between people who have experienced difficult times in life and have not just lived life safely in monotone, and they accept and care about each other because of it.

Everyone, regardless of the façade they put on, is looking to be heard, understood and accepted. To be truly understood is rare, and to be accepted for all your imperfections and cracks is even rarer. It has always been my view (rightly or wrongly) that a person with seemingly no imperfection and no issues is either a boring one or a fake one, so it follows that when I meet people who have things to work through I equate that with being real and having experienced life a little more. I’m not sure that’s something I want to change about myself but what I am realising is, at the point at which caring about someone comes at the cost of caring about myself, that is when a line has to be drawn somewhere.

So where does this leave things I wonder for a crack addict like me? Well I think my three step programme would sound something like this:

1. Remember that understanding people is good, trying to fix them is not. The one thing which is a sure fire way to be eternally dissatisfied is to believe you can fix people – people can be broken by others’ but they must always fix themselves. You can support people by providing the tools to help and the unwavering support but ultimately they are the only ones who can do what’s necessary.

2. Keep caring but don’t let it come at the cost of your own needs. This is one I will struggle with because I just never like to give up…but it’s an inescapable truth that you can give all of yourself to help someone and they’ll take it all, leaving with you nothing. Know when it’s ‘just too much’ and take a step back, you do no one any favours by sacrificing yourself.

3. Remember that cracks are as much of who you are as rest of you. Imperfections and ‘isms’ are what make us unique and interesting, allowing people to see that can be a good thing. I remember reading an article about the success of ‘the imperfect leader’ as a leadership style because people identified with it and felt that when a person is willing to be vulnerable, it shows their ability to be real and present.

Finally, a quote which has stayed with me ever since I first encountered it is below. Although it sort of feeds my addiction to ‘finding the cracks’, it also makes me feel good that as an ambitious woman trying to make my mark in the world, it’s okay to sometimes show your vulnerabilities and drop the mask for a while 🙂

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in” Cohen

When the heart keeps on kicking the ass of the head…

Image

I made a decision recently. In fact funnily enough, over the course of my 27 years I’ve made A LOT! It wasn’t by any stretch the most important decision I’ve ever made but it did make me realise that I have my very own ‘Mr Grey’ character directing my life (and no, before you ask I haven’t read THE book!). The so-called dominant, controlling and downright ‘twisty’ force in my life is my ruddy heart.

To provide some background to my mini epiphany…I’d been um’ing and ah’ing for a while recently about whether to ask a guy out. Someone who I knew fairly well and could feel in my gut quite liked me but may just be too shy to do the deed himself. Yes, yes I can hear you all now – this dilemma is completely contrary to my last blog in which I so defiantly and courageously said ‘No more! Love is a lost cause’. But hey, it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind and besides that, my gut was telling me to give it one last shot! So here were the wise words of wisdom my respective decision-making ‘bits’ threw into the mix: 

Heart: It’s a modern era! We bang on about equality all the time, so why shouldn’t a girl do the askin’ for once?! If you don’t ask then you don’t get. What would Samantha / Carrie etc do? What do all your friends advise, I bet they’re telling you to bite the bullet and just ask! If you don’t ask you’ll always wonder ‘what if’ – have no regrets! If he’s put off by something as small as you doing the asking, well he’s clearly not right for you…

Head: If he really liked you it doesn’t matter how shy he is he would ask you…so be patient. You’ve made it clear you’re friendly and approachable so let him make some effort. Your whole life you’ve always made the effort, isn’t it about time you waited for someone to do the same? Think of your reputation, if you get turned down you’ll look like a loser.

Now looking at those side by side we all know which sounds like the better, more sensible option…but we also know which I opted for. And let me tell you, they ain’t one and the same! And in case my jabbering on is confusing, to clarify…I went with my heart and the outcome wasn’t what I’d hoped.

And this certainly isn’t the first time (or last I’m sure) where I’ve followed my heart / instinct and things haven’t seemingly worked out how I’d wanted. I’d say 70% of my decisions in life are made from my gut and the other 30% I’d say a combination of the two – either way, it would seem my heart is absolutely kicking the ass of my head! And it’s not just in the ‘love’ department either…I’m constantly battling my heart and head when it comes to work, friends, family, money, holidays etc, you name it and you can bet there could be at least two paths to follow!

