At almost 41-years old, I am starting to figure out what I am. I have always thought of myself as strong and independent. I put myself through college, including obtaining my master’s degree. I had the “dream” life; a husband, two kids, a dog, a house, and financial security. And then, my world fell apart. Specifically, I lost my job due to a mass lay-off and realized my marriage was falling apart in the same month. The pandemic kicked off a few months later. I started a new job, and soon after, my husband moved out. I didn’t even know which way up was from down. I trudged through daily routines doing just enough to get by until I fell in bed at night. I was exhausted, but I could not sleep. About a month after my husband moved out, I decided it was time to shift my focus. I had no clue what I was getting myself in.
Before you keep reading, you should know that this is not a “bash him” blog post. If you are reading this because you want to revel in someone else’s despair or connect on an “I was hurt, and I’m out for revenge!” level, then exit now. This post isn’t for you. This post is a one-third self-healing and two-thirds self-empowerment blog post. This particular post does not share tips or have a call to action. No, this is more of a journal entry and self-declaration. I am on this journey and dedicated to the adventure. I don’t know exactly where I am headed but let me tell you, I am excited! This post is my unfinished story of self-discovery.
I reflect on the last two years and see that I am a different person. The separation and impending divorce have forced me to re-evaluate what I need and want out of life. Perhaps my single-greatest learning throughout this entire process comes from the words of Glennon Doyle, “I can do hard things!”. I now know how to make minor home repairs, negotiate a car purchase, handle home emergencies, and ask for help when I need it. All of this while maintaining a (mostly) organized home with two boys and a dog. We have all survived.
I have dreams and plans. These are BIG! They involve taking risks, and I am known to be risk-averse. I like living in control. I like having certainty and security. Perhaps one of the greatest lessons life has taught me over the past two years is that nothing in this life is guaranteed, nor is it given. My dreams will not come true just because I wish them. I won’t ever bring these dreams to life if I don’t fully commit to jumping in.
Instead of backing down and shrinking away, I am stripping away the façade. I am questioning everything I do and asking myself, “Why?”. “People-pleasers” tend to talk themselves into doing things and making decisions that make others happy or proud. I’ve been a “people-pleaser” all my life. I have sought affection and appreciation in praise from others. This fact is just as accurate in my personal life as it is in my professional life. This behavior has not served me well. I refuse to let my “people-pleasing” nature continue to hold me back.
My mission is to create beauty by bringing comfort and joy to the world. Not just my house, not just my community, but the WORLD. This dream is still a bit fuzzy because I can’t quite put my finger on exactly how I fulfill this personal mission. Usually, this lack of clarity annoys me to no end. I like clear goals, decisions, and actions. I believe this is what I am supposed to work through. Right now, I am not supposed to have clarity. I need to learn how to work in the muck and unknown. I will hold on to the belief that I can make this new phase of life absolutely mine. I can travel unfamiliar territory and try new things. I am so very excited.
Recently I signed up for a 200-hour yoga teacher training (YTT) course. I want to use this training to dive into self-discovery. Additionally, I want to take my practice deeper in emotional, spiritual, and physical ways. I’m considering teaching yoga after I earn the YTT, but I haven’t made that my final decision quite yet. I want to see where the journey takes me versus forcing an ending of what is considered “normal” or “should” happen.
Two weeks ago, I realized that this self-started journey of getting to know myself in this new phase of life piques many new interests. These interests include blogging, crafting, ideating, DIY home projects, and taking a proofreading course. My goal over the next five weeks is to be a “finisher.” I’ve had a blast learning new interests and hobbies. Yet, I realize that in my zealousness to learn “new” things, I haven’t finished many of the projects I have started. Now is the time to complete those projects and balance time with my kids, YTT, full-time job, part-time adjunct instructor side-gig, and taking care of myself. It is up to me to create a life that I love and fill my mission.
I am 41- year old mom of two boys navigating single life for the first time since I was a teenager. I believe in progress over perfection and that we are never finishing learning. I hope that sharing my story brings comfort to others in a similar situation.