Having met and been in touch with so many brilliant people over the past year I’m making a more concerted effort to document some of their tales of life and business and of taking their own path and following their gut to carve out a life that feels right for them.
Stepping on to that path isn’t always easy. Sometimes it can be downright painful. But, as it was in my case, the pain can be the catalyst for better things if you choose to see it that way. I now credit that pain, and one particularly agonising night of pain*, with giving me the kick in the direction I needed to take. I can now, with my hand on my heart, say that it was the best thing to have happened to me.
I definitely held myself back in the past. Waiting for others to recognise my potential. Waiting until everything was ‘perfect’ before I made the move to do something. And then getting frustrated when I felt opportunities had passed me by…
That pain opened me up to recognising my own potential more than I ever had done. I know now that I blocked myself from so much. Not just in work but in life too. There’s a particularly funny story my husband and I often recount from years ago before we had children. We had the opportunity to go to Paris the week before Christmas.. We had family coming for Christmas and that was the reason I turned the trip down because there was no way the house would be ready in time if we went to Paris in amongst it all (and by ready I meant perfect) and who the hell was going to wrap all the presents?!
I chuckle now as I think that was a nuts decision but symptomatic of how I was back then. And symptomatic of how ‘we’ were back then too. The house stuff all fell to me (control freak). The fun stuff to him (fun freak).
This past year has seen a shift in how we’ve lived greater than I could ever have imagined. And when I say ‘lived’ I mean it. Truly lived. The kind of living that can only happen when you allow yourself to live it. No filter. Nobody telling you to live it otherwise but yourself.
The pain that was bursting out of my chest that night while simultaneously being clamped with a vice like grip around my heart was, I know now, life itself trying to find a way.
It had been tapping me on the shoulder for more than two years up to that point. My heart had started to shift in that two years – my sister had had a brain haemorrhage and was in a critical condition for a couple of weeks but she came out of it in the most spectacular way. She is now thriving with her wonderful family.
My world turned on its axis at the time. And when we knew she was going to be better I started to crave life. I started running again. I started writing. And I started to give things up that didn’t serve me any more – slowly, but surely. Perhaps a little too slowly in some instances. My previous job was one of those things.
And I started this site. The Club. And opening myself up more to imperfection. And giving myself permission to purposely ‘wing it.’ Because nobody has it all figured out. But sometimes we control things to pretend that we do.
It took me too long to figure that out.
Today, I give myself a break more than I ever have done. Which in turns allows me to do things and go for things I had previously blocked myself from doing. Me. And me alone.
Because life is for living.
Has the pain disappeared completely now? No. It hasn’t. But when it comes back, I listen to it more intently than I ever did before. And thank it for showing me the way.
This isn’t the post I planned to write. But the words tumbled out and I let them do so. Sometimes they just need to flow.
So this is what this space is all about for me. And the reason that I do this at all.
There is guest content coming I promise. And it will cover tales of Life. Love. Friendships. Work and Play.
Embrace your wings.
*If you’re wondering and hadn’t guessed, the pain that night was the most excruciating form of anxiety and panic attack that I had ever experienced. In fact, I had never experienced it before. Stress? Yes. But not this.
Recognising it, dealing with it and talking about it has helped. And this year with the help of a very special person I’m hoping to help others too. More to come on that x
Image credit: Amber Ibarreche x