Here we are: Year 2020. A new decade. A time where people start reflecting and making vows to be kinder, happier, and healthier. I usually resist bandwagons, but not this year! You’ll eventually understand why.
First, let me catch you up. Ten months or so ago, I fell in a place where I thought I’d never be. A pit. A very, very deep pit. There I was, just sauntering along, and BOOM! Down I went. It wasn’t graceful…at all. Picture this: woman walking mindlessly along a busy New York City street; woman falls into a manhole. Despite the hundreds of people all around, no one noticed. Woman was embarrassed; slid manhole cover over top and hid, rejoiced that no one saw. She prayed that no one would ask questions about how, or why, or when it happened when she finally crawled out.
Ok. Maybe I wasn’t walking along a busy New York City street. And maybe I didn’t fall into a manhole. But, the rest feels pretty accurate.
My life became different – very different – in just the blink of an eye. And to think that all the events in my life led me to this very place really made me think, “WOW!”
Everything I did, or didn’t do. Everything I said, or didn’t say. Thought, or didn’t think. Everything I changed or implemented, or just let the opportunity pass me by.
I am right here, smack dab in a place that is dark, damp, cold, lonely, and plainly representative of a place you’d never want to be. Not with two toddlers of impressionable ages anyway.
It’s a place where you have no control and no say in the outcome, or the timing of when your life may return to normal – whatever that means and looks like anyway.
And, although this is not how I pictured my life, the reality is I am here, and it’s up to me to figure out where to go next; how to tend to the bruises and scraped knees from the fall. It’s up to me to decide how to find my way along such a bleak, untraveled road (a road untraveled for me anyway!).
Chances are you are in a similar place in your life at this very minute. And if not now, you have been. Maybe not facing divorce head on, but you may be on an untraversed road of your own.
Maybe you’ve lost a child, spouse, mother, father, sister or brother; maybe not to death, but perhaps they were taken from you in some capacity: another relationship, child protective services, their own terrible choices which caused you to stop enabling and set them free, or even because of your own decision(s) that you haven’t emotionally freed yourself from yet.
Or maybe your place is one where you had always dreamed of conceiving your own son or daughter – of wondering what they’d look like, who they’d act like, what quirks they’d inherit from you or what quirks they’d thankfully dodge – but it hasn’t yet come to be. Or you had always dreamed of getting married, but you’re feeling discouraged in your middle-30’s or 40’s having never found your perfect mate, and you’re convinced your biological clock is ticking away.
Maybe your place is one full of addiction or obsession, or of feeling inadequate. Or, maybe it’s not you that has these personal struggles, but because your loved one does, it may as well be. Depression. Anxiety. Mental illness. Secondary infertility. Sadness. Abuse. A job you long to love but no matter how hard you pretend, your imaginary mind has stopped playing along. A job maybe you genuinely enjoy but is so unrelenting you know deep down it should go.
Sickness. Illness. Chronic pain. Cancer.
Although our roads may be different in length, location, or type (perhaps mine has more or less potholes than yours?), your road likely did, does, or will parallel the same despair, hopelessness, and uncertainty that mine does. Which makes us completely relatable…kinda, maybe, sorta like sistas from a different mista or distant cousins?
So here we are. Now what? Do we go left? Right? Stay the course with our heads down bulling our way through? Do we sit down hoping that someone will carry us off the field because our mind, body, and spirit are slowly giving way?
I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I do have some ideas. And I’ll give you a hint: you get through it by being prayerful, faithful, and loving.
You can get up.
You WILL get up.
Until next time, big hugs; if you’re feeling anything like me, I know you need it!