Living Life Fully

Not too long ago I received a beautiful comment from one of my readers who was struggling with some family issues surrounding abuse. It made me realize what a long way I have come in my life, in only 35 years total. My journey toward living life fully started when I was freed at eighteen by my father who kicked me out on my 18th birthday. And I am going to share some of the pivotal moments as well as a nostalgic look back from where I am now. The journey has been long, but it has been so worth it.

Yes, it was the cruelest thing in the world to be kicked out at 18. I was a junior in high school, with no job and only a $1,000 CD as my savings. I became homeless and overnight had to begin taking care of myself in a way that I wasn’t ready to do. But looking back, 17 years later, it was the first of many steps toward breaking free of the abuse cycle. It called upon an inner core of strength that had been tested my whole life and was strong enough to handle it. Today, I look around me and I see many other young people today who are completely unprepared for life, let alone the many trials you will face along the way. My eighteen year old stepdaughter is in almost the same exact situation I was at her age yet she is completely incapable of figuring things out for herself. I realized recently that I have more than just a core of strength, but resilience and a willingness to just get it done. It’s a unique combination that includes a bullheaded refusal to be beaten by life or by anyone else.

Another pivotal moment happened shortly after that, when I realized I was not learning anything from high school. Up until that point, I had just done what I was told, and breezing through high school. It wasn’t that I was a genius but I am definitely smarter than the average. I could pass almost all my classes without studying – everything just came easily to me, with the exception of math. I was, quite frankly, bored. Fortunately my guidance counselor at my new school recognized that intelligence and encouraged me to enroll in a co-op program and computer classes. I was instantly fascinated. By the time I dropped out of high school my first week of my senior year, I had marketable skills that were heavily in demand. I took and passed my GED without even studying (I was naive enough at that time to not realize I needed to).

This set the stage for me to pursue education and learn new skills in unconventional ways.  As a result I self studied for my securities licenses and developed even more life skills in addition to a new career. My unconventional career has given me the courage to pursue an entrepreneurial career, affording significant freedom. Where my peers agonize over whether to leave their comfy desk jobs and stable pay checks, I manage to combine both which has the added benefit of giving me the variety and challenge I thrive on.

The one area I have struggled with until recently is relationships. Of all the the areas of my life, relationships have confused me the most. I have spent countless hours in therapy trying to understand people. In that process I have learned some really 

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An Update

Boy, life sure can be busy sometimes. The last two months have been hectic and filled with milestones and setbacks. I have returned to therapy in an effort to untangle some of the issues from my ex husband. Valentine’s Day I finally replaced my car with a 2011 Toyota Camry that I just love. Having a vehicle again has really helped to restore my confidence.

I’m trying desperately once again to get into some kind of routine. Somehow, managing 3 kids plus trying to have multiple careers is really hard. I have a great partner but at the same time, he’s not here a lot of the time which means just about everything falls on me: bills, groceries, child care, medical, financial. And lately, the stress has been overwhelming me to the point that I spent five days with a migraine and ended up in the ER. Fortunately, they gave me a nice “headache cocktail” and I was back on my feet the next day. Turns out, they’ve made a lot of progress with understanding migraines in the last ten years.

Everyone in the ER was very considerate – they made sure the lights were dimmed, tried to keep things quiet for me and most of all, got me meds just as soon as possible. They also gave me a CT scan to make sure nothing was wrong and thankfully that was clear. The migraine was severe enough at one point we thought I might have had a stroke. Turns out it was just the pain muddling my brain a little. I was having trouble remembering things, concentrating, and even got lost several times trying to get home.

At this point I’m under instructions from my doctors that when a headache starts, no matter how mild, I’m to immediately take pain medication. Once the pain reaches a certain level, it will require hospital intervention but if I can get to it fast enough, I can avoid another trip to the ER. So I start with a mild drug and work my way up from there. If still no relief then I call 911 again but after what happened last week, I’d really rather avoid that.

It really was a cluster. I was at home alone with the kids, who were outside playing. I reached the point that I was almost incoherent with the 911 operator (although I do remember calling), and by the time the ambulance and EMS arrived I was completely incoherent, unable to stand unassisted and had to be wheeled down the stairs. Talk about an embarrassing drama! They even had to call the police department to come watch my kids for a little while.

I am thankful that it wasn’t too serious, although at the time it felt like my head was going to split apart. In terms of pain, the first migraine was a 20 on a scale of ten. In comparison, the second migraine was a 10/10. Still bad but not nearly as scary. At this point we’ve attributed the migraines to a combination of severe stress, too much driving, and dehydration. So I’m working hard to take better care of myself in all ways physical, mental and emotional.

That starts with having a semblance of a schedule that I can stick to. And it includes writing for at least 15 minutes a day, even if it’s just doing a blog entry. So today I am starting simply with a blog post. I might try to do a little fiction writing in a bit once the kids are asleep. I have a fantasy short story I want to write for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction or Asimov’s Science Fiction. If it’s published then I hope to submit it to my favorite podcast, PodCastle. It would be my first submission under my new pen name. Hopefully the writing will go well.

I am still working on getting my real estate license and hope to take the text in the next 30 days. The sooner I can get that particular career off the ground, the better. Although I fear it may bring about its own set of problems and stresses. Like having an appropriate wardrobe. But I’ll deal with that when it gets here.

In any case, off to try and write and then maybe play a little Guild Wars 2.