In my first blog post I want to tell you a little bit about my story. It explains why I am doing what I’m doing and why I have a heart for those of you still struggling through the places I’ve already walked. If any of what I say below resonates with you, please do not hesitate to reach out. I love connecting with other women who are looking to level up and create a big, beautiful life. Much love to you!
I grew up in a big family where having kids was a given. My dad is the youngest of eleven; I am the second of five girls. Yes, the assumption was that having kids was part of life. Some years ago I said to my baby sister, “It’s so great that you found your person at such a young age and already have kids.” She looked at me and, without hesitation, said, “Well, doesn’t everyone?” Well, not this everyone, not me. For many, her response is a natural response, unless you have no children and desperately wanted them. And, at that time, through my filter of childlessness, what I heard was “you are abnormal.”
I never intended for things to go this way, I never intended to be “abnormal.” I married at 27, tried to have kids in my early 30’s, did everything “right.” My plans came to a grinding halt when my husband had an affair and revealed he was a sex addict. I was willing to walk with him in the struggle, as long as we were both serious about recovery. Three years of therapy and many recovery groups later, we ended up in a worse place. That’s when I realized he was a better liar than I could fathom. I was in too deep to see reality and too scared to listen to my gut. It took my best friend asking, “What are you doing?” to wake me up. I had lost sight of who I was, as photographs from that time reveal.
After my divorce, coming out of combat, so to speak, the reality of my life hit. I was 36, no husband and childless. I still had hope, right? I was young enough. Then six years in, a few serious relationships later, at 42, my body shut down. I was flung into early menopause. That was the day hope died. I didn’t choose early menopause, my body did, my biology did, my genetics did. I was the victim.
That is when I dug deeply into working through the intense grief and pain that I walked in daily, that debilitated my life. In hindsight, I am so grateful I did. But, let’s be real, some moments the pain was so intense that I wasn’t sure how I would get through. It has been no small feat getting to the place where I no longer relate to my childlessness as something that makes me “abnormal.” In fact, my journey to creating my now full, purposeful life evolved through a slow step-by-step series of choices over the course of many years.
I call them my years of tears. So many things to cry about, lots of moments in the fetal position, so many conversations with therapists and friends, constantly grasping for anything that would give me hope, a vision to walk toward. It took a village, a village of my own making to move through it all.
- When the pain was overwhelming and I didn’t know how I would do the next moment, my neighbor would come over and be with me, just be.
- When I was stuck in a foundational belief that I was defective, I found support through the combined compassion of two therapists and my holistic doctor.
- When I kept returning to a relationship that didn’t work, the Hoffman Process unhooked me to the point I never cried another tear.
- When I couldn’t function consistently at work, the most generous co-worker would take me aside and do Family Systems therapy with me (for real).
- Not to mention all of the therapists and healers who held my hand and helped me walk a little taller each time
So, yes, I’ve been around the block, or many blocks, so to speak, when it comes to pursuing my healing. And I’ve needed ALL of it.
I saw a t-shirt once that said…
Choose, Choose Again, and Again
That’s the bottom line: I kept choosing when the moment seemed so dark that I didn’t see a way out, when all I could do was believe there had to be another lens to look through. Choosing one thing at a time, one step at a time, cumulatively cleared the space for joy to enter and to empower me to see the choices available to me.
And that is how I now look at my childless life – choosing joy again and again, choosing to let myself be where I am when I get down about it, feeling through it all, and choosing to believe that I am whole and beautiful as a woman, just as I am.
This mindset opened up space and freed up energy to start creating a blueprint for the life I now live: a life that has included leaving my corporate career twice to run my own business, to explore the world through travel, to start my own coaching business, to keep taking care of myself through my Crossfit, to create a life that, at the end of the day, will be one where I know I’ve been true to myself and given back to the world the same compassion and healing I have received.
I now approach my life from the perspective that I get to choose how I want it to go. From that mindset, I have created greater inner joy, self-trust, and self-acceptance – all of which continue to grow as I evolve in this world and expand my ability to be me…and that is enough.