Not Pretending Anymore

It’s New Year’s Eve, a time for resolutions and promises. Many of these won’t be kept. We make them in the flush of the new year because a new year brings renewed hope. Hope that this new year can be different, that we can change, that the world can change, that life doesn’t have to be so crappy. So many of these resolutions fizzle out or never get started. I think this is because we forget what hard work it is to change, to be different. Change doesn’t dance up to your door, knock and say “Hi! I hear you need a change!”  hand us a big gift wrapped box with a pretty bow and dance away to the next house. No, we have to accept that we are in charge of our own lives and it takes work. Exhausting, hard work that doesn’t always yield the desired results. So why the F*** do we even bother? Hmmmm…good question. I think I’ve been asking myself this question for most of my life. I have asked it nearly everyday for the last 4 years. In 2011 the new year brought me loss. I lost my husband, my grandmother and my dad in the first 6 months of that horrid New Year. Since then I have felt angry, sad, and hopeless. After awhile people don’t like to hear about how horrible you feel, they want you to be who you were so they can feel ok about continuing with their lives. I was so angry at these people. The truth is they had lives to live and I couldn’t ask them to stop living and join me in my little bubble of anger and depression. I decided, as many grieving people do, to put on a mask and pretend that I was getting better, that I was happy. It worked and for the last four years I have lived in a world of make-believe where everything is peachy keen jelly bean 🙂 Every now and again I could let the mask fall and show my true feelings. Hey it’s how life goes after loss right? I kept pretending and life moved forward.

Now I know this not what you want to hear on the Eve of a promising New Year, so let me assure you that this story has a happy ending, or maybe I should call it a hopeful beginning.

A few short months ago I realized somehow I let go of the anger. I was so tired of being angry with everything. My situation, failures, people, everything. Being angry is exhausting! After Justin(my husband) passed I had a tattoo done on my wrist. It reads “You Make Your Own”. It was something he used to say, mostly for himself I think. I wanted to remember what those words meant. You make your own happiness, your own anger, your own hopeful or hopelessness, your own sadness. How you see life and what you do with it is your choice. Those choices may sometimes be hindered by others or situations beyond your control. This is when you need to remember the most that you make your own, because while you may not have control over the situation, you do have control over how you respond to the situation or the person. I have had this tattoo for nearly 4 years, I had heard this said for nearly eight years. One would think that I would be able to remember this important part of living life. I forgot for a time. Something happened in the years of pretending to be ok. I woke up one morning and understood that I wasn’t pretending anymore. I felt suddenly free and truly happy! I wasn’t just pretending, no more make-believe:) I really am happy. No more anger, sadness, hopelessness, just happy. For the first time in a long while I have hope for the New Year. I understand that I will feel anger and sadness when different situations pop up, but I also know that those feelings are under my control not someone else’s. I will be able to let them go.

For the first time in my life I realize that I love me, and I am ok with my life and the ups and downs and twists and turns. I know that things could be better, but I also know they could be far worse. So…I choose to be ok, I choose to be happy:)


Here’s to a Hopeful New Year! May all of yours be wonderful!


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