Stumbling My Way Through Life One Glass of Wine at a Time

Stumbling My Way Through Life One Glass of Wine at a Time

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Journey to Self-Love

It's a stormy Sunday morning. I'm snuggled up under the blankets with a black coffee in my hand - trying to figure out how to get back into this blogging thing.
Truthfully, I don't really know where I want to take it. What is this blog, really? Lifestyle? 
What do I want to focus on? Books? Recipes? Matters of the heart? Travel?
It seems I'll be having a lot of travel coming up this year as I've just accepted a job offer on a yacht (yip, I did it!). I have mixed emotions. On the one hand I know this is finally me making a wise decision to become independent and get back on my feet without relying on anyone else or putting someone else before me. On the other hand, I know there is someone I want to put before everything else. However, if it's meant to be, it will find a way. It's an 8 month contract. Not long at all in the big grand scheme of things. I'm trying to have faith. I'm trying to be positive. 
It all feels very surreal. My whole life I've given up everything for relationships - so this feels daunting and unfamiliar. But I think it's going to help me grow so much as a person and maybe pave my way to really discovering self-love. 

I've read two books on self-love this month so far. 
I've made a promise to myself to really put a focus on that now... to not get blinded again.
Self-love and acceptance is something I NEED to learn. You can't have happy relationships with others and believe they love you if you can't love yourself. It's one of the many reasons my relationships have always failed. My insecurities destroy so much. So it is time to finally put the work in and heal my deep-rooted problems. No, I can't change the past... but I can change right now and that is exactly what I am going to do. 

The  two books I've read so far this year on self-love are: 
Jonathan Van Ness's, 'Over The Top: A Raw Journey to Self Love.' 
'Queer Eye: Love Yourself. Love Your Life.' 

Jonathan Van Ness's book I listened to on Audible. I'd lace up my running shoes and plug in my headphones and while on my 5k morning runs (thanks C25K!), Over The Top made me break down in tears!!!
The quotes, lessons and advice I took away from that book are endless.

I always go into memoirs quite hesitantly, afraid it will be a boastful tedious book to read or something so heartbreaking that it destroys me.. or get so personal into the persons life like Brene's Brown BRAVING THE WILDERNESS. I didn't connect with that book because I haven't read any of her other books or watched her on telly so Braving The Wilderness was hard for me because I had no real reason to want to know these stories from her childhood (this is not to say Braving The Wilderness isn't good!! Not at all. I haven't finished it yet because I feel like I need to go read some of her other books first and establish a bond first! So no hating. I promise.) - but I knew I had to get my hands on Jonathan Van Ness's book as a huge fan of The Fab 5 and the show, Queer Eye (I'm busy watching the latest season on Netflix right now and MY GOSH the tears and joy this show brings me!!!!!).

JVN is so eccentric, quirky and fun - I knew his book would be too. I knew I'd have delightful moments of laughter as he recounts his deliciously devious tales... what I didn't expect was quite so much raw emotion that spoke right to my soul.
This book could NOT have come at a better time in my life. I needed it and I know I will read it again and again and again. It's the kind of book you'll take something new away from it every time you pick it up.

I have been reviewing books for years for publishers and authors personally so I like to think I know what I'm talking about when I say a book is well written. Well, my darling friends, JVN really surprised me here with how beautifully written OVER THE TOP is. It flowed so nicely and the entire way through I truly felt like a friend was speaking to me. I cannot fault this book at all.

I'm at a place in my life where I have no idea where I'm going or how to make something of myself... at almost 30. I'm scared. But this book was so inspiring. Hearing where he came from to where he is today. Listening to him talking about all of his hardships and the stunning messages he learnt from what he's been through. It's perfection. I loved it.
I loved it so much I want to start it from the beginning all over again.

Read it. Now. 


Then I read Queer Eye and having just finished Jonathan Van Ness's book, Over The Top, and being a huge fan of the show Queer Eye.. I had to make time for this book in my life. I wasn't really sure what to expect from it, really.

I mean, is it ground-breaking? Earth shattering? Did it shed light on finally learning how to love myself? No.

I've been trying to figure out self-love, respect and acceptance for so long now. I'm stumbling my way through life making an absolute fool of myself more often than not. I try reading books by Eckhart Tolle and meditate, do yoga, light candles... you name it, I've tried it.
It's harder than it seems when you have the kind of insecurities and emotional damage someone like me has.
So for someone at my level, this book, while being absolutely lovely, just wasn't as uplifting as I was hoping for.
The fab 5 take you through their different areas of expertise. From beauty, fashion, emotions, food.. they guide you into how to becoming a better you while emphasizing the fact that you need to embrace yourself and not try to be someone your not. It's filled with little tips and tricks to make life a little easier for you.
It's a book you'll appreciate if you watch the show... if you know the boys.


