More contemplative than thankful

Today is Thanksgiving. The last few years I have done sort of the opposite of traditional Thanksgiving activities and I have spent the day alone, being grateful for me. Maybe that sounds callous, but I spend every day of my life being thankful for everyone and everything around me…often paying little attention to myself in this respect. Today, however, I sit here and work away. It has been a month since my life got flipped upside down. So much has been stripped away from the life I knew before that day. I’m sitting here trying to create something I am proud of. This project will change the world. In a real way. It will give people all over the world access to my industry as well as provide at least the basics of how to do what I do in a truly professional and secure way…or least I hope it will. 

Looking back over the last month, the last year, the last 3 years the last decade and beyond I realize that I have overcome a lot. I have been brave and strong and caring and good. I have been there for others, even when it felt like no one was there for me. I have given more than what I truly had to give. I have seen the world through the stories and eyes of so many. Yet, somehow it doesn’t seem like enough. I am so ready for things to just be good. For something, anything to just be easy. But it’s not. Every direction there is another pitfall; another obstacle waiting, hoping to take me down. Why? Why does it have to be so damn hard?

Over the last week or so I have worked hard on letting go of the future I held so dear with the man who longer wants me in his life. The man who thinks I am abusive. Than man who I still somehow can’t be angry with. I wish I could just hate him. It would be so much easier. Instead I sit here and lack the ability to understand what was so terrible between us that he had to go. I want so badly to make it my own fault because at least that I could control. If it was my fault, I could take responsibility and learn from it. I could forgive myself. But no. There is no blame to be had here. It’s no one’s fault. It happened. Nothing else matters. Logically I know this. I feel this. But my heart still won’t accept it. We had so much fun together. He was there for me through so much, and I for him. We grew and challenged each other. He went around introducing me as “the one” to so many of his friends. We hadn’t even been together for a year, and yet we were basically living together, planning a family and figuring out the rest of our lives. 

Everything ended so abruptly. I can’t wrap my mind around it. 

One good thing I’ve learned about myself recently is that the vision I have had in my head my whole life of finding a lifelong partner has finally be extinguished…except for with myself, of course. I now know that I will likely have many “great loves” of my life, and that relationships in my world will last as long as they last and then they will be done. I am never meant to know that kind of everlasting love. Maybe that sounds sad to you, but it’s a relief for me. It means no one can ever destroy me like this has. Or at least, with the rationalization that everything ends, I can at least decide to not be surprised when it does. This is a blessing for me. 

I have had so many incredible people show me love and support over the last month. It has helped so much. Thank you. All of you. I know that I cannot go through my days alone. Maybe I won’t always have a partner, but I will always have my community, my family and the love I have for myself. 

The last piece of the future plan that I held in my head prior to all this is on the edge of breaking. My studio; this space that I have given my life to, has become a part of me. I have worked so long and so hard to create this space that feels good. That allows people to heal. Working here for the last year for free has really been trying for me. This thing I have created and dedicated myself to has been able to help so many, just not myself. 

The fundraising campaign was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. I’ve set up my entire life- everything about who I am and what I do, to never have to rely on anyone else. I’m such a hypocrite, I know.  But that is part of why I needed to ask for help. This last month has shown me that the way I was living my life was phony. I can’t do it alone. I don’t expect anyone else to, and I know now that I am no different. I don’t have to be stronger than everyone else around me. Growing up in the household I did, I was afraid constantly of being the straw that broke the camel’s back. Everything was so fragile. I didn’t feel like it was fair for me to pile on. Certainly I would ask for frivolous things: food, clothes, help with school projects, rides…but never the emotional stuff. 

My parents are incredible people. I am very lucky to have grown up the way I did, but honestly, a lot of what I learned was who not to be and what not to do. They gave us love and hugs and provided for us with everything we could possibly need in the day to day stuff. There was a lot of freedom and very little structure. We were encouraged to be ourselves and to experiment with what that meant- what an incredible gift to give a child. But the lack of stability…the bankruptcies, the alcohol, the fights, the lack of responsibilities/ repercussions…they brought me to a place where I didn’t know what was what. I was worried a lot. Even though we had tons of gifts under the Christmas tree each year, I would randomly see the “2nd Notice”  and the “3rd Notice” and the “Shut Off Notice” envelopes in the mail and wonder if we would lose it all someday soon. My parents are artists and they never really knew where the money would come from, only that it would. They somehow always found a way and it was rare that I would notice the struggles overall. I mean, as a teenager, I was self involved to the nth degree. 

I grew up relying on my now ex-husband for emotional support. We talked about everything and helped each other through so much. He was a good man…until he wasn’t. Over the years the lack of touch caused a rift as big as the Grand Canyon. He didn’t see it. He probably still doesn’t get it. That’s ok. The point here is that I grew up in a way where I had all the comforts and first world crap all figured out and that I never had to really dive into the emotional aspects of who I was…until I did. 

I have now dealt with and found closure on: my best friend dying in a plane crash 11 years ago, saying goodbye to my father (who is still alive…long story), my issues with alcohol (well, really my refusal to have any drugs or alcohol in my life due to my mom’s addiction issues- she is now many years sober by the way), my marriage, the impact the 8 car accidents I’ve been through have had on my life, and now my need for a lifelong partner. 

What I still need to get through: my issues with abandonment, my relationship that just ended, and deciding what my life should and will look like in the future. Along with many other things I’m sure I’m unaware of at this point. 

I am a firm believer that if I’m not growing, I am dying and I never want to get to a point where I am done growing as a person. Life is dynamic and I refuse to be static.

I realize this has been a meandering group of tangents, but that’s ok. That’s what I needed right now. My big take away today is this: I am strong. I am capable. I can break. But I will always keep moving. I am letting go of J. I have to. If he wanted me in his life, I would be. Maybe someday I will get a chance to talk to him and get some of my questions answered, but even if not I will still wish him health, happiness and success in all he does. He is a good man and no one can tell me otherwise. My business may fail in the current form. I may lose everything I hold dear. My home. My car. What little security I have left. And it’s ok. I am strong enough to always keep moving. I am down, but not out. 

Today, in the spirit of the holiday, I will ask one more time for anyone who is capable, to help pull us out of this rut to do so by donating here:  Those who cannot, please know that your support, in any capacity, is absolutely necessary and appreciated. The likes, shares, comments and input is vital to my success, not just as a business, but more importantly, as a person. It’s nice to start to feel like myself again. I’ve got another 20 hours to put into this project before the first so, I better get back to it. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me. If I can’t have one person who will witness my journey from start to end, perhaps I can have the hands of the random passers by as they come along. That is enough. You are enough. I am enough. Sending love to me, you and the whole big blue. 

Peace, Love and Cuddles,

Sam Hess

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