When I first started my blog I put my real life experiences out in the world and I gave precisely zero fucks what people thought of them. But since my ‘big break up’ I started censoring my stories, my pieces became more commenting from a far on a seemingly ‘hilarious situation’ or ‘quirky anecdote’ like a promo for a canned laughter sitcom, just skating the surface. I watered myself down so much that I stopped writing completely, I lost my voice.
After some pensive soul searching, I narrowed down my writing embargo to 3 reasons:
Reason #1. Amongst my plethora of dates from the past two years, MULTIPLE
men boys told me (to my face hole) they were uncomfortable that I was a writer. In fact, it became a legit reason for two men boys to stop seeing me, they were too concerned I’d write about them (their words not mine). Each time this happened I apologised, allowed them to criticise my work, work that they’d never even read, and I pinky swore to never write about them. Full blog on those stories coming up real soon, because I have since decided that those boys can go fuck themselves…although I did do that first…because I am stupid.
Reason #2: I was protecting my ex and our break up. I didn’t know how to write that real life experience. It felt like poor form to discuss the details of the break up so publicly and I didn’t want it to seem like some sort of ex-girlfriend pity party. Which this isn’t. FYI I’ve hosted many a pity party. Invite friends to a pub, wear black, get shit-faced on bitch diesel (aka Rosè) commiserate the latest failed venture of my pathetic personal life, the night ends with me banging the 21 year old bartender. Full blog on that real life experience also coming up real soon. Spoiler…I am stupid.
Reason #3 (it’s a cracker): The ‘big break up’ winded me with such force that it took me ten months to be able to breathe, let alone stand up again (I promise that is the most profound sentence you’ll have to read. Its all wine, dicks and fingering from here). But in all honesty, I needed to come out the other side and stand up to have a fresh perspective to tell my new stories. The story of the boy who opened my legs making the sound of a creaky door (not hot), the S&M rock climber (hot), the one who picked me up to lower me to his kitchen floor and make out (British and hot), the time I cancelled my flight to continue a sexcapade in Western Australia (so much hot), three hour naked yoga (actual yoga), the lip sync battle, Stand Up Comedy, becoming a Celebrant, becoming a mural, Uluru, Adelaide, Hobart, Margaret River, Melbourne, Los Angeles, India, my broken foot and the Paramedic who showed me how he’d examine me if he were first on scene (Grace Anatomy hot) but I’m getting ahead of myself…
You know how the first two X-Men movies are awesome…go with me here. By the third I was like yeah cool but oi, why is Wolverine so fucking angry all the time with hectic intimacy issues? Cue X-Men Origins, and I learnt he had metal pumped into him and his childhood was fairly messed up. Sweet, understood – you can proceed with the rest of the story now. So, before I launch into ‘The Year Of Yes’, a 365 day saga of sex, dating, friendship, travel, adventure, vomiting-into-my-scarf-on-a-train and other rogue stories I have to acknowledge what got me there. My Wolverine backstory: Grace Rouvray 2.0 Origins and finally, almost two years post break up, I’m ready to do that.
Disclaimer: I acknowledge every break up has two sides, but this is mine.
Act One: Happy New Year To Me
On New Years Day I found out that my boyfriend had cheated on me. We’d had a pretty strenuous year and our relationship had taken a hit. In all honestly, I had been time poor and stressed as my show, 600 Bottles of Wine consumed the majority of that year. I was sleeping about four hours a night, had emotionally and financially fucked myself and those also working on the project. There is so much more to say but in a nutshell it was a horrible time. I imagine I was (I definitely was) horrifically painful to live with, be around and have a conversation with. Not an excuse for his actions, but I do have empathy for what he would have gone through.
So how does one find out that they’ve been cheated on? I know it’s bad, I went through his shit. Look I’m not a great person, but also neither is he (I promise thats the only snarky comment, its all namaste feelings from here). I woke up that day and I don’t know how to explain what I felt but it’s the reason I now trust my instincts, I just couldn’t shake the feeling something was off. I saw his lap top sitting next to me. “Don’t be that person,” I literally chanted out loud. But I picked it up and opened his Facebook and did some light reading. The self preservation part of my brain did kick in first and told me it’s not that bad, it’s okay. But a few minutes later I texted a mate and told her of the information that was penetrating my eyeballs. She wrote back three-seconds later,
I power walked through the streets of Sydney with no idea where I was going or what I was doing. I walked all the way to Black Wattle Bay and sat on a bench amongst the rubbish of last nights New Years celebrations. Another friend happened to walk past with her boyfriend whilst I was staring blankly at the harbour. I looked at her with what I assume was an overly dramatic face and said “Something’s happened.” Without knowing further details she turned to her boyfriend and said, “You have to go now.” She steered me to a licensed cafe close by, ordered mimosas and together we got shit-faced at 11am on New Years Day.
