Today Facebook reminded me of a jigsaw I completed three years ago. That simple image reminded me how very far I have come since my world imploded in August 2018. Three years ago I was alone, packing up my belongings to put in storage, after selling my home and planning my complete relocation. Utterly bereft doesn’t even begin to explain how I felt.
During the next nine months I retrained as a Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist, moved countless times as I sofa surfed, lived out of my car, and stayed in a long term B n B. I had few responsibilities except to myself and it was summer which made it easier.
In October 2019 I finally moved into my brand new home, which I absolutely love and I now feel so settled in. After a tough winter of bronchitis, chest infections and pleurisy, Covid arrived in 2020 and we were all shut away for two years from everything and everyone which made all our lives better. It’s been tough and the consequences for so many are only coming to the fore now.
I had no choice but to lean into, and work through the grief. It was painful and necessary, and being both a Covid volunteer in 2020 and making my new tiny garden from scratch in 2021 was part of this process and aided the recovery from all that had happened. Every day last March and April I did a little bit outside, and now it’s looking good and the wildlife numbers have increased hugely. The bulbs I planted last autumn and showing their new beginnings and all is well. I call the new hedge the Captain Sir Tom Moore hedge, in memory of a wonderful man and his incredible ‘can do’ attitude.
Three and a half years on from one of the biggest life-shocks ever, I’m so happy in my new hometown, and after seven years as an artist, I have a major solo art exhibition coming up in May, combining two of my passions art and psychology. I run a successful B and B, and I love my therapy work. I can honestly say I now have a happy and fulfilled social life too, with days out and about to the coast and so very much more.
I’m a million miles from where I was three years ago, and I’m so grateful and I can’t stress the importance of both recognising and acknowledging it. It’s taken a lot of strength, endurance, personal development, courage, understanding, acceptance and tears to get to where I am now, but it’s been worth it. I’ve had some wonderful help from my amazing friends, both old and new, and family support too, you all know who you are. Saying thank you will never quite be enough, but I know you’re all glad to see me flourishing, with a smile on my face, and a renewed sense of purpose.
Tough times are just that, tough, and yet we always learn something from them, about ourselves, about life, and sometimes even how to do things differently. The picture with this post is of this month’s jigsaw, not the picture from three years ago. I’ve learned to be so much more present in the present. I’ve accepted that it’s NOW that matters most, especially knowing how life can change beyond all expectations in a millisecond. The past, is just that, the past and it is sometimes reviewed, but only in a light hearted way and always with love and laughs. The future is too far away.
If the last two years have taught us anything it’s to let go of the so many things we can’t control and make the most of both who and what we have, and especially ourselves.
Every single journey starts with one tiny step, and I hope if you’re reading this and your life feels overwhelming right now that you will choose to pause, take a deep breath and please just know that your life won’t always be like this, whatever is going on. Trust me, I so know this. I walked this rocky uphill path into my new life and on some of those long gone days I simply one foot in front of the other, and on occasions reversed. It’s so worth it because the view from the top is just marvellous.