I do feel beyond relieved that 2019 is over. Quite honestly 2018 and 2019 have been some of the most brutal I’ve had in my life. Every day seemed like a battle and I was exhausted. I have always been an optimist by nature but these past few years have brought me to my knees and made me question everything.
I could recently tell I was just tired of it all and it all caught up with me. I could tell because writing has always been a release for me, but these past few weeks I didn’t have the energy or motivation to even think about it. The emotions of the first holiday season without my dad or our should be 6 month old son crept up on me. The first holiday season without both of my birth parents on this earth was more than I could process. All of the life (and there was plenty of it) that happened to me over that last two years seemed to be weighing me down during this already tough time.
I was tired. I am tired.
But a new year was just around the corner. My entire life I have loved the idea of a new year and all the possibility it brought. It always has such promise and hope, and now more than ever I needed both. And a new decade, even better. So as the new year approached, I found myself anxiously yet cautiously awaiting the strike of midnight. I didn’t know what would come but I desperately needed a new year.
As the minutes of the year came to a close, I found myself with mixed emotions. I was sad because I knew when I left 2019, I would be leaving the last moments with some of the most precious people to me. I was heartbroken thinking of all the hard times. Yet I found myself filling with pride that I had made it through it all. And I felt warmth thinking about all of the loved ones who helped me through it all.
I don’t know what this new year will bring. But I do know I am ready for a new year and I welcome a new decade.
Over the past few weeks I have seen an abundance of dragonflies everywhere. And I mean literally everywhere. At first or second sighting, I didn’t think anything of it. Over time though it appeared as if the dragonflies were practically hovering in my face to ensure I noticed them. Finally after about the tenth sighting in a matter of a few days, I had to pause.
What is going on here?!?
Is it mating season or something?
I know I may sound crazy but is someone or the universe trying to tell me something?
Finally confused and perplexed, I decided to Google the word dragonfly. I was blown away at what I found.
Over time and across many civilizations the dragonfly has been a symbol of change and transformation. Many have believed it to be a sign of deep spiritual, mental and physical growth. It has been well known to symbolize self realization. In many ways it is a sign of rebirth.
Wow. I was speechless.
This truly has been the biggest transformational period of my life. The only thing constant recently has been change for me. I am in every way a different person than I was just eight months ago.
The dragonfly symbolizes my life in this very moment. I don’t know who sent them or why, but I do know that I now welcome the sight of my new little dragonfly friends.
It’s the strangest thing, but I can feel that the tides of my life are changing. For the past several days I have felt like I am currently growing through something. It’s as if I can physically feel the atoms of my body moving in some new direction.
In one respect this brings me great hope. Given all that has occurred in my life in 2019, I am beyond ready for a new direction. With all the positive changes and discipline I have incorporated in my life over the past year, I only pray it pays off in dividends.
However on the other hand I am anxious about what is to come. Although I have been cautiously running towards change these days, it doesn’t mean I’m not scared about what I’m blindly heading towards. This particular tidal change feels like a really big and possibly exciting one, yet am I just wishful thinking? And what is it? Could it be just another twist and turn in the painful path that started 8 months ago. I honestly just don’t know. But I feel something happening…
I will welcome change, growth and new tides in my life. But I am going to let my higher powers handle those details. I am just going to keep walking my journey, one foot in front of the other, preparing myself for what is coming.
After the most brutal year of my life, my husband and I were finally able to take a long and critically needed vacation. Now normally we aren’t the type to count down the days to vacation but after losing my father to cancer, losing our son in miscarriage and an enduring a painful surgery all in a matter of 6 months, we were practically counting down nanoseconds until we could finally get away and relax.
In the past I would always look forward to vacations but then they would seem to just fly by so quickly and I always felt kinda empty when I got home. Even though we would do fun things throughout the trips, if I’m being honest I often wasted more time than I would ever like to admit. I would spend my previous vacations doing work (that could wait), thinking about doing work (if I wasn’t doing it), scrolling endlessly on social media, working to take the best pictures I possibly could (for my future social media posts), figuring out what I was going to wear for the next vacation event, thinking about what we were going to do next, etc. Always moving but never really taking the time to enjoy it along the way. And I would often get home from the trip feeling as stressed out as I was when I left for it.
But when we finally embarked on our long awaited trip, I instantly recognized something was very different this time. Although this vacation was logistically similar to ones we’ve taken in the past (we traveled to some of our favorite spots in Florida), this one was profoundly different in many ways. I couldn’t quite figure out why at first, but it didn’t take me long to put my finger on it.
See life changes after experiencing loss. We survivors are forever changed in every way after going through the loss of a loved one (or of multiple loved ones). We experience joy and sadness much differently than we did before. We can easily decipher what’s important to us in life and what’s not. We understand in a very real way that our moments on this earth are finite. We recognize that whether we like it or not, we will never be who we were before the loss. It just is what it is. And this takes me to our recent summer vacation…
Like a message straight from the universe, I realized this vacation was more unique than I had ever experienced before because I was completely and totally present in each moment. Probably for the first time ever, my husband and I spent time together completely focused on each other in the moment and nothing else. I wasn’t worried about scrolling and keeping up on social media happenings. I wasn’t worried about answering emails as soon as they came in. I wasn’t worried about what crazy thing this or that “celebrity” was doing that was “newsworthy”. I just wasn’t worried about the distractions that far too often in life take us away from the moment. I even realized that for the very first time in our relationship, I didn’t concern myself about making an anniversary social media post to my husband as I always would have in the past (it happened to be our third in marriage and fifth of our engagement, both of which usually occur during our summer vacation). Honestly this was our vacation, our time together, and after our year of hell none of that stuff mattered.
Despite all of this hell I have been through, I have been blessed by the gift of this lesson learned. To not waste a single additional moment of my life (and vacations) giving precious time away. Being truly present in our moments add up to a life well lived. My husband and I got home from our vacation more connected together, more relaxed, more refreshed and ready for the future ahead. And this is how I plan to spend every vacation from now on.
Through my immense loss in life, I have gained so incredibly much and changed in every way possible. In addition, I have taken back my time and my vacations. And for all of those things I will forever be grateful.