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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Finding Myself Young

I'm just a girl trying to find a place in this world

I had been so defeated after years of being knocked down by continuous verbal and emotional abuse that I felt I had completely lost myself. My confidence was totally shattered. After being told how bad you are at everything every day no matter what you do you tend to give up. I stopped doing anything that I loved (mainly because I wasn’t allowed to anyway) and just started doing everything that he wanted to do simply to avoid the arguments. In the process I lost my friends, my dreams, my career, my passions in life and finally I thought I had lost myself entirely. I still felt like, or at least hoped, I was me somewhere deep down but essentially I was just living a completely meaningless life inside my shell of a body going through the motions everyday trying to avoid being yelled at. I had given up on everything because what was the point? That was my life and I couldn’t see any way out of it.
I am so excited that once I left and as my confidence slowly started to come back I started to realise that I was still me on the inside and now I could show it on the outside too. The young girl full of hopes and dreams who was once determined to take on the world and succeed was still there! Each time I did something new (or that I hadn't done in years because I wasn't allowed to) I felt like I unlocked another piece of my heart and I was finding myself a little more.
I also felt as though I had lost 7 years of my life. On the inside I was still the same girl I was when I was 19. Its like time had stood still and my soul just pretended the last 7 years didn’t exist. I felt like I was young again! Hence my blog is called finding myself young because thats exactly what Im doing. Its better than any age defying cream for sale thats for sure! I went from feeling like I was 50 because I was so emotionally beaten down to feeling like a teenager and I still feel like a teenager a year and a half on. Maybe just a little more worn on the outside.
At first I was a bit worried. I felt like I had lived my life backwards compared to everyone else. I had got married when I was young and was now single and getting divorced before I was 30, meanwhile my friends were all single in their early 20’s and are now getting married and having babies. I felt completely out of sync with everyone else and I struggled with that for a while. Im over it now though because there is no point comparing yourself to other people. Everyone is at a different stage of their life and everyone values different things so who is to say that its wrong to be where Im at? I am still rediscovering myself and I am absolutely loving my journey (despite originally being afraid of change I am now embracing it!).
You have no idea how invigorating it is to rediscover your passions and start doing the things you love on a regular basis. Especially when someone has stopped you from doing it for years. I urge you all to look inside yourselves and rediscover what it is you really want in life because the rewards really are amazing.

go find yourself

Toni x

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The little things that make you smile :)

How many times do we get caught up with the big things or just weighed down with everyday tasks and so much stress that we totally forget to stop and appreciate the little things...?

I had such a good day on Monday because for the first time in ages I really felt like I stopped and "smelled the roses" as such. It was totally awesome. Somehow I managed to squeeze all my favourite things to do into the one day.

First I got to spend the morning with my niece's which I absolutely love. They make me smile for so many reasons. They get so excited just from watching a tv show, playing with bubbles, drawing with crayons or even eating sultanas! If only we all got so much joy from everything we did each day.

Secondly I got to take photos all morning and I LOVE taking photos. Hence the Feb photo a day challenge on my facebook page. Below is my gorgeous niece and her friend Indie playing with the bubbles.

Then I went home and had a very short but awesome afternoon nap! How good are afternoon naps? I never sleep good at night but I am sooo good at sleeping through the day time. Weird huh?

After that I made a new cheesecake recipe that Ive never tried before. This is one of my new favourite things to do. Cooking has always been one of my loves but lately I have been obsessed with trying out new recipes and challenging myself just to see what Im capable of. Its so exciting when you try something new that you thought you wouldnt be able to do and it turns out you can! Such an amazing sense of accomplishment!

So all in all it was a fantastic day. Im now going to spend more time doing the little things because you can get so much joy from a single second and Im determined to soak up all the joy I can get!

Toni xx
Thursday, February 16, 2012

You are where you should be

We must be willing to let go of the lift we have planned so we can live the life that's waiting for us.

I have always been a planner. The main thing the last few years have taught me is that you can plan things (life included) all you want to the finest detail, but no matter what things will never go to plan 100%. Life will always throw up obstacles, difficulties and challenges that will stand in the way of the picture perfect plan you had laid out in your head.

