Today I woke up, and found a really beautiful comment waiting for me on this blog. It touched my heart, and it also set my day off in a very positive way. I am really thankful that all of you spend a little time in my cyber-home everyday, and also take a few minutes to give me feedback. I am humbled by the amount of support I have received in the past week, and it gives me courage to open up and truly be myself with all of you….. I feel very honored that you all CHOOSE to spend some of your day with me…. and I just wanted to thank you all again…. please keep the comments coming!
I know this blog is brand new, but I hope to grow this site into something wonderfully powerful for all of you that suffer from chronic pain or illness, and for family and friends that feel powerless watching someone you care about suffer from their afflictions.
Thank you for your faith in me, and please pass on this link to anyone you may know that could benefit from having a cyber-friend in the chronic world!
Today I chose to post one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost….. The Road not Taken. If you aren’t familiar with it, you can read it in my previous post. I truly think even though it was written in the 1800’s, it still very much applies today. Without consciously making it my mantra, it explains a lot of how I feel….
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Two roads…. and I took the one less traveled by… And that has made all the difference……
My life has not worked out the way I had intended it to. If I had sat down 5 years ago and made a concrete 5-year plan…. I would now feel like failure, because NONE of the things that I wanted for my life 5 years ago have come to fruition. I know I am not the only one, but unfortunately this demon called chronic pain has a way of CONTROLLING your life at times, and kicking you out of the driver’s seat. The “Jones'” outlook on what defines success and what we ‘need’ in life very much dictates to our society where we think we need to be, or what we need to strive towards…. and I must admit I bought in to that to a certain degree in years past.
Years ago my 5-year-plan would have looked something like this:
Striving towards 2 or 3 more children, a mini-van, running a book-of-the-month club, paying down debt, moving towards renovating my first house, selling that house, purchasing a house with a garage, adopting a golden retriever… etc. etc.
– But –
Life simply and beautifully doesn’t work out the way you plan sometimes…. and 5 years later, I don’t have any of those things that I thought were important then!
I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
When I was hit with my illness, I was hit HARD… and it shook up every single fiber of my being. It completely changed my life, changed my outlook, and led me to a place where I needed to re-learn everything I thought I knew.
I ended up going through devastation and betrayal in my personal life, and later got divorced. I have had to slowly try to come to terms with the fact that there might be no more children in my future (which I am still trying to come to terms with… it has been the hardest part of my journey with chronic pain). My ex-husband drives the mini-van and now owns and lives in my old run-down house. There has been no book-of-the-month clubs that I have had the energy to attend. And above all, I may NEVER be well enough to actually have a career, let alone part-time job, so buying that bigger home with a garage and a big back yard may never happen……
I lost the ability to be the “Jones'”, and in doing so, I found MYSELF.
I don’t live a conventional life, and I have grieved over all the old desires that I had to let go. But funny enough, after I came to terms with the old programming that I was a slave to, I found freedom.
My life is more complete now than when I had all of those things I thought measured success in life.
I am with the love of my life now, and although our relationship might not work for everyone, it absolutely works for us, and I couldn’t be more content. We are a blended family, raising an 8-year-old in the inner city. We don’t have a backyard, and we don’t have a mini-van. Heck, we are known to crank 80’s music in the old 89 firebird from time to time ;). We are a hop, skip, and jump away from the Red Mile, we see homeless on a day-to-day basis right outside our door, and the school my son goes to is the most multi-cultural community that I have ever seen….. and it is beautiful, and perfect….. for US.
I don’t wear an apron, and I am absolutely not the quintessential stay-at-home mommy/housewife…. I spend every waking moment taking care of my family, but I take care of them the way I know how…. and sometimes that isn’t the conventional ideal of a 50’s mom with heels and pearls, and dinner on the table at 5:30 every evening….. I thought that was what I wanted in life…. and when I had it, it made me miserable.
I know now who I am, and what I have to offer, pain and all. I have embraced living a life less ordinary. I have come to terms with having to let go in order to find myself again…..
I took the road less travelled by, and it truly has made all the difference.