how it happened

April 16, 2013


In July 2007 I was utterly, bone-weary knackered. After six years of London living, I ended a going-nowhere relationship and went back to my hometown of Wellington in New Zealand. I took three months off to renovate my little wooden cottage on the hill. I was hoping to find some peace and quiet, a sense of belonging. And, three years divorced, I was ready for some Proper Love. Below are extracts from my journals at the time…

8 December 2007

I think this unrest I have inside me comes down to trust. I have moments where I feel at ease and in the groove of this life I am building for myself. I feel like the answers are right in front of me but I can’t quite see them. And then doubt and fear creep in and I worry about being alone. Truly alone. Forever. I cannot believe that I came back to Wellington after all this time and there is an Official, Government Documented Man Shortage. Is this some kind of cosmic bullshit joke?!

What I really really want, is to be at peace with myself. I have dreamt about being in this house for so long – to spend days resting and reading and now I’m here and I just feel so restless. I think I am still in (cultural) shock. I mean they pack your groceries for you here. What is that about?!

19 January 2008

Floriditas. Saturday morning, post-breakfast. Weird business this settling back in – I’ve been a bit sad and lonely and then a bout of confidence hits. I went out last night with some friends from work. It was ok. I had on my new jeans and was looking around. Then some quite drunk guy pole-vaulted along the bar to talk to me. Sometimes I think its a miracle the New Zealand race hasn’t died out. But maybe I just need to relax. I don’t think I am ready to meet anyone yet. This summer is amazing. Its hard to stay sad for long when its warm.

1 February 2008

Sunny, beautiful Wellington is all buzzy and alive with Sevens fever! It makes me believe that being 34, divorced, alone, in the wrong job, lacking any real direction and 10 kilos overweight is not not the worst thing in the world. My therapy session was so great today. She asked me to think about what I wanted to look forward to. What I wanted to be proud of. Tracy at work thinks I should look forward to getting laid.

7 February 2008

Holy crap. I have been introduced to online dating. Have had three dates this week!

One was nice but he snort laughed more than once which felt uncomfortable. Number two was not my type and I knew from his profile it wasn’t going to work, but I got kind of carried away and I didn’t really know how to say no. Plus he is in some messy breakup drama thing and it just felt icky. Who talks about that on a date?!

Anyway the third one I am seeing again. He plays the guitar and likes to paint (I hope its not awkward art) and bit older which makes me feel young and pretty! He wants to take me to the theater which is a massive step up from the snorter who suggested bowling.

8 February 2008

Musician is lovely but a bit eccentric – has been internet dating for eight years. That feels too long. Like its a hobby or something. Theatre was cool: the play was set in London and I found the accents hilarious (though play was not a comedy). I miss London. Snogged musician in his car. Then he told me if we were going to catch up again it would be next weekend as his dating calendar ‘is quite full’. FFS.

21 February 2008

Good: this will be known forever as The Weekend of Five Dates.

Shite: came home on Sunday and cried my eyes out. I don’t want to be dating! I want to be at that point where you are arguing over stupid stuff like what bread to get in the shopping. This is so bloody exhausting and disappointing. Two of the dates were kind of fun but I feel like I am on the treadmill of churning out answers to the same unimaginative questions. There was no sparks. None. How crap is that? My vagina has shriveled to a dry husk.

3 March 2008

Have spent ages talking to Tim online. He is a doctor and he has a dog named after a children’s book character. And he is six foot tall. He made me laugh and we are going for dinner tomorrow night. It feels so promising! I will not lose hope.

4 March 2008

Tim. No.

9 March 2008

I have revamped my online dating profile and am giving myself three more first dates before I pack the whole thing in and call it An Unfortunate Experiment.

I plan to have a Man Famine for 90 days or something. I feel like I ‘ve had the same conversation on every first date and I am starting to think its me. Maybe I just need some time off? I want to feel happier about me, maybe I could find a new hobby or take up running properly. Both. Date myself? I think I need to see more movies alone. And tell myself more truths. I am dating because I don’t want to be alone and I have never felt more lonely. Am also PMSing.

I know I cannot force this. I know that my person is out there and I just have to trust that he will show up and we will fall in love and I will have a happy ending. He already exists: he’s out there in the Welly darkness on one of those hills, in his house. This brings me some comfort. Still want to eat the world though. Sigh.

15 April 2008

The last date before the Man Famine is planned for Wednesday. I messaged this guy on Friday and we’ve chatted online a bit. He’s quite funny and is apparently 6 foot, (after Tim, will believe it when I see it). He has traveled a lot and seems pretty smart. He has nice eyes in his photo. Has a cat.

