I can’t tell you how many times over the last two years I have sat in front of this white box, fingers flexed, ready and wanting to pour out my heart in an 800 word blog post.
It is something I’ve been doing since, god, the actual year 2000: not just as my own personal therapy but as a way to connect, to help other people, to just… be. I enjoy living my mistakes and triumphs in an open way, that’s the person I have always been since Tim Berners Lee, my hero, gave us the internet.
But in the last couple of years I haven’t been able to. Life and its (not-so) beautiful circumstances completely halted my creativity and removed my ability to do what I love the best, the personality trait I’m proudest of: my honesty, openness and the way I translate that on to the page. And by god, have I missed the feeling of whipping out those 800 words on an evening after a bit of a rough day.
And quite frankly, I want that back.
I haven’t stopped writing. Of course the book came out (the best thing I’ve birthed since Elfie and Hux), and since then I’ve been paid to pen a number of blog posts and pieces for one brand or another. But it hasn’t felt genuine, and that is something that has played on my mind non-stop.
“It was circumstances around my relationship that killed my vibe, there are no two ways around it”.
The thing is, when you’re a writer, a creator, it stands to reason that the only words which resonate with your audience are the ones which encompass what you feel most passionate about. Words that make you want to jump up and down like an oversized toddler shouting LOOK AT WHAT I WROTE WROTE, I AM THRILLED AND EXCITED AND PROUD OF IT!!!
Because if I’m not proud of the things I’m writing why should I expect you to enjoy reading them?
There was nothing I could do about it – my writing mojo deserted me, and it was circumstances around my relationship that killed my vibe.
You see, when you pair up with someone who’s recently separated, someone who has not only many years on you but a whole heap of life history too, the fact you write about your life experiences for a living suddenly becomes incredibly fascinating to a whole new demographic personal to him. A whole new demographic you’d rather appeal invisible to.
“I’ve had everything I’ve ever written dissected as proof of the awful person I am”
As a result I’ve had everything you can think of thrown at me these last couple of years. I’ve been told I’m a terrible person for the amount of relationships I’ve had, a slut for all the dates I’ve been on. I’ve heard that my morals are dubious, my mental health is fragile (bitch, please), I’m unstable and I am a liar. I’ve been told I’m a gold-digger so many times that I started questioning myself and my motives in my relationship (conclusion: I’m about as much a gold-digger as I have dubious morals).
I’ve had everything I’ve ever written dissected as proof of the awful person I am.
Fuck, it’s been hard. It’s been absolutely heartbreakingly horrendous to have my life’s proudest work torn apart and ridiculed to the extent that the people who were telling me my mental health was on the blink were causing it to go that way. And I am so mad that I let them get to me like that, so very very mad. Absolutely nobody in the world has the right to passively bully or speak about anyone in the way I have been spoken about these last couple of years, and this is a public broadcast to those who have done – and they will still be reading here, because duh – that it is enough.
The only thing I did wrong in the course of my relationship was fall in love with a man. I am not a bad person, I am not a gold-digger (I do fine for myself, thanks), I am not a sex-mad harlot. I am not inappropriate, nor mentally unstable or living life in a way that is insidious or harmful to others. I am just a woman trying to do the best I can to be the best I can be.
I have felt eyes on me constantly. This has been the first time I’ve experienced negativity as a result of me simply being, and the criticism from these watchers for a while really did a number on me. I clammed up, not wanting to write, talk, smile… do anything that would provoke any kind of reaction or response from those who were watching.
My light dimmed. Between the stress of the judgement and the stress of the relationship I once again became someone who was heavy, weighted by the pressure of a world that had previously felt so light. I felt caged in, creatively culled: I couldn’t move, even if I wanted to.
I recognised the cloud before it came, which I think is something that comes easier when you’ve already defeated your demons a couple of times over. While the relationship went downhill I started sleeping more, lost all motivation and, completely tellingly for me, no longer wore colourful clothes (it’s a dark day when I’m searching out another dark outfit).
I knew that I had to extricate myself from the relationship and situation before it was too late, before it swallowed me whole. I had become lost again and I missed myself terribly.
Reader, I won’t go into the details of how I turned my own tide, but I will tell you that today I am wearing a bright yellow jumper, I am grinning bigger than I have in months and this morning someone described me as looking good, ‘like a weapon’. I liked that, the thought that I am a force, a weapon, strength personified. I was not a weapon two months ago.
I am no longer in the relationship that was serving me in all the wrong ways but I am happy… no, I am light. I am light in weight and I have found my ray of light again, my sparkle, my purpose. I don’t just have a spring in my step but a whole host of freaking rainbow-coloured slinkies, ready and waiting to bounce upon the world and any negativity it might throw my way.
“If you’re going to make me feel bad for warming peoples’ hearts then I’m going to do it MORE”
For the second notable time in my life I have hit rock bottom and clawed my way back out of it, and though I’m pretty annoyed I’ve let other people’s actions bring me to my knees again I have absolutely no regrets for the strength it’s gifted me.
I’ve had the lessons I learned during my divorce reinforced: nobody can take away your power unless you let them. The only person in charge of Alice Judge-Talbot’s happiness is Alice Judge-Talbot, and the autonomy I have over myself and my feelings is my most precious commodity.
Nothing makes me happier than living my life in an open and honest way that connects my human experience with others’, and as my relationship was going down the pan last year I started a course to become a Life Coach. It was a decision made slightly in defiance for the things I was going through, but fuck it I thought, if you’re going to make me feel bad for warming peoples’ hearts with my own life experiences then I am going to keep doing it – and I doing it MORE.
So here I am, out the other side. Single, empowered, happy, strong. Consolidating my lessons and experiences of successfully striving for happiness learned over the last 6 years into something bigger, something I will use to help other people get happy, too. I am weaponising my happiness if you will, weaponising my sparkle, my bright yellow jumper and my absolute love of life.
Watch out, world. I haven’t even started.
I will be releasing my first limited spots for Happiness Coaching soon: if you’d like to know when they go live click here.