Happy NEW year, happy NEW DECADE.
I guess we all have parts of the last decade we wish to forget, wish never happened. We are human. It is natural. What is important however is to not keep reliving, replaying the parts of life that hurt us most. The guilt trips, the mistakes, the disappointments. It leaves us in a negative mindset but also it leaves us unmotivated when it comes to moving forward. We can't change the past, but we do have control over our present and our future. There is no perfect time. There is no point sitting on ideas, because if we don't act - someone else will. This to me is a frightening thought. When it comes to decisions it is the worst. Often, I lose so many hours, days, weeks and even months going over and over the same decision. Over-thinking. Worrying. When I break it down, which often I find difficult to do. I really have made a mountain out of a something so small. WHY? Because I am paranoid of making the wrong move. Messing things up. How can I possibly take on anymore, is what I think to myself. I am already heavily overwhelmed. Even throwing a little complication into the mix could really throw me off completely. I am trying to go with the flow a little more. What is helping is realising how short life is, how nothing is guaranteed, all we have is now. I often feel like I have lost a few years in a head-spin allowing health to cage me in. BOY, I used to hibernate in my house. Only see one person twice a week. Who understood because BOY I didn't know how to explain to the world. I didn't know how to be anyone other than the SWIMMER Sophie I was known as. Who was I ? I had no clue. I spiralled more than people may have realised. I didn't want to fight, I didn't want life anymore. Not because of the pain health wise. That was bothering me ( don't get me wrong ) but I couldn't handle the person I had lost and I didn't understand the person I was becoming. When I did start trying to come to terms with myself and as we all know we can't hide forever, we have to do SOMETHING in our lives. People were shocked to see me and also began questioning, who the hell I was? If there is something I have learnt it is that it isn't the hardest part YOU knowing you are losing yourself it is when OTHERS comment that you aren't the person you once were. Because then you can't even be a god actress! People fall away. Being poorly isn't cool. It isn't normal.
Yes I had to face the world, but I didn't half push myself out of my comfort zone. Attending more events than I needed too. I could have skipped them but I chose to 'face the music.' The times I would cry and feel completely alone. Unable to voice my feelings to anyone because I couldn't explain them myself. I didn't let on how much hurt I had inside me. The brave face was always painted on when the door would shut behind me. I faced the room and would find a corner. Being present, but embarrassed by the person I was. Hoping nobody would find me nestled in a dark corner.
It was a slow process, but as time went on. I had to do lots of fear facing, self-discovery, and rewiring my ideals. We are all so programmed to see what we see on social media and the media as the way we all need to look, live our lives and as gospel. If you don't fit the mould your aren't worthy. YOUR SELF-WORTH IS NOT DEPENDENT ON THIS. I learnt the long, slow and painful way. Before becoming poorly I thought that being 'beautiful.' , 'being rich' was the key, but they aren't a free pass or EVERYTHING. You need you need to be a GOOD PERSON. Inner beauty is far more important and never fades. I had to keep faith in my inner beauty. I built up the courage to keep appearing, hoping people would still see Sophie, the real Sophie who deep down had never left. Swimming was just one part of my life. I had more to offer the world I just had to take the leap and start learning.
I began to shutting off the past. I couldn't bare re-living it, thinking about over and over, what went wrong? What did / didn't do? It was serving NO purpose, just making my life hell. People couldn't understand why I didn't want anything to do with the sport that was such a massive part of me. But that is life.. you aren't on one track for the WHOLE of your life. It wasn't a weakness to try a number of things, go out exploring and reinventing yourself like I had previously thought. It was a massive strength. It was a massive learning curb for me.
I was speaking to my friend Shannon at brunch over New Year's. I said I can't wait to wear clothes - I really want to wear and not be worried about covering up, through shame and not liking what I look like. Long skirts, long dresses, long sleeves. Shannon just looked at me and said, 'But that's your look, you always look classy and put together.' That meant a lot to me. As of course fashion and clothes do mean a lot to me. I have ( LIKE MY LIFE ) had to make these aspects work around my limitations, hang up's and issues. Maybe I should be proud of being able to do this. It was all a part of my choice to re-invent myself because BOY, I couldn't let another minute pass with zero action.
Was this the life I planned? No!
Has it been easy? HELL NO.
Is it still a working progress? YES EVERY HOUR OF EVERYDAY!
Am I committed to the hard work, effort and time needed? YES. I work around the clock. It never ends but I have a stubborn heart that doesn't give up.
My outer shell may not be ideal. My life may have been derailed but it doesn't change my DNA. I have to work with being perfectly imperfect. Everyone has their insecurites, their problems and struggles. Life is a challenege. It is hard and NO you can't walk into your local Waterstones and pick up the HOW TO GUIDE. With all the answers on how to create the perfect life, master all the finer details and essentially win. There isn't any quick fixes. You have to be dedicated to the fight, to the journey, like a friendship it needs support, loyalty and for you to be reliable. SHOW UP every day with no excuses.
We can relfect over the past 10 years, focus on what we have learnt and what we can take moving forward but ulimately we have to move forward not back. We have to see this new chapter, new year as a time to stop searching for answers, the sun to shine and a magic pill and actually begin taking actions ourselves. We are the textbook, we write our own stories, have the answer to our questions and YES there is lots we can't control but there is also so much we CAN control and that is what we need to be focused on.
My 3 words for 2020: Growth, Development, Success
3 things to focus on: Self-love, kindness & helping others.
What will 2020 be filled with MEMORIES.
Happy New YEAR to ALL. Let's add the sparkle, don't forget to shine bright.