Silly, Silly Girl (I Cheated and Lied)
This isn’t going to be easy…
Did you ever have a fantasy so wonderful you just knew that if and WHEN you created it your life would be truly AMAZING, birds would sing in the heavens for you, and the world would be yours for the taking?
Cool … me too! But (sorry to disappoint) this isn’t going to be a happy inspiring story about living your dreams.
This is a story about fucking up the fantasy.
And I share this with you not because I want to share a tale of my woes or regrets or the like, but because I’m SO incredibly grateful to have finally, FINALLY got it. Well, some of it; let’s be honest 😉
One of the very silliest things I have ever done, in my pursuit of creating the life of my dreams, is to have allowed my gaze to slip from my target. To have allowed the self belief –
And the certainty –
The EXCITEMENT –
And reckless, often foolhardy to be sure, yet DETERMINED and passion commitment –
To whither and die.
Have you ever wanted something so badly, enthusiastically set out to see if you could get it, and then basically given up before even entering the second innings, because, well, mainly because you just DID?
Worse still, have you ever found yourself settling for a greyscale version of your once vivid fantasy; almost completely believing your own bullshit lies that this was what you REALLY wanted after all?
No, really! Several times over, like the high achiever I am 🙂
And the thing that really GETS to me about it all right now is the uncomfortable, niggly, ants-in-my-pants makes me want to SCREAM knowledge that had I have just stayed the course, I VERY likely – nay, 100% WOULD have – got to where I actually wanted to go.
It’s just how it works, this whole success thing! It’s SO not fucking hard. God, I know I make it out to be hard at times; to this day spinning webs of lies in my own mind about how I can’t, not yet, or I don’t deserve it, not me. So I’m willing to bet a fair whack that you do the same thing.
Decide what you want.
Keep your eye on the prize.
And make it fucking happen!
Yes, yes, over-simplification, but you can add as much detail as you like and the gist remains the same. You either set your sights on something, refuse to be swayed, do what it takes, no matter what it takes, for as long as it takes and UNTIL it takes, or, well, you don’t.
I was 25 when I realised my life was a MESS. Okay, so it wasn’t a mess from the outside looking in; and I guess even inside it wasn’t AWFUL.
I was married. Both of us successfully owning it in gym management, climbing the ladder. The “Ken and Barbie” of the fitness industry in Melbourne, we were called! We traveled a fair bit. Had a great inner-city apartment in the very blue rinse suburb of East Melbourne. BMW. 20 grand surround sound system. Cat. Got along with each other’s families quite nicely. Etcetera.
We were making great money, hanging out with our mates, eating and drinking and merry-making our way through our weekends and most of our nights … living the dream, right?!
Yep. The dream …
Now this is the part where, if I were a REALLY great story-teller I’d have something MAJOR and SHOCKING about the TRUTH of our relationship / life to tell you.
Sorry. No can do. Well, not yet anyway. You see the truth is there was nothing VASTLY wrong with it all, there was just nothing vastly RIGHT with it all. Some shit had happened. Some of it pretty bad shit. As with many relationships I suppose. We moved on. We had fun. We did our thing. Etcetera.
And we were on the fast-track to success; so why the heck would we get off that thing?!
Never mind the fighting –
The drinking –
The downward decline of health –
But seriously just pretty BORING normal ‘once you’re married and working 80 hours a week type stuff’. I mean who the heck expects to actually FEEL FUCKING AMAZING and love their life all the time, right?! What, you think you can have it all or something?! You think you don’t just have to DEAL with it if your childhood fantasies of marriage, adulthood, success don’t live up to par?
You think you can just START AFRESH and actually create the life you dream of?!
Well … yeah.
It’s kinda what I thought. I mean, not in so many thoughts as such. I wouldn’t have expressed it that way, but what I could do, what I couldn’t seem to stop myself doing, and what I ultimately did do?
I fucked up the whole fucking fantasy.
Over the space of 18 months I walked away.
From the marriage.
The fancy apartment.
And even the cat. (He went to my parents, I didn’t just leave him on the street; don’t worry).
Oh, and if you think I all of that in a nice and neat ORDERLY fashion? You’d have another think coming.
I like to look back now and box it into a tidy little container which I call ‘my quarter life criss’, but what it really was. was a rebirth through fire and brimstone and one which hurt quite a few people in its path.
I walked out of my job with 2 weeks notice.
Left all my worldly possessions behind. (Bar cat).
Cheated on my husband and got caught … chose not to work on it when he wanted to still. Didn’t trust myself.
Went back to full-blown bulimia, which I thought I’d beaten for good several years prior.
And started drinking cask wine while binge watching “24” and becoming a full-blown ‘still awake when birds start chirping’ insomniac.
Got divorced, eventually. 26, boom.
This was not my finest time. And .. I’m giving you the neat version, but suffice to say it was not neat.
