Article by Wendy McCance
I have become a true believer in the principal that everything happens for a reason. Trust me when I say that coming to this conclusion has been a very hard pill to swallow. I have had more than my share of hard times. I mean the hard times that test your endurance about being able to swim instead of sink. I have had too many times to count when obstacles were put in my path and I felt like all I could do was tread water. I felt at the time that I would never have more than just an unhappy existence and that this was my unfortunate path.
Ok, enough of the hopelessness. Here’s a little background regarding the challenges I’ve faced. I went through a bitter divorce. I needed a restraining order and had fear for my children’s well-being. After 9 years of being divorced, the problems have slowed down, the kids have gotten older and more self-sufficient, but issues still come up more often than not. I lost a job that provided a ton of security and that I had planned to stay at until retirement. I lost my home, I went bankrupt, I lost all of my retirement savings trying to save the house and keep the family afloat, I was diagnosed with Graves disease and Fibromyalgia and the list goes on. Basically you get the point that my life hasn’t been a piece of cake.
This is what I’ve learned. I love and appreciate my kids in a way that was beyond my scope of understanding before the divorce. I now have unlimited amounts of patience, enjoy every moment I have with the kids and I’m never too busy for them.
I have learned all of the things I don’t want in a relationship. I know now that good enough is not enough for a marriage. That I had to work on me and have confidence to go it alone no matter what while having the self-esteem to back this up before any relationship would have a chance at success. I had decided that I would never marry again and dating was something I wasn’t really interested in. I fell into the relationship with my current husband by accident. I have been married now for almost 7 years. I have never been so happy and at peace. I have unbelievable support from him. He treats the kids as his own and they adore him. We never say a bad thing to each other and I have no fear of my opinion or the outcome. We say I love you several times a day and hug a lot. It’s been the most positive relationship I’ve ever had.
I have 3 children, the youngest was not even a year when I was told that I had Graves Disease. At the time, I was working about 25hrs a week, taking a few classes and raising the kids. I had no time for an illness to get in the way of my progress. I was working in a hospital lab and going to school for nursing. I had gone back to school because I knew I needed a way to support myself because my first marriage was falling apart. Everything came to a dramatic stop for some time while I went through radioactive iodine treatment and began taking a pill to replace the thyroid hormone that had been burned out. The Fibromyalgia came later, but also changed up the game plan.
Because my marriage ended in divorce, I met and fell in love with the man who in every sense is my soul mate. Because I got Graves Disease, when I was ready to start working again, the first marriage had gotten so bad, I needed to leave as soon as possible. There was no way that I could wait to get through school. I fell into a job working for a truck plant and that job provided me with more than enough money to make it on my own, no out-of-pocket health insurance for me and the kids, paid schooling for the kids college years and an incredible pension for retirement. If I hadn’t gotten sick, I wouldn’t have been looking at this job at all or met my current husband.
If I hadn’t lost my job when the factory closed, I wouldn’t have lost my home, savings or gone bankrupt. This is tricky though, because if I am truly going to look at this for what it was, we were on a dangerous path. We were making a lot of money and spending even more. We had sky-high debt between the house, 2 cars and a ton of credit cards. While trying to save the house, we took a good hard look at the way we were living. We paid of every credit card and both cars. We realized that $2,700 was too much to pay per month for any home. The chances of us finding any job with our background that would afford us the opportunity to continue to pay this sky-high mortgage just wasn’t going to happen.
The bankruptcy was probably the hardest. When we claimed bankruptcy we only had our home and a rental property that we owed on. Every single other piece of debt had been paid off about a year before. We were so underwater on the rental that the taxes we would have paid after a short sale would have been like buying a new small home. We were completely out of money. Since the bankruptcy we have a home with a payment that is as small as a car payment. We will never use credit cards again and live simply but with so much more peace. Days can go by without a piece of mail. We used to have what seemed like a mountain of bills in our mailbox daily.
Because I lost my job, I went back to school to become a Paralegal. I honed my research and writing skills. I got A’s in my classes and my self-esteem went through the roof. I felt like I could do anything. I learned all about using Microsoft Office which I knew nothing about it before I started taking classes. I had a few jobs at law firms and realized that the atmosphere wasn’t one I worked in well. These places were cutthroat and people were not nice to one another. I have a soft heart and need to be in a kind, peaceful atmosphere where people are supportive of each other instead of finding ways to step on each others toes. I also learned that my family comes first no matter what. I don’t want to miss any time with the kids and that doesn’t jive in a law office.
Because I realized being a Paralegal made me miserable, I did some intense soul-searching and got really honest with myself about what would truly make me happy. I had to block out all of the advice from friends and family (so hard to do) and just listen to my own thoughts. I fell into writing this blog on a whim. It has been the greatest decision that I’ve made. I found what not only suits me, but most importantly what I desire more that anything to do. I am a writer, I’ve found what I was meant to do.
When You are going through a tough time, I hope that you remember that no matter how hard the situation is, I will guarantee that if you keep your eyes open and your head held high you will see your purpose for going through that rough patch down the road and you will be able to come out the other side a better, happier individual.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]
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