I’ll be 30 next year.. When I say that out loud, I don’t even feel like it is possible that I am standing on the brink of 30. THIRTY sounds way too young for all that I have lived out so far! Life has been crazy and full of lots of different things that have caused growth and struggle and I FEEL OLD.
Today marks 16 years since I lost my mom. SIXTEEN years motherless is a long damn time. SIXTEEN means I have been motherless longer than I was mothered… 16 feels impossible.
Quite frankly, I have been mad and sad and every emotion in between, when it comes to being motherless. I hate feeling like I was robbed of so much of my life when things went south following her passing and that even now, I have a missing relationship and will never be able to recover it. It’s heavy, and at times sadness does creep in and try to undo the years of coping and maturing that have lapsed since I was 13 and life changed forever.
Over the years I have learned that the best way to cope and also to honor my mother’s life is to never, for one second, feel about myself and my life the way that she had to have felt about hers the crisp morning on October 13th when she gave up on life and committed suicide.
I was 13, now I am almost 30, and I am finally truly realizing how necessary it is to protect my happiness and my peace. The older I get the more clearly I learn what it means to be happy and to not to allow sadness, depression, guilt and negativity any space in my life.
I started in 2011 with the Facebook cleanse I wrote about HERE on my wedding photography blog. It may seem trivial to some but excluding the what everyone else is doing FB highlights reel from my life was a way to protect myself from the comparison trap, and was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Two and a half years ago, I had a miscarriage of my second pregnancy, and that experience taught me that taking care of myself is vital to warding off feelings of depression. I workout almost every day now, in some form or another and use endorphins as medicine when I feel sad.
The toughest and most difficult decision I have had to make for my own happiness happened just this year, when I asked for a divorce after twelve years together. Now that some time has passed, even that decision has proved to be something I needed to do to protect my own happiness.
I very recently had to block the number and social media access of someone dead-set on bringing negativity into my life, and the level of peace that I have knowing that there is no access until they decide to be kind, is powerful.
I am currently learning what it is like to accept that I am worthy of adoration, and that my own perception of myself, doesn’t meant other people don’t see me as special, as worth it, and as sometime they want to invest in.
These things have all played a part in standing up for my own daily peace. I can feel myself smiling more, appreciating the little things that I used to miss altogether, and enjoying being in the moment feeling genuine happiness. It has been somewhat difficult to come by and now that it is here, I will never stop fighting for it.
Why am I writing this? because I think so many mothers out there are struggling the way my mother did or struggling the way that I have. And I want to say that finding small and big ways to soften the struggle are always, always worth it even if the odds seem unsurmountable.
You MUST find your own damn happiness. You have to fight for it so you can live. It’s not selfish, it’s not wrong and it’s also not optional. It is the absolute only way to not waste the precious time we have been given. Don’t let it go ticking by, while you struggle in the dark.
photo by Shilo Alyse Photography
I miss you, mom.