Without sounding too much like we are at a work conference where the team leader makes everyone stand up and say three things about yourself…
My name is Courtney and currently as I write this I am 27 years old. I have two children, a daughter and a son, and people often like to say how lucky I am to have one of each, but what they don’t realise is they argue like cats and dogs, so am I that lucky really?! Joke!! I love them with every single bit of me… OK that’s dramatic but it’s true. Sorry I have totally digressed, which may happen a lot, I apologise in advance.
I was 20 when I had my daughter and 22 when I had my son. I felt pretty young at the time having two kids at 22. Whenever that song by Taylor Swift would come on ‘I don’t know about you but I’m feeling 22’ it would make me think ‘OH MY F*CKING GOD! HOW HAVE I GOT TWO KIDS…HOW DO I EVEN KEEP THESE LITTLE TINY HUMANS ALIVE…SOMEBODY SAVE ME!! OK I’m getting dramatic again but that is also true. With that being said, I have always felt very mature for my age and I think we (my husband and I) did a great job raising our beautiful children. There was of course bumps in the road which brings me nicely to the beginning of my CRAFTING JOURNEY (I love using CAPS just randomly out of nowhere and apparently I really love using brackets too, can you tell I’m new to this).
After I had my son, when I was 22…did I already say that? I went through a really tough time, I would even go as far to say it was the darkest most depressed I have EVER felt…there I go again getting all dramatic. My husband and I, then boyfriend and girlfriend were renting a house that we couldn’t afford, my husband who had lost his job whilst I was pregnant had just started a new job that didn’t pay very well, I don’t know about you, but I WASN’T feeling 22. I am a logical person so I knew I was feeling depressed. I would call my husband up 500 times a day and beg him to come home, I didn’t want to go out of the house and I found myself buying stuff on credit in hope that might make me feel better which of course led to me getting into more and more debt, vicious cycle comes to mind.
This next part I didn’t do consciously, it kind of just happened. I started painting stuff to put it simply. I bought some MDF letters and painted them, first for my own children and then for friends and family. People actually liked what I was making. This was exactly what I needed, praise, love, communication from other people than my kids, again, I love my kids like crazy but I needed more than just their love at that point in my life. When I look back at some of the things I made in the beginning I cringe because they were so awful, but I also feel really proud of where they took me.
I started a Facebook page called ‘Calmer Crafts’ The CALMER standing for Courtney (me) Amber (my sister) Leo (my son) Milana (my niece) Eva (my daughter) and Riley (My nephew). This is not what cured everything and made life wonderful, in fact I had some of the most stressful days of my life still to come. The craft game ain’t easy…AMIRIGHT?! Sorry I went into full gangsta mode then! At first it occupied my mind and gave me a purpose which was great, but I still had two kids to keep alive remember.
Juggling my kids and making actual real life orders for people, people I didn’t know. I had moved on from just making gifts for friends and family. It was hard work! I didn’t have babysitters, my mum worked full-time my sister had her own kids to deal with and I didn’t have any friends at the time that I could ask.
I turned Calmer Crafts into a fairly successful small business for about 3 years and in this time I became the most positive, affirmation loving person there ever was, on and off, I’m still allowed bad days, OK! I went from maxing credit cards to maxing the hell out of all the affirmations I could think of, I’m not sure if that makes sense but I’m going with it. So to cut a long story short THE END!
JOKE, I’ve still got loads more to say, haha!!
The craft business wasn’t cutting it anymore, the workload compared to the profits I was seeing meant it really wasn’t worth the blood, sweat and tears. To some people it may sound like I’m just a lazy b*tch or I want something for nothing etc, but I take my happiness very seriously. Knowing what it’s like to hate everything about yourself, I think your own happiness HAS to be a priority. You shouldn’t care if people think you’re lazy or if they think your brother, sister, mother or your friends work harder than you do and that you should take some tips out of their notebook.
I’m going to be happy! And if that means doing something a bit different from what society thinks you should be doing then that’s what I’m going to do.
Here is some of my recent handy work.
Now I’m going to talk about where fitness comes into my journey. What I’m about to write is nothing you haven’t heard before. Exercise makes me happy, it hurts like hell but it makes me feel so good. Without it my mind is messy and sad. I’m going to be dramatic again here, I need exercise to keep me sane, there I said it. You know that saying ‘HANGRY’, when people get angry when they are hungry, well I get….OK I can’t think of a smart portmanteau (I had to google that, A portmanteau is a word that is formed by combining two different terms to create a new entity. Through blending the sounds and meanings of two existing words, a portmanteau creates a new expression that is a linguistic blend of the two individual terms.)
Anyway, I get angry when I don’t exercise. I started off doing lots of cardio and HIIT, which was a great place to start for me. Body Combat is literally LIFE!! Recently I have been loving the mixture of weight training and HIIT. I want to build muscle but still be fit basically. Not that I think you need to be joined to a gym to get fit but joining the gym gave me a new lease of life. I didn’t keep in touch with many of my friends after having my kids, none of them had kids and were still living the Taylor Swift 22 kind of life. So I was lonely in the social aspects of life. Going to the gym of an evening and chatting to people with similar interest to me was amazing. It did take a few months to get used to interacting with people again (I didn’t realise how dramatic I was until I started writing this blog) but my new-found love for fitness made me keep going back.
To sum up, we’re having fun, you look young (any friends fans out there?)
Now really to sum up
If someone was to have told me at 20 that later in life I would find solace in crafting and fitness I would have told them they were crazy! But having the journey of two pregnancies, changing my body and more importantly my life it just so happens that those two things helped shape me into who I am today.
Crafting allowed me to work from home whilst being with my children and unlocking the creativity in me that I never knew I had. Fitness helped me physically AND mentally. It helped me become a stronger person, in mind AND body.
Final thoughts from me….
I have days where I feel like I am a failure, as a mother, as a person, as a wife. I stare at that washing pile and sob. I also have days where I feel like some wonder woman GOD like superhero and I do TWO loads of washing IN ONE DAY!!! But then there are the days where I don’t feel much at all. A whole lot of nothingness, these are the worst days. These are the days that I get my affirmation arse into gear and tell myself what a great person I am and how far I’ve come.