A year ago today I sat down and wrote my very first blog post. I called my blog Rebel Thriver for a very specific reason. It was a year ago that I had decided that I was tired of living within the confines of the life I was regulated to as a result of domestic violence. I was tired of the endless nightmares, constant triggers, and memory loss that PTSD has bestowed upon me. I needed a way out and I decided that writing would give me the open window that I so desperately needed. The problem was that I was barely able to write a paragraph. It took so much deliberate thought to write a few cohesive sentences that I didn’t know how I would do it, but I was determined. Writing had saved me as an adolescent and I knew it could again.
It has been an amazing year of growth for me personally and I am grateful that I had the courage to sit down and start typing. I signed up for a creative writing class at the local college, knowing that my pride would make me push for an A; I was right about that. I started that class, and this blog all around the same time. I never in a million years could have imagined how the creation of Rebel Thriver would impact my life.
Where did the name Rebel Thriver come from? Exactly a year ago I was sitting on my bed with my boyfriend expressing my frustration at feeling so limited by my life’s circumstances. As he always does he challenged me to find a way to change it. I was taking the writing class to improve myself and my skills; in doing so I cracked the damn that held back my feelings. I half jokingly said to him, “I should start a blog. I would call it Rebel Survivor. Rebel, because a blog is not the safest thing for me to set out to do and survivor because… Survivor doesn’t fit me anymore…I am ready to THRIVE. Rebel Thriver it is.”
I wrote my first blog post on February 18, 2012 and it was titled “Sometimes you have to be your own Hero”. After that I quickly followed up with “Cliff Diving” which pretty much expressed the utter fear I had about writing a public blog. That was the true beginning though…it was there that I declared VICTORY! I claimed my freedom with all its limitations and I yelled, “I am FREE.”
Liberated pretty much describes how I felt a year ago. I truly hadn’t felt that free in so many years. I had gone from living as a prisoner in my marriage right into the shadows in order to keep my children and me alive. I wish I could say that I was being over dramatic here, but it’s the truth. The day I met my ex-husband the earth shook…he was everything I ever dreamed of. That veneer quickly crumbled, but it was already too late…I was stuck. I was a victim of domestic violence and trapped in a vicious cycle. Rebel Thriver was a new beginning for me. It allowed me to cast off the chains that were holding me down and start living in a new way. I quickly started a Facebook page to go along with my blog…something I swore I would NEVER do. I thought Facebook was cheesy and a waste of time. Little did I know that I would find myself and my calling through the many incredible people I met there. I am so beyond grateful for these friendships.
Life is about learning, loving, growing, and letting go. This past year I have focused on helping others. I wanted to use what I have been through and what it has taught me in order to help others along the way. It had been so unbearably lonely and isolating for me. I found quickly that in helping others I was healing. I have found my path, and I have gained a new sense of clarity. Now, believe me when I say that it wasn’t an easy year…they call them growing pains for a reason. They suck, and at times I thought I couldn’t push through them. Then I found one of my favorite mantra’s: There is freedom on the other side of pain.
This was the moment of the great epiphany for me. I realized that being numb and avoiding the past, the pain, and the truth would never allow me to make it past “GO”. I would never find my happy if I kept dulling out the pain with Valium. I needed to sit with it, feel it, and face it. If I could do this without internally combusting then I might just have a chance. So, I tried and it was HORRIBLE….but I did it. I cried and felt like I would die, and yet I lived. Life is like this sometimes I have learned.
The year of 2012 turned out to be quite a ride, but I hung on and found my own mantra…ebb and flow. There were so many low points last year…times where I thought I wouldn’t be able to find my way out of the maze of confusion and pain, and yet I did. I followed the advice I had been giving others and I was amazed at how much it changed me. If I could squeeze it all into one word it would be BELIEVE. It is within this one word that I found the universe; and so I started believing with all of me.
Rebel Thriver has become so much more than a blog for me to express myself…it has evolved into a community; I happen to prefer the word “tribe” to describe us though. I have amazing people working alongside me now, and the focus is to create a thriving business. This will allow us to help more people, and offer services such as classes, workshops, coaching, and retreats. There are a couple of quotes that I love and remind me specifically of the tribe: “Remember we all stumble, every one of us. That’s why it is a comfort to go hand in hand” (Emily Kimbrough), and “We are all just walking each other home” (Ram Dass). These pretty much sum up the Rebel Thriver philosophy. The old adage is true, we live and we learn. It is so amazing to have such incredible people along side of me on this journey; friends who are courageous enough to admit that they too have emerged from broken, and are back on their path, and thriving.
Through the journey of the past year I too have emerged from broken. I took a chance; I jumped off the cliff only to find that my wings had grown stronger that I ever could have imagined. I am in a constant state of becoming and I love this. I have learned that living in the present moment is where I will find my peace and that I don’t always have to have the answers to the many questions swirling around in my head. The answer is quite simple my friends…BELIEVE.
To all of you who have been with me on this journey I say THANK YOU with all of my heart and soul. You have helped me to grow, to heal, and to trust life again. I have SO much love for you, and I thank for holding my hand along the way…you make my world so much better.