I posted an analogy across my social media this week about goats and unicorns and it caused quite a reaction. I wrote: “I strongly believe that there is beauty in imperfection, why should we all daydream about stunning unicorns when we’ll never see one, those clunkety little goats that walk around and go unnoticed are the true beauties in life. The individual, the everyday, the natural blessings in life that we all too often overlook in favour of sugar and sparkle. If you can remove it with a wetwipe then it’s not beauty, it’s the beast that is society.”
I then had an influx of messages showing admiration and appreciation for my words and pictures, asking why I’m not married, spinning on a pedestal somewhere away from the rest of the world, whilst being admired by a loving husband who worships the ground that I walk on and refuses to let me out of his sight. Erm, well I guess it’s simply because I don’t, or haven’t? What am I supposed to say to that? I don’t know. Obviously nobody has ever felt that way about me or ever wanted to be like that. Is it because of me being me, or those I’ve dated being them, who knows? But either way I’m not a damsel in distress waiting in her tower to be rescued by a Prince with bad time keeping. I’m just me, enjoying life and living each day as it comes. Somebody I have never met nor spoken to before wrote to me saying “your my unicorn” (sic) and it stopped me in my tracks as it meant so much to me that somebody would say that.
I used the analogy of a goat to sum up how I feel about myself and life as a woman right now. Some of you may or may not know that I’m a single parent to my two children aged 6yrs and 2yrs. Tomorrow it will be exactly one year since my ex-fiance left, and I’m not writing this to make him look bad or put him down, rake up the past or play the victim, I’m simply sharing with you how the experience has changed me. I will remember the day it happened for as long as I live, 07/07/13, as I now believe that it was something set in fate that was always supposed to happen to me, a lesson I had to learn in life and purpose to serve, because these numbers mean so much to me. The lucky number 7 marked the seventh day of the seventh month of the year, and I was born on the 13th, which some say unlucky for some. Could there possibly be a more connected number than my date of birth and 7’s!? My son had just turned one, five days previously I had came out of hospital following a breast reconstruction after my chest collapsed, I’d struggled in my bandages and painkillers to make dinner and get the children to bed when my fiance of six years looked straight through me and said “I’m leaving”. My entire world came crashing down, physically, mentally and emotionally, and months later he gave me his reason for leaving being that at aged thirty he was too young for a family and it wasn’t his thing to be in a relationship. We’d been planning a wedding, had two beautiful children, were about to book a holiday and looking for a bigger family home. And then in the blink of an eye it was all so suddenly gone.
Since having the children I’d tried my hardest to be not only the best mother I could be, but also the best partner. A woman’s body changes enormously from carrying a child, stretchmarks, cellulite, weight gain, lethargy, weakness, stomach pains, backache, swelling, constipation, piles, headaches, hormones and a massive knock to your self confidence and self worth. I have always put 100% into everything that I do in life, and I put 100% into trying to return to the woman that my fiance was first attracted to, despite having my children. I didn’t want him to look at me and feel disgusted by how I’d changed following childbirth, so I worked my arse off, literally, to get into shape, to cover my dark circles from sleepless nights with makeup, to make an effort to ditch my jeans and cardigans for summer dresses and lipgloss and to keep our home immaculate, the children always tended to and happy, and his dinner on the table the second he walked through the door. Always with a smile, always ready to help and always there to support and reassure him. Not because I had to, but because I wanted to. I had a million plates up in the air, at the weakest time of my life, but not once did I let anything slip. I had a miscarriage followed directly by a troublesome pregnancy, a dangerous childbirth where I clotted, life saving surgery to rebuild my chest after my silicone implants leaked into me and I still continued to be the kind hearted and supportive mother and fiance I’d always been. I didn’t fuss, didn’t complain and didn’t ask anything of others, I simply got on with what I had to do. But then he was gone and it was just me and the children. And for the first time in my life I had to realise what it was to be ‘me’.
I cried a hell of a lot, for a long time. People would ask me how I was and if I was coping, and I too would look right through them, lost in thought and pain, just as my ex had looked through me that night he left. He took my soul, he broke my heart into a million pieces and all that I could do was hold on for my two beautiful children who needed their mummy more than anything. I’d tried so hard to be his unicorn, to make him proud of me, and to give him a reason to smile and want to come home to his happy little family, but all the while I was just a goat. A goat isn’t a bad thing, it’s a beautiful creature in its own way, granted it may have the odd wirey strand of hair on it’s chin or upper lip, it’s hooves may be chipped and it’s hair slightly straggled with split ends; but a goat is open, a goat is honest, with a goat what you see is what you get; loyalty, love and dedication, hard work and willingness no matter what it is put through. I wasn’t his proud glamourous unicorn, I was just a goat with nail varnish and hair spray and he knew it.
