ABOUT JOURNEY WELL
In 2015, I ended my 15-year marriage and re-entered the professional world after being a stay-at-home mom for more than a decade. To say this was a pivot in my life is an understatement. I was determined to create a new life where my children and I felt cared for, stable, and whole.
If there is one word that describes that time in my life, it’s change. It was abundant! I had to change nearly every aspect of my life to achieve the life I desired.
Rather than fight it, I learned to lean in and welcome the opportunities change presented. I developed a growth mindset, increased my emotional intelligence, and began to flourish. After obtaining my certification in Applied Positive Psychology and becoming an Everything DiSC Certified Practitioner, I now help others develop and expand their self-awareness, self-compassion, and become a change agent in their own lives.
It was Super Bowl Sunday – February 5, 2012. As a stay-at-home mom of three young children (aged 8, 6, and 4 at the time), I was preparing a feast of finger foods and activities in hopes of creating a celebration and entertaining my young family during the big game.
There were meatballs, pigs in a blanket, a plethora of dips, and an opportunity to place bets on parts of the game. Things like the length of the national anthem, what would happen during the halftime show, and what color Gatorade would get dumped on the winning coach after the game. All in hopes of keeping my kids engaged.
Super Bowl Sunday was a tradition in our house. One my then-husband and I created together and one we all looked forward to. Both sports fans, together we enjoyed watching and attending big sporting events throughout our decade-plus marriage. And this Super Bowl Sunday felt extra special because the game was being held in our hometown.
That week, my family visited a few of the fan-centered activities in the city and tried to take in as much of the excitement as possible. The city was buzzing with energy and enthusiasm about hosting this larger-than-life event. It was sure to be an event to remember!
But that year, our celebration became the beginning of the end. The first step of a journey I never thought I would take.
I won’t share the details, but the evening was shattered into a million pieces. Instead of pigging out on appetizers, laughing, and celebrating with my family, I called my parents to come help ensure the kids were fed and tucked into bed safely. All I could do was sit in shock, paralyzed by the thoughts swirling in my head. What would become of my life?
The next few weeks were about survival. I barely ate or slept. I was doing the bare minimum required to keep up a façade to the outside world and keep my kids safe every day. It was exhausting.
The next few months were torturous. I was full of sadness and anger and only an ounce of hope. There were lots of sleepless nights and lots of tears. Lots of anxiety and lots of therapy, too.
The next couple of years were spent desperately clinging to what my marriage had been and attempting to keep my family safe. Intact. Together. I shoved down everything I feared and furiously doubled down on what I’d known and had for the past fifteen years. I spent all of my energy resisting change.
I was controlled by my fear. I had been a stay-at-home mom since my oldest son was born and was fully dependent on my husband for financial security. I was grieving the dream and vision of my family. The years of traditions, connections, and memories.
I was scared. Could I do this life alone?
There was no lightbulb moment. No instant of knowing I couldn’t continue in my marriage. No sudden burst of faith.
But gradually, I began to trust I could do it. Alone. I could keep us afloat both financially and emotionally. I began to want more than just survival for my life. And for my kids’ lives.
I began to believe my kids and I were worth the risk. It was risky and scary to separate our family and shake up our world, but there also might be something beautiful on the other side.
I started to lean into the change of divorce and creating a new life. And all of the opportunities those changes presented.
I began taking little steps, like confiding in a friend, meeting with an attorney, and going on job interviews. After each step, I re-evaluated asking myself how I was feeling. Was this too much? Was this too fast? And maybe most importantly, did I think I could keep going?
Sometimes I paused. Other times I kept moving forward. But always checking in to find my balance and find space for whatever I was feeling and needed.
Once I began to lean in, and embrace it, a new world opened that I didn’t even know existed. I could write a book of the things I learned, gained, and even lost. Maybe someday I will. For now, I will simply say that leaning into that change allowed me to rediscover myself and in turn, enhanced every inch of my life.
I also won’t sugarcoat it. This wasn’t easy. Change is hard! Big changes like this one take work, energy, perseverance, patience, and a million other little things that sometimes you can’t prepare for and sneak up on you along the way. Progress isn’t linear and the fight against fear is ongoing.
But the reward is worth it.
The reward exceeds anything I could have dreamt of before taking that leap.
Today, I’m happy.
I’ve found deep success both professionally and personally. My kids and I are thriving. I have a healthy relationship with their dad and we co-parent well. I’m intentional about where I put my time and energy and live life with a growth mindset, believing abundance is everywhere.
Creating my own journey continues to be the opportunity of a lifetime.