• Dalya Shaw

Do You Miss the Old You?


You know those people that after spending even just a few minutes with, you can’t help feeling good? Something inside lifts you up and it doesn’t seem to matter what they say, their energy is contagious.

I bumped into a school mum in the shops recently and as soon as she saw me, her arms were up in the air and her face lit up with her mouth in a silent (or not so silent) ‘aaaahhh’. I hadn’t seen her in ages and smiled as I walked towards her thinking ‘she’s as nuts as she ever was and it’s so good to see her!’. We chatted for a while and she spoke with such energy and enthusiasm you couldn’t help but catch a bit of it. Now here’s a point – your energy IS contagious, whether you mean it or not!

She told me about her job in a typically dry and serious, mostly male dominated industry and I was surprised by her excitement as she described it as a perfect opportunity to change people’s lives. Without naming the industry, most people would be bored to tears hearing about it, never mind working in it for any extended period of time. Yet here she was, making it sound SO exciting and purposeful and meaning it too! I laughed and commented that she was never really normal anyway and she agreed delighted saying ‘thank goodness for that!’.

I was having lunch with my partners South African family and someone was telling a story. She was relaying … actually I have no idea what she was saying. It was all in Afrikaans but her expressions and energy and exaggerated pronunciation had me in tears laughing anyway. Those that understood her were laughing even louder and harder and it occurred to me that even across languages there is something that comes with high energy positive people… and that delicious feeling you get after a good hard laugh.

You know those people that you can not see for a while and you just pick up where you left off? A close friend left a long message on my phone this week and by the end of it, I was again laughing. She is one of those people that has a whole conversation with you on your voicemail starting with ‘Hellloooooo!’ and finishing with ‘…well anyway, give me a call back when you are free…’

Each of these women are high energy extroverts and pretty ‘out there’ and it was so brilliant to be in their space.

A few months ago, I received an email from a new friend, who lost her son Josh some years before. We were both speaking at the same event and something she said stuck in my mind ever since.

“… we miss our old lives and the people we were before Josh died however; we feel that by sharing a little piece of our story that is one way of valuing Josh’s life…’

It was the first time I had heard of someone else saying out loud they ‘missed the person they used to be.’ Other people had ‘old me’s’ they missed as well?! Oh wow! This was SO good to know!

What we call death really changes you as a person, well actually death completely changes you and you are technically no longer a person per se, but losing someone changes you on a very deep and often invisible level. How do you know you are not alone in how you feel, if we never talk about it? Definitely more on this topic in the new year!

It’s crazy you know; I recognise how much I have changed since my son Ben passed, but have also had several glimpses of the ‘old me’ where my energy and excitement has taken over. Is this the real me? I think back over the years when I was told ‘you are too high energy’. In my younger years, I was dumped because the guy said I was ‘too full-on’, and politely told I was ‘a bit too over the top’ for someone else.

HA! I laugh now, but I often wondered whether I was ‘too much’ and at times even turned myself down a notch. This is something I would NEVER do today and in the last two years I have longed for that feeling of exuberance, excitement and ‘too much energy’. I know it’s still in me. Is it a case of unconsciously giving ourselves permission to get excited again and feel that drive for life and longer moments of a full sense of happiness?

2021 starts the next chapter in our life book. SO exciting! A new decade and our story continues. It will come with new highs and lows and twists like any story. As I write mine, I feel energised, positive and crazy grateful for who I am, what I have and what I will create. My new friends’ email highlighted that what we call death changes the person we once were into the person we are today and who we will become tomorrow. I now know I can create and make the new me wonderfully fantastic and full of energy!

Every year, every new chapter, we all get the opportunity to improve on our last years ‘me’. How good is that?!

So, this is it. The final post for 2020. A huge thank you to the Universe. A HUGE thank you to all the wonderful people in my life - I am SO lucky and so grateful. I type this with a big smile and an energy and excitement that I plan to encourage and grow in me and anyone else in 2020. I am high in anticipation of what lies ahead and ready for everything.

To Ben’s friends, and to my extra son J, you are and always will be a huge part of my life. I am so proud of you and I love you all to bits. I am so looking forward to watching you grow into even more amazing ‘you’s. Your memories, activities and love contribute to Ben’s legacy and this makes my heart soar. You keep me accountable in striving to make you proud and to continue to become a better me. We have a lot to do next year and I am truly excited to be doing it with all of you on my side.

To my angel son. Benny you inspire me, you encourage me and you push me. You listen and I believe you hear me. You are and will always remain the greatest achievement in my life and nothing will ever compare to having you and my relationship with you. We also have lots to do next year and I know with your guidance … well … ‘We’ve SO got this!’ 😊

Happy New Year Everyone!

Much Love

Dalya xx 💙

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Dalya Shaw

Speaking Services | Writing Services

e: dalya@dalyashaw.com

Brisbane, Australia

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