It has been an exhausting yet transformational few weeks to say the least. I’ve been lining up countless appointments to see apartments, condos, and rental homes. I saw so many places they started to blur together so I had to create a frickin’ spreadsheet just to keep them straight. My anxiety was through the roof as I filled out applications fearing that they would take one look at my credit history and throw my application in the trash.
When I wasn’t looking for a place to live, I was looking for a new job. Desperately looking for something that would afford me a new home. The silence was deafening. No calls…no interviews. Just rejections in my inbox reminding me that I’m not good enough or I don’t know the right people to get my foot in the door. My past haunting me. How did I get here? I was a successful program director with a great career making decent money. Now, all of that tarnished and based in lies that even I started to believe. I keep asking God…why did this happen? Did I do something really awful in a past life and this is my retribution? Here I am a 46 year-old woman, failed marriage, failed career, broke ass car on its last leg and can’t seem to find a decent man to save my life. Why the hell is this my life?
Then I snap the hell out of it. I always look for the deeper meaning for things so I tell myself that it’s just a little bump in the road that has lasted the past 10 years. Sure that’s a really long bump in the road, but I always count my blessings along the way. I’ve stayed strong with a smile on my face and I only allow myself a momentary pity party from time to time. My writing is my solace. My story is my teacher. I remind myself that without these painful circumstances I wouldn’t have found my purpose and my perseverance. I find the stories of others who have gone through far worse have been a reminder that my life lessons are that bad.
The story of a young mother that was going through a divorce at the same time she had to undergo a full mastectomy only to have the cancer spread to other parts of her body—enduring a second surgery where she had a hysterectomy. She’s a survivor. She showed true strength. The story of my dear friends losing their sibling. The story of a mother losing her child to an illness or suicide. Those heartbreaking stories remind me of how blessed I truly am. My pain is nothing compared to theirs. I have no right to wallow in self-pity. We all have our cross to bear. Some more difficult than others. In every story, there is a gift. A gift of awakening. A gift of overcoming. If you are in despair, know that you will get through this, come out on the other side, and find joy again. I turn to music to lift me up.
And I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
~ Andra Day
Holding on to hope is our weapon against the darkness. Finding gratitude in the little things is the pathway to the light. Admiring the sunsets or the beauty in the trees is our reminder that there is beauty all around us despite the grey clouds that pass by. Things will turn around when your heart is ready to let go of those painful memories that bind you. As I pack boxes in the home where I raised my children in for eighteen beautiful years, tears run down the creases of my smiles. Old pictures of the kids building a snowman in the front yard or swimming in the backyard pool remind me of the good times. Memories are always happy ones. I’m ready to let go. I’m ready to move forward and only look back with fondness and gratitude. The key is to not stay stuck. The key is to fully imagine a beautiful new beginning. Since that time of worry and fear, I found a beautiful new house to rent that is perfect for me, my sons and the dog. I also found out I will be getting a substantial pay increase in the next few weeks. Everything is coming together exactly how it was intended. Things are finally looking up and I’m ready for a new chapter in my story to begin. I just had to be willing to turn the page. You will too. One day you will look back at what brought you pain and see that it brought you a strength that you didn’t know you had. You too will rise up.