The year that didn’t kill me.
I got divorced.
My grandfather died.
A close family member went to rehab.
My eldest son was diagnosed with ADD. That meant doctors and more doctors compounded with his heart issues. This drug, that drug. I cried more tears than anyone would ever know.
Professionally, I got another show - amazing - but that meant starting my work day three hours earlier each morning; exhaustion was a familiar feeling. Negotiations began. Negotiations stagnated. Negotiations collapsed. I would decide to leave my job after twelve years.
It’s weird, but here I am 30,000 feet above sea level writing and I’m happy. Genuinely at peace. It’s the last day of the year and a time for reflection. As I think about the adversities of the last several months, I am comforted by my longtime friend, Resilience.
I got to know her as a young girl. I experienced my fair share of dysfunction - addiction ran in the family, divorce visited many times, I wasn’t close to my real father until later in life. I learned early on about tapping into my strength. Holding it together when things were falling apart. Standing tall when things crumbled around me. It was about survival and I was damn good at it. I smiled through it, excelled in spite of it, and through nothing more than maybe the grace of God, always could see the gifts in the suffering. I had a bounce-back ability like none other and it has served me my entire life. My mom always says I “float and deal” and well, that’s pretty spot on.
I am alive and there’s not a day that goes by I don’t notice the beauty in the mundane. My hero, Oprah, taught me about the importance of gratitude and I practice it regularly. Yoga has also changed my life. For me, it’s very spiritual. It is my church.
My children are my two proudest achievements and my love for them is larger than the entire galaxy. Nothing, nothing means more. And speaking of love, I found that, too. I have a new best friend who makes me laugh every single day. He lights up my life. He is also sober and his commitment to healthy living astonishes me. He teaches me. I am growing.
When I look at my life, I smile. It’s more than I ever would have dreamed in a million years. There’s no such thing as perfect and all of our experiences are relative; I acknowledge that, but this is my story.
As I look ahead I feel renewed purpose, a duty like never before, and I’m excited to get to work. In the last few weeks everyone from the gal at the ATT store to people passing in the street to the hundreds of letters I’ve received from around the world - people want a voice. Women are frustrated. Women and girls need somebody to shout for them, to kick and scream, to make it better. We need each other. We need to band together. We need to lock in as sisters and make our voices heard. This will be my cause, I promise.
So yeah, this year didn’t kill me. It made me stronger.
Everything is going to be okay… because it always is.