Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Purpose...Where to Find It?

Purpose....'an aim or meaning in your life because there is something that you want to achieve.'

This word 'purpose' is something that I have thought a lot about, and especially over the past year.
I'm guessing that I am probably not the only one too.
Life is a strange old thing and there have been numerous times where it has stopped me in my tracks and made me question everything. What is the meaning of it? Why am I here? What is my purpose?

I believe that we would all love our jobs and be much happier in general if we felt as though we were fulfilling a purpose. I know that this is definitely true for myself.
We spend such a huge chunk of our lives working, it's almost quite scary, so surely it's common sense that we are happy whilst doing so.

I have always been a believer in this mantra, but even more so since I lost my mum. I think sometimes when individuals have gone through a life changing event, it really makes you look at your life and re-assess everything. It makes you realise that we aren't invincible and that life is short. You only get one chance at this, so what's to lose? Now I am aware that I am sounding super cheesy here, however it really is true.

Throughout my mum's illness my purpose was to look after her. I luckily was self-employed and only working part time, but this was my choice. Our decisions and plans were all based around her appointments and how she was feeling. This was our life for 2 and a half years. So when she passed I felt completely and utterly lost. My purpose was gone and I did not know what to do with myself.
Being able to make my own decisions was weird and I almost didn't like it. I had grown accustomed to having my life dictated for me and now I was unable to function.
That's a strange thing to hear from a 26 year old perhaps, but I felt as though I needed to re-think my life and what I wanted.

I adore being a hair and makeup artist and always loved the work, however it suddenly didn't feel enough for me. I needed more on top of this and I needed to do something to help others and make a difference.
Planning my mum's funeral felt like a blur but it did make me ask myself a question....How do I want to be remembered?
I think that this is a powerful question and one that I recommend anyone taking some time to answer. My mum was an incredible teacher and so much so that lots of her students were still in touch with her. I'm talking children who she taught when they were 6 years old and now were in their 30's. She made a big impact on their lives and I was inundated with wonderful messages from them and their families when it happened. This, to me, was amazing. She really found her purpose and her calling and it was never forgotten.

Now this is something that I am working on for myself. I want to enjoy each day, I want to feel like I am making a difference and not just working each day purely to pay the bills.
There is so much in the world to be enjoyed and I refuse to just let it pass me by.
Of course, I won't feel this way everyday and that's ok. But I am on a journey to find my next purpose and fill my life with satisfaction.
For anyone that knows me you will know that I am currently in the process of starting my own business and creating my own beauty brand. This is something that I never thought I would ever do, even the word business used to scare me. However this now feels right for me and makes me feel comfortable in a strange way. I feel as though I need to use my experience with cancer and losing my mum to do good. I do not want to have been put through everything to just ignore it and forget it. I have knowledge and I want to use it.

Perhaps we can all use our experiences..good or find our purpose?


The Waves of Grief

Recently it has been easy to occasionally think I am going crazy. Deep down, I know I am not, I have been through a traumatic event and I am grieving. However, when you become a different version of yourself to the one that you are used to, then you start to question everything.

I was told by a counsellor, that I saw a year or so ago now, that I am normal. It's a nice thing to hear really...there aren't many times in life where we get analysed and classified as normal. I always told my mum that I was the normal one in the family!

I learnt that the ways in which I am feeling and coping so far, are healthy and positive.
Now despite this being reassuring to know, it obviously doesn't make the process any easier.

I heard a description recently which really resonated with me and perfectly visualised, for me, how grief feels which I wanted to share with you.

Imagine you are paddling in a little rowing boat in the ocean on a lovely sunny day. Suddenly a storm hits out of the blue, and your boat starts to get thrown around from side to side. You feel frightened, anxious and un-stable. The storm passes, however it has left very strong waves behind. You have moments of clear calm water, followed by aggressive waves. Your little world is quite literally rocked. As time passes you can start to adjust, but your boat has been damaged. A small hole in the hull is now there, not large enough to drown you but it is noticeable.
However now, even the smallest other boat that crosses you, causes a flood of water to pour in, adding pressure and weight. The hole can be patched up, but it will never be as strong.

This, for me, is a simple way of describing how it feels. Grief has surprised me in how random and irregular it is. Some days, like the calm water, you can feel almost like nothing has happened and genuinely feel positive and happy. Then all of a sudden, the strangest thing will trigger you to fall back into a dark place, where everything is overwhelming and painful. I wish there was a pattern, to feel prepared for the latter...but there is not.
All we can do is know that things will improve and we will reach the happier days again soon.

If you, like me, are going through this horrible journey, or know someone who is, then hopefully this can be of some help to you. Having one good day, unfortunately doesn't mean that the next day will be too. Accepting this, and embracing each day as it comes, is the only way. Let yourself feel each emotion and then be prepared for anything.

When The Waves Come

A sun drenched day, full of promise
The morning coffee and a warm lap from a furry friend
Your favourite dress and new boots that have just worn in 
A good hair day and when that eye flick is just right
You smile, you chat, you laugh 
The makings of a good day

But then the wave comes…

A punch in the chest followed by a hand gripping at your throat
A feeling of spiralling out of control
The world is not safe anymore, and you will never see it's beauty again
An overwhelming sensation of deep depression and sheer panic.

You breathe deeply, clutching at your chest, your hands trembling and eyes filling up.

Then….. you are out of sight of that place that holds the memory
You slowly start to calm, your pulse gradually dropping
You remind yourself that you have made it this far
That the world still has some beauty and there is plenty left to see and explore
That you can do this, and it's ok to move forwards.

These are the waves. Unexpected moments that pull you from your seat and throw you into the darkness. Be it a few seconds, a few minutes, hours or days.  
They come and go, ebb and flow, and always take you by surprise. 
This is how it feels when the waves come. 

Even though time has passed, the tears don't come everyday and you are back to work…..doesn't mean that you are back to 'normal'. This is a new normal that you have to adjust to. A new life trying to build around a gapping hole that has been left in your heart. The roots are there, but the branches have to re-build, and it takes time. 

The waves I don't think will ever leave me, you just need to try to be prepared, ready to take the hit when the next one comes, and then move forwards again.

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