Monday, April 07, 2008

Finding My Voice

I've been asked repeatedly where the hell I've been for the past year, and though it isn't an easy one to explain, I'm going to try to do my best. This post has been a long time coming, and I've written and re-written it dozens of times. The short answer is - I've been busy. Yes, I know, we are all busy, but trust me when I say that working an average of 70 hours a week and raising my daughter alone has pretty much taken all my time lately.

That is only part of it though, the other reasons involved are where it gets more complicated, and are where this explanation begins. The truth of the matter is, the past few years have been the most difficult years I have ever had to face in my life. I'm not interested in crying a swan song or getting into every single detail, but I have had to set aside an enormous amount of time to heal, mend, rebuild, and rediscover myself. I chose not to bring anyone along for that ride, and though in hindsight I see now that may have been a mistake, it was simply how I needed to deal with it at the time.

Four years ago I got married. From the day we walked down the aisle on though, we never actually lived together again. Honeymoon was over instantly. His work was out-of-province or out-of-country, and he was constantly traveling from one destination to another. Anyone who has actually read my blog in it's entirety will see various references to multiple planned moves that never happened. We had secured places in Toronto, Vegas, and Jersey, and for one reason or another each one of these deals fell through. When you spend two years planning to move at a moment's notice, you are never really able to settle into your life where you are at. When home no longer feels like home, and the person that you chose to spend that life with is no longer there, well....I'm sure you get the picture. Don't get me wrong though, I was certainly not without fault during this time too, but for these and many other reasons, things eventually came to a head and we separated two years ago this month.

Throughout this duration, I slowly slipped into a depression. I hate using that term, because most people instantly mistake it for what it wasn't. I was not suicidal, I did not walk around crying every day and I wasn't miserable all the time. It was deeper than that on a lot of levels, but on others it was very superficial. I'm generally on quite an even keel, but throughout this time period I didn't know what "even" was. I lost my sense of self, only to emerge afterwards wondering if I ever really knew it to begin with. My entire life I felt like I was something to everyone else - a daughter, a mother (at a very young age), a sister, a girlfriend, a wife, an ex-wife. I finally realized I had no idea what my own identity was, and I needed to take some time to figure it out.

Unlike some others who have gone through some very tough times and have worked through it by blogging, I found that I had nothing to say. It wasn't the same as having writer's block, I simply found that I had lost my voice. Nothing really mattered anymore. I had no opinion on anything. I couldn't have told you if I liked a, b, or c, what I thought about current events, or if I preferred steak or chicken for dinner. There was simply nothing there. I more or less coasted for many, many long months, believing that one day I would snap out of my funk, but not being able to see an immediate end to it.

Those who know me well know who I truly am. I have an enormous lust for life, passion, and friendship. I'm very outspoken, have many opinions, and am a type-A personality who needs to work around the clock. I work hard and play harder. I never minded surviving on just three hours sleep each and every night, so long as I didn't miss out on anything the next day. Well, for several years, I missed out on just about everything. I slept for about 12 hours a night and had no energy to do anything the next day. I figuratively pushed the same piece of paper around on my desk until I finally felt like I had accomplished something, and then called it a day.

This past September though, something snapped. I had one of those life-defining moments that I had previously only read about. I literally packed up my depressed state, threw it out the window, and moved on with my life. I found I couldn't work enough. I took on every opportunity that came my way, and I started to actually live again. I had boundless energy, and even better than "finding" myself again, I discovered a whole new me. I am now not only at the point where I am happy, I find that I am ecstatic just to wake up every day and see what is in store for me. I'm in a very good place in my life right now, and though it certainly isn't where I ever expected to be, it is fulfilling in many unexpected ways.

Though my "return" has been slow, I've started to reconnect with those online that I had left behind. It has been a long process, and I still haven't got around to everyone, and for that I have many regrets. I'm working my way around the board, so to speak, but just know that I truly have missed everyone more than you can know.

/life story

Now, I said I was opinionated, and here are my two cents regarding the current state of dissension in our little blogging world. You have to know - these are the people who have been my sounding board through the toughest times in my life. These are the people that - each in their own way - have enhanced my life beyond belief. These are the people who have stayed up late with me while I was upset and listened to every word I needed to get out. These are the people that I have traveled thousands upon thousands of miles to go see, even if I only got to spend five minutes with them one-on-one. These people, each in their own small, huge, or indirect way, are the ones that helped me get through this all. There are those that completely refused to let me fade out of the blogosphere all together, and there are those that never forgot the little things like sending me a quick email to wish my daughter a happy birthday. There are those that truly rock my world, and there are those that I know I will still be friends with in thirty years time. If you have not yet realized how much this fucking community of people truly rocks, then you probably will never get it. Stop bitching about the quality of play in a $10 MTT, and start appreciating what you are a part of. This is beyond anything that any of us ever could have hoped for or expected, so enjoy it and quit yer bitchin!