This isn’t so much of a Daily Life as it is just a very honest and intimate reflection on everything that occurred in my 2016. With every beginning of a new year I feel it’s important to look back at the good and bad times and the lessons we learned from them.
2016.. What The Hell Just Happened?
As ridiculous as it sounds, just the simple change of the date rolling from 2016 to 2017 has brought an immense amount of relief to me because last year was one of those years that left me pondering, “What the hell just happened?”
Toward the beginning of 2016 I was feeling extremely lost and knew something really great or really awful was on it’s way to shake things up. Of course.. it turned out to be the latter. I can use cute phrases like, “Life gave me a lot of lemons.” but I think a more accurate visual image would be one giant a-hole of a lemon driving a dump truck full of more lemons and dumping them at my feet while flipping me the bird. That was my year.
I began 2016 married, living in Oregon, and planning a long term future there. As much as I loved it, I was still feeling like something was a bit off and decided to take a solo trip to Iowa in February to spend time with family. While I was there my husband and I had a pretty serious conversation about our relationship, his dislike of Portland, the possibility of us returning to Iowa, or just him returning. We realized we were quickly heading down two very different paths and the talk of divorce began.
I left a stressful job and took on another only to find that it was not the answer or change I was looking for. It took me even further away from my passions and caused even more wear and tear on an already threadbare situation holding my marriage together. I eventually became so far removed from who I was that I barely recognized myself anymore. I was depressed and couldn’t figure out how to stop it, change it, or move on from it. Looking from the outside into my own life or anyone else in a similar situation, I would have just said, “Oh come on! Get over it and be happy already!” But when you’re in the depths of it you cannot even fathom just how you’re going to begin to pull yourself back up.
One particular night I found myself alone at the house, feeling disgusted with myself, exhausted, and depressed. I was too emotionally spent to have an appetite for a real meal and found myself sitting on the kitchen floor, drinking wine, and eating cheese and crackers while sharing the cheese with the cat.
Let’s let that pathetic image sink in: Sobbing, drinking, sitting on the floor, and sharing cheese with the cat. That’s when I had my wake up call to myself and promptly got up and went straight to my laptop to write an email. I cried the whole time I wrote it and then finally hit send.
When I realized what I had done I had a brief moment of thinking, ” Great, now you’re full blown crazy.” because I had actually sent the email to myself. At this point I don’t really care how “crazy” it was or still is because it’s what saved me..
Pick yourself up and dust yourself off.. Literally. You were just sitting on the kitchen floor drinking $6 wine and feeding cheese to the cat.
Wake the f*** up and realize your potential. You know exactly what you want out of the future, but it’s this in between stage you can’t get past. It’s time to start making every day count by taking a solid step towards furthering the business or businesses. The husband can wait. Friends can wait. This is your time to be selfish and take care of yourself. Ask for help (from the right people) when you need it and don’t be afraid of being vulnerable.
It’s not going to happen unless you can pull yourself (mentally) out of this sh***y situation. Yes.. you are in a confusing tumultuous relationship. You work a miserable call center job, your commute sucks, you’re broke. People have done far more with far less.. what’s your excuse?
Read this every day.. add to it.. do what you have to do. But do not forget that you are a strong, independent, smart, and creative woman that has the power to make real change and inspire others. Learn how to love yourself.. that’s the only person you can depend on anyway.”
I still read this and cry, wondering where that voice came from, because despite advice from friends, family, and the occasional self-help book or two, none of it got through to me like my own words did.
While my path and future are far from being figured out, everything feels right and is starting to become much more clear. I still struggle and find myself feeling pretty beat down at times, and finally just have that breakdown moment of saying, “OKAY! Enough! I can’t handle anymore!” but I still pick myself up and remember my own words to keep on going, succeeding, failing, trying, and starting over again and again.
I’m sad that my marriage ended, but I’m happy that we both now can pursue our own happiness and paths. I will forever miss Oregon, it’s beauty, and the lifelong friends I made there, but I know I can return to visit any time that I want. I’m grateful that I made the choice to move back to Iowa and I see my mom nearly every day instead of just once a year for a few days followed by a painful airport goodbye. It was the perfect year of balance between loss and gain, heartache and learning.
I’m very eager to see what this year has in store and despite all that I encountered, experienced, and overcame in 2016, I’m oddly grateful for it all because I’m forever altered as a person.