I'm not sure what self-help book I'll pick up next... there are so many on my radar.
I like to think the right one will fall into my lap at the right time. 
I'll let you know.

Until next time... 
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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Blog About Breakups and Being Single

It happened a week ago... the breakup.
For days I have been wallowing in self-pity. Finding it the hardest thing in the world to get up out of bed. I could barely see through my tears every time I did manage to lace up my trainers and go for a run. Sweat it out. Try to get those endorphins flowing.
Pouring glass after glass of wine to numb the pain inside, but it hurts. So much. I have no idea what I'm doing.
The truth is, I've given up EVERYTHING for men my entire life.... while still somehow managing to be the most selfish, insecure person you could ever come across. I don't even know how that works!! What I do know is, I need to do some serious work on myself now. Learn to love myself, enjoy my own company. Become independent... and stop this crazy obsession I have with love.

So for what feels like the very first time, I've started to make plans where I don't have to consider someone else or put them first. That first step wasn't easy. Hell no. Cracking open my laptop and putting my CV out there again was scary... because it feels like the start of a very new, uncertain chapter that I don't know if I want. I want to be here, in Knysna, with him. But to put it bluntly, I stuffed that up royally. I don't get that now. I get to be alone and grow the fuck up. I should thank him for this really... it's going to be the most challenging thing I've ever done but I guess it needs to be.
I'm not applying for jobs in Knysna anymore. Some people can make it work here. Some people want to make it work here. But for me... I have nothing here really. I barely see my family, who are toxic as it is. I have no car, literally enough money in my bank account to afford one meal IF that.
I'm staying in a tiny flat of my own for about a week now. I moved in yesterday. I have no idea what I'll do or where I'll go after this seven day stint in my own place. All I know is I couldn't stay at home. My mother went to rehab a few months back and now she's back home and causing as much pain and destruction to everyone she possibly can... so I can't stay in that house. Not while I'm going through this amount of turmoil and agony. It's impossible to grow and process everything that's happening with that going on.
So this little flat is my safe haven for now. It's quiet, safe, on the water... and the best part is, it's free. I was able to strike up a deal with a lady who needs someone to walk her dog for her and in return, I get free board.
In this week I should find out if I get one of the jobs overseas I've applied for. There's two very likely positions which although is hard graft, will pay enough per month to really get me back on my feet. Not these ridiculous Knysna salaries. If I stayed here, chances of me being able to get my own place, a car and afford groceries would be frankly impossible. Starting from scratch isn't a realistic thing in a place like Knysna when you literally have nothing and have no one to rely on. And that's the thing... I don't want to rely on anyone anymore... because when they are gone, like now, I'm left completely on my ass.
The thing is, I would have stayed in Knysna and happily pursued a job here if my ex and I were together because we'd be a team. I wouldn't have the full blown financial strain purely on myself. We'd share costs. Take turns to buy groceries. Things would be easier as a team... but I don't have that option now and with not being able to live back home with my family I see no other choice.
The one job I think will possibly offer me a contract this week would send me to the Seychelles... the other would jet me off back to Spain.
I also made a profile on an Au Pair website and have been looking into options in the UK too. So far I have one family interested in me but it's a single dad and his two sons. It would be a live in position and pays peanuts compared to what the boats would pay. I don't think I could ever be comfortable living in a house with a single dad, raising his sons. But these are the options available to me.
I have to try. I have to keep wiping the tears away.
Every time I apply for something I burst into tears and a deep guttural sound emerges from my throat. It hurts more than I thought humanly possible.
I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. I really don't. I WANT to stay here and make it work with my ex, prove to him that I have changed and grown from this experience. It's been a huge eye-opener and has made me see why my relationships have never worked. It has made me see what needs to change. But what do I do?? Stay in the hopes that he will finally one day miss me enough and want me back? Or leave.... where I'd be tied to a minimum of a ten month contract (which is longer than we've even been together!). I don't see how that would work in the favor of our relationship.
I am so lost. So so so hopelessly lost.
And he's done some cruel things, too. He's deleted every photo he ever posted of us or of me. Like I never existed. Never mattered. The sting that caused was brutal. He's posting photos all the time living his best life, having fun with friends, off on his bikes and flying high in the sky and diving into the water off of his boat. He seems happy. Happy without me. I know he's struggling so much too and going through his own world of hurt but seeing how he's OK without me, that he doesn't need me.... hurts. I know I shouldn't look... but he knows I'm seeing it all. Seeing these selfies he's posting where he looks nothing short of breathtaking. He's shockingly blue eyes staring into the camera lens, melting me.
I miss him so much. I miss the fun, adrenaline filled, adventurous days we'd have together. I miss the good times.

