Have you ever felt as if someone has effectively dismantled your life? I know many of us have been here, feeling left, worthless and useless and complete strangers to our own selves. After years of listening and being there for my friends, I’m sad to say I'm here right now, and no I’m not going to spill the beans, with all the nitty gritty details. What I am going to do is be real, be honest, admit I am broken and ask for your prayers, for your patience and understanding as I try and navigate through these uncharted waters with as much dignity as I can muster.
How did I get here? Honestly I was dragged kicking and screaming. I fought hard not to end up a casualty, broken and wounded. But despite our best attempts life doesn't always turn out quite the way we hoped, planned or even fought for. We can hold on forever but the rope is still going to eventually burn. We can give all we have but when all is said and done still find it's just not enough. Let’s be honest, people disappoint us but that doesn’t make them the bad guy or horrible people. We all fail, mess up, make mistakes and make wrong turns, after all we are humans and in acknowledging this we accept not one of us is a saint, period. The cold harsh reality of growing up is realizing you can't make anyone love you, no matter how much you love them they have to be willing to be just as vulnerable or love can't bloom or survive the winter. The loss of a partner, the brokenness of your heart once the words have been said can be immensely painful. Life, love, our best years were not supposed to turn out like this but here we are anyway.
Honestly losing your way, not knowing who you are in your 40's, waking up to realize you’re midlife, is absolutely exhausting, the kind of nightmare you’ve only heard about, positive this would never ever happen to you, to us, until it does. At this point, we're left devastated, hurt, confused and feeling worthless, without anything to offer anyone. Suddenly we feel boring, useless, worn out and used up. We have nothing left to give, to offer, we are stuck in quick sand with no emergency backup plan. Everything we sacrificed seems gone, up in smoke, lost on those we have loved with all our hearts, given everything to and for what, to be left alone in the rubble of what was without as much as a flashlight and a pick axe? Seriously it's beyond comprehension isn’t it, and yet we go on, we have to. We pick ourselves up, dust off and find a new way of dealing with what's left of our lives. Maybe it's not the life we planned for, hoped for, envisioned for ourselves or for our families but all the same it's our life now, we are here and so we begin again.
Despite what may seem intentional in the moment, I do however believe even in the midst of martial conflict, personal struggle, as our lives come apart, no one's purposely tossing relationships out the window. Sometimes we have to lose what we have become used to in order to fully appreciate what we had. Just because we step back, take a detour down a slippery slope doesn't mean we don't love our partners, our families. It just shows we are human, in need of direction, a rebirth of intimacy, adoration, yearning and passion in our waking lives. The thing about midlife self-discovery is this: we have to be willing to invest not just in ourselves, in our wants and desires but in those we honestly want to take along our journey with us. It's one thing to find the part of ourselves we feel we've let go of, lost somewhere in between 17 and our 40's, but it's a complete other story to recover the part of ourselves that's destructive, devastating and damaging to everything good in our life. Remember it's OK to take a step back, grab a deep breath and even figure out a new direction but be careful how self-destructive your trip becomes. Just a warning, when this jaunt down memory lane, this excursion, these code words, mission retrieve youthful vigor suddenly comes to an end you may unfortunately find nothing left of your previous happy life.
As for where I am today, in this very moment, I can't honestly say. I'm more confused than a chicken being plucked and cooked alive. I'm working through my own confusion and hurt. Trying, but not always holding my tongue. I'm human after all. My world has been turning upside down on its axis for over 15 months now. I've struggled to find my way, to be the woman I was expected to be, all while drowning in a sea of doubt, pain, rejection and uncertainty. Being as real as I can be right now, the truth is I have fought some pretty serious self-doubt, major body issues and a lack of self-confident tsunamis in the last near year and a half. I've longed to be wanted, for the love I gave to be returned. It may sound silly but I have pined away in hopes of being told, to be found beautiful in the eyes of the one I love and treasure above all. This is the thing about being human, about having an imperfect nature, we have to realize not one of us is perfect, and because of this we have to be willing, even when we are reeling in pain to forgive. Every relationship goes through major heart surgery at some point. We all become defunct and unable to deal with our own uncertainties, much less anyone else, and so we must learn to have patience while setting boundaries, to love in spite of our current situation. Is it selfish, yah it is but from where I stand now, I also now it's a necessary evil. I am of the option it's not all about how we're hurt or even the whys of it, but truly where those growing pains lead us once we have made it out from under the knife, once we are in recovery knowing the struggle is finally behind us.
Nothing worth having ever comes easy. What we have to understand is just because we take a serious hit like this, even when heads have been turned and we have a bad case of the what if's and I wants, none of it means it's all over, that there is no hope for restoration. I've never been one to abandon hope, and I’m not going down that path anytime soon. What I know right now is I'm finally old enough, wise enough to understand life isn't perfect. The reality is most of the time our lives are spent rowing in a tiny dingy once we've jumped ship, singing merrily merrily, life is but a dream. No, change isn't exactly easy. We fight it often. We wrestle with our humanness, our fears, our need to let go but in the end change still comes. To be honest I'm not sure where my life is headed right now, and yes I'm a little scared but I also know no matter what changes are ahead of me , who I am becoming will be worth the struggle. But that's the thing about life, it's all about change. Changes we are not always aware of, sneaking up on us like a crazy ninja or something along those lines. Either way we're stuck with the sticky process all the same. So reality check here people, sometimes it's truly not about us, and we have to be willing no matter how difficult it is to step aside, allowing life to instruct us. We simply can't fix what's broken in anyone but ourselves. The bona-fide, honest to goodness truth is until we can face those demons inside us honestly, nothing will ever change and we'll be stuck in the repeat cycle indefinably.
What I have come to realize is this: we all change. We can't always predict when and why or even how but it happens. Life is just not predictable or completely reasonable. I'm almost 42, news flash, I'm not getting any younger. I'm not the same woman I was 20 years ago, but I'm not ashamed of who I am becoming now either. I'm a mother, a wife, a daughter and I have so much yet to experience and honestly to offer. I'm growing, exploring life with a new set of wings. Life may be uncertain but it hasn't really disappointed me yet. I'm ready, even if I'm scared, I'm moving onward and forward, with whatever life has yet to offer. It's all going to be OK. So if you're wondering, nope, I have no clue what my next step is, or where it might lead me. Yes I am a complete chaotic hot mess. I have no intentions of throwing my hands up and surrendering anything over to defeat and yes I will absolutely go down swinging! I am a creature of resilience, with a natural nature for optimism, a phoenix rising out of the ash. I am not overtaken by the naysayers nor living in a world of unrealistic expectations. I am me, plain and not so simple, an emerging butterfly. Yes, my wings are still a bit shaky but let me end my post with this, making it very clear; at almost 42 I am learning this life lesson #39, a lesson of rebirth, with all her glorious and excruciating labor pains. I’m not going to come out of my chrysalis, young, vibrant and 24 again and I wouldn’t want that anyway. I’m not going to compete with the new and exciting young 20 and 30 somethings either, maturity has a way of focusing your energy on letting go of what you can’t control. This new beginning, this genesis isn't going to be the end of me, but rather the beginning of something new and beautiful, even if I am the only one to see it.