Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Today, I am 43!

Mandy Charlton, Photographer, Blogger, Writer, Today I am 43

Today I am 43, yay, Happy Birthday to me!  

This means of course that whereas the meaning of life is 42, those dastardly mice in charge of the universe failed to give me any great understanding of why I'm on the earth and so as the clock struck midnight I really failed to be anything other than just 43.

During the last year, I've seen many changes in my life, I've squeezed a lot into the last 12 months, I finally dealt with the end of my marriage and moved on, I'm happy to have achieved ambivalence rather than hatred, it takes a long time to get there and whilst I'm far from healed I have at least healed enough to begin dating again without the fear that I'm just going to mess someone else up, I'd definitely recommend that 2.5 year break where I got to find myself again, well sort of find myself, some days I'm so lost even the mountain rescue with a large St Bernard dog couldn't find me.

I've certainly had some interesting dating experiences online but no one particularly piqued the interest until the man with all the smarts came along and though we don't know what's going to happen, where it will lead or if indeed it will lead anyway, my life has been changed and made better by his presence in my daily life, the man has a bit of an obsession with analogies though, that's all I'm saying!!

I've travelled a lot in the last 12 months and I find that it fulfils my soul, the need to travel and explore is deep within me and it doesn't matter if it's in this country or overseas, I find that I am happiest whilst travelling, I don't see that changing in the next 12 months, I've travelled on my own, with Holly Bobbins, with Harriet and with my kids and each experience is different and brilliant in it's own right.  I have watched sunsets over mountains and trekked with alpacas, I have stood on high and looked down upon beautiful landscapes, I have felt the warmth of the sun shining on my skin and I have seen the stars as the brightest landscape all combining together to make a heavily twinkling patchwork in the skies up above.

I've been lucky enough to make a whole host of new friends this year and mostly they've sprung into my life through my blog, there's not a day goes by when I don't get an email or a message from readers and I love that, as I've said befoe it's incredibly heartening to know that I'm not just rambling to myself but the people who truly rock my world are the people I know in real touchable 3D, the people who gather around my dinner table on Monday nights when I cook and the people who give me cuddles when I need them and who I actively get to hug and support in return, each one of them is a great presence not only in my life but in that of my children's too, my kids are so enriched because of the people who come to dinner and who spend time with their mama and I wouldn't have it any other way.  The most important of those is Harriet, my soul sister who even Abigail says is like a step mum to her, I am just so utterly grateful we have found each others friendship, I believe it was destiny that we met and now we'll always be friends.

Lastly and I couldn't end this review of 42 without mentioning my children who continue to be the most brilliant teens on the planet, there's not a day goes by when we don't grow closer together and I'm amazed by the wonderful relationships I have both with Abigail and Looby and also with Iain, I am proud of them every single day and there's rarely a day that they don't make me laugh, I would not have got through the last year without them because we are a super team together.

I can honestly say that I don't know what's going to happen this year, it's probably the biggest unknown quantity there's ever been, it's part terrifying, part exciting but one thing I know and I know this for sure, when I started the year I was overwhelmingly lonely, my darkest moments were there on the day's I spent alone but going into this next chapter I still have occasional lonely moments but who doesn't?  It doesn't matter, there's always someone there, whether that be in real life or online at the end of Skype, Twitter or simply down at my local pub where I spend a fair bit of time discussing life, the universe and everything with friends and Holly Bobbins at my side.  Whatever this new year brings, one thing I am sure of it's going to be so much better than the old one

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