When I think of my crazy friend giving me this advice, I giggle. He’s said it to me a gazillion times, and I’m sure he’s said the same to others. I admire his view on getting over the hurdles of life.

Disclaimer: I am no longer allowed to reference my previous relationship and that’s ok with me. I can however, speak about myself and my ongoing progress.

I’m going to continue to tell my new story with words, songs and photos. I believe it was before Christmas since I have written. I have a lot of news.

Pushing Past Fear

So many people say that they’ll do this or they know they have to do something in order to move forward in their lives. Well, I did it. I bit fear in the ass and I took chances. I was so tired of bad things happening. If bad things continued to happen, well at least I pushed past fear and took a chance on living.

#1 I do not have cancer. I have a lump in my throat. It is benign. It has to be removed. I see about this in two months. Celebration!

#2 I signed up for college and am now a photography student at Fanshawe in London. I’m loving it. I’m making new friends and enjoying the course. The pace is a little overwhelming, but I’ll get there. I’m averaging 85% thus far so I’m very proud of myself.

#3 I did this cool photoshoot with Lady Luck Photography in Ridgeway, ON. She was amazing. It was supposed to be a shoot that represents Lizzo’s Truth Hurts video. At the last minute, I decided that I wasn’t “100% that bitch”. What we did worked. Stay tuned for the “cryptic” blog post on her website since I had to scrap my story.

I think that these three wonderful things changed my life. It gave me the opportunity to appreciate life more. It helped me to realize that yes, you do need a helmet at times, but life can be good and surprising.

Getting Stronger

For over a year, I was at my weakest mentally. It was frustrating, demoralizing and debilitating at times. I’ve taken many hits. I wanted to die. From moving to Kitchener, getting a cell phone fine and walking the welfare line in November, to leaving my apartment to live with my parents, life has been hard, stressful, and REALLY demoralizing. However, I grew up a lot.

One thing I did realize though is that a person can live off very little monetarily and still survive. Stuff is stuff. What matters to me the most is my kids, my family and friends. I’ve got a lot of rebuilding to do with my kids. I’ve been dreadful and, at times, very mean and distant. I was fighting the person I was versus the person I had to be today. In my past life, I’d sit everyone at the table and Don Cherry the facts out until the situation was resolved. I can’t do that anymore. There is now taboo subjects. That’s fine, and I’m working on it. I’m working on me.

My Friends

I’ve been focusing a lot on my friends. My best friend is my life right now. We met back in the early 2000’s. Raised our kids together and also separated at the same time. We’ve been strength for one another. We’ve had good times and bad times. She is my rock.

I have two other best friends too. One of them, I’ve been friends with for over 17 years and another who I’ve really gotten close to over the past year.

My buddy who’s been through hell and back health wise still calls me every day. She talks without judgement and listens to my daily rants. She’s been amazing.

The girl that I have gotten close to this year has a sixth sense when I’m down. She calls me on occasions to see if I’m doing well. She’s been so suppportive and I appreciate her so much.

I met another girl this year who had the exact thing happen to her. There are subjects I can talk to her about where she has a better understanding than anyone else. I am blessed that she came into my life.

I have another friend who I call the “tiresome dude”. I don’t know how in the World we became friends. Well I know how. It was through Tinder and it flourished through a copious amount of nights drinking. He’s dealt with the brunt of my anger and tears…..without expectations. He’s celebrated my victories and has allowed me to cry when I need to without judgement. He’s now a best friend and I appreciate his kindness (even though I typically call him F***er).

To Love Again

Quite honestly, I’ve done a lot of thinking about my future. Right now, it’s my time and it’s best spent alone. This weekend, I looked at my best friend with a smile on my face and said, “I’m good.” I was good alone before and I’m good alone now.

To visualize the pain, the hurt, the unknown feelings and the uncertainty of building a new relationship is scary, and I don’t want it right now. I don’t want a bed buddy or boy toy. I’m quite content on my own. I don’t want to give the better part of me away again and risk it being hurt.

Like my “tiresome dude” pointed out to me one night.

You may create a new relationship with someone new, but it will never be like that first love you built a life with. That’s love. That love has purpose. That love is family.

Tiresome Dude (and he’s right)

Seriously, I can now picture myself in my little shitty apartment with a tiny makeshift photo studio and making cooking videos again to force me to lose the weight I gained this year. That brings a smile to my face.

Moving Forward

All is said and done. I’m happy I’m not looking at the past year and seeing no results. I feel that I’ve moved forward with many scars, but a lot of inner strength too.

As I drove home from school this past Friday, I found myself singing in my car. It’s been ages since I’ve done that. I was so profoundly proud of myself and I smiled. A genuine smile.

Am I happy? I’m not there YET. I know what happy feels like, and I want that again. Be God Darn, I’m going to find it, but I’m going to find it from within.

I hope that one day, everyone will be happy. No money, no “stuff”, no city, no person can do that for us. It comes from within and facing our fears head on.

Like I’ve said timeless times, Love Conquers All. However, the love we have for ourselves matters the most. It will conquer any brick wall we face.

Written by Trina Stewart

Trina Stewart is the editor-in-chief at Life's a Blog. Swinging single on the branch of life. She loves concert photography, hanging out with her single and married besties, and cooking. Stay tuned!

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