Life works in mysterious ways, and I'm sure we're all quite familiar with that. When my mom got sick with a brain tumor and died last year, very few of my friends had been through something similar. I felt like I was surrounded by people who loved me, but could hardly relate to me. My career as an event planner at the last place I worked became exhausting and I hated it so much that when I came back from my mom's funeral, all hell broke loose, and I quit. I had been there for five years! Basically, I was starting all over, and little by little everything made sense.
I took a summer off, then got a job that required a lot less mental power than the one I'd had previously. This mental power was vital to my grief, it took all of it, and I had little left for anything or anyone else. Then, I started to open back up, and come out of my depression hole. I got a promotion, got more work, and suddenly we hired several people that just understood me. Weirdly enough, most of these new employees have recently lost a parent that they were very close to. It's like we're this little club of grievers, and I couldn't have needed them more. I suddenly feel completely understood, and we talk sometimes about it all, and they all just get me. Knowing that there are five people near me everyday that completely understand the loss I went through gives me the strength I needed.
Again, life works in very mysterious ways, but I thank God every day that 18 months later I feel somewhat whole. I'm forever altered as part of my heart lies in the afterlife, but I am starting to feel more whole. I feel strong. I feel healthier, and I feel like my heart and mind are becoming friends again. I'm still learning who this new version of me is.
The girl I was, died when my heart was torn in two during Easter weekend in 2014. But this new girl is strong, she is more aware, and she is more focused. She is more calculating in her moves, and she is more compassionate and accepting. She maybe be physically weak and in the process of building her strength, much like a new seedling, but I have every hope that she'll grow into her new skin.
I look in the mirror and see someone new, the eyes I have always known don't stare back at me anymore, because I'm forever changed. I see someone new, someone wiser, someone with more experience. I look at myself and see confidence, comfort in my skin, love for the warrior within me that is finally making its presence known. I react differently to things, I feel differently, I think differently.
Sure, there's still parts of the old me that will always be with me, but I can't even begin to explain what happens when you experience a loss like the one I did. Once you have, you know. It doesn't have to be a person you lost, it could be a battle you fought. You could be looking at yourself after years of addiction behind you and months of rehab under your belt. You could be looking at yourself after a divorce from a terrible person who you allowed to destroy who you are. You could be sitting on the floor of an empty apartment wondering why you just moved across the country for your dreams and how on earth are you ever going to make them happen? You could be looking in the mirror after anything and seeing a new you, a warrior you.
When you see yourself in a new light, it's scary at first. It hurts. It feels like you're being torn down to the ground and you scramble to keep all the parts of your breaking self together. When the pieces, little by little, come together again, you'll know. You'll see the fierce contender in the mirror that you always wanted to be. The person you always thought was out of your reach.
Did my mother have to die for me to be this girl? I really don't know. I can't say that I am glad she did so I could be this girl. I was a great person before, but without her, I've become stronger. I had to. I had to live through the pain because I wasn't ready to just lay down and let it take me. There were times where I actually felt like I was falling for days on end. It's a feeling that I can only explain as the feeling you get when you've been spinning for too long and you can't get your bearings. I actually felt that way for days, weeks, months. No wonder I was so sick. I couldn't do anything but feel like I had to hold on for dear life while the world around me spun. I couldn't hear people or give them support. I couldn't even have a day without nausea. I was spinning and I couldn't stop.
I'd gladly give back all the pain if I could have my mother. But... since I can't, I am beginning to love the new me. She is here and I'd like her to stay.
I guarantee that by the time we've all left this life, we'll have had our moments of utter complete loss. Where we feel like we're spinning and can't stop it, and where our hearts break so severely we feel like we'll never be the same. If we keep going and keep moving and get to know who it turns us into, we may just find that we're all warriors in our own right. We are all capable of becoming fierce contenders in our own lives, beautiful, strong, versions of ourselves we never thought possible. We just have to be willing to let the pain do it's thing, keep moving and let time get us through it.
Your turn! Who did your pain turn you into? Please share your story below. I would love to hear from you. Want to share it privately instead? Share it with me through my contact page. If you want to share it in a guest post or on my series of Real Life Stories, let me know! I'd love to include yours!