Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Best I've Ever Been.

You know what they say, the night is always darkest before the dawn. And my night was dark. And it was long. But now, here I am, in the dawn. And it's bright, and it's beautiful and it's wonderful.

I just went and scrolled through my recent blog posts (the ones for the last year and a half, two years, because I haven't blogged much in a long time) and what I thought I knew was confirmed – I was in a bad place. Ever since about junior year of high school, I've battled being angry and insecure and sad and really just struggling.

I mean truly, if I think about it, anyone probably would have felt that way.

My parents divorced between my freshman and sophomore year of high school and my Nana, my best friend, died my freshman year. I got cut from the varsity cheerleading team my senior year and I had really identified myself as a cheerleader up to that point – it's just who I was. Immediately following high school graduation, my Granddad got really sick and had to move to Columbus with only us to care for him which caused a whole shift in our family and in the relationship I had always known with my mom. Junior year of college, he died and my mom got so sick I thought she also might die – a combination of stress and real health issues; she now admits she thought she was going to die too. And then finally, things relaxed a bit.

But you know, even when when outside things calm down, after they have been that stressful for so long and also when you're a senior in college, it takes awhile to bounce back. Last year, I handled a normal load of college classes while also holding an on-campus job, an internship and running a full-time business. There wasn't much time for me to relax, even though things were looking up.

Then, this summer happened. 

In the spring, my mom got engaged to a guy who had all but been my step-dad for the last five years, Donnie. Right away, he began making his bachelor pad (he had been divorced 25 years at that point) into a home for all of us. I didn't skip a beat and moved my entire room at Butler which I loved, to his house on the lake. If my mom and dogs were going, I was going too and my room at the lake would be much bigger than what I had at our other house. I actually moved in before my mom did. Of course, it's taken some getting used to for all of us, but this home is so peaceful and happy and light and I have always felt welcome. Plus, hello, it's on a lake and what is not to love about that?

For about the first six weeks after graduation, I'll be honest, I was a total bum. I still ran my photography business, but I drank too much wine and I did too little. It was probably necessary in the whole story, but not productive that's for sure.

Then, in July, after the wedding, I decided it was time to do something about myself. I had gained a lot of weight and wasn't doing anything about it and plus I was working from home all day every day, not really having much personal interaction besides with Donnie who is retired. So I hired a trainer. I started going twice weekly to this really amazing trainer who has now become a great friend. I lost some of that weight, I started to feel better, I had a set friend date twice a week. It was a great start.

Soon after that, my best friend moved home from an hour away and we've started having weekly girls nights with a bunch of really fabulous girls I once was only acquainted with, but have come to love. We also started a book club with basically the same group. I finally feel like I have a huge group of girls to hang out with all the time.

And, just two weeks ago, I accepted my dream starter job at Toyota Material Handling – I'm the Content & Communications Administrator. Now, my degree means something and I know I didn't waste my time busting my booty for four years at Butler. Now, I have the start to a fulfilling career and a steady paycheck.

I feel like, since May, I've been progressively getting better. Every single day, I'm excited to wake up and excited for what lies ahead.

Right now, life is so good and not just for me, but for everyone in my family. My mom is happy, my brother is living at home with an amazing job, my step-dad is thrilled to have us here and we are a real family who for once, is all doing well.

Life is good and I couldn't be more thankful. Actually, I think I might just bust all over the place with happiness, so be careful.

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