2019 in review

A very dear friend of mine, Willie, shared this with me after one of my most raw posts this past year. I’ve kept this as a reminder that I vowed to be real and not fake, no matter the cost. It’s special to me.

I was almost dreading writing this post. I’ve done it every year for as many as I can remember and this is one of the few years that I wanted to pass. 2019 was a hard year for me. It seems as if every hard year (from the last several) has been leading up to this one. Hopefully this was the climax and now I can have smooth sailing for a while? We shall see.

This year has been plagued by health issues. I started the year with the flu (head and stomach.) I’ve fought stomach issues for nearly half the year, and I managed to get an eye infection that almost left me blind. I’ve spent more money in Pepto Bismol, Tums, and eye drops than anything else this entire year.

I’ve gained and lost weight.

2019 was a year of dealing with multiple years worth of emotional baggage and depression that I’ve kept stuffed way down deep in my soul. Last year my ex-husband remarried and this year they welcomed their first child. While that simple sentence shouldn’t have impacted or bothered me in the least, it upset me tremendously and forced me to deal with feelings and emotions that I’d just kept shoving aside since our divorce.

I ended a long-term, long-distance relationship. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. And in doing it I just added to the pain of this year.

So….that’s the bad.

But here’s how I’m looking at it all today…

Dealing with all the emotions regarding my ex, his new family, and our old relationship, was incredibly painful. But doing so forced me to be real with a whole lot of people. I decided to take off the mask I’d been wearing for years, and you got the real Sarah. Take it or leave it. It forced me to broaden my circle of “people.” We all need people. We can’t do this life alone. It brought me my church and it brought me the girls in my LifeGroup. It made me write here more and believe it or not, it opened up so many private conversations with people! We were able to help each other. All this to say, one of the my most painful moments and hurtful years turned out to have a purpose and a point. I’m thankful that I can sit here and say that now.

I don’t know that I can find any way to spin my health issues. My eye is still not well and I’m not really sure how much clear sight and vision I’ll get back. I’ll be back to the doctor/surgeon first thing in January to check my progress and make a plan. Dealing with the limitations of my sight now are an ongoing frustration, but I’m so lucky to have dear friends and loved ones that help me out when I need it (mostly driving) and have patience with me because I’m just slow (terrible depth perception).

I’m looking back on this year as an awful, terrifying, dark and twisty roller-coaster ride. But you know the feeling, right after the last stomach-dropping loop that you cruise steady? The cart slows down, the track is straight, and everything settles back into place? The cart is barely moving back to the starting position? That’s me right now. The awful ride is over and now I can smile back on it in hindsight.

I’m spending a lot of time thinking about 2020. I’ll update you on that soon. 🙂

TODAY I LOVE: glitter

SONG OF THE DAY: “Hold You Dear” by The Secret Sisters

two sides of the same coin

Change is good and change is hard. My therapist once told me that every relationship (especially marriage) is a contract that has to constantly be renegotiated. We are human and we change. Because of those changes, negotiation has to happen or the relationship breaks. I think that can happen to your relationship with yourself too.

I’m in this weird season of life where it feels like everything, once again, is changing. If it were just one or two things, I probably wouldn’t feel it so hard. But it’s a lot of things. My home is changing, my job environment is changing, all my relationships are changing. And in the process of all of that, I’m trying to change me too.

I’m 38 years old and it feels like everything in my life is sand on the beach; unstable and constantly shifting.

Yesterday I posted a selfie. And bless ALL OF YOUR HEARTS, you showered me with compliments. I promise you, the intent of posting it was not to be fishing for compliments. The intent was for me. I felt good in that moment and rather than letting it pass, I wanted to acknowledge it.

It is no secret if you follow me on social media that I LOVE the new The Head and the Heart album. I’m so obsessed right now that I probably listen to the whole thing at least once a day. Here is one line in the first track that has stuck with me for a week. I sing it over and over.

Until you learn to love yourself
the door is locked to someone else

“See You Through My Eyes” by The Head and the Heart

So. That. I’ve got a long way to go. I can’t believe I’m sharing this, but here goes. It wasn’t 3 hours after I took the original photo I was proud of, where I felt pretty, that I turned into this: a sobbing, snotty, wet, mess. It is a tale of two Sarahs. The Sarah on the right is insecurity, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and poor self-worth. The Sarah on the right is the one that I need to get smaller and smaller. And she’s taking all my energy among all the other change.

I’m likely going to regret posting this and I hope that I can retain my nerve and not delete it later. It is hard to be so open. But I can’t do this alone. And so far, being so raw and open, has brought me a community. And maybe someone out there needs to see that not every pretty picture you see is the whole truth, that there might be a sobbing, snotting one right behind it. If you’re that person too….you are not alone. And together we can get though this.

TODAY I LOVE: Watermelon!
SONG OF THE DAY: “Fix You” by Coldplay