I'm going to open this post with a disclaimer: right now I am PISSED.
I've been quiet for a while on this blog while I've been asking God what the F**K is going on? I mean, the world is going through some pure craziness right now and on a completely different level I've been going through my own personal version of hell.
Wondering why my supposed faith hasn't been moving mountains? Wondering why it takes every ounce of my being to get myself out of bed in the morning? Why am I such a moody b*tch at work when I absolutely love my team? Why am I even here? What is the POINT? Do I even believe in God? And if I do and He/She is real, what is my purpose? Why is nothing happening as it should?
For those of you that don't know, five years ago I lost my daughter at birth, my ex husband divorced me not long afterwards and my Mum didn't want anything to do with me. I wanted my world to stop. But it got to the point where I was tired of being the victim and hearing myself go over and over the same sadness. I wanted my story to change.
When something bad happens, everyone starts clamouring round with stories of how someone else went through the exact same thing but they're now SO happy and they just KNOW the same thing will happen to you! Well wishers everywhere.
Well, I believed them. I believed the people who said they had dreams that I had twins, triplets, multiples to replace my beautiful little girl. When I was 18 I had an abortion and it haunted me for so long because I felt like losing Annie was punishment for ending the life of my first child. People told me not to worry. God doesn't work like that they said, plus, they knew someone who had had an abortion; several even, and they went on to have three children! Amazing.
So I believed and I waited. I believed even when my ex-husband told me he had a dream we got married again. Even though he was at the time pushing me for a divorce; on the grounds that he hadn't wanted children and I had. I was so hurt but so trusting. I cried, I believed and I waited.
So here I am, years later. I've had some amazing life experiences, I've travelled, dated, spent ridiculous amounts of money on clothes, shoes and lingerie, danced all night in 4-inch heels, drunk until I could barely stand up (but still dancing), I've joined a private members' club and gate-crashed some amazing parties, I've been to weddings and caught the bouquets, I've mourned with people who have experienced loss (partner, baby, job) and then celebrated with them when they have been redeemed (new partner, new baby, new job), I've read hundreds of books - from self-help to chick lit escapism, I've had therapy, gone on courses, changed churches; I've tithed, worshipped, prayed, fasted, repented, spent six months living in another country, learned to surf, ski, raised money for charity doing a sky dive, written to my sponsored child and I've been patient. I did all the things you're supposed to do - I kept living and hoping. But you know what? I'm still single, I'm still not a mother to living children and I'm still struggling to understand why I'm here and to find a place I can call home.
And then today, I found out something that made me snap. I'm TIRED of other people waltzing in and out of my life as if I'm some kind of disposable bag of fun. I'm TIRED of hearing people tell me that it's all God's timing. I'm TIRED of trying new things and consequently being rejected. And most of all I'm TIRED of people giving me examples of success stories. I'm f**king OVER IT.
A while ago I wrote a blog post about how clothes help me face the world. And they do. But now that I'm mad, normal clothes won't do it. I was wary of writing this because Christians shy away from using the word sexy. Christian women are supposed to be demure and sweet. Well I've never been like that and I'm not going to pretend that's me. Because even though we all know it's what on the inside that counts, there's a part of me that is fiercely protective of my freedom, my right, to feel sexy. And the way I've been dealing with my life right now is to remind myself how sexy I am regardless of what my life looks like.
You see, I met a guy on a plane who was into me but not enough to commit to. I met a guy with ink who was into me but doesn't date Christians. I met a Christian guy who was into me but told me God told him I wasn't The One. I met a guy who was into me when we danced at a club together until 4am when I left him to go home...then he never called me. I married a guy who was into me...but then said he didn't want to be married to me anymore. I'm done with that bullsh*t.
With every wound from those experiences I try and remember the words from my loving friends covering them like dressing. Trying to remember the words from the book of my faith - the Bible. You are loved, cared for, cherished. You are not the sum of how people mistreat you. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. In the past I have tried to hold on to those life giving words so that I don't fall apart and I've recently realised that those wounds they covered have become scars.
Do you remember how Action Man dolls were always way sexier than Ken dolls? Because Action Man had scars. He had battled through, been tested and not found wanting. Unlike clean cut Ken, Action Man had not only survived but the memories of his survival adorned his body and enhanced his appeal.
And that's how I feel now as I try and remind myself of just how sexy I am. I wear Agent Provocateur every day. Not because I'm expecting to "get lucky", but because it's who I am now. I'm someone who wears provocative lingerie even when no one gets to see it apart from me. Two years ago I bought a beautiful set of lingerie for the person who will really cherish me and me in it. It's still unworn, but it's there, waiting.
So when I had the latest bullsh*t experience in this ish called my life, I turned up the volume on my "sexy time" playlist and spent three hours dancing off my anger. I've been doing hot yoga intensely for the last couple of months and my body is in the best shape it's ever been in. And when I'm home alone and yoga in my lingerie and heels, I know that my physical strength is mirroring my inner strength and determination and I'm learning to celebrate the woman I've become.
Back in 2012 I was on holiday, three months pregnant and had a shaved head when a woman stopped me and said I was, "the most exquisite being" she had ever seen. At a fashion week party in February this year, I was dancing with a guy (gay) when he suddenly stopped and said, "the way you dance I bet you're amazing in bed." And I laughed. I mean, mainly because Christians aren't supposed to discuss stuff like that, right? ;)
Awkward compliments aside, I'm a writer so words do mean sh*t to me but I've realised that no number of stranger endorsements or conferences telling me that we are all children of God is going to do a damn thing for me until I start loving who the f**k I am.
What I now understand, is that the way to get over no one falling in love with you, is to fall in love with yourself.
RIP My late cousin drew this super hero sketch of me and it reminds me of the strength he saw in me - and I'm now starting to believe it too. To believe in me.