The last month or so I have been able to see the dark clouds building on my horizon. It was a darkness that I recognized as I have been through it before. Every day the dark mass would get bigger and darker. I would try to go about my daily life as though all were "normal", but things were anything but for me. When storms like this happen, everything, and I mean everything, closes in on me. Nothing is as it seems. Everything is multiplied by 10 or more. My legs start to buckle under the pressure of that immense dark mass of clouds swirling and building above me. As those of us who deal with these storms in our lives, we are masters of putting on a happy face. We can still pretend that all is well. Hell, we have had lots of practice. But once it really starts closing in, I will start to send out little SOS signals. There will be signs that not all is rosey. Sometimes I come right out with it. There are times when I am able to keep the storm at bay, but this time, I could not. It overtook me with a force that sucked the breath and life out of me.
I snapped, basically. I couldn't be who everyone wanted and expected me to be for another second. I could not stand to read the constant hypocrisy and skewed priorities. The barrage of negativity became overwhelming. I deleted my Facebook account (the most liberating thing ever), turned off my phone, and I cried for a week straight. I stayed in bed for two full days because I just couldn't function.
Thankfully, I have some amazing people in my life and they were my lighthouses in the storm. They get it. They get me. And they love me no matter who I am or what demons I'm battling. Thank God for them. Jac, Dawn, Matt, and my personal angels, my daughters. I love you all more than I can say.
Once the light began to break through the clouds, I didn't go back on to Facebook. I still needed to be away from all of that. It was quite an eye-opening experience for me. Here is what I learned from it:
What I learned was not all negative, however. I do enjoy those who make me laugh, who share freely their lives with me online, who inspire me, who support those they care about. I love being able to keep in touch with friends and family who live far away from me. Anyone who knows me knows that I do not talk on the phone, so for me, technology has opened up avenues of communication that I can relate to. As far as business or entrepreneurial networking goes, FB is, hands-down, the best. Yes, I also have Instagram, and Snapchat and Twitter, and whatever else, but in this day, FB is a fabulous networking tool.
So, as always happens, my darkness has led to a lot of illumination. I will go back on to that social network, however, the list of those connected to me will be pared down considerably. It is not up to me whether or not you take it personally. If I "unfriend" you online, that doesn't mean that I am in the real world, so remember that. I am surrounded by people who unapologetically do what is best for them on a daily basis, so now it is time for me to do what is best for me.
nI have lived in this house for longer than I have ever lived anywhere. It holds some of my happiest memories, and some of my saddest. It is the only home my youngest daughter remembers. We have said goodbye to some of our four-legged family members here, and we have watched many come into this world here.
This was our family home. It still is, but the shape of our family has changed. There are ghosts of that life everywhere. They come at me and take me off guard once in a while and I find myself sitting in silent tears.
My most prized and sure to be missed aspect of this place are the sunrises and sunsets. There has not been a day go by in the years I have lived here that I don't stop and marvel at the beauty of them. My girls and I have spent many hours on our deck watching the skies morph to darkness. The quiet mornings watching the Eastern sky come to brilliant life are magical. I don't allow myself to think on not having these things, because I am just not able to stop my tears.
The generations of the partridge family that parade their large broods through my yard every year. The crazy animal visitors - moose, cougar, skunks, raccoons, and yes, even a rooster. I've often said that nothing that I see here anymore surprises me. Llamas strolling down the road in front of my house? Sure, why not!
There was the grass fire that we saw start across the field, South of our home. We made that 911 call and then watched, prayerful, unknowing if we were going to lose our home that day. There was the morning after yet another wicked wind storm that we found our beloved tree at the end of our lane on it's side. I cried that morning. The girls and I still miss that beautiful tree.
There's the heady smell of the olive tree blossoms that fill our yard and house every June. Flowers so small that you can barely see them, yet en masse, they transform the air around us for weeks.
But there also comes a time when you have to decide to move forward. This was a decision that the girls and I made as a team. A bittersweet decision, but one that has us moving towards new memories. New adventures. Ones that are just ours. A turning point. An open door that we will walk through together.
It both scares and excites me. But at least it's forward motion.