Sunday, August 15, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

Ava woke up around 2 am with a sore throat.  It's 4:45 now, and she's been back asleep for over 2 hours and I'm...well...I'm sitting here wide awake with a million and one things on my mind.

Yesterday, I went to Evansville and spent the afternoon shopping with my sister.  Close to half of our shopping trip was spent sitting in the food court talking about life, death, miracles, God, etc.  And the both of us where pulling every ounce of strength within ourselves to keep our composure and not burst out sobbing.  Still there were tears.  Quite a few of them.

Friday was my birthday, and after a nice dinner with my family, Starla and I went to see Julia Robert's new movie 'Eat, Pray, Love'

Here's my journal entry from that night....

(yes, I keep a journal separate from this blog.  I'm constantly writing down funny things the kids say, details of our day, pretty much everything.  It's just the kind of gal I am.)

Starla and I went to see 'Eat, Pray, Love' tonight and I have to say, I REALLY enjoyed it.  I think everyone likes movies they can somehow relate to.  

I understand the need/want to find yourself when you feel like your life has become 'unfamiliar'.  When you look at your life and wonder how you got to where you are, but know it's a result of choices you made along the way. When you feel like a stranger to yourself.  

Several years ago, I was that person.  I was fresh out of a marriage, confused about how in a few short years I had ended up there, so far from the dreams I had for my life.  In the movie, Julie Roberts character packs up, flies to Italy and starts a yearlong quest to find herself.  I didn't have that luxury; I had two very young kids.  Instead, I set out to become the person I thought I should have been by that point in time in my life.  A strong, independent woman.  Financially stable, able to take care of my girls without the help of any man.  I submersed myself into my career, and often spent long hours at work.  I saw a lot less of my babies, but I thought that was the trade off for being able to take care of them, and that one day they would admire me for being so strong.

Fast forward almost a year, and reconnecting with old friends through social networking (ie. Myspace, Facebook), and Chris and I randomly started talking.  We knew each other because growing up he was really good friends with my uncle, and was often at my grandma's.  However, because of the age difference we had never really spoke.  We spent a lot of time talking about our kids (my oldest and his only child were the same age).  What started out as a chatting turned into a great friendship, but I was reluctant to let it become anything more.  I was living up north, and was happy with the life I had made, and he was back home...3 hours away.  I came home for a visit, and well, the rest is history.

No..not exactly.  

I wish I could say it was that easy, but it wasn't.

We struggled a lot in the beginning.  Things felt natural; I knew I was falling in love with him, but I wasn't ready to give up my life and move 3 hours away from my job, my friends...even if it meant I would be right down the road from my parents again.  I wanted to keep what I thought was the perfect balance for my life.

But...Love got in the way!  It's a funny thing, love.  It makes you do crazy things; things you wouldn't otherwise do.

End the end I realized nothing was balanced if we weren't together.  During a conversation on a Tuesday I told him that I had decided I would move to be with him, and two days later (he took off a day of work, which is unheard of for my husband), because we had a big snow storm coming our way, I was back in good old Pike County.  

In the movie one of the quotes is, 'To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life'.  And that...I can COMPLETELY relate to.  I lost my so called 'perfect' balance, but gained more balance than I could have ever imagined.

I think my favorite quote from the movie was this one.  'Ruin is the road to transformation.'

We've had a lot happen in our lives in the past four years.  Probably more than some people have in their entire lives, and at times, it's put a lot of stress on our relationship.  Yet, at the same time, we've evolved, our relationship has evolved into something so beautiful.  And I know, without a doubt it is because of the ruin we've experienced.  

We've experienced death of a parent and a close friend, complications during a pregnancy that were life threatening, our child's congenital defect and subsequent surgeries...and facing the possibility of losing her, several other bad illnesses, hospitalizations, and surgeries, my hysterectomy, and now this.

Our love and devotion, those marriage vows in sickness and in health have been put to the test.  With each obstacle we've overcame our love and respect for one another has only grown.  We've transformed.

It probably sounds cliche but I'm thankful for where we are today.  Cancer and all.  I think you get thunderstorms in life sometimes, and you have a choice to run and seek shelter out of fear of the unknown, out of fear of the world seeing your brokenness, or you can just grab your loved ones, praise God, and dance, joyfully, in the rain.

Being faced with tragedy, whether it be death, divorce, financial troubles, or even the loss of a part of your physical being because of a disease, can be the biggest blessing in disguise.  It can give you a perspective you wouldn't fully be able to grasp had you not faced tragedy. 

I know it certainly has me.

My time is spent sneaking into my children's rooms and watching them sleep, holding my husband a little tighter and longer when we embrace, spending more time with my family and close friends, and making sure that everyone knows just how much I love them, and how thankful I am for them.  Praising God for all the blessings in my life, and waking up each morning with the attitude that 'Today is going to be a good day, because I choose to focus on the positive.  I choose to love, I choose to laugh even if it's through tears, and I choose to LIVE!  Live like I've been given another try."

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