Hello lovely souls who read my posts…. please excuse the slight delay but here is the next installment of my 2012 blog which details the beginning of my love affair with LA in 2011.
It really is a trip to be re-reading this blog….AND for those of you who may be wondering about my book, the Laws of Love, yes I wrote it, but it ended up being a slightly different version of what I originally envisioned (focusing more on the spiritual laws of love than the legal)…
So, yes, I am sat on 70,000 plus words of life lessons about love and relationships, but more on that another time…
Until then, I hope you enjoy the latest installment!
I arrived back in London to grey skies and drizzle fairly typical of March in London but the kind of weather that would normally would send me straight into post holiday blues, yet I was quite happy.
No amount of rain could rain on my parade.
I was so beyond excited by my decision to go to LA for a few months and my mind was buzzing with all the practicalities I had to deal with, oh and of course telling my loved ones.
I was dreading telling my Mum. I knew she would think I had lost the plot. The only phone call with news my Mum wanted was that I had settled with a good guy and she could expect marriage and babies imminently.
This news was the antithesis and I could tell would lurch her into the mother of all lectures as well as a complete panic that I would end up being a spinster/would never provide her with any grandchildren.
I thought I would spare myself by telling my best friend Sal and my older brother first.
Sal and I have been best buddies since we were 11 years old and are more family than friends. I knew she would be excited for me and her enthusiasm would help me deal with my family or rather, my Mum. I called Sal as soon as I got into my flat. She was excited and ready to hear Oscar news and celeb gossip but was totally unprepared for me to instead go into a million miles an hour speech at how I had been in a rut for the last 18 months and was bored stiff of my life in London and was now going to LA for a three month sabbatical but possibly for longer.
As I finished my speech literally gasping for air, I waited for the congratulations, squealing and excitement and instead there was silence.
And then eventually in a teary, heavy voice she said, "I am happy for you, I think you are doing the right thing following your gut instinct - you have always done it before with big life decisions and it has always paid off - even when we all thought you were crazy....but, well I am gutted for me, I can't bear the thought of you ending up living on the other side of the world".
My heart sank. She was at work and couldn't really talk properly so we decided we would meet up to catch up properly.
More than just a bit perturbed by her reaction I then called my brother.
Thank goodness for my brother.
My clever, witty, kind, generous big brother/part time Dad, permanent piss taker (I think every girl with the potential to be spoiled needs a big brother to take the proverbial and make sure her feet stay on the ground) sometimes my banker (whoops) but always, above everything else, my best friend.
Never judgmental, always practical and as cliched as it sounds the rock in my life without whom I would not be who, or where I am today.
After the predictable questions (and him approving my answers) on practicalities and finances he said the golden words I needed to hear to go forward happily, "Go for it".
I could hear the half smile in his voice even on the telephone and I knew I had his blessing.
Next was Mum.
The phone call went as expected. She was upset and confused. And felt the need to remind me every two minutes that I was not in my twenties and if I ever wanted to have children I had better focus on finding someone and settling down; not gallivanting and taking a sabbatical.
I took it all on the chin but it's never easy to feel like you are upsetting or disappointing a parent.
And as certain as I was of my decision some of the things she said definitely pricked at my LA bubble and let little seeds of doubt seep in. After our call I sat drained, jet lagged and suddenly feeling a bit teary about everything.
My mum's words rang in my ears - what was I going to do in LA? Other than take a sabbatical, have a rest and explore a new city? And then it hit me.
For nearly two years I had been talking about writing a book. After yet another television appearance to talk legalities of the latest celebrity split my good friend Catherine (a best selling author and general cool chick) had said to me, "You should write a book on love and the law". Following her suggestion I had fleshed out the idea and even had a title "The Laws of Love" introduction and contents page, but not much else had happened. There was very little time in the grind of my London life to actually sit down and write. If I did ever have any spare time I was so exhausted and drained I could do little more than sit in front of the television or I would try and fit in a massage or facial. Partly because I worked so hard, partly because I loved to make time for everyone in my life (and there were probably too many people in my life but more on that later).
The end result was that I actually had very little time to myself: let alone time to actually start writing my book. But here was my golden opportunity. Suddenly I began to see that this LA sabbatical was a gift from above. In so many different ways..but more on that later.
Here is the introduction below to the Laws of Love in case you want to know a bit more...
THE LAWS OF LOVE – A USER’S GUIDE FOR WOMEN IN LOVE
Women are romantics. In our quest for true love we often turn a blind eye to any number of character defects. Nearly every woman over the age of 25 has had her heart broken at some point. It’s part of life. But as I, and my friends, got older I recognised that heart-break became the least of the relationship woes. In this age of internet dating and social networking, many of my friends have found that their privacy has been jeopardised by their potential partners. As relationships became more serious we often moved in with our partners — and found ourselves left with responsibility for his bills and a damaged credit rating when the love affair ended. Modern women who are in happy and loving relationships are faced with a host of issues that were unknown in earlier days. For instance, when a woman earns more money than her partner, it can save untold amounts of stress if they settle upfront the division of household labour and its running costs. When a relationship ends, either through a break-up or death of a loved one, the pain can be made worse by ignorance of the law. I should know. Being the only lawyer in my circle of girlfriends I have been on the receiving end of more than a few teary phone calls.
When I first conceived the idea for this book I was 31 years old, newly single and nursing the very painful fallout post the break-up of a long term relationship. I decided that women need a book that points out the potential pitfalls of relationships — not just the emotional ones but the legal and financial ones.
Reading this book is not going to land you your knight on a charger, it isn’t a book littered with dating tips on how to date like a French woman, or to use ‘The Rules’ to snare your man etc. Whilst those books are entertaining and contain some valuable nuggets on playing the dating game that’s not what the book is about. What this book will provide you with are the Spiritual Laws and the Legal Laws of love for each stage of a relationship, the kind of wise and practical advice I wish an older me had given the younger me back in the day.
The Spiritual Laws are filled with pearls of wisdom I have extracted through my own experiences of life and love and that of friends and family. It includes advice and information handed down from grandmothers, mothers, aunts and elder siblings as well as relationship counsellors, therapists and religious and spiritual mentors. These may not be legal laws enshrined in statute or case law but they are well established laws of love which many of us wish we had access to many years ago. I have combined this advice to provide spiritual laws of the universe that I believe will equip you emotionally and spiritually to avoid the emotional damage that can occur in a relationship. From choosing a partner, to deciding where to live, whether to get married, or whether to stop working, women would be better off if they could keep these spiritual laws in mind.
The Legal Laws are filled with the information I have unfortunately had to give my girlfriends and clients all too frequently when they find themselves in sticky romantic situations. It’s the nitty-gritty about what you need to know to protect your privacy, your money, your health, your reputation and, by extension, your sense of self-worth.
Because some of the best lessons we learn are from each other, each section is filled with case studies. Some of them are cases that made it to court and set legal precedents and some are the true life stories of me and my friends. I hope they’ll stick in your head and set off warning bells if a similar situation arises in your own life. I want women to go forth in their love life armed with all the information they’ll need to find fun, happiness, financial and emotional security and most of all, love.