One Thing then Another

There is a thin line between being pessimistic and just accepting reality.  Reality is that life is unexpected and it offers many unseen blessing as well as unseen challenges. Being a pessimist means believing that things can only get worse.

My life has been full of plot twist and challenges. At times my brain tends to want to cannonball into a pessimistic pool of gloom. People bail, friends turn to strangers, situations never change and some one brings peanuts to a party and I have an allergic reaction(food allergy peeps know my pain)….

On their own these things wouldn’t be that bad but let’s be honest. It is never one challenge at a time, it’s usually two or three or ten.

Last year, I was living in the UK. When I arrived I was full of hope! My boss seemed like a cool guy, my boyfriend was madly in love with me, and my friends were all excited to have me near. As I transitioned into my new surroundings, I developed a cold which is normal for me when I travel over the pond, but one day as I was dressing I noticed a lump. It hadn’t been there two weeks ago….so maybe it will go away…. I was scared but being in a different country I had to figure out the whole doctor situation…

As I worked on that and got to know people at work, my boyfriend began to pull away, my friends were all busy at this time with various things in their lives and I had begun to have terrible nightmares.

Soon, I went to the doctor. The lump I had found, thankfully, was just a mass of fatty tissue. I may have cried with relief after hearing that news. But then I got the call, one of my friends had passed away.

Two weeks after their funeral, my boyfriend breaks up with me and thus begins my 8 months of only getting 3 hours of sleep per night. I was depressed, heart broken, home sick and lost.

As the new year came, I began to hope again. I began to look forward to my birthday and my heart was finally feeling whole again. But as I left my birthday dinner, I got a call. One of my beloved ladies, had passed away that afternoon. On my birthday… we lost our precious Carol. As I grieved that lost, I nervously waited to hear if the extension to my visa had been approved. On the day of Carol’s funeral I received a certified letter from the UK government. My  visa had been denied.

I had one and a half weeks to pack up and say goodbye to all my friends and beloved the people I had met through work, all the while trying to figure out where I would live when I returned to the US(And that is another story we won’t go into today).

If I were a pessimist, I would leave this story here but I value reality and not just the pain and gloom.

The reality is that last year was my worst and best year rolled into one.

My boss who seemed to be pretty cool in reality was one of the most gracious, loving, and wisest men I have ever known. As I walked through the challenges of the year, he and his family took my hand and walked through them with me.

My friends also stepped up to the challenge and became family to me. We laughed, cried, ate, shopped and camped together. They showed great patience as I spent many month struggling with depression and shame. Their friendship reshaped my heart into a stronger, happier version of itself.

But one of the most unexpected blessings was work. All the teens and children that I worked with and met made my life worth living. They were full of enthusiasm and hope. They accepted me as I was, asked no questions(well, that’s not true but not those types of questions) and celebrated being able to live life together. Knowing them was my biggest blessing.

In conclusion, even as I anticipate life to be full of challenging plot twist, I know that with each twist comes great blessings. They may not be what you expected, but most the time, that is a great thing.




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