More than back when I had college finals, more than long weeks of two-a-days during volleyball preseason; I would go through all of that again without hesitation to avoid the pain that March brought with the loss of our pup.
It's been eye opening how together we've dealt with the gaping wound that loss brings. At first I felt pretty desperate, knowing there was literally nothing that was going to heal my heart besides time.
It's time that it takes to heal a lot of things really - physical and emotional - injuries, getting over relationships, etc. And so with that comes patience that you don't want to have.
I wondered how I was going to get work done, get groceries purchased, when every 5 minutes something would trigger tears and I would literally belly-flop face down onto our bed and get mascara on the sheets for the 4th time that day.
Don't worry, I'm not doing that anymore.
Andrew has a habit of using sports analogies throughout conversation, a habit I've grown to love. So March was a lot of discussion around 'curve balls' and 'taking an L' (a big one) and re-figuring out our life in Tel Aviv without a dog, a life we haven't known here.
Anyways, the point of this blog post isn't to make you sad, even if it is a little sad. I waited a long time to write again because I wanted to wait until I had something positive to say, and until I had a grasp on what I was learning. Because there is always something to learn from situations that life throws at us.
So here is what I learned, that I've always known, but never really known:
1. You will always need your family more than you think. Even when you're 29 and "all grown up" you're not - you will need your mom and your sister to lay on the couch with you and cry while they bring you a glass of wine. And your dad to take you out to breakfast and simply reminisce about times when life was a little more simple.
2. When you're upset, wait to write. Actually no, write whenever you want to but wait to publish your words. You don't want to see some of the dark stuff I have in other drafts and journals.
3. We will never be confronted with things in our life that we aren't able to handle. It might feel like it at the time - I fully, 100% believed that I wasn't going to function in Tel Aviv without Kai; she was my right-hand woman and went everywhere with me. And while I'm still sad and sometimes lonely, I'm very much functioning - waayyyy better than I thought I would be able to. Even if functioning means I'm stopping to pet every other dog I see on the street.
4. There will always be good in bad. You just have to allow yourself to see it - which can take awhile. When you are sitting in a situation that feels like 100% shit, I promise there's something good you can dig out of that shit.
It snowed my last day in Chicago, and to me it felt like a sign. Snow has always been my thing, and it brought this weird sense of calm when walking into O'Hare through the flurries to get on my flight to go back and see my husband and face our empty apartment for the first time.
Losing things; people, pets, jobs - loss is never easy. There's often a big fat why, but honestly what has helped me to keep my chin up (besides my great husband) has been to stop questioning. If I'm being honest 2017 started off super bumpy, I felt like my heart was being repeatedly stomped on - situation after situation, a lot of which will never make it here in text. But I had to force myself to stop trying to figure out WHY it was all happening, stop always trying to find logic in hardships, and instead just trust that it was supposed to happen.
Trust - keep on swimming, and find the good. Joy is tattooed on my foot for a reason; because we are designed to be joyful, and to find it even when we think we can't.
So cheers, to the life that a new month brings. Andrew and I have a pretty crazy two months ahead of us, and I'm excited to sit back and enjoy that ride - good and bad.