Happy Fri-YAY! You guys, Facebook can be both wonderful and obnoxious. For the most part I enjoy looking back on my Facebook “memories” section, until I get back into my high school years obviously. Back when I thought that my opinion mattered, and I constantly posted vague, passive aggressive, and very mean statuses. This morning something struck me differently though, and had me feeling very humbled, and more appreciative than most other days. The statuses were a reminder of my struggles, and how I was feeling 5 years ago.
The further I look back into these statuses, I acknowledge now that I was in a state of extreme vulnerability. I was a 19 year old single mom with a 3 month old baby. I was trying to adjust to parenting on my own after the explosion of my failing relationship, which somewhat resembled the Hindenburg disaster. I was feeling sorry for myself after being lied to and cheated on for so long, and I was trying my very best to pick myself back up while living in the tiniest 1 bedroom cabin with 70’s shag carpet. While all of my friends were away at college setting themselves up for bright futures, I was working as a receptionist at a doctors office making $12 per hour. I was sincerely exhausting every outlet I could before I had to accept my reality and move back in with my parents. (Seriously mom and dad, I can’t thank you enough for all that you did for me). I felt like a failure, and I needed some help. I was lonely, and reaching out to anyone for a shoulder to lean on.
My statuses on this day, Saturday May 10th, 2014 were as follows:
There is a saying that goes something along the lines of, “I still remember the days I prayed for the things I have now” and these were my days of prayer. Praying that I was going to be able to be the best mom for Marek, praying that I would meet someone with the same values as me, and someone who would be able to reciprocate the respect and love that I was always so willing to offer. I prayed that I would be able to get out of the one bedroom cabin, and move out of my parents house (again). I prayed and dreamed of a home with a porch that I could relax on, and watch my kids play in the back yard. I prayed for the strength to finish my college degree, and to find a career that I love. I knew it was going to be hard work, and right in this moment on this day 5 years ago I was tired, and I was weak. But I wasn’t too weak to muster up some energy for praying for the things that I wanted, and I was preparing myself mentally for the following 5 years to come.
I look back now on these sad or painful days, and I mostly smile. If only I could have patted 19 year old Emma on the back, and given her a smile and word of encouragement. My favorite high school teacher sent me this back when I was really in the trenches of self pity as a single teen mom…
He was always good for not sugar coating things, and was well known for a good reality check.
The last 5 years have been overloads of classes, homework, projects, and lots and lots of spreadsheets and reconciliations. Late nights, no sleep, full on breakdowns, my parents, sister, a few friends, and my husband talking me off the ledge more than once. It’s been a struggle, and I won’t deny that. I’ve worked my ASS OFF to get here. I am proud of myself for not giving up, and for praying for the things I have now. Life isn’t going to be smooth sailing from here on out, there are always going to be struggles. For now though, I’m going to sit on my back porch, watch my kids ride their dirt bikes through the yard, and give my husband a big ol’ smooch when he comes home from work. Because this is living, y’all. This is the four of us living our best lives.
Never forget that good things come to those who put in the work, and if you’re in a similar position to me 5 years ago, please keep pushing. You will reach a day where you are so proud of yourself, and you can say “I made it.”. Don’t ever give up, don’t forget it’s okay to break down, but sleep it off and come back ready to go tomorrow.
*Also a special shout out to my village that helped me constantly with Marek while I worked, went to class, and fought my way out of this mess: Mom & Dad, Grandma Nettie and Grandpa Jim, Auntie Shelley, Brian of course, my Sister, my Mother and Father in Law, and my Brother and Sister In Law* I seriously couldn’t have done it without you.*
Until next time,