Originally I wanted to have a career and live in the city in an apartment and I didn't really care if I had kids until I was older. I actually had it narrowed down to having kids when I was roughly 28, with or without a husband or boyfriend in the picture. Clearly I came up with this plan when I was young and had been single for a while so my mind was totally focused on developing a career.

Fast forward a few years and after finishing university and getting nowhere with job applications and meeting my boyfriend (to be future horrible husband) my plan drastically changed. I then decided my whole goal in life was to stay at home and have babies and then go back to work part time once the kids go to school. I wanted kids when I was 23, having 3 kids approximately 2 years apart. Yes that's right I thought about it in that much detail. Any woman who's planned babies will understand. Soooo, that plan didn't really work out that well either. I did the whole marriage thing but after that everything started to crumble. Instead of being a happy stay at home mum I soon found myself still working full time in a job that I hated having tried to have a baby for 3 years unsuccessfully.

Cue spiral into depression, all because my life wasn't going to plan....

You know what though once I pulled myself out of that hole and got out of my dysfunctional marriage my plan was totally ruined and I couldn't have been happier or more petrified at the same time! I was excited that I could do whatever I wanted now, I didn't have to live in that environment or accept that future any more but at the same time what the hell was I going to do now??? The career plan didn't work, the marriage and baby plan didn't work, what else is there?

What I've come to realise is planning everything out just gives you unrealistic expectations and puts way too much stress on you to achieve everything you set out to do with no room for failure. Truth is you can be whoever you want to be and you shouldn't measure your life against what you have or haven't achieved at a certain time. Now my plan is totally flexible (yes I cant completely have no plan I need some sort of direction in life) I like to call it "goals with back up options". I still want to have babies, but its ok if I only have one, its ok if I need to do IVF and its ok if I cant have kids at all. I'm not going to punish myself for not sticking to the plan, because now the plan moves with me, and I'm a lot happier.

Make your life the way you want it, but don't be too disappointed if you don't end up where you set out to be. If we never deviated from our plans think of all the experiences we would've missed out on. When one door closes another door always opens.

Toni x

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Moments in time

Once upon a time

Isn't it funny when you look back and can pin point a single point in time that changed the course of your life? It doesnt happen very often and usually you dont realise it at the time but its quite amazing when you think about it. There have been 3 points in my life in the last 10 years that have changed my life completely....

1: The night I met my future husband. 
didn't want to go out that night because I was tired from work, but was already committed to going to a family friends hens night. So off I went thinking nothing of it. During the course of the night the girls decided to play a game "find Toni a boyfriend", which I got sick of after an hour of them talking to a bunch of old feral looking men. Finally I went and started talking to this guy purely to stop the girls from bringing over random men. Little did I know how ironic it was that I found my future husband whilst trying to stop the girls finding me a boyfriend. I didn't even think he was going to be my boyfriend that night, but after time he told me he was my boyfriend (yes you read right he told me). Should've been a warning sign right then and there, but I was young, naive and just happy that somebody actually liked me after being single for nearly two years.

2: When I discovered my husband had numerous dating profiles
One night I discovered by random that my husband had been creating dating profiles on the internet with the intention of cheating on me (not proven whether he did or not). This happened while we had been trying unsuccessfully for 3 years to have a baby. This was the final straw which gave me the strength to finally leave. How dare he treat me like that (on top of everything else) when I was falling into a deep depression trying to give him everything he wanted and he repaid me by trying to find someone else! But, I am grateful for this moment because it changed the course of my life forever. It made me strong enough to say enough is enough and I will not be treated like this any more. This is not ok. Since that day I never looked back. It was like a light turned on and I could 100% see through the bulls#*t that he was spewing at me everyday no matter how hard he tried to manipulate me into believing it was once again all my fault. If I had never found that information I may still be sitting in the same place hating myself, hating my situation and being unable to see any other future.

Fate controls who walks into your life. You decide who to let walk out, who you want to stay and who you refuse to let go.

