A decade. 3,650 days. Approximately 521 weeks. On one hand, the decade flew by. On the other, it seemed far longer. I look back on the start of the ten years with fond memories and so much love. I found and married the man of my dreams and looked forward to starting our lives together and starting a family. I honestly don’t think that when people get married (myself included) and make a commitment in front of family and friends, that you have any idea of the path ahead. That’s the thing about marriage, and life. The unknown. You stand before the person you love, make promises and you don’t have any idea about what life is going to throw at you. What I didn’t know at this point was that my one dream of wanting to be a Mum would never happen.
Lesson number one: Our marriage has been tested. Dragged through extreme sadness and loss but with many happy times. We have stayed true to what we said in our wedding vows and upheld the promises we made nearly ten years ago. It hasn’t been easy and at times, staying married was the hardest thing in the world to do. Nobody said being married makes life any easier. It just allows you to share the burden.
There is no faster way to realise that you won’t be a Mum in a conventional sense than by having a full hysterectomy. What did life have in store for me if I could no longer be a parent? Was it even worth living at all? Did I want to give up? Sure. Was I allowed to? No. Not with the support system I had.
Lesson number two: Find a heart that will love you at your worst and arms that will hold you at your weakest.
When my heart started to heal, I quickly realised that I could still make a difference in the world. I learned to think creatively and in January of 2018, I started a now global social initiative with a simple premise. Be kind. It’s a business based on an innate human behaviour. I’ve worked day and night for nearly two years, I’ve laughed, cried, said a few choice swear words, networked, shared, written a book, enjoyed (and detested) being in control, I’ve learned who my friends are, I’ve written a book, I’ve felt fear and I’ve felt elation.
Lesson number three: I am in control of my own life. Whatever happens, I will learn or I will thrive. There is no such thing as failure in my book and in a world filled with endless opportunities, we must resist the belief that our dreams are not achievable. I have learned first-hand that you can watch as many motivational videos, read self-help books and radiate TED talks but will only achieve if you believe in yourself and what you are doing.
The decade has also seen the loss of people I loved. Whether people I had known for a long time or ones who in the grand scheme of things were only fleeting, the sadness which comes with death, is real and traumatic. It also taught me about perspective and to say “I love you” today rather than wait for tomorrow.
Lesson number four: Say it, don’t just think it. At the next opportunity, take time to tell someone all the things you love and respect them for, what they are good at and why they are so special to you. Too often, we think these things and just take it all for granted.
In each moment, find the courage to keep moving forward. Without being able to see the bigger picture, have faith that all is unfolding as it should. Let go of the need to know why things happen as they do. The universe has got you (it really does). And sometime in your future you will look back on this moment and smile softly. You were exactly where you needed to be. Life was never meant to be easy but God, it is meant to be beautiful. So show the world what you are made of. Show the world your courage and your faith. Your willingness to show up and be seen in your beautiful vulnerability. In return I can promise you, it will show you infinite possibility.