It’s been awhile since I last posted, I needed to step away, and focus on me for a bit. That’s hard to do as a blogger because we own our business, and our brand and need to be present all the time. I felt I really needed to be more present for my kids this month, and that I would rather not put out junk on my site just for the sake of a post.
2018 was a year of amazing highs, and the lowest of lows for me. By the Grace of God I am still standing. For those that know me personally, and are reading this, I simply want to say THANK YOU. Those two words will never be enough but your love and kindness this year made an immense impact on me. Many of you don’t know all the details, and one day you will, but when I was struggling you lifted my spirits, and helped me to keep going. Sorry to be a bit vague, but it’s not time for the whole story to be written, just yet. I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face as I think back on 2018, and the immense love I was shown as well as my girls. The community I live in, as well as the travel community I work in, and of course my family is nothing short of amazing.
A Year Of Change
2018 by no choice of my own, forced me into the role of single mom and head of household. A tragedy came upon our family, and I could do one of two things. I could lie in bed and cry, I could curse the person who did this or I could trust God to get me through it. I chose the latter, and it was the right choice. My faith has been my building block this year, it has kept the waves from washing over me when I felt I was going to drown. 2018 was also a year of great personal and spiritual growth for me. Funny how a year that could have destroyed me in one fail swoop made me stronger, and more capable than I ever thought I could be.
How I Grew
- In My Faith – As a Christian, I went to church, and did what I felt was required of a good Christian. Little did I know that while I thought I had a personal relationship with God, I was wrong. This year God has so gently shown me that no matter what comes my way, he is there with me in the mess. He has picked me up when I couldn’t get out of bed, brought me back to life when I couldn’t breathe because the pain was so unbearable, and shown me love in ways I could never fathom. It’s personal, and it’s real for me. There is so much more to this story, and that will come at another time.
- As A Parent– I always thought I was a good parent. Providing for my girls, making sure they were doing all they wanted, and giving them a safe and secure home. In 19 years of parenting, I have never treasured the gift of being their Mom more than this last year. It’s not about anything more than being present for them, or being silent when necessary and letting them cry when they need it. The three of us have grown closer than ever, and nothing will ever break that bond. In a year that could have destroyed my children emotionally and personally, they are thriving and have had great success.
- As An Anxious Person– Anxiety and Depression have crippled me in the past, they have stolen moments from me that I can never get back. This was the year that I was going to face that once and for all because what choice did I have, given my circumstance. These monsters were coming for me, and they wanted all of me, not just parts of me, and I wasn’t having it. Friends, our mental health is so important. It’s not just about the right meds, or avoiding what may trigger you. It’s about really digging deep and getting the help necessary to keep you from the dark places in life. For the first time ever, I went to counseling, and it was the best decision I ever made. I talked out things I didn’t know existed, I dealt with things I suppressed and hid, and I came out stronger and more confident that I could face my anxiety and depression. Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I want nothing more than to lay in my bed, and do nothing, because that is the lie depression likes to tell the most, but I won’t let it win. It’s a daily fight, a real struggle to battle mental health issues. It’s also a PERSONAL journey, and one that no one will ever truly understand. I am not judging how anyone deals with it, but this was the year I finally conquered my own issues.
- As A Friend– I was never a person that needed a lot of friends, I have always been really independent and done my own thing. This year has shown me that I do need my friends, and they need me. In the midst of dealing with my own junk, so many thanked me for giving them wisdom, or being a listening ear for them. How in the world was someone who was having the worst possible year, able to bless others? I still cannot wrap my head around it sometimes, but speaking my truth this year has helped others and I am so glad. My circle is small, very small, but it is so very vital to my mental health.
- As A Blogger– This year was difficult in as far as my site went, due to my personal tragedy, a lot of brands and people didn’t want to work with me. Shame on them really, because they judged me based on something they knew nothing about. That’s when I realized that it was about the relationships I had already curated, because they knew me, they knew my work ethic and they wanted to keep working with me. In this business, be honest and real, tell a genuine story. Nobody cares about the fluff, and it’s certainly not a competition. I won’t take work just to fill the pages on my site, or to keep with the next guy. I want my site to reflect me, and only me. It’s why I started doing this, to tell a story about the things I love and share with others. Bloggers can be petty and mean, but when you find your tribe stick with it. They will support you fully and fiercely.
Friends we are never promised tomorrow, and everything can change in the blink of an eye. What I can tell you is that you will survive it, you can even choose to thrive in it. A year that could have knocked me on my face brought me great partnerships, a new sense of self and healing.
Don’t let what you think is the worst season of your life destroy you. Look it in the eyes and say, I will defeat you.
I am ready for 2019, not for any of that “New Year, New Me” crap, but simply because I am equipped to handle whatever comes my way.