Learning from Nature

Autumn-Leaves-in-sunshine“Oh how nature acquaints us with the nature of patience.”

This season always reminds me of how seasons in our lives also change. I know if I look back, I can remember when it felt that frustrating or difficult feelings would last forever. So I try to take comfort in the changing of the seasons. The leaves turning all shades of yellow, red and orange. Soon the trees will be bare. We too have times that feel void and empty of meaning. Yet we know, Spring is in the distance, there is still so much good to come. So today’s reflection is an encouragement really.

For anyone hungry to overcome, struggling to accept, eager to grow, desperate to heal or fighting a battle you fear will never end. I just want to urge you. Keep. going.

Redirect that frustration into something that will actually help you move towards your aim. Seasons change and just  like the leaves change colour, so will the way you feel and in turn the impact this has on your life. You won’t stay like this and your pain can grow from it new things if you let it happen. Keep the faith; we are all learning how. Let nature remind you that a new season is coming.

A letter to 2017

dear 2017

In typical me fashion, but perhaps more so than ever, I’ve been thinking. About life and about the past. It’s impossible not to when you’re somewhere you never expected to be in life. Divorced, without children, having left a job I spent years preparing to do. I’ve had my head down for quite a while (741 days to be precise) since the day my husband of only 4 months suddenly decided he wasn’t ready for marriage. I didn’t see it coming, though in hindsight I guess I should have and I wasn’t prepared for how the shock and grief would affect every aspect of life.  Having not spoken to a fair few people in a long time, I wrote the letter below to reach out to them. What started out as a catch up note became a reflection on my year that felt only right to put here, given this is where I have sporadicly written out the inner workings of my mind at various scattered points in the last 12 months. Writing has somehow helped me find my way back.

By default, in hard times people try to put on a brave face so others think they’re fine when that’s just not the case. When you wear your heart on your sleeve and cannot act to save your life it is easy to just hide. Now I see that was a mistake. One of the most significant but hardest things to do is learning is how to be vulnerable and the power of being honest, with your self and with others.

It has begun to free me in a way I didn’t think was possible two years ago.

This year I’ve been able to connect with and relate to people I’d never otherwise have met or got to know. We’re all human and none of us are perfect. We know that, yet often it takes a big metaphorical smack-round-the-face-with-a-fish to remember that if we just stop striving and be real with each other, that’s where the magic happens. This has been a hard but magical year from which I’ve come out of my cave. If you’re not mentioned it’s not because I don’t think you’re awesome. In fact I want to connect with you.

This coming year I want to see more of people, like actually in the flesh! People still do that right? Friends are such a blessing so foremost I’m remembering this and honouring it, building beautiful friendships and actually being in each other’s lives is wonderful and will make my 2018. You read it here now lets make it happen!

Anyway, I did a wee search about what’s included in a “newsletter” and apparently I shouldn’t discuss religion, politics or fitness routines and shouldn’t brag about my kids too much. Well I did get baptised this year but haven’t won a Nobel peace prize, I’m well into a two year comfort eating regime and don’t have any kids to brag about, so we should be fine. This is just an update on what I’ve been doing lately, my travels and what I’ve learnt along the way. Apologies if it’s boring or turns into a bit of a photo essay but hey, if you know me then you’d have been expecting an essay anyway. If you’ve accidentally found yourself in the wrong place then click the red X at the top of your screen now. Life is busy but we all have choices daily about how to spend our free time. That is our prerogative. I’m using mine to write this. I also spent a lot of this year on this inflatable banana!!

