Step Up or Step Aside

My vocabulary sucks. It’s kind of embarrassing.

I can string some words together somewhat coherently if I feel like it, and I’d like to think I have good grammar, but my vocabulary is on the level of about a 14-year-old. If I wasn’t a math nerd, my SAT score would’ve been even more embarrassing than it already was. I still can’t believe I got accepted into Purdue.

Oh well. It only took me five years to graduate.

So anyway, one day a few years ago, my ex-husband came home from work and said he just had some training on resiliency.

Wanna know what I did immediately after that conversation? I looked up the definition of resilient. *shrugs* I wanted to make sure I was inferring correctly from the context clues.

Yep. I was too embarrassed to just ask him.

But you know what’s just so gosh darn funny? I feel like ever since then, the Universe has been so kind to present me with opportunity after opportunity (after opportunity…) to learn the definition from field application. I mean I’ll admit, I have always loved field work and I learn better with hands-on experience, so I guess Spirit just wanted to ensure the meaning was drilled hard into my mental dictionary.

I will never again not know the definition of that word. Thanks, Universe.

Have you ever gone through ridiculously tough times in your life, but when you were living in them, you were telling yourself lies just so you could simply survive?

And in the process of telling yourself those lies, you were also lying to others, via conversations, social media posts, and fake laughs and smiles?

Yeah, me too.

Back before my divorce, I remember lying to myself and to others about how my life was actually going. It’s as if I was trying to convince myself while I was convincing others. Fake it ’til you make it, right? Lolz.

It’s not that we never enjoyed our marriage. We did. But it was pretty unfun the majority of the time, especially the last few years.

No way I would’ve ever admitted my unhappiness to anyone though. My best friend wasn’t even aware until the very end when I finally broke and couldn’t take anymore. For some ridiculous reason, I felt the need to uphold this happy-person reputation, and I was embarrassed to admit that I was actually incredibly unhappy. I seriously couldn’t even admit it to myself–I didn’t want to face all of the guilt and shame I had packaged up so neatly and buried inside.

It’s okay. Nobody knows.

I distinctly remember a specific night when we were still living in Georgia. My parents were visiting from Indiana, and they offered to watch the kids so we could go on a date night.

Okay cool. We’re both getting dressed up for each other, the weather is beautiful, we’re going to a nice restaurant in downtown Savannah, we get to have quiet conversation without kids–this should spark some good momentum for the relationship.

The night was absolute shit.

We argued the entire time. I asked him if he would take a picture with me, and after about 20 minutes, he finally reluctantly obliged. If you Googled “fake smiles”, this picture would likely come up.

But I posted that shit to Facebook with the caption, “Finally enjoying a date night with the husband!”

It’s okay. At least everyone else thinks we’re happy.

How sad, you know? I don’t recall if I actually had those specific thoughts, but the sentiment was indeed buried deeply in my subconscious.

I must add the disclaimer that I do not regret marrying this man; he is genuinely a good person and the father of my kids. We were simply just not good for each other anymore–our visions were different, our personalities grew apart, we clashed, and it was straight up unhealthy, for both of us and the kids.

And you know what happened when we finally faced and surrendered to the truth, to our “failed” marriage, after years of fighting to make it work? Our personal interaction dramatically improved. I wouldn’t call that a failure.

I mean, we both still drive each other nuts, but we aren’t trying to change the other person anymore. We are who we are, free to live our own lives how we desire, not having to explain ourselves to someone who doesn’t get it, or, you know, constantly cleaning up after someone who won’t clean up after themselves. And we co-parent way better because of it too.

You know what also happened after the bombardment of perpetual challenging hands-on experiences that the Universe kept tossing at me oh-so-vehemently, in all areas of my life, for years on end, forever and ever, amen?

Resiliency.

It’s actually kind of awesome.

Nowadays when I get in a funk, it only lasts a few hours to a couple days, instead of weeks or months like before. Sure, this is due to my faith in the Universe and the divine plan, but if I had dodged all the challenges instead of facing them head-on, I wouldn’t have developed that faith that I have relied upon so heavily these past few years (past few months especially).

I also became more authentic, humble, accepting, and vulnerable, which allows others to feel less alone in their own experiences. They know they have a safe space to be vulnerable with me without feeling shame, and it inspires them to face their own challenges and grow from them too. It’s really pretty amazing to witness their growth.

I am currently doing some things in my life that I would have never had the courage to do if it weren’t for the insanely challenging rites of passage I first had to overcome. I’m not revealing quite yet what I’m up to, and there’s still a long (looooong long) way for me to go on this journey, but each day I wake up and am genuinely excited to start my day. And each day is unfolding how it’s meant to because I chose to step way outside of my comfort zone and surrender to the full-length, in-depth, hands-on version of the Universe’s lesson on the meaning of resiliency.

We all have things we’re struggling with in our lives, and if someone pretends they are scooting through unscathed, they’re full of shit. The last thing the world needs is someone like *old* me, donning a flawless façade. People resonate with imperfection and messiness–it makes them feel seen and understood, and that they’re not a shitty person for being unhappy and imperfect.

I’m begging you guys to please remove the filter on your life and know that it’s safe to show your flaws. They are f*n beautiful, and accepting and facing them makes you stronger, wiser, more empowered, resilient, and sexy af.

2 thoughts on “Step Up or Step Aside

    1. Aww thank you! Yeah it’s been a while. I have so many drafts started but I couldn’t ever seem to gather up enough inspiration to put together a full post. I hope to write more often going forward but I’m making no promises. 😅

      Like

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