In this year that I have had since, day by day I learnt what it meant to be ‘me’. To take time to myself and think “what would I like to do for myself today?” I regained my love of reading, long evening walks, yoga, socialising, helping charities, snowboarding, learning to ride a motorbike, bodybuilding, modelling, filming for television stations, buying myself clothes, taking my children for picnics, laying in bed cuddling up for DVD nights and spending time alone with my thoughts. What I have achieved in this past year has been quite possibly the biggest and most amazing feat in my entire life of twenty-six years so far. 07/07/13 wasn’t the end of my life, it was in fact my beginning. And the less I tried to be a unicorn, the more I discovered myself as a goat. Men would leer over me and girls would kiss their teeth and say “who the hell do you think you are?” and my response? “Nothing special, I’m just me.” And just me is all that I ever want to be, because we are all perfect for our imperfections. My hair has always been absolutely rubbish, it’s thin, wispy and I quite possibly have the biggest forehead on earth, I used to try to make it look pretty, spray it up, add a hairband or clips and attempt to blend in with the other girls with effortlessly beautiful locks, but they would still look down their nose at me and say “err, look at your hair and stupid forehead” so instead of feeling down about it I ruffle it up, leave it looking messy, laugh and say “how does it look now?” I haven’t so much as straightened my hair in months and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest anymore, let’s face it I’ll never look like Rapunzel so why lose sleep over it?
I have totally lost my concern for what others think of me and it is the biggest freedom ever. I’ve healed so completely and have never felt as happy and at peace as I am now, I smile everyday from the inside out, my heart is lifted and the most amazing things happen to me as a result of my positivity. I can’t make the entire world love me, so I don’t even try, I just ‘am’ me and let myself ‘be’ and oddly enough I have had the biggest and most rewarding public response from it. I’m not stuck up, I’m not self-obsessed and I don’t take myself too seriously, I am me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I will raise my children to be goats too, because life is about being humble, thankful, respectful and recognising your blessings, keeping your feet on the ground whilst reaching for the stars. And because they are goats, one day their husband and wife will treat them like a unicorn and love them forever and a day. It is so easy these days to take away a persons ‘beauty’ with a wetwipe, but a heart, soul, love and personality will last a lifetime. I don’t want to act like a unicorn with a horn gaffataped to my head and bright red lipstick smeared all over my teeth and a false smile, because I’m happy being a goat. For my flaws and weaknesses I am free. And for once in life, being me is the only thing that I don’t have to try at.
I’m feeling so fit and healthy now, as I’m three weeks into Focus T25 which I’ve been blogging about. My body is an absolute machine, my mind is sharp and I constantly have the biggest smile on my face. It’s like completing the baked bean puzzle, to start with there are 5,000 chaotic pieces that all look exactly the same and have no order at all, and after building the edge pieces and fixing the outside I’ve now completed the middle. I’m basically a goat that does puzzles.
I’ve recently turned my hand to fashion blogging, because I love shoes and clothes and thought why not share my finds with others. To see a top that you love and ask somebody where they got it from is a girls way of hunting, albeit in a more civilised way than the hairy caveman, but tracking an item and finding it in your size is surely a primeval retail trait that we all have. I have been very pleasantly surprised by all of the companies who have seen something inside of me and appreciate what I do, sending me clothing, shoes and jewellery to take pictures of myself wearing and give my opinion on the shape, colour and fit. The feedback has been incredible and I love how helpful it’s proven to see clothes on a real person to show their true potential, rather than flat on a hanger. I am most fortunate that others ask my opinion and love sharing with you all the things that I adore and put my hand on my heart to recommend. Sharing is most definitely caring.
Millie is thankfully on the mend from her chicken pox now, almost two weeks on they are gradually fading. She finished school on Friday with a temperature whilst being shivering cold on a boiling hot day, and the doctor recommended she rest up for the weekend and for me to keep an eye on her incase she gets any worse. The poor little lamb she’s catching everything going at the moment, but so many children at school have had the same and I guess it just has to do the rounds for so many weeks. The end of the school year is fast approaching and Millie has had the most amazing school report. She makes me the proudest mother in the world, my shining star and ray of sunshine, trying her hardest in all that she does and seeing the beauty and innocence in life. She is testament to the unquenchable love that I have for my beautiful children.
My handsome chappy Gabriele will be starting preschool after the summer holidays and it seems impossible that he will soon be in a little uniform and tiny shoes, going off to do his drawing and counting and playing with his classmates. One year ago he was my baby, and now he is my little man. I am the proudest parent in the world to my children, the happiest woman in the world for my life and my heart and soul are so incredibly lifted because the sky is the limit. I adore my life, I adore the opportunity, feedback and positivity all around me, and I cannot do justice to the appreciation that I have for what this past year has taught me. Please take away with you from this post today, that no matter what you go through in life, no matter how dark the clouds, how heavy the weight and how painful the wound, one day you will soar high and feel the true love and peace of life. Always be true to yourself and always stay humble, because life has a funny way of showing you everything you ever needed to know. You are my unicorn.