Updated: Jul 2, 2019
A Story Of Owning Your Own Happiness
Even When Things Turn Upside Down
When your world is suddenly turned upside down it often seems extremely unfair. But as I have found, life is unfair in the most ironic ways at the most inconvenient of times. When it feels like you have been hit by a bus my challenge to you is this…how can you take the absolute lowest, “Dear Lord what have you given me now” moments guide you? How do you take that knockout punch and let it give you the tools you will need to make that experience into one of the highest points in your life? I happen to have a few thousand unfortunate examples of times like these, so let me just start with one that although terrifying and definitely inconvenient changed my world is so many special ways. This one time in 1999, I became pregnant. This in and of itself should have been an amazing time of wonder and joy. But we are going to add some external factors which were manifesting themselves at the same time to spice up this otherwise normal story just a bit. In 1997, I married a very charismatic man who I was convinced held the keys to all of my future happiness. Well, actually at the time I thought he was perhaps a few keys short, or perhaps the keyring had fallen down a sewer and I was trying to fish it out in my gigantic puffy white wedding gown. After all, my mom had planned an enormous wedding, with people flying in from all around the country so they could tell me that they hadn’t seen me since I was, “this big” and then oddly give me money. So, there I was with a wire coat hanger desperately reaching for those keys in the sewer while wearing white, but at least it wasn’t after Labor Day. The wedding was indeed beautiful, but be careful folks as after a wedding you are married. Following our marriage, I quit my fantastic job at Walmart Pharmacy (which could and probably should be a blog post within itself) and went to school full time to pursue a dream that I never thought I actually had, to become a Teacher of Special Needs Children. Side note, small children and animals love me adults are about 50/50. I am a syllabus girl and the University of South Florida gave my one and I followed it to a T. School 4 days a week an hour away from home and so I gave it my all and spent a lot of time away from home. When newly married to the man who you suspect may not have all of the keys to your happiness, this schedule was probably not the best idea for the marriage, but overall it was what was best for me. Fast forward to my teaching internship, and all of the things that they don’t actually tell you in teacher college. Teaching in general, not to mention teaching children with special needs is a lot like building a plane while it is flying and everyone is yelling, bleeding, or picking their nose. It would be helpful if you could sprout tentacles like an octopus, as there is a lot of curriculum to cover at the same time as the rest of the ongoing shenanigans. I have a point trust me, so during this internship in a 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classroom, we had to watch a movie for Human Growth and Development about the birds and the bees. I know super awkward, but awkward is also one of my specialties. This movie really got me thinking about when my last cycle was and I could not really remember, so just as a precaution I bought a pregnancy test on my way home. After performing the test and seeing a shocking plus sign, I immediately went back out and bought 2 more 2 packs, that’s right I bought 4 more and I will be damned if they didn’t all keep coming back positive. This was on a Friday readers, but let’s back up to the previous Wednesday. My husband had asked me to take a walk with him and I thought this was super sweet because we had rarely had time together these days. But sweet it was not, as on this walk he confessed to me that he had been having an affair for the entire two years our marriage. That my friends explain the five pregnancy tests two days later! I was clearly and soundly in the upside down, and the world looked very dark. I was married and was just about to grab my bachelor’s degree and embark on my career. A family had been our agreed upon next step and I had done all of the steps correctly, but here I was rocking on the couch the only thing missing was a straight jacket. The announcement of our situation did not go very well with the supposed keeper of the keys, as he said that the way to go would be an abortion. This led to more time rocking on the couch after which, I made him a counter offer that he could go be with his “friend” and live happily ever after, and I would go live with my parents and have a beautiful baby. I can say that after this talk his tune changed and for a few years he proved that he was a much better father than he was a husband. But alas, some things cannot ultimately be fixed and I could never lead him to his own keys of happiness and so after twelve years of trying, I left our marriage. After I left, he still struggled to find any of his keys and so he left us here on Earth without him too soon. In the end, it turned out that he did indeed hold the keys to my happiness and her name is Sierra and she is beautiful and I wish he could see her shine! These years could have broken me, but they didn’t and I have had the opportunity to raise an amazing child, to remarry the true keeper of my keys, and to educate 19 year’s worth of very special children and help their families along the way. I have also been able to help other women when they have found themselves in the upside down, in fact a few times I have been their first call and I have made sure that each and every situation made them stronger.
I was recently blessed to be featured as a guest blogger on the fantastic, My Everyday Challenges Blog. Thank you so much for your encouragement Nancy!