Possibly in shock or denial, I made allllll the jokes about my predicament. As we ordered our fifth round my phone rang and I excitedly told the waiter that it was my boyfriend who cheated on me but he doesn’t know that I know yet. My friend and I erupted into hyena laughs and he looked 11/10 uncomfortable. I ignored about four calls but eventually texted back,
He called again and again and again. I turned my phone off (very adult). I went home to talk at 7pm that night and a week later we broke up, thus completing Act One of this saga.
Act Two: Purgatory
We lived together for six weeks after we broke up. Yes I would like to collect my medal for that, thank you so much for asking. The break up itself was quite amicable but over the six weeks things got toxic. It felt like he gave me a new reason each day as to why he’d cheated on me, which was just a great time to be alive. Honourable mentions go to reason #17: I didn’t have sex with him enough. Or #84: my show destroyed our relationship.
I moved house and found two new housemates, the first people to meet me as Grace the single person and I loved that. I had the opportunity to rewrite my history and edit my ex out. Healthy! I had not really cried, I thought I was ‘moving on’ and ‘healing,’ unbeknownst to me I was still very much in Act Two. Throughout the year more and more information was gifted to me about my ex, my break up was truly the gift that kept on giving. Again, I dealt with it by making allllllll the jokes. Honourable mentions go to, “I have actually never received a dick pic, not even from my boyfriend…so many other people did though” and “Well nobody really wants me, not even my boyfriend of four years did.” Healthy!
My friends would laugh nervously each time I did this, as if cautiously walking across a wooden bridge that might collapse at any moment. I had still not cried. They would check in daily and try to hug me, like that scene in Good Will Hunting, surely I would crack soon. I assured everyone time and time again that I was moving on, I was fine. I genuinely believed I was. Cut to October 2018 the night our show was premiering on Australian TV, the beginning of Act Three.
Act Three: Cry-A-Thon
I sat in a pub with about one hundred people, multiple TVs staring back at us and watched 600 Bottles of Wine, the show I had spent five years of my life working on. It was amazing. The two girls I made the show with by my side, now two of my closest friends, sharing what we had worked so hard to make. Watching the opening scene appear on broadcast TV for the first time, surrounded by so many people I love, was the happiest I have ever felt.
The night continued, the wine flowed, we hugged, we laughed and celebrated. I got an Uber home, stopped and sat on my front steps and it happened, I cried. Not a beautiful cry like Emma Thompson in Love Actually but a howling uncontrollable cry, as if someone had pulled the plug from a tepid ten month old bath. I cried right there on my door step, alone, for about two hours. Yes, you read correctly, two hours. From the happiest night to the loneliest I have ever felt in my entire life. In the light of day, I told myself it was just a big release from the last few years of work so I ignored it.
The show aired on a Thursday night for four weeks and every night over those four weeks I sat on my stairs crying alone. When the show finished the crying did not and no longer limited to the safety of my front steps.
Lewisham Station. Ext. Night. 11:30pm. I sat on a bench and proceeded to cry hysterically whilst calling my sister on repeat until she picked up. My poor (drunk) housemate was the second to be privy to the cry-a-thon, he intercepted a late night-front-step-cry-session and forced me to talk about it. In case you have been screaming at the screen, yes I eventually took myself to a therapist.
I knew I didn’t want to live like this anymore, walking the 1.3kms from the train station to my home crying every night. I wanted to feel like me again the happy, reliable, fun friend. I had been none of these things. So admittedly something that started as a complete and utter inability to be at home alone with my thoughts, feelings, emotions or reality I went out, a lot. Every night out, Sunday sesh, kick ons, concerts, shows, you name it. Over time it developed into rando spontaneous travel plans, new friendships, dates and make-out sessions. Whatever the situation my attitude became, fuck it why not. I unknowingly started to create a new life, a new version of myself and found not necessarily my old voice but a voice again. I am aware that this is the entire plot of Yes Man. The Year of Yes is only retrospective as it wasn’t until a friend (ironically a new friend from the Year of Yes, credit to the legend that is Liv Reddy) told me about a pact she made to herself to specifically live a Year of Yes that I realised that was what I had been doing.
I’ll give you some time to digest my on-brand overshare then I’ll tell you the stories I have, the lessons I’ve learnt and the faces that have been on face. But I like you, so here is a trailer. From the cry-a-thon to now November 2019, I have tripled my ‘number’ with great sex and god awful sex. I have had one real connection with one
boy man. I’ve been fingered on Kent Street, on a bus, in the ocean, at a dinner table and learnt how to get almost anything up the leg of a jumpsuit. I’ve done things I’m not super proud of and things I am super proud of. I went solo travelling, danced till 5am, spent nine weeks in a moon-boot, had the least amount of sleep and cried more times than I have in my entire life. I’ve bought more plants than I’ve made home cooked meals. I have less money and more kilos but I’ve had my own adventures, met the most amazing new friends and have the deepest love for my old friends. I am a completely different person to the one I was a year ago so grab a wine and I’ll share stories from the journey that got me there as I lived a Year of Yes.
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