May 5, 2017

Things I’ve Learned from Starting Over.

I’ve packed my things and moved many times, starting anew each time.

I’d get my kids all set up at their schools, get therapies lined up, and start making new friends wherever we went.

It was a grande adventure.

I’d have to make new roots again each time.

Thank goodness for the internet and social media because keeping in touch with people I’ve had to leave behind is easier than ever.

Some would think I’d be a pro at starting over by now, but I have a confession:

Starting over is still challenging.

In the past few months, I’ve moved to a new house, started a new job, slowly progressed on divorce, and entered the world of single parenting.

I’m still afraid of falling on my face. But I know I need to try. My kids and I deserve that.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

>> No one could ever sufficiently warn me how scary and exhilarating starting over is.
Sometimes I feel like my mantra is, “Oh f*ck, Oh f*ck, Oh f*ck.”

>> Starting over is transformative. I’ve learned I can do so much more than I ever thought I could. I’m learning what I do and don’t want out of life.

>> It can hit at any age/stage in life. I look at my friends who have been through similar starting over experiences. It is bone-jarring, no matter how old or young they are. They provide me with examples when I feel afraid of the strength contained in the human spirit.

>> Tears can be a powerful release. I’ve cried a lot. Sometimes it was an ugly cry, but each time when I’m done, I feel better.

>> I find gratitude in small things. A kind word, time from my friends, the feeling of the sun on my face.

>> Stay on my path. Some may try to get me to follow their path because that’s where they find solace, but my path is where I’ll find contentment and inner wisdom.

>> Turn to loved ones when I need help. There is no shame in wanting/needing comfort from a friend when facing hard sh*t.

>> Loving myself in the hard times. I admit this is something I’m still working on. But I know when I’m having a hard time, that’s when I need love the most. So I try to give myself the kind of love I would give a friend when they are facing hard times. I practice maitri: I tend to my needs and redirect unkind thoughts.

I’ve lost something: a former me that no longer fit me.

But I’ve also gained something far more valuable: freedom to grow into who I truly am.


Author: Lindsay Lock
Images: Josh Felise/Unsplash; Hillary Boles/Flickr
Editor: Travis May

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