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On Being Lucky

Reading this post by the lovely Denise over at Listen Watch Read Share got me thinking about how we make our own luck in this world. And how even the harshest-seeming situations can be turned on their head to ensure a positive outcome.

I have had a more colourful past than most. I had a dysfunctional upbringing and left home at just 15. Certain things I went through as a child lead to major bouts of depression as a young adult. I was angry at the world back then, and felt very sorry for myself. I flirted heavily with the devil on many occasions. Made bad decisions. Did things I’m not proud of. Used to drink way too much, party way too much, and sleep with guys who I wouldn’t even look at sober let alone bump uglys with. Eventually I had a breakdown aged 22, and sought help via an amazing counsellor. She taught me that I needed distance from my destructive family, that I deserved to be loved and how to respect myself. Although she tried her hardest, she couldn’t get me to tackle my love of booze or getting obliterated. That would come later, along with breakdown number two.

Ten years ago I was made redundant from the large bank I was working for. I toyed with the idea of getting on the property ladder but decided to go travelling instead and booked an around the world plane ticket. I had many adventures and met lots of interesting people, a good handful of them are still a part of my life to this day. The trip was the best decision I ever made – not least because it was where I met the love of my life. I’d been on the road for almost six months at that point, and in SE Asia for two. We met in a bar on Serendipity Beach. It was supposed to be my last night in the town before heading elsewhere, and it was his first night there.

I don’t know if it was love at first sight, but sparks definitely flew. We had six blissful weeks together and each day was an adventure. When we went our separate ways (him to Australia and me home) it was horrendous. After a couple of days in the UK I realised I was making a huge mistake, and within a fortnight I was on a flight heading down under. My future was uncertain and funds were fast running out, but I knew I would regret not going and seeing what could have been. We spent a year between Oz, the SE Asian country we met and home, then decided to head back to Asia more long term around our first anniversary.

It was all such a whirlwind, we didn’t have a solid plan and thought we’d look for English teaching jobs when we got there. After less than a week we were given the opportunity to set up a shop above an established charity. The previous occupant had left rather dramatically and they needed new folk upstairs that they could trust. A few weeks into being back things reached a very messy head with my family and I cut ties with them all. I was a complete state for a long time afterwards. Looking back I was totally incapable of setting up a new life in a country where we didn’t speak the language or have any real friends. We lasted almost a year, but things were not as we imagined they would be. Being a tourist in a place like that and living there as an ex-pat are two very different things, which we discovered the hard way.

When we returned home at the start of 2006 it was separately. We then had an awful ‘are they on again are they off again?’ relationship for the best part of the year. During this time I worked for a man who would give Meryl Streep a run for her money in the Devil Wears Prada. Breakdown number two came in the November, and I finally woke up to my addictions and got clean as they say in the movies. I also realised I was in great danger of losing the best thing had happened to me. Hubby gave me one last chance thank goodness, and we headed into 2007 under very different circumstances. I was no longer unable to have a glass of wine without finishing the bottle. I no longer had any interest in going out partying all night. I worked incredibly hard to became a better person than the one I was perhaps ‘destined’ to be given my background and start in life. At the beginning of 2008 I was presented with a beautiful diamond and we were married a year later, while pregnant with our 4yo. By then I didn’t have to work hard to be a better person, I already was one.

It hasn’t been sunshine and roses from then until now. Hubby and I have overcome massive obstacles since we became parents, and continue to do so on a weekly basis. I still have the odd moment whereby succumbing to the dark clouds is my only option. Just last week I had an awful day, woke up in a fowl mood and went to bed in one. But we’re all allowed an off day every now and then, and I don’t beat myself up for them like I used to.

There are people that you meet who seem to easily breeze through life. It’s as if they were born under a lucky star and it follows them everywhere. On the flip side some folk get the rawest end of the deal – I can’t even comprehend the pain of losing a child or husband. For most of us though, how we deal with the hand we are dealt determines our fortune. You can call me a plethora of things, but lucky is not one of them. I have taken massive risks over the years to obtain my happiness, and I have to work hard to maintain the status quo.

We all have control over our own destiny, and it is up to each of us to ensure that we live our lives being the best we can possibly be. I truly believe that anyone can change their ways – no matter how naughty or wicked. Anyone is capable of breaking away from what I call the cycle of dysfunction. You just have to want to badly enough.

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36 Comments

  1. May 24, 2014 / 10:07 am

    Thanks so much, what a lovely comment 🙂

  2. May 24, 2014 / 2:56 am

    Hats off to you honey, I’m so impressed with your determination to turn your life around and succeed despite the odds. I think I may have said it before but I will say it again – you are an inspiration!

