This year has been the worst year of my life, one punctuated with little joy. Separating from my husband of 20 years has been personally devastating, and I’ve had to deal with the shame associated with the end of a failed relationship, not to mention the pain of knowing how much the dissolution of our marriage has hurt so many people that I care about.
Over the last 10 months, I’ve faced a lot of painful stuff.
Recognized the places where I haven’t always been honest.
Acknowledged my shadow self, the parts of me I’m ashamed of ~ the parts of me that feel damaged and broken.
The places I need to grow and change.
It’s been hard for me to write.
Anyone who has gone through a traumatic experience understands how sadness and fear drain you. Many times, I feared that I’d never write another word.
When I was sick, I felt like G-d was punishing me, stripping me of everything I’ve ever used for strength.
Everything I’d ever hidden behind.
This year, I’ve endured endless hours of alone-ness while trying to learn who I am now, the person I want to be in the future.
How strange to be 48 years old and realize I don’t know me at all.
One thing I’ve learned is that I’m a girl of paradoxes.
I crave the company of other people, and I like my solitude.
That I’m a wild artist who needs connection, and a homebody who needs to recharge.
That I’m tapped into some whacked-out energy in the universe: something that allows me to see other people’s pain, something that simultaneously scares me and makes me feel special.
That I’m smart.
There is so much I don’t know.
That I want to be touched.
I’m afraid of being touched.
I never thought I’d be living in an apartment at this stage in my life.
I liked having a home with soft leather couches, a pretty well-manicured lawn, two cars in the garage.
And yet, I felt trapped by all of it, unable to pursue my own dreams and desires. Unloved. Unsexy. Unseen.
I’m a brave woman. And I’m a terrified little girl.
All the time.
Until recently, I had no experience making independent decisions.
I’ve always relied on the expertise of others.
And waited for people to tell me what to do.
I followed instead of led.
And I liked it that way.
The thing is, when you believe others know things better than you do, you never have to make a mistake. Living on my own, I have no one else to lean on. For anything. Now? I’m accountable for every single decision in my life.
I’ve never lived like this, an unconventional girl in a conventional city.
So that’s where I am.
At the end of an awful year, I’m feeling strangely hopeful.
And I’m wishing each of you a wonderful new year filled with good health and much happiness. And I encourage each of you to take strides to move confidently in the direction of your dreams.
And if you haven’t dreamed about what you want in a long time ~ if your dreams have become the dreams you carry for your children, combined dreams you have with your spouse ~ dare to consider what you would do if you found yourself suddenly alone without anyone to care for you or anyone to look after. How would you fill your hours?
What are the biggest changes you’ve ever made in your life and what prompted you to make these changes?