Just checked my last blog post. 2nd January 2011. How time flies when you're having traumas!
It doesn't surprise me that I haven't blogged in months. I'll tell you why…
Every time I click on the home page to my blog I feel like I'm looking at something I want to run away from. It's like looking into part of my past that I just simply find too painful to think about for any length of time. Splintered Reflections was always my "Swiss Baby", the idea was born in Switzerland, as was the start of my real love of writing. I felt that I'd finally found out what I wanted to do when I started writing and, in particular, this blog. It was like suddenly being a "grown-up" and finding my true life path. I felt driven, grounded… WHOLE.
Many of you who have read my previous blog posts will know that I was very happy being in Switzerland. I loved the country and felt that I'd found myself there. You will also know that in October last year it was almost as if some ridiculously powerful life force simply plucked me and the kids from our home and threw us back across Europe and into the UK. Everything was very unexpected, upsetting… frightening.
Tomorrow marks exactly 9 months since we flew back and arrived into Luton Airport with our two suitcases and literally no real clue as to what might happen next.
Thanks to friends, family, a community, I can honestly now say that life is really becoming quite good again. It's been a bitch of time, one that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, but as they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Generally, I think I've held it together. You have to when you have kids. It's a cliché but nonetheless true.
I've stopped taking things for granted. After surviving just sitting on beanbags for months, cooking with the most basic of equipment and trying to occupy the children with limited toys and books, I think I have finally, TRULY witnessed what it's like to feel like you have nothing. At least in the material sense. That's no bad thing, of course.
I've also stopped worrying about the future. I've realised that in my life I have been so over-analytical and anxious about things that really don't matter, that I've often missed what's right under my nose. Those happy moments, those times when you're all snuggled up together and you're warm, maybe having a silly giggle about something, and just for those few seconds… you don't have a care in the world.
The flipside to having this minimalist outlook about life is that I've been managing somehow to convince myself over the last few months that I don't actually NEED anything. Obviously, some form of income is necessary. Everyone has to eat.
But I've been convincing myself, whilst waiting for all our belongings to come over from Switzerland with my ex-partner, that we didn't really NEED those things… that we had eachother. We could simply rebuild a new life.
And that's true. To a point.
Our belongings started coming to us two weeks ago. From our old life. Today marked the final consignment.
And, oddly, it's been really very hard these last couple of weeks. On the one hand I've been celebrating. It's felt like Christmas as we excitedly opened boxes to find possessions that we truly once loved. I couldn't believe it was finally happening after such a long wait.
But on the other hand, it's been like opening old wounds. Experiencing flashbacks.
I never really acknowledged how much of myself was still packaged up and neatly stacked in Switzerland. It's something I guess I haven't wanted to face.
I've been putting my kids first. I'm a parent, that's what we do, at least for the most part. So concerned was I that the kids get their favourite toys back, their most treasured books, their beautiful colourful bedding that they once chose themselves… that it just hadn't occurred to me what I'd feel like getting all my clothes back, all my jewellery, all my old photos, my old artwork, my notebooks.
I realise now that I've kind of been this walking shell. Smiling on the outside, but feeling dreadfully empty within. Soul-less, I suppose.
So now I'm acknowledging it. It's been fucking hard. Not just for the kids (and believe me, they are still going through SO much). But for ME. I have felt very unravelled these past two weeks, but I think this is part of a necessary process. I have to fully fall apart before I can piece myself back together. But, hopefully this time, it will be with more substance and foundation.
In keeping with this theme, I'm going to give this blog a fresh start too.
I've not been writing much. I think it's because my blog represents my past. And my life is very different now.
I had a chat with one of my best friends and I even suggested changing the name of my blog. She listened intently at how I was feeling about everything, about the writing, about feeling so scattered and unravelled.
She made a suggestion that I've decided I'm going with. I'm keeping the name Splintered Reflections. As she so rightly put it, "The name Splintered Reflections is YOU. But I think you need to give the look of it an overhaul. Make it somewhere you love, a place you feel safe, that you feel comfortable in, drag it into the "now". RECLAIM IT!"
She's right. I'm reclaiming my life, so why not this blog too? It used to make me happy. I am going to trust that it can again.
Once again, this will be the last post you'll probably see for a while (though no promises!). I've got a lot of redesigning work to do.
I'm redesigning my life. This one will be stronger, and genuinely a lot happier, I think.