Twelve months ago I was the jilted bride turned Backpacking Bridget Jones.
Next weekend I’m getting MARRIED.
Trust me, it sounds just as crazy to you as it does to me.
And, in a plot twist that could have come from one of my novels, the man I’m marrying is the journalist who ‘broke’ my story with the world. I feel like I’m living in a real life rom-com!
Marriage and kids, two things that had felt within my grasp before I was jilted were replaced with hostel hangouts, jaw-dropping sunsets, iconic tourist sites and finding my feet as I flew around the world on my own. Back then wasn’t my time to become a wife or mother, before either of these things happened I got to selfishly indulge myself. Me, myself and I as Backpacking Bridget Jones.
The biggest life lesson I’ve learnt along the way? You’re given what you need the most when you least expect it
At the start of what became the most memorable year of my life, I met John.
Sometimes you don’t know what you’re looking for until it’s right under your nose. We studied on the same journalism course at university but hadn’t really spoken for 10 years until he wrote this story that was the start of the media madness.
He became my rock when the tabloids magnified (and in some cases, distorted) my break-up, he cheered the loudest from the sidelines when all three of my books were released and he gets me. The real geeky, messy, stubborn, cake eating, book devouring, crying at adverts, the unapologetic version of me that had been rejected so painfully before.
As the year whirled on I fell hard and fast in love with him, we moved in together then he asked me a question and I said yes.
I wasn’t afraid that it was going to end up like last time. I was stronger. I was more confident and I knew that if I ever needed to I could pick myself back up. Then came the pregnancy test with its positive lines and the grainy ultrasound scans. A whole new life blossoming out of what I’d once thought was the end of my life.
Next weekend I will walk up the aisle in a small and intimate ceremony, we will be married in our own way and I cannot bloody wait! Some might think it’s too soon to be getting married but it made sense to bring forward the inevitable and start our family life before two become three.
And yes, if you had said to me this time last year I would be writing this blog post, I’d be convinced that you were taking something illegal. It’s true that you never know what is just around the corner.
Both of us want to share our pregnancy news with you all and now we’re out of the ‘danger zone’, it feels like the right time. I also wanted to share this personal news because I regularly receive emails and messages from readers who are in a situation similar to where I was four years ago. The raw heartache after being dumped crosses oceans and ages, as does the need to identify with someone who has been through it and survived.
I want my story to give hope to others who can identify with feeling like their heart has literally shattered in their chest after being dumped. Hope that if I can pick myself up, gather the strength to move on and make something from such a traumatic situation then YOU can too.
Time really does heal, no matter how utterly irritating that well-worn cliche is. I am proof that being dumped can be the start of incredible things – proof that there’s someone out there who will turn up at the right time.
I hope you’ll understand why I’ve kept this delicious life-changing secret, while I got my head around it all. I also needed time to work out what I was going to do with this blog.
I couldn’t pretend I was this single solo traveller when I was in fact married with a child on the way – but then, I didn’t want to stop blogging just because my circumstances had changed and act like the past few years didn’t exist, when they were the best years of my life.
So, instead I’ll keep sharing my story, hoping that it helps those who feel lost. Notwedordead isn’t about me; it’s about loads of you who have refused to give in when the going gets tough, who have picked yourselves up and gone on to create a life you never expected to live. You only need to look at the Real Life Lonely Hearts Travel Club to realise this is true.
So, while my upcoming travel plans may have been placed on pause, I’m determined that they’ll still happen – just with more child-friendly activities!
I’ve found my happily-ever-after and now I’m preparing myself for the next step. The adventure of parenthood, of travelling with a child and of being wed and not dead.