2019: The Year That Should Have Broke Me

I just refused to let it.
I thought this would be my best year yet.
I started out 2019 traveling the US with my husband, a dream we had made a reality. When our marriage fell apart in early March, I shared about my separation and pending divorce. And as if that weren’t heart-wrenching enough for one year..
I didn’t share that my younger, older brother, was released from prison for maybe the fifth time..? I’ve honestly lost count. (And well hoping for the best, I prayed not to have to live through the worst, again.)
I didn’t share that I had a friendship-ending falling out with my “forever” best friend of 20 years in April.
Or that my step-dad was diagnosed with cancer just before Father’s day.
Or they my mom was diagnosed with cancer in August.
These things shattered my world, one by one, seemingly again and again.
So I did what I do, and I cried. I cried the tears and I felt the feels.
Then, I pulled myself together, and found strength through it all.
I cannot say the whole year was a bust. That brother I talked about is the strongest, most resilient version of himself that I have ever known, and we are closer than ever.
And that friendship I lost in April was superseded by meeting, online and then in person, the most faith-filled, beautiful inside and out, loving and caring girl that I have ever met in my entire life the month before that, and I joyously call her best friend.
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My parents are still not 100%, but are both cancer-free, praise God!
And while I don’t know where I want to live or what I want to do with my life entirely, I completed training for my new career in September and have been a flight attendant ever since, a job that I love even more than I thought I would.
In 2019, I kept select people close and I kept God closer. I put my life 100% into His hands, like never before.
I was scared and felt lost, had no idea where to live, what to do, how to feel..or how to do it all earlier this year. So I let go, and I let God.
This isn’t some miraculous turn around story and I can honestly say I’m SO happy this year is almost over.
I can also say that my work life is pretty fantastic but the rest of my life is still messy, and it still hurts.
My parents are on the mend, and I’m beyond thankful for that. My ex BFF and I have completely severed ties but I know that the people I do have in my corner are my people, my family, and my heart. I’m so blessed to have them.
And no matter what, I choose happy everyday. I choose laughing and making new IMG_20191128_130023memories to crying and replaying old ones. I choose joy and excited anticipation for the future.
I know next year won’t be perfect, and I have no false hope about creating a life without ups and downs. But at the end of this year, I find myself with a new sense of calm, a reclaimed joy, and the ability to fully-focus on the good, beautiful, and abundant blessings around me.
I didn’t write this as a pity post, or to brag on how I came out on the other side but yet to share this very real and very raw side of me as this year comes to a close. We all struggle, and we all go through hard things, whether we talk about them, or not.
If you want to share or talk through anything, please reach out to me. I will be more than happy to listen, and show you love, to pray, and be an ear for you to talk to.
And please, give yourself to God, so that He can guide you. I promise you, you can get through the hard stuff. Always believe and stay full of faith, and happy almost 2020 friends=)

I’m Back and I’m Ready to Talk, Kinda

It’s been on my heart to share my life, but in the midst of the hard stuff, talking about the hard stuff, well, that’s the hardest stuff of all.

But when you truly feel a calling to do something, you cannot get away from it.

You can push it away, you can think yourself out of it, you can “wait” until you’re past the hard part to talk about it… if you want to.

Or, you can just start talking.

I haven’t been talking too much, but then again, maybe just enough. I’ve shared about my separation and divorce, but not the other things that have happened these last 9 or so months.

And, if I’m being really real, my divorce was the least hardest thing I’ve been through this year. I haven’t been very vocal about the rest but instead have tried to share that I’m struggling but still choosing happy, that things are hard, but I’m making them happen anyway, and that just because your life is a wreck, doesn’t mean you have to be.

It’s not here that I’ve shared things, but on my Facebook page and on Instagram. It’s not daily posts or anything, but really real, really heartfelt truths that I feel truly led to share.

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And then, when I do, someone will pm me or dm me, they will ask a seemingly unrelated question to which I answer with something so raw, I think it couldn’t possibly be what they meant, what they wanted to hear, or what they needed. But it is.

It turns out it’s EXACTLY what they wanted from me. The whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Their truth is that they want to hear my truth. They want to know what is happening with me and how the fuck (sorry for the language) I’m getting through it. Much less smiling, much less LIVING.

