As most of you know this is a blog about my own personal journey. I wanted to share with you my most recent thought. I met up with an old friend from back home whilst in New Zealand. This friend has had a difficult road and her transformation has come from some hard lessons.
For privacy reasons I will refer to her as Jane don’t worry she’s not a Jane Doe (she’s very much alive and kicking) I feel very protective of her as I am putting our private conversation in the public domain.
It had been over five years since I last saw Jane, catching up with an old friend whilst on the road gave me feeling that I just cannot describe. Someone who already knows where you come from, your family dynamics and where you’ve been, there’s no need for an introduction or explanation. The joy of that warm hug, as the embrace is about to break there’s an extra little squeeze almost saying, “it’s so good to see you.” The feeling is Love.
As Jane and I sat looking at one another, we realised that we looked exactly how we remembered although five years had passed, and our waistlines had grown, grey hairs had appeared and there are more “laughter lines”. Like us our friendship had aged but our ability to sit and converse with ease had not been affected by our time apart.
We began with the information we had missed out on, two children, a divorce and a funeral, this was beginning to sound like a plot for a Hollywood blockbuster, a rom-com with Hugh Grant alongside terrible sound track.
As conversation flowed, the information was exchanged, and it became evident that we had both been through pain but in the end, this had helped us grow, to transform.
Jane told me of her troubles and the moment when she knew things had to change. Jane said “Amy, I was at home one day and I thought, why I am unhappy? I have a husband, children, a beautiful home and we are financially comfortable. This is everything I have ever wanted and it’s mine so why am I unhappy? Jane knew that the husband was not the man for her. Can you guess what my first thought was?
How brave Jane was. How brave of my friend to acknowledge that there was a problem.
How brave Jane was to go through the process of heartbreak, change and divorce.
The difficulties she must have faced when going through this transformation.
How brave she had been to face the hash realities, to take it on, to tackle it, to collide with the criticism, people once considered friends telling her that she was breaking the family up, questioning her abilities as a wife, blaming her for the marriage breakdown, those ignorant ridiculous people telling her that all that matters is the happiness of her children, clearly not understanding that children cannot be happy if their Mother or Father are miserable.
I see my brave friend, taking her life back and saying, “I’m not happy and what am I going to do about”, I tell her how brave I think she is and she brushed my compliment off as quickly I had given it and suddenly I realised I had done the same with people who told me that I was brave. Why had I not allowed myself to take the same compliment? This got me thinking about how I talk to myself. Now don’t pretend, we all talk to ourselves!
That inner voice that criticise, questioning our abilities and faith in ourselves when we are in need reassurance. There’s no in-between the voice either chips away or bellows.
I would never speak to a friend the way I speak to myself, why is that? I say this as if there is an answer, but I don’t think there is, in psychology there are only theories.
So, I have decided to be rebellious, I am going to put my big girly pants on and start being kinder to myself, show myself tolerance and even a little love.
I shall not berate myself in front of the mirror, I shall not daydream about being a size ten, I shall not say “oh if only” or “I wish” instead I shall say replace the negative with a positive and why the hell not! I like my hair! I am brave for travelling worldwide and you know something, I worked hard for this and I deserve this.
It was on this day, sat outside a well-known coffee shop with my brave friend that I decided I am going to be kinder to myself, I am going to compliment myself and say YES, I am brave, and this adventure is mine for the taking. I am a strong person, I take charge of my life, I don’t know where it will lead me but in the words of David Bowie “I don’t know where I am going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”
If any of this resonates with you then I want to reassure you that YOU are brave, you may not know it, but I promise you, you are. We all waver from time to time but if something or someone costs you your happiness it will never be worth it because after all happiness is priceless.
I’ll leave you with this quote from A.A Milne (the author of Winnie the Pooh) “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”
Love Amy x
P.S Piglet is my favourite 😊