Reclaim, Rebuild, Renew, was the theme I chose for myself earlier this year. I chose this theme and wrote out a goal list which I am determined to accomplish. I’ve learned, “Goals are dreams with deadlines.” One of the goals on this list was to start this blog and post at least once a week for a year. As I’ve stated in my about section, I decided to blog as a way to find my voice. I also wanted to share any positive experiences I encountered on my journey as I start over again after a divorce. Although my voice is of a young woman, I have already experienced major losses in life that many don’t encounter so early on or at all. Loss is not uncommon for a child from the city of Camden, NJ.  I was raised by a single mother, abandoned by an alcoholic father, managed to be the first in my immediate family to participate in a high school graduation ceremony, and graduate college by the grace of God. In my early twenties I had a promising career path. I owned a house in the “burbs,” I was married and life seemed perfect.

Divorce changes everything.  It doesn’t matter what age you experience divorce or who initiated the divorce, it can really devastate everything you ever believed about yourself and the world around you.  I felt like I was a failure. I had tried so hard to become everything I thought would make a respectable citizen and break the vicious cycle of never amounting to anything children born in poverty often embrace. I never realized the very ambition that helped me accomplish really awesome things would be the same ambition that would lead me to feeling completely empty inside. Although I wished I could have realized I wasn’t living authentically before I was married, losing what’s comfortable forces you to wake up and pay attention to life. I would be telling stories if I didn’t say that living life out loud is both scary and exciting at the same time.

When I first started trying to find my own path I often worried that I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, or talented enough. I worried that pursuing my passions would be a waste of time. I even felt intimidated by my sisters conquering their quarter life crisis who seemed so much bolder than me. I am now better at silencing negative Nellie, embracing my own special gifts, and believing that persistency prevails. Even if we fall down, we don’t have to stay there. Looking at failure as an opportunity to grow is truly a liberating experience. As a bonus, I’ve learned that some of our greatest industry leaders have come to the point of homelessness yet became the millionaires they are today. So even though starting over can get overwhelming at times it’s not too late to dust yourself off and try again.

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