And not particularly PROMISING, for this girl who’d grown up reading Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy and the like from the age of 12 and truly buying into the notion that whatever you CONCEIVE you can ACHIEVE!
Well … I guess I conceived of a lot of stuff and then DID also achieve it, but most of it was pretty fucking awful!
And it set off a period of about 3-4 years where I was truly … lost. Broken. So ashamed. Publicly crucified in my city because despite its 4 million people, Melbourne – the fitness industry – is a small town. Occasionally I see a photo of my from that time and I just look so HOPELESS, my eyes were like blank holes or something.
On the surface I was ‘successful’ again career-wise. Rocking it back as a self-employed Personal Trainer; making tons of money which I spent on therapy and wine and donuts to binge on, and bouncing round town looking perky from afar in my little red shorts. Yay me!
But a total God-forsaken mess on the inside.
And honestly, I didn’t know where to even START? I mean fuck – I’d RUINED the fucking FANTASY. I’d had it ALL and I’d THROWN it all AWAY! Deliberately, no less!
What the fuck was wrong with me?!
Now here’s where it takes a turn that, to this day, I’m still learning from.
As much as the way I behaved in my marriage was completely unacceptable …
And the way I behaved in my job was completely irresponsible …
And the way I abused my body and mind in various ways for several years thereafter just seemed to be quite incomprehensible …
And yes the way I mostly deliberately tore apart the whole fucking fantasy was just self DESTRUCTIVE, to this DAY and FULLY aware of what an asshole it makes me seem that deep deep part of me still thinks you know what?
It wasn’t actually the fantasy.
Not just not all of it.
Not ANY of it.
Oh sure, I was living the dream alright; only problem was? Someone else’s dream.
Do I wish I had have handled it in a better way, instead of self-imploding the whole damn enterprise that was my life, instead of deeply HURTING someone I’d sworn to love forever?
Simple answer: of course I do. I was a selfish, silly girl.
Still am at times.
Putting my compassion-towards-earlier-me hat on I was also a terrified girl. I was in a relationship that I should NEVER have stayed in; that we should never have continued on with after the initial shit-storm. I was in a job based on climbing a ladder of prestige and income earning and really just because hey – that was where I’d ended up; so better make the most of it right? Better be the BEST at it, right, if I’m going to do it?
And most of all, I was creating a life that scared the shit out of me.
White picket fence and 2.5 kids and becoming a soccer Mum? Aussie surburbanite bliss? Working my ass off to reach the next rung on that ladder for a glorious ‘nother few k a year?!
I couldn’t do it.
So I didn’t.
And GOD do I wish I knew a better way to handle it; or that I simply CHOSE a better way to handle it! I wish I had have had the courage to just put my hand up (so to speak) and say, you know what?
I’m not happy.
I don’t think this is working for me.
I don’t want to keep going like this.
At this point in my life, now 10 years on from that time, I see myself in some ways as a strong and disciplined woman who does what it takes to create business and life success on her terms.
But to this day, things happen in my life where I see shadows of that scared and lost 25-year old, where I see myself compromising, settling, ACCEPTING certain situations in my life.
Not having the courage to put my hand up and say, you know what? This isn’t working for me.
Manufacturing upset or disruption instead. Sometimes the disruption works really well, in business 😉
But sometimes it causes a royal fuck up. And I wonder –
What IS it still, that I STILL haven’t fully accepted that ‘someone like me’ could be worthy? Worthy of what, you wonder?
You know. The usual. Everything.
Most of the stuff I did to ‘destroy’ my fake fantasy life back then is stuff that, I’m sure you’d easily agree, is in retrospect SMART. Walking out of the wrong job, putting myself in an emotional position where I was forced to figure out my shit and what I really wanted from life; a position which ultimately has led me to HERE?
That’s courage! Or something 🙂
The whole cheated on her husband thing people don’t accept so easily (and I’m not asking you to accept it, don’t worry).
I don’t talk about it often …
I’ve written about it in one of my Amazon books, in far more detail than here, but you’d have to be paying close attention to all my stuff to have read that …
And I’ve talked about it in person with a few clients.
Once I even made a whole freaking video about it! It never got released; it wasn’t time. I wasn’t ready. Now … (and I’ve always known this day would come) … now it feels time to speak about it. A little. And maybe it’s not even that big of a fucking deal anymore, I honestly don’t even know. It’s a total cliche ending, he ended up happier without me and I found new love as well. Yay for my cheating saving us from ourselves! Of course I know that this is a topic where, if you’ve been personally impacted by it particularly (or not), you might not be able to forgive me or look at me in the same way ever again.
It’s taken me a long time to get to a point where I can view my actions as something that don’t define who I AM but rather what I did. The fucks ups I still make in my life at times also don’t define who I AM, but then as with now they do ALWAYS give me something I need to figure out, adjust, learn from.
