I had an entire posting schedule set up to release all of my posts about Africa, but then I woke up to snow this morning so this is a brief intermission.
Winter finally arrived in Louisiana. I had gone to bed quite early the night before and woke up around 5AM to see a Winter Wonderland outside my window. I’m not sure what it is about snow that excites me so much, but my inner kid comes out and I lose my shit. If dressed properly, I can spend hours trekking through fresh snow. I woke everyone up in the house to bask in my inner kid’s moment of excitement. Ya’ll gon get this Winter Wonderland work.
The last time we experienced snow in this magnitude was in 2008. My daughter was still quite young, and my son was still in my belly. Life was so hard then. I was a young, single mother majoring in one of the most difficult fields there was to major in, and about to give birth to a second child. The thought of being a single mother of two scared me. It drove me to depression. It affected my health — my weight, my appetite, my confidence, my everything. I allowed so many people to take so much from me, willingly, without fighting to get me back. I was extremely hard on myself because I felt like that’s what it meant to take responsibility for my actions — to beat my spirit down because I didn’t seem to learn from what happened the first time.
I remember watching my daughter playing in the snow with my niece. I remember them wanting to stay outside until every single drop of snow melted. I remember being happy in that brief moment. And then I wasn’t. I forced myself to not be happy, because I didn’t think that I deserved it.
But today? Today is different. This snow day right here? It was different. I deserved it. I deserved to bask in the moment and be happy. I deserved to see the smiles shine through on my kids’ faces even though they shivered a bit. To see my dog frolic, jump, and roll around in this new substance that excited him. (Which also means I no longer need to bring him to Denver like I was originally planning. Sorry, not Sorry.)
I deserved this moment because I worked so damn hard to get myself to the point where I was able to forgive myself. I worked so hard to build myself up after the world tried so hard to hold me down. I worked tiredlessly to learn how to speak encouragement over myself and breathe life back into my spirit. I learned how to love every single fiber of my being unconditionally, even the parts that I thought weren’t worth loving. So many small victories. I fought to get to this point. The moments like this where I understood what God meant when I was told to just hold on for one more day. And each day I did. God, I’m so grateful that I did.
I did a lot of suffering in silence so what you see here is the finished product. But, imagine the amount of prayers I’ve prayed. The intensity. And when I finally learned how to pray? You saw the blessings from the work.
But the biggest of them all is true happiness.
The place where I am now. This place where God is the center of my life and I have the capacity to love and be loved again. And while true happiness doesn’t mean that I don’t still have bad moments, it just means that I don’t dwell within them.
Forgive me for getting way too deep for the intro. This analytical mind of mine always tends to wander to the deep end. This is my curse, but always my blessing in times like these where I can reflect and have introspective moments.