It’s My Birthday: Reflection Time! 

I can’t quite believe I am 27.

At 18 – twenty ANYTHING seemed lifetimes away & almost WAY out of reach. The whole idea of “adulting” seemed beyond my ability & looking back, I must say I feel like I winged it – growing up, job interviews, relationships, eyeliner…the lot.

I still have my dad on speed dial & ask him questions constantly about how to do this whole ‘adult’ thing. It’s safe to say without my dad & his ability to ALWAYS answer his phone, I’d be a mess!

So a year has passed & I’m more of an adult now than I have been yet so far.

So much has happened in the last year & at one point I could of easily said that 2016 was the worst year of my life, but looking back now, the last 12 months have been literally some of the best of my life & I AM SO HAPPY!

That in itself is the best birthday present I could of ever wished for: to be truly, honestly happy. Not many people can say that these days. There’s always so much pressure – pressure financially, career pressure, LIFE pressure – growing up is stressful & so hard these days. I feel like I am winning.

Last year saw me reach some huge peaks in my career. I commissioned a new website for Reppin & Jones Jewellers which went global VERY quickly, everything was going really well, we were reaching new highs of success & we were really happy with where the business was heading.

But I was about to witness some huge lows in my personal life, which would effect every single aspect of my world as I knew it.

If I’m truly honest – I was “content”, content with my life, job, my home & my relationship of 4 years. There seemed to be more negatives than positives with my relationship but he was my best friend & I stuck by him. He was a bit controlling. Very critical & a bit unapproachable at times. I knew deep down I was ‘settling’ & there was a part of me that couldn’t see a future I’d be truly happy in but I buried my head in the sand because after all I thought he really was my best friend. We were extremely close. I gave everything I had despite always being let down, dealing with constant drama & someone who was quickly becoming very selfish…but I trusted him. Implicitly. Which in my eyes was worth its weight in gold.

My thought process was that maybe you have to sacrifice having that deep, crazy, intense love, for a relationship that is stable & secure – maybe that kind of love only exists in your teenage years. It nearly always results in heartbreak & tears. It’s almost so good it’s toxic. It’s not realistic. What I had was the ‘sensible’ option. Afterall. I was trying to “adult” remember!

I was loyal. I was selfless & completely generous with my support to him – emotionally & very much financially. I played many roles – the girlfriend, the mother, the bank but that’s what you do when your in a relationship surely? You support each other. He was a support in my life & he wasn’t all bad at all. I would never say he wasn’t a good person because he was in the beginning. We were just very very different & both at very different stages in our lives. He unfortunately grew into someone completely different from the person I first knew. That transitional period was soul destroying. I was losing my best friend.

Everyone around me started to realise that this wasn’t for me. People closest to me knew it from the start but never let on to me that they felt this way. I remember my dad telling me to walk away after me calling him & getting upset on one of the many occasions I had been hurt by something that had happened. “It’s not going to last. Your kidding yourself if you think it will work. It will come back around & bite you on the a*se” but I pursued. I continued to bury my head in the sand & try not to complain too much to those closest to me, but they knew & they knew he was starting to take advantage of me.

Without going into it deeply that ‘best friend’ betrayed me in the most mortifying way possible. He was unfaithful as I knew he had been. Things had started to change & he was not the nice person I knew. He was nasty. Arrogant. Self-obsessed. Cocky & far too sure of himself. Let’s say ‘small man syndrome’ is an understatement.

Then the stereotypical things started to happen. He’d take his phone everywhere with him – even the toilet. I felt uneasy & suspicious for the first time in our relationship. An awful, sickening feeling. (I have to say I was used to feeling 100% secure – he was my best friend – I can’t stress enough how much I trusted him.) He wouldn’t come home at the usual time. He started doing things completely out of his nature. That sickening, stomach churning feeling didn’t leave me. I started to break down daily. I knew what was happening but had lost all control. I knew he was lying…But I was ‘paranoid’ & I was starting to become a ‘psycho’ – the classic cop out of a cheater! He manipulated me & I felt scared to question him & scared to get upset infront of him.