Now before you think I’ve gone all split-personality on you, worry not these are never two pieces of advice given aloud or in public places 🙂 They’re internal conflicts and as a person who likes to rely on myself a lot, it’s important I weigh up options and reach a resolution and way forward. But surely most people at some point in their lives have had a situation where they are torn in two directions between instinct and level-headed logic? That decision between a ‘safe’ job or your dream job for example? Or between saving to pay the bills or jetting off on an exotic holiday somewhere? What about the time when a colleague / customer is being a prat and you need to decide how to deal with it? There’s no denying we all experience it and probably fairly frequently.

I had a bit of a conversation about this with somebody recently and her take on it was that it’s traditionally young, inexperienced people who go more with their heart and usually, the older more experienced will lean towards their logical head. Frankly I think that’s bull. I’ve seen the ‘wiser’ folk of this world use their instincts more times than I care to count but where I do think they have it right, is that perhaps they are more balanced. They have a 60/40 split heart and head. But I also think your inclination to go with one or t’other is also a fundamental part of what makes you, ‘you’. And to that end, it’s not something to try too hard to change. I also think perhaps we all need to do whatever helps us sleep at night…and for me, nine times out of ten it’s to go with my heart and have trust in that. 

So having mused away ‘til any readers have no doubt dropped away by the roadside, I’ll draw this to a close. But as with the two other blogs, I do feel from writing all of this down it helps me to process and learn. In keeping with that, here are my tips / thoughts / learnings:

1.      Don’t always let your heart kick the ass of your head – stick up for the underdog! There are times when the head has some fair points to make and it’s worth giving them due attention. Sometimes, perhaps it’s even possible to balance heart and head so that everyone’s a winner! At the end of the day, you’ll probably know which to follow to help you get those much needed ‘zzzzs’ at night…

2.      If you can, muse things over with a fellow ‘header’ and a fellow ‘hearter’ as they’ll be able to re-clarify your thinking on both sides. And by that I mean talk to people you know to be inclined to instinct and to logic…if you talk to too many ‘hearters’ and not balance it with ‘headers’ it may sway you unfairly one way. Sometimes just hearing both sides aloud helps to form a decision (and alas you can’t really voice your own heart or head advice unless you want to look like a crazy person Alice in Wonderland style!!)

3.      But most importantly…be you! Yes I know this becoming a regular feature within each blog but it’s so true. There aren’t a lot of people out there where what you see is truly what you get, so why not dare to be different and stay true with your natural style. I read an article once about leadership and getting the most from people and being authentic was rated the most important factor in being successful (and happy!). So if you’re a ‘hearter’ or a natural ‘header’ be proud of that and only tweak (and it really is tweak, not change) where it’s shown to be leading you consistently down completely wrong paths.

But as I’m writing this, I’m also starting to see that although my heart may not lead me to the best outcome short-term…it does tend to lead to very good outcomes long-term. To use my ‘asking out’ situation as an example…short-term it sucked that I didn’t get to go out for a drink with someone I liked and at the time it really stung to be rejected, but long-term (a few days later even!) and I can now forget about the whole thing and stop wondering ‘what if’. I can chalk it up to experience and focus on something else. So my conclusion at the end of this musing is that ideally a balance of heart and head is advisable but…if you really have to choose and the two are so counter to each other you can’t find a middle ground, I say go with the heart everytime – it may not seem like it but it WILL lead you to the right place eventually. How do I know this you might ask?? Well my feisty little heart told me so of course!

Falling and failing…

At what point should you resign yourself to the fact that perhaps you will always be destined to fail at some things in your life? That’s not a question to indulge some sense of self-pity on my part but rather a realistic perspective that perhaps you can’t be good at everything – for me that ‘thing’ just happens to be love.

