Six Years of Stories and Lessons Learned

6th Anniversary

Six years ago today, I made the fateful decision to take the thoughts, feelings, and stories that occupied my mind and heart and share them in the form of this blog.  Despite the trepidation about putting parts of myself and my little dog and pony show on display, I hit publish, and so began my blog.  Six years later, I still have an abundance of thoughts, feelings, and stories to share, and along the way, I have learned some lessons, too.

The traditional gift for a sixth anniversary is iron.  I am assuming that this refers to the metal iron, not an actual iron.  I suspect if one gave an actual iron to their spouse or partner to commemorate their sixth anniversary, then, they may not make it to their seventh.  But I digress.

As I reflected my blogiversary, I thought of a few lessons that have made me stronger, much like iron, through the ups and downs of the last six years.  These are just some of the many lessons that I have learned:

  1. I am not alone.  Whether it has been dealing with depression, anxiety, divorce, relationship challenges, breast cancer, or any of the curve balls life has thrown my way, the overarching lesson has been that I am not alone.  I may have felt inordinately alone, at times, but I truly am not. I have been amazed at how many people, both publicly and privately, have reached out to me to let me know that they can relate to a particular challenge I have faced.  Some of these people have been friends and family members whom I know well, while others have been strangers.  Regardless of whom it is, I appreciate the fact that they have been willing to share their stories with me and helped me to recognize that everyone has their own struggles and challenges, not just yours truly.
  2. Life can change in an instant.  For a long time, I felt like when life offered up an unexpected change that it was always a negative or painful one.  I am thankful to now be able to say that in the past six months or so, I have learned that when you least expect it, life can bring you some of the sweetest surprises.  More on some of those unexpected gifts in future blogs, so, stay tuned.
  3. I am stronger than I ever imagined.  There have been times when I thought I would die, either by my own accord, when the depression and anxiety suffocated me, or due to breast cancer, when I was at the complete mercy of my body that felt like it had betrayed me.  During those dark periods, I honestly did not think I could survive, but I did, with a lot of help from my dear friends and family.  I not only survived, I thrived, and I will continue to do so.
  4. I may not understand, or agree with, everything thing that happens, but everything happens for a reason.  Everything.  Sometimes, the reason something occurs is apparent, but other times, it is not obvious at all and may never be.  When I have been faced with the latter, I have spent an incredible amount of time and energy trying to figure out the past, but slowly, I have started to leave the past in the past and accept that whatever has happened is in my best interest.  More days than not, I actually believe that.
  5. The next right step is the best step to take.  There have been plenty of times since beginning this blog that I have found myself asking, Now, what do I do?  That simple question can be overwhelming, and there have been times when I have had no idea what to do.  So, when faced with uncertainty, I focus on what is the next right step, no matter how small, I can take to reach whatever outcome I am seeking.  Once I take that initial step, other steps then follow, and I am on my way, even though I may not have all of the steps outlined.  There is no need to wait to have the entire plan in place, but there is a need to start somewhere. That somewhere is the next right step.
  6. I still am just a girl from Kentucky who has stories to tell.  After six years of storytelling, I still have many more stories to share.  I have rediscovered my own voice, and I have found that there is great strength in being vulnerable. I have come to believe that I am good enough and so are my stories. I am grateful for everyone who has spent time with me on this journey, and I hope that you will stick around for more stories.  I am just getting started, and the best is yet to come!

That’s another story.  . .

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