Thursday, August 26, 2010

"You gotta fall in order to mend."

It seems over the past several weeks, almost every person I've been around has mentioned something about my laugh - some being old friends, some being friends I haven't spoken to or seen in several months - even several years - and lots of random people I've met in passing while I've been out and about over the past few days enjoying my child-free evenings. I even had a hilarious exchange with a sweet girl in the Exit/In bathroom that resulted in an all-out laughing fit between the two of us. The more I laughed, the harder she laughed... so much so, she marched me straight to the bar and bought me a shot because I had "the most fantastic laugh." So funny, yet so very random.

The next day, after a phone conversation with an old friend, he texted me this, "It's nice to hear you laugh. You sound happy."

That's when it all hit me.

I AM HAPPY.

I haven't laughed a lot over the past few years. In fact, I think I cried more in 2009 than I've cried throughout my entire life.

Seriously. - Marinate on that for a moment.

Last year was intense. - Looking back now, I can see it wasn't the relationship that broke me; rather it was everything. Every single thing in my life - had come to a very abrupt, life-altering stand-still. The break up was just the proverbial cherry on top.

I haven't felt peace, security, stability, self-worth, joy - all those things associated with being a truly happy individual in a very long time. The realities of my life along with the abundant stress that came with voluntarily leaving a career as an insurance agent to completely change my career of choice to something most people only dream of doing for a living had finally robbed me of my infectious laughter. Granted, I admit, I allowed it to be taken without a very good fight. However, now that the finish line is within reach, I'm feeling the breeze of the downhill coast.

Don't get me wrong, life isn't all peaches and cream just yet. I'm still stuck in school for 2-3 more weeks, therefore finances are still tight, but at least I see a reprieve is just around the bend. Thank goodness for that.

It's been a long, hard, emotional journey; but by the grace of God and the unconditional love, support and unfaltering help my amazing family and friends have graciously continued to offer up, I made it through the toughest year of my life.

And for that I am forever grateful. And I AM happy. And I will laugh because: "It's a brand new day. The sun is shining. It's a brand new day. For the first time in such a long, long time, I know I'll be okay."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Breakin' up is hard to do."

It's been my experience that even the most amicable breakups are still just as difficult as any other.

I've chosen to remain fairly private about my most recent breakup, that is, until now. - And consequently, my silence earned myself a label I don't quite deserve. Basically, I have been interpreted as a "heartless, emotionless, stone-cold bitch" - granted, to my knowledge, they didn't use those exact words, however, from what I gathered, the implications were there.

Timing... chalk this one up to bad timing. - My relationship, that is.

I admit, five years from now, I'll probably be kicking myself repeatedly for letting this one go. However, given my circumstances at this particular time in my life, it had to be done. - Not only for my sanity, but for his as well.

Those of you who knew me while growing up in Florida, probably know that my life in Panama City was hardly picturesque. I was forced to grow up quickly. I was raped at the age of 11 and abused emotionally and physically by the people closest to me on a daily basis throughout my adolescent years. I was institutionalized for severe depression and an attempt at suicide my freshman year of high school. I was working by the age of 15, and always had to work hard for the things I needed and/or wanted. As soon as I turned 18, I got out. - Desperate to escape the control my over-bearing, hateful mother had over me.

I "escaped" one hell, only to fall deeper into a new, more traumatic one that would wreak further emotional havoc on my soul for many, many years to come.

I use the term "escaped" loosely, as I know now I didn't escape anything. I only ran from it. Running, for many years, was the only way I knew how to escape anything and everything.

But you can only run so far, or so fast, before everything starts to catch up with you.

...Wow, I went off on quite a tangent there...

Independence. This has always been something I fervently worked toward achieving and was fairly good at maintaining up until I had my daughter, Emily.

Needless to say, motherhood and marriage threw me for a serious loop. I had no clue how melding your own life into that of another human being's life happened, lest we not forget to add our innocent, helpless, newborn baby girl's life into that mix as well.

When I moved to Nashville in 2004, I voluntarily gave up every security I had. I left a lucrative career at an insurance agency. I left all of my friends and family. All in the name of love. I followed my heart without question.

After my daughter's arrival in 2005, I was thrown into severe postpartum depression. - Most of you who have known me since I've moved to Nashville are familiar with this part of my life - as I was very open and forthcoming with my experiences with motherhood. Writing was a therapeutic way for me to organize my thoughts and feelings.

Anyway, I didn't work for the first 5 months of Emily's life. My independent nature hadn't left, but my means to do anything about it had completely diminished. I was completely at my husband's mercy.

My marriage crumbled a short time after my returning back to work. I launched out of our home and into an apartment I could barely afford on my pay at the insurance agency.

