Back in 2010, I started this blog as a way to tip my toe back into the world. I'd been a wounded widow struggling to balance grief with solo-parenting in a community that showed zero compassion. To say I felt beat up by life would be an understatement--my confidence was all but destroyed and this blog was a way to ease back into life. Over the past seven years I've written about seeing those kids grow into young adults, about being both mom and dad, about changing friendships and loss.
I stopped blogging for awhile almost two years ago. Oh, I'd try to force myself back into it every now and then but my heart wasn't in it. I stopped everything for awhile actually as life became too big and messy for me to find the words. Health issues arose that scared me and sent me into a spiral of fear. What would happen to the kids if I died? They'd be orphans. Yes, they were now both over 18, but they'd have no living parent if I died.
To make matters worse, I looked around and realized I no longer had a confidante. I was 100% alone. Nothing in my life suited me anymore--not the community where I lived, the clothes I owned, the house I called home, or the acquaintances that colored my life like dark shadows.
With a conflicted heart, I put my house on the market and hated every minute of the experience. Finances were tight so I couldn't upgrade everything--being a single mom with two kids in college doesn't allow for any extras. I endured snotty realtors who made me feel like I lived in a dump unworthy of being inhabited despite the pride I took into taking care of what I owned--and the beauty of my cozy Colorado mountain home. I suffered through low-ball offers and potential buyers asking for things I simply couldn't afford to give. Alone, I did what I could. I second-guessed myself the entire time, but I had to leave. I needed to change. It became a necessity to save my life.
That might sound dramatic but it's the truth. I would look around my house filled with ghosts of a life that used to be mine but was no longer relevant. I would wake up gasping for breath in a panic, my first thought being, "this place is killing me." The stress of being there, the weight of all that pent up sorrow, the loneliness of isolation, the pressure of mounting bills, the crushing realization that I no longer belonged in the place I'd called home for two decades--all of it undermined any attempt for me to get healthy or regain my career footing. To make it even more unbearable, the crazy neighbor who'd harassed me for nineteen years had intensified his nuttiness to blatant threats, especially once the for sale sign went up in the yard.
I left. I moved on. I sobbed for weeks while packing and during the closing when I signed on that dotted line.
Three months later, I am in a new home, far from that one. Instead of sending the kids off to another state to school, I'm the one who left them secure in their hometown and leading lives of their own in college.
I sacrificed a lot of who I was for the sake of a marriage and my children. As I step into this new phase of my life, I'm rediscovering who I am and who I want to be. I am cutting energetic cords to people that I used to mourn--friends who I have cried over who ghosted on me no longer mean anything to me at all. They are strangers I used to know and that is all. By meditating on releasing them energetically from my sphere, I free up energy for all the new people and experiences entering my life.
I am reclaiming my power and giving myself credit for surviving my husband's suicide, raising two badass independent adults, navigating health issues alone but with my chin up, packing up a house I'd lived in for nineteen years all by myself, standing up to the nutty neighbor when his harassment became dangerous, and moving to a place where I knew no one to start over.
Who am I? Who is this forty-nine year-old with battle scars? Why on earth did she leave all she'd ever known behind for an unknown future?
I am powerful by witnessing my powerlessness and rising above despite the fear. I am stronger for surrendering. I am happier for embracing my sorrow. Instead of fighting to remain somewhere that no longer suited me or my life, I took action. I would have died there--if not a physical death, then a spiritual one.
I believe that I and I alone control my destiny. I am not a victim of circumstance, but I made mistakes that created confusion deep in my heart between what I wanted to do and what I believed I needed to do. That discrepancy led me further and further away from my true self and drove me into despair. If you've never experienced true despair, then you may not be able to relate, but trust me when I say it's a very dark and scary place to be. It feels immobilizing. Only by facing the reality of my situation was I able to break free.
Now I'm back to blogging about this new chapter of my life, about starting over in a new city and meeting new people at age forty-nine, about dating again, about traveling, about redefining the parent relationship with adult children, about how cool it is to own a house outright (thank you, equity!), about reinventing my career yet again, about rediscovering who I am without the labels of mom or widow attached to my identity like they once were so heavily, and about seeing how happy I can be because--if I've survived all that bullshit--I know unlimited joy awaits me.
It feels good to be at the keyboard again. It's been too long. The next post will be about what it was like taking my twenty-one year old daughter to Vegas for her birthday...stay tuned! I'm baaaaaaack!
Peace to you!
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of romantic thrillers, contemporary romance, women's fiction, and nonfiction. In addition, Easton also writes under two pen names--Dakota Skye (erotic paranormal romance thrillers) and Cassidy Springfield (new adult). She also works as a professional editor and creativity coach, creates a line of inspirational journals, travels as often as possible, and advocates for suicide awareness. To find out more about her books, please visit http://www.amberleaeaston.com.