In so many ways, this blog has become more than an outlet for me… My Mom recently described it as ‘my life’… and although I don’t blog every day and it takes a back seat to more important things, one look at this blog, and you do see my life. My sources of happiness, goals, dreams, hard times, good times, family, friends, and most importantly, Avery.
This blog began as a project to keep in touch with family and blog about home renovation. Since then, it has evolved into so much more. This blog is my diary, Avery’s baby book, my virtual post cards home to VT (and friends around the world! – Hi to Megan out on an iceburg in Antartica, Mariana on the west coast, and Ayanti in India), a photo album, a source of inspiration and community with the friends I’ve made and connect with and help motivate me and cheer me on during challenges and struggles, and sometimes this blog is a great resource, where I can look back and check something like Avery’s weight or height or the last time he had a cold.
On various occasions I get questions and comments from friends and family like ‘How do you do it?’ and ‘What keeps you motivated? You are always have such a positive attitude!’ Although those comments make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and very flattered, I do think about how my life must be perceived by just reading this blog. It’s mostly all positive, upbeat, full of smiles, laughter, and yes some struggles but overall I seem like I have it all put together, right? Well, I don’t.
I’m not one to display my dirty laundry, so to speak, but putting it simply and cleanly, I’m not in the most desirable positions right now and my life isn’t what I had pictured it would be. I fell in love, got married, bought a house, and had a baby. That’s the American dream, right? I grew up looking forward to those milestones. I had started my career and earned a Masters degree too… on paper it looked like I had it all. But I didn’t… it didn’t work out, and right now I’m facing challenges that nobody dreams about going through… divorce, a custody battle, and becoming a single parent.
You would think I’d be a mess… crying and curled up in a ball in my bed most days. Yeah, I admit, some days are rough and I call my Mom for a pep talk and let it out, but most days are like my blog posts… positive, upbeat, happy. But why? Why and how am I such a happy person through such a difficult time is what I think my friends and family are really asking when they ask how I do it all. And it is a lot.. a lot to be dealing with at once and all alone, while juggling life… work, Avery, keeping a home, etc.
If there is anything that I have learned in my 28 years and 4 months of life, it’s that no matter how much I plan and dream, life throws curve balls; unexpected things happen, and NOTHING ever works out as I picture it would. And that’s what I love about life. I truly believe everything happens for a reason, especially tough times like right now. Because everything I go through, makes me who I am today and I am this positive and upbeat and happy person because of everything I am going thru right now. Losing the person I thought was the love of my life opened my eyes to someone else…
In so many ways, I lost myself over the past few years. I was focused on others and looked outside myself for happiness, and wasn’t finding it. Going thru this difficult time right now forced me to focus and rely on myself, and to do that, I had to become the best I could be (oh that was so cliche!). I became strong, resilient, patient and yet determined. I harnessed my best qualities and improved them. I put time aside for me and got myself in shape. I feel amazing and am so proud of myself and know I am a beautiful woman. I shoved aside the scary thoughts and difficulties of becoming a single parent and turned them into goals and challenges that made me push myself. I also put aside my pride, and gladly accepted and opened up to the family and friends that offered help, support, and love. I trained myself to push aside all the negative and insecure thoughts and focus on the amazing things that I have that I am so thankful for.
So, you ask, how do I do it? I found love, in myself.
I am so lucky…blessed… fortunate… whatever you want to call it… for all the ups and downs I’ve experienced in life and all the people I have to support me and that are by my side every step of the way. Every hurdle, disaster, triumph, and tear has made me who I am today, and has brought me to this amazing life. No, it’s not what I pictured my life would be, but it’s my life and I’ve taken a hold of it. I’m owning it. I’m making the best of it. I make the best of every day, every moment, and give everything my all. I am an amazing woman, mother, friend, and person. I have so much to be thankful for… my friends and family, a job that puts food on the table and a roof over our head, and Avery – I have a happy, healthy, amazing little boy that brings me so much joy. And I am able to be the best Mom because I have found happiness within myself.
I don’t have it all figured out. Most days are wonderful, full of accomplished days at work and laughter at night with Avery. Some days are tough and I spend an hour or two on the phone with my Mom, sometimes crying, sometimes venting and later finding my way back to that happy place inside me where I love myself and know i’ll figure things out and it’ll be just fine. Some days I struggle with parenting stuff… like worrying that Avery hasn’t shown an interest in potty training or that he won’t touch a vegetable or he won’t listen to me and throws a fit and I have to decide how to handle it. But it’s never anything we can’t get thru and learn and grow from.
Overall, I am so absolutely happy.
I love me. And Avery. My friends and family. I’m loving life and everything (good and bad) that comes my way. I’m climbing any mountain (or rock!) life puts in front of me and climbing right over it.