It's been a struggle since then.

Since 2006, I changed jobs, moved in with my ex-mom-in-law, (2007) started a business, (2008) decided to completely abandon my job security in the insurance world and pursue a new career in makeup artistry and attempted to start aesthetics school in the middle of a recession - little did I know I'd have to wait a year just to get into the program, (2009) got fired from a great job that would have provided lots of financial security while waiting to begin school, entered into a relationship with the love of my life, made plans to move in and get married, only to experience the biggest, life-altering heartbreak of my life and then in September of last year, I finally started school. (2010) - Here I am... still living in the same place, counting down the final days to school's end, and exiting out of what most would call a "perfectly good relationship". Why, you ask??

It's the proverbial "It's not you, it's me."

He did nothing wrong. In fact it's quite the opposite.

Ideally, he'd be a gem for a gal like me. He caters to my every whim. He provides for me. He spoils me rotten. He spoils my child rotten. He's communicative, for the most part. He's responsible. He's patient. Forgiving. Humble. He's not afraid of commitment. He had plans to marry me, for crying out loud! Me... Despite the blatant mess that I am right now, he still wanted to marry me.

Timing... Independence...

I'm about to transition into a world where I will actually be LIVING my DREAM.

That's HUGE.

I've been through the wringer these past three years trying to get to this pivotal point of my life. And it's finally so close I can almost reach out and grab it.

For the first time in my life, I've chosen to shoo away my heart's desires and to think with my head first.

For the first time in my life, it's all about ME.

It's all about me and my daughter.

It's all about me, my daughter and my career.

My career is the key to the door that will open up things in my life that I personally can't allow to falter any longer such as my independence, my security, and ultimately the restoration of my self-worth so that I may believe in myself again and be able to provide for me and my daughter completely by my own hard work.

As selfish as it may sound to some of you, I have to know that I can do this on my own. - Without anyone there to be that proverbial "security net" for me. - To move out of my ex-mother-in-law's house and into a place of my own. - Not a place shared with a man.

That is my reward. To know that I did it. I made it happen without the illusion of security that a serious relationship offers.

My payoff for the many struggles I've endured over the last three years; the blood, the sweat, the plethora of tears I've shed; the hard work, the perseverance, the multitude of sacrifices my daughter and I have had to make; the relentless fight to keep on keeping on even when my body was constantly shutting down on me is my single driving force and I can't afford or allow anyone to distract me from this objective.

I just can't do it.

I don't have the emotional resources or energy it takes to be in an all-in focused relationship right now. It's not fair for me to continually take from someone, and not be able to reciprocate any of that. That's not who I am.

I am fiercely loyal and dedicated to the relationships God has blessed me with. If I can't give 100%, it's not fair to the other person who is giving 100 plus percent. It's a recipe for disaster any way you look at it and that doesn't sit well with me.

I don't like being a source of pain in people's life. - Especially those that I care deeply for. But just because I don't post a barrage of dumpy status updates about my feelings in regards to another failed relationship, doesn't mean that I'm not feeling any pain or sadness.

I have a peace about my decision and with that being said, I've said my piece.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"If you walk out on me, I'm walking after you."

Inspired to write, feverishly, fervently even, however, the words aren't eloquently flowing... My head is pounding with pain. A migraine is in the works. My heart is feeling torn between logic and emotion.

The war wages on... though, seemingly, for a lost cause.

Everyone constantly says, "Follow your heart." But what happens when your heart wants something that doesn't want you in return?

- Do you stay vigilant and true to your heart's desires?

- Do you hastily attempt to paste the pieces of your heart back together and move on?

What if you've tried it all?

Numerous times?

Failing miserably at all attempts to move on.

My being vigilant and faithful to my heart, fighting ferociously for my belief in a love so deep against the reasoning of someone so close, but yet, so far gone, repeatedly producing the same results.

So when is enough really "enough"?

I'm stuck in a bad rerun.

I know how it all goes down. I even know when it's all about to happen - every damn time. I even understand both sides of the argument, more so now than I ever have.

So why, then, am I still surprised by the waves of sporadic sadness, hurt and disappointment I feel each and every time it happens again? Shouldn't I be numb by now?

I just don't understand it at all. Any of it.

I pray that this relentless, unfaltering love in my heart will eventually release it's hold of me so I that I can peacefully close an unfinished chapter in my life once and for all.

But until that day comes, I have no choice but to remain just as I am. Alone. Driven by the passion of achieving my dreams and being able to provide for myself and for my daughter by being in a career that I will thrive in and more importantly, one that I will absolutely love doing.

"You know when you are following your heart because it will feel right even if your mind is uncomfortable. Every inch of your body -- the very fabric of your soul -- feels alive."