 

#CHILLING GOALS

TRAVELS: Last December, when I turned 30, I didn’t really know what to do. I sure wasn’t where I thought I would be at 30. Anyway a good friend mentioned she had a 30 in 30 goal: to have been to 30 countries by the end of the 30th year. I thought, I’m gonna do that, it would give me something to focus on and toasted the idea with plenty of prosecco. In reality it was a squeeze but I did everything I could to make it! To meet that goal, 2017 has been quite a travelsome year. Yes, that’s a word! (IT IS NOW)

Unfortunately my biggest planned trip to Cuba couldn’t happen, but never mind, I still made my goal by including our own fair country. The beauty of not being tied to school holidays anymore is I can go away whenever I want now which is exciting! ( N.B. travelling in hurricane season is not advisable)

First up was Iceland. Wow, was it pricey! We mostly ate at our cabin but on our last night treated ourselves to a Ruby Murray (put that in especially for my American fraaands). £30 for a vegetable curry with about three singular veg in it. Rice not included. They were the first veggies I’d seen all week which is why I’d opted for that and they were gone in seconds. Undoubtedly, for anyone that’s seen me hangry, you can picture my sad, disappointed face after that.

TOP TIP: Never go to Iceland unprepared. Fill your suitcase with food! In another financial escapade, my friend Maya found a lovely £5 hat while we were in a gift shop, so she bought it and it wasn’t until later she realised it was actually £50!! So that’s now going to be passed down as a family heirloom. Despite the painful prices, Iceland was beyond beautiful. Sadly we didn’t see the Aurora Borealis in her full glory as it was too cloudy, but we did see our fair share of amazing waterfalls, which made up for it. The black sand beaches were stunning; we petted Icelandic ponies; sat in our hot tub while it was snowing and made Pat do a snow angel; saw hot springs and rainbows, swam around the Blue Lagoon in the dark and set a record for our shortest stay in a hotel (3 hours, ironically in the most luxurious hotel room any of us had ever set foot in. Thanks red eye flight!).. it was complete with in-room hot tub and colour changing shower, huge kingsize beds and a colossal wall mounted TV. None of which we used as we’d sat up for most of the night willing the Northern Lights to make an appearance before we went home!

 

 

A little closer to home ( but taking just as long to get there) I went on a half term road trip to Cornwall with my parents. It was great fun. I haven’t been on holiday with them for years, so it was nice to really spend time with them. We visited loads of places: Port Isaac, Mevagissey, Charlestown, Fowey and more. I took it upon myself to take on a CREAM TEA CHALLENGE, which consisted of, you guessed it, a different cream tea each day. Someone had to do it!! I can now happily reveal that the best Cornish cream tea of the seven that I sampled was: The Eden Project café. Sublime! Perfect ratio of cream to jam. Warm scone. Ideal size. Winning! Naturally I left my 5* TripAdvisor reviews to spread the word 😉

 

 

 

Next, I had an American adventure in Denmark. I flew to Copenhagen to meet my favourite Texan Rebecca, who I met when I was studying abroad in ’07. We stayed in the coolest AirBNB apartment with two of her American friends Blake and Adam and another friend Buddy (not the elf) showed us around the city as he’s been living there for 6 months working as an architect. It was SO MUCH FUN!!! We did loads of cool things but my highlight was PAPER ISLAND, the Old Paper Mill that houses Copenhagen’s street foot scene. We all chose our own preferred cuisine (I had Korean) and we sat outside with a beer/cocktail watching the sunset. Adam & Blake then very impressively made a fire and we chatted til our fingers turned blue.

Magic memories!

 

Next I flew to Belfast to go on an Irish roadtrip to County Galway with my friend Natalie. In my teens I was obsessed with Westlife and ever since seeing the ‘My Love’ music video set at the cliffs of Moher I’ve wanted to go there. So that was a teenage dream realised (the other dream about Westlife’s Shane Filan is yet to come to fruition) Plus we drank Irish beer by the river, listened to amazing live music in Galway and went crazy singing along to Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl every time it came on, which was a lot. That reminds me, (slight deviation) back in Iceland the radio only played the same 7 or 8 songs on repeat. So if you go, make sure you take some CDs with you unless you wish to die from overexposure to Sean Mendes.

 

 

Our AirBnB hosts happened to have a kitten, which in our books was a BONUS!

