≫ How did I get here ?
Sometimes I wonder whether what I am currently facing was sent to me a huge wake up call, as if this was the universes way of forcing me to re-assess my life. There have been so many signs over the years that I need to re-look at my life, and I ignored all of them. I’d think; I’ll get to it at some point, I just need to do this for a while to get there, I’ll save some money and then I could do that thing. In reality, I was putting all of it off because I was scared. Scared of failure, not being good enough, what people would think, and as time went on it got harder and I got comfortable in the life I had made for myself. But I wasn’t happy, and so internally I was breaking down, and so commenced years of anxiety and digestive problem, and now the big C!
At school, I wore a rose quartz round my neck everyday, I burnt incense in my bedroom, collected dreamcatchers and cleansed crystals on my bedroom window sill under a full moon. I spent my time reading books on alternative therapies (pre-internet days…when we learnt from books not google!) and collected white feathers that fell at my feet (which I still do to this day). I guess what I’m getting at is that this world of health, wellness and mindfulness was always a part of my life, and at that point in time I thought it always would be.
As I grew older, moved to a new city, got new friends, a new life, I lost myself a little bit. I didn’t know how to fit myself into this new world so I became something that I wasn’t, and compromised the way I wanted to be to. I never totally moved away from that way of thinking, and it certainly shaped who I was, but I look back now and I’m sad for myself. I’m sad that I never just allowed myself to just be who I truly knew I was without worrying that it wasn’t enough or even too much. Now as I sit and reflect on the path I might have taken had I allowed myself to just be, I wonder how things might have been different for me.
I had always known what I wanted to do with my life, ever since I was a little girl. I knew who I was, I was confident, and I believed in myself. I had no doubt I would be successful. Then I went on to spend my adult life doubting myself. My confidence waned over the last 15 years and I started to feel like maybe I wasn’t capable and wasn’t good enough. I’ve had ups and downs, worked for some horrendous people and been in some VERY questionable relationships (all character building obviously!) and all of these situations went on way to long because I was no longer in touch with myself, and I wasn’t allowing myself to be who I wanted to be. I was choosing these paths for the money, the status, or just because it was easy and comfortable rather than being true myself and following the path I knew would make me happy.
So I went from OK job to OK job, when I always knew I could do better, and the same with my relationships. I would tear myself up inside because I didn’t know how to get out of these situations, or whether I was even worthy of getting out of them, but my confident, determined teenage self would be fighting against it, and this yin and yang fight often turned explosive inside me.
Then, a year ago the job that I detested, that made feel dreadful about myself on a daily basis, made me redundant….finally a sign that I actually listened to! From that moment on I decided that I wasn’t getting myself into another situation selling my soul to people that didn’t appreciate it, for a job I didn’t like. I knew deep down that I was worth more than that.
I started putting plans in motion to get myself out of this cycle I was in, and do something I really cared about. I started getting back in touch with my dreams…albeit cautiously…but then as if by some sort of horrible coincidence the c-bomb exploded in my life at just that time. Instantly that was the kick up the ass I needed to finally wake up, and make instant changes. All of a sudden I was cast right back to find comfort in alternative therapies and treatments, picking up whether I left off all them years ago, and instantly the stress and anxiety that I have lived with for the last decade began to subside and I felt awake.
Facing a death sentence makes you reflect on your life, you ask why me, how did this happen, I have so much to live for, but also for me I started thinking, why not me? Have I really lived this life the way I was supposed to? I’m sat now thinking about my 16 year old self, a dreamer with her whole life ahead of her, excited for the life that she was sure she was going to have, full of passion and excited about the future, and I realise I haven’t done her justice. I pretended those dreams weren’t important to me anymore to get by, and now all these years later although I have achieved a lot, I haven’t achieved half the things I set out to do.
My dreams are still the same now as there were then, and I’m not sure how many people can say that, and honestly I miss a lot of my former self, my true self. She was better than me in so many ways, and I have no doubt that she would have taken me where I was supposed to go had I let her. So now there is no time or need for caution, all there is to do is focus on making my dreams come true and living the life I always dreamt off, in the time I have left whatever that might be. Not for any financial gain, or because it will help me buy a house, or a bigger car or give me a fancy job title to put on my linkedin profile, but because its my passion and it brings me true happiness.
I am beyond grateful for this time of reflection. If this hadn’t happened I don’t know how much longer I would have gone on in the same way, thinking I always had time to fix it. It is such a cliché but life really is too short, and we really don’t know what is just around the corner, so do what you want, do what makes you happy. Live without fear or worry about what might be, about what everyone might think, because there is one thing I can be sure of, it is not an option to leave this glorious world without achieving those dreams, for my 16yr old self’s sake…she deserves happiness.