the after party.

Things are so, so good right now.

They are hard too, but good. Hard and good.

I’m smack in the midst of studying for my LCSW exams, which are a HUGE deal and if I don’t pass I have to wait 6 months to take them again. I take my first one in around 14 days. HOLY CRAP. I don’t really want to talk about it.

I also still work full time as a children’s trauma therapist, which I love but which is also sometimes/often/usually draining and all-consuming. It’s not a show-up-to-work-and-sip-coffee-all-day kind of job. (Where can I get one of those?!) This past Tuesday I was at work until 8 pm with an unexpected and completely out-of-the-blue crisis with an old client from 2 years ago.

On top of all of this, the boyfriend and I decided to do a Whole 30. Which hasn’t been that hard but holy-grocery-shopping. I feel like when I’m not working I am either at the grocery store or cooking. Which makes me feel a little stabby sometimes. I love eating. I love when other people cook for me. I do not love cooking. We only have 12 days left and we’ve been rocking it. It feels really good to be doing something like this with a partner.

But I can’t stop dreaming about after. After these tests, mostly. Yes, I want to be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I want to be done with these tests and this studying. But I also want to take a calligraphy class. I want to host dinner parties and go exploring on weekends and read books for pleasure again. I want to take another writing class and learn how to use photoshop and start a blog where I share all the wonderful, amazing and FUN things in my life, instead of feeling like all I ever write about is my divorce.

However, I do feel like I’ve turned some kind of corning in my healing. There hasn’t been any big bang and I didn’t have a life-altering epiphany of any kind, I just kind stopped hurting so much. I know this has just as much to do with all the work I’ve done to process everything (on my own and with help) as it does with God holding my hand through all of this. There’s a song I love by Casting Crowns where the very first line of the song is “I was sure by now God you would have reached down and wiped our tears away, Stepped in and saved the day, but once again, I say “Amen” and it’s still raining. As the thunder rolls I barely hear Your whisper through the rain “I’m with you”, And as your mercy falls, I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away.” That song has spoken to me through many seasons of my life, but especially though the pain of the process of divorce. I had so many moments along the way where I was just in disbelief that SOMETHING ELSE would happen and I would kinda look to God and say “Really? It hasn’t rained enough on my life yet?” I had moments where I felt like He should have just swooped in and lifted me out of all this pain and misery. But what you can’t see or feel when you are in the storm, is that He is doing this. When I was at my most scared and alone, He sent people into my life I hadn’t seen or talked to in years, and they are now my very best friends. He helped me write about my pain and shame when I was absolutely sure I would die of embarrassment if anyone ever knew what really happened. He sent hope and encouragement through friends and family, and he sent love in the most unexpected way possible through Andrew. I had forgotten what it felt like to laugh myself silly almost every single day with someone who thinks I hung the moon and looks at me like I’m the most important thing in the world. I have pretty strong feelings about how awesome he is too.

A few people in my life have told me recently that I am an inspiration to them, for one reason or another. While I am completely flattered by the compliment I am also stunned by it. First, what an amazing thing to be told. That might be my second favorite compliment ever, second only to “you have a great laugh” which is my favorite. Usually the compliment is given in some sort-of reference to the fact that I seem to do so many fun things or that I’ve “come so far” considering everything that’s happened. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately and I think that I just felt, after my life being HELL for the past 3 years with marrying the wrong person and all the pain associated with that I was finally just like NO MORE. I’M GONNA HAVE FUN. And I made “fun” a priority. I decided to do all the things I’ve wanted to do for so long, like decorate my own place the way I wanted to decorate it, eat donuts for lunch (although I probably did that one too much, hence the current Whole 30 happenings), and sprinkle kindness around like confetti. And also just lots of regular confetti. And piñatas. And staying up all night reading books. And paining my nails every other day. And spray painting everything gold. And finding an epic, loving church.

That’s a part of this rounding-of-the-corner, I think. Even in the midst of the darkest part of the storm, I kept looking around and finding things to be thankful for. And one day, I woke up and I was thankful for just about everything.

So I think I am going to keep doing that. Be thankful that I even have the opportunity to study for these tests and the opportunity to learn more about this field of social work that I love. Be thankful for the ability to grow and the opportunity to become licensed. Be thankful that there are SO many things on my “to-do list” and that I will probably, in all likelihood, have the ability to do them. What an incredible blessing this all is. The storm, the rain, the struggle, the healing, the fun, all of it.