chutes

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Last year, this day wasn’t a trigger. This is my 2nd Valentine’s Day without my 1st “forever valentine.” So I didn’t expect to feel any different this year, but I do.

Seeing everyone post about their xth year with their valentine pulled on a heart string today that has silently been there with other life milestones (anniversaries, birthdays, baby announcements, new houses, etc.), but I haven’t spoken up about it yet in depth. Something about today has tapped into that space and I felt the need to share as someone else may be feeling something very similar.

I often catch myself feeling like I drew the worst chutes card after drawing so many good, some small, ladder cards, and getting chuted right back to the beginning. Back to “START.” Back to square 1. Whether it’s from a death, divorce, miscarriage, breakup, layoff, whatever. It can be extremely frustrating some days. Most days I’m able to cope with it pretty well. But on those much harder days, I feel myself wanting to be where everyone else is – married, house, babies – because I was there. I was already there!

But something happened. I drew that chutes card, and back to the start I went.

As empty as it sometimes felt and still feels some days, I didn’t go back completely empty-handed. I went back with life experiences and hard lessons. I know I am a very lucky woman, beyond what I probably deserve most days. But I’m also human – I sometimes want what I don’t have. The problem with that is it takes away from the precious things I do have. I’ve learned that this is just another part of my grieving journey. There are so many facets to my journey that most don’t and won’t see. There are some that I won’t even see or know that they’re coming! But I just have to remind myself that every grieving journey is different, and it is most definitely never over.

This year I do have a valentine. And guess what? It’s out 1st Valentine’s Day together! That’s something to be celebrated, cherished, and enjoyed all on its own.

With social media these days, it’s so easy to get consumed and overwhelmed when we can see “everything” (read: the highlights) that everyone else has, is accomplishing, is doing with their lives. Especially when you’re starting over at square 1, trying to begin a new relationship, learn a new job, meet new people, start new friendships, keep old friendships. It’s A LOT. And sometimes it’s just freaking hard. So hard. But you have to keep moving, keep drawing cards because among those small chutes and ladder cards, you’re bound to draw that one awesome ladder.

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