This is the first time, in at least ten years, that I have woken up for the last seven days consecutively, happy.
That’s right, for the first time since I was about eighteen, I finally feel a sense of balance in my life. 2019 was without a doubt, the toughest year of my entire life. The last decade has been a doozy on it’s own, but honestly they saved the hardest year for last. I wish I could list all these terrible things that made sense to the world, about why my life was so rough, but from the outside, it looked relatively normal. I didn’t have to deal with horrible diseases, many deaths, cheating or abuse… I just had to deal with my brain, and that was enough to make me want to throw an entire decade in the garbage.
It would be easy to write a blog chronicling all the things that happened to me in the last ten years, and I know that every single Insta-blogger is doing it. They’re sharing their highlight reel about their really cool lives, but honestly, their lives probably suck. And trust and believe, they don’t want to you realize that. But I do. So while I got to vacation, and got to move to a bunch of new states, and get married, and meet tons of celebrities, and go to concerts, and do some really awesome things, my brain was really really alone.
The last ten years, this decade, lost me. With every pound I shed on the scale, I lost a piece of myself. It was replaced with doubt, pain, anxiety and depression. When i didn’t know to cope with feeling empty, I tried to fill myself with the wrong things (mainly food, but also words against my brain to punish myself for not feeling like enough). I’m lucky that I was raised with love and support, and that food was the only coping mechanism I turned to. While I was lost, I feel like I covered it up pretty well. I kept friendships, started a relationship where I met the best friend I’ll ever have, which luckily turned into a husband, and I made new friends along the way as well. I had good jobs, ones that I always worked hard at, and succeeded at. I went on vacations, and saw parts of the world that people dream about. I lived this life, as a shell of myself. I lost almost ten years, not knowing which way to turn, and every time I felt a little bit okay, I lost it.
You can go back through a collection of my posts on this blog, where I wanted to make a change in my life. One that didn’t stick, spiraling me farther into a hole of despair and longing to grasp onto anything that made me feel alive. It’s all I wanted. Just once, I wanted the words I was saying, to be reflected in the way my life was lived. I was so empty, but hoped that I could fill it with promising myself to lose ten pounds, be a better blogger, put myself first, or do all these things for myself. I did it for years, and continued to make all these empty self promises, and I never felt alive, until this November.
I woke up one morning a month and a half ago, and found out that Dylan had been offered the job that we talked over, cried over, fought over, and dreamed about. A job that he needed to advance his career. I didn’t want it though, because I feared moving to a new place and being alone again, like I had been on every move prior. So, through numerous painful discussions, I stayed in Indiana. That decision wasn’t easy for either of us, but I’m going to tell you this: it’s saved both of us. I stood up for myself for the first time, maybe ever. All the years of preaching that I needed to put myself first, and I did it. A marriage where I followed Dylan’s dreams, and he also followed mine- to let me stay. I don’t need to talk about all of the nitty grity details into the move, and beyond, but I think it’s opened up this door we had never seen in this relationship. We understand each other, we learned different things about each other, we communicated on a level we had never reached, and we truly get each other.
That was the jump off, for me. I traveled a couple weeks later, completely alone. I saw mountains, I took a complete break from work, I stepped outside and just breathed. I started laughing, and learning about what I wanted out of this life. I took my medication every single day. I came home, and redecorated the house. I watched movies, researched things I was interested in, and prepared for 2020 in all of the ways I thought I needed to. I hung out with friends, I worked really hard, I laughed some more, and relaxed. I’ve spent this month signing up for Weight Watchers again, checking to make sure my gym membership was active, finding companies to work with on Instagram, finding people to help elevate me, picking up extra jobs to work on my debt. writing things down and creating a plan, and most importantly waking up happy. I’ve learned this decade that you are your own worst enemy. You are the reason you’ll wake up with a smile on your face, or puffy eyes from a night of crying. You can control if your pants are too tight, or if you’re laughing from a post-gym endorphin high. You only have one life, one body, and one decade at a time to define. The 2010’s was rough. It wasn’t something that I necessarily ever want to go through again. But I can tell you, that me in 2009 didn’t know how strong me in 2019 could be. And me in January 2019 had no idea, how happy me in December 2019 could be. I’m so excited for 2020, and I’m so thankful that I started healing before 2019 was over.
I’m ready for Wednesday. I’m ready for 2020. I’m ready to continue to heal all the pain that I put myself through the last ten years. Finally, honestly, truly, and for the first time- I’m actually ready for the new year, and this next chapter in the book of Jen Salisbury.