The Adventures of a Single Woman
I am Kay Green. This is a new name for me, a rework of the name given to me by my parents. It’s my rebranding I have chosen, it isn’t the one I was christened with. It is mine, just mine and it’s the one I am going to take with me for the rest of my life – trust me when I tell you this girl is never ever changing her surname again!
Kay Green represents the resurrection of a woman, a rebirth, a rediscovery of who I am. After two decades together my husband and I separated at the start of this year. I was devastated. I loved him deeply. I had built my life around him and us. I had fought and fought to keep our marriage alive, forgiven and forgotten, moved on and believed again. The emotion and stress that I put myself through clinging to love and hope eventually made me physically ill. My brain was telling my body that it needed to rest, that it needed to be free from the constant mistrust and devastation I was putting it through. It was sending me a clear message. It took my husband to finally end the marriage for me to get that message. Since that Sunday in January I have started my own repair. This is the first time since I was 16 that I haven’t had a ‘significant’ other. I’m 50 years old and single for the first time in my adult life.
My life now, one I’m beginning to appreciate in a different way, shaping my future however I choose.
This is freedom.
My wonderful family and friends have created a safety net for me. They have wrapped me up in their love and belief even when I’ve had none in myself, helped me regain my strength. These people have seen me drag myself up by my bra straps, bring myself back to my knees, start to crawl, then baby steps towards my liberation, eventually up tall and prouder every day. I’ve made my mistakes along the way, of course I have, and I know one thing for certain, there are more to come, but they are mine to make and as long as I’m not hurting anyone except me, as long as I can look myself in the eye every day and smile at my reflection then I’m heading in the right direction.
Since my marriage ended, I have been on the most amazing exploration of myself and those around me. I have left my old life behind and embraced a new one, moved counties to a beautiful place that feels more like home to me than anywhere I’ve ever lived. I’m accepted and loved here, my loneliness diminished by the people who have made room for me in their everyday. I cherish these people who watch over me to make sure I’m OK while giving me the liberty I need to discover new things about myself I. I’ve learnt a lot, I realise I have many more lessons to come. Understanding how to be scared, angry, lonely, thrilled, excited, working out what to do with those emotions when I don’t have a partner in my life to share them with. Being happy is something different for me now, my life no longer has to be about a better job, a bigger house, nicer cars, it can be about the things I have always had in the back of my mind – my bucket list. I have begun to create new ambitions for myself, seen a different future open up to me and I’m going for it. I’ve tried the traditional life, I tried and I failed but I’m not taking this lying down – well not all the time – I don’t want to be the kind of woman that works 9 to 5 goes home via the gym to a microwave meal in front of the TV while waiting for Prince Charming to come and make it all better for me. I’m going to be my own Princess Charming.
I have an urge to live my life more openly to take myself to the places I dreamt of and I’m not going to wait until I retire to do it. I don’t want nice safe package tours anymore, I don’t want cruise ships with planned days in countries I only get to see for a few hours. I want to go, I want to take Kay Green on a journey, an adventure that will open my eyes and challenge my brain. I want to experience things I only ever imagined and you know what I’m going to do it.
So far this year I have taken 16 flights. I have literally gasped as the New York skyline unfolded itself in front of my eyes. I have had a moonlit encounter on a beach in the Cayman Islands. I have taken my claustrophobic self on Eurostar to Paris, travelled through Europe by train, spent days with just myself for company. I can’t read maps, I have no sense of direction and apart from hello, thank you and a beer please my linguistic skills leave a lot to be desired. I have danced around a kitchen in a hostel in Bari Italy with five people I have just met, with YouTube and Google translate to get us through the evening, I have taken my seasick self on a 16-hour ferry trip from Italy to Greece (without feeling remotely sea sick) met some amazing people, had some memorable afternoons drinking moonshine on a beach in Lefkas, Greece, with wonderful people, laughing, swapping stories, singing dirty lyrics to daft songs. Seen breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, watched lightning storms over mountains as dusk has turned to dark, I have wrapped these memories around myself, woven them into the fabric of my new life creating a new pattern that’s just for me.
Next February I leave the UK for Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and the Philippines. I have a 12 month return ticket. I know that for the first 10 weeks I have the deep honour of travelling from the South to the North Island of New Zealand with my parents; my mum with her suitcase that fits across the arms of her wheelchair perfectly and my dad with his back pack, buying a second hand car to take us where we feel like going, to sleep in hostels and motels, to feel the physical and metaphorical wind in our hair as we give each other the trip of a lifetime. The true meaning of quality time, to see a country they love through their eyes and them through mine. They will leave me in Cairns on April 27th 2015, they will come home and I will stay. I have no idea what I’m going to do yet, no firm plans made. I just know I have to be in Perth to catch another plane three months later when my visa
expires and I have to leave.
This is my time, my story to tell, the gift I’m giving myself. I would like to share this gift with you, take you with me…
Want to come along?
Read Kay Green’s blog at shouldersbackdeepbreaths.com