One year ago this week I took a leap of faith and moved into my first apartment alone, as a single mom. I wasn’t exactly prepared, but I think if I actually waited until I felt prepared I’d have been waiting forever.
A lot of people told me not to do it when I asked for their advice. They too thought I wasn’t ready and had valid reasons for telling me to stay exactly where I was, but I followed my instincts instead.
The apartment was perfect and the price was perfect, and whether I was ready or not I knew in my heart I had to trust myself and go for it.
It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Being 100% financially responsible for myself and my son wasn’t easy by any means – in fact, I was stressed out for more than six months as I figured out how to juggle all the bills, pay for all the necessities and still be able to have money left for fun.
Some months there was no extra for fun – some weeks there was barely enough for groceries – but during those times my family and friends seemed to have a sixth-sense and made sure Aidan and I didn’t go without, despite my acting like things were fine.
I appreciate that more than they will ever know.
Now I’ve made it to a point in my career where I’m more than financially stable and it feels amazing. There is no anxiety about bills, few worries about savings and more than a little money for fun.
I’m grateful every single day to have a job that I love so completely, that I also make good money from.
A year of being on my own taught me a lot about myself and forced me to face issues I’d been able to ignore while always living with someone else.
Some nights being left with my own thoughts felt like torture, but getting lost in them also helped me find myself.
I’ve crossed bridges I thought I’d never cross alone and gained confidence while being the sole decision maker in my home. With no one around to turn to for advice when a problem needed an immediate fix, I learned how to trust myself.
That was a major turning point for me.
I’ve become the woman and mother I always wanted to be – and I did it on my own.
This past year of independence was the gift that set me free from my past, and sent me soaring into my future.
And the icing on the 1-year anniversary cake?
In the last few weeks my heart has opened up more than I ever thought was possible. Learning how to love in a healthy way where there’s complete honesty, trust and communication has been humbling and truly life changing.
What I’m experiencing is so much more than I ever thought I deserved.
I recently stopped and looked around at where I am and quickly realized it’s where I’d been trying to get to.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been chasing a dream of this beautiful life, and right now it is real, and it’s mine.
It finally feels like I have it all, and I couldn’t be happier.
I know things can change – life has proven that to me time and time again – so I’m living in the moment and savoring every last bit of it.
Because I deserve it.