Rich beyond my wildest dreams..

Whenever I hear someone saying they’re glad they had a disabled kid, or got breast cancer, I think, really?  So if there was a pill that gave you cancer, say, you’d take it – just to experience the thrills that only a life-threatening disease can provide?  Right.

And yet.  Happiness is a bright yellow silk dress, dancing on the stairs to Leo Sayer’s Long Tall Glasses, walking through the mall with my arm around my son, seeing the sea for the first time each summer.

Richness, now, that’s something else – finding my lover tucked up with someone else, camping on a lonely Welsh hillside in the rain, lying in a bloodstained nightdress with my newborn in the crook of my arm, fighting for my life in a French forest, being responsible for the death of another living creature.

Like everyone else I aim for happiness but what I get is..frigging richness!  Richness can only be enjoyed, if that’s the word, in hindsight.  We look back and we think, well, I didn’t like it at the time, but it helped me grow, or learn, or some damn thing.  So je ne regrette rien, much.

But you know what?  Hindsight is all we have.  We’re always a moment behind the moment – our eyes take in the world, then our brains interpret it and feed it back to us in a form we can make sense of.  Our internal Board of Censors only lets us see (and hear, and taste, and feel) what’s best for us.  Best according to the committee, that is – not necessarily according to you.

So much as I’d like to, I can’t live ‘in the present’.  All I can do is try my best to enjoy the past.  So…what’s your most treasured unpleasant experience?



  1. Not even sure I can figure out how to answer that question. I do know that I think trauma and sacrifice can go a long way to making us better persons as individuals and better people as a society, so I get the idea that those traumas left people feeling richer, but I’m not sure what my best unpleasant experience was. Hmmm….

    1. Well when you think of it, tell me! I think one of my best was having a relationship with Mr Cheating Bastard. He taught me how it felt, and made me think a lot about the impact I can have on people.

  2. I had quite a few unpleasant experiences when I was an 18-year-old au pair girl on my own in Paris long ago, mostly involving creepy men on the metro and on the street. But I think the experiences helped me learn and grow. At least they certainly taught me to always be cautious and on the lookout for weirdos. :/

    Luckily I also had some great experiences in Paris. It would be hard not to. It’s an amazing city.

  3. Hi Rose-
    The 3rd paragraph really intrigues me. Everyone’s had love issues, I know you’ve given birth, I can imagine you camping in Wales and strangling bunnies for kicks, ha ha, but “fighting for my life in a French forest,” now that sounds interesting.
    Treasured unpleasant experience? That’s tough. The first unpleasant things I think of are deaths of family members, and I can’t think of anything treasured about any of those times. A brief romance with a bad woman, that resulted in my treasured daughter being born, that would qualify I suppose.

    1. I guess the birth of your daughter would count, yes! I have 2 kids from a man who really wasn’t a lot of fun, but hey, I adore them. Fighting for my life..well it’s an amalgam of 2 experiences I had while hitchhiking, which both involved me taking drastic action. A long story – and no more hitchhiking! But – aren’t there any experiences you’ve had that have taught you more about life and yourself and all that sorta thing? Course, we’d all avoid them if we could, but since we gotta have them, at least we can put them on the cv, is my attitude.

      1. Had to look up “on the cv;” wasn’t familiar with that at all.
        I know it wasn’t your intent to remind me how mostly lame and pathetic my life has been, but in a lot of ways, there hasn’t been a lot of drama, a lot of life-changing hard knocks or near-escapes or hugely dramatic events. Perhaps alcohol-induced blackouts (a long time ago, thankfully) that made me realize I sometimes drank too much and needed to tone it down. Or, just thought of this one, in my younger days I was one of those jerks who, a few times, didn’t seem to care too much that women were still married (even if they told me it was “over between them,” it was still so wrong). Do you know the Allman Bros. song “One Way Out?” “There’s a man down there, might be your man, I don’t know,” etc. Yeah, that happened once. I think I was “rescued” by some female friend of the woman’s coming up to my place and escorting her out. The “other guy” even visited me once. It wasn’t pretty but somehow I slid by. It took me a couple more screwups but I learned my lesson. Sometimes I think I’m getting some karma back for those times. But then, I’ve seen couples that started out as cheaters and then divorced their “others” and have been married for years, and I guess we’re supposed to forget the shitty way they started.
        I do remember camping in a thunderstorm pretty close to the top of Harney Peak in the Black Hills one time as a young man, but I didn’t have any great revelations because of it.
        Maybe I need to go to Pamplona and run in front of the bulls.
        Seriously, though, I’ve often thought I’ve missed a lot of life by making safe choices.
        To make a long story short, I’ve had some ups and downs, but richness? I think there’s been a distinct lack of that. Be glad for your richness.

