Discover more from Michigan Girl - Written in the Mitten
As I face the second anniversary of having to rebuild my career and so much of what was lost in the aftermath, I am going to share this essay that I wrote back then. When I was so lost… I realized this: (and it still holds true today)
Something can happen that can devastate you, shock you, change you. Something you can’t imagine happening to you, happens.
You have to sit with it, for days, weeks, months, a lifetime. But, eventually, you realize this: You are still you.
Even when you lose things and people you thought you would never lose. Even then.
You. The you that sits with you, rises with you, bikes with you, walks the dog with you, wakes your boys with you. You.
When the anger comes, and it does, in waves, you learn to stop it. The things happening – all the hurt and chaos and those actual physical things – are outside of you. They are not you; they are separate from you.
You pull back, you reset, you right yourself back in your good life, the one you have built with your husband and sons.
And when you’ve finally had enough, you take the one thing with you that no one can take from you: You.
Later, when you look back, you see your old life. But the longer you look, the more you see that it doesn’t look the same, doesn’t feel the same, doesn’t hold the same.
You look down and you see why. The parts that mattered? Those came with you.
Your love, your soul, your energy. The uprising of joy, the spark of creation, the love, the excitement, the YOU.
You, it turns out, goes wherever YOU go.
In the last several months you’ve grown used to living with a sense of unease. Each morning is one of waking and remembering.
But this morning, the first of June, you have to double-check. Something’s different.
You take inventory: You are still alive. You are home, your kids are home, and your husband is asleep next to you. And, it’s still true: the hurt and betrayal. Everything that was there yesterday, is still here today.
But, could it be? You close your eyes and test again.
Kandace Chapple, Michigan Girl is a reader-supported publication. To receive all posts and support my work, please consider becoming a paid subscriber.
You wait for the unease to arrive. It doesn’t.
You wait for the anger and betrayal and the endless reworking of it in your head to arrive. It doesn’t.
You wait for dawn to come.
You roll out of bed and pull on your bike shorts and jersey. You haven’t ridden much since it all happened, but today you - you! - remember how much dirt and trees and sky can heal.
And you realize that the thing that always made life work, all along, is yours to keep, no matter what: You.