What’s in A Year…

As September 1st rolled around I could feel all of my senses heighten in anticipation of the 6th; The dreaded one year anniversary of my Lilee-Jean’s passing. My brain reeled with all the things I thought I should be doing by now, or not doing. All of the ways I thought I would think or feel by the time this first year passed. I had just officially handed over the keys to my and Lil’s little home, and closed the door to that chapter. I was preparing for a trip to the coast and a move to the Rockies and I was freaking the eff out.

From the 1st to the 5th, the only time I wasn’t feeling anxious was when I first woke up in the morning, still blinking away the residual dreams from my eyes. The rest of the day I was, internally, a wreck. Knowing it would be a week of goodbyes, of remembrance, a week of stress and packing I had to find a way to focus and get my shit done, while making sure to give myself the down time I needed in order to survive.
So I saw friends and family. I made sure to have my last lunch with my Grandpa ( we have been having lunch almost every week for the past 6 years since my Grandma passed away), I sent my emails and made my calls, had lunch dates and happy hour and dessert. Celebrated new beginnings and talked about chapters ending. I missed seeing a few key people, and am still kicking myself for that, but all in all I made sure I kept busy with things that mattered.
Friday morning the 5th, Andrew and I left for the coast. I was a bit apprehensive going on a weekend trip with him. We get along and probably hung out once a week, in the past year. So its not like we weren’t use to hanging out alone, but my apprehension came with the stress and emotion of the weekend, mixed with the inevitable “goodbye” at the end. I felt like him and I were using each other as a crutch over the past year. A way to not move forward, a way to skim through “real life” while trying to hold on to the family that fell apart. I think he was leaning on me a little more than I was on him though. I know he has had a lot of pressure in his new life to be all in (and honestly, he made his bed) but at the same time it can’t be easy being broken and trying to deal with everything else. So I think he was using me as an out from that life, even if just for a couple hours. Whether I want to admit it or not, I think I was doing the same. I think about my life, and other than my family and friends, I lost my daughter, my co parent, I have gained a bunch of weight, no spouse, no schooling, no career to go back to. I had nothing solid to keep me looking forward, so I started looking back. I needed something to tie me to the only thing that I have done, my career, my family, my love and Andrew was that thing. Other than Lilee passing away, the most difficult times in my life were caused directly and indirectly because of him. I have a LOT of healing to do from the hideous relationship we were in, and a LOT of healing to do from the choices he made and the hell I was put through during Lil’s treatment. Not that I’m sitting here playing the victim, its just to give an idea as to how important spending time with him the past year was for me. If I can put everything else aside and be his friend, I must have needed that relationship more than I wanted to admit.
We arrived in Long Beach, WA late on the 5th, starving with no idea where to go. There was one restaurant open, we called it the Tavern. it had about 6 tables in it and 3 seats at the bar. There were maybe 10 of us in there, including the staff, and 3 old guys playing some live music. We ordered 4 tacos and a bunch of beer and listened to some extremely entertaining music from this gem of a pub nestled in the disguise of a whole in the wall. The 6th was spent remembering, sitting in the sand and putting our feet in the ocean. It was a perfect trip. Calm, reflective, and ocean side.
And then I said good bye to the ocean and hello to the mountains.
Now I’m in Banff on the hunt for a job and a new life.
Last year was a year of death and mourning; I lost my desire for life. I couldn’t understand living without Lilee. I didn’t know how to live for her or in honour of her no matter how hard I tried. I couldn’t believe she was still with me because I couldn’t see her or feel her. I didn’t know why I should live for her when she wasn’t around to see it. why did it matter when I didn’t know whether I would ever see her again. It was hopeless and I was giving up.
But, I am who I am. I wont give up on something until I have tried everything, until I have seen every side, and done all I Can.
So this year, September to September, is my year of Life; My year of Yes. I will push myself physically and mentally, out of my comfort zone, out of what I know. I will find ways to feel alive and to re grasp what it means to live and why life is worth living. I will take any opportunity that comes, and will create opportunities for myself.
Recently my family has endured another tragedy and the dust is just beginning to settle. Our hearts are ripping apart with pain and anger, and the desire to crawl back into a hole is overwhelming. But, in my family’s true fashion, we are strong, we are circling the wagons, and surrounding each other with love and support. It is even more important now, personally, that I do everything and anything to strengthen my mind, body and soul, not just for my year of life, but for someone I love so dearly, someone who needs me now more than ever.
So, in the spirit of saying yes, in the spirit of living, and because of my sister’s incredible generosity and persuasion, I am off to Las Vegas next week with my sister and two amazing ladies.
Throughout this year, like the popular 100 days of happiness, I am going to make sure to blog, instagram and tweet along the way, I want to invest in a Go Pro camera once I get a job, and I want to live the shit out of this life.
It isn’t easy waking up every day with a broken heart knowing that you have to start all over again in trying to repair it. It isn’t easy going to bed every night, feeling a little bit better, knowing that you’re going to wake up feeling as awful as you did the morning before. All I want, is to wake up with my broken heart, but KNOW the day will get better. I want to KNOW that the day has something in store that is worth getting out of bed for.

Oscar Wilde said,

“Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”

it’s time to start building something exquisite.

With determination,

Chelsey xo

10 thoughts on “What’s in A Year…

  1. I think of you and your beautiful girl often and honestly, you are truly one of the bravest and most well spoken people I have come across in my lifetime. I can’t even begin to understand what you have been through these past few years. I too am going through a lot of changes and new beginnings right now and will be doing my best to accept new opportunities and creating them for myself as well. I have just separated from the father of my children after 12 years and it is tough but it was a change that needed to be made. Since my separation 3 weeks ago, I have received a promotion at work and my kids and myself have a better relationship without all the craziness their father and I were going through. I am committing to giving myself the time to be happy for a change and to live life to the fullest!! Kudos to you girl and I wish you all the best on your adventures to come. Thank you for continuing to share your story. You deserve to be happy and live life to the fullest and Lilee would be so proud of her Mama!! Xoxo


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