A year in review…I certainly haven’t been blogging this year. In fact, when I go back and think about all of the “life” I was living this year, it blows my mind. When I think about all of the events that tried to break me this year, it boggles my mind. But even more boggling is the fact that 2014, which I have dubbed the worst year of my life, was also the most amazing year! I have been humbled beyond belief; have learned SO MUCH about myself; have renewed my faith and hope in life. I have found my inner love again.
I spent a bigger part of the year without a job and homeless. My son even lived with his father for several months to finish out the school year. In the meantime, I stayed with a treasure trove of family and friends. At the hardest single point in my life, God sent me family and friends who opened their doors and hearts to me. I was able to stay with family members that I had not spent time with in…decades? I built stronger relationships with them than I could ever have done otherwise. Friends too…Family is not always blood. I tend to build my own family…some blood, and some divine. This year, my family grew exponentially!
As for a job…I was without any form of income for a few months before unemployment kicked in. I looked and looked for jobs…in a few states, even. At the time, I just knew God was punishing me. In hindsight, I realize He was setting the stage for an even bigger lesson. When my household went from two incomes to one, I learned to do without. I thought I was big and bad because I was sacrificing my manicures and restaurant meals for my son and I. For our future.
Pish posh. I realize how conceited and horrible that was. Because this year…this year I truly learned what sacrifice and going without really means. I spent a good portion of the year wondering where I would get food for the next day, or where I would lay my head that night, or the next night, or the next. I finally got on food stamps and Medicaid…very hard for me to do. I am always the one trying to help people. It was very humbling to be the one asking for help. I felt degraded and demoralized. But humbled. It was with the Medicaid that I was forced to see a new doctor…one who was able to properly diagnose me with Type II Diabetes. I had spent the prior year so tired all of the time and without energy. I finally received an answer why, and decided to try and get healthier.
So, in the midst of all of the drama, I began to exercise. Realize…I had gained back all 80 of the pounds I had lost a few years ago. I had to start all over again. Chair exercises and lack of food saw me drop the first 20 pounds. Throughout the year, I was able to lose a total of 68 pounds!
I had an angel, a friend from years past, call me about a job she had heard about. I was living in Pennsylvania at the time, looking for work in Maryland, and my friend was in Florida (where I used to live). The job was for a former boss, a dynamo woman whose passion for helping others is incendiary. I got the job and we decided to move from Maryland (where we lived for the past 10 years) to Florida…”back home.” The job itself is amazing, a great opportunity, and a chance to help the senior citizens of our local area. It is an amazing blessing.
This year, we also lost all of our material possessions. Everything we owned was in storage. Without a job, and trying to find a way for us, I was not able to pay the storage bill and we lost everything we owned save what was in our van. Like my mother when I was five, we moved to Florida to start over…with only what we had in our vehicle. My mother, my lifelong hero, had left her shoes to me.
My son and I stayed with a dear friend from high school and her husband until we could get a place of our own. We were super blessed to find the cute little townhouse that we live in.
Throughout the year, there were many other CRAZY events (you probably wouldn’t believe me) and each of those events and/or losses created a bond with someone that I will forever cherish. Again, my family grew and I have found my love in the hearts of those around me.
That is where the new year finds us. We have a roof over our heads, a job, safety, food, health, and happiness. We still don’t have a couch or TV in the living room and I am still sleeping on an air mattress, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.