An “Alexander” Week



Dress: Crossroads

Shoes: Chie Mihara

I’ve had an “Alexander” week. You know? Terrible, Horrible, No Good and Very Bad. Probably the worst I’ve had since landing back in Australia.

By and large I’ve been doing pretty well. I love my new home. It’s costing me more than I can realistically afford, but it’s the most lovely space to come home to. I’m writing this in my sunroom, curled up on my big armchair, and squinting a little in the dappled sunlight that’s pouring in through the open windows. But this week I’ve felt myself rattling around inside this beautiful apartment like a dried pea. I still don’t have a full component of furniture so it’s partly the fact that the rooms are half empty, but mostly I think it’s that I haven’t lived alone before and it feels a bit unnatural. No Suki, no Sophisticate, I can go an entire weekend without speaking to anyone.

I locked myself out of the house this week. Twice. There’s nothing like realising that you’ve locked your keys inside, and there’s absolutely no-one you can call to make you feel really alone. (Incidentally; Future career: Locksmith. I’m sure it’s a lot harder than it looks, but $130 for three minutes work. Pays better than publishing, that’s for damn sure.)

On top of that some lovely person caved in the side of my car at some point while it was parked overnight, then drove off without leaving a note, leaving me with a $600 excess to pay, no car for a week, and insurance premiums that will more than double next time I renew. THANKS for that, stranger. When I came out and saw it I had to ring my Mum and swear at her for a bit, because I was so angry. Then I had a bit of a cry. Again.

I’ve been trying to keep myself busy. Nesting, reading, working. But going to bed alone is hard, and waking up alone is harder. I’ve been doing it for the better part of a year now, and it hasn’t got any easier.

But you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, don’t you? I have friends coming over for dinner tonight, and I’m braving the terrifying 1950’s gas deathtrap that passes as an oven in my new kitchen. We’ll be eating off our laps, because I don’t have a dining table, but I’m sure there’ll be laughing, and good conversation, and excellent company, and cider (because I just found a new one that’s Elderflower & Lime flavoured), and at the end of the night I’ll hug them goodbye, and put myself to bed underneath the gorgeous quilt that I bought myself as a housewarming present. And tomorrow I’ll wake up, and it’ll be a new week.

Hope you’re all doing well.

50 thoughts on “An “Alexander” Week

    1. I second and third this….

      and remmember:

      There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

  1. Strangely I’m reading that book to my class tomorrow. And following it up in the week with Red Beast …. Nothing like talking about anger with 6 year olds. They think their life is so tough!! Sorry to read how your life has changed over the past months, I hope your friends and the cider are the tonic you need. On a fashion note, the colours and style of dress are just fabulous. You’re hair has grown so much! We grew our hair about the same time (from the same length) but I cut mine back to collar length… so expecting a change from you soon!! hee hee …. Chin up L .. the world will fall back into alignment for you soon and it will be beautiful!

  2. You, and your dress, are beautiful. Funny how dog days always sound so romantic and wistful in books whereas they are so tough in reality. I’ve only just found your blog but I hope that these tough days don’t last much longer and that you’ll soon be emerging a new person. Rachel ?

  3. Yikes …. that sounds like a tough week

    Can Suki come and live at your new place? It’s nice to have a furry companion to come home to (even when the little stinkers don’t do their share of the housework or even buy their own food 🙂 … and in the case of mine seem to leave fur from about 3 cats all over the house)

    When I come out the other side of a tough patch I realise that I have more resilience than I thought I had ….. but sometimes its hard to fathom that the dark time will end and the feeling of light and love will return

    Stay strong

    So just to get back on to the fashion, have you seen this ladies frocks:

    If you’re not one of her standard sizes you can send your measurements in and she makes your size


  4. Glad you have good friends to enjoy your new home with and more of those experiences will make it more like home. It’s tough but you’re doing it xxx

  5. I’ve found every tear, every tantrum, every bad day, is another step in the right direction. Its hard though Lilli. Thank heavens for mothers.
    Sending you love everyday.

  6. Argh. I feel for you. Get a spare set of keys to leave with a neighbour. I hope everything turns a corner soon. At least you weren’t in the car when it got dinged.

  7. Aww Lili. Well damn well f* off last week! You are well shot of it all. No Suki? If she’s not ‘allowed’ to be there just bring her anyway?

