I lived most of my life on the edge of happy. I was so close I often convinced myself I really was happy. The real problem with "almost happy" though is the fall to unhappy is really just a tiny jump. So little things, like not being able to find my keys, spilling coffee on myself on the way out the door, my kid throwing an epic tantrum in the grocery story, or my husband leaving dirty dishes in the living room would bring on my rage monster. I never knew exactly when the rage monster would appear, but inevitably she would come storming down the door ready to kick ass and take names at the drop of a hat. It took me a lot of therapy, meditation, journaling and self-awareness to realize that this rage monster was not a defeat of character, she was trying to help wake me up.
It was during the Great Shakedown of 2015, as everything about my almost happy life crumbled around me, that I finally said hello to my rage monster. For those that don’t know, this is how I refer to the 9 months of my life when my husband came out as transgender, we filed for divorce, and I moved back to New England from Florida and became a single mom). So with nothing more to lose, I asked her, rage monster, what she wanted, expecting the worst, and she quietly said I want you to be happy. What a shock. This part of myself that I absolutely hated just wanted me to be happy.
In the months that followed, I really dissected my life and my choices, I realized that all that had happened did not happen to me but because of me. I am not saying I took full responsibility in a self-deprecating way, what I am saying is I had the realization that the way I had been living my life as “almost happy” had allowed me to wander so far from my truth. I had not been living my authentic life. I was allowing myself to be swayed and pulled by what I thought I should want, what others wanted for me, and what made the people around me happiest. I was a catalyst for everyone’s happiness but my own.
So I rebooted my life, I got an apartment for myself and my children. I decorated it EXACTLY the way I wanted. I cooked the foods I wanted to eat while dancing in my kitchen to the music I loved. I started reading Tarot Cards again, moving them from their storage box to be proudly displayed for anyone to see. I connected with other women I admired; I shared my pain with them and celebrated the joy of reconnecting with myself. I remember one of my best friends, who was also single at the time, sharing that she loved to eat rotisserie chicken and drink champagne in her undies. I fucking love that. I made a promise to myself that when I did start dating again, I would never hide my true inner weirdo.
I started living my authentic life and found what I had been missing. Happiness, real, true, honest happiness. Things were not perfect, they were far from it, I was learning how to stand on my own two feet, I was financial overwhelmed, exhausted from raising a 3 and 5 year old alone, and still nursing a broken heart. But I knew that what I was creating was real and no one would be able to take that away again.
Then the most amazing thing happened, by being my true, weird, unique, awesome self, I attracted a unique, weird, awesome human into my life that not only accepted those parts of me, but absolutely loved them. We don’t share all the same passions, he jumps out of planes, I follow the cycles of the moon and do Tarot Readings, but we honor and love those parts of each other. When I told him I was going to put an alter honoring the Goddess in the corner of our bedroom he simply smiled and said jokingly, just don’t put a hex on me if I forget to wash the dishes ok? Ok, no hexes I promised.
This is what happens when we truly honor who we are, we attract the people into our lives that completely resonate and love us. Not a quieter us, or a neater us, not thinner, or more normal, but just as we are. I am free to be me because I did the work to really fall in love with myself. I stopped caring so much what other people thought about my path. When shit goes down in my life, and it still does, I no longer worry that the rage monster is going to bust out of me. I am whole and really fucking happy.
Read. Relate. Repeat.
My hope is through my words, through my own experiences, you will relate to some piece of my story. Some desire that I've shared or insecurity I've admitted to will also belong to you. My words are my truth, but they may also be yours.