I brought a horse (accidentally) with the show name Here’s Hoping. Now if there has ever been a sign before, that’d be it. We’ve reached December. I told myself I would stop with the whole ‘next year will be better’ thing because honestly, I have no clue if it will be better. It might be equally as difficult. But I have resorted to ‘please let this year be over already’. Maybe it sounds whingy; maybe a little depressing, but I’m not going to lie, I’ve come out of this year feeling like I just lost a 10 round boxing match. I’m confident I’ve aged far more than a year, and my grey hairs are certainly becoming too many to pluck out.
Here’s the thing with this year… it has challenged every single one of my ‘values’, it has challenged everything I thought I knew about myself, and it has definitely challenged my perception of the world. I have seen very few successes at work, I’ve lost my nan, we lost half our business (literally an entire 6 months of hard work gone), we lost our babies, I’ve had health set back after set back, I still have problems from my head injury in March, and I let go of a beautiful horse I wasn’t ready to let go of. The list could go on, but I think that’s enough.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had highs; we started building our house (a 2 year long dream finally started to come real) and we had an incredible trip to Peru. But don’t ever mistake someone’s high’s as a balancer for the lows… it might soften their blow, but I still feel it.
I’m not the only one, I’ve seen so many people around me also struggle this year.
I think I’ve come to the end of it with more questions than I do answers, more ‘I don’t understand’s’ than ‘I get it’s’. In a lot of ways I just feel broken, and a bit lost, and a bit like I’ve changed a lot and I’m not sure I’m totally happy with how that has happened. I am a lot grumpier, a lot more to the point, people take me a lot more seriously, I take far fewer things to heart, and take far less of other people’s crap on my shoulders. I have learnt to distance myself from unnecessary pain but at times I think that borders on avoidance all together. I have learnt what matters and how to focus on that, and I’ve realised that there will always be things in life that are broken – and there is no amount of fixing that can repair them. But from that, I am also kinder to myself, I am kinder to others, I understand pain on an very new level and I think it has made me a far more resilient person as a result.
I have found myself taking stock, slowing down, and being in the ‘now’. When I start to feel like I am simply going to crumble under it all I keep telling myself;
“You don’t get this now, you don’t understand it, and may be it will never make sense. Maybe it never will. There may no good damn reason for this; none at all. But you are right here, right now, and that is something. You are still breathing and you can keep breathing. Even when the world’s weight simply gets too much and your body starts to give way and your thoughts can’t be controlled, you are still here and that is something. Stay, maybe you cannot see it, but someone does need you and someone does love you in this world. I want to tell you it gets easier and better and all that shit – but it might not. You might battle with this your whole life, you might struggle through shit storm after shit storm. But I want you to remember there is peace in small moments. There is love in the way the waves settle after a storm. There is sunshine in the cracks in the curtains when you cannot get out of bed. There will be happiness in the way the things you fight for happen, and they will happen. Keep fighting. When the road is simply too long look at your feet and put one after the other. Some days you do not have to think past today, just be; just be today and nothing else. Stop with the ‘should’s’ and start with the ‘I can’s’ and the ‘I will’s’ and the ‘I want to’s’. Stop putting expectations on yourself that are crippling; it’s not your job to save anyone or even yourself some days. Be you, in everything you do, be you. People are going to judge, they are going to ‘feel’ feelings about you, but that’s not on you. Be the best version of you as much as you can, and leave the bad days where they are as they happen – don’t drag them into the good ones.
“You are going to feel pain in your life that you cannot describe. You are going to get through it but don’t forget to take the help of kind people and ignore the shit of people who have no fucking clue. There are going to be small wins within big loses – you need to focus on those. And forgive yourself. There are going to be many, many mistakes and things you cannot control that affect your life – forgive yourself and accept how you react. You will feel emotions and that is ok.
“Go to yoga class, remember to breathe, remember to hold pictures close to you, remember to take a bath with Epsom salts. Take a break from the noise and sit in silence. Remember to remember things for what they were and for the small joy they brought you even if it was fleeting. Lastly, remember ‘not my monkey, not my circus’ and if it is your monkey and it is your circus – have some fun within the madness and learn to laugh when life pulls a rabbit out of a hat.”
So this horse, Here’s Hoping, is my new light in the darkness of 2018. Here’s hoping 2019 can be a little kinder, and if not, that I will find the strength to do it all again. Here’s hoping I will get to compete my horse. Here’s hoping I’ll find my passion for jumping again. Here’s hoping I will find some peace in the pain. Here’s hoping Sam and I will be able to find a way forward and hope for more. Here’s hoping we will see some of the pain begin to fall away. Here’s hoping I will remember to breathe. Here’s hoping for long rides on the beach. Here’s hoping for snuggles with my puppy. Here’s hoping for a bloody holiday. My expectations are low, my hope is very thin and fragile, and my positivity is bordering on insanity at times. But, 2019; here’s hoping. All I hope for is that my faith be restored, my heart find rest, and my mind and body recover so I can see things a little clearer again.