A Decade of Growth
Happy Thanksgiving week!! What a week it has been for me and it’s only Monday night, ha!
A couple days ago I decided to join in on the decade challenge that has been buzzing around social media. When I was looking for pictures it dawned on me that 10 years ago I was a young, new bride and today I am a newly divorced mother of 3. What a difference a decade can truly make.
The post I shared was pretty personal but also something I really wanted to share for anyone going through what I did. Here is what I shared…
*This post is pretty personal. I’ve questioned how much to reveal and how much to keep personal so just know that there is more to the story (good and bad) but that if you ever feel so down and lost message me please! Don’t suffer in silence.
Start of the decade to the end. And it’s pretty poetic that I started it getting married and ending it being divorced 🤦🏻♀️ these two photos are taken 10 years apart almost to the day. The girl on the left was so young and naive and had no clue what it meant to know or love herself and be truly happy. The girl on the right worked her butt off to be in the best place she’s ever been in her life. Living a life with true purpose and intention. It’s been a long, devastating, amazing, emotional, crazy road and I have no regrets. Since that first picture I’ve lost my parents, a husband, an awful family member who i was warned about to not trust and so much emotional baggage. I’ve gained three incredible children, better relationships with my friends and family and the knowledge of what I truly want in this life and don’t plan on ever settling again. Thanking God for this last year and all it taught me. If you ever hit rock bottom emotionally just know the only way to go is up. It’s not easy but it’s worth it.
The response I got from this post on Facebook and Instagram shocked me. I didn’t really think much of it when I posted it but when people started commenting such encouraging words and positivity about my personality it made me realize what a toll those 10 years had taken on me. My friend told me earlier tonight “you don’t even realize how you are. You are like sunshine and everyone wants to be around sunshine.” While I have found a lot of myself this past year I realize I still struggle with believing what others comment or say about me because of the damage that was done when my ex husband left me. It is very eye opening to break down and say I feel like I am damaged and who is going to want me? Who is going to want a person who their own husband didn’t want? So even though I have worked my butt off healing and becoming the person I never could have imagined I would have been throughout my marriage I still have this part of me that truly feels like damaged good and broken. And then there are moments that pop up and almost validate that feeling and it’s heart wrenching. Tonight I had the biggest eye opener of it through a couple things that happened between last night and tonight. But thank God for my amazing sister and friend who I happened to be talking to and they made me realize that it hurts but it can only get better.
I also realized I sometimes don’t value myself and what I deserve and then they are there to say “Girl, don’t you dare give up. Don’t you dare think this is what you deserve.” It has been a rough couple of days. I had such an incredible weekend and day with my kids, who are literally the biggest blessings in my life and they make it all worth it. Even when the rug is ripped out from under you and your heart sinks they are there to give the best hugs and smile their innocent, sweet, perfect smiles and make things a little bit better even if you still feel heartbroken. And I know that it could be so much worse and it has been and I have so much more than I could have ever imagined or dreamed of.
I have backed off from blogging a lot because I sometimes feel these negative or difficult feelings are hard to share. I don’t want pity and I don’t want anyone to feel the need to comfort me. I know who I can turn to when I need that and I have had to really learn to open myself up to those people because I have always struggled with showing any emotions outside of being happy and pleasant or “perfect”. I have had to learn to protect myself and be open with my feelings and I have learned that it has caused some relationships to end and others to become so much better than I ever imagined. I have to remind myself (or my sister, friends and therapist have to remind me) that if someone can’t handle me being anything other than happy go lucky than it’s not the right relationship whether that is a friendship, intimate relationship or family. I spent a good chunk of my life hiding my negative feelings to protect others while internally struggling. This is such a personal thing to share, something I didn’t know I did until my ex husband left. Something my best friend, Erin, said to me when I first broke down about how depressed I was. She said “Brenna, you need to start standing up for yourself and letting people know how you feel and not allow them to step all over you.” It is something that didn’t come natural to me and now that I have worked so hard to set boundaries and express myself I realized how much more amazing relationships can be. But also how much more difficult they can be when they end because I started to allow people in and become vulnerable. Not something I ever did easily.
So to kind of close up on this insanely scatter brained, long winded post I just want to share that we all are a little broken but those who really want to be in your life and care about you will be. Something my sister had to remind me of tonight. Something my Dad told her and something I am so grateful I get to hear from her because it was like having a piece of my Dad there again. This journey in life isn’t easy. It is painful and difficult but that just makes the moments when the ones you love are there cheering you on, loving on you at the most difficult times so much more amazing. The times when you can laugh and feel like these are my people, those are what make it all worth it. I am sensitive and emotional and if you had known me when I was younger I was the girl who never cried. Shoutout to Maggie and I watching A Walk to Remember and being the only person not crying in the theater! Or that time I laughed during Titanic when everyone was frozen or my Dad being shocked I wasn’t crying at the end of the Notebook. I just didn’t allow myself cry. But I would take being a total cry baby and actually feeling these feelings and healing and growing than being that girl who had the most insane wall up that I didn’t let many people in.
And if you made it this far you are a rockstar!