It’s Saturday.

Leaves have fallen and the air is crisp; today is the first day I smelt autumn.

I love this time of year.

It’s my favourite season for so many reasons: the deep brown colours, the change of temperature and the quiet, slow excitement of what’s to come. Autumn’s arrival tells me my birthday is near.

Except, things are different this time.

I don’t know if any of you have ever had your birthday ruined before. It’s not a nice feeling. In fact, it’s pretty bloody awful. Close friends will know (as will those who have read the piece I wrote for CALM) that my birthday last year was probably the worst day of 2010.

The day before, was amazing. A great day out shopping & hanging out in town then later, my awesome birthday party. Benny came dressed as Beetlejuice, friends old and new mixed together, hell, even my family came.

Less than 24hrs later, on the evening of November 21st – my actual birthday – my then girlfriend of two years decided that it would be an ideal time to end our relationship over [what I was then told] ‘trust issues’. Wrongly accusing me of cheating, she was up and out of the flat before the week was out.

It nearly killed me. How do you prove yourself innocent when the other party has convinced themselves you’re guilty?

After months of blaming myself, I uncovered the truth: she hadn’t broken up with me over trust at all. She had, in fact, decided to leave me for one of my alleged best mates and was too cowardly to tell me. A chance meeting with the latter (after general avoidance and non-returning of calls) back in March started that avalanche of information.

The night I found out everything, the week before I headed off to Siberia, my friends were stunned. They expected me to be livid, to be more angry. But honestly? When all the pieces finally fell into place? I felt relieved.

Relieved that I wasn’t at fault, relieved that the pain and angst I’d been carrying around for months could finally lift and most of all relieved that I was out of the sick, twisted, horrid mess that I’d mistaken for two people I could love and trust.

Today is the first day of autumn for me. My birthday is just around the corner. I stepped out of the flat this afternoon, took a huge lung full of air and… I remembered.

A couple of weeks ago someone dear to me asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday. “I don’t know” I replied. Then I remembered what happened last year. The fake smiles at the party, the secret plans behind my back – I panicked.

“What will I do? What can I do? God, last year was terrible..”

But y’know what? Life is better now. So much better. Life has moved on, love has moved on and, best of all, the people around me are amazing.

When I first started writing this about an hour ago, I was full expecting it to a be low, melancholic exploration of how now the change of season has made me sad. Instead it’s a celebration of autumn, the beautiful season it is and a look up toward the amazing birthday I’ve got lined up for next month.

Bring. It. On.


[Private post – made public Dec 23rd, 2011]

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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

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