What happens when your life doesn’t go as planned?
My life has always gone in order. Or, at least, in the sequence that was expected of me. I graduated high school, and I went to college. I married my high school sweetheart. I got a real job, in the field of my degree. My husband and I bought a house, and then another… and then another. We had babies. I stayed home to raise them. I returned to the workforce when the girls were old enough, taking a job that best fit my family.
Predictable. Everything in my life has been the way “it should be.” I have been comfortable my entire life. Safe. I keep thinking back to a quote I saw recently that said, “Remember when you wanted what you currently have.” On paper, I’m living the dreams of 22 year old Samantha. My life, and the stability I currently have, was exactly my goal. Throw in a white picket fence and I have achieved what I thought I wanted.
But what happens when that changes? What happens when life presents you with a challenge you didn’t expect? What happens when you are blindsided with an alternate reality that you were blissfully unaware of, and you’re forced to re-evaluate?
That’s where I am, friends.
I’m going through some things right now. A lot of things, actually. I don’t want to share publicly, but I do want to write about what I’m feeling because I know I’m not alone. My life has flipped upside down recently, rather suddenly, and now for the first time I’m thinking about 42 year old Samantha. Who is she, and what does her life look like? Because if I’m being honest, I don’t have a plan for her just yet. It’s been a long time since I have had dreams of my own. Sad, right? It’s been a long time since I have even considered myself as an individual, or given myself the love I deserve. And now, when forced to take a deep look at who I am inside, its depressing to find that I have woefully neglected the person that should be at the top of my priority list.
Two months ago I was a shell of a person. Rock bottom is real, and I was there. I have grieved for many things in recent weeks, and continue to live in a rollercoaster of the stages. I have fallen apart over and over again. I have made myself feel, and be vulnerable, and rely on the support of people I love to help get me through each hour. I have prayed through tears in the shower every day. My heart physically hurts. It has not been pretty – because how could it be? Losing yourself is the easy part. Finding yourself is painful, and exhausting, and exposes your deepest flaws.
Finding yourself means healing wounds you weren’t even aware you had.
With a lot of self love and therapy, I have very slowly started to feel small parts of Samantha return. It’s not a quick process, and some times it is all I can do to simply function. I’m becoming stronger with every new day and new experience. I’m dreaming again. I’ve recognized my tribe, and how important they are to my mental health. I’m writing, and thinking, and committing quality time to myself… because what worth are love languages if I can’t first speak the language to myself?
Fight for what you believe in. Let your dreams grow. But, most importantly, don’t forget yourself in your own life.
“And somehow, after everything, she still bloomed in the way she was meant to.”
Jenny “Haniford” Long says
Oh my goodness Samantha!
You have no clue how much this speaks to me, and speaks to me on such a deep, deep level. I have no clue what you’re currently going through, and I know we’ve not been close, but please reach out if you need! Even if it’s just needing someone to set quietly with you. This year has totally been one for the books for me, I’ve slowly started making my troubles known in hopes that it may be someone else’s survival guide. You are and have always been beautiful on the inside and the outside. I’ll pray for you! God has blessed me with your writing and I hope it will others as well! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for sharing!
Brian Bartlett says
Sami, I have and always will love you. For I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. You are a dear student that grew into a fine woman in whom I trust and admire.
In His service