Hello from the other side. That Adele, she really knows what it feels like. Almost like we’ve been stuck behind a moving wall, pressed up high on our tippy-toes trying to get a glimpse of what life has in store for us on the other side. But sometimes that’s just how it goes – we’re thrown so many curveballs, you’re left stunned in the 9th inning wondering how you blew the lead. We were all so confident going into 2021 like maybe, just maybe, this would be the year we bounced back. Back from everything that seemed to want to hold us down.
Things started out promising. I was freelancing again, after a year of little to no blog work, and was trying anything at that point to help get us back on track. My husband’s work travel was tapering off, which was a huge blessing for us all, especially Garrett. He seems to be the most affected by change in schedule, and had been struggling in school for months (from an emotional standpoint). His wonderful teacher and I tried our hardest to support him through it all, but it weighed heavy on my mama heart. We suspected it had to do with the tragic loss of our puppy Jessie at the end of 2020, which I personally was still trying to heal from. Our new puppy Roxy was the therapy we all needed, but it was as if Garrett had lost his spirit. Until one day out of the blue he mentioned being interested in baseball, then continued to bring it up over and over again. I found myself scrambling to find him a spot on a team, since it was far past the registration period, and I truly believe it was a miracle when one spot opened up on a team. A team he was meant to be on with the kindest coach, and teammates, on a league that wasn’t all about winning but more about building character. Grant even started assistant coaching practices and games – I’d never seen our son so happy.
Our daughter on the other hand, the one that always seems to have that little mischievous glimmer in her eye – she had taken to challenging us day in and day out as if it were her job. A job definitely without benefits. If you happen to have a strong willed child, let me just warn you that the age of 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 will break you down mentally, and have you crying to your own mama more often than I’d like to admit. There were tears shed, sharpie drawn, and poop smeared on more places than I’d also like to admit. But then she turned 4 and it was as if a huge tectonic shift was occurring in that devious mind of hers. She began to communicate, like actually communicate with us and suddenly we found ourselves finally able to break through those toddler-induced barriers. I started listening and talking with her rather than barking orders, and came up with a behavior and reward system that gave us hope for the first time in over a year. That’s a long time to be battling a human dependent on you for structure, but also fiercely yearning for her own independence.
Fast forward to spring break, and I could tell the stress of my current job was having negative affects on my family. So I decided to end my freelance contract with the agency I had been working for, and I knew it was time for a change. A week or so went by and my former boss, and forever friend, from LAmag reached out to me saying their Account Manager at Sunset magazine was leaving and asked if I was interested in her putting a good word in for me. I didn’t hesitate which told me it was definitely worth pursuing, and I was excited to hear how much she loved her boss and the team – something that had become even more important to me than titles and salaries. Next thing I knew, I was having back to back zoom interviews, and an offer letter appeared in my inbox a few days later. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t have the chance to do the usual gaslighting myself with the typical “Am I qualified?…Do I really have what it takes to do this job?…They probably think I sounded like an idiot?” Imposter syndrome is real, but I’m happy to say it’s something I’m slowly growing out of. This year has taught me so much, and one of them being – You never know what’s around the corner, but you take the leap anyway – because what other choice do we have except to believe in ourselves and others. A leap of faith, if you will.
Well we had a major test of faith when my mother in law gave us quite the scare at the beginning of the summer with a heart attack, which landed her in the hospital for weeks. She ended up needing double bypass surgery, and I found myself creeping back into that dark place. The place where you can’t see the light and it’s as if all hope has been sucked from your soul. A sweet friend snapped me out of it and told me that my family needed me to stay positive, and so I pushed the trauma of losing my dad at a young age far, far back in my mind. Because again, what other choice do we have but to believe? I’m not sure if it was from all the prayers or a sheer miracle from heaven, but she pushed through like the amazing lady she is. She moved in with us for the summer, which we were a little worried about having a newish puppy and slightly rambunctious kiddos – but we were grateful to have a home that was a safe space for her to start her recovery. And she did just that – recovered.
That brings us to now. A “now” that in some ways feels like we’ve come so far, and other times like a bad dream resurfacing just to mess with us. A feeling that we can’t shake, like something bad is just lurking around the corner waiting to strike again. After the ups and downs of the past year – I think it’s safe to say, we all stopped believing in the good that can happen. In the bright future that just might still be waiting for us. I know I did, and I didn’t even realize it until there was no other choice than to believe. If nothing else, than to believe in myself. In my abilities as a mom, spouse, friend, and employee. It may have taken me all year, but I think I finally found my way back to myself. I have a job that’s supportive of all my talents, a husband that is the definition of a true life partner, and our two kids who breathe purpose into my life even on the hardest days.
So here’s wishing you health, prosperity, and a little belief of the good in life for the new year to come…and I promise not to be a stranger 🙂