Let me try to back this up with some practical examples. If you were applying for a particular job, how many times would you accept knock backs until you just stopped applying and decided you aren’t the right candidate for the role? Or, how many times might you face rejection at a trial for a sports team before you reluctantly walk away with an ounce of pride still intact? I think most of us have a ‘threshold’ at which point you just have to decide that your spirit has taken enough of a pounding. And hard though it may be, for your own sanity and emotional well-being you just have to walk away and find something else to focus on. Well I’m at my threshold now and I’ve definitely had enough.

I’ve mused a lot recently with brilliant and supportive friends (you know who you are lovely people!) about why finding the ‘right’ person seems to be so easy for some and so darn hard for others. And to be honest I’ve reached the oh-so insightful conclusion that there are no answers and therefore no quick fixes. It just happens to be the way of the world that some people will have to be more resilient and brave than others…working through the masses of heartbreak and disappointments as they come and still trying to stay optimistic through it all. But where should the breaking point be? After disappointment number xx, where do you draw the line and say enough is enough and you can count me out of the running? Surely only a fool or an eternal optimist would keep going back for the hits – and a fool I most certainly ain’t (anymore)!

I can hear all the various voices now – looking at this situation and making their own assumptions as to what has caused this gal to become so unhopeful in love.

– Perhaps she’s too desperate? Love only happens when you’re least looking for it…  

– Perhaps she’s unapproachable or scary?

– You’re picking the wrong guys – you need to lower your expectations, they’re too high!  

– You have to kiss lots of frogs to find a real prince…  

– You’re still young – plenty of time to meet someone…  

– Just find somebody nice and settle down…you can’t have it all!  

Well maybe some of them are true…but let’s face it there are far more desperate, scary, young, wrong-picking, frog kissers in the world and yet apparently many of them seem able to find a half decent person to share the fun times with. And good for them!

But do you know what, I can genuinely no longer bring myself to care as I once did… I’m laying down my sword and admitting defeat – I fought a damn good battle and it turns out that love just ain’t my thang! It’s my nemisis, my allergen, my sausage (those of you who know me will know what that means!!) 🙂 But d’ya know what, perhaps it’s now about time to find out what my ‘thang’ is…Zorbing? Spelunking? Unicorn hunting? Mud wrestling? The world is my loveless oyster 🙂

But amidst all of this and in the end despite what is a slightly disappointing result for a die-hard romantic like me, I know I can learn some important lessons to share with all the lucky ones out there yet to find love:

1.    Kissing frogs ain’t all it cracked up to be – I’ve kissed my fair share and some of them have driven me hopping mad. Save your kisses for the princes who don’t disguise themselves and will sweep you off your feet from the get-go

2.    Don’t compromise yourself too much, don’t try to be someone you’re not and most of all do NOT settle for second best! Yes some will look at my situation and think that perhaps if I’d done more of that, I’d have found someone by now….but trust me that’s utter crap! It’ll catch up with you in the end and we only get one life – live it with the person who deserves to share in it!

3.    Just because I have lost the hope for myself, doesn’t mean I can’t keep the faith for my friends yet to find someone. The possibility of someone being destined never to find someone is 1 in a billion-squillion…and I’ve taken up that unlucky spot so worry not my fabulous singleton buddies, you’ll get your prince (I’ll make darned sure of that!)

But before I sign off, I do just want to say one last thing. To some, this post may come across a little defeatist, self-indulgent or bitter but I promise you it 100% is anything but. I’m still a romantic and I still believe in love. I shall be the first to blog should my fortunes all of a sudden change – I remain open to ‘times a changin’ but I won’t keep putting my heart out there to be broken again. Enough is enough and it’s time for some self-preservation.

For a long time (more than anyone will know) I’ve struggled with a feeling that perhaps I could change the outcomes of my past failures by changing me – that it was down to me to be more proactive and seek out someone. But by writing this blog I’m glad to say I’ve reached a feeling of realisation, freedom and yes a wee bit of resignation. But lest things have gotten confused among all my rantings and ravings, let my message be clear… My love seeking dues have now been paid, so guys if you’re out there and you truly want me, how about you come and get me…for ruddy once 😉