by - October 06, 2017

Something dawned on me earlier this week...

I’ve put up with a lot of stress and general all-round crap in the last year, and over the last three months it’s all been worked related. Petty, petty, petty work related playground squabbles, which quite frankly I could do without. I’m on the brink of 29, I am literally too old for this.

Through the last twelve months I’ve had relationship misfortunes, incredible house stresses thanks to that, and now copious amounts of work grief (that even five year old girls with pigtails wouldn’t entertain). Honestly, if I went through the nonsense that I’ve been accused for, the bitching that has gone on about me behind my back, the beyond ridiculous notions that it’s all stemmed from – all of this at work… you also wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

On top of the emotional disarray I also endured the unbearable pain of kidney stones whilst travelling around Scandinavia in the summer. Half way into my beautiful trip and I was rolling around on a wet bathroom floor unable to breathe from the pain, I was in a Norwegian clinic, I was on a drip, I was taking pills left right and centre, I couldn’t eat, I could barely move or walk for days… the list goes on.

And yet, here I am, though somewhat battered, beaten, incredibly fed up, and more than a little bit tired. I endured and I struggled on through the agony of my kidneys to stay on my Scandi adventure, I fought through tears and countless rejections to keep the house I call my home, and I have tirelessly (and, very sadly, pointlessly) defended my corner in my employed job.

I won’t lie, I have had some serious mascara-panda days, I have had days where I’ve had to force myself to get on up and begrudgingly step into the office wondering ‘what’s next’, and I have absolutely had days (weeks) where I question if this is all there is.

Yes I break, absolutely. Wow. Last week I was definitely broken, and I think that’s why this week I’ve been, without realising it, showing myself that I am much stronger than that. I know how tough I can be, I just need reminding every once in a while.

Despite all the crap and headaches and turmoil, I still get up at 5.40am every morning, work a full time job, go to the gym, get home for 7pm, grind away most evenings for my self-employed job, squeeze in the blogging, and am finally going on some incredible bucket-list adventures.

I’ve been looking back on some of the insane things that I’ve done and achieved. I braved Thailand in 2011, all on my own, for two whole months, I trekked for two days through the Thai jungle with a dodgy knee (granted, I did scream the place down when I found a leach on my leg), I’ve been in enclosures with numerous (playful, and definitely not drugged) adolescent tigers, I’ve lay on ginormous full-grown tigers, I’ve been surrounded by cobras, I headed to Scandinavia and home all on my lonesome, I’ve battled kidney stones in another country where I didn’t speak the language, I’ve jumped on a stage and been chased off by security, I live alone in my own home and work darn hard support myself, I started my own business back in April 2016 and it is thankfully thriving, I’m heading off to Iceland on my own, I’ll be braving glacier treks with people I’ve never met, I’ll be spending Christmas day in the snow without my family and our holiday traditions… I am so much stronger and braver than I realise. 

I genuinely spent an evening looking back through lots of old photos and started to think ‘I can’t believe I did that’.

Insane. Who in their right mind signs a waiver to go and cuddle enormous, magnificent, wide-awake and roaring tigers. Who treks through a jungle where venomous neon green snakes are within arm’s length. Who doesn’t go home when they can’t walk without wanting to vomit or wanting to lay down and give up. To me, none of those are small feats, at all. Some of you may roll your eyes and think ‘you’re not exactly bungee jumping’ – and no I'm not, but that’s because I’m not insane. I know my limits, but I also know that the things I’ve achieved aren’t tiny in any way, and when I look back on them I smile because they make me realise how much of a tough cookie I am, and how much I can take but yet still achieve these amazing, ridiculous, incredible things.

I mean… you won’t get me anywhere near the edge of a cliff, I certainly won’t go near an over-sized spider, and I will absolutely without fail run flailing from a wasp, but when it counts – I can be strong.

I think everyone needs that little reminder once in a while that you are strong, that you can do it, that you can keep going, and that you don’t need to rely on others to show you what you’re worth. Tough times come around so frequently, and sometimes it takes a total headache and a half to make you realise ‘actually, I’m better than that’ or to think ‘actually, I can do better than that’.

I’m not saying get out there and face it all head on alone, yes have people who you can whole-heartedly rely on, but also be there for yourself. Be brave. Take that trip. So what if no-one else can go with you? Book it. Go. Don’t even think about it, and when you’re there it’ll be the most amazing decision you’ve ever made. Make the leap. Start that project you’ve always wanted to. Yes it might be hard in the short-term, but months down the line you’ll be so grateful you began when you did.

So to those of you who have wronged me, it’s ok. To those of you who think ‘she can’t do that’, you’re wrong. Chat away about me all you like (I honestly didn’t realise I was so interesting), assume what you want to assume… because I have courage, and I won’t be the one still sat here bored and miserable at the end of the day. I’m still laughing, still smiling, still planning amazing adventures – because I am strong.

Comment below and tell me what your strong moments are. Let’s inspire each other to be brave, you may even surprise yourself.

Claudia xo

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  1. YAAAAAAAS GURRRRL. I find it bizarre that you’ve ever thought that you’re weak because I’ve always always viewed you as one of the strongest and most determined women I’ve ever met!! You can and DO do everything and anything you want to. Fuck the bitchy girls because you are #friendgoals #lifegoals and you do more in one week than they do in five years

    1. Ahhh thank you thank you thank you. #friendgoals

      I think I just have a tendency to give up and think 'oh well' a fair bit of the time, and then forget all about the things I've already done, so I completely ignore what I can do and achieve! Maybe I need to make myself an epic wall of achievements!

      Claudia xo

  2. I loved reading this!
    I'm so sorry you've had a tough year, but it's awesome that you're able to reflect on the positive stuff you have done! x

    1. Ahh thank you so much! It's definitely amazing, I'd completely forgotten about half of it and had to prompt myself with photos that I've ignored for years.

      Claudia xo

  3. Wow, you are brave and you are amazing ❤️ The adventures that you have had, oh wow. I definitely have quite a few strong moments I can relate to and share... if only I was brave enough to share them. Don’t let anyone get in the way of your beautiful self and your style. Stay brave, it’s a quality a lot of other women don’t have.

    -April xoxo

    1. Ahh this is the loveliest comment, thank you so much!

      I think I lost quite a bit of myself over the last few years in a somewhat wasted relationship, but when you start to list the things you've achieved (and funnily enough all of mine were before and after said relationship) you realise how much you can do. Definitely share your brave moments! I love hearing all about the amazing things other fabulous ladies have done!

      Claudia xo