Often over the past two years I sometimes found myself questioning why things went down the way they did. I have had times of quietly (sometimes not so quietly) demanding why God/The Universe/The Creator dumped a steaming pile of shit in my lap that I was solely in charge of cleaning up. Why suddenly at 45 I was single for the first time, totally responsible for a mini-adult, a budget, a cluster of animals, a home and a job. All of this was without any notice. One day I was married, then Suddenly I wasn’t. Suddenly I was very much alone, very scared, very hurt and very responsible for my world.
Just writing that and letting myself go back to that head space for a few moments sends adrenaline and anxiety through my body. I don’t think I can remember another time in my life when I was so gut-wrenchingly scared – and I battled cancer! The fear of being suddenly alone topped even that.
However, as we do when we are warriors and non-quitters, we grab our boots by the straps, grab a fresh pair of big girl panties and get after it. We formulate a plan, we execute said plan and we hope, pray and run like hell to keep every plate spinning until we prove to ourselves that we are able to do it on our own. Confidence grows, self-love grows, our relationships with those who have proven themselves to be our Tribe become our front line defenders and cheerleaders. I’m not sure I could have managed to navigate that first year, first birthday, graduation of my youngest, big decisions, first anniversary and bad days if it hadn’t been for my best friends and my sister (who is also on that best friend list but with the added benefit of shared DNA) the ladies on my short list of best friends helped me navigate a minefield, got angry along with me, let me cry, got me really drunk on occasion, paid for dinner and brought me flowers and Champaign when my divorce was final. They told me how great I was doing and how proud they were of me and they helped me keep the fear at bay until it wasn’t there anymore.
They helped me to see that I was thriving. I slowly began to get stronger, more confident and able to see what a blessing that steaming pile of shit was that had been handed to me. The divorce wasn’t a set back. It was a set up for success, for maturity, for growth and for healing. I learned that being alone is a beautiful and healthy thing. Being single and not dating for almost two years allowed me to figure out what I like about me, what I like in my environment and what I won’t allow anywhere near me or in my life. I learned that I’m a pretty badass budget manager and I’m also a pretty good business woman. I discovered that I am stronger than I thought I was and I have zero tolerance for bullshit.
I also rediscovered my voice. My voice for blogging, for writing, for inspiring. I remembered that I don’t need anyone’s approval to speak my truth. I don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to say what is in my heart. I rediscovered the fire that is in my belly that I had forgotten, the fire to own my truth and share it with others, the fire to speak from gratitude and see my world as the beautiful puzzle that it is. These two years have been like big chunks of the puzzle that finally snapped into place.
I realized that when I thought I was a big chicken for not wanting to date all those months because I could never trust again- that I wasn’t being stagnant, I was doing some serious growing and thriving in the background. I was thrust into a situation that wasn’t what I ever would have chosen voluntarily but low and behold I became happier than I ever thought possible just by being loyal to myself. I learned that in order to trust someone else I had to learn that I can trust myself.
I have the first and the last say in who I allow in my life. I have cultivated the people in my small circle to be the best of the best. I have focused on having people around me who enrich my life and don’t leave me feeling depleted. I have a man in my life who brings me more joy than I realized I was capable of experiencing from one person and I have best friends who love me for me, laugh when I laugh and tell me when I have lipstick on my teeth.
My sister and I went on a photography adventure this past weekend to some coastal areas and I saw this little green plant in the photo at the top of the blog. It was nestled into the surrounding gravel, probably not the most ideal of locations for a plant to grow, but just look at it! It’s thriving! That little plant was the inspiration for this post.
Thrive where you are planted, even when you don’t think it’s ideal, trust the process. You may not see the reason at the time, we often don’t see the purpose for a season in our lives until we get to the other side and see how much we’ve grown.
Trust the process, but more importantly, trust yourself.