I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time. Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome – Brene Brown, Rising Strong
So here I am.
Doing my damnedest to be seen and step right back into the arena. To show up to everyone and put myself back up on the podium (because mumma didn’t raise no loser) to potentially only be kicked back down again. But I’m here nonetheless and that’s enough for me. I certainly hope it’s enough for you as well. But let’s chat about the real story.
The past two years I have been a broken little soul whilst the universe totally stripped me of all my sparkle. Which is a really big deal because I’m all about the sparkle someone has. Intelligence, appearance, sense of humour…these things are all great in their own right, but when it comes to being a proper human being I am a huge believer in whether someone has a certain sparkle or not. A certain level of “Ju Ju” if you will. And I lost mine. I hinted at it here, over a year ago when it all started to fall a part. Like a bad breakup, I thought if I cut my hair and added a few highlights (i.e. rebrand and rename my little baby of a blog which I love so much) that it would magically make my sparkle reappear. I was trying to build myself back up, trying to again show up and be seen when all I wanted to do was hide. It didn’t work. It wasn’t enough to upgrade the fancy facade.
So I kept at it. For two years I’ve been on a complete overhaul of what’s important, why I think it’s of importance, who are the people of importance, and of course, reclaiming my sparkle. It’s been so difficult and completely heartbreaking and I guess you can even tell through the words on the screen my desperation at getting to be back to who I was. For the most part I share so much on the internet and social media, and I don’t mind. I really like it and I like when others do the same. But what exactly happened that was so horrible? I need to keep it to myself and I hope you understand that some things need to be kept a little protected. But that’s not the point of this story and why I even feel compelled to write it all down. The fact that I want to sit and write it all down IS however the reason. I’m coming back to the blog. Back to my joy, and for the first time in a really really long time I think you know what world, F U, girlfriend’s got her sparkle back.
How often we all try to solve problems by doing more of what’s not working—just doing it harder, grinding it out longer. We’ll do anything to avoid the lowest of the low—self-examination. – Brene Brown, Rising Strong
This couldn’t be more me. I really hustled as hard as I could thinking it would push me through the grief and pain and make it all OK. But the past two years has shown me how much work I really had to do. And the work was completely centered around Me. It was easier to blame people who hurt me, to feed off the reactions of others and try to appease people’s concerns by reassuring them that everything was going to be OK. But two years of work on myself has shown how much I had to fall in order to really more forward. I’ve felt completely stuck. The door behind me has definitely closed but I’m in the horrible long corridor you find yourself in at night time where you aren’t quite at the other end to see the light peep through the next door so you don’t stub your toes on anything. I’ve put so much pressure on having it all figured out, knowing my next move, planning every single second of this process to ensure I feel like I’m doing it “properly” and not missing any key things. I’ve broken down. And I mean reaaalllly broken down, like Kim Kardashian ugly-crying-face broken down. I’ve done it with family and friends, out at restaurants, in bars, on the beach. You name the place and I’ve made a complete mess of my face in front of strangers I guarantee you. And over these past few years I was worried about it. It was truely a concern of mine how people would perceive me, or how I would answer a question that I didn’t even know someone was going to ask. I just wanted to have it sorted. All of it.
It was only when, during one such ugly crying discussion with my mum on the phone one night, when I was laying on my bedroom floor with my legs in the air because I seem to feel this floor position is the safest when I literally can’t breathe through my ugly tears, that I expressed how lost I was and how I didn’t know where I was going next that my mum replied “But Darling, don’t worry about that”.
I haven’t been creating much, or truely writing down the things that bring me joy. Which is really difficult when your release is being creative and making something, just anything, to get it all out. But I have definitely turned a corner of late and I feel I wanted to write it down. Make it known to the world, because hell, it was known to everyone how hard a time it has been of late which brings me to this. Why do we always do that? We forever hold the day that it all fell a part as the most important part of our story, instead of celebrating the time when it all finally started to come good?
And it was only when I then made the effort to shoot some photos, made the effort to turn up to my computer to write, using what my mum had said to me and turned it into a donut pun blog post title which I was incredibly happy about, that it finally hit me….after so long, coming back to the place that I am happiest, I realised that I think I finally had my sparkle back 😉
(To readers of new or old, thank you for sticking around, for scrolling to the bottom, and for being a soundboard for so many years. It’s so lovely to have you here. All the love heart eyes)