Recently I attended Kelly Donegan‘s fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society #Trek4Life campaign at which a number of bloggers spoke about the challenges which shaped them. It happens to be quite poignant for me as it has been 2 years since a very low period in my life where I found myself with nothing but a suitcase full of clothes and living in the boxroom of my parents house. I feel enough time has passed for me to finally tell the story about how my life fell apart and I picked up the pieces.
The Ten Year Plan
I had to do something. I had to change my entire life in one foul swoop. I had to walk away from my life. I had the heart breaking conversation and I left my relationship of 9 years. I walked away from the house that I thought I would raise my children in and moved into my parent’s box room. I realised that I had nothing to show for the last decade of my life other than a suitcase of clothes. A suitcase of plus sized clothes.
I then started to work on reducing the size of the clothes in that suitcase. The years of neglect on my mind and body had rendered me unfit, unhealthy and unattractive. So I contacted a personal trainer. I was so nervous and unfit but Michael from Bodycoach helped me to overcome all of my fears and body issues. I lost 12 kilos and began to feel confident again. I started to do things for myself again. I took a course on how to do my own make-up and I finally felt comfortable in buying new clothes and making the most of my appearance.
Getting out of my comfort zone
I started to date and I won’t lie to you this was pretty terrifying. I had never really dated before and I didn’t even know what people did on dates! I met some really lovely people and some not so nice. Some dated me for weeks and never called again, some told me I was fat and some verbally abused me. Before I would have let this get to me but the New Clair was stronger than that.
|Learning to Love myself again|
Broadening my Horizons
The third step was the reason I write to you today. I began to travel at every available opportunity. I travelled with friends and I travelled solo. I made my mind up where I wanted to go and I used all of my free time travelling to 12 countries and 4 continents in 12 months. Travelling made me feel alive again. I realised that I was far more resilient than I ever gave myself credit for. I danced salsa, drank Mojitos and smoked cigars in Cuba. I watched a bollywood movie, saw the Taj Mahal, crashed a wedding, survived a sleeper train and sailed on the Ganges in India. I saw the Northern Lights in Iceland. I haggled in the Souks in Morocco. Above all of this I fell in love on the beach in Latvia.
|Getting spiritual in Jaipur|
This blog was created to tell my story and this has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. By continuing to push myself out of my comfort zone I have experienced more in the last 2 years alone, than in the decade before. I am finally learning to drive and have signed up for a comedy improv class. I will turn 30 fitter, healthier and happier than I was when I turned 21. It feels hard to believe that just 2 years ago I felt like my whole World had fallen apart. To anyone who is reading and feels this way, just know that you are the creators of your own happiness. Only you can change and direct you life in the way you want.
This is the challenge that shaped me.
|The future is bright|