I'm overcome with emotions of joy, excitement, gratitude, a little disbelief and a lot more appreciation.
I'm going back to Romania!
Only this time, I'm not a broken-hearted lost soul like I was 7 years ago when I traveled to Baile Tusnad to escape the pain from the emotional storm of betrayal that brought a swift end to my marriage - and almost my life. Self preservation kicked in to survive that first Christmas without him, the family and traditions I'd cherished, the meaning I gave all of it.
On this trip, I'm going to complete my twenty hour English teaching practicum in the same little village to the same wide-eyed kids full of hope and promise. And it all came together seemingly quite effortlessly.
I've learned a thing or two in the years from that first trip.
The most important lesson has been to cultivate the belief that I am deserving of love. And that it comes from me first.
When we accept ourselves and truly love all our blemishes and rough edges, it makes it impossible to be treated with anything less than kindness and respect from others. It would be one of those down the rabbit hole journey's to explain the discoveries, the process, the realizations, and I think that's what makes divorce recovery so challenging; we all have our own wounds of origin that need to be healed.
I've learned that healing, personal growth and recreating a life takes intention, practice and self compassion.
It seemed impossible to let go of what I held so dear. But in order to find peace, contentment, meaning and happiness, I had to change my mind about certain things. My old beliefs wouldn't serve my growth. My attachments would keep me anchored in the past. My thoughts had to shift from limited ones toward the ones that held possibility. And along the bumpy road I had to be compassionate with myself for my mistakes and poor choices. I can learn from them and do better. Condemning myself doesn't serve my growth.
I've learned that I'm smart, capable of a few things and I have some skills!
I've also learned they don't fit into a traditional career path. But they have created an amazing life path. And I'm becoming more than okay about that; in fact I'm excited! I've cloaked myself for too long with a heavy layer of believing in shoulds, I should have started a stable career path out of college, I should have gotten a job instead of trying to start my own business, but I know I'm better off tuning in to my own inner guidance system and following the path of curiosity.
Maybe I have vocational ADD. But all of what I've done, from massage therapy to real estate appraisal to starting a cookie company that failed before the first bite, have enriched me, educated me and served my growth.
I've learned to never build my world around something outside of myself.
At first I thought it was so selfish to say no to people's requests. But all the articles I read during my separation said I could give more by saying yes less frequently; that I needed to say yes to myself first. I thought my value and worth was derived from all that I did for other people, my husband in particular. The danger in doing so is that I gauged my worthiness on other people's happiness with me and approval of me. If they were disappointed or critical, I believed it meant I wasn't good enough.
I'm grateful to have graduated from that painful life class.
I feel so blessed to be able to go back to where I was before as the new and improved version of me; Patty OS10. I get to enjoy myself, laugh wholeheartedly, contribute enthusiastically, sleep peacefully and see the same things with reopened eyes and an awakening soul.
We find our rhythm in life. We just gotta' keep dancing.
If you'd like to follow along the journey, please subscribe to get notices of new posts. This experience will be the final part of my next book.