I confided in my dad as always who called him & had a very honest telephone conversation with him. He had the opportunity to be open & honest but he was too cowardly & too immature to step up & be a man. Something he definitely isn’t. He lied to me, my family. He embarrassed me beyond words as I found out the details of his cheating & lies from the other woman’s husband.

(What was even more shameful was that I had met SAID woman at his graduation weeks before. Again, he was spoilt with Congratulation gifts from me. I took him out for dinner. I made him realise I was proud of him. I then felt humiliated. But now, in hindsight, I feel pity for them both for having such poor morals & such lack of respect for their other halves & families. It must take some front to be in the same room as your long term girlfriend & the woman your cheating on her with!)

Anyway. I walked away.

It was all a massive blur. All I remember, amongst throwing up & sobbing, is my dad – my absolute rock – driving down in a Truck & my step mum in a Range Rover & picking up the pieces of my whole world which had just been shattered before my eyes. I lost my little home, my best friend & everything I had known in 24 hours. That solid trust had just been broken & I could not grasp what had happened to me.

I had my two little cats Bella & Cleo to consider & the thought of leaving them behind completely broke my heart even more. They couldn’t come & stay with me at my dads – he has a dog. What was I going to do? Where was I going to live? Would I rent? Buy a house? What about all of my things? After all, this was a whole house I was clearing not just a wardrobe.

It was a fight trying to get my dad to not come down. Being a dad he was fiercely protective & I owe it all to my step mum Tina for calming him down enough. He had to hear his little girl in inconsolable pain & I can only imagine how angry it made him seeing me like that.

I kept saying I didn’t want to leave the home. I wanted the dust to settle. Maybe everything would be okay. It was just a blip. But the truth was they were all excuses. I was absolutely petrified. Terrified. So scared of starting over. Petrified of stepping out of my comfort zone. Petrified of losing everything & petrified of the unknown.

Dad knew this & took complete control. Within 8 hours I was out. The house we had shared was an empty shell & as painful as it was, I felt slightly empowered. A part of me had gained a little control back after being broken down over the last 3 months. My dad played a huge part in getting me through the worst days & nights. He was so patient & he was there for me no matter what time it was. If it wasn’t for him I honestly, hand on heart, do not know what I would of done. My dad is incredible.

My mum, my brothers, my whole family were very supportive. My brother Llew was amazing. Always there for a hug. My other brother Rhys was so patient. Helped me move my whole house & all my belongings & did anything I needed him to do. They both made such a difference to my life in this hard time. I knew I’d be okay at some point.

Of course I was heartbroken more than I can even put into words. The pain was excruciating. But what I realise now is that is was the mourning of the friendship, the trust & our life that was so painful. I always knew he wasn’t the love of my life but I thought he was my best friend. The pain & the shock was horrific. I was in so much shock. I lost over 3 stone. I reverted back to being a little girl. Wanting to be cuddled all the time. The anxiety was horrendous. I had no control. I was sleeping with the light on at 26. I longed for an appropriate time I could go to bed everyday & I hated waking up more than anything. My hair was falling out & I don’t think I stopped crying for 6 weeks solid. My two cats had to go into a rescue shelter where I paid for them to be until my living plans were finalised. (I was planning my mortgage & house hunting.)


I finally started to sleep through the night. I wasn’t waking up, calling my dad at 4am crying – I was sleeping through. I started to feel more of myself than I had done for the last 4 years. People complimented me on how glowing I was looking & I remember a best friend telling me he hadn’t seen me so happy in years. I was confused but I knew it was true. It was the start of a new chapter.

Now I could go into detail about the rest of the journey, the gory details in getting over the break up, I could SERIOUSLY shame & embarrass him but that isn’t me & that is not my style. I believe in Karma. All I will say is that he pulled the short straw in the end. But yes he did come crawling back & yes it was too little too late. I was well & truly gone & in time I came to realise my true self was never whole heartedly there in the first place.

I took time for myself. I started to read again. I booked myself a photoshoot to get my confidence back. I took time to do all the things I hadn’t taken time to do in a long while. All these things make me who I am & give me happiness. I was patient with myself. I started to plan my life & my goals & I was very specific in what I wanted to achieve which played a huge part in my recovery.


