During my 20s I made decisions and acted on them in mere minutes. I decided to move to San Francisco at 21 never having been there except for a job interview, and lived everyday like it was my last: parties, booze, drugs, and bands. While attending a packed bike messenger party, I met my 1st husband while making fun of him, and shockingly, that marriage officially ended in firestorm when I was 31…..after a year of looking for him to grant me a divorce. Before that divorce was final (remember, it took a year!) I was back in MN living with soon to be husband number two. He was amazing in so many ways, and didn’t spook a bit when I was diagnosed with breast cancer less than a year into our relationship at age 32. (We had so many hurdles in that relationship which made us very dependant on each other. We got way too comfortable in our relationship and it fizzled out when I was 40 years old.)
The fact that I found a lump in my right breast showing my then husband how to do a self exam is beyond me. With no family or smoking history I was in disbelief and PISSED. I wasn’t about to let this asshole cancer tell me what to do, and somehow didn’t doubt that I am gonna kick it’s ass when I was told The Big News in June of 2004. Thankfully after 2 months of chemo, 30 days of radiation and the unbelievable and endless support from friends and family I did indeed kick cancer’s ugly ass.
My big progress toward enlightenment essentially began when my second marriage ended in 2012, and I lived alone for the first time in my adult life. I dealt with it pretty much on my own since my best friend had moved to Charleston, SC, I didn’t have any immediate family in state, and I had distanced myself from friends during the end of the marriage because I was so depressed. My ex pretty much was my best friend, but now he was gone and I had never felt more alone in my entire life.
At times I wanted to embark on trying something new to get me out of my apartment, like take a class or muster up the confidence to have a drink alone at a bar, but was so insecure there was no way I could do it by myself. It honestly seemed totally insane to even ask anyone to go out with me, anywhere, because who in the hell would wanna go out with me? Everyone seemed to be in a relationship, or busy doing cooler things than I was, at least it seemed that way looking at social media.
After confiding in my sister in-law about how lonely and isolated I was feeling, which is so unlike me, she introduced me to meditation. The fact that a no BS, non gooey person said it helped her, I thought I’d give it a shot. That meditation shit was and still is a massive and total game changer. After trying it many times with no success and umpteen failed attempts, I soon had a major “ah-hah” moment, and it provided me insight to find my true happy.
I then sunk all my energy into my personal training business, stopped focussing on what I didn’t have and my business and social skills flourished .
Thankfully I was in such a positive head space when I got the news that my mother wasn’t quite right, and more depressed than normal. She had moved to Sparks NV where my brother Matt, sister-in law and nephew live, and she wanted to move back to MN after living there about a year. At her first doctor appointment in MN she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and It looked like I was going to take on the position of primary caregiver,and proceeded to be that for her until she passed in August on 2015, 5 days short of her 75th birthday.
Watching my mother live in fear every day and seeing her constantly worry about what other people thought, made me feel helpless and heartbroken. Reflecting back, I realized she had pretty much started to check out after divorcing my father after 24 years of marriage when I was age 18. She had proceeded to lose herself and any scraps of her brilliance seemed to dwindle away . She taught me so many lessons in the year she was in MN it is honestly mind boggling and I will be forever grateful....That being said, I decided after losing her, there is no way I wasn’t going to let my life slip through my hands to ever say “I shoulda, coulda, woulda”. I was given wake up calls in the past and this one finally slapped some sense into me: I AM IN CHARGE OF MY OWN HAPPY