This is a blog about coming out of the dark and coming into myself. There have been so many ways I’ve been in the dark, from my job to parenting to miscarriages to being a step mom. I’ve been on a path of self-discovery for the last year and am finally finding what my passions are again. It’s funny how you can lose yourself so easily and lose the spark you used to have for life. I’ve found that light again and have learned so many things over the last year that I thought I’d put them here in case it helps anyone else or resonates with others that have lost themselves.
Oh the trenches. You know what they are. Work. Parenting. Relationships. You haven’t experienced it? Just me? Ok, well let me explain. It started 41 years ago… hahaha. Just kidding. But it did start about 11 years ago. I was a new, bright eyed special ed teacher. I LOVED working with the special needs population. I had worked at a camp for children with disabilities, at group homes and as an aid in special ed classes. The natural progression would be to become a special ed teacher. So I did. The first year was great! (did you read that? The first year! I stayed at a job for 10 years even though only 1 year was good). Most people think it’s the student population that is exhausting. Nope! It’s the administration. Everyone has their complaints about teaching, but this is my unique story. After my first year, where the principal and special ed department revered me, I started getting berated and harassed by my administration. I was told I wasn’t a good teacher, over and over. And I believed them. I chose to listen to a few people who weren’t even specialist in my field. People who had never worked in this arena before. Why did I choose to believe them even though people who were actually good in the special ed arena told me how great a teacher I was? Because they had power? I made it my mission to prove to them that I was the best teacher out there, and they fought me tooth and nail. Is there a happy ending to this story? Eh, not really. Did the administrators apologize to me? Yes, they actually did. But not before they stole my confidence along the way. 8 years later I finally quit and changed jobs. Do you know how freeing it is to work for someone that actually appreciates your skill set? That is one example of the trenches. Need another example? I have one.
Who’s had kids? Seriously, are you in the trenches right now or have you come out of it? If you’re in the trenches, you probably don’t know what I’m talking about. There’s this time in your life when you have children and you are consumed by them. You go from being pregnant to being the source of food and comfort to this little human. You go to work, pump, pump some more, and rush home to hold your little one. Guess what? That actually ends. I know! It’s weird, but it does. You actually get out of solitary confinement! There was this time last year when I realized I didn’t have to rush home so quickly because my kids were actually happy with whoever was taking care of them. I could go for a run. I could possibly go have a drink with a friend. My husband and I could go on date night and stay out past 8:30. Part of me was saddened by this but another part of me felt so free. Guys, don’t get me wrong. I seriously love being with my kids, they are so stinking cute and hilarious. But it turns out that sometimes you need to take care of yourself and do things that bring you joy. That’s another example of being in the trenches. Guess what? I have more examples. But I’ll save them for another post because this is getting long and if you’re like me, you read these blogs while sitting on the toilet or waiting for the shower to warm up.
Here’s the thing. You actually have to get yourself out of the trenches. It doesn’t just happen magically. You have to work at it. Every. Single. Day. I work at it. Every. Single. Day. Was it easy to leave that job? Hell no!!! I had serious anxiety about it. And to be honest, my first year I had serious PTSD from my previous job. It took me a full year to feel like people weren’t always judging me. Did I and do I still have mom guilt creep in when I go out with friends or for a run. Yup. But I’m working on it. I know it’s important that I have my own personality and that my boys grow up seeing a strong momma that takes care of herself. Don’t let the fear of starting something new or the fear of mom guilt stop you from getting out of the trenches. Trust me, from someone who has come out of the trenches, it’s well worth the struggle to get out of it! So here I am, writing a blog, letting myself be absolutely vulnerable in order to hopefully help anyone else that might feel like they are stuck in the trenches or who are just coming out of solitary confinement. I’ll share with you anything that I have gone through or discovered and I promise to always be truthful and open. So here we go…
Lets talk about the holidays. Yea yea. We all know the deal, holidays can be hard. They’re supposed to be such a magical time when you are surrounded by friends and family, overindulge and probably have some time off of work to rest. But as magical as this is, I think those factors can also be a downfall. After Thanksgiving this year, I looked at my husband and said “sometimes I feel like it’s just us against the world. I feel like we were totally thrown off course the last couple of days”. See, the thing is, we’ve both been on a personal development mission. Both of us have pretty big dreams and we work every day to work towards them. Knowing this, we have made it our goal to immerse ourselves in the personal development world. This means that we start our day listening to people who inspire us. We read books to teach us how to be the best people we can be. We follow blogs and podcasts of those who have done what we want to do and take as much inspiration as possible. We work out on a regular basis because we know our dreams are not attainable if we are not healthy. All of this requires a pretty solid schedule and consistency and when the holidays hit, that can all fly out the window. We knew this going into Thanksgiving so we did as much prepping as we could. We knew we were going to see friends and family that we don’t normally see who were going to question our life decisions and we were totally prepared to stand up for our passions and to “not care about other people’s opinions”. Hahahaha!! Some people didn’t care at all what we were doing, they didn’t even ask. I find that a little weird but moving on. Then there are the other people that for some reason are VERY interested. The ones that question all of our decisions and made us question everything about our life. From parenting decisions to business decisions. From career choices to friendship choices. From dietary choices to coping with trauma advice. All of this made my head spin in circles. All of my best intentions to “explain” or “teach” about what I have learned through my self-development journey were ignored or glossed over. And I was thrown off track. Way off track. How could I be so immersed in self-development and so confident in my decisions and be thrown off track so easily? Maybe I wasn’t cut out for all this. Maybe there wasn’t anything to this self-development path. But I had been working so hard and I had felt so good and had a new REAL LOVE for life before Thanksgiving hit. Here’s what I know after having some time to process this. The universe, God, whatever you call it, will continue to throw these obstacles in your face until you figure out how to deal with it. It’s like a cruel joke. So Joe and I hunkered down and got back to work. It took a little butt whooping from my own life coach to set me back on course. We looked back on what had been working prior to Thanksgiving and what I had stopped doing since Thanksgiving hit and I started implementing those aspects back into my routine. I think most importantly, I looked at why I let all of the questions from others affect me so much. I realized that these are the people that love me the most, the ones that care about my future and happiness and don’t want to see me fall. Turns out, I’m going to fall. I’m going to fall hard and a lot. And it’s ok. I’ll be fine. My friends and family will need to learn this too. Guys, it took two weeks, but I got my groove back and am back on track. I found that JOY and PASSION again. Right on time for Christmas!!! Hahahaha!!!
I'm an average girl who has discovered her passion for self-development after warrioring (yes, it's a word) through 6 miscarriages. I took that passion and applied it to helping others find their passions through High Performance Coaching. Boy mom to two "energetic boys" and navigating the art of being a step mom to a teenage girl, all while working daily on maintaining an authentic relationship with the best husband around. Sometimes mindful. Sometimes a runner. Always a little crazy!