A Year of Change

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything.  This isn’t going to be a funny post, it’s me just needing to get some things out and not cry, turning into a blubbery mess anymore. Hopefully the people who need to see it, will. When I originally started my blog, I had no idea what I’d even write about. One of my friends, Moscato Mom, helped me get it started and I figured I’d just ramble on about traveling, crazy thoughts and maybe one day, I’d have a few readers and get to write about cool products and places like she does. I haven’t made time to focus on it though. I stopped writing, stopped painting, stopped maintaining friendships, stopped doing anything that didn’t have to do with work, teaching and trying to gain back some kind of balance between those things and trying to be the wife and mother my family deserves. I’d lost complete control and I still struggle with it all, but I’m really trying.

The past year has been one of change. Like every year in a person’s life, there have been days of pure joy, mixed with days of stress and sadness. It’s also been a year of self improvement and successes, mixed with feelings of failure. The biggest change has been that Sheldon started going to church with Maddie and I. His Transformation Church Testimony explains how it happened. Life isn’t perfect and we are still taking this all one day at a time, but we’re learning more about each other and ourselves in the process. He began playing drums with the Worship Team on Easter and after the services, we were both baptized. Strangely enough, I was the one who couldn’t decide if I was ready to go through with it that day or not. I didn’t want to do it just because a big group of people were and it seemed like the right thing to do. After we talked to the Pastor I realized that it was like our wedding. Yes, there were other people there, but the fact was that it was happening between the two of us and God. Not them. I then thought of the baptism as the same concept. I needed a fresh start. For me, it was the first page of a new chapter in our life together as well. We celebrated our 20 year anniversary in May. Church and anything to do with church or religion was just not something that had been part of our lives. It was never discussed or talked badly about, it was just a nonexistent aspect of our marriage.  I’d always wanted to be the family that went to church together. the kind I always looked around and saw, with the husband’s arm around his wife. I’d never had that as a kid and I’d wanted it for mine but because he was agnostic, I’d come to terms with the fact that it would never happen a long time ago. I truly just wanted him to be happy and find peace in his heart. Somehow, some way.  I remember the day he finished reading my post about the triathlon. He said that the overall tone came across as me searching for something. I guess I was. I never paid attention to the empty feeling I couldn’t get rid of, so unknowingly, I was needing to find some peace as well.

Even though going back to church was a bigger step for him than it was for me, it has definitely been a learning process. I was raised in a Methodist church, went to a Lutheran grade/middle school, a Catholic high school, and most of my family is Southern Baptist. All I knew growing up were memorized prayers that didn’t mean much because they were said out of habit, Bible stories that sometimes sounded crazy and made no sense, many hypocritical Christians who showed more judgement than love and truthfully, I only went back to church because my daughter asked me to take her. I believed in God. I knew in my heart that someone had to create the world around us and the miracle of life. I just had a hard time understanding how we were right and the rest of the world was wrong. I still don’t know if that’s the truth. Nobody does, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather believe, live a happy life that helps others than not have anything to lean on and trust, feeling sad and empty inside.

 

11091305_432042530290326_7322505090127990660_nPart of what I’ve learned in all of this is that I’ve held on to hurt and anger for far too long and I’ve got to let it go and move on. I feel like I owe an apology to many people because I haven’t truly been able to do this. I thought I was being a great actress and smiling through the pain, but it’s been brought to my attention that I have not. I will be 40 in March and while I don’t feel like that is even possible, I know for a fact that I am way too old for high school drama. I don’t have time or the patience to deal with pettiness. There are too many people in my life going through unimaginable hardships right now, that I just can’t deal with someone being mad over a missed Facebook post. I will be the first to admit, I haven’t been a very good friend to many people lately.  I’ve forgotten birthdays, missed life events and apparently, ignored people whether in person, not commented on said Facebook posts-whatever the case may be. I was also told at times, I come off as cold and stand-offish. I haven’t purposefully done any of that, but truthfully-in a room full of people I’ve felt completely alone and left behind. I had a dream crushed over a year ago and I haven’t been able to get over it, no matter how hard I’ve tried. People who I loved basically told me I didn’t have what it took to be successful and dropped me like a bad habit. It hurt and I’ve built up a wall again. I’ve had hostile feelings that I didn’t even know were there until a recent phone call. I’d let loneliness and jealousy take over and didn’t realize it.

I used to trust people with my whole heart. To the point of being a door mat. Then I had someone take that trust and use it to completely shatter me years ago and I’d never really gotten over it. Some friendships are toxic. Toxic to your health, both mentally and physically, toxic to your marriage and to your family. That one was. I let it consume me for a long time. To the point that it affected every single relationship in my life. I became jealous, suspicious of everyone’s motives and my marriage suffered because of it. I was no longer a happy person. I was angry and hurt all the time, and automatically threw up walls so I wouldn’t get hurt again. I did everything in my power to hold on tight to what I had and I ended up pushing people I loved farther and farther away. I finally let myself trust again and allowed a group of friends see a very personal side of me that few ever have besides my husband. When those friendships faded away, I somehow felt that same betrayal, so I guess subconsciously I was acting out on these hurt feelings. Through all of this, I now know that it has all happened for a reason. If my dream had come true at the time, I wouldn’t have met some of the people I’ve met and my classes wouldn’t be serving a bigger purpose than I’d ever thought possible.

Life is short. I’ve had this reality check many times over the past couple months. One minute life is going great and the next, a doctor is giving you or a loved one just a few months to live. Treasure the people in your lives. The phone works both ways. Don’t let pride, being stubborn, differences of opinion, silly arguments over politics that nobody has control over or ridiculous Facebook posts make you lose a friendship or relationship with a loved one. Apologize and mend the fences before you don’t get a chance to.

If you are reading this and you are one of the people I’ve offended or hurt somehow,  I am truly sorry and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me someday.

Click here to help the Livingston Family

 

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Comments

  1. anya says

    I love u very much. My life has been crazy. I have been very distance from everyone. One i have taken church out of my life. I let the wrong person un my life and run my life and control me and pick my friends and it was non of them and i couldn’t do any of my classes i love togo to and be with yall. Yes it is my fault. I sent him o. His way. And he wont be back in my life. I will be back on track and back with my friends trust me on all this. I love yall. I may not have the money to do what yall do but i love yall and i will be at yalls classes again.

  2. Jeanne Harris says

    I know that we do not know each other well, but I found your post to be truly moving. I believe we all live through many trials and tribulations as we go about our day of trying to become loving, caring, nurturing, and just down right better people as we trip and stumble along. Moving with awareness. Being in the moment is where I like to be. Hope to see you soon. Travel with your torch high, it keeps your path well lit. Many blessings to you.

  3. LynseY says

    I love you and think you are one of the most loving, caring women I have ever met. Life happens in seasons – and this summer has been one of the busiest (and sometimes saddest) for just about everyone. You bring joy to so many and bring people together. Never forget the power that you have had in people’s lives. We probably do not tell you thank you near enough.

  4. Kelli says

    Ya know, I really believe me and you are two peas in a pod. So many times, I’ll read what you write, whether it be here or Facebook, and I think I wrote it. I needed this. Whether or not I want to believe it, I needed it. I’m not a good friend. I’m too wrapped up in my own misery and depression. I’m not a good sibling. I’m too wrapped up in my anger. I think YOU are amazing. You bring so much joy into my life. You make so many women happy! I’ll say an extra prayer for you tonight. Love you!

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