Friday, April 1, 2011

Someone Else's Dream - Y2D1

"If you don't design your own life's plan, chances are you will fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much." Jim Rohn

I left for many reasons (it’s all here, you just have to dig for it), not one of those reasons was to pursue my own life’s dreams. Quite frankly, my own dreams never really even crossed my mind. They weren’t even on my radar. I didn’t think I had dreams anymore…I was someone’s wife and the mother of 4, living in suburban America driving my American car…some might say I was living the “American Dream.” It never felt that way to me, I was going through the motions feeling like I was living someone else’s life.

I did not leave for myself. In fact, I believe that my leaving was one of the most selfless acts of my life. People who do not know me personally have looked at my situation and in judgment said…”How could she do that to her children?” But the people who know me and know what my life (and the lives of my children) was like then look at my situation and say…”She had to leave for the children, if she couldn’t leave for herself.” I feel like I need to make that point very clear so that new readers (people who don’t know me and don’t know the details of my situation then and now) don’t draw the conclusion that I left my marriage to chase a dream…a dream that was buried so deep I didn’t even know it was still alive.

Ever since day one I was living someone else’s dreams, fulfilling someone else’s desires. Our island wedding – his dream. It was beautiful, but not my dream. The home I now live in – his dream house. I like it, don’t get me wrong, but I’d much rather be in some old brick house in Seattle with all the nooks and crannies that my grandmother’s Wedgewood house had. Oh, and a laundry chute! I definitely want a laundry chute too! The jobs I took during my marriage were far short of fulfilling, but it didn’t really matter as long as my husband was pursuing his dream job. There was actually a time when I was forbidden to take back the job I loved in sales and instead had to continue with a finance job I absolutely hated. I was so terrible at it (on purpose) that I eventually got fired…oh, and then I did get to go back to my beloved sales job. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

When I got divorced a year ago today it never really even crossed my mind that I was now free to live any life I wanted. I was still really struggling to make ends meet and to keep myself and my kids afloat. I really didn’t see an end to that and was just doing what I needed to do to get all of us from one day to the next. I’ve always been a survivor and been determined to do the best for my kids and not be dependent on someone else to make it happen. I tried those online dating services in hopes I could find a man to step up with his deep pockets and foot the bill and play daddy, but no luck. I’m so totally kidding! If you know me, you’re laughing right now and if you don’t know me you’re scratching your head trying to determine if I’m kidding or not. I’m kidding.

After I separated and went back to work (in a gym this time) it was crystal clear to me that I wanted to own my own gym. I didn’t want to work for someone else. I never have, really. It quickly became my “Five Year Plan” to open my gym in Seattle. I had a really great plan too and five years seemed like not that much time to get all my ducks in a row. Everyone knows that I operate on one speed…FAST. I guess it’s not surprising then that it only took about 9 months for my dream to become my reality.

The best part of all this is that it has made me so incredibly grateful for the changes in my life. There is no part of me that is angry or hateful to my ex. Wrong guy, for sure. But I got 3 great kids and picked up a better last name out of the deal. All of the negative things are just situations that I have since learned from and will never accept again in my life. I’m not a bitter, angry ex-wife. I don’t have time for that, nor do I have the desire to expend so much unproductive energy.

I could sit here and bitch about all the “wrongs” that were and are done to me but the fact of the matter is, all I really am is thankful. I look at my ex and am just grateful. It may sound weird but it’s true. I am thankful that he treated me the way he did and made me want to leave. Had I never left I would still be living HIS dream, completely unsatisfied and unfulfilled. He gave me the opportunity to move on and to see that there is still life inside of me and I have my own dreams and desires and the power to make them my reality.

One year after becoming Ms. Michaelson I can say that I am truly happier than I have ever been in my entire life. I am filled with gratitude for life’s second chances, choosing happiness and moving on! Y2D1 and I’m feeling nothing short of AMAZING!

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