Shitty things happen to good people. No matter how hard we try to avoid it, the shit comes along with the good. It’s a cycle. Our lives ebb and flow, it’s up to us to find the beauty in the disaster. it’s up to us to find the lesson in the struggles. And once we make it out, we can be the hand that pulls someone through it. Darkness is terrified of the light. And light will always slay the darkest of the dark.
Over the years I have let my struggles consume me and lull me into this belief that happiness wasn’t worth it. No matter what I did or how hard I tried to be happy, shitty things kept on creeping in. It got to the point where I’d wakeup bargaining with God to let me know where and when the sky was going to fall. If I couldn’t avoid the shit at least I could be prepared for it. As one event happened I’d whisper to myself “two more to go.” I’m a believer that things come in 3s. 3 bad things followed by 3 good things. Except for me the good seemed to sit in the sidelines as I cling to my raft dodging waves. Waves that were beyond my control, yet in my mind I could control everything and anything. Turns out I am human and have no control over this thing we called life.
In 2010 I was deep in the thick of it. My soul couldn’t take anymore bad days. Almost dying, losing a baby, getting a divorce and alienating my best friend was all I could handle. Yet the shit, it just kept on coming wave after wave. Until one day while sitting on a bench at lake Calhoun watching the sunrise with my dog I looked up and said “why not me?” Why not me? I chose right then and there to flip my perspective. Instead of wallowing in self pity and singing the songs of woe is me, I chose to take a stand and said WHY NOT ME.
For in my heart I knew God although I was still angry with him would not give me anything more than I could handle. For he knew my limits and he knew the lessons that I needed to learn. Even if I didn’t understand it in the moment one day I would look back and say “ah that’s why I had to go through that.” Trust me there are many things where I am still scratching my head and saying “WTF where is the lesson in this or that?” God he’s a funny one, he reveals the lessons on his timing and not man’s timing.
As time passed I grew comfortable with God’s timing and realized that I too could take the darkest of the dark. For a brief moment once I flipped my perspective life started to fall in place. I thought “wow I rode those storms like a boss and this calm sea is now my reward.” That is until fate pulled the strings and blew across the calm sea. At 29 I found myself reading the eulogy at my fiancé’s funeral. My heart ached with grief and for awhile I took shelter in the land of what if. That land is not for the living and with time I found my way out. Out into the land of living where time didn’t stop, it moved on like it always did. As my heart healed I followed through with Charlie’s main ask, I reconnected with Sherri and with time that relationships healed and I had someone at my side. At my side to walk through the shit with me. No matter what life threw at me, I knew Sherri would be there waiting to help me through it.
As the storms once again passed and turned into calm seas I realized something. I realized that the life I am living is someone else’s prayer. That no matter how bad things got someone else is praying for what I have. Praying for a job, for friendship, for love, for survival, money, trials, triumphs and so many other things. Someone else would gladly step into my shoes and take on this life that I get to live. Yet this life, the life I’ve built may not always be perfect, but it’s mine and mine alone. The storms that come allow me to learn more about myself and they allow me to appreciate the calm of the sea.