 

In November, I went to Poland with a school friend. I’ve always wanted to visit Auschwitz, ever since learning about the holocaust years ago. Many people think that’s a bit mad, but it’s such a horrible thing I think everyone should witness it, to honour the people that actually lived through that. It was great to fulfil something Sophie and I talked about doing so long ago and also felt like a liberation to be freeing her from her role of supermum for a couple of days for the first time since having children 9 years ago. We had lots of intellectual discussion while hiding from scary Polish women in toilets! We learnt so much history on the trip, not just about the camps, but also about those who did what they could to help. It’s that which will always stay with me. The smallest acts of kindness can save not just lives but generations. On my return I ordered a great book called The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, a holocaust survivor who has forgiven her torturers. I really recommend it!! As do I recommend spending time with your oldest friends. It reminds you who you are and where you’ve come from when you need it most. One to note if in an identity crisis 😉

 

DOINGS: This year has been crazy busy. I got to live with not one but two amazing housemates who have hugely inspired me and filled my days with much joy! I started creating again and designed a whole new set of greetings cards and some postcards for sale locally and online. I also joined a ladies business network with some super supportive women and that’s given me a huge confidence boost. It’s so nice to see women raising each other up rather than tearing each other apart. We’re all in this thing called life together. I also somehow ended up offering to dog sit for various friends for most of the summer and fell in love with a Chihuahua named Roo. Hilarious attempts at selfies with various doggy friends definitely happened! One day, I’m definitely getting a little dog. I loved the dog walks, they were so calming even in the wind and rain              (EXCEPT FOR PIPPA THE PUG WHO REFUSED TO WALK ANYWHERE)

 

Summer was busy with work but it was also a lot fun! I swam in the sea as much as I could and spent lots of quality time with friends old and new. This year I also started having singing lessons which really helped build my confidence back up. I bloody love singing, and the power of music is AMAZING! It was my weekly fix. Medicine for the soul for sure! In July I performed in a showcase, like actually in front of people, which was both wonderful and terrifying all at the same time. Sadly my lovely teacher has now emigrated to Oz with her lovely Australian husband but my sessions with her are just one of the many things that got me through this year. As did my awesome group of friends from City church who welcomed me with open arms. They have accepted me, encouraged me to be who I am and for that I am beyond thankful for this crazy bunch of humble characters. Plus they’re a barrel of laughs and I love them a lot!

 

 

One of my old air cadet friends Mike got married this year and I did a reading at the wedding which was a big honour. I also sang karaoke with my cousin at her 40th birthday party and went to an ATC reunion. These things probably sound like trivial events but knowing where I was even a year ago I honestly wouldn’t have dreamed I could do either of those things and the point is, I couldn’t have done without some great people cheering me on in life! My biggest achievement this year though was getting divorced. I’m definitely not bragging here. Divorces are so shit… and never what I wanted. Having had enough of being miserable, I started writing down my feelings in this blog simply to get it out of my mind. It’s been very important and helpful to do that  but it is a slow process and still really tough to move past what happened. So filing those papers was a hard step that I managed to put off for ages. The thing about grief is it can be overwhelming and never really goes away but finds a home in the nooks of your heart and settles down quietly. Still, being a divorcee beats being married to someone with no regard for your heart. With each day that passes I learn more about forgiveness and grace. I can only focus now on that! My family and close friends are heroes for putting up with my divorcee alter ego Ms Misery! Sorry! You can’t help it when pain takes over your personality but I’m making steps in the right direction. Love and support in your worst days shows you what your friendships are made of.

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What did I learn this year? To not worry about not being in control of everything in your life. It has a weird way of guiding you where you’re meant to go, even when you don’t want to go there! Whats in store for you may not be  what youre expecting but resistance is futile as they say. My new mantra: Doubt yourself less, take more risks. This year I left my job and I think some people thought I was insane! Even I thought I might be mad…but I knew school was draining me of the little energy I had and I felt unsupported and unappreciated so when my contract wasnt renewed I decided rather than put myself through the ordeal of looking for a job in another school, I’d increase my private tutoring. I love working 1:1 and in teaching there is little if any of that. I worried there wouldn’t be enough demand to make it viable but thankfully I’m currently fully booked , getting great feedback and working less hours than I was before for more money. I’m glad I followed my gut rather than go with a SAFE but miserable option. YOUR GUT INSTINCT IS USUALLY ALWAYS RIGHT!