  3. November 5, 2013 / 12:51 pm

    Thank you so much for your kind comment Michelle x

  4. November 3, 2013 / 9:30 pm

    So glad that your story continues as a happier one than it started, wishing you lots of love and luck in all the years to come. Mich x

  5. October 25, 2013 / 5:44 pm

    Thank you so much for your kind comments. It was really cathartic, to be honest this whole blogging adventure has been. More so than I ever imagined it would be, and I’m really enjoying it 🙂

  6. October 25, 2013 / 8:27 am

    I hope that writing this post felt as cathartic to you as I imagine it might be. It is truly amazing how people are hard wired differently – some people would have given in to their demons, blamed their past and continued to life in bitterness and with a massive chip. Others, like you, choose to react differently and not accept to be shaped negatively by those experiences, but to draw from them and be strong. What an amazing story about you and your hubby; an inspiration to others not to let go too easily when the ride gets bumpy.

  7. October 19, 2013 / 10:11 pm

    Such an honest post, and I completely agree that we ultimately control our own destiny – whatever life throws at us, only we have the power to react/change, no one else can do it for us. Your strength is inspiring x

  8. October 18, 2013 / 4:31 pm

    Wow! You have been through so much and came out the other side such an amazing person x

  9. October 18, 2013 / 2:01 pm

    Wow honey – I’ve had to read all your links in this post and I cannot believe what you’ve gone through. What, I can believe thought is that you’ve come through it. You’ve worked out that you were so much more worthy than what was happening in your life and well done on being so honest. #PoCoLo

  10. October 18, 2013 / 1:01 pm

    Such an open and honest post, and both amazing and inspiring to read. You’re absolutely right in that you have to work hard and your destiny is in your hands. So pleased for you that you’re working towards it.

  11. October 18, 2013 / 12:45 pm

    A great, open and honest post.
    Well done for coming through things. You are inspiring!

  12. October 18, 2013 / 11:59 am

    Such an incredible story and so inspirational – I loved it and will recommend some of my friends to read it!

  13. October 18, 2013 / 11:59 am

    I remember reading something similar on your blog but I don’t think it was quite as detailed as this. You have done amazingly well and you are so right – it is up to us to choose our destiny. I put a quote on Facebook yesterday which rings true of you – Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo.

  14. October 18, 2013 / 10:20 am

    Fantastic gripping post. Well done. It’s a tribute to your character that you carried on slogging. Inspirational

  15. October 18, 2013 / 9:38 am

    awww that a fantastical honest and inspiring post honey thank you for sharing it x

  16. sarahmo3w
    October 18, 2013 / 9:13 am

    What an amazing post! You’ve certainly lived a dramatic life. So pleased to read things are working out for you all now.
    Popped over from PoCoLo.

  17. October 18, 2013 / 7:32 am

    So many inspirational words. You’ve worked hard for your happiness and deserve every second of it. And yes we all have down days when we need to give ourselves a break. Thank you for this post.

    Jumped over from PoCoLo

  18. suzanne3childrenandit
    October 18, 2013 / 7:25 am

    Wow, what a live you’ve led. I read a quote the other day “no one can go back and start a new beginning but anyone can start today and make a new ending”. This post reminded me of that…you’re testament to it. Keep going 🙂

  19. October 18, 2013 / 6:53 am

    What a story! Glad that you came out the other side and found (and kept) the man of your dreams.

  20. October 18, 2013 / 6:43 am

    Your post stirs up so many emotions from my past. I feel lots of connections here. It is true what you say though, you can turn it around. God bless those counsellors, but ultimately it is YOU that is amazing! Popping over from #PoCoLo and I will be back!

  21. October 17, 2013 / 7:49 pm

    If you didn’t mention your dysfunctional past I don’t think anyone would ever guess because your posts about how you live now demonstrate someone who is really so together. It shows how resilient you are. And also your counsellor really must have been amazing too – clearly someone who has had a huge positive impact in your life. Breaking a negative cycle is so inspiring.

  22. October 17, 2013 / 7:42 am

    PS – A wonderful post & I am glad my post connected with you.

  23. October 17, 2013 / 7:41 am

    I’m always amazed reading your blog that you are so sane, with all you went through. I work in a school and what’s weird is how some children get through anything thrown at them and still come out of it OK. While some buckle and are overwhelmed and “opt out” of trying or taking responsibility, in short, of living and getting on with life.

    I thought your story of you and hubby was amazing. That was a definite stroke of luck bumping into each other. Finding that someone with whom as you say there are sparks – that’s very special. What’s even more special in both of you is that it hasn’t been easy. When you have a (slightly for me, much more so for you) dysfunctional background one thing that doesn’t come so naturally *even when you have good intentions* is the ability to make good decisions because you don’t have examples of people around you making emotionally sound, grounded decisions. But you both got over that together. No blame. “Control of our own destiny”

    .

  24. October 16, 2013 / 6:03 pm

    Thanks so much Izzie. It’s been a bumpy road for sure, but so worth the hard work to be able to be a good mum and wife now. The alternative of giving up or repeating the cycle and same mistakes that my mother made were just not an option for me.

  25. October 16, 2013 / 5:23 pm

    Wow, it’s incredible that you’ve been through so much and come out the other side. You are one very tough cookie – don’t ever forget that!

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