Joy in Bloom
At the beginning of the year if you asked me to describe my life I would have probably said "unsettled" and "unfulfilling". The life I was living was emotionally unsustainable. Not because I was burning the candle at both ends or because I had an unhealthy vice. It was unsustainable because of the sacrifices I was making to fulfil the expectations I had put on myself.
I have always weighed my value on two things: a) my career (more on work satisfaction another day), and b) being in a relationship. I separated from my ex husband at the age of 28 and was divorced by 31. Since then, I was trying to fill the gap in my life and not necessarily with the right substance.
I wanted to use humour to write about my experiences and don't get me wrong, I have some comical stories to tell you but healing is messy. Joy in Bloom was created by myself in April 2023, with a little help from my friends of course. My purpose is to share tried and tested steps I took to start healing and to be more content in life, while giving you a realistic account without the false toxic positivity.
New Year's Eve 2023, now 34 years old, standing at my bedroom window watching fireworks with the man I adored, I thought finally the gap was going to be filled. Despite the man I was with being comparable to a natural disaster, a tsunami destroying anything in his path.
This man who I thought was going to make me whole, had actually caused me great stress with his drama for a number of years. To the point of me developing severe anxiety. I thought if I could just be patient and understanding, get him to see me for all my fantastic qualities, then he would commit and we could be happy.
Side note, there are plenty of people in my life who have seen me at rock bottom, heaving crying, sat under a desk and they all still love me. So, if someone can't see your worth on your good days, they were NEVER going to see your worth in the first place.
I'm not a fan of New Years resolutions and a friend told me about picking a "'word of the year", more of a theme rather than a resolution. Immediately, the word "'peace" came to mind.
When I thought about what I actually needed, peace, I knew I would never achieve this while he was in my life. I don't want to decimate the good parts because there were happy times, I have stunning memories. But these moments were ephemeral. And he had issues. Deep rooted issues. All pertaining to commitment. None of which were being addressed. And I was collateral damage.
My gut was correct and two weeks later, with a "see you soon" at my front gate and me thinking I would in fact, see him soon; he disappeared into thin air, leaving me grief stricken and confused, and I never saw him again.
This is what I wanted, was it not? I'd told myself a thousand times that he was never going to put effort into the relationship or see the woman in front of him. His departure was a good thing. I had been settling for less than bare minimum. No more anxiety, no more trying desperately to prove my worth, no more being ignored, no more worrying about him sleeping with other women because he would never call me his girlfriend, no more worrying about when he was going to leave me.
So why, when this man I knew was bad news unceremoniously left me, did the gaping hole in my heart suddenly feel immeasurable, unable to ever be whole again.
The reason being, I had the unrealistic expectation that a relationship was going to heal me. However, there was never a scenario where a relationship, and certainly not this one, was going to do that.
So, back to the theme of 2023... "Peace".
I've spent my life so far trying to be perfect; have the perfect career, have the perfect house, trying to keep everyone happy, to always be liked, to be the perfect wife, the perfect girlfriend. But none of my efforts guaranteed me love and it didn't bring me happiness or fulfilment. Something had to change.
This is the year I choose, me. This year I am addressing my people pleasing habits, working through my issues and I am going to achieve self love. This year is the year I will have peace.