I miss blogging. I miss sharing my life. But I don’t miss that I was only sharing a part of my life. It was only the part of life I wanted to share. The happy stuff, the fun stuff, the smiles and the trips and the special occasions. It wasn’t all of it.

And this will not turn into a negative or ranting space, but it will be the realest me yet. Because I am not who I was when I started this blog, I’m not even who I was at the beginning of this year, and I am NEVER going to let me get away again.

I will still share food and fun, I will still share my faith, but I will also share my struggles, the hard stuff, the stuff I just know you want to hear. And I know it’s what you want to hear, what you need to hear..

Because you keep telling me.

 

 

PS you can find and follow me on media if you want to:

Facebook: Emily Ann     Instagram: iwantwellness.co

Also, Happy Thanksgiving! Remember all you have to be thankful for!!!

I’ve Been Quiet, And This Is Why

I’ve been really quiet on my blog and social media. And if I’m being honest, it’s been really hard to get back into it.

I have all these ideas, content for days..but I just don’t want to.

Because I also have a sadness, a hurt, and something that has really turned my world upside down. I have a pending divorce, a soon to be ex-husband, and a hole in my heart and in my days, too.

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I haven’t talked that much about it. I’ve done what I can not to think about it, dwell on it, or make myself relive it again and again.

But the truth is, it’s very much on my mind. It’s fresh and raw, and it’s heartbreaking. But it’s a part of my life now, and I’m learning to accept it.

The thing is, I didn’t ever talk much about our problems. But really, not many people do. I tried to see the best in everything, focus on the good stuff, and do what I could to make the bad stuff, better.

But it didn’t work and this is where I am now. I’m hurting, healing, and trying to smile, all at the same time. But back to my point, I’ve been quiet, but I don’t want to be.

I asked a friend of mine, why? If I have all these ideas, plans, content, and things to say, why am I feeling so restricted and closed off. She asked me if I had blogged about my divorce yet. And the simple answer was…

no.

She told me I was feeling inauthentic. She said that I wasn’t feeling up for sharing, blogging, and talking because I didn’t share about the divorce yet. And she was right.

So this is me, sharing. This is me opening up and being vulnerable about the hardest thing I have been through thus far. And you know what?

It’s still hard and it really hurts. But I want to heal. I want to grow. I want to be the me that loves, cares, and always finds a way. So that is what I’m doing.

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I’m finding my way, slowly. It’s a painstaking process and it’s far from over, but I’m doing it. And it’s not going to last forever. And you know what else? I’m gaining courage and strength from it.

And these things are coming from unexpected sources. For example, I made a public announcement about our divorce on Facebook, (partly because I have shared so much about Nick and I on Facebook throughout the years and also partly so I wouldn’t have to retell the story forever,) and I can barely begin to tell you how many people reached out to me.

Some pretty close friends had been through a divorce, and I had no idea. Others are literally going through the exact same thing as me, right now.

Perspective.

We are not alone in this world. We are not the only ones facing hardships. And when we share our story, it opens us up to additional support and love from our people.

I realize this also may open me up to scrutiny. Questions of, “Did you fight for your marriage?” were hard to hear.

All I know is this was the right thing. I don’t feel a “huge sense of relief,” and I’m not sure I ever will. But I do know one thing.

Time moves us forward, whether we like it or not. All you have to do it put one foot in front of the other, each day. And eventually the hurt and the memories will fade. The future plans you looked forward to will be changed into new plans and become a new life.

And this will be just another part of the past. I just remind myself to leave it there, so that I can look forward to my future.

Thanks for reading, following me on this journey, and supporting me. XOXO

 

Hurricane Irma: I Evacuated and This is What it was Really Like

IMG_20170904_205725After the disaster that was Harvey, when my husband told me they were gathering donations to send to Houston, I was all about it. I quickly grabbed shoes, socks, and clothes to give (as he didn’t have a full list of what could be donated..ugh, men!) When I talked to my BFF and she said, “Be careful, you might need those when Irma comes to you,” I just laughed it off. However, it was all too real.

You see, the first week of September 2017 was one of watching, and waiting. Irma’s track flip-flopped from coast to coast each morning that week and finally, on Thursday, we made plans to book an AirBnb in Georgia, and flee the state the following day.