I have messages I've written to him saved on my phone... unsure if I'll ever actually send them. I read them over and over again. Letting the words sink in. Reminding myself every day what I've done wrong to deserve where I am right now... and knowing that I will never, ever do those things again. I can't! The insecurity, the temper and the controlling issues have messed my entire life up. I have to let go. I have to believe the tattoo that I have on my thigh that says, 'she is at a place in her life where peace is her priority and negativity cannot exist.' I cannot be a negative person anymore. I have to grow up and change. I have. I feel the shift. I feel the weight off my shoulders that has pulled me down since childhood. I've always had that needy obsession with needing to be loved because I never felt that as a kid. I've always needed other peoples acceptance. That's NOT how I want to live my life anymore. I want to be enough. For myself. In fact, I am enough... I'm learning that now.

I don't want to be the person that begs for people back... but I also don't want to play games. That is why this is so very hard to figure out because if I stay, it will be because I'm hoping we'll be OK. And I'd be happy to get a job here and have the life here and I wouldn't resent him for it.... but if I leave, I'd be doing jobs I know I won't be happy in but financially it would get me back on my feet and give me complete independence that I know I can't get here. I don't know what to do. I really don't. I love him deeply. I feel like he is my person. So then surely he must know how difficult this is for me. Knowing that if I stay, I have no way of affording a place and I can't stay with family so the predicament is HUGE. If I stay, I have no means of transport. It would be a month until I get my first salary which I know would be enough to afford a months worth of groceries but not enough to start saving up for a car and deposits for a flat of my own. If I stay, I have nothing. If I go, living costs overseas would be barely anything because I'd be working and living on a boat for ten months straight. There would be no rent due, no food costs and no need for a vehicle. It sounds like the option I need to go for because I could save up an incredible amount of money to really get back on my feet... but I'd lose the hope of us being OK and together again. And that would break my heart more than it already is...

So I've written this here because I know no one reads this crap I write anyway. This blog has been my venting place for years. Maybe people going through something similar to me stumble across this page while they are struggling. Maybe they can relate. Maybe I even help them somehow.... and maybe by writing it down I'm somehow helping myself.

It's 7am now. I have no idea what the day will bring... but I guess first and foremost, I need to leave the bedsheets, wash out my coffee cup and go for a run.

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Friday, August 23, 2019

A New Chapter Has Begun

Hoots from kookaburra's at dawn have been replaced by the squawk of swooping seagulls. 
Lush green park-lands and treetop views changed to misty mornings overlooking a tranquil lagoon.
Like the turning of a page in a book with a cracked spine or the slide of fingers across steel strings during a chord progression... everything has changed. 

Everything must change. 

Where there was pain and struggle there is now a glimmer of hope. 

A new chapter has begun, a happier melody. 
While I may have less materialistically, I have more soulfully. 
What once was a door unlocking to a silent, empty flat has now become a house of bounding dogs, purring cats, nephew squeals - a place to be welcomed home. 
Even with it's smokey atmosphere, cluttered rooms and tainted memories - it is home.
The chipped and cracked pieces of me are starting to mend. 
With a chisel I am creating the life I want to lead and becoming the person I know I was born to be. 
I'm not saying this new way of life is easy, quite the opposite. 
Life has tested my strength. It still is. But each and every day I am learning to stand taller, keep my head held high. 
I am belly-laughing again. My smile is genuine.
And someone is smiling back at me.
Full lips spreading wide, blue eyes shimmering with something I can't quite name...
Not yet anyway.
Laced fingers and warm embraces.
A feeling of safety and warmth.
A feeling of glee.
I am lapping up books and researching true crime cases - discovering my passions once more. Putting my time and energy into the things that feed my soul... the things I had let go of when I'd let go of myself.
Now I am grappling to get those parts of me back, to put myself first for once. 
To be me.
There are still moments of sadness, of tears and heartache. 
Those are the moments that mould us into either the best or worst versions of ourselves. 
How we react to certain situations teaches us everything we need to know about ourselves. 
We are human beings constantly growing and learning... and I am grateful for each and every trial, tribulation, joy and deliverance. 

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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Peace. Breathe. Release.

