I was 25 and married with a beautiful one year old son. The marriage wasn’t perfect, as I am sure all marriages aren’t, but it had a certain kind of easiness.
We were planning on having more babies, buying a house—the kind with a big tree that our children would play under, their bikes laying in the front yard. We were going to get a big family dog, go on family holidays, watch all our kids grow up.
I fell pregnant again as we planned. Certain we were being blessed with the daughter we so badly wanted, our future was laid out in front of us. And then we lost her.
Two more miscarriages followed and I felt like my world was slowly being torn apart. A darkness that I never knew existed had crept in my life, into my heart. The magic that I had thought existed in the world was gone—I felt nothing. I would look in and all I would find was a bottomless pit of grief.
However I somehow started to find my way back—and then came the day my husband left.
The world that was slowly being torn open had been completely ripped apart and turned upside down. All security, hopes and dreams gone in the time it took for a door to close.
I was 27, divorced, beaten, broken and a single mum sending my boy off to his dad every second weekend. I was someone I never wanted to be and had fought so hard not to be. The foundations of who I thought I was and the life I had created were gone.
Laying in bed one night, my sleeping son’s head resting on my chest, with grief and stress whirling around inside me, I had a realization. I was living through the worst and most challenging thing that had ever ever happened to me. The layers of identity that I had developed over the 27 years of my life were un-peeling and with that came the awareness that I could be and do anything I wanted.
The grief of losing the future I had planned and created in my head slowly starting turning into a kind of excitement. As long as I had what I had in that moment—hope and my son—I knew I would be ok. I sensed that this could be a turning point in my life and, rather than looking at what I had lost, I began to look at I what I had gained.
A rebirth—the opportunity to create and make the life I wanted to live. To create the future my soul wanted.
Stirrings from deep within myself had started and I knew that If I was going to make the most of this new “opportunity” I needed to really know myself, all of myself—the light and dark. Only then could I really know what I wanted out of life.
The quest for my authentic self began.
There were a few more hurdles to get through and lessons to learn but two and half years later here I am—as my true, authentic self.
Every day is a mission to be true to me. My life is full of magic and joy. I’ve found passions that literally make me jump out of bed in the morning with excitement. I have a completely new circle of friends, some of whom I am certain are my soul mates. My connections with people are deeper and more real.
I only have my son 50 percent of the time, but that 50 percent is 100 percent presence and love and we have an amazing relationship because of that. When he is home, I am fully present and in Mum mode. And when he is not I have the time to explore, create and let my inner child have her fun. I have traveled, explored, loved and learnt so much about the world.
Being a single mum is not a life I would have picked for myself, but I’ve discovered this life I now live is far better than one I could have imagined. It was in the midst of ruins that I discovered myself. More importantly I discovered my authentic self and fell madly in love with her.
The past and the life I lost still hides in the shadows of my being and some days it will make its presence known. But those shadows are a part of who I am and I embrace it. I don’t know what the future holds. I have no plans. I’ve learnt to live in the present.
I have goals—a list of adventures I want to tick off. But now my only plan is to take each day as it comes, being 100 percent present, authentic, open. And to leave a positive footprint behind every step I take.
Author: Jaymie Faber
Assistant Editor: Hilda Carroll/Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Author’s own