This has been one helluva roller coaster year in my world. Besides the “normal” ups and downs in life with kids, blended family, exes, and basically any interaction with other humans, I’ve also had a lot of goodbyes this year.
I’ve said goodbye to friendships I thought would be by my side and in my heart well into old age for reasons unknown. I’ve said goodbye to my little boy and am getting to know the young man he is becoming. I’ve said goodbye to my uterus and cervix, goodbye to my size 6 pants, goodbye to my hopes for a successful blended family, and goodbye to the blonde locks I’ve been known for most of my life. These goodbyes have been a mix of heart-wrenching sadness for some and others are a welcome relief.
I definitely miss my size 6 pants and my smaller legs and stomach BUT not as much as I’d once thought I would. I’m embracing my new body and am honestly just plain thrilled that I still have the stamina and desire to work out. The desire to want to put healthy food into my body, tempered with the much-needed treat or four here and there. I’ve discovered clothing cut on the bias, comfy maxi dresses and sweaters which are genius for hiding the tummy bumps and lady lumps that I don’t always want to be reminded of in a mirror.
While extracting parts of my body meant a good portion of this year was spent worrying, in pain, and healing, I’m ecstatic to be done with the hell that was my monthly cycle. I’m still healing and while I have lost pieces of me, I have gained my life back for that one lost week every month. I also gained a newfound awe and admiration for my body. The way it is healing, how strong I am, and how adaptable it is to change. Much more than my mind at times!
The sadder parts are my friends, my little boy, and my hopes for my patchwork family, a blend of mine and his, that doesn’t seem to be coming together in the beautiful quilt of love that I’d envisioned.
I miss my friends, my village of women who I felt “got me,” who had my back when I was bent with weakness and who held my heart. I’m sad I don’t understand why they are now a part of my past and not part of my future.
I miss my little boy, his thumb sucking, hair twirling, high pitch voice all curled up into a tiny body that fit perfectly in my arms. He’s now all skinny arms and legs, as tall as I am, with a voice that scares the crap out of me at times when I know my husband isn’t home and am only expecting little boy timbre.
But what I am NOT missing is the ugly voice in my head. The guilt for not being perfect, the shame for making bad decisions. I don’t miss that. And I have worked so very hard this year to make each of those things a piece of my history. I embrace my imperfections a little more, I understand my humanness, and I know that for each bad decision, each unkind thought, each mistake, there are innumerable great decisions, thoughts, and good deeds.
I finally feel like I’m a good person.
A good person who cares so deeply, I cry when a stranger tells me of their pain. A good person who wants nothing more than to see my fellow women succeed, conquer, and thrive. A good person who doesn’t always do the right thing in parenting, relationships, and life but who tries. I always try. Whether it be trying to learn about myself, trying to make better decisions, be a better mother/wife/daughter/friend, I try. I don’t always get it right but I keep trying.
And this, this simple act of trying makes me happy. Being a cheerleader for my friends and family makes me happy. Battling the ugly voice in my head that wants to degrade me, bring me down and challenging that voice with the simple question of, “Is that true?” makes me happy.
Is it true I’m a bad mom? Is it true I don’t deserve amazing female connections? Is it true I’m horrible because of past decisions and unworthy of love and joy? Is it true my body is ugly?
NO! It’s. Not. True.
So going into 2018, I’m feeling happier and more at peace than ever. Because I know the truth. I know I will continue to fail—and try again. I know I will probably never be a size 6 again—but still be beautiful. I know I will soon say goodbye to my youngest son and begin to welcome a new man into my heart. I know my blended family may never be what I wanted or hoped for but my marriage IS. I know I will probably say goodbye to more friends, for unknown reasons, and that is ok.
I am ok.
And finally admitting that I am ok, just as I am—older, brunette, a little lumpier and fragilely human, makes me happy.
Heather LeRoss is the two-time award-winning author of Just Tell Me I’m Pretty: Musings on a Messy Life. Visit HeatherLeRoss.com now and download three FREE chapters of the hilarious book that was dubbed, “Best book I’ve EVER read,” by Heather’s Mom. You can also follow her on Facebook.