It’s been an unbelievable year. I’m not the same person leaving as I was that came into this year. At the beginning of the year I have to admit I felt a little hopeless, broken and unfixable.
But I am a person who doesn’t know how to quit.
That’s good and bad at times. Sometimes it’s really really good, especially when it’s my fuel, keeps me going, looking for a way and I typically find it, because you can’t beat someone who doesn’t know how to quit.
But sometimes it’s bad, because I don’t know when to give up… when to walk away… when to stand up for myself… sometimes it’s not that there isn’t a way, but it’s at what cost will it come? What cost to who you are? What cost to your life? What cost to your soul?
For 2015, I learned to walk away… I’m still mastering the art, but I’m proud of the first steps I took. I’m proud that I learned to keep my cards a little closer to my chest and not share everything, as a way to be accepted, to fit in, to have something to add. I learned to speak up for myself and stop letting people walk over me – this one will continue to require practise… I allow myself to get confused with “being polite” and “being a doormat” – they are very different, as I’ve come to understand. Being quite and letting it go, aren’t always the right answers. I will continue to practise this into the coming year, with grace, not anger as I stand up for myself and what I deserve and especially how I don’t deserve to be treated, by ANYONE.
As we dug into 2015 I felt on a roller coaster. One minute feeling really really great and the next like I weighed 1000lbs. This is where the no quitting came in handy and I believed there was a solution and I went until I found it.
At times I didn’t think I could feel worse. But I was wrong. As I fell into a dark depression, not caring about anything – animals, my favourite charities and the causes I had once so boldly championed, fitness, working out, or even my business, my home. Days would go by without showering. I went through the motions a lot. Not completely giving up on the outside, but feeling completely dead on the inside.
And I’m so grateful for that. Because you truly cannot appreciate the light until you have seen the darkness. My life hasn’t always been easy but I let most of it roll off my back without experiencing it. Some of the things I’ve experienced have been very very painful, very emotional. But I had no emotions about them. I felt nothing.
In 2015, I learned to feel. I learned to experience emotions, all of them… sadness, happiness, excitement, possibility, magic, anger, rage, desperation, loneliness, pity (self mostly). Up until 2015 I think I operated in one gear – full tilt. It wasn’t intentional… it was the only coping skill I had that would allow me to avoid feeling, anything.
In the early and mid part of the year I was so desperately searching for the woman I had lost… the girl I used to be… the one who didn’t give a fuck about anything, the one who couldn’t be hurt, the one who succeeded, always. Where was she? I wanted her back. I didn’t like the messy version of me… the one who could barely hold it together, wearing PJ’s to meditation group, the one who seemed overcome by emotions of all sorts. I didn’t know this girl and she frightened me, mostly. Would I ever be ok again?
As 2015 started to wind down, I began to balance out, I talked about how I had been feeling. I told people I wasn’t ok. In a few cases I had the reaction of “oh, still?” or “just think positive” but instead of letting that push me further behind, I finally told someone who understood that I didn’t need to be coached, that I didn’t need to think positive, that I just needed to feel it. I needed a hand to hold, I needed a shoulder to cry on, for once in my life, I didn’t want to be the strong one. Glossing it over was what had gotten me where I was…. feeling it all was exactly what I needed to do. I have no ill feelings to the ones who didn’t see that… for I realize that I didn’t even know what I needed and people weren’t used to seeing me that way.
I am forever grateful for those who were there, because without them I’m not sure that I would have been able to get up.
I spent my life as an island, I was strong, determined, fierce but from a fuck the world place… I don’t need anyone and no one can hurt me. 2015 taught me that not everyone will let you down, that there truly are some people in your world who can see past the tough exteriors, the walls and who are there for you, who will stand by you, no matter how long it takes you to get on your feet again.
When my knees hit the floor and I was overwhelmed with emotion I didn’t think I’d ever get up again. Who is this mess? Why can’t I push myself? I could always push myself, I could always rely on myself to get back up… not this time.
And I realize now it was my most valuable lesson in 2015… I am not meant to do this alone. I am not an island. Not everyone will hurt you. And it’s perfectly normal to feel things… to experience them through emotion and let them go. That was new to me as I learned to shut down anything and everything that I didn’t want to experience. I learned that it’s ok to trust people and to ask for help, it’s not a sign of weakness. It is the most epic sign of strength, when we can reach out, despite the hurt we’ve experienced, despite all the let downs we’ve had, despite the darkness, the hopelessness, the pain…it’s courage and it’s strength…
I’m tired of fighting to keep me in and people out.
As I close 2015, I lay the sword down and I open myself up to living fully, present in every moment, living fully in life and love.
Will I get hurt? I’m sure I will. I realize now it’s part of the journey.
And really, at 35, I believe my life is just starting… it’s like a whole new world of possibility and I’m excited about it all! For the first time ever, I truly have no idea where the next year will take me, but I’m excited to live it, for the first time, as my authentic self.
I AM Courage
I AM Faith
I AM Love
I AM A #WILDSOULEDWOMAN
PS… you’re not alone, if it’s the darkest time of your life, take it from me… the dark night of the soul will end. And if you need a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold, I’m here.
PPS… if you’re working on “finding yourself” or have “found yourself” and want a tribe of Wild Souled Women – come join my Facebook Group – where we support each other and give each other the space to be our authentic selves… Facebook Group.