Eleven Times Two, My Life

Start with yourself, and the rest will follow

Today is the 1st of April – a new month, a fresh start and an “au revoir ” to the first quarter of 2018.

There will be a slight change in what I write about in this blog from now on – I will still be me, I will still share my world and I will still wear my heart on my sleeve, but what I will not be doing is moaning (and there will be no swearing either, I’m going PG13 with this ish). With the direction I am taking in life, I want you guys to feel good when you read my posts. I want to inspire, to be real, to show you that you are not alone and most of all, I want to help you. The only way I know how to do that right now is to share my experiences with you, and how I deal with them. Some of those experiences may make me feel on top of the world, whilst some may bring me to my knees, but I am not about sugar-coating anything. I am about being honest, and I am about putting my whole self out there and saying it like it is. So, I am making a promise to you all here and now – no matter how hard life hits me, I will always stand back up, I will always learn from life, I will always grow, I will always vow to be better and I will always find a way through – not just for me, but for you guys too. We are all in this life together, and if I have learned one thing about myself recently, it is that I am all about being good, seeing good, doing good and believing in the good in others.

So now I’m going to explain to you the reasons behind my brief stint of absenteeism from writing this blog. I’ve had an interesting March – it really wasn’t the shining example of months so far this year let’s put it that way. A lot happened to distract me, a lot to keep my mind occupied, a lot for me to prioritise, a lot to upset me and a lot that, in my opinion, took my eye off the ball.

I started 2018 with high hopes and good intentions, and don’t get me wrong, I have managed to take some steps towards my goals since January (hello shiny new website), and then March happened and I can’t help feeling like I’ve taken a step backwards. Now, don’t get me wrong, nothing BAD happened, but everything that did all came to me at once and I had to take a step down from what I had planned for my life, and deal with the hand life was dealing me. I’m fully aware of all of the miniature violins you guys are playing right now because that’s something we all have to do every day right?

Let me give you a breakdown, and maybe you’ll forgive me for not posting in the past few weeks. I’m having a hard time forgiving myself, but I’ll deal with that in my own way.

First. There were man issues. I have been single for the past 2 years and the reason for this is because I pick unsuitable, emotionally unavailable men that I know have no chance of developing into anything. Subconsciously, I have been doing this on purpose. If I pick the ones that I know are never going to amount to anything, I won’t get hurt. It’s the same with dates – they don’t get past the first meeting because I write them off. It is easier for me to find fault or listen to the imaginary alarm bells in my head than to actually give someone a chance to screw me over. I make all kinds of excuses. I blame dating apps, I blame a lack of spark, I blame the fact that I’m planning to move to LA and there’s no point meeting someone until I get there, I blame being too busy (lol), I blame social media, complacency, left-swiping, lack of effort, modern-day approaches – you name it, I’ve pinned an excuse to it, and this past month has made me realise that the only person to blame for my being single is me. I have been standing in my own way. I have been confusing The Universe with mixed messages for years and I have manifested every dud date and text message left on read. It is my fault. I feel really sorry for the guys that I have been involved with, well, EVER, because I have come to understand that by not being able to make my own commitment to myself to get past my fear, I’ve not been able to make any commitment to them.

Two spectacular examples of ‘never gonna happens’ had been occupying my thoughts and my time for a period of time that I’m ashamed to admit to – like, MONTHS. There was the one who lived hundreds of miles away, and the one that was the best part of a decade younger than me. Nice, safe, unavailable, risk-free men that meant I had someone to keep my interest without actually having to do anything about it. Well, I reached my pinnacle with both, and I got impatient. Something had to happen – and me being me, that something was getting them out of my system once and for all, and so I did – on the same weekend. No, no nothing like that I’m not about living that ‘Ho Life’, I just meant I needed to debunk the pair of them and free up some space in my head for the things that mattered. I spent some time with one of them, and happily came to the conclusion that we are absolutely and resolutely just great friends (which was a relief), and then a few hours after we parted ways, I did something I basically NEVER do – I asked the other one out. Two months too late apparently, as he now has a missus! There’s a valuable lesson there about striking while the iron is hot, but alas – it was clearly not meant to be, and you know what? That was a relief too. I had built it up in my head and been so afraid of failure, rejection and making myself look stupid or desperate that when I actually hit send I’d worked myself up so much that I almost threw up. Within seconds I saw those 2 blue ticks followed by ‘typing…’   and I kid you not, I physically threw my phone across the room. It was a ‘no’ (aforementioned new missus) but the relief hit me like a wave. Now I know that the relief came because I knew it wasn’t right. I knew it wasn’t meant for me and I knew that I’d done it again and lied to myself about who I am and what I want from a relationship.

