So, I thought that I would share my three tips on how I started the process of finding myself, in the hope that this may help you and others:
Start to discover who you are
Coming out of any long-term relationship can be challenging, particularly as you are dealing not only with your own emotions but also, those of others that are impacted on, as well as dealing with the immediate fall-out of such an event. Having experienced coming out of a long-term relationship, I suddenly realised that I really didn’t know that much about myself – what I liked, what I didn’t like, where I enjoyed going, who I enjoyed being with. I had so many blank spaces instead of answers about myself.
How to get through the harder days
Start a journal
I had never written a journal before and only a teenage diary that I started and then got bored of! So, writing down how I felt, what had happened that day, what I was facing and what others were saying to me felt to be a really hard thing to do each day! I felt that I didn’t have time and wasn’t sure how I would fit this in on top of everything else.
However, I had read how powerful this process could be, so I persisted.
I have to say this exercise became one of my lifelines, particularly during the darkest parts of my journey in finding myself. Just writing everything down helped me not to live inside my thoughts and also helped me take the anger, frustration and at times sheer despair out of me, enough to help me think clearly and at least, in the early days, get through each day in one piece.
After a time, journaling became a very positive aspect of my every day, as it helped me to consider my thoughts, emotions and my next steps. Journaling helped me through the journey of finding myself and I still journal today.
Discover new places
Interestingly, when I started to work on myself, I realised that I only knew the places that we spent time together in and now I really didn’t know if I truly LIKED being there or if it was simply a habit to visit these places. In addition, I felt awkward and uncomfortable when visiting places that we shared, on my own.
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So, I actively found other places to visit! I was really surprised to learn of all the amazing places of interest on my own doorstep that I‘d been too busy to know about or that simply didn’t fit into ‘what we would do’.
At first, I felt really nervous about going to new places, what if I didn’t like it, what if people worked out what I was going through, what if I felt stuck there! As I write these things now, I have a smile on my face, as none of these things turned out to be true. I realised that I didn’t have to like where I was going. I realised that I didn’t have to stay there if I
didn’t want to and I realised that no one there would even know me, let alone know my story!
I found some remarkable places that I now visit regularly, and met people that I enjoyed being with, not to mention the new hobbies that I discovered and absolutely love and enjoy.
Discover who you are; have fun creating your image
After separation, I realised that I had a wardrobe full of clothes that I didn’t feel ‘right’ in. I couldn’t work out why, as I had worn them for years, until one day a close friend asked me what my favourite colour was. A simple question you may think and I thought I knew the answer…in fact I didn’t know at all.
I looked in my wardrobe and all my clothes were dark colours and I suddenly found this really strange, as I know that I loved colour. I dug deep to be sure, but actually nearly every item of clothing was dark in colour. I hadn’t even realised.
Relationship troubles. Is the grass always greener on the other side?
So, I started visiting a few retailers and at first felt really awkward, I didn’t know what I liked and really didn’t know what would work for me! However, I kept working on this and every few weeks, I would go shopping on my own and try and discover different things on. Being on my own was really important, as I needed to be sure that my ideas and thoughts were my own.
I had great fun finding the colours that I liked to wear and even more fun trying things on. When I became a little more confident with my ideas, I took my mum and best friend shopping and between us, we found lots of great items that I could wear. I found that I liked many colours and have a strong preference to colour.