Gratitude and other thoughts

I read a blog the other day that was a diatribe against the “everything happens for a reason” statements. Someone dies and people say “she is in a better place” or “God has a plan”, or “She is at peace now”. I always thought that was bullshit but the blog articulated it really well. It got me thinking.

Over the past three years I have asked myself often if walking away from my marriage was a mistake. I try to avoid that thought pattern because I did leave and there is no turning back and I like myself so much better now than I did three years ago. I am comfortable in my skin, present, content, introspective…all the things I want to be and some things I hope to be someday and haven’t quite reached yet. So it’s good, I am good. There are lots of lingering feelings of sadness and regret and loss, I am exhausted all the time from working full time, managing a household alone, raising three kids and just living life. I struggle with watching another woman raise my kids in the home I once loved. It’s hard but I am doing it and learning and growing. In return I love who I am now, how I feel about myself and what I have managed to accomplish…on my own. I have great kids, a wonderful life.

So was it worth it?

Did everything happen for a reason?

Who gives a shit? It did happen. It is. And now I am living this life. Because it happened.

I think you can’t know things until you get to those things. The path you choose leads to discoveries. Maybe the discoveries are different than the ones you may have made had you chosen an alternate path. But I don’t want to think too much about that. It’s a waste of time and energy and frankly my time and my energy are limited.

I went on an official visit to a local University last weekend with my daughter. It was a pretty amazing experience because I didn’t visit colleges when I was a graduating senior, I went to a local Junior College. So it was cool to do that as a parent with my daughter. There were many moments of complete pure presentness over that weekend, moments of “this is amazing and I know it is and I am feeling it with all my cells”. I know three years ago I struggled a lot with that type of “being present”. If I hadn’t had so much suffering over the last three years maybe I wouldn’t be able to be fully present in moments like I am now.

But am I grateful for the pain so that I could be this fully present?

Um, no. That’s dumb.

I don’t know if three years of aging and living life might have led me to exactly this type of being present had I not gone through this shitty, hard period. You just can’t know anything about your journey until you are in it.

I have always felt this way about people who give bullshit advice.

I felt it when I was getting married and people would say, “enjoy this time before you have kids, you will miss it when it’s over”.

Or when I was pregnant and people would say, “having kids is going to change everything”.

Or “enjoy them while they are young, this time is precious.” Of course I see it now. But I couldn’t see it then, knee deep in dirty diapers and desperate for three consecutive hours of sleep.

So, I guess I am saying, you just can’t know things until you reach them and you just can’t feel things until it’s your time to feel them. Life is not some scientific equation where the goal is to solve for X.

You move through life and you go where you are heading based on the choices you make and you try to be present and happy and grateful, you try to find peace and love and a little joy along the way.

I am not grateful for pain and suffering so I could be grateful for the beauty I have in my life today.

I am simply grateful for the beauty I have in my life today.

I had one of these overwhelmingly grateful moments while I was driving home from the visit last weekend; my daughter was asleep in the car next to me. She’s always sleeping. Teenagers are always sleeping.

It’s so cute. (NOT)

So I am driving. And it’s finally sunny after a weekend of constant thunderstorms. The window is down a little and a good song is playing on the radio. I look over at her, her sweet, sleeping face and I am completely overwhelmed by the love i feel for her. It’s so much, i feel tears dripping down my face.

I have always loved her. My daughter.

But the love gets bigger. I didn’t know that. I didn’t know it would get bigger as time went on.

I suspect it will keep on getting bigger, but I won’t really know that until I get there.

It’s not bigger because she hated for me a while and i thought I might have lost her forever.

It’s just sweet, pure, beautiful, wonderful love. It’s gigantic. And I am so grateful to feel it.

And i think about my mom and I realize how much she loved me. I feel that loss for a minute. I feel deeply the missing of my mom’s unconditional love, especially now that I understand how much bigger it got for her too.

But you won’t hear me trying to explain that to people, trying to get them to understand something they can’t understand until they reach that point in their journey…if they ever do.

I don’t know if everything happens for a reason. I don’t know why people spend so much time trying to make sense of things or find meaning in pain. I have definitely tried to do that too. I don’t want to do that anymore.

I don’t know what it means.

I don’t think I care.


My daughter and I.

fuck you very much

Yeah, I just typed that. I am going to type that again, cause it felt really good.

fuck you very much.

fuck you very much.

AHHHHHH!!!! I love it. I love it so much. 

Not because I am angry. I am not angry. I am resigned. I am happy. I am calm. I am calmer and more peaceful than I have been in at least two years.

People told me, a little over a year ago that I would get over this heartbreak and feel better, be better, better than when I started. It was kind of hard to imagine. Because I was so sad. Devastated. And being told by someone I had truly loved that I was crazy, that my sadness was unacceptable, someone I had loved, purely and honestly, laughed at my grief, publicly made fun of me for it. I retreated inside myself. Out of self protection. I caved into myself. It was awful. 

I didn’t really imagine getting over it. I spent a few zombie months, a few months in the “tin man” state where I constantly needed to be oiled to function. My wonderful friends helped, a beautiful lover helped, my amazing kids helped. Then I started to mostly feel better in chunks. Then better, then better and better. It took time. Therapy. Lots of thinking. And lots of time by myself. I ran about 5,000 miles. I meditated. I wept. I forgave. Myself. Others. I made peace with the people I had hurt. At least I tried to. I am still trying to. 

One of my friends told me I would be done  when I was done. She told me it would be over when it was over, that there were no shortcuts, that I had to give myself as much time as I needed. That the shortest way out was through. I didn’t hide from the pain. I embraced it and moved through it…like quicksand, like wet concrete, I moved right through it. I got frustrated. I took three steps forward and two steps back. But I kept moving forward. 

In the past two weeks, I realized it was gone, the burden, it was just gone. You really don’t realize how heavy you are until you are light again. Lightness is good. As much lightness as you can get in life is good. 

I shook off the last of it a few weeks ago and I am floating on a cloud of happiness.

And confidence.

And peacefulness.

I know who I am. I have risen. My beautiful, joyful self has risen. 

I am not looking over my shoulder anymore wondering who is laughing at me. I don’t feel humiliated anymore. I feel great. Amazing. Fantastic. To move without fear. Breathe fills my lungs. I can breathe again. Fully and completely. 

God it feels so good to feel good again. To stand grounded on my feet, firmly planted. To hold my head high again and feel my heart open again. To feel connected to the Lord again. To no longer be grasping for him and not reaching him.

(yes, I know Christian girl with a blog post titled Fuck You Very Much…whatever…I have never made much sense)

And to you, person who loves passionately and then not at all…who I almost allowed to destroy me:

You have taught me so much. Thank you. Thank you for the lessons. For real. I mean that. I am grateful to you for teaching me what I needed to know. I get it now and I have only one thing to say to you:

Fuck you very much. 


Happy Friday!