*Contains gifted items from Carrie Elizabeth Jewellery
Yes, I completely ripped the title of this post from the legend that is Dr Seuss but as we share a similar sentiment, I figured it’s fine. When I was younger, I always assumed that life was pretty linear. That I’d leave school, go to college, maybe even university if I was lucky, then travel the world, meet the love of my life, buy a home, get married, have babies and live happily ever after.
I quickly realised that naive little Lisa had clearly watched one too many Disney films and still had a lot to learn. After becoming a mum unexpectedly before I’d even reached adulthood, college was no longer a viable option for me at that point and I’d resigned myself to a life of baby groups, sleepless nights and worry.
Back then, I wasn’t blessed with the same perspective as I have now, mainly due to inexperience and a massive lack of confidence. I settled into my motherhood role at home and worked in any paid job that fitted around my hectic family life. By the time I was 20, Lucie came along and my own ambitions had firmly slipped down the list of priorities.
Life muddled on for several years until I couldn’t take the weight any longer. What I hadn’t banked on is how overwhelming newfound freedom can actually be and having the chance to make my own choices for the first time in my life was something that took me a long time to get used to.
I began by slowly working on my career when the girls were in school. I got engaged to a guy who I had known for many years and was looking forward to the future. But life took a tragic turn for our little family and my mentality shifted again.
It turns out that you can spend years planning out your life, only for it to be ripped apart overnight by circumstances beyond your control. In the months that followed, I decided to stop planning. To stop being so scared of taking risks and trying new things. To push myself out of my comfort zone and see what happened.
The most liberating time for me was when I took the girls away on an Italian adventure with no other adult to rely on. I’m not going to lie, I did question my mental state as we boarded a tiny boat from the Amalfi Coast to an island that I had little knowledge of, with two kids innocently in tow.
It turned out to be exactly what we needed. Getting lost, discovering new places and meeting people from other cultures opened our minds in a way that nothing else could. After spending time exploring different islands and towns with no ‘safety net’, I realised that I was capable of so much more than I’d ever given myself credit for before.
All of those negative, internalised comments and beliefs that had previously been ingrained began to hold less power over me. Instead of being debilitated and frightened by traumas of the past, I wore my scars proudly as a badge of honour.
But it’s not really about the physical trips and travelling to far-flung destinations – it’s about your mindset. If you are sure of who you are and have the inner confidence and strength to navigate yourself through every situation that life throws your way, you’ll be just fine.
When Carrie Elizabeth Jewellery kindly offered to send me an item from their website, I almost chose one of their beautiful vintage-style moonstone rings but instead, picked out this compass necklace as a reminder to myself that it’s ok to not know what direction I’m going sometimes and to embrace the opportunity to expand my own little universe whenever it presents itself.