“Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.” – Steve Jobs

I’m going to be perfectly honest right now. My life is both amazing and full of heartache and pain at the moment. I feel like I’ve been hit in the head and in the heart with a brick. Thankfully I’m somewhat hard headed and my head just hurts right now. My heart on the other hand is looking more like the aftermath of a toddler let lose in a china store. Broken pieces everywhere!

Life is amazing right now because I am despite the heartache, making HUGE gains in my life. I have worked REALLY hard. Forgive me if it sounds like bragging, but I have NEVER worked so hard on myself as I did last year. I am so proud of me and I will brag about it shamelessly for a second. I worked through many incredibly painful memories, took ownership of my life back, dealt with some big ups and some even bigger downs throughout the year. All the while working hard to find myself again. Discover the person I knew I was buried under years of abuse. There were many times I wanted to give up, but I kept going. Ok truth be told, I kept going because I had no other choice. Had it just been me, I would have taken those bricks and built a small house far far away from here, but these little and not so little humans that are counting on me to be strong forced me to keep going.

In December, I spent a lot of time reflecting on the things that happened, the changes I made, and the circumstances and people that were in my life at various times that had a hand in the way things turned out. Up until that point, I couldn’t wait for the year to be over. I was ready to kick the door to 2018 closed and never look back. After I spent that time reflecting, I was able to start looking at the silver lining. Yes there are a lot of bad memories from last year, but when I look in my rear view mirror now, all I see are the wonderful , heart warming, growth, life changing moments that I was blessed to experience. I discovered that through it all, I came out having found the person I use to be, the one that I loved back in 1996. She was still under all the destruction, she just needed someone to hold out their hand and help her crawl out of the rubble. Lucky for me, someone was willing to reach deep down in that pile of hate and destruction and help me climb out. I will never forget how that person helped pull me out and help me find myself again.

2019 has some big things coming for me. Things are certainly going in the right direction and I am confident that this time next year, my story will be much different then it has been in a very long time. That in itself is incredibly exciting. Even on the crappy days, I can’t wait to see what the next one holds. That feeling of hope is like nothing else! Just brings a huge smile to my face!

So all these amazing things are happening, yet my heart is shattered into a million pieces. One of the bravest things I did (remembering that “be brave” was motto last year) was take my wall down. I had a nicely constructed bulletproof, soundproof (eh maybe just because I’m deaf), shatterproof wall. No one was getting on the other side of that unless they had some major magical powers. I realized after awhile, that I couldn’t keep it up forever. At some point I had to risk what seemed like the inevitable and bring it down. If I didn’t I would always live in a state of regret and wonder how my life would be if I had been brave and took the risk of letting the wall come down.

As I bravely took the wall down, took a huge deep breathe and walked out into the minefield of life, I had forgotten how vulnerable that really was to be exposed like that. It reminded me of when I first got my hearing aids. When I heard things for the first time, discovering some of the smallest sounds and some that were so obvious to other people. It felt amazing hearing and being “normal”. This felt similar. I could feel again, really feel everything around me. It felt amazing at first, and then suddenly it didn’t. All of the sudden all these new emotions started bring out my insecurities even more. I suddenly went back to the dark place where I wasn’t good enough. Yes I know, that isn’t true. But the fact is, that is how I felt. I began comparing myself to people and wondering what they had going for them that I didn’t. Every single flaw about me became magnified. I’m not a blonde (haven’t been since I was 7 years old) barbie doll (stupid short legs, I’ll never be that either no matter how many hours I spend at the gym), with an amazing job and my shit together. No I’m just an average girl working on myself every day, trying to get better in every aspect of my life. I lose my keys when they are in my hand, I run late ALL the time, I’m short, I can’t hear, I’m pretty blind too, and I love with all my heart, all their perfections and flaws and messy or shit together life when I love someone. So though I worked through some of those insecurities, and I realize that for some people I just won’t ever be “good enough”, I’m “good enough” to the one person that matters, myself.

Despite the fact that I am in love with the person I uncovered under that rubble, my heart still feels a bit shattered from the harsh realization of letting my wall down completely, feeling everything as it REALLY is and not as it feels with protection between my heart and the world. I had forgotten just how physically painful heartbreak really is. UGH! What I have realized though, is even if I never find anyone that will accept me for who I am, flaws and all, insecurities, quirks and just imperfect Jen, and actually want to be with me…through the last year I have relearned to just love me! And that is pretty amazing! So go ahead let the bricks left behind from taking my wall down be thrown at me, It may hurt a little, but I won’t lose faith! Life is only going to keep getting better from this point forward!