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What if?

‘Letters to Juliet’ is unashamedly a girlie rom-com, chick-flick, and yes, I cry. But towards the end of the film we hear the letter that ‘Juliet’ writes back to Claire – after a period of 50 years:what if greg plitt

Dear Claire,

“What” and “If” are two words as non-threatening as words can be.

But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life:

What if?

What if?

What if?

I don’t know how your story ended but if what you felt then was true love, then it’s never too late. If it was true then, why wouldn’t it be true now? You need only the courage to follow your heart.

I don’t know what a love like Juliet’s feels like – love to leave loved ones for, love to cross oceans for but I’d like to believe if I ever were to feel it, that I will have the courage to seize it.

And, Claire, if you didn’t, I hope one day that you will.

All my love, Juliet

 

And it’s true.

“What if” does have the power to haunt you.

What if I had done this, what if I had done that?

All those regrets that hang on those 2 words. Things you wish you could have done, should have said, etc.

But holding on to the “what ifs” doesn’t do anyone any favours – believe me, I know.

I’ve learned that we can’t change the past, no matter how hard we try. We have to live for the present and use our past experiences to shape our future ones, so that we no longer think “what if” but live a full life with no regrets.

At the end of the day, if things don’t work out the way you planned or wanted – for example you didn’t get the job, promotion, house, etc, then maybe it wasn’t meant to be and maybe, just maybe life has something better lined up for you.

That’s a hard one to get your head around sometimes, especially if you feel that your whole world is collapsing around you, but it does get better.

You just have to believe in 3 things: in yourself, in other people and that anything is possible.

And sometimes you’ll find that something in the most unlikely of places when you’re least expecting it.

These days I don’t think “what if” and try to second-guess the future or over-analyse every little minute detail of life, I just let life flow.

I have finally learned that “you can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf!” and it’s actually great fun.

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The A-Z of Life – Variety

Question!

If variety is the spice of life, why, do we all seem to terrified of change?

When change happens, we are all guilty of being reluctant to embrace it fully in some way.

Variety may be the spice of life, but routine is safe, it’s what we know and sometimes we just don’t want to leave our comfort zone.

For me, I think that’s probably why I never put money into a house. I wanted too, and came close a couple of times. But each time, I was swayed by a couple of external factors – my dad (ever the cautious accountant) saying, that the word was house prices were going to drop in the next couple of months (just don’t buy shares, I think would be my advice to him now) and secondly, myself. If truth be told, I was always too scared to branch out on my own. I’ve already said I am one of nature’s natural born-worriers, and always there would be a barrage of what-ifs that popped into my head, and the worrier in me would outweigh the adventurous me. It always does.

I would like to think that now, with the wisdom of a few more years, I am slightly more adaptable to change, especially having had SC.

In fact, right now, I am embarking on a new voyage of discovery.

The chains which bound me in work for the past couple of years, I have just shaken off, and for the first time in a long time I feel free.

I have so much that I want to do, so many ideas, but first and foremost I have to build myself back up in order to be a hard-core bread-winning machine.

I’ve finally accepted the hand that has been dealt me now, and if I am to be on my own, then that’s the way it’s going to be.

I’ve proved to myself I can deal with my own disasters however painful they may be.

I feel afraid, for sure, but I know I can cope with anything life throws at me – I have the battle scars to prove it. I may have been defeated, more times than I have won battles, but I have not failed, for every single time I dusted myself down and stood back up again stronger and wiser than ever.

I didn’t need anyone before I had SC, I don’t need anyone now!

One of the best books I have read was “Who Moved My Cheese”, by Dr Spencer Johnson is all about the different ways we look at change, which can be applied to any aspect of our lives.

Most of us can embrace change, eventually, and it takes some of us longer than others.

There are some people though who will never be able to embrace change.

As for me, I’m off to find new cheese!

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The A-Z of Life – Quitting

quittingIs “quitting” a dirty word?

Should we be ashamed if we quit?

If you ask a sportsman the answer is probably “yes” – after all quitters never win!

That indeed is true in one sense, but what, if you have tried all avenues and you still end up facing the wall in front of you, no higher up it, or further along to the end than when you started?

Should you still try to overcome the obstacle?

Should you strategically think about the obstacle?

Why is it so difficult to overcome?

Is it the obstacle that is the problem, or you?

If, indeed, it is the obstacle that is the problem, then surely “quitting” is not a bad thing?

Doesn’t it just means you get to shift your focus onto something more important, or maybe something less difficult to overcome? After all you can’t climb a mountain in one leap, you need to take little steps and often traverse the mountain sideways before moving further up towards the summit and the goal!

If it is you that is the problem though, what then?

Surely in this case quitting is a bad thing, because if you don’t even try, for whatever reason, doesn’t that make for a life filled with regrets and what ifs?

What is holding you back?

What deep-rooted “problem” (for want of a better word) is preventing you from, sometimes even just trying to get somewhere?

In my case, the answer is that I never truly believe in me.