  8. All I can say is that it will get easier. We all have shitty weeks – but it’s about picking yourself up, dusting yourself down, squaring your shoulders & carrying on. When you are already delicate I know it can be easy to think “why does this ALWAYS happen to me?”. I try to remind myself that it happens to everyone & it’s no biggie. It’s just money & it’ll work out somehow. I remember living alone after I broke up with my long term boyfriend & I was in Japan & knew virtually no one but you soon learn to love those periods of own company & now sometimes I seek them out! You’ve had a rotten year so far but I’m positive it will get better for you & you should be proud how well you are coping. Ps gorgeous dress!

  9. I lived alone for four and a half years in total, two years and then two and a half years (for two years in the middle I had a housemate), and I completely get what you mean by being able to go a whole weekend without talking to anyone… I used to get excited about going to the supermarket >.<

    You are and look gorgeous, and I'm thinking of you and crossing all my fingers and toes that some good karma finally comes your way soon because lawd knows you deserve it.

  10. Dear Lilli, just know you have so many people who are here with you in spirit, sending their love and all of their good wishes. At least the crappy days make the good days seem even better, right? And there will be lots and lots of fabulous times coming your way, I just know it. Good luck!

  11. Oh goodness. At least you didn’t fall asleep with gum in yr mouth & wake up with gum in yr hair? I’m so sorry that everything seems to be fighting you & putting up obstacles at every turn. It makes it hard to move forward! But the tide will turn. It always does. Until then, chin up & keep being yr gorgeous self! Much love to you.

  12. Funny, I was in the supermarket yesterday and got a free sample of that elderflower and lime cider – yum! Hope your picnic dinner makes the week seem a bit better overall. I once had a spell where I was living alone and got so used to spending my time without talking to anyone I found my voice getting croaky when I said hello to people in shops. At the time it felt like it was going to go on forever, and every little thing that happened to me took on huuuge significance because I had nothing to use as perspective. Now when I look back I know for certain that without going through that spell of being completely isolated and alone, I wouldn’t be as ok as I am today. Definitely feel proud of that fact that you got through the week and you’ll get through the next one and gradually things will get better – I know that sounds trite, but sometimes one needs to remind oneself that just going on is an achievement! And like other people have said, fabulous times are surely awaiting you around the next corner or so 🙂

  13. Dearest Lilli, you have a small army of supporters out here in cyber space who are sending you our best hopes and wishes for better times to come. One day at a time is all I know and the sun will smile on you again. Sending hugs xx

  14. I’ve had a similar sort of week in the past- first I was away at a conference in the USA, alone, spent most of the evenings drunk and sobbing all over a bar. Then coming home to work, my voice was croaky because I hadn’t spoken to anybody in a week, Then I got my car towed.

    But after that, after a little while, things started looking up. Rapidly.
    you are in the grieving phase. Let that pass. Then things will open up to you, once you can embrace the situation as it is…it’s hard to imagine now, but things will improve. You will see.


  15. Lilli, I’ve been alone for a long time, and while loneliness really sucks, it’s still a lot more bearable than being in a relationship that drains you dry of energy, love and self-esteem. That’s what happens when givers end up with takers. I cling to the hope that maybe one day I will find a real love and real give and take – real commitment, real loyalty. Until then, I have an extremely full, meaningful life filled with beloved friends, family, colleagues and students. Be happy, be well and be whole. (BTW, statistically, I think in the US there are now more single people than married. Millions of people wake up and go to sleep alone, lock themselves out of their houses, and nurse themselves through illness alone… but not really alone, with other sources of love and friendship and community.)

  16. Ooof, that’s a very trying week. I know time takes time and it’s completely natural for you to feel lonely and down during this time but (for your sake) I hope it passes quickly enough and that you’ve taken the time you need to work it out (even if that feels crummy). You look lovely. I lived alone for years – I’ve been with my current boyfriend for 5 years now but only 3 living together — but I lived alone for about 7 years and really liked it. It’s freeing. I hope you come to feel that way, too.

  17. This is the beginning of something great. I have always thought that learning to live alone should be a compulsory life passage. I lived alone for 2 years and by the end of that time I realised that the only thing better than living alone was to live with the perfect person. Anything else would be too much of a compromise. It was then that I met my husband of 24 years. Of course, I don’t believe in the ‘perfect person’ but I do believe that until you have been alone you never discover the wonderful gift of your own inexhaustible resilience, and only then do you have the strength to negotiate your way in relationships with enough self love to make it work for both of you. I really feel for you and I hope this week is a total contrast to last.

