The Promise I Made Myself Six Years Ago

It was time to take care of myself. And I kept that promise.
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Young woman showing strength.
Young woman showing strength.

Even though I wasn't ready to accept it that day, I knew that once I boarded that plane -- my life was going to be very different. I was moving back home after having lived abroad for seven years. And after having been married for almost two. I told myself that if we moved to a new place, things would be different for us. And that meant me going first, since it was my Home and not his.

All I knew was that I couldn't live the life I had, for one more day. Because it was a lie. But I wasn't ready to admit it. I wasn't ready to admit that it was over. What would my family think? What would my friends think? I feared social judgement even more, as I was walking away. And I still wanted to believe that this would be a shift that would "bring us a better future".

So as I was walking towards security at the airport, after saying goodbye to my sister, mother and now, ex-husband, all I kept saying to myself was: "Vanessa, what are you doing? What are you doing?"

It's as if up until that very moment, I felt a sense of relief for being brave enough to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life but my angst and fear only grew stronger. Why was I still questioning my decision when every ounce of me knew that it was right? It was the first time I was following my Inner Voice and listening to my instinct. But I didn't want to trust it. Because it had always been easier not to.

All I knew was that I needed to keep moving forward, even if my mind was clouded with doubt.

And as soon as I landed in Philadelphia seven hours later, fear and doubt started to transform into excitement and hope. It was as if I was telling myself that it was okay to let go and look forward to new experiences. That there was more to life than what I had known.

Hope fueled me in the midst of turmoil, especially over the next couple of months. All I could do was cling onto it when it showed up to say Hello. My marriage had been over for quite some time but I had been in too much denial to even realize it. I see that now.

When the divorce was final, I promised myself something. I said it quietly to myself, on my futon in my studio apartment. "Vanessa, you will never NEED to be with another man in your life because you will know how to take care of yourself emotionally and financially".

As a friend of mine once said: "It's time to put my "big girl" pants on". And you know what? I did. Because I had to. I learned how to zip up my dresses in the morning, all by myself. There was a technique to it but I had always found it easier to just ask someone else to help me.

I bought myself a refurbished GPS at the time and made sure that every weekend was an "adventure". Anything new to me was an adventure -- a new neighborhood, restaurant or coffee shop. I would just love to drive and then have my GPS guide me home. I focused on feeling fearless, instead of fearful. And I would just take it all in. The little things. Every breath. And I saw so thankful - for all of it.

It was time to take care of myself.

And I kept that promise.

I was determined to rise after my fall
. It was that little piece of my Ego that I kept feeding every day, when Hope occasionally drifted away.

So what is the one thing you want most, right now? Is it getting a better car, moving out of your current home and/or moving to a new city? Well, that's what I did. But what I will say is that a car, home or new location is what I consider to be a push. A push that shows you that you are capable and builds your confidence.

But only you can allow yourself to heal. To rise again.

Now, what has been holding you back from being the woman you always were? The woman you know you are. Really think about this and don't lie to yourself.

Now say it out loud in your gentle voice.

Then take a moment to pause and reflect.

That was your Inner Voice and you just gave it permission to speak up.
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't -- you're right." -- Henry Ford

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