I'm Glad This Happened Now: On Knickers and Heartbreak
I've been AWOL from blogging and Instagram for quite a while now - about 6 weeks. It's a pretty long hiatus but I just wasn't able to sit down and write something that felt genuine whilst I had some stuff going on in my personal life. I recently went through a break-up and it has been a bit of a mixed bag of emotions for me. It wasn't a particularly nasty one, not really anyone's fault, but I was a bit heartbroken, then angry, then sad, and now I feel... Fine. Weirdly fine. Really good actually. I don't know if the turn of the year had anything to do with it - New Year, New Me, all that jazz. I know that the support of my beautiful friends had a lot to do with it. When it happened (over the phone - we'd been long distance for about 2 years) I immediately called my two best friends back home. On speaker, in a Facebook messenger call, the true loves of my life told me how precious I am, how beautiful and brilliant and brave, and how much better I deserved. There was an immediate sense of being carried and cared for, and it made the weight feel so much more bearable. I love them forever, and I hope that they know.
My incredible housemate gave me a cuddle, told me to get my clothes on, and we walked down to the local bottle shop to buy a litre of whisky. We proceeded to drink it all, dance to the 1975 until 5am, talk about everything and nothing, and generally just be with each other. I owe her for the hangover she suffered whilst I remained (relatively, miraculously) unscathed. I love her forever, and I hope that she knows.
My two darling PhD princesses both took me under their wing and offered me comfort in their own ways. Love, advice, affirmation that it was the right thing for all parties and that I could now focus on myself and achieving my goals for 2020. There was lots of wine on a sunny rooftop on Cuba Street, and an unfeasible large bag of crisps. I love them forever, and I hope that they know.
But there was something else too. I owe somebody else a huge thank you for being able to push me forward and make me alright: Me. Me from the past. Me from the present. Me from the future. This is reminder to all of you to be gentler on yourself, and to take stock of how far you've come.
So thanks to me from the past for doing all that groundwork: for living through years of seeking solace in one night stands and Tinder dates, and coming out the other side to realise that, in the words of sweet Scott of Frightened Rabbit, it takes more than fucking someone to keep yourself warm. Casual sex is fine and wonderful and trust me, I love it. But it is no longer the crux of my self worth - and that's an important difference between me now and me 5 years ago.
Thanks to past me for seeking out feminist writing that helped me to understand that I am not defined by my relationships, and that I should feel able to ask for more if my needs are not being met. This helped me to let go of things, and not desperately hold on just for the sake of something familiar.
Thanks to present me for working so hard to love my body just as it is. If this had happened in the past, I would have felt so awful and unlovable that I would have quickly begun shearing pieces off of myself. Quieter, more docile, smaller, the instant 'break up diet', the so called 'revenge body'. But I don't need revenge, and my body isn't a weapon. It's a shield. It protects me. It nourishes me, and keeps me safe, and gets me where I need to go. There are a million things that contributed to the end of this relationship, but for the first time in my life I am 100% confident that my body wasn't one of them.
And thanks to future me, for being someone to aim for. I am getting so much better at loving myself the way I am, but I know that in that there is a danger of stagnating. So I have set myself some real, achievable goals for 2020, the main one being to get my PhD thesis done and dusted. This time next year, I want to be Doctor Georgia Mackay.
Something quite funny and fortuitous happened after this break up. The day after it happened, I received a package in the post. I had forgotten that I'd ordered something new from Playful Promises, and opening it was like a gift to myself, as if I'd somehow known that I might need a little pick me up. I got a beautiful soft bra and underwear set from their collab with Felicity Hayward, and I have to say that I adore it. Felicity has been a real inspiration to me, and I was so excited when I saw their collab that I actually preordered it (something I almost never bother with). When I put it on, I realise that the slogan on the underwear was more than just that: 'Self love brings beauty' had really become true for me. In understanding my worth, in seeing my potential, and in learning that my body is beautiful not because of or in spite of anything about it, but simply for being mine. It's the only one I'll ever have, and what a waste of time it would be to spend my life hating it. You can check out some nice pictures of me in the set over on my Instagram @georgiamackayfashion.
So that's why I'm glad this happened now. Buoyed by my friends, my wonderful life in Aotearoa New Zealand, and my blossoming appreciation for my own self, there's never been a time in my life where I have been more ready to face heartbreak head on.
And the fancy underwear didn't hurt either!