What didn’t I do because I fell in love?
That is the question I eventually asked myself. Not, ‘what will make me happy?’ which left me feeling paralysed and incomplete. I asked myself ‘what didn’t I do because I fell in love? What didn’t I get to do because of my last relationship? What hobbies, ambitions, secret dreams were put on the back burner the day I fell in love?
And the answers to those questions became my dry-eyed starting point, because I decided to go out and do all those things. I was going to take back what love had stolen. If I didn’t discover happiness on the way at least I would have evened the score with heart-breaking love. It was my first step towards happiness.
The Hidden Book
Everyone has a book in them, that’s what they say. Well I think everyone has a secret dream in them, something they always thought they’d do but just never seem to. For me that happened to be an actual book. The book. The book I’d been trying to write the whole time I’d been in my relationship. But who wants to prioritise sitting alone in a quiet room when you have a tall dark-haired Frenchman to play with? So I let that dream slide. I substituted French kisses, cuddles and quite a lot of French cheese for the happiness reaching my literary potential would have given me. If you can you must. Its one of my favorite Goethe quotes. And I could but I hadn’t. So that became priority number one. I started writing Love Is A Thief, a book about a heart-broken girl who goes out to do all the things she didn’t do because she fell in love. It was a work of fiction. My dream has now become a reality with my debut novel launching on the 5th July.
Then there was the snow. Not just the fact that I loved sliding around on skis or a snowboard but that I wanted to teach other people to do that. It was the profession of my ex. In fact he had a lot of talents I wanted for myself, a lot of qualities I admired, a lot of skills I yearned for. After we broke up I wondered if perhaps I had been living vicariously through him, as if proximity to these qualities, skills and achievements was enough of a fix. It was time to make them my own. So I saved up for 18 months and sent myself to Canada to qualify as a snowboard instructor. I got certified, in a sporting sense. And it felt great.
But what if you don’t have huge Love Stolen Dreams? What if you just want to feel a little happier? Well it was actually some of the tiniest changes that had the biggest impact on my daily life, and in the depths of sadness I needed to start with the small stuff.