“I had to clear up my messy life. By letting go of the debris and filth, I have come to a deeper, more soulful beauty and clarity like an oasis in the desert. From that place of clarity, a vision of what I could have, what I could do, who I could be has emerged if I allow my heart to become a place of compassion, acceptance and forgiveness.” 
― Sharon E. RaineyMaking a Pearl from the Grit of Life

Wow. I really just could not have said it better myself.  I have been going through this dark time for so very long.  I started my twenties with a marriage, baby, and divorce.  I have been through three terrifying, heart breaking custody battles over one amazing child – and thankfully triumphed through each one.  (Nothing and no one could ever convince me not to fight for my son.  Ever.)  I have been betrayed by family, hurt by friends, embarrassed by lovers, and decimated by my many failed attempts at college.  I spent my twenties broke, directionless, and lonely.  

Before I turned thirty last year, I swore things were going to change.  There I was, living with my mother again and feeling like nothing was ever going to change.  Granted, it was a new state with new people and a completely different culture, but I was in the same old rut.  I wish I could put a finger on what changed between last year and now…I just can’t seem to explain to myself, much less to whomever may actually read this blog.  I went through some of the same cycles that I experienced from age twenty to age twenty-nine: moved in with my mom after a messy court battle with my ex; struggled to find a job, scraping by on government assistance and whatever my mother gave me; moved back out of my mom’s place and in with friends; then moved again…

And here I am tonight, finally on the verge of something…stable.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not there yet.  I have a bit of struggling yet to come, I think, but I am definitely coming to an end of my struggles – at least in financial terms. I just recently took a test to be a mail carrier for the United States Post Office, made it through the interview process, and am waiting for the background paperwork to clear so that I can start my driver’s training.  I also got a part time job as a Pizza Hut delivery driver, since the post office job will only be part time.  I know having two jobs might not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, and might not qualify as worthy of this much feeling…but I am just so immensely, overwhelmingly relieved.

I am relieved that maybe over the next nine years of Zachary’s childhood, I might not have to pray that other people give him enough birthday and Christmas presents so that he doesn’t notice how broke Mommy is all the time.  I am relieved that I might actually be able to keep a roof over our heads for more than a year or so.  I am relieved that I no longer have to fear finding a home for our cat or dog because I can’t afford to feed them or pay the pet deposit.  I am relieved that I won’t have to rely on people who will help me and then resent me for it later.  

Maybe we won’t be rich, but if I can maintain all of the above for a few years, that will be enough for me.  I wouldn’t exactly say I’m “done baking” (for all you other Buffy fans out there)…I’m pretty sure parts of me are definitely still doughy inside.  I don’t have my life all figured out.  I just feel like maybe all of the struggling and searching and reaching might actually have taught me a few valuable lessons.  Maybe I am finally a grown up…or something. 😉