This was no easy decision. And actually leaving the place you live, as if you may never return, is an extremely unsettling, and disturbing feeling. And I, myself, am no lover of FL. The heat for most of the year is torture, and driving there is worse. Even so, I didn’t want a hurricane to decimate the state, just as much as I didn’t want to have to pick just a few small items to stuff in the car. But, we decided it was what we had to do.

Here’s a timeline of that Thursday and Friday:

9:00AM THURSDAY MORNING As a remote freelancer, I did what I could to finish out Thursday (until mid afternoon anyhow) as a “normal” workday. Though mid morning we booked the AirBnb to “escape” the storm, so that was definitely not part of a normal day at work for me.

3:00PM I began to “ready” our place. I stripped the walls, took down any and all decorations and turned around all dressers, and desks, towards the wall.

7:00PM Nick installed all the hurricane shutters on the windows, and on our patio doors. I pray you’ve never had to do this, the feeling is beyond eerie, and even with a peaceful, calm outside, nothing is more unnerving than not being able to look outside. Or for that matter, glancing outside just to see the metal shutters. **shiver**

11:00PM I officially was finished with the house prep and Nick was fast asleep. With an alarm set for 3:30AM the next day, I laid down, far from “sleepy.” The last time I looked at the clock, it read 12:45AM.

3:30 AM FRIDAY MORNING We were up, “packed,” and driving by 4:20AM.  With what we thought was a pretty good “head start,” we listened to Google and jumped on the closest freeway to our house, the turnpike.

ABOUT 6AM We drove for a solid couple hours or so, but then hit a literal wall of cars. We sat there, at a dead stop, for 20 minutes. I urged Nick to turn around and go back to 95N (altogether about a 20 minute “detour.” SO worth it, and saved us tons of time..though that may sound hard to believe.)

12:56PM “Still driving, slow going,” I had text a friend.

2:00PM We finally made it to the FL/GA border. This drive usually takes less than 6 hours.. this day it took almost 10. Snapchat-1109588126

2:25PM Average speed 15 MPH. According to “GPS and directions” we had less than  hours to go.

7:07PM I was texting with my MIL and told her we were still driving but almost there. Yes, this was constant travel from 4:20AM until 7:30PM, about 15 hours when it was all said and done.

We finally got there! The weather was 65 and comfortable, and we were so glad to get out of the car. But that day was scary. The rest stops were overflowing and backed up. The oasis’ were controlled by police and many were out of gas. The traffic was horrendous and slow and you saw broken down cars littering the side of the road. It looked like scenes from the Walking Dead, a show I love but never want to experience.

Irma Stats:

Irma is considered the biggest storm to come out of the Atlantic, and the evacuation of FL, the largest American evacuation in history. I wouldn’t wish that feeling or a day of driving like that on anyone. It was a truly terrible.

Deciding What to Bring, Almost as Hard as What to Leave Behind

IMG_20170908_162409And what to bring? Ugh..this was sucky, too. Without kids or pets, Nick and I had only ourselves to think of. We each packed one suitcase, and each chose one “big thing.” His was his computers hard drive, mine was a tote of pictures. We brought a cooler with water, snacks, and other drinks. We had a bit more room so we both threw together a garbage bag, his had all clothes, mine was half clothes, half shoes.IMG_20170915_131042

Nick’s golf clubs came along for the ride and I brought my paperback books (the ones I’ve written and put into print,) as well as my essential, essential oils (of course!) That was pretty much it.

Could you (lightly) pack only a car, and leave your dwelling, possibly to return to rubble, without even a second thought? I thought and rethought about my choices many times.

So the storm hit hard in Miami and on the west coast, but certainly did damage to the east cost (where we’ve been living,) too. From our estimations, (and not knowing anyone in our complex,) our power was out for 5 or 6 whole days. We just got word last night, almost 7 days post evacuation, that our power was back on. With water restrictions, and a curfew, we have yet to go back.

Going Back

We will return Sunday, and getting our place put back together will be no small feat. The temperature will easily be 90-100 degrees in the apartment and we have a fridge/freezer combo, and a standing freezer that will all need to be gutted, cleaned, and replenished.

For the Love of it All

Easily the best part of all of this? People loving people. People helping people. Whether evacuated, “hunkered down,” or friends and family back home, love was in the air. And it was beautiful.