      2. I don’t know, Trailer, I don’t think my life has been that rich. Mostly it’s been incredibly lucky no credit to me, a smooth ride. What you’ve had, that I’ve missed out on – well, getting properly drunk, I’ve never done that, or taken a mind-altering substance (at least, not one that had any effect). Never been confronted by ‘the other woman’ but then I’ve never had sex with anyone married either, to my knowledge. Never struggled financially, really – there were lean times but I always had close family who’d help as soon as I asked, I just didn’t ask. Never lived in a trailer park or anything like it. Never tried to bring up a kid on my own (that is, I’m divorced but my ex took an equal share of the parenting and he was nearby). Never had someone run off and leave me with a kid. I truly don’t think your life is pathetic, it’s much richer than mine. We don’t want rich though, do we? We want RICH! At least I do, stuck in ‘comfortably off’ as I am.

  4. Oh, Rose, I’m going through it now! Unceremoniously dumped by the man I’ve been living with for two years and loving with for 6 months before that. I didn’t think we were right for each other at the beginning, but he convinced me we might be. I finally settled in just as he was losing faith…so, here I am, learning lessons, trying to look at the bright side, and waiting for my world to right itself again.

    1. Oh no, that’s horribly shitty! Why did he break up with you? What’s wrong with the idiot? And after you made allowances for him being uninspiring at first, too! Seriously I sometimes think life would be much nicer without a man. Mine is a pain in the arse at least half the time, and I have to take his stupid views into account when I’d really rather just make my own decisions on everything. Not that that’s a comfort to you, in this time – but hugs anyway. If I was a man I’d date you like a shot.

      1. I was telling my best friend about you today.We were talking about how different friendships are today than they were a hundred years ago: she’s my best friend, but I see her once or twice a year at most. A hundred years ago we’d probably still live in the same small town we grew up in. Then I told her about my good friend in Australia that I’ve never met!
        He broke up with me because we weren’t right for each other. Its true, I just wasn’t ready to call it quits yet, but it was always going to happen eventually. It hurts, it’s sad but that’s life.
        I love being in a relationship. Its a pain in the ass, sure, but worth it. And this was the longest relationship I’ve ever been in, even at my age. I showed myself that I’m good in relationships. Here’s hoping the next relationship I have will be with a guy who’s right for me, and vice versa!
        Yeah, I’d date you too! (if only I liked women 😉 !)

      2. I nearly chose a boyfriend like that. Sometimes I think he would’ve been easier to handle, but it would have been hard work to love him. Better to go with love, really, even if it looks a bit crazy. Yes, you will be alright. And if you ever feel like holidaying in Australia to leave it all behind for a bit, you know where I am.

  5. Maybe my earliest memory is standing on a picnic table with a sandwich in my hand when a black swan came up and took a bite out of it. I seem to recall it was about the same size as me. I’m intrigued as I recall being surprised rather than angry, and I now cannot comprehend what it was like to be that small.

  6. There’s been so many ha. It was interesting reading your post because it made me think. A few years ago my niece said that she thought I had had a ‘shit’ life which surprised me because I thought it had been really good. Upon reflection I would have to say my first marriage, although it was a disaster I have two fantastic sons 🙂

    1. That’s funny that someone else should have such a different perspective on your life than you do. Maybe you’re the classic ‘glass half full’ as I am. I also had a bit of a shitty marriage but it could have been way worse, and it got me thinking (which is the main thing I ask of life, really).

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