Last one. I can do this.

The man with nice eyes turned out to be you. And you were so worth waiting for. Happy five years since our first date anniversary, Mr P. I love you.

Leave a reply

27 Responses to “how it happened”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Oh this is so great. Such a wonderful story and I love your very real journal entries! Thank you 🙂

  2. Hannah says:

    This is so lovely! It’s left me feeling all warm and gooey inside. So glad you found your bee-keeping soulmate and happy anniversary to both of you! 🙂

  3. Cels says:

    Oh my! This is such a great story. Congrats to you both.

  4. Roxanne says:

    Celebrating you, your love, your honesty and vulnerability in telling its story. It’s been such a wretched week here in Boston that I needed to read this today, to refuel my faith in hope, love, and humanity. Thank you. xx

  5. elizabeth says:

    ohhhhh, god. gonna read this about 800 more times—- THANK you for being so present in your life. THANK you for journaling your life. THANK you for sharing it with us so we can all drink in the courage, the journey and the validation of your vision. Thank you!!! xoxo e

  6. Christianne says:

    Oh, man. This post had me bursting out in laughter and then, by the end, going, “Awwww. This is so SWEET.” Love it for you. xo

  7. TP says:

    *Mortified. Did I really say that?

    (Actually I probably did – I’ve always said it’s great for the body and mind :oD Emotional intimacy now that is great for the soul. You found both and I’m so very, very happy for you Mrs P :o)

  8. Rachel says:

    Ah joy, rapture and serendipity 🙂
    I was actually on a man famine when I met my Mr P. He hit me in the face in a moshpit and then I snogged his flatmate. My man famines were not clearly defined as you can see.
    But seven years later it was all worth it.
    Happy days Ms P xx

  9. shannon says:

    Oh, I laughed and I cried. This is such a beautiful post. x

  10. The divine Ms G says:

    When you met Mr P I realised magic stuff really does happen. xx

  11. Lee says:

    You are very funny Miss Sas, this made me giggle, thanks for sharing.

  12. Debra says:

    “Tim. No.” Had me laughing out loud and then I was a little pin-prick teary by the end. You give me hope, my friend. Hope that my own very best friend with whom to argue about the bread is out there too. xoxo

  13. Bea says:

    Bridget Jones, eat your heart out.

    This is awesome. You guys are awesome. Your love is awesome.

  14. Sue F says:

    Oh … please, please, please would you write a book of your journal …. or at least serialise it?!?! Touching, funny and making me feel like a normal person all on one go. I love you. In a non-stalkery, not-at-all-weird kind of way! 🙂

  15. willow81 says:

    Oh that’s just lovely, my husband and I found each other online dating too (Thank you Guardian Soulmates). Bless you and your husk-y vagina xx

  16. J9 says:

    Love that you love, and are loved. Lovely! xxx

  17. Kerstin says:

    Too funny! This brought me right back to my four years of not only online dating myself but also running a dating site in London from 2000-2004. By the end of it I was ready to chuck it all in and become a spinster living in her cottage in the Cotswolds with her seven cats. Then invited me to another week’s free trial and I thought “ok, one more try and then that’s it!” The last man to contact me also was smart and funny, with kind eyes and he loved cats. We’ve been married seven years 🙂 Happy dateversary!

  18. Cilla says:

    Was just nodding, going, aha, aha, aha. Think many of us have been through the same.

  19. Marianne says:

    You just made my night. Thank you for sharing. You help me keep believing in all sort of good things.

  20. shauna says:

    Ohhhhhh! This is gold. Gold! Happy first date anniversary, you legends 🙂

  21. Nicola says:

    This is so exactly what I needed to read this morning!!
    One of my favourites.. and aren’t the best ones the ones worth waiting for??

  22. Xanthe says:

    Goosebumps and big smiles here. Love this. What a journey. Xx

  23. Hannah Stevenson says:

    Dude, you’re my sista from another mista! 3 things: 1. I hope its not awkward art 2. The snorter who suggested bowling and 3. My vagina has shrivelled to a dry husk. AMAZING! xx

  24. Jo says:

    Oh! Got weepy at work! I love you guys. xxx

    • leoniewise says:

      {raises hand} me too. proper weeping, at my desk.

      just before reading this (seriously – just. before.) i found this…

      Who gives a f*** about your first love. Give a big round of applause for your second love, because they taught you love still exists after you thought it never could again.

      …thought you might like it too.
      I adore the two of you and I’m so happy you found each other. What a gift you both are.