I love that song, “I Can See Clearly Now”. Great, upbeat song and the words are only TOO true to me. In fact as I’m writing this post that song is playing in the background.
I CAN see clearly now. It has been a long time coming to this point in my life. The past nearly 3 years were difficult to say the least. Healing from the marriage to a man I truly believed would never leave me, the one I placed center in my world and forgave no matter what he did that hurt me sometimes to the center of my soul. The breakup nearly destroyed me and left me empty as my kids were still there with him, though adults, and I was forced to leave it all behind. My home that I loved, my children, even the goofy little Yorkie that had been my shadow for 2 years of unemployment (my daughter’s dog but I adore her). I hit a pit of depression like nothing I had ever experienced. But I refused to let it claim me, I kept my head out of the dark, focused everything in me on the positives in my life and found happiness in small triumphs.
My heart, still with unhealed wounds, was broken 3 more times after the marriage. In each man that I let my guard down and placed my trust, I knew incredible pain as the tender scars were torn open again. I also found myself unemployed 2 more times, one due to seasonal layoffs and one the company went belly up.
It was during that time of heart break and job struggles that I started to form a plan for my life.
- I opted to do in home childcare to make money. I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and never was given that opportunity so this was close enough that it gave me some joy and income.
- I began working as an independent Avon representative, with a dream of really being successful. It was not the best time in my life to be doing this as I really was not ready so while I made President’s Recognition Club, I didn’t achieve what I had ‘hoped’. That is the key word and I’ll come back to that.
- I started to inventory my life, looking at what kept me awake staring at the ceiling at night, what ate at my heart and soul, what brought pain and sorrow to my life rather than positive things. The things that needed to go, I began a virtual process of boxing up and shelving to leave behind in the previous year, 2011.
- I started to figure out just what it was I wanted in life, really think through where I want to be in a year, 5 years, 10 years. Before I could start the plan to get there, I needed to determine where “there” actually was, decide what I wanted.
It wasn’t an easy process to work through. Much of the time I couldn’t get a real direction, and my self confidence being at an all time low was not doing much to fuel process. 2.5 years of rejection in both employment and relationships, inability to get bills paid and dodging creditors, well it wears a person down to where they start to feel pretty damn worthless.
The final straws that broke this camel’s back revolved around 1/2 of my pride and joy, by baby boy (my daughter is the other half). My son had been through his own trauma in life with a brief marriage that destroyed his heart, soul and finances. But now he was in love with a beautiful woman, one he had known since he was 8 years old, grew up with in church and youth group. He wanted to marry her and become dad to her little girl. It was one of those rays of hope in the dark clouds that helped me believe there IS happiness out there.
Straw number one came when my son was struggling financially to get the funds together to buy his bride-to-be her engagement ring. He was designing it and money was an object. I had 2 rings, a 1 carat ruby with diamonds surrounding it, and a 1 carat emerald also with diamonds surrounding it, that the ex-husband had given me on 2 wedding anniversaries. I also still had my wedding and engagement rings. I had saved them so that I could sell them if I really got desperate for money (and I was on the verge of selling), but this seemed so much more precious to me. To be able to help my son do this for his fiance meant everything to me. He had a good chunk of the money he needed but was still pretty short. So I gave him the rings to trade in toward the engagement ring. Keep in mind he lived with the ex-husband at the time. My son had a beautiful heart shaped silver ornament made and engraved with “will you marry me”, and attached the engagement ring to the ribbon that would be used to hang it on a Christmas tree. With the ex, and the ex’s girlfriend, and my daughter present while opening gifts, he decided to give it to his bride and officially ask her to marry him. Happiness and joy all around….but mom was not included in this. It never so much as crossed his mind to have the person that helped him when I really could have used the money myself, be there to share in the joy. To say it felt like my heart was cut from my chest and stomped in dirt would be a gross understatement. I was crushed.
Straw number two came a bit later. When my son told me they were planning the wedding for St. Patrick’s day, I told him I would financially assist with the rehearsal dinner. Despite the pain over the ring, I adore my son and wanted to be able to help make it special. I got left out of so much of his life and his sister’s because they were living with the ex and his girlfriend, and it was such a lonely, isolating feeling, that I at least hoped to be a part of the wedding festivities. There was a time after my first divorce when it was me and my little boy against the world. I was a single mom struggling to get by and I had often went without things I needed to see to it his needs were met. This in my mind would be no different. I let some bills go unpaid and found ways to get the money together to put toward the dinner. The ex called to let me know what I needed to put toward it, and told me the bride had picked a location etc. Okay, no problem, she was the bride and it was her right to decide on these things. I kept waiting to hear more information, be consulted, something at least, but when I never heard anything more I assumed it was being handled by my son and his fiance. I received an invitation in the mail to the event with the details. Once at the dinner, as I was near a table, one of the staff at the location came looking for….the mom of the groom? No, the ex-husband’s girlfriend. Seems she was the one who had coordinated the whole event with my ex. Beyond my financial donation my services were apparently not needed. Hey, I’m only the mother of the groom, and the ex isn’t even his biological father, but why should that be an issue. I only let things in my own finances fall apart to see to it I put up money toward this event. I spent the rest of the evening emotionally shattered yet again. This time the knife was so deep in my heart that when I pulled the handle to remove it, the blade broke off and it’s still buried in there. The rest of that weekend I plastered a beautiful smile on my face to hide the pain and went to have myself a good time.
After the past 3 years and now those two straws, I realized that I was done. I sat down after the wedding and made some decisions. My kids are both adults, 22 and soon to be 28 years old. They have the ex-husband and now his girlfriend, who they spend a good deal of time with if the happy times and party photos on Facebook are any indications. They don’t seem to need mom anymore. I decided that this is now MY LIFE. I’m finished worrying about how what I do or say might impact my kids. I am done with giving a damn what ANYONE thinks of me. I am going to start building a life for myself that is all about me and only me. This being the year of no dating, I’d be free to do my thing, my way.
Step one was employment. I knew the only way I can build my Avon business to be like that of the top sellers and leadership representatives, my ‘hope’ I mentioned, is to do it full time and treat it like it’s my job. I am great at marketing and I love the product and business model. I decided as soon as school was out I’d roll this full time through the summer when my days were free. A year from now I WILL be completely, financially independent and have the money to do what I want, when I want to do it. Next week I bust out full time in this, and I will succeed, just watch me!
Step two…marrying the biker. I know I know, it was the year of no dating! Who knew that when I stopped looking, he’d find me. A man that adores me, doesn’t want to change me, encourages me to be myself, create my own flair, explore new hair colors if I want, get more ink, pursue my dream in Avon and not just cheer me on but find ways to help and support me in that pursuit. My Biker is dead honest, has a personal code of integrity he follows not matter the cost, and his heart is gold. Because he is a member of a 1%er motorcycle club, that law enforcement classifies as a gang (which by definition of a gang, every police, fire department and scout troop is also a gang), my son has severed all ties with me. I was shocked when I received a text letting me know his wife is pregnant. He didn’t want me to learn it on Facebook. Not a phone call, just a text. I could break this relationship with the biker off, repair my heart one more time and go forward, but I’m not doing that. I have a man that is my match, loves me and I love him, and come hell or high water, or whatever else life can throw at us, we’re going to be together. It’s my happiness I am pursuing, it’s really all about me now and me wants my Wolfman!
It is my life, I am choosing to live it to the fullest, on MY terms, MY way. I’ve cleared the clouds, I know the obstacles in the road to my success. I KNOW I can make it now, leaving the pain behind and pushing ahead. And from now on I take care of those that take care of me, have my back, support me even when they don’t agree with me, and love me.