  18. Sending virtual hugs your way. You are amazing to still show gratitude for the dappled light and the apartment. Some years are definitely day to day affairs, where you’re not able to look too far ahead. BUT we do live in our days after all. We don’t live in the years ahead or the years behind, we live just one day at a time. Much love. xx p.s. where is Suki??

  19. a day at a time, and if that’s too long, an hour at a time. and find joy in small things (like the sunshine in your sunroom). sending love xxx

  20. I also am here with you in spirit. I have read your blog for so long and feel sad for you as you go through this period but I feel confident that good times are coming. Maybe not tomorrow or the day after but it is definitely coming. Much love to you as you go through this new life-phase.

  21. Suki here. Furnanna says I am going on a big adventure tomorrow. I will be having a long drive with her and David (I love David) to Newcastle, then I’m getting into my special Jetpet crate at the airport and going in a warm and safe part of the same plane and we are all coming to Melbourne! I will see you at 5pm! I can’t wait to get my claws into that new couch. It was nice staying in the country with my grandparents but I love you best. I’m coming HHOOOME!! Prrr. Prrr.

    1. Pretty baby! You’ve been missed! Your Lily needs you now, more than ever. So, please give her head bonks and cuddles, and maybe – just maybe – she’ll give you some of those chicken treats you love so much.

      Your grandparents will miss you, but you need to be home with your Mom. She needs you, too, pretty girl. >^..^<

  22. So many hugs, Lilli! I’ve had a No Good Very Bad week of my own. (For entirely different reasons– I’m stranded at my boyfriend’s house due to a bug invasion, while he’s in the process of moving and I’m in the process of writing a PhD dissertation. Fun times.) And you’re right, all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and be as nice to yourself as you can while you wait for things to get better.

    I hope dinner with your friends helped! I’ll be thinking of you.

  23. This week HAS to be better, right? What a &%$·/(“@#~ week!!!!!! Hugs and prayers, and blessings. You are NOT alone 🙂

  24. I’m sorry you had a rough week 🙁 I can’t say I’ve been in this particular situation, but the really beautiful thing I’ve found about life is that it keeps going with or without you. For some people, that’s almost depressing, but I find it sort of comforting to know I’m a tiny cog in something a lot bigger than myself. People have such a remarkable ability to adapt and find happiness and find themselves where they least expect to find themselves. So much of life is getting through the slog to the little moments of happy. You’re in a slog stage, and the happy is around the corner. Just keep pushing through!

  25. That dress looks amazing on you! Sorry about the terrible week, it seems unfair. I always thought we’d get a quota of suffering and then ta da! We’re done with it! Not realistic unfortunately. I’ve lived by myself for donkey’s years and I have to say I like it. It does get lonely though, sometimes, but that’s a great excuse for me to get out and have an adventure. *big hugs* Lilli, it’s gonna take time, but every little thing is gonna be alright.

  26. Being alone, as against being lonely, is a good thing. I loved the occasions I have been alone as gave me time to rejuvenate and regenerate. My advice is to not waste time and effort on baggage from the past and to concentrate on developing pathways to the future. This attitude certainly worked for me and now I couldn’t be more content.

  27. I think this is my first comment on your blog. Just wanted to say I’m sorry for what you are going through. But you know it will get better right?
    I’ve been there, it sucks right now, and I understand that feeling of wanting to be fine, and doing lots of stuff, but having a deep pain inside that you just can’t get away from.
    Take care, it will get better, hold on to that.

  28. Darling girl,
    life has horrible bits and wonderful bits. As long as you can see the sunshine you will get through. Good days are coming for you. In the meantime, like all your other readers, I send hugs and love.

  29. Chin up and smile! Enjoy your friends’ company and have tons of fun with them. Good memories always help to leave the blues behind. Lots of love and positive energy from Spain!


  30. Dear Lilli, I’m catching up after a long while and I’m so sorry for all this pain and upheaval you’re going through. I hope there is some lightness coming your way soon.

    Thank you also for writing about Dress In Blue Day and your sister. I’m reading through her blog and in awe of her courage. Sounds like it runs in the family.

    Thinking of you comrade and thanks for doing what you do!

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