Keep On Keeping On

 

I’m discovering adult life. It’s strange it took me until I was 36 to figure this out. I’m admittedly a little slow and live much of life in hopes and maybe’s and awake dreaming. The unfortunate side effect of this is that reality takes a little while to land, it has to circle a few times.

I think, we all come to a point where we realize that all this hardship and struggle is a part of life and if we want to get better at ‘adulting’, we have to face it head on and with undaunted courage, even if we cry a bit along the way.

So hang in there with me as I vomit up all my “bad”. I promise there’s a “Light at The End of The Tunnel” as Shel Silverstein put it.

For me, growing up/adulting,  meant leaving friends behind. Some, I realized, weren’t my friends at all, which was a hard place to come to. I put too much stock into good time friends and relationships that had long since died on the vine.

My husband and I sold/gave our half of our business to our business partner, who had been a good friend at one point. Like so many partnerships, it tore our friendship apart. It was 4 years of trying to make something work. Sometimes, no matter how hard you work to make something unify or come together, it just doesn’t. That’s it, it doesn’t. I have never been divorced but this was as close as I want to get to that.

During all this, my dad died. He was….holding so much for all of us and none of us knew how sick he felt. You don’t get to say goodbye sometimes, and when my dad died I couldn’t remember the last conversation we had. But I did have a saved voicemail from him when he and my mom had made an impromptu visit to the V.A. in Iowa City. He was tired and you could hear his exhaustion in the call, he assured me he was fine. The voicemail was from 2 months before he died. It broke my heart to hear it again but it was a weird unexpected life line to him, until the bastards at Verizon erased it when they updated their voicemail system. Hashtag #Insensitiveassholes.

Also in the last 4 years, my daughter had a total spinal fusion from her shoulders to her hips. I found myself having to comfort my daughter and assure her that things would be fine, when I had no experience with surgery at all. I’m terrified of it in fact. What do you say to your child when they are facing something that you can’t even relate to? You say the same thing you would say even if you had gone through it… You say “It’s going to be okay”. Because what else is there? We were fortunate to get hooked up with the Shriners Children’s Hospital in Chicago. I can’t say enough, they were and continue to be amazing.

The light at the end of the tunnel is coming, I promise….but first….

I was diagnosed with the invisible disease that makes me tired, cloudy headed and physically hurts for no damn good reason. Most days I function well and then there are days like the past week where I feel like I’m unable to pull myself up. Everything feels like an effort including washing my hair. I feel 80 and I’m not even 40. What the hell genetics?? Hashtag #wtf.

Finally ( aren’t you glad?), we moved from Illinois in July to St. Louis with the intent to open up shop there. Through a series of crazy and unexpected events, we didn’t. We instead moved home to New Orleans in September. Now we are working for other people, still with the goal to own our own place again in the (hopefully) near future.

So what’s the point here Maggie? There isn’t one. Only to say, we all go through shit. Sometimes mine stinks more than yours and other times yours wreaks and out stinks us all. The world isn’t out to get us. Things just happen, not for a reason, the universe just unfolds as it does and we the tiny humans are here to experience all the ups, downs, sideways.  Hashtag #Yayus.

So, back to the Light at the end of the tunnel….

I’m reminded of an old T-shirt I saw once as a kid that read, “What light? I’m still looking for the tunnel”. Hashtag #Cheesypizza.

It often feels heavy when life seems to beat you about your head and body. However, In all the ‘bad’, there is good. For me this has meant that I have learned a lot about myself. Some not so great things that I am working to change, and also I found some confidence that was hiding out, just waiting to be noticed. I didn’t have to pay for my daughters surgery, which was a miracle in itself. Through my dad dying, I realized how much I took for granted. I’d like to say that I don’t miss a moment to be here for all my peeps, but that’s not true. Sometimes I’m not, but I am more aware and working once again to improve. I’ve learned to take things slow and choose my friends wisely. I learned through my failed partnership, what I should do differently the next time we open up shop. I learned just how strong a person can be in the face of uncertainty, my daughter showed me that, and it gives me courage. Even though St. Louis didn’t work out it gave us the opportunity to hang out with some of our best friends and get to know some other folks better. It also was apart of the path the led us home. Currently, I am  learning that nothing ever happens in the time frame you want it to, may as well enjoy whatever ride you’re on now.

The light at the end of the tunnel here, is the experiences themselves and what you do with them. Hashtag #easiersaidthandone. True, true. I’m no sage. I’m not wise, at best I’m learning to fall gracefully and land at on my ass and not my face. Landing on my feet will come in time. My encouragement to anyone going through their own personal Vietnam, keep going, find the little things, mark your progress as a person, not your financial value, the latter could change at the drop of a hat and has nothing to do with who you are.

#Keepgoing. or as AC/DC put it, Ride ON.