Wow, thank you so much for all the lovely comments yesterday. It was a good day and with your encouragement I let myself be properly happy.
Every time a ‘Who do you think you are?, this is all going to go wrong, you shouldn’t have told people’ voice came into my head I told myself that this is an old pattern of thinking and that it’s not being big-headed to celebrate and share good news.
In our house the worst thing you could ever be is ‘full of yourself’ (a very Irish thing) but while modesty is charming to a point, if we don’t celebrate the good stuff, what is the point of life? The other oft-repeated phrase in our house was ‘Pride goes before a fall….’ so I always associate rare moments of being proud with the dread that something bad is going to happen. But apparently that’s normal.
I wrote a bit about this yesterday but Brene says that one of the most terrifying emotions we have is joy.
She says: ‘How many of us have thought, “Work’s going well. Good relationship with my partner. Holy crap, something bad’s going to happen.” So what is that? It’s when we lose our tolerance for vulnerability. It’s when joy becomes foreboding. We think, “I’m not gonna soften into this moment because I’m scared it’s going to be taken away. We dress rehearse tragedy to beat vulnerability to the punch.’
It’s nearly midnight on a Friday night and I’m at my mum’s watching junk on Netflix and hating myself. I’ve spent the last week going through three shoe boxes of receipts dating back 18 months. All my spending habits there in black and white, on faded, scrunched up slips of paper.
When I cried my way through February, my month of Money, A Love Story, I vowed to change my ways and I did a bit but not enough. I got stuck into the Secret and figured that ‘abundant thoughts’ would translate into an abundant bank balance. They didn’t. Then there was two months of rejection therapy which made me so miserable I took to drink. Which is expensive. Then lovely trips to Italy with F**K It.
A couple of months ago I said F**K It to something quite major and I didn’t tell you about it because I worried I’d made a big mistake. I was worried that it was a sure sign that self-help had made me crazy.
In April I was offered a book deal and I turned it down.
I was offered something that I’ve dreamt of my whole life and said ‘No, thanks.’
Well I’m back from my F**K It week and I don’t know what to say except it’s been emotional. Much more than I was expecting. I thought the week would involve standing in the sun shouting ‘F**K It’ with a bunch of strangers and then maybe doing some sort of embarrassing dancing. And maybe some tree-hugging.
As it turned out there was no dancing and only one tiny little bit of shouting, right on the last day. There wasn’t even much swearing, actually. In fact it was more deep and beautiful than boisterous and funny (the tone of the book) and that’s a good thing. Although I did hug a tree – but that was for a laugh. The tree did not laugh back, which is a relief.
Ciao bellas! I’m in Italy! The sun is shining, I am sweating and all is well with the world.
I’ve just had coffee with my cousin in Milan, who I’m staying with for a couple of nights before heading to the F**K It retreat, which starts on Sunday.
And look what they do the coffees here:
They make hearts and smiley faces and stars! Hurrah! Hurrah!
Hello! hello! It’s Friday, it’s sunny and REJECTION THERAPY IS OVER. Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah.
I’d like to say it’s been a triumphant month but it hasn’t. It was so un-triumphant I stretched it over two months and even then I bombed. Oh well, such is life…
When I started it, I’d planned to do all sorts of wacky things – audition for a show! Go to Claridge’s and ask them to let me take a nap (thank you Victoria for that idea), phone up Buckingham Palace and ask if I could come to their garden party (again, thank you Victoria).
But as it turned out, I could not make myself do any of this.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was nine years old and it was our school lunch break. It was grey and cloudy and the tarmac was wet from earlier rain. I had nobody to play with because my best friend was off sick and my second best friend was in a music lesson, so I walked up to three girls in my class and asked if I could play with them. I remember one of them was eating Smiths crisps, (the ones with the little navy sachet of salt in them) and another was eating a box of raisins. They were nice girls, not mean girls, but they looked at me and said they’d have to think about it. Continue reading