This whole world is new to me. It’s not so much that the world has changed; it’s me that’s undergoing the transformation. I’m experiencing growing pains as my values, perspective, wants and needs are so unlike what they once were. Much is still the same …I still believe in adventure and going after what I want. I still enjoy challenge and change, and I haven’t stopped believing that love conquers all. Today, I’m just going about it differently.
Once, when I was 17, I decided to leave my home for wide open spaces. The thing is, you can take a girl out of the south, but you can’t take the south out of a girl. I left Texas, and once I made it to Colorado, I felt a newness similar to what I’m feeling now. It was wonderful and sad all at once. I missed seeing magnolia trees and bluebonnets. My heart ached for the friendliness and multiculturalism my home city provided. I craved Tex-Mex and time with the family and friends I left behind. But in its place were mountains waiting to be climbed with new friends. I found that the pizza in downtown Denver and in the mountains at Beau Jo’s were nothing like anything I could find back home. I brought the friendliness with me and always knew a fellow Texan by how they interacted with me (southerners never meet a stranger, right?) “How are you?” “I’m great! It’s a good day to be alive! You?” It was a balance between letting go of old things, taking some of those things with me, and grasping the new things. It was welcoming change and choosing happiness.
That was thirteen years ago. Today, I find myself out of my element again. Except this time, my geographical location is as familiar as the back of my hand, and the change is less outward and more inward. What’s made me new? What’s the cause of this great shift inside my soul? Life.
Being a mom made things new. I feel connected in a different way. I value time more than money because you can’t buy back a boy’s childhood. I left my career and didn’t look back- nothing but bug catching and ball throwing ahead.
Being divorced made things new. I am WAY more empathetic. Also more vulnerable. I wouldn’t say the destruction of a family unit is ever a good thing, but though my confidence is as high as ever, my pride is gone. I won’t lose my dignity, but I have let go of the sense of control and replaced it with acceptance and peace. I’m no longer angry all the time.
Being on my own has made things new. I’m surrounded by legitimately amazing people, but they don’t replace what was lost. Nothing can. And that’s okay. I no longer value fresh plants on the patio and chalkboard art on the kitchen table as a testimony to a happy home. My new apartment doesn’t have the space for either, but it doesn’t matter. A happy home is more about how the people in it handle anger, fear, and disappointment. It’s how the people in a home come together and laugh at dance off sessions and celebrate the healing that comes after a life saving surgery is successfully performed.
Being a single heart mom has changed me. Before, I felt in control of my destiny. My son’s heart condition and my divorce have shown me that all the best plans and hard work in the world can’t begin to touch the struggles that life can present. I both love and loathe not having a plan, a goal, and a sense of ownership. But in the end, the caterpillar doesn’t worry about not being a caterpillar. It eats its fill until it’s ready to spread its wings as a butterfly. The butterfly could never be unless it started off as a crawling insect and faced the struggle of emerging from a chrysalis.
I find that the newness is different. I think about how it must be for the insect that once moved on the ground but then grows to soar above it. Not necessarily better or worse. Just different. I cringe when people say, “I never expected you to ______.” Or “The old Sabrina ______.” She’s gone. She’s new. She’s the same too. Thank God for the struggle. The new me is happy to love again. The new me doesn’t want plans or a goal. The new me is okay with living day by day. When I look in the mirror, I still see the old me…the one that knew so much. But mostly, I see the new me…a woman that knows very little but still wants to learn more in wide open spaces.
The new and the unknown are hard, but not leaving the past behind is confining. Cheers to life and all the new things each day brings. 😊