Two years ago, I started something that turned out to be my biggest mission in life to date: The Love Project!
I had been long-term single and I was fed up with being ‘nobody’s wife’. I wanted to be in a relationship, I wanted a man to call my own, I wanted to be able to drop the word ‘my boyfriend’ in conversations next to the kettle at work and I wanted very badly not be be looked at with the compassion usually reserved to abandoned puppies and sickly babies. I felt that there was something wrong with me and if being single for six years wasn’t the proof of that, then what was? I decided that I was going to prove everyone wrong. ‘That’s right! I can do this. I can play this game! I can find love, I can be in a relationship!’ I thought with white knuckles and I launched The Love Project, determined to reach my goal by the end of 2013.
And reached I did. Nine months after concocting my plan, I met a wonderful man. We talked marriage and moved in together and now I’m writing my memoir ‘The Love Project’, which is the story of the year I spent project managing love into my life.
Life turned out pretty sweet for me, don’t you think?
So did I. Until now…
Because stuff happens in our lives all the time. Just because I found my ‘happily ever after’ doesn’t mean that ‘ever after’ isn’t full of challenges. And some challenges are so damn painful that sometimes I wish I was single again. Yes, you’ve heard me right. Single!
And you know why?… Because it is the easy way out. It’s the comfortable back exit from facing reality. Being single is my comfort zone. I’ve learnt how to deal with the world from the single armchair, with take away dinners and hangovers, bad dates and stupid looking pyjamas that nobody sees and complains about.
But being single doesn’t solve the problem. Sometimes, only when you find yourself in a relationship, with the help of the other who functions like a magnifying glass and sheds light onto an old, unhealed wound, you can continue to do your love work.
I’ve recently been through some pretty dark moments. Sudden waves of emotion, panic attacks, irrational fears, tears and anxiety episodes. At first I acted upon them and felt helpless. Then I asked for help and it came to me in so many shapes and forms: friends that held my hand and called me, podcasts that helped clear my mind and calmed me down, hours on the phone with my mum… It all helped. Because in the end I figured it out…
I was mad!!!
That’s right, I was mad with so many things that happened to me in my life and it was an anger I had absolutely never expressed. I never raised my voice at anyone, except to defend myself. I remember that, as a little girl, I always repressed my natural tendencies because my mother wanted me to be well-behaved. I spent years blaming my dad for my lack of confidence but he had so little influence over me. When he was gone, he was gone! He left nothing behind. I never tried to please him. But I have always tried to please my mother who all her life had tried to please everyone else around her.
But not anymore. When I realised the source of my frustration, the heaviness was lifted as if by magic, like a curtain pulled by a string. I didn’t have to shout at anybody, I didn’t need to say it out loud. Just acknowledging that I was mad and that I had been carrying around unexpressed madness all my life was enough.
Now I’m ready to be lovingly mad and express both my love and my anger, whenever it asks to be expressed!
Join the #LoveProject challenge. Sign up to my newsletter on iuliacalota.com