Almost exactly 10 years ago, I was exiting a very difficult marriage. One filled with fear, uncertainty and anger. Holes in walls, doors and kitchen cabinets, plus hours of yelling were my existence. My children were only 2 and 5. We had just moved to a new state and I had no support network. A dear friend told me, “You leave when the pain of staying is worse than the pain of leaving.” It was. I left. But not without a lot of struggle and difficulty.
A decade later, I can look back at that time and who I was, and I can marvel at what I’ve done and how far I’ve come. It was not easy. It took more strength and courage than I knew I had to get out, and it took years of work to become whole again.
Reflection is an amazing thing. I was so scared then. I lacked self-confidence. I didn’t feel worthy. I had never lived on my own and I didn’t know how I was going to make it all work. Questions filled my mind and eroded my peace. Somehow, some way, I put one foot in front of the other and discovered a world of beauty I didn’t know existed.
Sometimes, when you’re just trudging through, you don’t grasp how far you’ve come.
When I stop and look back on where I was, where I am and my dreams, I realize I’ve come a long way. It’s like an early morning walk to a pier on the beach. You see the pier in the distance and long to watch the waves crashing against the pilings, see the sun glistening on the water, hear the call of the seagulls and feel the surf lap at your legs. You keep your eyes on the pier and feel the sun, sand and surf against you as you walk towards your goal. Your mind drifts and wanders. You see bits of sea glass and shells. You hear birds calling. You are filled with a calm and serenity only brought about when you quiet your mind.
At last, you reach your destination and take a moment to soak in the beauty, marvel at the structure and enjoy the quiet found under that pier. When you turn to walk back, you realize just how far you’ve come. Life happened in a blink. The sun is higher, more people dot the sand and lifeguards are pulling out their gear. The quiet of the early morning hours is punctuated with children laughing and the day beginning. And you walk back, one foot in front of the other, as the world awakens before your eyes.
My life is like that walk in the early morning hours. I am filled with wonder as the world comes into focus before me. I’ve come a long way, baby, and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter reveals.