She Stopped Living in Tomorrow and Started Living for Today

brick roadI got home last night after having traveled for more than 24 hours. Las Vegas to Los Angeles to London and home to Stockholm. In total I have been away from home more in the last two months than I have been here. I am not complaining, I love the life I have been given, but I could not help, when at 9:40pm I arrived at home to a messy flat, no food and a clogged drain that coming home would be a lot better if someone had been there to meet me. I allowed my mind to wonder what it would be like to walk through the doors of my home airport to find someone waiting with flowers or a stupid sign that says my name, not caring that I look like crap after traveling for so many hours and probably drool on my shirt from sleeping sitting up on a plane.

Then I snapped myself out of my little pity party and realised that at this time, if I had someone to come home to that I probably would not be living the life I currently am.

Then I saw this on Instagram.

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I was originally going to write a post on balance today. That topic had been drifting in and out through my mind all day, but this seemed like just one of those signs.

I have had in the past tended to want to throw my life forward. Wherever I was, I wanted to be somewhere else. Single? Married. Canada? England. Working? school. Where was not always a physical place.

However, the past two to three years I have been learning a very important lesson. Just be.

It is often in the circumstances that God is shaping us to be who we are. Whether it is an emotional, spiritual, physical or mental transformation, we are, as humans, continually transforming and becoming the people we are supposed to be.

Right now I have the absolute privilege to be able to travel freely for work and pleasure, spend my money how I want, physically improve myself and invest my time, energy and money into other people how I choose. What I am able today is preparing myself for my future…and who knows who I may meet along the way.

I don’t know yet know what my future will look like. It could all change tomorrow. I do know that ultimately I want to do is honor God in all I do and be sure I am living the best life I can.

Do I do that every day and every hour? No, but it’s a journey.

When the Night was Total Darkness

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I won’t lie, I still watch young adult TV all the time. For me, watching television and film are one of the few ways I can completely switch off my brain and relax. It is my often my escape.

I follow the TV show Switched At Birth and have since it’s pilot episode. It covers a lot of topics, in the messy way that real life happens and I enjoy it. Sure, it’s still television and therefore reality is often suspended, but nevertheless, it is as close to life as possible.

Yesterday I tried to watch the latest episode, which came with this warning:

Tonight’s episode contains story lines dealing with sexual consent. Viewer discretion advised.

I am 31, I can handle it. Right? Except, not…because there were triggers.

The episode revolved around Bay, one of the lead characters, waking up next to a man (she knew) without remembering anything from the evening before. Her memories came only in short flashbacks and understanding how she ended up where she was that morning. 10 minutes into the episode I had to stop.

You can read more about the episode and the issues covered here.

You see, it’s been almost 4 years so I did not think it would affect me.

In the Autumn of 2011 I was invited to a party. It was glamorous, rocking and filled completely with 99.9% people I did not know. The evening began fine. Partying with my “date”, a girlfriend I brought with me, meeting famous and semi-famous people and enjoying the crazy atmosphere.

It must have been around midnight when it all went blank and I woke up past 9am the next morning, in my bed, no phone, no clothes and no memory of the last 9 or so hours.

To this day I remember only flashes of that night. What I do recall and what still often haunts me is the day after. It was the darkness that enveloped my spirit and more clearly my mind. It was the fear of the unknown. It was the inability to recall little more than trying to get into a club, trying to take money out of the bank machine and standing with police. Everything I could remember felt like it was happening in one of those really bad dreams where you can’t wake up, but nothing is really clear either.

It was all that came out of that night’s events…the worry of maybe having been raped. To this day I still feel like I could vomit at the thought. Luckily, I was safe and nothing happened to me. I ended up speaking to the cab driver who got me home. I realised through that conversation that I had been drugged.

Me, the good girl. I had been drugged and it was my fault.

It was in the aftermath that I dealt feelings of guilt, moment of anxiety, fear and frustration. It took an already clear inability or fear of vulnerability to an entirely new level.

I am not writing frivolously, not for attention…I am writing to give a voice, or maybe to add a voice to the many out there that are scared to speak.

You may not have been drugged like me, but there is a day or night, a time of your life that was cast in darkness and you may still be struggling with the effects or how even to get out of it.

For me, it was first and foremost my faith in God that, through time, enabled me to work through the issues that arose from that night. What I am now grateful for is that all I went through enabled me to grow as a person. It was also those around me, who I trusted to tell (and not many know), who showed me who I was and how this was not a reflection of me. You are not your circumstances or that which has happened to you.

You, the person reading this, whose stomach is turning in knots right now, whose eyes are filled with tears. Tell someone. Talk. Know you are valuable and worth being treated as a human. You have the right to feel whole and free.

If you feel you can’t tell someone around you, tell me…you are valuable.