“I am going to live this life for both of us. I don’t know when I am going to feel better, and I don’t know when I am going to stop crying, but I am going to live. For both of us.”
This statement came from an entry I wrote only a few short months after Nick died. For many, it may seem like a simple statement, but for me; it was a promise. It was a vow I had made to myself and to Nick to ensure my life moving forward would be grande, meaningful, and completely aligned with my soul.
Four months into my grief, which was the time I had written that entry I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, all I knew was I didn’t want to do it anymore.
I didn’t want to go back to a job that sucked my soul dry, and I no longer wanted to surround myself with many people whose values were very different and went against everything I believed in. I didn’t want to keep going through the motions and working towards an end goal that was non-existent.
When I chose to quit my job policing, it was the start of me fulfilling my desire to design my own life. The only problem was, I didn’t know what was next.
I had so many dreams, and I still do.
Becoming a psychologist, building FMR, writing and someday becoming a published author, coaching, and creating a beautiful life with my new family. I also had a dream to be a Mother, which in all honesty I never thought was going to happen after Nick died and the results of my surgery after that. I also never thought I would find myself in a relationship like this with two little girls.
I went from a grieving, jobless, widow, with no kids, to an empowered, motivated, woman in love, with two little girls to help raise and a baby boy on the way.
All in a matter of months.
So let’s talk about making plans.
I am not sure at what point on my journey I forgot that plans rarely turn out the way you planned them exactly.
Which is not always a bad thing.
Somehow I completely forgot that I had my whole life planned out once upon a time. I was going to be married. I was going to start trying to have a family with a strict fertility plan determined with the help and guidance of our surgeon. I was going to become a certified psychologist in approximately five years as I was going to be working full time alongside my education, and I was going to be debt free with Nick by the time we turned 35. We had an incredibly detailed budget, and we had no doubt it was going to be successful and afford us a life of financial comfort.
However, on February 20, 2016, all of those plans changed and I realized that neither life nor death cares about your “plan.”
I genuinely believe that life has a plan for us and although we need to play an active role in this life, we don’t always get to decide the plans, we only get to learn how to adjust our sails when it changes.
This is one of the hardest things to do. We all hate change at times.
Last night I sat at the table with Scott and tried to plan the next twelve months of my life.
That was my first mistake.
We are going to be homeless on July 1 as our lease is up and we need to find a place sufficient for our growing family. On top of that, we have no idea where we are to live come September, as we are dealing with individuals, organizations, and circumstances that are out of our control.
I never thought I would be jobless and homeless during my first pregnancy.
That was not what I had planned.
Even though Scott is very supportive and financially capable and willing to keep us from drowning, I began feeling lost.
Even though we have continued to say that whatever happens during this transfer, we will make it work; I began to feel I had failed. Like every decision I had made in the last two years was the wrong one and now I am in a situation where I have to place a lot of pressure on a man.
How did I end up here with a calculator and a pen in my hand trying to figure out how the hell I am going to get us through the next twelve months while at the same time working on my education full time, having a baby, helping raise two little girls and having no steady income?
My money was supposed to last a lot longer living in my parent’s basement with minimal bills and a very open schedule to dedicate to my studies, but this new life is very different than the one I had planned following Nick’s death.
Not bad, just different.
Here’s the thing.
Last night I remembered something.
Life isn’t comfortable, it’s not always fair, and sometimes you just have to have a good cry in the bathtub, pull up your big girl pants, and start again in the morning.
I love my life.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
I don’t care that my pregnancy was the furthest thing from planned and a complete shock. It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me and regardless of how scared I am, it is a blessing.
But remember, I too, am human and I sometimes get caught up in the ridiculous fear based chatter in my head.
In no way do I feel sorry for myself nor do I think I deserve to be less uncomfortable than anyone else, but I am human, and some days I have moments where I completely forget that life is a journey and going through ups and downs is big part of that journey.
How else will we learn and grow?
Again, I am human.
Why should my life be easier than everyone else?
Why should my plans be set in stone with no possibility for change?
Why should I have a less uncomfortable educational experience than the next person?
Who am I to have it all figured out?
The problem is, for a while, I put a lot of pressure on myself to appear as though I did have it all “figured out”, because I was given a rude awakening and I had to live life differently now.
That was my second mistake.
Just in case anyone, at any point, has thought for a minute that Meg Roberts went through a horrific tragedy and now has it all figured out because of what she learned, please remember, I am just like you, and I have no freakin clue what I am doing.
I have days where everything makes sense and is all going smoothly, and I have days where I end the evening in the bathtub, in tears, feeling like a total loser.
Some days I contemplate not sharing my blog anymore as I feel I have openly shared the good, the bad, and the ugly long enough. However, each time I share, I receive a message from at least one person (more often than not a complete stranger) saying something along the lines of, “this is exactly what I needed to read today”, and so I continue to share to show people that they are not alone.
When you find yourself in a situation where you feel like you are a total loser, because Lord knows everyone does, I want you to remember the following:
You are human.
You are not your past, and you are not your future, you are only right now.
Overthinking your past can create bouts of depression and overthinking your future will only cause you unnecessary anxiety. Live in the moment. Figure out what you can and cannot control, create a kick-ass to do list, and pray to the Universe you can get through at least a handful of your tasks before life unexpectedly changes again.
Change is not always bad, but change ALWAYS requires some kind of an adjustment. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you have to cancel or postpone a plan because of a shift in your priorities. Re-evaluating your list of “to do’s” is crucial because things are always changing.
Life is messy, uncomfortable, and beautiful all at the same time and no matter how perfect someone’s life looks on Facebook, they are just as human as you and they have off days too.
Lean in to those you love for support, because everything is a little bit easier if you have someone to confide in and walk with on the bad days. Sharing with the “right” person what is causing your grief can be the difference between feeling trapped and feeling powerful.
If you don’t have someone to share it with or would rather work through it on your own, I strongly recommend journalling. Sometimes writing it down is exactly what you need to do to really figure out what it is your thinking.
Even on your worst days, be grateful.
You may go to bed tonight and not wake up. I have met several people who know exactly what I am talking about as they have experienced waking up to their deceased loved one lying next to them, and no, these people were not in their 90’s.
If you wake up, be grateful. No matter how shitty yesterday was, you still have today, and I promise you; things will work out if you don’t give up.
I forget this all the time, and by writing this entry, I am holding myself accountable and openly reminding myself to keep my head up because worrying is useless and a waste of precious time and feeling sorry for myself is kind of silly considering how lucky I am.
Tonight I will go to sleep being thankful for the people I have met and the inspiring stories I have heard, for these are the stories that keep me strong. These are the stories that remind me that I am given one life, and I have to make the CHOICE how to live it. These stories change my perspective, and these stories make me smile.
I wrote this seven months after Nick died. One month before I was supposed to get married and just a few weeks before I was to head off on my three-week honeymoon by myself.
If I can get through that and the painful months that were to follow with that perspective and insight on CHOICE;
I can get through anything.
Sometimes however, I too forget, and I allow myself to fall apart.
I don’t stay there for long though, and neither should you.
On those really bad days, remind yourself how many bad days you have already managed to get through, and remember, this too shall pass.
Happy Hump Day everyone and remember; YOU GOT THIS.
“Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today” – Will Rogers-