Find a way to love the life you live, even if it’s not exactly the life you planned.
My Story: Girl goes to college. Girl meets good boy. Girl gets married in church. Girl has babies. Girl stays home to care for babies while boy seeks corporate success. Girl gets minivan. Girl wears sensible shoes. Girl fails to write her own story. The End.
Boy leaves girl. The Beginning.
The crash started on one of those hot summer nights last August. You know, the kind of evening when the kids have been baking in the sun all day at the pool and their hair smells like chlorine, but you let them stay up late to catch fireflies. After all, summer is almost over, and you only get to be a kid once.
As the older 2 kids ran around the yard, I was trying to cook a special dinner while holding my newborn baby girl. We were all very excited because Daddy was on his way home after a 2-week long business trip to Brazil.
Then, the disappointing phone call. He missed his connecting flight. Daddy was late. Dinner would get cold. The kids would be asleep by the time he got home. So, I broke the bad news to the kids, put them to bed, and left dinner waiting on the table.
Meanwhile, Daddy was wringing his hands, getting more riddled with anxiety as he saw familiar signs out the window that he was closer to home. He knew his wife was disappointed, but she had no idea what was coming.
“Daddy” finally arrives home, and looks disheveled. Something is very wrong.
He eats dinner, sits on the couch next to me, and finally gets the courage to spit it out, “I’m leaving you.”
“Tonight?” I say.
The man, “Yes”
The only thing I could think of to say was, “Well, we’re out of milk.” What a ridiculous thing to say. I could only think about the basic necessities.
I thought, “Do I have everything I need to survive tomorrow?” At the time, I had a 4 year old, 2 year old, and 8 week old baby asleep upstairs, and in the morning I knew they would want milk.
I was so blindsided and shocked that’s the only thing that came out of my mouth. He left to get milk.
I called my best friend and fell to the floor screaming. I woke up the baby. My friend took me upstairs to bed. I kept screaming in my pillow. She picked up my baby and waited by the front door for him to come home. She took the milk while holding my swaddled baby and said to him, “Don’t make it hard on her, just leave.”
He called out to me, I didn’t answer, he left. And that’s where my story really begins.
It’s how you move on that matters. I had given up – given up the way that I looked, given up having my own hobbies and dreams, given it all up to be a “mommy martyr”.
I thought that’s what good Christian women do. We sacrifice our dreams for our family. I was numb. I was scared of writing my own story. I was young when I got married. I was scared of getting and finding a journalism job right out of college. I was scared of living life on my own.
I was trying to stuff myself in a mold that I didn’t fit in -writing what I thought was supposed to be my story…the supposed perfect suburban lifestyle, three kids, stay at home mom, successful husband. I didn’t know how to write my own story.
Now I know. No more mommy martyr. No more thoughts, “I can’t do this on my own.” I have to do it on my own. I cried out to God for help and he responded. I got my dream career, and now I’m writing my story.
I have nicknamed my 3 children “my sunshines”. My “sunshines” and I make every day an adventure. I am determined to live a life I love to the fullest! I keep this quote from Maya Angelou on my fridge to remind me of this,
“Life is pure adventure…the sooner we realize that we are able to treat life as art.” –
If life hasn’t turned out like you planned, welcome to the club! It’s not the way it was supposed to be, but it’s the way it is, so let’s make the best of it. It’s time to stop letting your circumstances in life limit you from your own dreams and writing your own story.
Time to paint your life adventure with brighter colors, and less sensible shoes!