When I was in my 20’s I lived in Africa volunteering with orphaned and abandoned children. I wrote weekly emails about my adventures for everyone who was supporting me back home. Constantly, I had people say to me ‘you should write a book’. Well life got in the way of that and I never did. I have been a part of and coordinated joint blogging/writing ventures in the past and thought many times about starting a blog of my own but never got around to it. Or I couldn’t think of my ‘niche’, there’s so many amazing things to share.
Recently I have found myself in a new place in my journey. My relationship ended after nearly two years and planning a future together. I had been single for a long time prior and I thought that part of my life was over. But alas I find myself back here and honestly I’ve been a little lost. In my own journey of trying to figure out who I am on my own again and what I want from my life, I realised that I stopped learning and doing new things for myself while I was in a relationship. When I have been single in the past I tried new things; I tried my hand at scrap booking for a while, I took some cake decorating classes and became the designated cake decorator for family and friends events, I enjoyed my camera and experimented with that (although never getting to learn as much as I wanted), I sang and enjoyed working out harmonies with my friends… I tried new things and found what I enjoyed for me. Not that there was anything wrong with not doing new things myself while I was in a relationship. I was growing in that relationship, learning new things about me and another person through that experience. Hey, I never thought I’d learn or care about the rules of cricket but I learnt that while I was in a relationship. I was in a very happy time in my life and we did new ‘couple’ things and enjoyed each others company. And I was at a stage where I had prioritised ‘me’ for a long time, so I was where I wanted to be. I’m a pretty accomplished person with multiple degrees and post graduate studies, a career as a social worker, I’ve travelled and I have amazing friendships. All I had left to do was settle down and have a family. I felt fulfilled with all my accomplishments and being in a relationship added to that. And yet when my relationship ended, despite still having everything else I had accomplished, I felt empty and wasn’t quite sure who I was in this new place in my life. Time had shifted my focus. Anyway (this isn’t a therapy session I promise) one of the things I challenged myself on through the breakup was finding new things that I wanted to try, just for me. Firstly to give me something to focus on besides how much I missed being in a relationship. Secondly to find new happiness elsewhere. And Thirdly to keep growing and to be the best version of myself because ultimately I want to be in another relationship at some point and to attract the best I need to be at my best. (Can I just give a little shout out to Zoe Foster Blake. Her Break Up Boss App with her little ‘you go girl’ messages each day has been a true God send). So that brings me here;
I picked 4 new things I wanted to try.
1. Gardening- I’ve always been terrible at Gardening! People would give me a plant as a gift and I’d kill it in a few months. But I love sitting in my backyard surrounded by colour. And I really want to grow my own food. So despite the challenges- both my very non-green thumb and that I live in a rental so am confined to pots- I’m giving it a crack.
2. Photography- I love capturing life! I’ve always been a keen amateur photographer, always the official photographer at family and friends events and trying my hand fun angles etc. I think I do alright. But generally I use the auto settings, sometimes playing with the manual focus, but not much more. So I want to do some classes or devour youtube clips and really learn the art of photography.
3. Walking- This one is kind of an add on to the photography. I want to find beautiful scenic walks in my local area and just explore. Partly for the vitamin D (doesn’t the sunshine just make you feel so much better!), partly for the exercise (again very helpful to your mental health) and partly to find beautiful things to photograph.
4. Blogging- And that brings me to why we’re here. I thought after all those years of people telling me I should be writing that I would give it a go. I couldn’t decide on a theme – I’m not one thing. So I just thought I’d give you a little taste of how I see the world and see how it goes. One week I might share something I’ve learned about gardening. Another about health. Another I might show you some of my very best Christmas activities. Another week I might just give an encouraging word. I just thought why not bring people on my journey and if it encourages or helps one person or makes someone laugh or gives them a great idea, that’s all I want. I’m not going to give you all of me… just a little JoJo.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton