Here it goes. I’ve shoved this post in the back of my mind for awhile because of a few things. In times like this, I am often crippled with the thought of what will my thoughts, actions, and perspective be met with, and I’m starting to gracefully and lovingly not give a damn. I kinda left you hanging from that infamous blog post I posted back in January 2019, and even still I don’t have all the answers or even the right words to really dive deep in where I sat for the majority of the year. My truth is my truth, but I know it doesn’t just effect me. I have babies. I have a family. I have friends that are so invested in making sure that I’m taken care of.
2019 had to be, hands down, without a doubt, the most shitty year of my life.
While my girls quietly sleep, I’m sitting here at 5:00 am on a Monday morning in my cozy living room that once was mine, then wasn’t, and now is again. It still doesn’t feel real that I metaphorically walked through fire naked as a jay bird like Daenerys pretty much the entirety of 2019. My faith was tested beyond measure. I made choices that were so, so, so incredibly hard, and at times, it was inevitable that it came off as though I was insensitive to others and their feelings.
Filing for divorce is never something that I wanted to do. It wasn’t my stance on marriage. It wasn’t my big, stand up moment where I declared exactly what I wanted. It was everything that I didn’t want. I think where people misjudge these types of situations terribly is that it somehow feels like a relief, and my heart couldn’t have felt more burdened than ever before. How is it possible to walk away from your person, try to care for them from afar, and then also lead a completely separate life? It was hell.
Something that I’m constantly struggling with is caring so much about what others think about what I’m doing is right. I am the MOST indecisive person, and sometimes it’s really hard to stand in my truth when others are so convicted in what they feel is the right road for you to take. Always coming from love. Always wanting to provide protection. Never coming from a place of ill-intent, hidden agendas, or wanting to make your life harder. That’s why they are my people through and through. However, no one can live your life for you, and what a sad life it would be if we only made decisions for others. In my case, they were for my babies and I, and no one else.
So without going into the nitty gritty of the shit hole of 2019 was because I’m learning to be a little more private, here was the conclusion of my year:
I am not divorced.
I am really happy. Most of the time. It’s a funny thing how stepping back from a situation makes you realize that we all can take some responsibility for how things went wrong, and I’m working through my own triggers.
I am back in the house that Jacob and I renovated right after Claire was born.
I really love being my own boss, and the blog and Etoilly Artistry are my biggest accomplishments outside of my family.
Jacob and I are back together. Are we a work in progress? Yes. Do we still run into conflicts that are triggering? Yes. Do we rely on unbiased parties’ tools to work through those conflicts? We are regulars at our therapist’s office. Are we madly in love and committed to keeping the glue of our little family intact? More than ever.
We have lovingly decided to step away from the Catholic church, and we are really excited to be members of a new and growing church close to home called Faith Family. Jesus is working in powerful ways in us as individuals as well as our family, and that is the most beautiful thing I find about our story. We were very unengaged, practicing Catholics, and this has been the first time in years where we leave church feeling spiritually fed.
Everything is a huge work in progress, and I am increasingly growing comfortable with not having the answers or an ending to a long, drawn out story that we live in called “life.” It’s messy, and you can have this grand plan to have it all figured out. In my case, I had the pages of my notebook shredded, ink stains bled through the pages that remained, and I started over to find my way back to what feels the most like home.
Sips her tea.
onto bigger and better things that 2020 hopefully has to offer. On the first Sunday of 2020, I was reminded that goals do not become accomplished without good habits. Good habits are the foundation to success. With that, Jesus wants us to believe that our prayers are things that we have already received, and I am believing that these 2020 goals are things that I have already retained.
I am becoming more and more aware of how often gossiping is something so easily done. I don’t think anyone goes into a conversation with the intent of taking a nonpresent person down with their words. I have made a new rule to myself which is if I cannot say what I am saying about that person to that person’s face with ease, then I shouldn’t say it. That simple mantra has stopped my tongue from saying and my mind thinking toxic things that bring no glory to any situation.
I am making more time to reflect. Reflecting on my faith. Checking myself that I am being a good example to my girls, husband, and those around me. You never know how much a small example can be to someone. So be kind.
I have horrible anxiety attacks that quickly turn into fits of rage. I have been known to throw phones. Scream. Irrationally flee the situation. I might go into further detail later on, but it’s a pretty sensitive subject. I have learned how toxic this is, and I realized that it was only a matter of time before my girls realized how poorly I have handled my anxiety. Having anxiety is not a shameful characteristic, but the way we choose to handle our problems can be. So I am getting a taste of my own medicine, and I am really working on learning what triggers my anxiety and how to avoid completely losing my shit. 🙂
I need a life of health and activity. I am a thin and small-framed woman, and I have noticed that I have very little strength. My entire life I was in impeccable shape due to dancing for so many years, and this is my year to get back to feeling strong, energized, and healthy for my girls. I’ve also taken a SERIOUS step back from drinking soda. I love a crisp, cold can of Coke. There is nothing better. Period. However, the next best thing is feeling good and healthy, and you’re not going to get that from drinking three of those a day. So I have limited to one Coke on Fridays, and It’s getting there.
I have MAJOR financial goals. Spoiler alert: I am not a frugal person. Window shopping literally used to make me have anxiety and want to cry. I could never go into a favorite store and walk away from an item that I loved. It was terrible, and I saved very little this year. My goal for 2020 is to completely free ourselves from debt (other than our home and cars), and plan for things that I really love to purchase rather than impulsively purchasing things that I don’t really need. This has been a HUGE realization of mine, and I am going into this on a deeper level in a few weeks on here.
I desperately need to be more engaged with the girls. They need my attention. Even though they play so well independently and with each other, I am completely missing opportunities to make lasting, impressionable memories and moments with them. I have no boundaries when it comes to my phone or computer as it heavily dictates my work life. So I guess you can call that seven. I’ve made huge efforts to work around their schedule, and I’m learning to prioritize my time better.
These are things that I want for myself and my family. I don’t know if they are the recipe to happiness, but it is my work this year to give these goals my all. They have been placed in my heart for a reason, and their resounding vibrations of good vibes and calmer days are what I think will make my heart and mind a better place.
Photos by Courtney Leigh Photography