Hello, friends! It’s an early morning, I know. Most times I don’t write this early, because let’s face it, I am usually not even one to be able to formulate a sentence this early. However, I am up, drinking my coffee, and I figured it would be good to spend it with you. The place is a little discombobulated, but I am happy.
I recently re-read my first post of this year. I wanted to see what I had written on January 1, 2013 because I knew that I had laid out my year blueprint. I usually don’t revisit my posts, but that one was important. I wanted to see how close to the mark I came. I was so proud, friends. What I had read was plans for 2013 to be a year of actions. It was a year to do hard things, and face fears. So much happened that I know I will not be able to remember every detail for this post, and even if I did, it may be too long to write. Instead I will write about some highlights!
This year marked the first year I had a stamp in my passport. What a crazy and wonderful adventure that was. First, I have never traveled alone. I had never entered an airport on my own, and to be honest, I think the 24 hours that I spent in travel was the first time I had actually been alone for that long for many years. It was scary to be alone on those flights, in the airport, but so exhilarating at the same time. I cannot express in words how wonderful that trip was.
It was the year of hard conversations. Conversations that had been waiting to come out for some time. It was not just in my marriage (which I will get to later), but also with my children. I shared a lot with them this year, as I am sure they saw a lot of changes in me. It was conversations with Girl1 about my battles with eating disorders, a conversation with my son about the fact that my first sexual experience was not of my own free will so that way he could see that rape is something that can happen to anyone. A mother is an untouchable being to a child; almost a superhero. I remember looking at my mom at a younger age and not truly seeing her as a person who has gone through ugly, lived and in the end triumphed through obstacles. They are just mom. I allowed my son to see that ugly I had been through. I gave him the lesson of just not only not doing, but protecting those that can’t, just as in my case. I wish someone had done that for their child on the night I was raped. I wish someone spoke up and just took me home. That being said, without that experience, I would not have had that conversation with my son, and it was an important hard conversation.
The most hard of hard conversations was the one(s) that ended my marriage. It wasn’t just one, it was many over the course of 2013. It didn’t end because he was bad, or I was bad; it ended because deep down, we weren’t happy. It was hard to do, to split up the family structure that has been in place for years, but it had to be done. I want my children to know to not be afraid to be happy, and that sometimes, you have to do hard things in order to achieve that happiness. It was the hardest to give up my youngest for 50% of the time; I have never had to share my children in any situation, with Girl 1 and Boy’s father just sort of disappearing.
I gained and lost friends this year.
I learned how to say, “I am not okay and that is okay.” I am also working on “I need help” when I do. This one is a little bit harder, because I am a stubborn girl full of pride; one who likes to think that they can do pretty much anything. I learned that indeed, I can do pretty much anything, but sometimes in order to reach the end, I have to lean on others to help support me to the end.
I saw Girl 1 enter high school. She joined Color Guard in the marching band and I got to see her apply herself to something. She attended many practices and games, and competitions with the marching band. They ended up being state champions this year and I don’t know if I could have been prouder. It was good to see her belong to something and apply herself. Now, she just needs to learn how to load the dishwasher properly.
The Boy learned about responsibility too. He has the job of watching Girl 2 until I get home from work. I know this is not an easy task, but he has stepped up and done very well. I think in some ways, it has brought them closer. I know I wrote an entire post about how important he is to me, but I can never say it enough: In many ways, he saved me from a much deeper depression.
It’s hard to believe that we are a little over a week from the end of 2013. This year, which was so great and so hard, is coming to an end and making way for 2014. I used to say that I was always taking baby steps to the places I needed to go, but 2013 showed me that baby steps are done and it is time to take giant leaps with abandonment. It taught me to jump off the edge and have faith that I will end up more than okay.
In two days, I will be home, with all of my family (blood and not blood), celebrating Christmas. I know the day won’t be peaceful (there is nothing peaceful about my family), but it will be a day of love. I’m not sure if you celebrate this holiday, another holiday, or no holiday, but my wish for you is to have love and peace for not just that day, but for the rest of this year as well. Make wonderful use of the time that we have left this year and do something that you love to close it out. I can’t thank you all enough for being with me during one of the most craziest years of my life and take my hand. I don’t know what 2014 is going to bring, but we are going to go together.
Love, friends. Just love.