With more free time I’ve had the chance to really think about how I want to live life. I’ve just said a bittersweet good bye to my home by the sea which I adored but will always have a place in my heart. I’m gathering my thoughts and saving while mulling over whether I should try to get a deposit together for a place or go and live in a mud hut in the middle of nowhere. I’m still designing cards and stuff and creating is really my outlet so if you want anything designed give me a shout. I get lost in it for hours. Photography has been purely personal this year while I found my passion for it again and I really, really want to be brave and dive in again next year. I’ve got a pile of great books I’ve been meaning to read but in all honesty all I have really done with my extra free time so far is sleep in and watch way too many YouTube videos. Don’t get me started on Netflix series….

 

 

2017 has been a year of big change and mindless distraction from those changes. It has given me experiences to reflect on and move me forwards. If I haven’t mentioned you, I’m sorry, but it’s not because I don’t care. There’s so much more I could talk about but for the sake of not taking all year to read I didn’t want to cram any more in. I didn’t realise until writing this that I’d done so much this year so I recommend doing your own reflection. I feel even more thankful than I was when I started writing it. In 2018 let’s keep pushing forwards to be the best versions of ourselves and to bring out the best in each other. I am determined to find myself again. One step at a time. So if anyone wants to go on an adventure, my passport is ready! At the very least, let’s catch up. Over the phone. Skype. You name it. Social media is great so if we’re not connected definitely send me your username or message me on whatsapp, but real life is where the magic happens.

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I would love to hear what youve been doing or learnt in 2017…

Wishing you a BRIGHT, HEALTHY and HOPEFUL 2018, Lauren xxxx

Everything is going to be okay!

Herne bay-2524Sometimes we struggle. We’re all the way up and then all of a sudden we’re all the way down. Life can throw obstacle after obstacle at you and you just feel like giving up. You might fall kiddo but here’s the thing, you get back up. You might get hurt. Your heart might be in pieces and your mind is a mess but somehow you survive and keep going. Never forget all you have managed to get through.  EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY. Whatever miserable situation you might be in, it’s not forever. All things are temporary. You will overcome it. Everything is a journey and darling you are on it.

Really you can transform your thinking. The silver lining is you cannot technically go wrong because even failures are an opportunity to learn something. Everything is a lesson. Sometimes ‘wrong’ decisions can lead you to something so great. Keep showing up, keep being grateful for everything in your life and the universe will guide you.

So you’re feeling shitty? Can you just take a moment to think about all of the amazing things that you have done.  Now think of how many more are awaiting you. Breathe in. Breathe out. Be still and know. Live in the moment. Focus on one thing at a time. Do not worry about the future or the past, be here now. Forget what happened yesterday or what is happening tomorrow. Trust the process. It will all work out in the end. Remember everything is going to be okay and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

 

Babysteps: Why I started this blog…

I started this blog because my life has ended up very different to how I expected it would a few years ago. I needed a way to try and process that. I couldn’t afford more therapy so I figured a healthy idea would be to write down my feelings to get them out of my system.

Some days I wake up and think maybe it was all just a bad dream. On Christmas Eve 2015,  my husband of only 4 months decided he wasn’t ready for marriage after all. It didn’t seem possible when only the day before that, he’d been telling me he loved me and given me a bracelet engraved with our wedding date and ‘always and forever.’  Now here I was and this was it, after 5 years of investing my love and energy in the belief that my future was with this man that I adored, it all just disappeared before my very eyes.  Everything I had known, believed and hoped for was suddenly no longer true. It completely broke me.