Happy Saturday, world. 
I've woken up after not much sleep with my cat purring on my lap and a brand new day ahead. 
Regardless of all of the negativity that has invaded my space lately - I'm letting it go. 
Grief is a fickle thing and comes in many ways when you least expect it. 
Yesterday I broke down. I let life get the better of me but sometimes you need a good cry. You need to be tested. I've made it out to the other side with a more positive mind set. 
I will no longer focus my energy on anything negative. I am cleansing my life, releasing the past and starting over. 

just a few thoughts. #motivation #positive #thoughts #goal #inspiration

The truth is that I've been angry and allowing negativity into my life because I didn't understand why all of this stuff has had to happen to me lately... but everything I've lost IS replaceable. I wasn't hurt and while I may have PTSD to sort through after what happened the other night I know I'll be okay. Because I always am. I'll pick myself back up, slowly piece back the pieces, get back what I lost even if it's not the same quality... it's all material crap at the end of the day. The positive side is that I wasn't hurt. I wouldn't wish that onto anyone. 
I'm moving to America soon for such an exciting new life - and I have so many amazing friends there already. People who care and support and shine positivity onto my life when they know I need it. That's the kind of person you want in your life. The people who are bitter, resentful, jealous and holding grudges for no reason have their own issues and need to go take a good long hard look in the mirror and sort themselves out. That's what I'm doing. I'm sorting myself out. Because I am FAR from perfect. I stuff up. But I do not hurt people. I help others. I work hard. I play harder because I am still young and I deserve it. I have always worked hard and been incredibly motivated and driven. I have also always been an outgoing, fun-loving person who ALWAYS offers to pay her way which you would know if you actually knew me. I am beyond grateful to every soul who has been there for me through the turmoil and they know I would be there for them in a heartbeat if roles were reversed. I love and laugh and while I might break down from time to time that's because I'm only human and today I woke up and realised that that is enough. People look in and see your life from afar and they judge and make assumptions but that is not my problem.
For the past year I have been working on fixing my life. Working on my evident flaws. I'm a long way from being perfect and I know I never will be - but I am growing into the person I want to be and someone others want to have around more and more each day. I have been owning up to my faults and I am proud of that - can you say the same?
We are all only human. Let that be enough.

Peace. Breathe. Release. 
Ciao Bella.

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Monday, July 15, 2019

I Miss Something I Never Had

I miss being somewhere appreciated.
I miss living in a house that isn't impossible to breathe in without second-hand smoke continuously drifting through the rooms. 
I miss a clean environment - somewhere pleasant to cook in. Somewhere you are proud to call home.
I miss that feeling of walking through the front door and sighing with the relief of being back in your safe haven after a days work or a trip away.
I miss roadtrips - dancing and singing along to music with a takeaway cup of coffee in one hand and my ex partners fingers laced through the other. 
I miss exploring the world with someone to experience it all with. 
I miss the simple things like sunsets on the roof, watering my plants and listening to the birds sing when the rain comes down.
I miss runs along the brook and dips in the little communal pool. 
I miss running and jumping into my ex's arms every evening and asking how his day was. 
I miss feeling that confidence that I was going in the right direction.
I miss looking down at my hand and seeing that beautiful ring that symbolised everything I ever needed and more. 
I miss pajama parties and cheering on sports at a stadium even though I had no idea what was going on.
I miss hairy chests and snuggles while we did our own things.. me reading a book and him watching sport or playing xbox.
I miss being called ''baby'' and hearing those three words that I don't hear from anyone anymore. I love you. 
I miss feeling loved. 
I miss feeling respected and desired and wanted and needed. 
I miss loving someone. I really miss that.
I also miss the days where my mother was my best friend. I miss the times we used to have deep, meaningful conversations. I miss how she would hold me if I was sad and laugh with me when I was happy. 
I miss the nights where I didn't have to watch my family drink themselves to sleep. 
I miss my independence. I miss having savings for if I needed it and a car to get into if I needed to get away. I miss the freedom I used to have at my fingertips and I miss not feeling like I've somehow lost absolutely everything I ever cared about. I miss feeling like my life was worth it.
I miss looking in the mirror and seeing someone happy... not someone exhausted, pale, devastated and alone.
I miss being around people that made me a better person and didn't bring the worst out in me. 

I miss somewhere and something that I never had - because where are those things and those people now? That's how you truly realise who is real and who is fake in your life. When those people you bent over backwards for the cook and clean for and invite into your home and only EVER be polite and friendly to just disappear... that's when you realise how much of your precious time you wasted on the wrong kind of people.