Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m not a fan of ‘Hallmark holidays’ in general, but no one wants to read about my grievance with a holiday created to celebrate couples without a holiday to celebrate being single…
So instead, I’m going to blog about my unique appreciation for this day, instead.
Four years ago today, I was living out in Tennessee. I had really looked forward to moving there in 2013, but shortly after I moved, a group of “friends” I thought I had purposely screwed me over on a project I had started, hacked my email, stole from me, etc — and that event had triggered my struggles with depression. Depression sucks on so many levels, and it feeds on itself because when you’re depressed, you tend to allow other aspects of your life fall apart, but also because you’re depressed, you have no motivation or ability to better your situation, either. It didn’t help that my roommate had a mess of personal struggles of her own, and although I had really needed her friendship, loyalty, and support, our relationship to one another just wasn’t great on so many levels.
On Valentine’s Day in 2015, we got into a big fight (I don’t even remember what it was about) but it dawned on me how incredibly apathetic I was to it; I just didn’t give a rat’s ass about her “drama” or about anything, really. Something changed for me in that moment. I finally realized that a great deal of my struggles related to how toxic our friendship / living situation was.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to blame her… she did and said some extremely messed up and hurtful things to me during the year and a half that we lived together, but I know I did and said hurtful things, as well. Neither one of us were in a good place at the time, but continuing to be around each other did nothing to help us out of our struggles, either. We were not uplifting to each other, we just frustrated each other and brought each other down.
Somehow, that fight really just woke me up, and I realized that if I didn’t get my ass out of that situation, I was never going to move past other struggles I was having, as well. First and foremost, get yourself out of a toxic environment, then sort out the rest. I packed up all of my stuff and left within the next week. Since it was such a snap decision, I rented a hotel room in Downtown Nashville for a few weeks to figure out what I wanted to do next. I debated staying in Nashville, but a crazy-awesome opportunity literally fell into my lap through coincidence and good timing, so I decided to head back to Seattle with my dog and work for a new non-profit rescue. Animals have always been a HUGE passion of mine, and I felt like if I was doing something I actually cared about, that would be a good start toward self-healing from the past and finding some peace in my life.
Four years later, I’m still with the rescue. One passion fulfilled.
I have ALWAYS had a huge love for horses. In my adult life, I have always missed having a horse of my own like I did when I was a teenager. Last year, I rescued a horse that was one day away from being sent to slaughter for a back injury that apparently no one else wanted to take the time to rehabilitate him from. He is WONDERFUL, so sweet, very willing, and pure joy.
I always wanted to be an author. I’d written novels before in the past, but mostly for myself. Four years after I came back to Seattle now, I have three books published in a series, three more in the series that I’m working on, and a new novella series in the works as well.
I’m not sure where I’d be in life if that “fight” between my roommate and I on Valentine’s Day 2015 hadn’t happened. I can’t really explain why it was such a ‘wake up call’ for me, but it was. I just remember thinking, “This is NOT the life I want. This is NOT the life that I deserve. I deserve better than this.” But what I learned is that fate and karma will eventually help you out, but you have to help yourself out, too. You have to choose to turn your back on negativity. Sometimes you have to let go of a stubborn notion of what you think will make you happy and let life guide you a little bit. In the past I had a bad habit of trying to force things to happen a certain way in my life. Such as, “THIS will make me happy, so damn it, even though there are so many people / situations trying to block my path, I’M GOING TO TRY AND BARREL THROUGH ANYWAY.” I suppose there are some situation in which you really should fight against adversity, but sometimes you might be hitting road blocks because that’s not a road you’re meant to go down. Learning when to fight, and when to let go, is one of the most difficult things to figure out sometimes.
I’m grateful for where I am in life right now. I have a wonderful group of friends who share my values when it comes to compassion and loyalty. I consciously choose to be single and to not date because one of the promises I made to myself when I walked away form Nashville was to never again put myself in a position where I am depending on another person in any way for any reason. Not physically, financially, emotionally, or otherwise. Some people may consider that extreme, but I am happier and healthier without any type of codependence in my life. There’s reasons for that, but they’re not relevant to this blog entry.
The moral of this little blurb is that while many couples are celebrating each other and their relationships this Valentine’s Day, I’m taking a bit of time to celebrate MYSELF. Life isn’t perfect. There are always going to be daily frustrations, things that I wish were different, people that make choices I just can’t understand or agree with. But the biggest thing is that I’m at peace with Myself. I’m confident about the choices I make. I don’t allow my choices to depend on the choices and actions of others anymore. I’ve learned to truly stand on my own two feet in every way. I celebrate ME. Happy Valentine’s Day, Self. You deserve it!