I don’t know who I became but it was not someone I had ever been before. I had too much hurt, anger and shock raging in my veins to even contemplate what to do. I absolutely could have killed him and then something in me just clicked and I realised he wasn’t worth spending my life in prison for. Somehow I’m alive to tell the tale which probably sounds awfully melodramatic if you haven’t been left before, but if you have, you’ll know the feeling of abandonment I’m talking about. A part of me definitely died that day. A part of me that I think I might never get back.

The last 18 months has been some sort of attempt at trying to piece back together and rebuild a life.  There have been countless hurdles but many small victories. Some days are easier than others. I remind myself every day that I am loved by my family and friends and blessed in many ways and this in itself is a long way from the worthless void of a person I became 18 months ago. She did not know her worth. She was broken and empty.  I know I am strong, so much stronger than I thought but every once in a while I get tired of being strong. The weariness escapes through, and that’s okay. I’ve realised that we need to hurt in order to grow, but to make the pain worthwhile we must learn  the lessons life is giving us.

First things first, please don’t think this is an intentional pity party! I think if you’ve never experienced heartbreak you are probably not going to relate to anything I am saying so please just be compassionate as sharing my most painful life experience is scary and raw. I do not intend to play victim and I do not wish to be defined by a heartbreaking experience. I know we all go through shit in some form.  But I think it’s so important to share real experiences and to be open about hard times. I started this blog just as a way to get some of my thoughts out of my head. They were so exhausting.  A counsellor recommended writing down feelings as a great way of healing from traumatic experience.

For some reason, anytime I tried to put pen to paper it was just impossible to know where to start. I don’t think any of it made sense to me and if I tried to make it make sense I would just end up doubting myself and feeling even worse….  I think I was afraid to write it down because it made it more real. Things came to a head and I decided enough was enough. I knew that there was no shortcut to the healing process  but above all else I was entirely fed up of feeling so utterly shit. I was willing to do anything to feel like I was making some sort of progress.  Even if they were babysteps.

So on the first day of 2017, I reflected that I wanted 2017 to be nothing like the year before. I was starting to realise things about my grief , and what I was learning through hurting, was worth writing down. Partly so I can avoid ever going through this again but also so that when I next faced adversity I knew that suffering didn’t mean the end of the world, it just meant a learning curve and a journey to find what needs to be learnt from every experience, good and bad. I’m kind of hoping this may help me in the future, to be proud of the adversity I’ve faced and survived, to remember to always expect the unexpected but more importantly to always be thankful every step of the way.

I started writing this privately but I have since experienced first hand the power in sharing real life experiences openly and think it can be empowering both to the writer and to people reading. If sharing my pain and experiences helps even one single person feel that they are not alone, stops them giving up, or lets someone out there know another human being feels the same as them, then that would make it worthwhile.

Have courage, dear heart.

Lauren x

Dark Vs. Light

© laurenbythesea
© laurenbythesea

Aren’t we our own worst enemy at times? I really need to stop giving myself such a hard time and allow myself to grieve. I know this but I seem to slip back into bad habits. Kicking myself for not being/ feeling more. I need to remind myself that it’s because I’m a caring person that this relationship meant a lot to me and that isn’t a bad thing that I am still so upset by what’s happened. It just means I’m hurting because it really mattered to me! I didn’t take any of it lightly, I knew what I was doing and I loved him with all of my heart and everything I had. So now I am starting to accept that a part of me will always feel brokenhearted that this didn’t work out the way I hoped. I just pray that the grief gets easier and that the sadness fades because I really do not like the feeling of overwhelming sadness. It’s so shit!

Being in a relationship with someone that couldn’t ever be honest with me was entirely draining. I developed awful anxiety that went through the roof. Over 5 years later, by the time it was over, I don’t think I had an ounce of energy left to repair myself and so recovery has been like a slow rollercoaster. Can you imagine a SLOW rollercoaster? A ride without the exhilaration because you’re going slow enough to see how high up you are and how far there is to fall. Finally realising and accepting I have anxiety has really helped me to better cope. I am more self aware than I’ve ever been. I have done a lot of work on myself and I’m ready. I want, I need, to feel like I’ve made progress.

