These are the words I just had permanently put on my body. I could have put just 'I Rise"...or "Still I Rise"....but something about adding the "And" in there gives it more punch. Because no matter what life has brought my way, what trials I have put myself through, rising was never an option - it was the only choice.
In my last post I was an hour away from hitting 40 years of life. In the nearly 2 months since then I feel like I've grown even more. I don't know what it was about that milestone, but I used it as the foundation for my new starting point. I turned a corner in my heart and mind and decided it's long past due I put myself first. It's been good days and bad, highs and lows, moments I'd rather forget and ones I wished could last forever...but isn't that just life in general?
A week after I turned 40 our family celebrated another milestone, my son turned 18! I officially have an adult child. He amazes me every day and in these last few weeks I have watched him have his own moments - first car, first visit to a strip club with the guys, first tattoo....he's embracing adulthood and enjoying himself, but also keeping grounded by working after school and looking at a second part-time job.
And as if those changes weren't enough, our home life is changing as well. A few days after his birthday, I made another big life choice. I ended my romantic relationship with the man I've shared life with for over the last 3 years. It wasn't an easy decision and I tried for months to talk to work out some things that were bothersome, but in the end, I decided it was best to end things instead of trying to make something work and just going through the motions.
Even now, 6 weeks to the day later, he is still living in the house and will be here another few weeks. It's been tense and uncomfortable at times, but I couldn't be heartless and kick him out with nowhere to go. I am looking foward to having my space back, to getting back to a routine that works for me and my son, to enjoying life on our terms and just smiling more each day. And I don't mean to say my ex is a bad person, he's not. He's a good guy, but he is not my forever guy.
At the beginning of the year, as I was approaching 40, I became determined to get back to my old self. I'm already down 22lbs since Mid-January!!! I have my confidence back, I am feeling better about a lot of things in life. Sometimes we have to let go of things not because they are bad but just because they no longer fit with who we are or who we are becoming. I'm not really be-coming, just coming back into myself.
My vision for my life, those goals I've pushed down, I'm embracing those again. The passion for writing, the love of music, the laughter of nights out with friends, reconnecting with people, living on my terms again.
It doesn't mean it's not been hard. It was a long process to get to believing my worth again, to standing up for what I want, to having to hurt people I have so much love and care for. But I know this - to continue as I was, I was hurting myself most. As time goes on, as feelings become less hurt, as life looks brighter, I know others will see I have followed my heart and it's leading to great things.
And still....I rise.
No matter what, I get up each day and look to see what I can do now to help me make my dreams a reality. Sometimes it's 5 mile walks and protein shakes, sometimes it's long soothing bubble baths and a good book. This week it will be taking a stay-cation from my day job to write and work in the yard, to reclaim more of my space, to sleep in late and stay up all night if it feels right.
I guess all this to say, no matter how we want things to stay the same, they never do. Like time, it moves forward, it never stops. We grow and learn and sometimes in the growing move in different directions. I would have sworn at 40 I would have it all figured out, but I don't and I probably never will. And I am ok with that...because no matter what lay ahead, what highs and lows, what loves and losses, I know one thing for sure....
And still....I rise.
Smile each day, show the world the light that is all you. We need more beauty in this world. By shining our own lights we give others the strength and courage to shine their own. #bealight