22 January 2019
On reflection at the start of this year, I realised I’ve made the life I wanted. In three short (but endless) years.
It’s three years today since my daughter was born at a minute to midnight. My life today looks completely different to the way it did back then, in January 2016.
But for completeness of documentation, I know that things had really begun to change almost a year before that. In February 2015, I was very ill, recovering in bed from two operations to remove a baby that didn’t live (I was almost 5 months pregnant when we found out he had the chromosomal abnormality, Trisomy 18 – ‘not compatible with life’). It should’ve been a straightforward operation, but it needed to be done twice, then I got infection on top of infection… and then I also somehow got pregnant again.
My gynaecologist was surprised… Both babies were a surprise. It had not been part of the plan. To be honest, I didn’t really have a plan. But life, as it does, handed me one…
As sad as the death of the unknown boy was, that time sick in bed sparked a deep self-reflection in me that had me saying: No More. And committing to creating the life I wanted no matter what. So he was important, and his death wasn’t in vain, and I have a lot to thank him for – in addition to the fact that my daughter would not be here without him.
And because I love a list, here’s the unedited dot-point version of the journey…
What I was saying No More to:
- No more blaming others for what I didn’t have
- No more working for other people, ever again – I simply wasn’t designed to do it
- No more half-assing it in my own business (which I’d been running on and off since 2003)
- No more avoiding who I was and what I wanted
- No more jumping from one shiny object to the next, trying to work out why I was so restless and dissatisfied
- No more financial issues – especially no more being underpaid for what I did
- No more working in my zone of competence/excellence – only zone of genius from now on
- No more migraines
- No more crippling anxiety
What I knew I needed to do to change:
- Find out who I was – like, REALLY was
- Find out what I wanted – again, the hidden, below-the-surface wants
- Find out how to tangibly create that in real life (quickly and easily) – so it didn’t stay a dream
(Some of) What I’ve discovered since then:
- I’m a genius at identity work
- Cognitively, I’m in the 1% of the 1% – I’m a rare thing
- I’m not designed for the conventional
- I’m a synaesthete
- I have a high tolerance for risk
- I’m autistic
- I’m a writer and artist to the core, with a streak of business (not the other way round)
- My life must be beautiful
- It’s easy for me to make money – but it’s not about the money for me
- I have a Mensa IQ and the emotional age of a 14 year old (thanks, autism) – a paradox in every sense
- I’m an extrovert – not an introvert like I’d previously thought
- It doesn’t matter how hard it gets, I don’t give up
- The outcome I wanted to create for my work meant I had to design something that didn’t yet exist
- I was a practicing witch (actually, practitioner of magic is more correct) until the age of twelve – and it was time to start again, after a thirty year break
What I created:
- A one-of-a-kind business that makes more than $250k a year
- A lifestyle that means I work about 8 hours a week, with amazing clients who want to – you guessed it – find out who they are and what they want, and how to make it real
- My own unique, unrepeatable synaesthetic-based creative/investigative process that helps clients get what they need
- The space to be creative on my own terms
- The space my neurodiverse brain and my overly sensitive body needs in order to function
How I did it:
- Made the decision (during those weeks while ill in bed) that I was committing to this process, no matter what – I was prepared to leave my husband, my kids if necessary. I was focused like a motherfucker on finding out who I was. No. Matter. What
- Started searching and researching – every spare moment was spent in increasing my self-awareness and self-reflection. Like a woman possessed
- Hired professional help (mentors) – I invested a lot of money in mentors to speed up this process – and I did this while not earning an income AND with a brand new baby
- Got clear on what I wanted. NB: this is a never-ending process – there’s no destination you arrive at – I’ll be doing it for the rest of my life. But, the basics are that in each moment, I took immediate action on what I knew I wanted in that moment
- Created the identity of the version of me that had everything I wanted, and started acting from this place in every moment
- Shut down the old version of my business, quit my job and launched my new business – coaching and mentoring – with a brand new baby
- Believed 1000000000% that I would make it work, regardless of what others said
- Ruthlessly removed everything from my life that didn’t fit with the picture of what I wanted (and have continued to ruthlessly remove things)
What I have today:
A peaceful existence in a beautiful place. Happy, healthy children. A husband who fascinates me. A plan for 2020 that includes world domination in Dark Luxury Branding (my creation), writing an illustrated young adult series, painting and portraiture work, more investments (houses and vintage cars). Travel. A couple of writing masterclasses. A weekly schedule that includes a few phone sessions with clients, and lots of time for reading, working on my creations, the ocean…
And, importantly, I know have almost total control over my anxiety, so I have finally, finally, finally been removed from the cyclical grip of it (and the grip of the things I was using to cope with it – namely alcohol).
Everything’s not perfect, obviously. That’s not the point.
But I don’t recognise myself from where I was four years, even three years, ago. And I can say with total honesty, that I have created the life I wanted. It’s all mine.