Once again, I’ve been quietly lost in my own world. I’ve slacked at writing as my mind has been full and processing change. Change…I really hate change, especially the unplanned kind. Several days ago, I wrote the following piece. I’ve sat on it, debating whether to share it with you all. I want to be a light to those who are struggling and to those who do not understand. That is a difficult challenge when I feel myself falling into old mind sets, a victim mentality, and when I feel I am lacking the ability to encourage…lacking the ability to be a survivor.
The bright, happy light that has been shining so predominantly in my life is fading quickly. That old familiar feeling of dread and despair is working its way up from my stomach, stealing sleep, and sucking the joy right from me. I promised to be honest in my posts, to share my journey to help others, and to let others know they are not alone. Part of that is sharing when my life does not go as planned. I preach to others to find their joy, to follow their heart, and to speak their truth. But I don’t have all the answers. For instance, what does one do when they are creating their path and someone comes along, creating a roadblock so high and wide that you cannot fathom getting around it? This is where I am.
This year has been full of major life decisions. For the first time in all my years of existence, I chose me 100%. The choices I have made focused on following my heart. I quit my secure job that made me miserable, wrote and published my first book, and founded a nonprofit. I’ve worked many hours and months to build that nonprofit into a viable, sustainable entity where I can do what I love doing most…helping others. It was a risk.
Doors have opened left and right and I found purpose in my life again. I am free to be the woman I was meant to be. My hard work paid off in hugs from others and knowing that somehow I am making a difference. This week I’ve participated in the third interview, in less than a month, for a national publication covering Forget Me Not Advocacy Group’s work and my story of abuse and healing. I know in my heart that this is exactly where I am supposed to be.
In my personal life, I live in a small duplex near the coast of Florida. I’ve been here four years and have made it my home. My boyfriend and I, with our three cats, love our little corner of paradise. All the years of abuse, struggle, and working in a job I hated had paid off. I had finally found peace and comfort in just about every way. As I type, our three indoor cats line up along the screen door and our outdoor stray, for the past two years, came by for his breakfast. He was as feral as they come, skittish and now ragged. But he won our hearts and is now comfortable with us enough to allow us to pet him. He comes by the outer screen and plays with the others, but never stays long enough to be a part of our little family.
We are supposed to be packing right now for my birthday weekend. On Saturday I turn 40. We planned to go to North Carolina to a festival. I love going there in the fall to see the leaves change. It’s one of the things I miss most now that I live in Florida. My favorite band is playing too. We’ve been looking forward to it for months.
But in 24 hours so much has changed. Our landlord has chosen to not renew our lease, giving us five weeks to leave, so that his parents can come live here 6 months out of the year. With that one phone call, everything has changed. The rental market in South Florida is brutal at best, with prices skyrocketing by the minute. Add to that the nuances of living in an area where fraud and dishonesty are rampant, and something as basic as moving costs the equivalent of three months rent up front. Simple math tells me that moving from our cozy little spot will deplete the savings I am dependant on. And with prices being what they are, a yearly lease will be far from sustainable with no solid income.
Within months of making a choice to own my life, I will be forced to give up my dreams. Where I once planned to get a part time job to supplement my savings when we returned from my birthday trip, I will now be forced to find a full time job. Where I once had plans for November’s six plus events with Forget Me Not Advocacy Group and the promotion of my book, I must now find a place to live and a job to pay the bills. Where I once had a comfortable place to come home to, I must chose a shoebox apartment that is affordable or plan to relocate to a more cost-effective local outside of South Florida.
In all of this, I am feeling dread and loss. I cannot build a business/nonprofit and follow my dreams if we have nowhere to live and my savings is gone. In one phone call, it all went away. And in one phone call, I found myself fall from on top of the world to a place where I don’t wish to even try. Instead of packing to celebrate, I want to crawl into bed and cry.
I must fight it. I refuse to remain a victim of him, of life, of anything. But for today….