This relationship ending has emotionally destroyed me, I can only try to handle it with grace and dignity but at the same time, feel like I could burst into tears and endlessly wondering when things actually changed and what went wrong. I beat myself up for it, even when friends say ‘it was him not you.’ Anxiety makes you feel that you’re unloved and not good enough.

Day to day it is just exhausting. I’ve got fight left in me yet and I’m determined to learn to cope, to better myself. Reading articles and books increases my self awareness; give me a way to understand, to empathise , to try and make sense of what’s going through my mind and for that I am so grateful. People have recommended counselling but I’ve tried it before and it was emotionally quite harrowing. I don’t really want to bring negativity back to the surface, so I’m sort of doing it my own way. Accepting that there are going to dark days, but I think, I hope, that if I accept the darkness then it may be easier for me to start seeing the light.

 

Note to self:

Stop making excuses for somebody that hurt you so much! Maybe he had commitment issues. Maybe he had a shitty past.  Maybe there was something going on with him that really did have nothing to do with you, but regardless it is not an excuse for treating someone you supposedly care about like absolute rubbish.  He hurt you badly. It is not your place to try and help him, heal him or even save him.

Don’t ignore this reality. The fact that he hurt you,.. is hurting you, intentionally or not, is what you need to accept, draw a line under and move past.

As hard as it may be to let go, you have to. Unless of of course you want to stay stuck in the past which will destroy you. Do you want to be destroyed? Don’t waste your time and energy on helping the spiral of self destruction.

This was not a fulfilling relationship. You just convinced yourself really successfully that it was. You were setting yourself up for disappointment each time you forgave him and hoped he could change. You believed him to be far more than he ever really was and he couldn’t be that man, even if he wanted to be. Holding on to your idea of who he was will only block you from moving forwards. He may have made you feel happy, but only to set up expectations that he could never actually meet. Stop wasting your time thinking about him. He’s not for you. There is somebody out there for you that will undoubtedly choose you from the very start and not potentially change his mind at any given moment. That won’t betray you and lie to your face. You deserve somebody who actually gives a damn about you! REMEMBER THIS!

Love from yourself x

Learning to Let Go

Im a lyrics girl. I love music, songs with meaningful lyrics, especially when I can relate to them.I heard this Birdy and Rhodes collaboration on Spotify recently and it just tore me open and sung right to my very heart.

” I don’t know why we need to break so hard                                                          

  I don’t know why we break so hard

But if we’re strong enough to let it in

We’re strong enough to let it go.”

That was exactly what I needed reminding of. I let this love and everything else that came with it into my heart and so I’m just as capable of letting it back out. Breathe in. Breathe Out.

I guess part of it must be resisting letting go of what has meant so much to me and what seems to be so much of who I am. So it’s uncomfortable and difficult to let go, even when I know its what I need to do.

According to the experts, when you learn to love yourself, you actually learn to stop resisting your feelings.You learn how to accept yourself for who you really are, without excuses or mental manipulations. Then things really start to change. You don’t know how desperately I want that.

 

 

Null and Void

I don’t really want to write this but I promised myself I would write. Even on the bad days. So much anxiety and loss of self esteem surrounds the demise of my marriage. In my swirling head sometimes I hear people’s minds working…… “What’s the matter?” they ask themselves. “Why is she still sad? Surely she can’t still love him.” So I put on this facade, this simulated smile on my face because I wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m just miserable and ungrateful.

I wish I knew how to make them understand. Make them see that I’m not just being miserable and ungrateful. I’m just not all here. Part of me has been, literally, destroyed.

Some might think I should just be able to move on.  I have frustratedly urged myself to do just that, but it only showed me I was no where near ready to and that if I forced it, I would only self destruct. I wish I could just walk away and not look back but I guess that’s just not me.

It’s not as simple as just saying goodbye. How do you say goodbye to what was the most important thing in your life? To what you loved the most. When you’re all of a sudden told that what once felt like the best thing you ever did is now null and void. It makes ME feel null and void.

