Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
So by now most of you, (or those of you with the patience to actually read through all of this,) will know a bit about my life story, and the journey that I’m on.
It hasn’t been an easy ride. There have been many ups and downs, but, for the most part, I have been working so hard towards solidifying a better lifestyle for myself and my family.
No matter what kind of journey you’re on, whether you’re from a rich, poor, lonely, supportive, dangerous or criminal background, you’re going to have your struggles, your slip – ups, and road blocks along your path. But if there’s anything that this life has taught me so far, it’s that no matter what comes your way, you need to do your very best to keep your eyes ahead, don’t take the easy way out, and just trust. And if you find yourself stuck in a rut, just try to find the lesson in it all.
Well, this weekend, I experienced one of those slip – ups myself. Yes, I am a human too. It’s something I’m not proud of, but something I’d like to share. I want to keep my blog as honest as possible, and I’m not afraid to expose my weaknesses. I hope it’s something others can maybe relate to in some way, and something we can learn from.
I guess this bad experience didn’t really start on the weekend. It kinda came from my own stress, partially financially. I also wanted to prove to myself and to Big Shot that I was also capable of providing for our family.
If you want to go deeper into the cause, I suppose I have felt lately, with my illness, that I have been rather useless when it comes to what I think is expected of me. On several occasions house duties have been neglected, and more than once I have felt that I haven’t been able to give Little Shot the proper attention he deserves. But that’s because I’ve been sick. And I shouldn’t have blamed myself for it. But, when these heavy feelings of worthlessness came along, my mind started wandering down different alleyways of opportunity – my own way of trying to prove myself.
And, if you want to go even deeper than that – This is the first relationship I’ve ever been in where I’m not expected to be bringing home the bacon. It’s a weird sensation realizing you are financially dependent on another person, and that if they don’t work, you don’t survive. It feels sometimes like I owe a lot to Big Shot for that. And one of my greatest fears is that he thinks he isn’t appreciated, or that I bring nothing to the table when it comes to supporting our family, or that I am merely using him.
What I should have realized:
- Money isn’t everything; family is.
- I am loved, and everything I do is appreciated.
- I do work hard. I take care of our child and our home to the best of my ability.
- Big Shot does not expect anything of me, other than my happiness.
- Little Shot is happy. And I’m a huge part of the reason for that.
- Being sick is nobody’s fault. It is frustrating the way it can hold you back, but it’s just the way life goes sometimes.
- I am not useless or worthless. I have come so far to realize my life purpose.
I shouldn’t have turned back, but, instead of thinking over all of the above facts and carrying on with my life in peace, I decided to go out and attempt to take on the responsibility of making money. And not by writing a book, or hosting a workshop, or any of these other great plans I have in mind for my future.
I left my family and went to a strip club on Saturday night. It was the first time I’d really been near one in two years.
Since beginning this chapter of my life, and even now, I have always thought I could never go back to dancing. I have nothing against it, or people who do, I just know that in my heart it wouldn’t feel right for me. Maybe for the person who I was, but not for the woman I am now.
Instead I decided to accept a job doing promo work for the club. Basically, the job was to walk around the city at night and hand out flyers, and if anyone wanted to go back to the club they would get a free ride in the van.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t okay with what I was doing, in fact I actually wasn’t sure. In my mind, all I could think of was making money, and of how much of a difference it might make if I could. Maybe I’d feel better about myself. Maybe Big Shot would think of me differently. Where on earth did these rubbish ideas even come from?! On top of this, the thought of promoting an environment which society told me was “bad” was a bit tricky to get my head around.
It didn’t take long for me to get the feeling that the job wasn’t right for me. I could tell because when I prayed in the bathroom as I changed into my work shirt, all I felt was cold and empty. I felt so far from God, and so far from myself. But the last boat home had already left, and the first one back wasn’t scheduled to leave until 7:00am the next morning. My family and I were literally an ocean apart, and I missed them terribly. I realized what a big mistake I had made and I wished I could be at home with the ones I love, cuddling on the couch, eating pizza and watching cartoons.
