When people see that you haven’t been online for a while, they begin to wonder where you are. I’d been posting and really going hard this year before and during Covid-19. But then my presence online stopped, because my real life stopped. It’s really hard for me to take pics and blog while my already jigsaw puzzle of a life becomes undone right after I’d gotten the pieces in the mostly right spots. I had to step away, look at all of those pieces, so meticulously placed, now on the floor being scattered all over. It was as if the pieces were discovered by an uncaring toddler who happily disregarded all of the hard work it took to put that puzzle together. That WAS my life. I had to not only pick up the pieces but I had to start a new puzzle. The new puzzle can be fondly identified on any shelf in the store called Life as “New Beginnings.”
My relationship and my little family as I’d known it for the past 5 years came undone. I had the red flags, some blaring and some subtle, but I loved my family so I stayed and worked hard. I felt the harder I worked, the better it would get just like the things in the rest of my life. When I worked harder at being a mom, at finding a career, at being healthy it seemed to work so why couldn’t my relationship work if I only just tried harder? My mind knew this wasn’t the way things go but my heart felt something different. So I continued to try harder and harder until it was just too hard. And then I was done.
The disrespect and constantly feeling on edge because of someone else’s behavior just all became too much to deal with. It was like Yana, you don’t deserve this. Enough is enough. He’s not going to treat you any different than this. And knowing and having to accept that fact made me sad, angry, and super disappointed. It just wasn’t fair to me..and the result wouldn’t be fair for my children either. In my mind it was like, I treat you with respect and love and commitment, why can’t I get the same thing in return?? It’s hard to accept that how someone is is just how they are and there’s nothing you can do to change that no matter how much love and patience you show them. So….
It was over.
I spent the summer with my two year old working on the new puzzle. I had to find a place to live and I knew in the short order of time it would be easier to rent. That was until I actually started looking for places to rent and it wasn’t as easy as I’d thought, or even as easy as it was last fall when I’d planned on leaving and changed my mind (after I’d already found a place to rent). I’m still trying to remember who put a little bug in my ear about purchasing a home…I guess it doesn’t matter who said it as much as it does that I heard it and that bug wouldn’t let me go. I wavered back and forth about renting because well honey those rental prices in the MD/DC area are serious! Take a moment and join in my thoughts… they went something like: Can’t I get a mortgage for that apartment rental amount?? Geezeee! And yes, yes you can get a mortgage for that amount or less. But God I can’t…I don’t have time and just get me out of this situation ASAP! Buying doesn’t sound like ASAP therefore that can’t be the answer, right?
But I already own a home, I can just wait until my tenant moves out and move into there. But that’s 8 months away. What will you do with your kids and your stuff until then? I can move into an apartment and put my things in storage and then move out again. Ugh…but this sounds like sooo much work on top of everything else. God pleaseeeee help me.
While getting put on waitlists for rentals, I found a house that I liked and put in an offer. The house was sooo cute and had everything we needed. But it fell through and I backed out of the deal because like everything else in 2020….thanks to Covid… things work a little differently. It’s now a sellers market, meaning lots of offers and high bids are expected for each house and in this particular case, it was way more expensive to close. So I let the house go. Clearly this means buying is out of the question, right God?
I had a deadline to get out of the house I was currently living in with my partner and children and I was cutting it close. My realtor was very flexible and never pressured me. She even said ok, let’s try it a little longer and then if we don’t find anything in the next 3 days we know renting is the route to go. But first, we sat on the floor in one of the empty houses we visited, and did an affirmation of what I was looking for in a house. We listed out every single thing, including a fireplace. Two days later, we found a house. I put in a bid. Out of 10 applicants in less than 48 hours they picked me. Me! The single mom who needed everything in the house fixed first. Period. God helped me. He understood my desire to have the most comfortable place for my children and myself – my toddler needed a backyard to play in daily with the dog and my daughter needed a spot for her friends to come over and hang out. We got that and so.much.more. I say all of this to say…I didn’t want my story or my puzzle to change. I wanted it to stay the same. But if it did have to change, I wanted it to be smooth and happy in a sense. This house is our happy spot. My son tells me everyday “Mama I love this new house” and my daughter loves it too – we are painting (ourselves) and getting the basement ready for her and her friends to hang out.