The definition of ‘Null’- invalid, associated with the value zero. To cancel out.

The definition of ‘Void’-  ineffectual; useless:completely empty; Free from; lacking.

So now can you see? Regardless of what I tell myself, how I pep myself up. I still come back to that nothingness.  390 days in and the void just seems to get bigger and bigger.

 

With love,

I will never understand how you could say those words. Write those vows. Make those promises. Invest so much of your love in hopes and dreams then rip it all right out of my hands.

There went the rug beneath my feet. There came the walls of my world crashing down. Because I was foolish enough to build my world around you. Well I will never make that mistake again.

So now, strangely I can no longer call you my love, my darling, my husband. I can only call you a traitor. For I have never known betrayal like this. There is no pain like this. You are now only somebody that I used to know, or maybe I never knew you at all.That’s the worst part. Questioning every ounce of who you were. The man I loved.  The man I can’t just stop loving overnight even if I want to. Was he real at all? Or just a creation of my hopeful imagination.

Almost as if from outside my own body, I observe myself deliberating whether to hate you fiercely or love you always. If I let hate win, then it devours all the happiness we had, all the memories and special things between us. Yet if I let love win, then that also destroys me, because here I am , living without you. I don’t know how. One day you’re here, next you’re gone. Everything’s gone. And how do you go about loving a gaping hole left in your life?

So the battle ensues. A love hate relationship with my inner self, with my memories. The emotions battling it out. They think they know what’s best for me. Both equally determined to claim victory. Me not wanting or having ever wanted to be a victim. Wondering what on Earth I could have done to deserve this. Watching all the pieces of my broken self scattered around me and simply not knowing where to start with putting them all back together.

I choose love. But not for you anymore. For myself. For those who love me. They say I cannot stay somewhere I don’t belong and I tried so hard to belong there but it was out of my hands. So when I think of you, I will think of love because that’s all I ever did. Showed you love. I will remember that I did not quit my marriage. I fought with blood, sweat and tears to save my marriage, before eventually deciding to save myself.

 

Just beginning….

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The first step is the hardest….

If I had a pound for everytime I was given the advice that I should write my feelings down…. Well I could bloody retire and pay off my student loan, then live the rest of my days on a cruise ship!

Despite this,  it’s taken me a long, hard slog to get to the point where I thought:  “Hey I know what I need to do, I’ll write my thoughts down.” #lightbulb moment

So this blog has multiple purposes.

Firstly, I just want to get some of my thoughts out of my mind because quite frankly, they are too heavy to carry around. Over the last year or so, my thoughts have had the power to eat away at me. If I can lighten the load, it is surely worth a try.

Secondly I thought ‘wouldn’t it be wonderful to look back on, if/ when I have eventually “recovered”, or let’s just say grown from this difficult period in my life, I could look back and see just how far I’ve come?’  That’s another thing people so often say. To feel proud of how far I’ve come. While I can see that yes, I am definitely not still in my pyjamas throwing a solo pity party  (well not everyday ha) I definitely struggle to recognise that I’ve made any sort of progress. I just feel lost and somehow numb. But in time I’m really hoping that I feel a little less lost and a little less numb. Perhaps even maybe when others go through dark times I will be able to say, “Hey you. I see you. I’ve been there and things will get better. If you’re not convinced, then go read my blog where I charted my epic journey from unknown territory to a victorious land where I learnt my own worth!”…..           or something like that. So here I am. Beginning.

It takes bravery to begin. I’m reading this book by Ann Voskamp at the moment and these words particularly touched me.

“It takes ridiculous stores of courage to keep reaching out, to break out of your comfort zone. First steps always seem like not enough but they are the bravest and they start the journey to where you’re meant to go. It takes great trust to believe in the smallness of beginnings.”

So here I am. Feeling small and not sure where I’m meant to go, but none the less courageously making my own beginning.

Lots of love, Lauren xxx