I can hardly believe it but today is my blog's second birthday. My life seems a world away from what it was this time last year. So much has changed. The blog post I wrote one year ago today received more comments than any other blog post to date and I was overwhelmed with messages from women around the world, some of whom I knew, some I didn't. On that day too, I launched my online accessories boutique with an aquaintance Sally, who quickly became one of my closest and dearest friends.
A year ago, I was struggling to come to terms with the fact that my (now former) husband of almost 15 years had been unfaithful with a friend of mine over the course of five years. I later discovered that she wasn't the only object of his affections during this time. It's little wonder I struggled.
I reverted to my maiden name, changing it by deed-poll, sold the matrimonial home and moved into temporary accommodation for a short while. Last November, we moved into a brand new house, the excitement of which was somewhat dampened, rather literally, by a flood of raw sewage two days after we moved in, necessitating the removal and replacement of carpets laid just 48 hours earlier. Perhaps the most surprising thing though, was that we survived without wifi for two long months after we moved in.
I sold my car (to pay for my solicitor), and now lease a cute little yellow one in which I buzz here, there and everywhere. It's fun, lighthearted and way too bright for me to go unnoticed should I wish to get up to mischief.
In Autumn last year, I contacted the editor of Aspire magazine and secured a monthly fashion column. In January of this year, she offered me the position of editor and writer. In this role, I've been lucky enough to review restaurants, write about local authors and recently had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing Pam Ayers. It's my dream job.
Existing friendships have deepened as have the already close relationships with my parents and brothers. New friendships have blossomed and I met Adam, a Scouser in shining armour (well, leather jacket), who loves and supports me, sends flowers and knows I love dragonflies and hate mushrooms. He made me smile again and suddenly, everything was ok. I count my blessings every single day that I'm surrounded by loving, caring people.
My confidence, which plummeted, has returned and I'm brimming with excitement and optimism. I feel like I'm my true self now. A sparklier, shinier version of that self that had gradually and insidiously been quashed and dulled during the currency of my marriage.
I now have the confidence to embrace my frivolous side, to ask men in shops for help, to walk into a room full of couples on my own. I also have the confidence to say openly, that unless someone is 100% on my side, they will not be part of my life, because, there aren't two sides to this particular story. So I know with utter certainty, that our new home, will only ever be graced by those that love and fully support us.
And it is. There's a constant stream of friends and family and these four walls are filled with love, laughter and happiness.
But most, most importantly, my children are happy and secure. They love our new home and the convenience living in town affords. They know they're loved without condition and that they'll always be my priority. It hasn't been easy for them. It still isn't but we are, in their words, an awesome threesome. I know that despite their embarrassment of epic proportions when I associate with them in public, they love and respect me and are not afraid to tell me so (behind closed doors of course). We have a lot of fun and they happily play by my rules.
The silver lining is so, so much bigger than the cloud and I'd go through it all again to be where I am today.
So, thank you, thank you for continuing to read my blog and for supporting me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Bloglovin.
And to anybody going through a similar thing, hang on in there. You're stronger than you think and you will get there in the end. I promise.
Love Liz x