I am a 40-something year old woman. I am a daughter, a sister, a mother. I am a PhD. I have suffered and celebrated and cried and laughed. I have stumbled and I have grown. I have danced through my life with twists and turns. I have leapt for joy and I have fallen. I have loved and I have hurt and I have crumbled more than once. They say that life is a journey, a process, a dance and I have twirled and traveled and risked in search of blessings and wholeness and yet struggle seems to find me. “Why me?” I have asked more than once in recent years, “What now? Haven’t I learned and struggled and grown enough? Why so many unanswered prayers universe?” And then I remember. They say that struggle is the path to breakthroughs, to transformation, to self-discovery and self-actualization. Perhaps wholeness is not a constant itself but rather a state we flow in and out of in our never-ending process of becoming. Perhaps our trials and tribulations are in fact our path to miracles, blessings in disguise to be wholeheartedly embraced, for just when the caterpillar thought the world was over…it became a butterfly.
In the last two years I had a 9-year marriage end in divorce, I was broken up with on a beach in Mexico (on Thanksgiving Day no less), and I found myself a single-mom of two with no income twice. I also hit my brand-new car into a tree and had some other minor set-backs and heart aches, but who is counting?! My ex and I are fabulous co-parents, most of the time. We have found a friend in each other again. We are happier. Our kids are thriving. I have found my independent-self, a part of me that needed uncovering, even at 40-something. Though I did not choose well and yes, I forgive myself, I learned that I could in fact love like a little girl again. I learned that mental illness is real and serious and that I need a man who is not only emotionally available but also emotionally healthy. I remembered that my kids and I deserve the best man on earth because we are a beautiful family and we are a packaged deal! I learned that I actually enjoy working and that this modeling of a strong work ethic about something I am passionate about is important for my kids to see. I learned that professional divorces, like marital ones, are oftentimes healthy and positive and that like the former they can open us up to new opportunities we might not have otherwise known.
I learned that staying is not always the right choice and that I do not always have the courage to walk away. I learned that the uglier someone is, the more I heal. I learned that sometimes I need an inconvenient nudge to pursue my dreams. I learned that I can feel broken one day and whole the next and that these are not mutually exclusive. I learned that miracles come in different forms and not at all as I have always expected them.