I put obstacles in my way. Extra obstacles that I have to overcome as well as the original task at hand. It’s always a case of I can’t do this, I’m not very good at that, I’m not pretty, I’m not clever enough, I’ll never be the type of girl that someone will adore, etc.

So when I try to overcome these extra obstacles I still have the original obstacle in my way, still as big and ominous.

That is not to say I never try anything, but I have to be passionate about and truly believe in whatever it is I am trying to achieve and then I will throw my heart and soul into trying to make it work.

Most of the time though, I do end up with egg on my face, looking like a complete idiot and feeling like a complete failure.

So, I end up still not believing in me.

And if I don’t believe in me, who else will, right?

It is a vicious circle.

Sometimes, I feel like I’ve just about had enough of everything that’s been thrown at me, and yes, I feel like quitting!

Quitting life, quitting people, quitting everything.

But if truth be told, I am not a quitter!

I may not believe in myself, but I try to not give up unless I have given it every last ounce of my fighting spirit.

There are, of course exceptions and some things that are not worth fighting for, generally things that I never really wanted in the first place – like the job or the part in the play – just because my heart wasn’t and wouldn’t be in it, and I don’t tend to feel too bad about them, because deep down I never really wanted it.

I am about the see the light and get rid of the contract that has been weighing me down for the last 3 years. I have thrown every artillery shell and bit of arsenal I have at my disposal at it, and yet the damn thing is still unmovable. So, I have decided enough is enough – it was becoming bad for my stress levels and general health and well-being.

I may have been defeated but I have not failed. I think of it as having lost a particular battle, but that doesn’t mean I will not go on fighting. I still have faith and dreams 😉

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Are men and women the same?

Someone once asked me if I thought men and women were the same.men-women

I said that I thought they were, fundamentally, which they didn’t, and I still stand firm in my opinion.

Despite the obvious physical differences, I still believe in a nutshell that deep-down men, like women, feel the same emotions, have the same needs and want the same things.

After all, we are essentially made from the same genetic material, so why would we differ psychologically, so to speak?

It’s just that somewhere along the lines of human development from caveman to present-day the lines have become somewhat muddled, and men have been programmed to suppress their emotions.

The advancement of feminism has also thrown a spanner in the works. Men now longer know whether or not to try to be chivalrous by opening doors, etc., as they don’t know which camp a woman is in – they will either be met with a thank you, or a torrent of feministic rhetoric about how we can open our own doors, thank you!

The key to fulfilling our emotions, wants and needs whether you are a man or a woman is communication.

Without communication we just end up making assumptions about the other person – for example, how many women reading this have thought that because a man doesn’t call that he isn’t interested in them? Maybe the man is sitting at home unsure whether to call, because he is assuming you are not interested in him?

Men are just as afraid of being rejected as women are.

It’s this reading between the lines, adding 2 and 2 together and coming up with 17 that means we tend to get everything screwed up.

Honest communication is vital in any relationship in life – be it business or pleasure – and sometimes, ladies and gentlemen, we just have to screw “The Rules” and open the door first, take a chance.

What’s the worst that can happen?

We get laughed at, rejected, etc.

But surely that’s not as bad as spending a lifetime wondering … what if?

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Letter to Mr Wrong No. 1

Dear Mr Wrong No. 1

I didn’t think you would turn out to be Mr Wrong. After all, after Boomerang Boy you were a positive grown-up in the relationship stakes.

I did love you.

When you asked me to move in, it felt right. But the rose-tinted spectacles soon turned clear when I was living out of a suitcase and carrier bags, made to feel like a second-class citizen and the hired help.

Despite this, I still loved you.

I am sorry for not leaving sooner.

I should have admitted to myself the relationship was going nowhere long before I jumped ship.

But, being the foolish romantic idiot I am, I thought things would get better and change.

I spent the last 2½ years we were together trying to fool myself and everyone, that everything was great between us. But all I was doing was kidding myself and wasting my life.

Everytime we talked about ‘things’, life did get better for about a fortnight, and then it just slipped back into the same pattern.

Nothing was ever going to change. You were never going to change, I know that now.

Had I stayed, then I would still be living out of that suitcase, wishing and hoping for things to change, and wasting more of my life.

It took everything I had to walk out on you that Wednesday morning. After all that was 4 years of my life  I was about to walk away from.

Obviously, the romantic part of me hoped that you would come rushing after me, trying to win me back. But you didn’t.

At the time, I didn’t know whether going was the right thing to do. My mind was full of what ifs and maybes – what if I stay, what if I go, what if I change, what if you change, maybe if we talk, maybe things will change, etc.

I just knew I couldn’t live a lie any more. I knew things would never change.

I finally found the courage to admit to myself that you had fallen out of love with me, not suddenly, but gradually over the preceding 2½ years. Not only that, but I admitted to myself that I didn’t feel the same for you as I once had.

It was hard, and we both cried buckets. But, deep down we knew it was for the best.

I know you are married now with a small child and I hope you have found joy and happiness.

Thank you for some memorable times, which I shall treasure forever.

xx

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