Last week my ex and I announced to our two children that there was going to be Big Change in our family. Seven years ago I left Eugene, Oregon for California. Now I am moving back and I want to tell you why. The picture above was taken the summer before I left. My version of this picture was that we were a young happy family.
For family: My husband (at the time) and I loved each other, were best friends, and had two beautiful children, Ryder was 18 months, Carleigh had just turned three. My heart was full.
For fitness: My husband and I had just completed a 50k the day before; my version of bonding and proving we could still be fit and healthy even while having two young children in tow.
For work: I was achieving my desire to stay home with my two small children and work, I had a thriving boot camp fitness business that I loved and that was successfully serving a tribe of awesome Moms, let alone me and my two children.
Two sides of ever story…
However, I don’t have to tell you that there is ALWAYS two sides of every story/photo; what is seen and what is not seen. A year later I was to come to find out that my ex had internal work and personal struggles going on that he wasn’t sharing. Matters of importance for his own soul’s journey, that to be honest, I was too young, naive and rigid to understand. In my own journey I am happy to say I have learned a whole new lens of compassion and forgiveness since then that I did not have access to back then, thus my big move to California. Things were much more involved but in short I will say that I believe that it is only my job to be an expert of my own journey. I do not have to do my spouse’s (partner, significant other’s) work for them. I can choose to show up, choose to love, choose strength in grief, choose compassion and forgiveness, in every moment. But their work is… theirs! Just like I would never do my children’s homework for them.
Seven years ago my choice was to leave….
The Course in Miracles, says regarding relationships,
“Sometimes the Lesson is to stay, sometimes the lesson is to leave”…
Where was I seven years ago? To be honest if I remember back then or reread my journal entries, I wasn’t a 100% sure at any moment. I daily, hourly went back and forth on what I felt and thought was best for my heart, my soul and my spirit’s recovery and ultimately what was best for my kids. I was hurt enough that I longed to find my own deep well of peace and happiness so I could be “the best Mom”, which included being healthy (emotionally, physically and mentally) for them.
When the Universe intervened on my good intentions: I tried to go back to Oregon three months in, but I got in a car accident….
That first summer I did try to go back to Oregon. It was my daughter’s 5th Birthday. I had been in California for over three months. I had promised my ex that I would come home from California to celebrate her Birthday as a family. This is quite a story of it’s own but I will save the details of that story for a sharing on another day. In short, I had never been in an accident my entire life, thanks to superior fast reaction bike skills. My car lost two tires and had to be towed back to the Bay Area. Don’t worry, no one was hurt!! It just took three weeks for my car to be fixed, long enough for me to imagine starting a new life in California.
Back to NOW…a quick recap of the last seven years.
For five years I was 100% focused on building, creating and enjoying my life in California. I had set the intention early on to make my separation and divorce “the best thing that ever happened to me”.
For family: I loved that my children were going to the same elementary school that I had attended and seeing their Grandparents everyday and cousins at least one time a month.
For fitness: I happily trained and raced 70.3 Ironman’s, with an amazing fast bike team, a great track group and daily access to miles of challenging trails and a state of the art swimming pool where I worked. I was in triathlete heaven.
For work: I was thrilled with my full time job at a country club. Personal training, teaching TRX classes before and after work hours and doing the books, billing and payroll for the club during the “off-peak” afternoon hours.
In any moment if you had asked me then how I was, I would have told you that I felt I was doing exactly what I wanted to do and that I was soul happy. I never thought anything would change. I even said quite a few times that I would never leave California. (Psst…word from the wise, never say never). I often told people divorce was the best thing that happened to me because I could live where I felt Alive, Inspired and Content. That I was thankful and grateful and I had a new lease on life.
But a funny thing happens when you think you have everything you want….I started getting nudges to think about how else my life could look like. The idea of moving back to Oregon routinely made its way into my meditations and journal entries. I found myself thinking about moving back several times throughout the year. Yes, especially when I had to endure long summers without my kids or holidays without them. There were quite a few times in the last three years where I’d “try on” the idea of moving then convince myself I wasn’t ready yet.
“If you wait until you are ready you will be waiting the rest of your life”…
So there is a difference between being “ready” and timing. As the years have gone by, and especially the last two years as I’ve been fighting my own health challenge of dealing with a benign brain tumor, I was slowly becoming more and more open to the idea of moving back to Oregon. However, each time I’d visit this idea, and explore what it would be like, not enough things were aligning in my thoughts, mindset and emotions, relationships, business and finances so I’d quickly put the idea back on the shelf again.
This last year, however, things changed. One event after another door’s kept closing abruptly and significantly. My heart kept longing for something new. You know that feeling when places, people or thing’s that once held allure, excitement and joy for you all of a sudden are not holding your attention anymore? Yes, that was what I’ve been feeling. Just a growing nag of “this isn’t it”.
The final decision…
I was in my Doctor’s office this summer. Reviewing how my health was. She asked me on a scale of 1-10 what was my stress level?
“20” I chirped, with no hesitation
We both just looked at each other. I took a deep sigh. Yes. I need to change this. It’s time. I breathed into this deeper and deeper. It’s time. In that Doc’s office I declared my need physically to step off the “hamster wheel” of living in the city, being a single Mom 24/7 thru the school year. It’s time for some more quiet. A whole lot of it. This time it is my brain that needs the healing. My heart now wants my kids to have more time with their Dad before they are out of the house, and especially this golden time where what their parents say, think and do is as important as their peers think. ha ha I know, I know, with my daughter who has now turned 12 and is heading into 7th grade this fall I am well aware , that this clock is ticking LOUD and fast. And my son who is 10 now, to have more father son time with his Dad, the timing could not be more perfect. My mama heart is happy.
So the time is here. To take a deep breath and make this all happen. The minute I said Yes and truly chose this new journey for my children and I. Doors started opening. Flying open!! My ex and I had long conversations about what it would look like, how we would tell the kids, and how we could collaborate in making this move back to Oregon happen. I couldn’t do any of this big move without him and his support. In this same timeline of the last seven years my ex has done his own healing. He got remarried last summer and I am really happy for him and his new life.
In closing, I want to say, I never thought my life would be this way – But I tell you the good story. The one of personal growth, showing up everyday with gratitude, compassion and forgiveness. I know, that I know, that I know that I am a completely different woman than I was seven years ago and I love that! I see and experience life differently. I am not so naive, I am not so rigid. Lordy, do I have a ton more tools to cope with what life throws my way. I am a lot more open. It’s all part of my soul’s journey and I am so so proud of the fact that I have gotten to a place that I love and accept everything !! that has ever happened to me. And with that acceptance has come this new possibility of heading off to Eugene for this new Chapter. Old hurts and old wounds can heal as needed, they are just stories after all, my intent is to pull forward all the good friends, clients and experiences and focus now on creating Eugene as my new place to feel fully ALIVE, INSPIRED and CONTENT.
There is a huge road of transition and change ahead. I look forward to giving you the recap on the *for family, *for fitness and *for work that is to come. Stay tuned. It’s going to be good.
Thank you for reading!
Meredith K Mills
Is there a big life changing decision weighing on your heart? I encourage you to keep listening to that inner voice because when you are ready “enough” you will know. If you are ready to rewrite your own story from deficit to abundance, from fear to love, from victim to co-creator, contact me for coaching at MeredithWellnessCoaching.com Trust me, I have been where you are at and I can mentor and guide you thru your journey. There is always room for an up-level and a new chapter. Be strong in your grief.