Instead I was standing on a cold, dark, busy street in the city, my feet aching in my high – heels, struggling to make any money at all.
When we got in the van I told the manager that I needed to take my bag with me. I couldn’t leave it in the lockers as it had my Epipen in there, which I needed on me at all times, just in case. I put my bag in the front of the van, right by the driver’s seat.
The four of us where dropped off in the heart of the city and we set off in pairs to stalk our prey. My “buddy” for the night was really lovely. She was good company and lightened the mood. Our haircuts and signatures were almost identical.
We worked our very hardest to hand out flyers, but to no avail. We managed to convince two men to go back to the club in the van, but they didn’t actually enter the club once they got there, so we didn’t get paid. A waste of half an hour’s work.
After a few more hours of handing out flyers with no luck I returned to the car and realized that my bag was not where I’d left it. Instead of beside the driver’s seat I found it slumped behind the back seat, open, with half of the contents missing.
The first thing I checked for was my Epipen. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s an auto – injection shot of adrenaline. Basically, it is what I use if I come into contact with seafood, (which is very likely – I live on an island and even breathing in the smell of fish makes my throat glands swell.) If I do have a reaction, I have about two minutes before my throat closes up entirely and I stop breathing, and with CPR I’d have about 5 minutes to get to a hospital. My Epipen slows that process by opening my throat up and will allow me maybe 20 or 30 minutes to get to a hospital instead. They aren’t cheap, but for me, having one on me in the case of an emergency could be a matter of life or death. To most people the Epipen itself is totally useless, but to me it is essential.
So naturally, when I found that my Epipen was nowhere in sight, my heart broke. It had been really hard for us to get one in the first place – they are not subsidized by our Government here.
When I knocked off the boss asked me to change back into my own clothes and give their shirt back. That’s when I realized my own shirt was missing from my bag too. Who would steal someone’s shirt?! Why?! I ended up wrapping up in my jacket instead. Thank God I had my credit card and my phone on me, as well as my ticket home. The thief did take my charger though, and of course my battery was almost completely dead. They also took the muesli bar I’d packed for my breakfast.
Luckily Big Shot called just in time as I boarded the ferry home. I explained quickly to him what had happened, and he said he’d be waiting for me at the wharf.
On the boat I crouched up into a ball and sobbed. I had my shades on to hide the fact that my panda eyes were dribbling down my face. I couldn’t have cared less what I looked like at that point – I felt like such a failure. I had spent our food money on getting to the city in the first place, but in the end I made nothing. I really screwed up big time.
So, what have I learnt from this? Firstly, don’t do anything if you’re not 100% comfortable with it. If it feels right in your heart, go for it. But if you have any kind of bad gut feeling, take the warning signs and back out. I’ve also learnt that God tests me, and continues to, and trust is something I’ve really been lacking. He’s got my back. Always will. I’ve gotta go with the flow. At the end of the day, my plans are nothing compared to His. As bad as things may seem, His intentions are good and he knows me better than I know myself. He wants nothing but the best for me. I also need to get used to my new role; as old – fashioned as it sounds, being home and looking after the children and the house is my job now. That, and taking care of my health, are my number one priority.
So last weekend has been a bit of a setback for us, but I am so blessed to have such a loving, understanding fiancé. Big Shot gave me all the hugs I needed when I got home on Sunday. He reassured me that he does not expect anything from me, and that I didn’t need to feel the need to make money. He understood that he had to just let me go on the weekend and learn those lessons on my own. And he understands my illness, and that this is going to be a slow process til treatment, but he restored my confidence by letting me know that we are in this together. And that no matter what, I am loved. That’s all I really needed to hear.
And then we snuggled on the couch and watched hours of anime cartoons. Holding Little Shot in one arm and Big Shot in the other, I finally relaxed. I was hit with an overwhelming sense of love, peace, and appreciation. I realized how important these two people are to me, and how blessed I am. Giving thanks isn’t something I do enough. I’m glad I’ve learnt what I have, and I can definitely carry on now, a much happier, relaxed person than I was.