Those ‘never gonna happens’ need to become a thing of the past, and the only way that is going to happen is by me getting out of my own way and not allowing my fear to overwhelm me. I have a history of flaking out and letting things pass me by when I don’t know what the outcome will be – and I’m really trying to hold myself accountable for my own life. It took a lot out of me to realise that, and I hope that I can actually learn and grow from it and allow life to bring me the person that I’m supposed to love. There are no hard feelings with either of these guys, I have gotten them out of my head and I know full well that my relationship with both will now go from strength to strength because I have had that bit of closure and am no longer bogged down by the situation. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I am not interested in anyone. There is no-one on the horizon, no-one I am speaking to, no potentials and no-one that I even have a flutter for. It’s actually quite exhilarating because I am now back at that stage where anything is possible. The stage where I can focus on myself. The stage where I am open to new beginnings and I’m free to fly into my next chapter, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Second. I’ve had probably the worst month at work since I started last year. Tensions were running high, the pressure was on, we had a new starter and we all had a bit of a shake-up. It was also the worst month by way of my productivity levels, I spent a lot of time out of the office, I was preoccupied and, in all honesty, – I put work to the very bottom of my priority list, which isn’t fair on anyone. The reason behind this is down to the next part of this post and by far the most important.

Third. My dad had major heart surgery.

We had known about it for 11 months, and whilst knowledge is great – nothing can prepare you for how you are going to deal with a situation until you are in it. Me? I re-discovered the warrior within me. The lioness. The beacon of strength that I forgot I had. EVERYTHING else got dropped. I didn’t go to the gym, I took holiday from work (and let me take this opportunity to thank everyone I work with for their support, understanding and flexibility the past few weeks because, without it, I may well have crumbled) and I got my priorities all the way in order, there was only one of them, and that was my Dad.

Different people deal with different things in different ways. By nature, we go into ‘fight or flight’ mode and I am very much the former. There was only one time where I allowed myself to break down throughout the entire waiting period, the day my Dad told me that he needed the surgery. I asked all the right questions, got all the information and sat and nodded and tried to understand and make sense of it all. Then I kissed him on the cheek, went home, took my shoes and coat off, and I sat on my bed and I crumbled. I sobbed to the point where Willow and Wednesday were sat looking at me and rubbing against my legs. I sobbed until I couldn’t breathe, and everything hurt. I sobbed until I looked like Will Smith in Hitch when he had that allergic reaction. And then I stopped crying, and I had a word with myself, I made a list of all the positives that would come out of the operation and I found the picture above and I stuck it on my vision board on my fridge. Every single day for the past 11 months I have seen that picture of a healthy heart, and I have known that my Dad was going to be ok. The next day, I dug out my copy of The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, I took it round to his house, dropped it on the coffee table and said: “it’s time for you to read this.”

He read it in two days and began recommending it to others to read immediately. I have never seen anyone take to it so quickly, and he told me that he had seen what it had done for me and for my life, and because he had seen the effects with his own eyes, he knew it was the right way to go. The night before his operation, I watched him slip the book into his overnight bag, and I knew that he was going to be ok – because HE knew he was going to be ok.

What I hadn’t prepared myself for was the exhaustion. I couldn’t tell you where I was at any given time for a week and a half – physically I was either at the hospital, at work, travelling, or at home, mentally – I was in another dimension that was half auto-pilot and half limbo. In the background of all of this, my worry and anxiety levels were ticking along on a whole new level, and every time a machine beeped or he refused to eat another hospital dinner they would go up another notch. 3 days after he had his operation, I attempted my usual Kettlebell class at the gym. Everyone had backed out and so it was just me and Kyle who runs the class – I knew he wasn’t going to go easy on me, and I went in hard. So hard in fact, that I promptly threw up straight after the class. It was at that exact moment in time, head to porcelain that I realised that I needed to go a little easier on myself. I cannot be everything to everybody if I cannot be my best me. I am no good to anyone if I am burned out, useless and barely functioning, and so everything else got thrown to the wayside. It just did not matter.

Now, Dad is home, recovering well and either has his guitar or a kitten on his lap and we are as close as back to ‘normal’ as you could ever describe us. I chose to give myself some more time off the gym, go and have my nails and hair done, spring clean my flat and prepare myself to leave the past 3 months behind in order to start afresh today – another new month and another chance to make a change.

I am not one for dropping spinning plates, but this past month I have learned what is important to me – and that’s me. I am not at my best functioning on approximately 13%, I am not at my best when I closely resemble an extra from The Walking Dead. I am not at my best when I am not writing or being creative. I am not at my best when my nails are bitten down to the quick and my skin is dull and breaking out. I am not at my best eating junk food or drinking alcohol in the week. I am not at my best when someone I love is going through something – especially when that someone is my Dad, but where I am at my best is when in spite of all of the above, I stand up, I come through and I fight for a better tomorrow for us all. I will never give up, I will never stand down, and I will never bow out. I will take the hit time and time again and I will come back stronger for it every time – but in order to be the Wonder Woman that I know I am, I need to look after myself first.

Going back to the beginning, the part about learning to forgive myself and for taking my eye off the ball? Well, it’s ONE MONTH. My goals have not disappeared or changed, my life purpose is still to help people and the drive within me is as strong as ever – but what is the point in killing myself to achieve the things I want for myself, if it means losing sight of what is important in the here and now or of the people around me, who are still going to be there when I start ticking those things off? There is no point. We are all in this together. I am someone who lives for the future and for all of the hope, opportunities and possibilities it holds, but at some point, I realised that in order to have the future I am dreaming of, I need to live a life that I love right now, and so that’s what I’m going to do.