Last year I experienced my life changing in a way I never imagined. I separated from the man I married and had spent six years of my life with.
Whilst dealing with the sadness and sense of loss as a result of our separation, I wondered daily how I would cope without the support and love I had grown to rely on. How would I be strong enough without the person who gave me the strength to face the storms?
I tore myself apart asking how would I have the courage to take on life in the way I wanted to, without the man I had relied on to be there for me and catch me if I fell?
The thing is I had to learn. I had to teach myself how to find that love and support from other sources. Other people like my family and friends, sure. But mostly, I learnt to find it from myself and be my own rock.
Ever since I was a child I remember knowing what it meant to be a strong person. I admired and respected those around me who were strong, who had survived life’s curve balls and kept moving forward. I wanted to grow up to be like that.
That’s what draws me to the adventure and endurance challenges I set myself. They are my opportunity to go out into the world and develop my inner strength to be a warrior in life. By warrior, I do not mean someone who fights, but someone who is a fighter when life requires it from us.
I do not have this dialled down. Of course there are days when I crumble and don’t feel I’ve got the strength to do this on my own. On those days, I turn to those closest to me for support.
Yet, finding a way to stand tall on my own, was the only option I gave myself. I genuinely feel that learning how to give myself the space and support, and love and kindness to figure out how to be my own rock, is the achievement I am most proud of.
Where does your love go?
It recently dawned on me that I had been so caught up dealing with living without his love, that I forgot to think about where all my love for him has gone.
What do you do with your love when you love someone so deeply, but they are no longer in your life to receive it? All of that love has to go somewhere, so where has mine gone?
I think a lot about change and how to create meaningful change. After we split up, I moved back to London (we had been living together in Chamonix). I looked at every area of my life where I felt there was work to do and threw myself into it. There were a lot of areas! I had no financial security or plans for the future and I had lost a great deal of purpose and meaning to my life.
Strangely at the same time as my marriage and my heart were breaking, I felt myself stepping into a new zone, almost as if I had woken up and was looking at the world awake for the first time in years. I found out I had a huge amount I wanted to face, so that I could learn, change and grow.
Pick your battles
One by one, I addressed all the areas of my life I wanted to change and when progress was being made with one, I moved onto the next. Kind of like spinning lots of plates at the same time and hoping that eventually some will produce the goods.
Since the start of 2017, I’ve felt a lightness that I cherish every single day.
Now that the storm is a safe distance away from me, I can appreciate that what I learnt from it will serve me for the rest of my life. I have a renewed and strengthened sense of purpose and I have learnt how to be kind, loving and nurturing to myself.
I don’t have the future all figured out, but I feel stronger and more confident in who I am than ever before. As for my love, I have directed it towards everyone and everything that’s important to me.