October 2018 launched several surprises that furthered my life, marriage, family, and career, in beautiful ways. Let me elaborate!
Before my husband and I got married two years ago, we had decided that I’d stop “working” (i.e., outside the home) a certain number of months into our marriage.
What for? Mainly for reasons that’ll stay between him and I, but the primary motive was so that I could begin prepping for becoming a full time homemaker and mom. That way, once kids came along, I’d have it all mostly figured out. And also because we’re vehemently against daycares.
Then my health took a turn for the worst and that “deadline” had to be changed to an earlier date.
In short, my back began to suffer through numerous spasms and my spine was turning in ways no normal spine belonging to a young woman should. But for months nobody knew why it was doing that! I was, for lack of a better term, a medical mystery.
Right then and there we decided that I needed to leave my job sooner than expected so that I could focus first and foremost on getting better. Ironically, when we reached this decision, we didn’t know what was wrong yet; all we knew was that something needed to change to allow me the space and frame of mind to get better.
And just when you’d think we were done moving dates and plans around, God laughed and said, “Nope, not even close.”
At around this time at work, an unforeseen event happened and I resigned. (It was quite unexpected to practically everyone else.) It wasn’t a decision made lightly but it’s been perhaps the second-best thing that happened to me just this past year. And I’m not exaggerating: My mind and body have been thriving since then.
Now when you go through something terrible (in my case, my body seemed to be working against me at first), it’s normal to see everything else as relatively easier and not worth much (if any) thought.
What do I mean by this?
For almost one year I was unable to walk well (if at all) and I wasn’t as spunky, peppy, or upbeat as I used to be because of it. I couldn’t move like I used to, which meant I also couldn’t walk our dog, cook comfortably, go on as many dates, or overall get from A to B quickly without feeling like I just worked out for hours but had nothing to show for it besides extreme pain in my lower back and left side (as I used to walk with an overt lean to my left side).
Despite of this, I was excelling at work and clients loved my contributions. I had been with that company for almost four years and everyone saw me as a valuable part of the team. But I’d be lying if I said it was all glitter and rainbows; the truth is I personally wasn’t feeling content, challenged, or self-actualized anymore, and something had to change.
At around that same time, though, it’s like the energy or thoughts I was having kept projecting out on to the universe because within days, something occurred at that job that fast-tracked my departure by only a few months. In some ways I felt like I should’ve left earlier than I did, and in others I felt like I should’ve waited a bit more–after all, I liked the people I worked with.
But as with everything, it was really the best time because it was when God considered it to be the most appropriate for me to go. And having that out of my “system” (for lack of a better term) allowed me to concentrate on the more important parts of my life-like my health and my family.
You can hopefully now begin to see what I meant earlier by not caring much about other things when you’re dealing with something major behind the scenes: Everything else falls by the “wayside” and your priorities shift. And our priority became getting me back to 110%.
Here’s a bit of context:
Because we thought that work stress was exacerbating my back pain, we were baffled when I didn’t make significant progress within weeks of my departure.
Fortunately, there were improvements because yes, my stress levels diminished, but these weren’t as great as we expected them to be. So we sought other solutions, like the time this “expert” in “functional medicine” swore that I had heavy metals toxicity/poisoning that my body was ridding itself of. After a few months of following her recommendations and seeing NO improvement (other than the occasional–and coincidental–bouts of pain-free motions, which she tried to take credit for, haha), I fired her and moved on.
Then I met up with spine experts who, in the course of ~two months, actually helped my body get cured from what was really ailing it: Many herniated discs, a couple of fractures, and other related issues that resulted from treatment I had been getting for years for (get this!! >>) a condition I, in fact, never had!
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Now, with that bit of context out of the way, let’s move on to the main reason behind this post: Why this past year has been one of my absolute favorite and best years.
In short, although it was itself a good outcome that led to the start of other good things, leaving that job wasn’t the best thing that’s happened recently: my FULL RECOVERY was! A year ago this week it was starting to go downhill, by the following Spring–when my treatment began–I was finally able to feel a hint of improvement, and by this Summer, I was back, baby! Everything else was merely icing on the cake.
And now I’ve been ready to continue living my best life yet with those who love me and who I love by my side: Others not welcome.
(This is actually a reference to part of a prayer my mom’s offered for me every day since I was little: Among other things, she asks God to keep away those who’ll no good influence on me and those without good intentions towards me. This prayer has been a literal Godsend as it in actuality explains why all the crappy and toxic situations, places, and people I come across have a way of quickly vanishing. It’s a very powerful petition that I know helped me greatly even this past year.)
I also think that there were multiple unrelated yet well-connected factors involved in my recovery.
Western medicine, for one. I refer to the doctors we found as “miracle workers” but I’m sure they’ll tell me they were just doing their job. However, that doesn’t stop me from wanting to get them all tokens of my appreciation and gratitude.
Then there was also my family–esp. my husband, who never imagined that the “in sickness” part of “in sickness and in health” would begin so early in our marriage. But he stuck it out and continually showed me why I made the right decision years ago when we went out for the first time.
And amid all this, he found another job that he loves and that almost doubled his previous salary (or practically doubled my own last salary), which has been fantastic.
My parents, besides praying, also looked for other solutions and they were the ones that ultimately led me to the spine experts I consulted and got real treatment from. It turns out their ad features a patient who goes in not being able to walk but later comes out walking fine–something I secretly envisioned would materialize for me as well.
(I guess you could see how the Law of Attraction played a role in all this, too, as I not only visualized myself walking and running, but also doing other physical things, and felt how it’d all feel!)
Then there are also my newfound passions of podcasting and pyrography–both of which I honestly and ironically began doing when I was actually at my worst. The reason why was because I had been yearning to start a podcast for years and also work with wood in some way, but could never find the time. Leaving my job gave me that time and not being able to stand around for long periods of time gave me the gentle nudge to start doing something productive, fun, and lucrative while I rested. I enjoy them so much that I even started a second podcast in which I teach listeners Spanish!
Truth be told, regaining my mobility has been an incredible gift and one I’ll never take for granted again because now I can do so much more than I used to just a year ago. And my favorite part is that now, whenever something happens that may not have been ideal, or if something doesn’t turn out the way I hoped, I always say, “Yeah but you know what? I can walk now!”
It’s been a tremendous turn of events and I’m beyond grateful to everyone who had a hand in it.
Hell yeah, I can walk now :)!
So everything else? It doesn’t matter. That’s seriously been my approach to life for the past several months. I have everything I dreamed of; I’m #winning.
After being a medical mystery, I’m now a walking miracle and I’m thriving. And the best part is having a husband who appreciates me staying at home and bringing value to our lives with my contributions there MORE than if I worked outside the home. (No, really, that’s how he’s put it: An additional paycheck from me is worthless if I come home stressed out or I’m always too busy taking care of other people while ignoring our family. He values me for ME, and not for how much $ I can bring in.)
But. for real: I can walk our dog (which I do daily), work in our yard, go to cookouts, book signings, live performances, and shows, park a block or two away from places if necessary, be more present, and just overall enjoy life more.
It’s been an amazing year and I’m excited for what’s next for us. Simply put, I’m WINNING AT LIFE, surrounded only by what matters, and those who don’t support me are safely far away. All you need is love.
What’s been one of your best years yet?