From the start of the year to now I have learned a lot about myself. I am a changed woman. I am a new woman.
1) I enjoy exercise
Who knew!? I actually love it!
I have, until now, been a sofa girl. The remote was my best friend and “outside” was something to be shunned and avoided. Outside was the place between the car and the bar. I firmly lived by the belief that, as according to Dr Sheldon Cooper, “if outside is so good, why have we spent so long perfecting inside?”
Since moving into my new house, and giving up my car, I have had to start walking if I want to get anywhere. If I want to go to playgroup, I walk. If I want to go shopping, I walk. So, we walk. Once I starting HAVING to walk, I discovered I love to walk. My poor little old dog, with her cataracts, missing teeth, and grey hairs, is getting walked more than she has ever been walked in her life. I will refuse offers of being chauffeured between locations just so I can walk it. I do not miss my car at all.
I swim every day. No… most days. I have missed one day in the last month. I go to the gym twice a week. Last night I had a babysitter and, instead of using my Friday night on vodka shots and dancing on tables, I used it to go to the gym then swim. When I am feeling stressed or anxious or angry, and would usually turn to wine and an enormous bar of chocolate, I find myself turning to the gym and boxing gloves and a punch bag. If I don’t go for a few days I get antsy and twitchy.
2) I love independence
Until I moved into this house I have never lived alone. I have either lived with a man, well I have lived with four men, or I have lived with my mother. Whilst I am living with Miss Rose, obviously, I am the sole adult. I am not lonely, I am not scared, and I am so happy. My home is amazing. It has damp, there appears to be ants pouring in through a hole in the door, the pump for the shower makes weird noises, and the carpet is stained (I don’t know what with…) but it is home. It feels more like home than anywhere has felt for a long time. I actually don’t remember feeling as at home anywhere as I do here. Baring in mind I’ve always been a pretty happy and contented person it actually surprises me how much better I feel here. I didn’t realise I felt wrong anywhere else before.
The independence also brings challenges. I am soley in charge of the budget; the bills and food, and I have to keep my house clean and my daughter alive by myself. If I feel poorly there is no back up. If I make a mistake there is nobody to pick up the pieces. But, despite this, the house is (relatively) clean, the lights are on, and the child is alive. I am more capable of being an actual adult than I ever realised.
3) I can use my head
I have always been more of a “doer” than a “thinker”. Decisions I make are based on feelings, impulses, and what “feels right” at the time. Who knows what the future holds? If it feels right, do it. Deal with consequences or backlash later if they happen. What matters is the here and now.
Apparently I have actually grown out of that and am now capable of making hard decisions for the right reasons. I ended something, something brilliant, before it became serious. I listened to my head, not my emotions and my foof (both of which screamed GO GO GO GO GO!), and realised that where I am, in terms of my head and my emotional state, cannot handle it. I cannot handle another man I care about rejecting me, and I cannot handle the pressure of a relationship. My husband leaving me has left me vulnerable, and it has left me needing to heal and build up strength. I need to protect myself whilst I do it, and allowing another person into my world and into my heart, will not do that.
4) I am driven
I have never considered myself to be ambitious.
I have dreams and aspirations, certainly, but I wouldn’t have thought of myself as a fighter. I long to write, love to write, and have nearly completed my book, but I have always been terrified of that. Finishing it was something I longed for in equal amounts to dreading because once it’s finished I have to decide if I can face trying to get it published. But now I can. Now I know that when it is finished I can put it out there.
Working has never been something I considered a focus, it was always something you do to survive and because you have to, not something you do because you love it. Because “work” is not something good. Recently business opportunities have arisen and I have embraced them. I have a background in website design and online retail, and I am utilising those skills into two new businesses with friends. I shall, once they’re ready, write more. But for now I am very excitied.
5) I am desirable
I never actually realised that some people think I am quite a hotty. Don’t get me wrong, I am no Jennifer Lawrence, but I’m alright! My body is stretch marked but quite fit, and I’m actually quite pretty. I have realised this because of the way men react to me now I am single. My husband never really reacted to me like this, but suddenly men do! I get asked out, I get flirted with, I get approving nods and winks from passing drivers. I have been told I am beautiful and sexy, I have been propositioned. I am a desirable woman. If, when, I decide I am ready for a relationship beyond just some fun, then I will definitely be able to find someone willing to go there with me. I doubted it. I truly doubted it. But now I don’t. I AM desirable.
6) Being ME matters
I always thought that just being “mum” was enough for me. That I needed nothing more from my life than Miss Rose. But it’s not enough. There is more and I am discovering that when I get chances to just be “me” not mum that I have a lot to offer, and that I actually feel good. There is more to life, and more to me, than just being a parent. I didn’t know. All these things I am learning have come about whilst I go on a journey of self discovery. The new me is more than wife and more than mum.
If my husband hadn’t left I would never have found these things out about myself. I would never have discovered health and fitness, I would never have learned I am capable, I would never have been able to use my brain over my body, never discovered just how much I want to achieve, and I would never have realised I am sexy. I would have been just “wife” and “mum”. Judith, the person who is actually inside me, would have been lost. I forgot her. And you know what, she’s not half bad.
So, today, I say hello to the rest of my life. I don’t know what it holds, and I don’t know the person whom I am going to become, but I do know I can get there. I can find out, I can embrace my life, and I can be Judith. Being mum will always been the most important, most significant, thing I can ever do with my life. But being Judith too, that’s not half bad.