Lately when I mount my elliptical machine I’ve also got my fingers poised to press play on my new, totally binge-worthy show, A million little things. However, most days are a struggle to get it to play. Blame the cloud, the internet speed, my outdated iPad, or the mesh wifi I paid a pretty penny for, but sometimes it just won’t play.
Seriously though… it can’t possibly be my router or wifi devices as they really or top of the line!
Anyway, today no matter what I tried I continued to get that same error “we are having a problem playing this…” or whatever. So I said effff this, I’m going back to basics. And put on my “new gear shifter” playlist from iTunes instead.
I thought I might double down and write at the same time, just like the good ole days, but I found myself just thinking instead. My mind went bonkers with thoughts all the way from five years ago and last week. I kept jumping from one topic to the next and thinking about how all roads have led me to this moment.
Each decision I’ve made in the past five (going on 6) years has led to the next.
In 2015 I bought a house that my significant other did not agree with and that led to our eventual breakup. Despite how much we loved each other, we wanted different things from life, and I was tired of waiting for change.
In 2016 that breakup led to the decimation of my heart and I put everything I had into work to try and cope, but it was unhealthy. I spiraled toward burnout.
In 2017 that spiral led to my making the decision to take 6 months off work to get my mind right. I quit my job and gifted myself and my children with more time for us. I put my health first, followed by working on being a better parent. Plus we went on not one, but two bad-ass vacations that were the best!
One of those vacations was to the Pacific North West where we explored Portland for a day, Seattle for a day, and spent the rest driving up and down the coast. On the morning of our last day we were at the airport Holiday Inn Express and while my kids were still sleeping I was doing this thing I do, treadmill-music-thinking-writing. I had an epiphany to keep doing something for myself even when I eventually had to go back to work. I made the decision that day to apply for grad school and learn more about one of my lifelong passions, poetry.
In 2018 I did exactly that. I started at a new company that would allow me to work 25 hours a week doing something I love with amazing people AND I got accepted into the Mfa program at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
2018 was also the year I met the person I was meant to be with. My love, my partner, my best friend. I would not have been in the right headspace to begin dating seriously again without those 6 months off and the support of some really good friends.
Over the course of the two years that followed, that blossomed, the job was good, and I was killing it in the MFA. Everything was going in the right direction which led to merging households and in early 2020, marriage. It was just before the pandemic hit the US and it was just early enough for me to squeeze in that Hawaii honeymoon I’d always dreamed of.
I don’t think I need to lay out what happened after that because everyone lived that Coronavirus life in their own way. Needless to say I didn’t expect the first two years of marriage to be like that, but the Universe has its own plan.
And that’s kind of my point. The Universe may or may not have some grand design but the last five years definitely leads me to believe that everything happens for a reason and whatever we endure, it’s meant to force us to grow in a particular direction. Yes.. it all started with me making some big decisions, but I never thought about it that way until well after the fact.
I was just doing what I needed not just to survive but to thrive. And thrive I have.
Look at me now! Wife and mother of 4, MFA graduate, published author with my first book released into the wild, and Editor of my own nonprofit lit mag. Wowza! How’s that for change??!!
It still amazes me all the time. I often have that Talking Heads song pop into my head when I think about all this… Once in a lifetime.
Like how can this possibly be my beautiful life??
… And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, “Well, how did I get here?”…
Yeah… that about sums it up. What a great song!! (My kids would say, “who are the Talking Heads?” 😂)
As of late, most of my days are pretty full of all the effort required to maintain that “wow, look at me now” life. Even with my husband away for the week, there’s been no end to the bustle. It’s Saturday and the to-do list is calling my name. No rest for the wicked I guess.
Cheers to sharing the wheel,