“The future never really felt like my concern. I was an exceptionally large child growing up with weight issues from as early as I can remember and at some stage it was drilled into my head that people like me didn’t have a long life-expectancy. It was just always there as an underlying assumption. I wouldn’t have that long here, so why worry about it?
In some respects, I’m thankful to that feeling. Sure, it has been incredibly corrosive to my psyche in a hundred different ways, but it also helped make me who I am. I write like my arm is falling off. I don’t tend to sweat the big things, and I take everything a day at a time. I like those things about me. If they had to grow from resignation and fear, then that’s fine. Roses have to grow in fertiliser. I’m not here to prosecute nature.
But this all changed when I met Miranda. She offered me something different.
Partly, it was possibility. The idea that good times were ahead was far from a certainty. I’d hardly entertained the idea. Now, I can believe in it. It’s still not guaranteed. Nothing in life is ever guaranteed. But there’s a chance. There’s something to work towards.
The second and most important part was the belief that I could deserve such a thing. Importantly, it was not that I deserved happiness with her. It was that I deserved it on my own, irrespective of anything else. That’s a belief that I’d never really had before. It still makes me a little uncomfortable. Even now, my natural instinct is to undercut it, to make some joke at my own expense because that thought sits alone, too vulnerable, ripe for the picking. But, right now, I won’t. It’s alright to be genuine and vulnerable.
The promise of this relationship isn’t a happy ending. It’s a happy journey all the way to the end. All of a sudden, the future looked like somewhere I might want to be. My proposal was the first time I felt confident I’d made the right decision. I’m a constant second-guesser. Every breakfast order is a Sisyphean task. But this was simple. It made sense. I’m confident. I’m excited to start this new phase of our lives together.”
James Colley shares insight into his childhood. I had similar experiences and have similar thoughts. From The Big Issue #573