But no, I don’t talk about it often. Why would I? Deliberately put myself out there about the most vulnerable time in my life and open myself up for the world’s judgement? Have someone else’s reaction bring up all my old stuff, bring up the shame and the guilt and the underlying SHIT that (still to this day) tries to tell me:
You’re a bad person (inherently) …
You’re not worthy (of anything) …
You don’t deserve love … and nobody WILL ever love you!
I know, heavy shit for a blog post! I’m not asking for a particular response here, so you know. I’m writing this first and foremost, as with all my writing, for myself. Therapeutic? Maybe. Figuring shit out? Definitely … always. It never fucking ends!
Sometimes when you share really vulnerable parts of yourself other people can’t handle it. I’m aware that posting something like this could result in losing subscribers / followers / respect / friends / clients / etc. I’m aware that once more, I’m ruining a fucking fantasy! In this case the fantasy of thinking everyone will like and respect me, which actually I already gave up on long ago anyway, so I guess we’re good there 🙂
It’s nice to think that people will accept you based on who you are now. But it’s not always the way. That’s okay. We all have our limits around what’s okay, what’s too much, what we just don’t want to be associated with.
But here is what I want to say, if something about my story resonates with you.
I don’t mean you have to accept or okay the cheating.
What I’m talking about though, and I guess for want of a better word my JUSTIFICATION of the whole thing, is the concept of not buying in to the fantasy, if what you’ve created in your own business or life, whilst ‘successful’ to the outside world, is not in fact the fantasy.
And what I want to say to you (and me) is this:
YOU DON’T HAVE TO KEEP THINGS LIKE THIS.
You don’t have to maintain a fucking FANTASY that’s actually a fucking nightmare.
You don’t have to LIE.
You don’t have to PRETEND.
You don’t have to SHUT UP AND PUT UP.
And you don’t have to accept anything –
Any CONCEPT –
Do you have to cheat your way out of the wrong relationship? Of course not! And neither did I. But yet, that’s what I DID do and I can’t change that. All I can do now is seek to understand who I was, who I am, and who I want to be moving forward.
All I can hope is that others will do the same, but ultimately whether or not you – or they – do shouldn’t impact on my own choice to love and accept myself.
One day maybe I’ll have all the answers …
I’ll be able to concisely explain away my transgressions …
Evolve to a place where I ALWAYS fully believe in myself and make smart decisions …
Find ways to walk out of a fake fantasy without creating major. fucking. devastation.
But if we’re being really honest here, and I hope that we are?
I can’t find a way to not be glad that I tore the whole thing down, because if there’s one thing I know more than I know ANYTHING is that we have no more time left to live the wrong life.
So while I wish it had have been neater … nicer … that I had have BEHAVED WELL, the truth (or my excuse, if you like) was that I didn’t know how at the time. The outcome of that is that, since I do insist on being so fucking honest and everything by publishing all my personal shit, sometimes people are going to judge, deride or even despise me for choices I’ve made in my life. The REALITY however is that since that’s going to happen anyway, for all of us who put ourselves in the spotlight as leaders or teachers, no matter who we are and what we do it really shouldn’t be either here nor there, but here is what should be:
What do YOU need right now, to know you’re happy with the path you’re on?
Do you have a fake fantasy you’re living and you know you need to destroy it, but don’t know how? No you DON’T have to cheat / lie / steal to do so. Of course not! But God damn it you do have to be honest, if only with yourself to start with.
And you do have to be willing, when others judge you as they inevitably will, for what you walk away from or walk towards, in business OR in life, to grit your teeth and square your shoulders and NOT let your own shit, your deepest fears or worries about yourself and who you are and what you want from life to once again STOP you from actively creating that life just because you’re reacting to what the world expects of you, or perhaps what you expect of yourself.
The biggest irony here for me is that writing about this makes me scared of how others see me, and underneath that is a deepset fear of not being liked and never being loved … of still being the uncool geek chick who would never be accepted … all of which is the exact reason I married someone I knew I shouldn’t in the first place.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about that, BUT what I am choosing to do is learning to just accept it if people don’t like who I am, or how I act, or yes even who I’ve been, in business or in personal life. It’s VERY hard and uncomfortable to do … my default is to try and make excuses … basically beg for acceptance! Sitting with that discomfort and letting it be a reminder to look within and see what I really think about MYSELF rather than right away slipping back into a pattern of trying to conform and fit in is, well, uncomfortable. I’m very aware it might happen from putting this post out. So … that will be interesting. The hardest thing in life, I think is, learning to accept who you are and not right away (or at all!) try to be who you think you should be.
All I know is that I’m still on my path of learning how to make good choices, in so many areas of my life. I still do things to deliberately (or so it seems at first although usually actually it’s NOT) sabotage myself in business and in life.
I’m still a silly silly girl who wants to be liked, and I’m still a selfish bitch a lot of the time.
But, I’m learning. Trying day by day to make the right choices for everything I create, and everything I do not.
And most of all what I’ve learned from all of this, and really the only way I could possibly end this story (for today)?
Life is Now. Press Play.