Do you know what that mean?
She got her own house
She got her own car
Two jobs, work hard, you a bad broad
(Webbie, Featuring Lil Phats (3-Deep) & Boosie Badazz)
243 years ago congress adopted the Declaration of Independence (it wasn’t actually signed for almost another month), and a year ago I moved across country to a new townhouse in Park City, UT. It was a fitting day to take possession of a new residence as I was newly and unexpectedly independent and facing a future I had not planned – but when you learn your husband who you’ve been married to for 6 months is having an affair with his also married co-worker who used to work for you, you have to leave and start over.
Staring a blank future in the face I had the anxiety inducing luxury of rebuilding from less than scratch – I had to leave my home, and my client, live with my parents for 3+ months (what every supposedly successful 30 yr old wants to do), and float via credit cards for months while I worked to land a new client engagement – the debt was overwhelming.
The space between a year ago and today is what all the books and movies gloss over – they speed it up because it’s awful, painful, dull, grinding work every single day.
- It’s getting out of bed each morning with a full to-do list, and not sleeping till you’ve gotten as much as possible done so that you’re sufficiently distracted, productive and exhausted.
- It’s hours in the gym running till your legs give out, doing pushups and burpees till you almost urp.
- It’s fasting and eating boring but healthy meals day in and day out, and not letting yourself down bottle after bottle of red wine.
- It’s only spending on necessities, paying off credit card after credit card while not being able to save anything, all the while keeping a budget spreadsheet and wondering how you’ll cover next month.
- It’s staying positive when all you want to do is curl up and never wake up, and loneliness that hits in waves threatening to drown, while not being up for being surrounded by others.
- It’s having to drink so much more water because you cry yourself to sleep every night, and considering filler for your eyes because they are now hollow and sad.
- It’s feeling guilty that your black lab now has a new role as an emotional support puppy in addition to already being a best friend, guard dog, and companion. And hating how much your sadness is hurting your family too.
- It’s having to go to weddings alone while being happy for your friend’s life celebrations, and having to spend holidays by yourself.
- It’s grieving the loss of your best friend, the life you thought you were going to lead, and the future you thought you were building together, and having to create a whole new foundation all alone.
- It’s having to tell the awful voice in your head saying that maybe if you were thinner, or prettier this wouldn’t have happened to go fuck off.
- It’s red with anger, and black with desolation, and ultimately, it’s at peace through constant prayer, and acceptance.
During some of the bleakest days I read Samantha Wills’ words regarding her similar experience a few years ago. She wrote about how she had to tell herself to breathe, how she did what she had to do for work and would then retreat to fall apart, doing the most that she could each day. Knowing that someone else I respected so much (in case you don’t know she built a fabulous jewelry company and is a wonderful vocal voice of empowerment) made it through the trauma made a difference, and made me recognize that while it’s not a subject I enjoy discussing, it is sadly all too common, and that my words may benefit someone else.
I don’t wish the experience on anyone, because rebuilding yourself at a cellular level is really fucking hard, takes an immense amount of grit, and does not happen all at once – it is day by day, hour by hour, second by second. But it is possible, and when you do, you’ll be so very proud – and independent.
This past week I closed on the townhouse I had been renting – it’s now mine (and the bank’s). And while I only have contracted work through the end of August – I’ve learned a very important lesson (one that I already knew but didn’t completely surrender to) – do your best, trust completely that what is meant to be will be, and that it will all work out. I am so grateful for the opportunity to create a life I’m proud of. To me, that is independence, and certainly something to celebrate today.
As for this patriotic outfit – I’ve worn all of these pieces in different posts – Pants, Blouse, Blazer, Shoes, Bag, Sunglasses. The scarf I picked up at the same time I bought the sunglasses for a 4thof July beach vaca back in 2013. I don’t break it out very often, but it is a great summer wardrobe accessory.
All my best, and Happy 4th!