Picture this, April 2016, I am amidst keeping my blogging goals for the year furiously brainstorming, starting drafts and keeping notes of every single, AND I MEAN EVERY SINGLE, tactic to get traffic, maintain the followers... BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. Each day I work my full-time job and keep my attention there for 8 hours and then come home and stress about what I am going to write, craft, create and share with the world for several other hours and after all that. Additionally, I try to still find time to go to the gym, take care of my house and spend time with my loved ones. Are you exhausted yet reading this, because in real life it was majorly burning me out in a slow, sad, lingering-death type of way. I managed to keep trucking along to make my post for my birthday and then after that it all just sort of hit the fan. (Don't worry the next paragraph is where I start to break it down.)
So after all these people are haunting me with their subscription lists, email tactics and webinars, I finally start to realize I need everyone to just shut the you-know-what-up already. I finally started unsubscribing to these people who keep telling me to go to all these engines to have mailing lists, webinars to sell and yaddiddeeddahh tips for Instagram to make it in this world. It was all way too much for me and it was not organic or who I was at all. I decided I needed a real break and to quiet all the noise that took me away from enjoying blogging and celebrating all the unique things about me that I enjoy sharing and excuse me, I DO NOT NEED TO FIND A NICHE! I really struggled with that aspect of what these professional bloggers were saying. If ambidextrous can be applied to life, then consider me that. I will not limit myself to one specific creative topic or outlet, even if that means I will never make six figures a month on webinars or whatever the latest fad is right now (I am out of touch from shutting everyone up so I don't know the current cool kid fad).
So in addition to fighting an identity crisis I had among myself and a bunch of freaking strangers, I also found out some of the most devastating news ever. My sweet, precious, darling [wo]man's best friend, Marley had cancer. When the doctor broke the news to us at the vet it was like a horrible scene out of a dramatic movie. The doctor comes in with sad eyes, makes eye contact with us and we know our hearts are about to break as she breathed in to tell us what she had found. Our first-born [dog] son had cancer that was engulfing one of his kidneys and even worse he had weeks to months to live. I continue to remember that moment because it freaking sucked and it is not fair. We did our best to give him all the best during his last weeks with us. He had treats for full meals, went on more walks, went with us wherever he could and even got to go camping for the first time. He did great and even tried to hang on for us just a bit longer until he just couldn't be stronger than us anymore and we had to let him go. We had a great eight years with him, with so many great memories, which makes it harder to say goodbye when we selfishly wish for more great times for ever and ever.
It has been two months since we told him we would see him later at the rainbow bridge, but there is not a day that goes by where I don't miss my best friend. He was the type of friend to make you laugh when you were sad, keep the house clean when things fell, up for any activity you wanted to do, but most importantly love in the most unconditional way with all of his being. I hope each day I am just a little more like him in my interactions, relationships and outlook on life.... wag more, bark less!
So, all of that should be the worst of it, but unfortunately it is not. Our water heater also had been leaking around this time and we finally realized that a few days after we lost Marley. Even better, it had been leaking into our wall and flooring. A real OH EM GEE moment. As we are trying to not only mourn the loss of our best friend but also get our adulting on to deal with this situation, we tell ourselves and each other to just keep making it through another day. It has taken time and tested us on a daily basis, but we are finally starting to wrap all this mess up and get to a point of a new normal at our house with new home updates and a quiet house without a dog.
Fast-forward to today, several months of dealing with turmoil, loss and total chaos (while still needing to work and pay bills like things are normal) and I am finally starting to get back to where I need to be. Like they say, many things just take time. I realize so many things in this very moment that I wish I could have told myself before. I want to tell you just in case you are bogged down and feeling lost, too.
First, be yourself. Don't listen to everyone's opinion of who you should be and what you should be doing, unless of course you ask them. Only you know what you have been through and why your instincts are kicking in to be a certain way. You go follow that freaking destiny of yours- it is in you! Second, when everything around you is too loud, call a time out. A great friend of mind told me it is okay to take a break when you want to quit, just don't quit and take a break and come back to things in your own time (thanks Jules!). So take a break, get refreshed and make your own rules for that destiny because there is no right way when you are writing your own story- no seriously, THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY. Third and most importantly, be selfless and love with all your being just like a dog would. People screw up and make mistakes, forgive them and be excited when they get home (don't forget to wag your tail). Life is too short to waste time and energy on that when you could be investing your time with happiness.
So now that the pendulum is not really swinging, but more in line with the universe's natural orbit, I hope you can hear more from me again like you were used to. Sure there are lots of magical, glittery moments that life has to share, but there are times like these where even unicorns get caught in a straight-up downpour from life and we need to march on through it to see the rainbow again. I hope you don't mind hearing about both from me!
So hug your dog extra tight for me and go out there and show the world who you are without any inhibitions (or total BS from anyone). Take care and feel free to share your own woes, wins and wonderful life lessons with me below!