Once upon a time, I homeschooled a little boy who had OCD and Tourettes. I believed I failed him, and yet wondered if there was anyone who could help me see how I was made to be his mom. I wanted a mom whisperer. I saved the .com and ultimately, I encouraged moms through a blog, online classes, and in person. Local TV stations had me on for interviews. Everything seemed to make sense. My high school teaching background, Master's degree in Education, and I was working on my book, Momifesto, as well as videos for courses.
But then I went through a separation.
My Gram died.
My divorce finalized, also removing me from the family business.
My favorite uncle died.
I still blogged and cut weekly videos on having a teen in high school. I was full steam ahead.
Other friendships ended.
I became disoriented.
Jordan didn’t want to go to college so I took him to Los Angeles to see if he wanted to pursue photography there for a gap year. While in LA my hair got cut to 3 inches to help save it. I took a break from The Mom Whisperer because I couldn’t think clearly enough to engage at that point. Nothing in my life looked the same – not even me. But the most severe losses were ahead.
The house sold.
What started as a summer break from The Mom Whisperer became no natural way back in. I had no stories, nothing familiar, and no words left.
The dog died.
I had no markers for the day no morning routine no orders for the family business no errands to run or dinner time to make by 6 o’clock. Meals that used to be on a family table were alone. A daily routine now focused on therapy appointments for loss and grief, walking in nature, and writing. New neighbors replaced familiar ones.
I needed to listen to life’s whispers. I needed time, new views, help from others, women’s circles, and long drives. I needed to learn identity work on how to reconfigure who I was with no roles, no close family, and a life I no longer recognize.
Every Friday for these three years of loss I wrote a post on Facebook called #FearLess Fridays. Partly I wrote it so I could take stock of what was happening. Partly to connect to the online world in some way. Partly so I could keep pushing myself to not hide even though life was shattered.
Overtime I took and quit jobs trying to find my place. Finally, I asked myself what I really wanted in the world. I wanted a retreat the way I understood them. Not the jam-packed 12 hours of motion, but the solo retreat with others diving deep and listening to their lives right alongside each other. I wanted to inspire and impact the lives of women who felt they had to settle into the life they were given. I wanted to help see women see themselves beyond being a mom and a friend a sister or a wife.
Truth is, life iterates. Sometimes in the process, we lose who we truly are. We end up playing small in this big world.
While I don’t wish these past few years of my life on anyone, I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I’ve learned, changed, and found that evolving from a mom whisperer to where I am now has been the gift of a lifetime. So we begin again.