Learning to Love the Me I’m Becoming
I’ve started this article many times over. Baring your soul and being vulnerable on the internet is always a good thing, right? I mean. What could possibly go wrong? Let’s see.
In May of 2015, after a few years of struggling to fit ourselves into a marriage that just wasn’t working, my husband and I decided to separate. It wasn’t a decision either of us predicted, nor enjoyed. As a mother to a 3-year-old daughter, I had the worst case of mom guilt EVER (and sometimes still do) over physically separating our family. We survived, found a new normal as a family unit and continue to co-parent our brave girl as a team.
Was it the worst thing that has happened to me thus far? Hell yes. But in the end, the woman that I’m discovering and becoming, the life that I’m building, I’m not sure it would have been possible any other way.
When things fall apart, our natural human inclination is to go inward. And inward I went. Like an A+ student of grief, I journaled, therapied and pushed my way through the process. Learning about my fears, my weaknesses, and also my strengths, my gifts, my joy. When there is no light it’s difficult to find your path. Slowly and steadily, I feel like I’m finding mine – one step at a time.
I’ve found the places, spaces, and passions that spark joy and build connection. I’ve rediscovered the bits that bring calm, purpose and intention to my life. The things that make me the best ME I can be. Things like:
I feel most alive when making art. A practice I didn’t prioritize in my former life.
I dance when I cook, and I like to try new recipes a lot. Now, if they fail, cereal for dinner is perfectly acceptable.
I like color, pattern, and texture in my space. And pink. Lots of pink.
I love visiting museums solo and wandering aimlessly for hours, getting lost in inspiration – not worrying if someone else is bored out of their mind.
A dinner date for one is the perfect excuse to dress up.
Flowers given to yourself are JUST as beautiful.
My favorite dance partner is my 7-year-old girl.
I love the calm in a still and quiet home.
These bits, parts, and rituals that I’ve built + found have brought me a deeper peace and happiness I had been lacking. More than self-care, I’ve come to realize that focusing on my personal happiness and well-being is the best way to make ANY relationship work. I am a better mother, friend, daughter, and partner when I’m keeping my side of the street clean, happy, well-fed + maintained. It took years of therapy, mediation, some tequila and a divorce for me to learn this lesson. While I wouldn’t wish divorce on anyone, ever – I’ve found that for me, this forced reset was exactly what my soul needed to build my path and love my life even more than I expected. I’m not sure what the crystal ball of love holds for me in the future, but for now, I’m happy to be living a life I love just as it is.
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Jill Elliott is a creative consultant, strategist, and thinker constantly seeking inspiration and balance. As a writer, artist, and founder of The Color Kind she seeks to inspire others to live creatively every day. She can often be found making art and messes alongside her 7-year-old daughter and Goldendoodle puppy.