A year ago today I wrote this.
What a difference a year makes.
Since early on in my healing process, I created a mantra: “First the letting go, then the rising up.”
I knew I would have to let go of anger and sadness and hurt and self-pity before I could become the person I was truly meant to be.
At the time I had no idea how long this would take.
Last fall, I felt like I had let go of so much, and it was time to rise. To give myself a daily reminder of this, I decided to get some ink:
The juxtaposition of these two tattoos is what I love most.
The let go tattoo is softer and more soothing to me. Sometimes, when I feel like I am holding on to something I shouldn’t, I actually blow on my arm, picturing dandelion fluff dancing in the breeze, reminding myself to let it go, just let it float away.
In contrast, the phoenix is bold and fiery, reminding me to bring the badass and become all I was meant to be. Every time I look at it I feel a surge of strength and power.
When I got these tattoos, I felt like I was ready to rise. But that process turned out to be almost as slow as the letting go. I’ve found that I’m often going back and forth between the two. Sometimes I have felt like I am not strong enough to rise, and I have wondered if I ever would be.
But lately…lately I know that I am strong enough. I am on fire and rising from the ashes, my friends.
I have lost 80lbs since January and I feel fantastic.
I went back to the gym in early 2017, and at first I knew that just showing up was enough. I didn’t work as hard as I could; I needed to be easier on myself and take one thing at a time, one workout at a time.
These last few weeks, though, I felt a difference deep down in my gut–the old fire in the belly–and I knew that it was time to get my ass moving and stop jerking around.
I talked to my coach and friend and asked her not to go easy on me, to call me out if I was dogging it. I wanted to start pushing myself again.
It was time to rise.
Today, I’m not as physically strong as I used to be, but I will be soon. I’ve started working so hard again and I know I’ll get there. I’m already increasing my pushups, lifting heavier, moving faster, and generally feeling awesome.
I’ve been more present for my family and friends, even if I’m feeling down in the dumps.
I’m killing it at work in a new role that I love.
I’m funny again (sometimes).
Don’t get me wrong, I still have my moments. We all do. But I have finally gotten to that point where I know I am strong and I know what I’ve overcome, and the daily challenges I might face now are nothing compared to that.
Someday, I may have to face even bigger challenges. That is just how life goes. If and when that day comes, I will get through it as I’ve gotten through this.
But for now, on this day, at this moment, I feel myself rising up. Rising far beyond the past that I’ve let go of. The past that will no longer drag me down.
I’m excited about what’s next, and excited to maybe soon write about something besides what I’ve gone through. Because I’ve gone THROUGH it and I’m on the other side.
Maybe I’ll write again tomorrow or maybe it will be another few months. Who knows?
Maybe I’ll write about how big my kids are and how I feel like the time is slipping away from me so quickly (my son is a sophomore in high school…how the hell did that happen?!?).
Maybe I’ll write about some crazy embarrassing thing that I did (again).
Maybe I’ll write about love or joy or kindness. Or all of these things.
So many possibilities now that I’ve let go.
First the letting go, then the rising up.
Time to rise.