Well, it’s been quite a year.
2018 has seen some incredible highs, and some incredible lows. Which sounds pretty normal, being as that is how life normally goes. However, it has been quite transformational.
And thank goodness for those transformations!
I turned 30yo this year. I ended my first ‘adult’ decade on this planet and ushered in a new one. It was bonkers. I also got into a huge body of water (lake and swimming pool) and I didn’t drown [thank you MB for that]. Honestly, I was a quivering mess during that whole water debacle, but I did it! I also, quite remarkably, strapped myself to the top of a plane and flew around in the sky to raise over £1,000 for charity. [Your support for that was incredible! Thank you!]. I went to my first festival. I went on my first date in 7 years [and subsequently several more!]. I learnt an untold number of new things, and I dyed my hair pink.
Wow. Just a few highs there…
I did not blog much this year. Mostly because a lot of the lows I’ve been processing have been so personal, I didn’t really feel it appropriate or helpful to share it whilst still in the midst of the process. Hindsight provides 20:20 vision (allegedly) so I was waiting for that time to pass so I could actually better understand what was going on.
My biggest lessons this year have come from dating [yawn]. It has been incremental, and painful, but ultimately every date I went on held up a mirror to one of my issues (of which, there are many!) and I’ve worked through a whole lot of stuff to get to where I am now.
I started the year by running away from anything that remotely looked like a relationship, trying to ease myself into the idea of partnership having spent such a long time rebuilding myself alone.
I was exceptionally wary of letting anyone else become part of my reality, in case they should tear down any of the thought processes or belief systems I had worked so hard to build. “I am loveable, I am worthy, I am beautiful, I am intelligent, I am successful, I am freedom…” etc etc etc. All the mantras I had been reciting for the preceding two years were being put to the test.
And it was scary AF.
I ran away several times. I even told myself I was showing up on occasions when I wasn’t. I mean, I was there, I was attending, but I wasn’t really showing up – I’d already decided the outcome. I caught myself saying things that I knew would push other people away. I declared that no one could possibly understand me, or keep up with me, or love me without suffocating me. No one could give me the freedom I needed to be wild, soulful and purposeful. No one would understand the life I wanted to build. No one would want to build it with me.
So every time I met someone I tried to shock them. “This is who I am. Blunt. Honest. Outrageously independent. I don’t need you and you probably wont be good enough anyway. Your move.” And unsurprisingly I attracted men who mirrored all of that BS.
Which at first, was fine. I was comfortable with that. Because they stayed at a comfortable distance and they didn’t ask anything of me that I couldn’t deliver.
But eventually I identified the issue being presented to me in the mirror, and each time I worked at healing it, facing it, feeling it, breaking it down, and rebuilding it in a more healthy way.
And bit by bit I started to piece those parts of me back together.
Life is a journey. You’ll never be ‘done’ or ‘completed it mate’ or ‘the best version of me’. You’ll only ever be better than you were yesterday, and that’s all you can hope for.
You are human. Beautifully flawed and messy. And that is perfect. As long as you continue to grow and heal and love.
Healing is messy. It is chaos. It hurts and sometimes it looks like howling on the bedroom floor on a school night with a bottle of tequila and a blanket.
But that’s ok.
In fact, it is more than ok. It is perfect. Because while you’re on the floor you can remind yourself of your foundations. You can make them that bit stronger by letting go of some more of your own BS.
Every month on a full moon I write down the things I want to let go of and I burn them. Some months this is powerful, other months, if I don’t do it right, it doesn’t quite have such a profound effect.
To let go of that heavy bag of BS you’re carrying around, whatever yours looks like, sometimes it takes a bit more than a piece of paper and a little fire.
Sometimes it takes four hours of sobbing and wondering if you’ll ever stop crying again. Sometimes it takes 20 miles of hiking alone, not giving up when your feet want to stop and your soul is on fire.
Sometimes it takes quitting your job with no real plan and just trusting it will all work out, because you know it is time for change.
So I quit my job.
And I’m getting on a plane to Thailand in February.
[I’ve only been as far as Spain before. I have no idea what I am doing.]
And I don’t know what happens after that. But I do know it is the right next step on my journey. I know I need to push my boundaries and operate outside of my comfort zone.
I think I’ve figured out a lot of this relationship stuff now [yeah I know, I move pretty quickly. You should hear my friends trying to keep up with me and my stories…] So it’s time to leave the comfort of my corporate job and go find whatever else is out there.
I don’t quite believe the saying “If you’re not living on the edge then you’re taking up too much space”, because honestly, I think we need to learn to take up more space in the world, women especially. But if you’re not pushing on the edges of your existence, if you’re not looking your fears in the eye and saying “I’m not going to let you control me today”, if you’re not constantly evolving and finding out exactly what you’re made of, then why are you here? What are you living for?
Some days my fears are going into a crowded supermarket and trying not to lose my mind. Other days my fears are getting on an international flight with next to no idea of how the next few months of my life will pan out.
Whatever your fears look like, make sure you face a few of them in 2019. Because I cannot tell you how proud you’ll be when you do.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
It becomes a little addictive – the feeling of doing things you thought you could not do. And eventually, after you’ve done it a few times, you realise that really there is no such thing as something you cannot do.
Everything is possible. You just need enough courage and faith to jump, and you’ll experience all the magic.
At least, that is what has been happening for me so far. Let’s hope Thailand continues the trend.
Hello 2019! Let’s go then.