Thursday, 17 September 2015

One Year On | "The present changes the past. Looking back, you do not find what you left behind"

Dear Ex Boyfriend, 
 I can't believe it's been a year already. It feels as though it was only yesterday you looked me in the eye and told me we were done. I thought my life was over but what I didn't realise at the time, the day you left me was the day my life really started. What I really want to say is thank you! Don't worry. I'm not gonna go all Christina on you and sing Fighter, although it explains this all pretty bloody well. Thank you for letting me go. Thank you for breaking my heart. Thank you for making me realise what it is to be truly loved (clue: it wasn't from you). Thank you for giving me the motivation to become a better person. Thank you for making me realise I am worth more. Thank you. 

Losing the life you had built for yourself and so desperately wanted all at once is enough to send even the strongest people into a downward spiral. I spent too long beating myself up for feeling bad when I should have been reminding myself I was entitled to feel that way. Heartbreak is such an incredibly intense emotion, it completely breaks you but IT'S OKAY, time really does heal all wounds. I couldn't be any happier right now. In a year, I've had a brilliant holiday in Cyprus with my best friend whom I became closer to on the back of the break up, got a new job where I absolutely love my colleagues, spending 2 months in 2 beautiful countries with absolute strangers, got back in contact with old friends. I've discovered more about myself in the last 12 months than in the 21 years previous. The cloud from the effects of a toxic relationship is finally lifting. People often ask if I regret being with him, I don't. It's all experience and after all I've gained much more than I've lost. I'm probably repeating myself as usual but you really do have to go through the bad times to appreciate the good ones. If you asked me this time last year if I thought I would be in this position right now, I'd have told you no. I'll be honest, I don't even recognise the person I was last September. I've grown and changed dramatically in my perspective on life and on myself.

The best part of it all is the fact I've been able to speak to others who have been through something similar to me. This is exactly WHY I write about this. I want to be the person that you feel like you can come to. I won't judge you, I will listen and I will try to help.  I cannot think of anything worse than knowing someone is feeling the way I did. It's so easy to feel like you want to give up, but don't. You have so many people that love and care for you even if it doesn't feel that way in this very moment. You're beautiful, you're kind, you are unique.
If I can help anyone by talking to them about my own experience and how it's gotten better for me, then what happened was worth it. Being in this situation has made me realise how incredible my family and friends are. I was by myself but I was never alone. 

Can't believe I'm saying this but I'm actually glad everything happened the way it did. I'm so damn proud of who I have become and what has been accomplished since then. I'm on top of the world and I refuse to let anything or anyone bring me down.

Things change, and sometimes, it's definitely for the better.

Monday, 14 September 2015

2016 Trek Adventure | "Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore”

I lost myself last year, for so long I felt as though there was something missing in my life, something missing in me... but I've found it. I've never been as happy as I am this very moment. I feel unstoppable; yes, I still have bad days, doesn't everyone? Depression is a little shitbag that is always there, but doesn't always say hello. There was a time last year where I never thought that there was way out of the dark hole I had buried myself into... how wrong I was! 
Why am I so happy? Well thank you for asking. I came across a post on twitter about a tour company called Trek America about a month ago, curiously clicking on the link I was taken to a beautiful website full of incredible journeys across America and Canada. If you've known me for a while, you'll know how much I've always wanted to go to New York, the city that never sleeps, the big apple... the home of Broadway. As a musical theatre buff, New York has appealed to me in ways no other place has done before. My childhood dream was to be a lead role in a Broadway show so even just to be in one the most prestigious theatre districts in the WORLD is making little baby Charley ridiculously giddy. I've been looking into trips to New York for years, but I've never been able to afford it... until now.
If you've read my blog before, you'll know I bought a house with my ex (thank GOD) boyfriend and as much as it sucks that all that shit happened, not only has it made me realise how much more I am worth, it's a bloody good way of saving! Managing to receive a decent sum of money from the money I put into the deposit & signing the house over to him, I stuck it in my savings account like a good responsible adult for my future. My main aim was to find somewhere to live with a couple of friends from work (HEY GIRLS) and we did, there was a gorgeous house which was absolutely perfect for us, but just slightly out of our price range. It had gotten to a point where we were so fed up with houses being too much, no sharers, no this, no that, no fucking anything that we gave up. I was gutted. It was like life just didn't want to give me a break and everything that was going well would fuck up somehow, but this was a blessing in disguise.                                                             An              absolute            blessing.
 That was the night I came across Trek America completely by accident and it became the night I found the spark I had been missing for so long. Hours had passed, my eyes hurt from scrolling endlessly through their website, every single trip looked incredible. As much as it pained me, I had to be realistic about spending the money I had put aside for a deposit on a house down here and reluctantly closed the web page. There was one trek in particular that caught my eye, the Trailblazer. 63 days camping through America and Canada. It was all I could think about for days, constantly reading about it, looking at where it was going, the prices, the flights, the dates... I couldn't do it, could I? I decided to bring in the big guns, Mumma P; if anyone had the answers, she did. "Go for it, you're young. You would be stupid to pass on an opportunity this big when you have the money just sitting there" she said. I didn't need any convincing, I booked it that night. June 2016 until August 2016. I'm allowed to get excited now though, right? I bloody hate flying, but a flight lasting 11 hours when you're alone seems like a small price to pay when you get to meet new friends and experience something incredible together.
As a person who suffers with anxiety, flying alone & meeting new people are absolutely terrifying to me but they say "life begins at the end of your comfort zone" and recently I've started to believe that. I am so proud of myself for making this decision and finally taking back control of my life. For a long time I've felt as though I haven't been living, just existing and this has given me the kick up the backside I bloody well needed.
The photos in this blog post are just a few of the places I'll be visiting during my 10 weeks away. TrekAmerica's trip itself is only 9 weeks but I've booked an extra week in LA by taking advantage of my work hotel discount (thank u Hilton). Below is a map of the route I am taking, 63 days from LA to LA & the goodies that Trek throws in. If you have any questions about the booking process, or price, get in contact with me and I'll be more than happy to help! Also, I'm considering publicly blogging/vlogging some of the experience, so if you're interested in seeing what we get up to, I will happily publish it. 

 If you have seen these before and were in two minds about it, do it, just do it - I am channeling my inner Shia LaBeouf. Whether you want to do the week trek or the 80 day trek, you will have the most incredible experience that you will never ever ever ever ever ever forget, so go on, you have so much to gain... what do you have to lose?!

If anyone has any tips on dealing with long haul flights or being alone in a big city, please get in contact as I could do with some help....