As I sit alone on a train to Paris I reflect upon what has occurred during the last 9 months of my life. It has felt as though I have been riding a very fast “out of control” roller coaster in which I have experienced some extreme highs followed by some queasy to my stomach lows. Since I was a young child I have always sought out to be perfect and thru this need I have always had a sense of control over my life. However, during the past 9 months I have learned that sometimes the Universe does not want you to be perfect and in control. At times it will throw situations your way to test your patience, faith, and the process of life. Real life is like a roller coaster, in which you can never predict the twists, turns, highs, and lows that will come next. But, as long as you have faith and trust the process everything will be ok. I would like to share with you my roller coaster ride of life through my forty-forty vision…
2015 started off with BANG!!! I was on top of my A-game and couldn’t be happier. Professionally I was doing what I loved, I was helping children with autism. I also started my very own publishing company and was about to publish my first book. My relationships with my family and friends were the strongest they had ever been, and after years of searching I had finally met the man of my dreams, my “soul mate” and was starting to fall in love. The biggest and best part about 2015 was that I was turning 40 and I was feeling 40 AND FABULOUS!!!
Now just to let you know, I am a big believer in energy work and the energy you put out into the Universe comes back to you. After years of self-work, I started practicing a morning routine that I have developed to keep me grounded and to make me accountable to live positively. Every morning I practice the same ritual in which I begin my morning with prayer by sending positive energy to my family, friends, and clients. I then read something positive, followed by meditation. I end my morning ritual by saying a positive affirmation in which I will continue to say throughout my day. This routine has taken me years to perfect and has worked very well for me. I have attracted a lot of happiness and success and have helped others to attract the same. Through this practice I have earned a PhD, have a successful business helping children with autism, have a nice roof over my head, have been able to rescue a couple of pug puppies, and have many wonderful friendships. So what happens when you lose control? What happens when the Universe has a different plan for you and throws you life situations that you have no control over?
Well, I will tell you… I began my roller coaster ride in February when I found out my mother had lung cancer. This was upsetting news, but I tried to focus on the positive and encouraged my mother to do the same. My mother was scheduled to have the tumor removed in May and what was supposed to be a three-day stay in the hospital turned out to be a three-week stay. My mother passed away on May 31st, 2015. I spent everyday with her while she was in the hospital encouraging her, making her laugh and smile, and trying to make each day as positive as I could make it. My mother and I were very close. She was my best friend and my only parent left (my dad had past away 10 years prior.) They say that losing your first parent isn’t as devastating as losing your second parent and I would have to agree. Losing my mother was like losing half my body, my mind, my soul, and my passion for living. It has been utterly one of the most devastating experiences I have gone through, all of which I had no control over. No matter how much I prayed, how many positive vibes I sent out to the Universe, how many affirmations I said, my mother would never come back to me. Her death was out of my control and I began to feel lost, alone, and like an orphan.
To make matters worse my “soul mate” (you know the guy I fell in love with) well, the day that I returned home from my mother’s funeral he did not talk to me. He did not talk to me because he was spending the weekend with another woman. He was wining and dining her, taking her to amazing dinners and concerts, and introducing her to his parents. This was heartbreaking because a few days before my mother’s death I lied in bed with him and cried uncontrollably about losing her. As I mentioned earlier, I never lose control and for me to cry and to be so emotionally raw and vulnerable was like losing my emotional virginity to him. It was yet again another loss and a situation I had no control over.
Grief is a bitch and anyone who tells you different is lying. June thru September were very difficult months for me. I went from extreme depression, to being happy, to being angry, to being me. In June I spent the majority of my days lying in a dark room in my bed. If it weren’t for feeding and walking my puppies I probably would have never gotten up. July was a bit better as I was turning 40 and I was fortunate enough to have many friends come into town to help me celebrate my big 40th birthday bash. I put on a brave face and appeared to be happy, but inside I was truly dying. After my birthday I became extremely angry, so angry that I wanted to hurt anyone and everything that crossed my path including myself. At this time I attempted to go back to work several times, but I just couldn’t. My patience and passion for work had disappeared. And for the first time in years I stopped doing my morning ritual. I felt as though there was nothing left for me to be positive about.
At this time my “soul mate” reappeared in my life (that is an entire blog in itself) and like clockwork, he was there for me for a minute and then pushed me away. During our final conversation he said two things to me that left a lasting impression. He first said that I was so emotional that he did not know which Annette he was getting from day to day. My response was, I am emotional mother fu#*er because I am grieving. The second thing he said to me was that I was playing the “victim.” The word victim stuck with me because I grew up with an emotionally abusive alcoholic father. Given such adversity in my life, I prided myself in all my accomplishments I have worked very hard for. I may be a lot of things, but a victim I was not. That final conversation was a pivotal turning point in my life. I wasn’t going to let anyone or anything tell me what I was or was not. It was time for me to gain control of my life in an uncontrollable situation.
The first step was to begin my morning routine again. Although I wasn’t buying the positivity card I forced myself to be positive and to say positive affirmations even if I did not fully believe them. The next step was to go back to work. At first it was extremely difficult as my passion for working with my clients was something I shared with my mother. But as I started to work again, my passion began to come. I also forced myself to date. Meaning I had a date a day, yes that is right, for an entire month I had a date for every single night. My motto has always been go big or go home and there were many nights I was coming home early due to interesting dates;) The last thing I needed was to travel alone. I wanted to travel to a far away land not knowing anyone or anything and know that I could make it entirely on my own. I wanted to take a trip in which I would have no agenda, no control, and I would be ok. So I booked a trip to Europe and here I am sitting on a train traveling to Paris alone.
After months of being on this roller coaster I can finally say I am enjoying it. Instead of fearing the highs and lows I embrace them. I am learning to lessen the control over my life and to trust the process.
I started this blog to help others, women especially, find their inner peace, happiness, and to trust the process of life. Through this process the one and only thing I have always had and have never lost was my ability to love myself. By loving myself I knew I would be ok no matter what challenges the Universe threw my way or how extreme my emotions were. I also know that I can travel alone to a different part of the world and I will be ok because I love myself. This love allows me to trust the process of life. In the end you only have you and yourself to depend on so it is important that you become your own best friend, you become comfortable in your own skin, you learn to depend and trust yourself, and it all starts by loving yourself.
I will end each blog with a take away. Your take away is this… “Trusting the process of life begins with loving yourself…” I hope sharing my life through my forty-forty vision will help you see things more clearly in your life, as well as embrace you roller coaster of life. Until next time!