Lessons Learned in 2017
It’s time, the new year is upon us are you beginning to reflect and look back on 2017? As I sit here in the dark with only the soft white lights of the Christmas tree and three glowing candles on the coffee table I can’t help but smile. Actually, I may have a few tears in my eyes if I’m honest, not sad tears but “Holy shit I can’t believe I made it” kind of tears.
2017 may have been one of the most transforming years of my life next to seventeen years ago when I become a mother. I will spare you all the details but as we close the year out I have an overwhelming sense of joy and accomplishment. Not that I did anything accomplished, like write a book or expand my business. In fact, I said no to most things this year. For that matter, over the past three years, my life has felt like it was put on pause. Those of you who have gotten a divorce may understand.
No big career moves, no finishing goals I set for myself years ago because I was barely surviving, barely holding on. Divorce or a breakup of any kind in a serious long-term relationship hurts and changes you in ways you never imagined. The choices, the decisions can paralyze a person, then when the decision is made the consequences and the grief sets in and seems to linger for way longer than you ever intended it too. In fact maybe what I’m realizing is that like a death of a loved one, there will always be grief and sadness in some capacity and many lessons along the way.
2017 lesson number one…
1. Accept the grief and learn to live with it all while moving forward.
I’m a fixer if there is a problem I want to solve it. But the biggest lesson of this past year is that there are things I just can’t fix. They are way bigger than me, and instead of fighting against it or trying to push it away I accept that it is with me. The problem, the brokenness, the sadness will always be apart of me. I can’t fix the past, that’s why it ended…I’ve learned to let myself cry and feel the grief of the loss of my family unit as I have known it for almost two decades all while being happy and joyful with the new life I’m learning to create. Some days I still cry…. but those are now few and far between. Sometimes my tears are happy tears of just feeling so grateful. Learning how to adjust to a new normal may take another year or two, but it’s ok I’m going with it as I continue to walk forward with love and kindness around me.
2. Your true friends…. are few and far between so hold on to them close and family… is forever.
This past year I’ve never appreciated the people in my life more than I do now. This was the year I finally got it…. I had been working up to this point but 2017 was truly the year I walked away from a lot and for good. Those of you in my life, thank you! From the very bottom of my heart, truly… this was the year I let go of many and held on tight to my circle my peeps. There is beauty in genuine friendships and forever family that helps prop you up when you feel so defeated it’s hard to move forward. To those who have been in my life this year, thank you for showing me true kindness and grace and deep love.
3. I can do it on my own.
This past year I definitely didn’t see myself moving and starting over from scratch…. yes scratch. With only my clothes in a suitcase, bedroom furniture and a large map of the world I packed my car and moved into my own house. I completely had to start over, actually, for the first time in my life, I was 100% on my own. I had to furnish an entire house on my own… and honestly, I am so glad! So thank you for that… It truly was the beginning of my healing. New house, new environment, new furniture all represented a new beginning. The biggest accomplishment this past year was just this. As I finished setting up Christmas eve this year, never before have I felt so excited for Christmas morning. It was all me… I did it, not only did I survive on my own I thrived.
4. Love can happen again and comes in many forms.
2017 gave me the gift of love. Love felt like my mantra this past year. Giving love, accepting love from others when I was weak and loving myself even while carrying intense guilt. Love was all around me, in me and carried me when I was weak. Then it happened, I found myself in love again and loved deeply by another soul. The way I describe it to others is an easy love ????. Long gone are the days of the young girl who wants to be swept off her feet and saved by her prince charming. After heartbreak, true heartbreak you realize who you are, what you want and where you want to be. You learn you can do life on your own because your happiness comes from within and not from another person. So when you meet someone who’s so easy to love and easy to give love, it’s a gift and you learn to appreciate it greatly. Love is not saving, love is complementing and experiencing the crazy ride of life together with kindness, respect and most of all true love.
5. My life my choices period.
For so long I lived to please others. I made choices to put others in front of myself. I sacrificed myself, physically emotionally and spiritually in the name of family, or love. I lost myself, barely recognized myself in the mirror. I believed it was worth it, for the happiness of others. The problem is, you can’t do that forever nor should you even if there are extreme consequences that come later. The consequences are great, don’t get me wrong. They are haunting, the wounds are incredibly deep and I’m not sure they’ll ever fully heal. Yet, I can breathe again… I feel love all around me and I have become a whole person again. Maybe some will think I’m incredibly selfish, maybe you’re right. I struggle with that all of the time. Others may say I saved myself, and in time my children will see their mom happy and whole and it will help them heal too. I honestly don’t know the right answer. But what I’ve learned this past year is… it’s my life, my choices and my mistakes no one else’s. No one knows the behind the scenes, the feelings the emotions I feel. That goes for all of us. Our lives, our choices. So I am doing me… my life and I’m not going to say sorry anymore. Yes, I’m truly sorry my family looks different now, holidays are separate and our kids all live separately. That I’ll always be sorry for… my heart will always be broken over that. But…. I can no longer say sorry for my happiness and my healing. I deserve to be whole, to be truly loved and respected and thriving not just surviving.
2017 thank you for being one of the most amazing and hardest years of my life. Thank you for all of the lessons and gifts. Thank you to my circle for lifting me up when I was weak, holding me when I couldn’t stop sobbing and sharing in my victories and accepting my new love into the circle. What a fucking amazing gift to be living… even in the hardest moments we are still alive to experience it. So much to be grateful for… 2018 I’m so ready for you! It’s time to start doing again… new house, new book.. hmmm… what else will I do??
Cheers to the roller coaster ride called life! Wishing you all peace, joy, and happiness in 2018. Let’s get ready to do it… this coming year whatever that may be for you!