So here are a few takeaways that I want you to know:
- Change is hard. Breaking up is hard. Dismantling a family is heartbreaking. But God controls all of the moves and we can trust Him because He is there helping us. He’ll show up more than once even if you’re on the fence like I was to yell “Hey it’s Me, it’s really Me! I got you boo.”
- Save your money. Always make sure that even if it’s $5 a paycheck save it. Saving your money is not a preparation for failure. It’s a preparation for success…no matter what happens.
- Challenge the generational patterns. I know my mom stayed 24 years and aunt Sally stayed 30 and aunt so and so stayed 15…who’s going to make sure that your daughter and young niece stay zero years? We have to show that you do not have to stay, nor should you stay, in any relationship that is not good for you. You matter. You is smart. You is worthy of some good lovin’ girl. You are worthy of NOT being cheated on and disrespected. And sometimes this means boy bye! As hard as it is for me, it was even harder for my mom. I’m hoping that my daughter will skip this part of the story because of what I’m doing today.
- Push through the pain. This is hard. When your brain kicks in to tell your heart to cut it out it’s painful. But seriously it was like God totally showed up the more I kept taking steps forward. The more steps I took forward, the more he showed up. And showed OUT. I’m still in awe but I know that those steps were ordered and what He wanted me to do because what? “Faith without works is dead.” James 2:17. I showed up for myself and my kids and put my back into those next steps and it was haaarrrddd. Dumb hard. But I did it. I’m still doing it. Thank God for friends and family during this part. Forreal.
- Take as much time as you need. Don’t let anyone, including yourself, rush through a process of change. There are so many elements, or pieces to change especially when it’s a big one. I’m still not ready, I’m just ready enough to write this post and post on IG today. But I might be gone again tomorrow because I’m having a sad day or because I wasn’t able to focus because I have a two-year old to play with and a teenager who I have to listen to about her day in online school. My life is different. My time is different. And it’s still hard and I get sad and only time will heal it all.
- Always do what will make you feel the most happy, the most comfortable, even when going through a hard time. I know we won’t all have the same options, but there will be options for us all. Pick the one that will make you most happy and comfortable. Life can be so uncomfortable and hard already so don’t think that because things changed you have to go live in the gutter or live this below-human existence. No. Always pick the most uplifting situation you can when you face change. That goes for a job, a relationship, a hairstyle…always pick the option that’s going to make you the most happy. I bought another house because I knew moving into a place one time was going to make me the most happy, even in a season of hard change. So I took that chance and it worked out. It will work out for you too.
- Believe in yourself. It’s like once you believe in yourself the Universe shows up like yeah boo I got you! So just do it. You may have a different opinion on what you should do vs. what your friends and family think you should do but the belief in yourself will always point you in the right direction.
- Call your friends and family. I don’t have any family here where I am. My partners family was mostly my family and my biological family has moved away. So I was super alone going through this…but my family in NYC and NC and even as far as Seattle got whiff of what I was going through and began to check in and it helped so much to not feel as alone. My neighbors helped. My friends here had my back. My groupchat was there. My cousins came down from NYC. People are here…sometimes we just have to let them know. Do you know one of my girls from High School drove all the way to Maryland from Albany when I first started going through this? I never thought I’d smile again until she came and made me laugh all weekend while getting things done. I got people boo!
- It’s ok to second guess yourself. I had to call my big sister Carmen, a woman who identifies with that “hard knock life” in the truest sense and I told her I couldn’t do this. I was backing out of the deal and I made a mistake. She talked me through and told me I could do it. For whatever reason I believed her more than I believed myself and I continued on with the buying process. I’d pulled out of the loan and everything. I shut down. I just knew it was a mistake and I just couldn’t. But somehow, her saying I could and showing me I could and being an example made me feel like I could too. My friend Adrienne and Ty showed up as well with their hands out pushing me towards the finish line. I kept moving forwards, scared. But I was moved towards the finish line. I crossed over.
- Find a good therapist and if you have kids find them one too. The end.
I did an IG Live with one of my most favorite people, Michelle McKinney, check it out as we are talking about New Beginnings!
Love y’all!! XOXO. Go ahead and leave a comment below. I know you’ve got something to say! Lol.
Thank you Reecie for taking these pictures to help me get back on track!