3: New years eve 2010. 
wasn't going to go out that night either, but my best friend was going into the city so I went out with her. I was getting quite bored with the night as I wasn't drinking much because I was getting way more pleasure out of watching the drunk people make idiots of themselves (and I was mildly concerned if I did get drunk that I would morph into one of them). Then a chance meeting with a passing stranger once again changed the course of my life. That night I met my true soul mate who I have now been with for a year. I am so happy and he treats me like a princess. I never thought I would ever have a relationship like this. One where you both totally understand each other, respect each other, unconditionally love each other and genuinely want each other to be happy. Its such a breath of fresh air compared to my past. I am so excited to see what my future holds now because since this day it has involved fun, happiness, adventure, love, harmony and contentment.... all the things that were missing before.

Have a look back at your own life and I'm sure you'll be able to find at least one moment in time that changed the course of your life...

Life really is amazing sometimes...

Toni x

Sunday, February 5, 2012

True friends

friends believe in you and understand

Friends were one of the things that I was never allowed to have while I was married. Sounds stupid doesn't it? Not being allowed to have friends...

Seriously though I was literally never allowed to go out with my friends by myself and not allowed to call my friends. As a couple we were only allowed to go out with "married" friends because they would be the same as us because they would understand what being "married" was like. His definition of being married was being locked away in the house and isolated from everyone so that I would never be able to form my own opinion or think that his opinion was wrong. Because you know if I was allowed to see my friends they would tell me that what I was thinking was right, that my doubts and resentment were validated.

I lost a lot of friends throughout my marriage because when you're not allowed to socialise with people they simply stop trying to have a friendship with you. Eventually they stop inviting you places, stop texting and then stop contact altogether because it is simply too hard for them to continue to try. I don't blame them on the one hand because maybe they simply thought I didn't want to see them either, I'm sure that's the impression he wanted them to get so that I would have nobody to hang out with except him.

There were however a handful of people who I consider my true friends who stuck by me throughout that time and are my closest friends now. They could see from the outside that the situation I was in wasn't who I was and they could see that at the time I couldn't see a way out. They listened to countless conversations of me venting my frustrations with my situation but always choosing to stay because it was simply too hard to leave. They were there to support me and they knew that I had to get myself to the point where I knew I could leave before it would happen. They gave me the strength to do that by not abandoning me but making me realise that I did have people who would be there to help me when I did leave (he always told me nobody would ever talk to me if I left because he was the only one who really liked me).

To all of you, and you know who you are, thankyou for supporting me. You will never understand the true difference you helped to make to my life. Thanks for looking after the depressed Toni and yay now you get to experience happy, excited and more confident Toni! Not sure if that is a good pay-off but its got to be better than when I was in a continuous loop of sad face. 

Love you all so much.

Toni x

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dream. Believe. Create.

This became my new motto shortly after separating from my husband nearly a year and a half ago.... After being smothered to death in a very controlling relationship for years I had lost track of who I was and everything I enjoyed in life. So, as soon as I got out I felt like I had been set free! Finally I could get on with the process of rediscovering who I was and what I wanted to do in life.

If plan A doesn't work the alphabet has 25 more letters - quote

I decided straight away to spend more time doing the things that I enjoy as well as the things that I have to do. I slowly became a believer in positive thinking (which I used to think was a load of bull) and more importantly for once I started to believe that everything was possible and that I could have whatever future I wanted.

There have been many emotional ups and downs through the process so far, but for the most part there have been more ups and my life is definitely 100% better than before! I am so thankful that I had the strength to get out of that situation and believe that there could be another future. Now I am focusing on the dream and create part. Slowly I am creating the life that I want.

I imagine there are a lot of other people out there who can relate to my situation or at least parts of it so that's why I have decided to make a blog about it. If nobody follows or reads at least I will have a record of my journey to look back on and see how much I have grown... and hey its cheaper than therapy. Yes I have an acquired sense of humour, but I think its kind of endearing really.

So if you can relate, are interested in my journey, or just need something to do when your bored please feel free to follow and comment on here.

Remember to always continue to dream big, believe in yourself and create your own destiny!

Toni x