I invested in ‘The Happiness Planner’ journal quite some time ago & I have to say it has been a source of such enlightenment throughout the last year.

I will be doing a full review once I finish the journal year but I will say that having that  task to take the time to reflect on the day, the good things that have happened & what you wish for for the tomorrow is absolutely amazing when it comes to self-growth.

This meaning of this post is to share the amazing journey I have been on. There was a time where it was clear I wasn’t blogging & I disappeared from social media & was not posting at all – the reason is the above. I really want to offer reassurance to anyone that is going through a hard time, that feels like it will never get better – there is such a blessing in the pain & a lesson in the turmoil.

But then…2016 ended in the most magical way possible.

I got back in touch with someone I had known forever. Someone that was always a familiar face but we had never been what i’d call ‘friends’. His family knew mine & had done for a very long time. We saw each other at parties & events. Always caught each others eye. But only ever said a few words to each other every time. Anyway…after chatting away for days on end, we went on a date – which just felt easy & natural – we talked & talked until we were nearing the only ones left in the restaurant, we then hunted for somewhere we could go to carry on the evening with a few drinks but because of the time everywhere was shut & I was gutted. But 2 days later we went on a second date…

Our second date was 14th November…

We have been inseparable ever since.

That is not an exaggeration.

Throughout this whole time we have spent 1 day apart. We drank wine. Went out. Stayed in. We talked for hours. We laughed constantly. Watched every Hobbit & Lord of The Rings film & realised just how much alike we actually are. We went to Dublin for a magical few days & shared a great Christmas together. Yes it was unexpected & it all happened in a whirlwind but that’s because it was right & unlike anything I’d experienced before. He felt like home & I fell for him instantly. People always say when you meet the one you “know”. Well that is the truest statement made.

We have the best friendship & the kind of relationship that inspires movies. This is so soppy & so cliche & the thought of him reading this makes me blush & cringe immensely. Waaaaah! Crrrrriiiiiiiinging hell!

But seriously…he is the best thing that has ever happened to me & I don’t know how I became so lucky. He is gorgeous beyond words, sensitive, caring, thoughtful & a real MAN. I’m crazy for him. We laugh constantly & always have the best times together. He has an amazing, lovely, hilarious family. We have wonderful friends & a place we have now made our own ‘home’. Life is so good. I feel so secure & so so grateful & lucky to be where I am now.

We have been in our pad now for nearing 4 months. We have a lovely home, a view of the sea, my two little babies Bella & Cleo & the best relationship I could ever wish for. (You CAN have that crazy, intense, teenager kind of love! Without compromising your sanity haha!)

So this year, my birthday will be spent surrounded by the people I love the most who genuinely make me the happiest I have ever been.

I have thrown myself into my blog 100% which is paying off in ways I never imagined, I still love my job & have a fab little team behind me & life is great.

The moral of the story is – NOTHING lasts forever, everything WILL be okay in the end – if it’s not okay, it’s not the end & ALWAYS be true to yourself. Take the jump no matter how hard it is. No matter how scared you are. You will be blessed if you have people around you that will push you because as frightening as that first jump is you will ALWAYS land on your feet as long as you have dreams, ambitions & stay grateful. 

KEEP talking. Get everything off your chest. Repeat yourself a million times if you have to. But it helps. Ask questions, rant & get angry. Be kind to yourself. Make yourself happy. Be patient but be brutal. There is a time where you will realise that life does have to carry on & all you can do is put on some lipstick, take a deep breath & OWN it!


Gratitude is so important. Be grateful for everything. The life lessons, the experiences, the pain, your friends, your family & the life that you have been blessed with because it really is the greatest gift.27 doesn’t feel as old as I first thought & I can’t wait to see what the 27th year will bring.

If it was anything like the last it will be another wonderful journey & as my dad would say, it is all ‘part of life’s rich tapestry’…

With Love,

Hayley x
P.s I used your toothbrush to clean the toilet before I left…




Hayley L Butcher View All →

<p>Blogger, Jewellery Designer, Artist, Dancer, Model, Candle Addict & Animal Lover</p>

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