So the end of the year is coming to a close, and I always find this is a time where I reflect a lot on the positives and negatives that have happened throughout the year. And the hopes, goals and anticipated adventures I will have over the next year.
The end of last year I’d flown back to Dublin, suddenly knowing that my husband left me out of the blue and I was going to be alone, in a city we planned on moving too together. I’d started that painful time of having to convince friends and family that yes, my husband really had left me, and no he wasn’t going to suddenly change his mind. I knew him, when he set his mind to something that was it. Regardless of whether this was the right decision or not.
There were a lot of low moments I felt during the year. I lost half of my family overnight (as typically happens during a divorce). Had to watch as the man who’d been my world disappeared over night, and then promptly moved another woman’s things into my home in London (whilst simultaneously seeing him lie about it). Looking back now, I’m surprised I didn’t have a breakdown at the beginning of the year to be honest. I came exceptionally close 3 times and the last of those moments terrified me, to the point I decided to take a year out from what was my life. In the hopes that I would heal myself. I’d like to point out this wasn’t to ‘get over my ex’. This is something that always rankles me, people assume I wasn’t over him. The thing I hadn’t come to terms with was that I’d spent the last 9 years of my life pursuing a white picket fenced dream that didn’t make me happy. And in the process, I’d completely lost myself.
There were some exceptionally positive moments during this year though where I gained more than I could have expected, or thought I deserved…
I realized what it’s like to have a family to support you no matter what. Got to know my sister on a completely different basis and finally understood what people say, when they say they couldn’t imagine life without her. Experienced my mother’s unfaltering support, to the level that in her mid- 70’s helped me pack up my life in Dublin, after I decided to take a year out of a high- pressured career.
Began to overcome my obsessive compulsive eating disorder and lost about 7 stone (which is about 98 pounds or 44.5kg). Started to write again, which has helped me to slowly find new ways to express my emotions (rather than eating through them). Took on my first outdoor challenge and travelled over 250k across Costa Rica coast to coast. Fell in love with walking, which has lead me to walk 1,000 miles on the Camino (raising ~€900 for Syrian refugees on the way).
I felt unexpected real friendship, when someone says ‘We’re not picking a side, I love you both’. Had endless visits, drinks and ears who listened unjudging. Had the joyful sparks of new friendships blossom and grow in Dublin, and then again with the walkers I meet on my Camino across Europe. And was completely blown away when one friend dropped everything to help me pack up my home in London (after, yes, you’ve guess, my minds 3rd attempt at having a nervous breakdown).
The bitter sweet edge at the end of year was falling in love again. But having to swallow the bitter pill when I realised I still hadn’t spent enough time alone, to know who I am, or at least not enough to be in a relationship again (without losing myself completely). But I’m trying to learn to be patient with myself on this. But patience has never been my strong suit!
And my hopes, goals and adventures for next year? Well, I’m hoping to kick my eating disorder permanently in the butt! Finish writing my first book (hopefully), or at least making a good start on it whilst lying on a sunny exotic beach. Walking 1,000 miles across Europe didn’t sate my love of walking, so I’ll be heading out on the Appalachian trail (2,200 miles) going from South to North USA. Then I’m hoping to head home to Dublin!
I hope you all have a wonderful end to your 2017 and all your dreams and wishes come true for 2018. See you in the new year!!