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Just in time for the Lunar New Year… Few things I’ve recently noticed. First thing, I recently realized I’ve been finding it harder and harder to get motivated to blog. Not that I don’t have just as much to say as I always do but more so just getting inspired enough to sit and put all of my thoughts down. I went and re-read all of my past blogs and figured out that I’m most inspired to write when I’m feeling down. So, year one, I have the most entries but as the years went on (as I learned more and more to better “live with” my new self), I wrote less and less because I focused more of my energy on actually just trying to live instead of writing about all the ways in which I wasn’t. It just didn’t seem priority to want to write about good days and sit in a bed that I resented so much to do so. Maybe its feeling entombed to my bed that inspires me most, maybe its the correlation between blogging and it being a bad day that scared me, or maybe the inspiration is always within me but I just don’t make enough time to actually sit and do it when I am feeling good. In any event, it challenged me to want to make it a point to dedicate more time to sharing more of me… On good days and bad.
So… NO new year, new me BS. Different year, same-ish me, still hyperfocused on getting better and better every day, still me and my ninjas, and still have MS. With that being said, I will admit I did feel an odd sense of guilt that I wasn’t one of those folks eagerly awaiting the new year as if it contained some magical potion to be released at midnight that was gonna cure all of the chaos of the world we found ourselves in-the covid crisis. I know 2020 was very hard on most and while I can empathize with tragedy, I don’t want to carry any guilt or dim my light that 2020 was one of the best years for me, that I can remember. Second thing I noticed, I feel I grew in 2020 more than I’ve ever grown as a person, from the inside out. It wasn’t just finding the love of my life in 2020 that made it great. It was the work I started on myself, it was finally feeling ready to face many demons of my past, it was a new willingness to be accountable for who I wanted to be moving forward, it was the extra time I got with my kids being locked in the same house, and most importantly-it was putting so much outside noise into very clear perspective. By outside noise, I mean, ever since getting diagnosed and very quickly having all the effects of MS take over my life (mainly daily battling extreme and constant fatigue with the occasional drunken sailor syndrome as far as walking and then the gastro issues as the cherry on top), I’ve always felt very resentful and scared that I could no longer work in the ways I knew how. For example, if I wanted to buy something or if we needed something that I hadn’t budgeted for, I would just work more to earn more (seems simple right?). Well without ever knowing how I’m gonna be feeling on any said day, this made me feel like I was out of control of my own destiny, my own life, my own body and unable to ever feel confident that I could provide as I always have. I felt trapped and angry constantly and would allow myself to drown in wallow that this was now my reality… Maybe showing the world how devastated I was for the losses I couldn’t seem to move past would somehow make my MS magically go away?!?! Maybe I’d cry enough tears so life would magically get easy? I felt helpless but somehow the misery of the pity party felt good in those moments. Somehow, I was convincing myself that if I mourned the things I missed the most enough, those things would return but everything else would remain in its revised versions?? I wanted it to go back to how things were, I wanted to feel in control… But this just wasn’t my reality any longer and for so long, I allowed the FEAR of what I could no longer control to hold me hostage to negativity and self-induced doom and gloom. This caused me a layer of underlying stress that constantly loomed over me because this affected income which affects my entire world and everyone in it. Just the mere thought of NOT being able to work as much as I used to caused me to automatically create all these negative stressors in my own head that were not even my reality yet… That may never have ever become a reality. I worried about being able to pay things now and in the future, I worried about taking care of my kids and their futures, I worried about not being able to function on days where I had scheduled work, I worried about what I would do if I just couldn’t accommodate doing real estate any longer, I worried about my sickness progressing and how that would truly devastate my whole world and everyone in it who relied on me. I just worried way too much about a lot of shit that I was actually just poisoning my own head with. I had to stop spinning in slippery thoughts, get out of my own head, and fight to stay in the here and now because everything around me was so beautiful. With or without money, I will always have my babies by my side no matter what and that is whats MOST important. I’ve come to love the new me and I’m learning every day how to accept the price of the new me was shedding every part of the old me… Even the parts I miss and cry for. I’ve made peace with not being able to bring what I pick and chose from the old me and am learning how to love every part of the new me, challenges and all. It’s always easy to validate worry over money because its actually a thing. No one really faults another for their worry about financial stability-especially a single mom who doesn’t get any child support. 2020 happening and the way it did, taught me that first and foremost, I definitely don’t need as much money coming in as I seemed to scare myself into thinking I did. Realizing how much I overly stressed about money and getting thru almost an entire year without barely leaving my house led alone working has really taught me that many things I worried over, were absolutely things I created in my own head… Thus causing me more unnecessary stress than I ever needed (and we all know how great stress is for MS). I had everything I needed all around me and I definitely allow myself, at times, to dwell more than I need to on the life I HAD and the one I wish I still had at times, instead of just soaking up the beauty of where I’m at right now. I often feel bad for my significant other because he only knows this version of me. He only knows Nicole 2.0. So whenever I do go down the rabbit hole of self misery, he doesn’t really know how to console me. He didn’t experience the old Nicole and therefore can’t always grasp what exactly it is that I’m crying over. I sometimes tell him that I don’t even think he would’ve loved the old Nicole because a lot of the time, I didn’t love the old Nicole. And then with a heavy heart and confused look often ask myself what is it exactly that I miss so much then?
I once saw a meme that read “MS continuously challenges me to find a balance between pride and humility”. I never read a truer statement. I know who I used to be and what that person was capable of and while MS has tragically changed a lot of me, I have to constantly remind myself that it may look and feel different on the other side but both sides are beautiful. There are parts of me that I resent now, like not ever being able to plan anything reasonably or feeling like I lean on those around me more than I ever did but when I compare which Nicole I would choose, I think I would still choose this me. And not just for myself but also for those around me. So this new year brings for us, still working from home, still distance learning, still no youth sports, still not going out a whole lot, still enjoying each other at home (hopefully in our new backyard very soon), but also many, many blessings in the forms of revelations. What and who is really important, who and what truly deserves your time and energy, what things you allow to live inside your head, and always being completely accountable for what version of yourself you present to the world. I now challenge myself to live in the faith I so often claim to have. Faith is the pure trust and confidence that everything will work out and despite my many worries about everything under the sun, everything has always worked out and I do absolutely trust in my heart that everything will continue to work out exactly as they are supposed to.
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance (or PAST like me), the wise man grows it under his feet. Cheers to another trip around the sun and to watering and cultivating the here and now.