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The day I fell apart…

Falling ApartOver the last few weeks I’ve been hearing the same comment on a regular basis….”you’re dealing with your breakup really well”.

Sometimes it’s said with surprise, sometimes it’s said with an element of hope…at other times with a slight hint of dismay.

At a lunch meeting a while back, a colleague mentioned to me that I was one of these women who seemed to always have it together…and she wondered if I ever have days where things just get too much.

Well, I do 🙂

I’m just like everyone else in that sense.

So today I thought I would share about one of my more ‘challenging days’…so that you can see that I have them, just like everyone else.

As you know, a couple of months ago I went through a difficult breakup when the boyfriend I was living with left unexpectedly the night before Valentine’s Day.

I shared a bit about my experience on my blog to help other women who might be going through a similar situation.

Unfortunately it was never going to be an easy split because he was involved in some technical aspects of my business…so as much as it would have been easier at that point to have had a completely clean break with no contact (at least for a while until the wounds begin to heal), this wasn’t the reality of my situation.

Over the past month or two we have had to stay in touch to try and work out the details and come to a conclusion about how things will be resolved, including a few financial issues.

So it has been challenging, but all in all, I’ve been doing pretty well. There have been good days, and bad days, but I’ve followed my own advice and felt whatever emotions have come up in order to begin to release them. I’ve had some health problems along the way, but generally I was doing OK.

…until last Tuesday.

Now, I love social media…it’s a great way to stay in touch with my many friends across the world, but there are times (like this) where I really wish that we weren’t so connected.

On Tuesday I had a phone call from a friend.

Unfortunately due to a problem with my friend’s phone I wasn’t able to have a proper conversation with her….I could hear her, but she couldn’t hear me…so I just had to listen, sat on my own in a venue in London.

She told me that few days before, through the magic of Facebook, it was announced that my ex was on holiday with his new girlfriend.

I felt a rush of emotions all at once….hurt, angry, betrayed, used,…you name it, I felt it.

I completely fell apart.

The challenge with this was that I got this information literally minutes before a meeting in London that I was supposed to be leading.

The women walked into the room to find me in tears.

A few years back, I would have ‘pulled myself together’, put on a brave face, and powered through.

Not on Tuesday.

On Tuesday I allowed myself to share what had happened. I was completely open, I was completely vulnerable and more importantly I allowed these amazing women to be there for me.

It didn’t stop the hurt, but it certainly did help.

What was interesting was the more I shared…the more the ladies there shared that they had had similar experiences…and it helped to know that there were others who had been where I was in that moment.

That completely honest connection with another person where you understand each other’s pain, you’ve walked in each other’s shoes, creates a bond. It gives a real sense of understanding, strength and hope.

So I’m sharing this today for one reason. I know that there are other women out there, perhaps you’re one of them, who are going through a situation like this.

It’s OK that it hurts. It’s OK that it’s painful. It’s OK that you don’t always have it together. It’s OK to sometimes have a hard time dealing with things. It’s OK to cry. It’s OK if you need to fall apart for a little while. It’s OK to lean on others….even if you’re supposed to be doing the leading.

We’re human.

None of us are perfect…myself included.

So the next time you have a moment when it just gets too much…give yourself permission to lean on the people around you.

You do so much for them, that it’s good for them to have the gift of giving back to you…especially at the times when you need it the most.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Thank you to the stranger on the train…

TearsYesterday was not a good day for me.

In fact, being honest, it was really awful.

It’s not very often that you’ll hear me say something like that…but in this case there’s no other way to put it!

I got some news which was very upsetting, and which caught me completely by surprise.

If you want to know the full story, you can find it in today’s newsletter (You can sign up here if you haven’t yet: http://feminine1st.com/free-gift/)

I was in London at a meeting when it happened, and so on my journey home it all started to sink in…and the next thing I know I’m sitting on a South Eastern train with tears streaming down my face.

It was one of those “once the flood gates are open” moments.

Once I started, I just couldn’t stop.

I was very aware of the fact that I was on a public train, surrounded by people, but it didn’t matter. I was feeling very upset, and at that moment I needed to let it out.

The guy with the drinks trolley went past and very kindly handed me a couple of napkins as he went.

But then something interesting happened.

A guy who was sat a little further up the train walked up to me and said “I’m really sorry, I’m not trying to hit on you, but I can’t just sit there and watch you cry….would you like to split a beer? Or I could just sit here and talk random rubbish at you for the rest of your journey?”

Now, a few years ago, if this had happened my instinctive response would be to say “It’s OK, I’m fine”.

Not yesterday.

I looked up at him and said “You know what, that would be really great”.

So he sat down and we started chatting.

Not the stuff of great conversations that will go down in history, just random chat to pass the time.

It was just what I needed…a little random kindness from a stranger.

What was really interesting is that had the situation been reversed and I’d seen someone crying on the train, I’d have done exactly what he did.

When I told him this and said how grateful I was for the random stranger who came and talked random stuff at me to pass the journey…he simply replied, “Ah, but it wasn’t random”.

It was really reassuring to know that what you put out in the world, does come back…sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes randomly…but often when it’s most needed.

I’ve mentioned the concept of paying it forward on here a few times, and my last post about it was on remembering to receive it forward as well.

Well, yesterday I got the chance…and it felt good to receive.

So thank you to the stranger on the train who helped me to dry my tears and made me smile.

The next time you see someone who you think could use cheering up, don’t be afraid to say hello…it doesn’t cost anything and it might just make all the difference to someone’s day.

…and the next time someone offers you a kindness at a time when you really need it…allow yourself to receive it. It might not take away the sadness or whatever it is that you’re feeling…but it certainly does help.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x