The End And New Beginnings (Sept/Oct 2017)

About 6 months ago, life as we knew it went t!ts up…   the long term relationship broke down.  I guess I’ve spent all this time trying to get over it, I’m still not there, and I’m not sure I ever really will be.  It has & continues to be horrendous; I don’t feel like a whole person anymore and there have been some incredibly dark days where quite frankly I haven’t wanted to exist (and for someone who is a glass half full kinda person, that’s tough to admit to)

On my more rational days, I can say well it will always be hard as it wasn’t what you want or wanted. You just have to try to accept that it is what it is, unfortunately human emotions are never logical, are they?  I’m still clinging onto this childish belief that it can be sorted, that there’s a fairy tale ending.  I’m still struggling with life without him, or us…  We’re no longer an us, it’s just a me.  Can’t quite get my head around that…  Can’t seem to find the lid to that damn box…

On top of all of that emotional upheaval (and 3 house moves), I found a lump in my breast – great timing body (seriously you couldn’t make it up!!) This is something that I’ve dealt with largely on my own  – not because my family wouldn’t be there but because I needed to prove to myself that I could do it on my own, to sort it, to get answers and quite frankly,  no point in worrying everyone unnecessarily, right!?!

Did you know that under 40, your breasts are usually too dense to have a mammogram? Made me giggle!! Ultrasound results didn’t look great, needle biopsy next step – ouch (to put it mildly!!)  I’m now referring to this period as #boobygate 🙂  More nail biting and a lot of sleepless nights whilst waiting for the results to come back, and yet another visit to the Doctor (never seen a doctor so bloody much as I have recently!!)  Deep breaths, PMA… seems whatever praying I did to whatever higher powers that be, worked… the words “benign cyst” were uttered.  Whoop whoop!!

I guess because of those things, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking. For once, it seems my thinking has proven productive and I’ve made some pretty big discoveries about myself…   Firstly I realised that in trying to be supportive for someone else and giving it my all, I’d lost who I was – I sacrificed too much of me.  I also realised that in my nearly 39 years of life – I’d never truly been solo (despite the big 4.0 looming!!)

I’ve always had my family, and from 18, I had my daughter too. Buttmunch is now in her 2nd year of Uni (#veryproudmumma) and whilst she needs me – she’s learning how to be a grown up on her own too #successfuladulting!!  Me? Well there’s me, a rather empty house…  and a very needy cat!!

To say it’s been an eventful 6 months, is an understatement!! Some pretty fundamental,  ground breaking, foundation rocking shit.  When your whole world falls apart, you question everything about yourself and the life you’ve led.

When push comes to shove there are only ever two options though – sink or swim. I’ve never been one to sink, so I guess I’ve gotta learn to swim again.  Part of that, is to figure out what it is I want… for me… I think I’m slowly figuring it out… with a little help from my family and some very awesome friends…

The starting to figure it out, was that as I was doing Club Class, I was properly grinning for the first time in months (you know when you’re walking around, grinning from ear to ear? Where everything suddenly looks awesome and you’re annoying your mates? Haha that!)

Doing something that gives you such a buzz, a massive adrenaline & endorphin rush… it’s addictive…  and I definitely needed some of my old bounce back… Round this time, Clipper started popping up on my Facebook feed  – I started clicking on the links, reading about the race in more detail (I’d read lots of things about Clipper from various sailing mags over the years but not paid a huge amount of attention to it)… and then I had a few random chats with people (a skipper friend who mentioned they’d love to be a Clipper skipper full time, and a very lengthy chat to a Clipper ‘17/18 crew member) made me go… Hmmmmm that sounds like something I want and could do, something for me, a complete F it moment…

That hmmmm then became a lot of reading – Clipper site (extensively), Crew blogs and a further in depth discussion with a ‘17/18 Clipper Crew Member (thanks Alyson #DareToLead!) about the event, the whole process and of course the practicalities of racing offshore (and as a woman)… Gotta love her honesty!! 🙂

Pondering the chat with Alyson that night, I realised that it hadn’t fazed me, just intrigued and excited me and then I had another one of those “oh” moments. For most of my life, I’ve put others first, bottled up my hopes & dreams meaning that I’d simply become a bystander.

If the last 6 months have taught me anything, it’s that life shouldn’t be taken for granted, nothing is guaranteed – so I’ve come to the conclusion that for once in my life, I want to do something for me, where I’m not worrying about the impacts of my choices…  Dare I say it… I am actually going to be selfish!!  EEEEK….

Cue more thinking & debating internally about myself, what I wanted and of course did I really want to do Clipper…

I realised that I wanted to do something for me… I wanted to take a risk, push myself in all aspects of life and be able to say – I did it, with no regrets, that I’ve lived and not just been a bystander. Where I actually do something I want to do, without sacrificing it for others. I want to inspire Buttmunch and for her to be proud of her mumma, to show her that you can indeed reach right up to the MOON!!  🙂

I guess finally I summed it up with the following questions:- Can I do this? Do I want to do this?  Can I afford it? What will others say?

Can I do it? YES                   

Do I want to do this? YES

Can I afford it? Haha yes, just!!

What will others say? Who cares – do this for yourself, no-one else!!

And so, the mad cap F it idea, has now turned into #jojoscunningplan #clipperroundtheworld1920

2018/2020 I’m coming to get ya!!

BTW: if you are interested in sailing and getting qualifications – I can’t recommend these guys enough (can’t see me doing courses with anyone else now!!) – Rob & Jules are fantastic!!

And if you want to get into sailing in Brighton – contact the Brighton Marina Yacht Club (or ping me a message & I will put you in touch). They run twice yearly 6 week sessions for newbies to get into Racing…