FASHFEST 2017 Masthead
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The only way is up

Emma Grey

“The wreckage and heartbreak of rock bottom isn’t meant to be our final stop. We’re designed to scramble out of it.”

Yesterday, after our fourth annual running group hill climb for the new year sunrise, I looked up Facebook Memories. Here’s what came up a year ago, on New Year’s Day:

“4.45am wake up, hill climb, sunrise, breakfast, fully-clothed swim in gorgeous pool, drying out in the sun, home by 10am, several hours writing lyric concepts for musical, playground with Seb and Jeff, now writing a little for our My 15 Minutes book—due to publisher in exactly six months today. Happiest day in ages. Feeling so excited about the big-ness of the year ahead career-wise and for the three kids … Happiest of years to everyone. If you can’t feel optimistic today, when can you? xxx”

It’s easy to look at a post like that and think how naive it seems in retrospect. I couldn’t have known that, six months later, I’d be plunged into the darkest grief. There was no way of predicting that the year I was so excited about would take away my soulmate. No way of knowing my little boy would soon be left in the unimaginable position of growing up without a father. 

So what of this New Year then, equipped with the unwanted, newfound wisdom of awful experience? 

Better to sleep in? 

Better to avoid sunrises and promises and excitement? 

Safer to stay quiet? 

Best to curtail expectations. 

Safest to play small and avoid disappointment? 

I could die a little, in other words, ahead of time, along with him. Part of me feels like it has.  

But the wreckage and heartbreak of rock bottom isn’t meant to be our final stop. We’re designed to scramble out of it. We’re supposed to look up and reach up and take someone’s hand and clamber and be carried into better places. 

I will not allow the cruelty of life to take away my sunrises. I will not let it annihilate the optimism that drew him to me in the first place. I will show up in the dark for another January sunrise, and another year, and more sunrises in the future, and I will hope for the best, for us all, always. 

So I say, again: Happiest of years to everyone. If you can’t feel optimistic today, when can you? xxx

Available now: Emma Grey’s third book, co-authored with Audrey Thomas, I Don’t Have Time: 15-minute ways to shape a life you love.

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Emma Grey

Emma Grey is the Canberra-based author of ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ and ‘Unrequited: Girl Meets Boy Band’. She’s director of the life-balance consultancy, WorkLifeBliss and co-founder of a fresh approach to time-management, My 15 Minutes. She lives just over the ACT border with her two teen daughters and young son. More about the Author

  • George

    Words from the soul..Michelle Obama was right when she spoke to Oprah about hope. Hope is our light in the darkness. Hope gives us the strength to know we can love and feel happiness despite the tragedies that happen in our lives.

    Wishing you beautiful sunrises and strength during the storms ☺

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