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.
20 thoughts on “Becoming.”
*** I claimed my freedom with all its limitations and I yelled, “I am FREE.****
Brava! Bravo! Manifico!
I am applauding your
L I B E R A T I O N.
Thank you So much and thank you for being along for the journey with me. xo Ella
Now, you will always be free. And now that you have the key, you can unlock the chains of others. Well done, Ella. I am so proud of you. Love and Blessings, Patrick
Thank you so much Patrick! I love you right back and I am so happy that you have not only come into my life, but into the lives of the entire Rebel Thriver tribe. Thank you for working along side of me. xo Ella
Wow Ella has it only been a year – I feel like rebel thriver and you have been part of my life for much longer – I have watched you grow like your page and you deserve all the joy and rewards that this enterprise will bring you – you are an inspiration not only to me but to so many others who have been touched by your courage and compassion – looking forward to the next part of the rebel thriver journey matey 🙂
Evie it is hard to believe that it has only been a year in someways. I feel like we have know each other for so long…our souls must have met in another lifetime. Thank YOU for being with me and helping me grow this amazing tribe! I adore you matey! xo Ella
Claiming yourself and your liberation, I watch and I cheer. You courage is awe inspiring.
Thank you Val! You have been such a support and source of encouragement for me. xo Ella
Wow, what a journey! I love the grit in your name “Rebel Thriver” 🙂 Sometimes we have to grit our teeth and just keep going…that’s what the journey is about, right?
Thank you for sharing your journey and creating something we can draw strength from!
Hi Chris, thank you so much for your support and for being a part of my 1 year celebration! xo Ella
Onward and upward!
Thank you Tom for being a part of RT and for always being such a wise sounding board for me. I cherish our friendship. xo Ella
You inspire me! I am one of the tribe. I recently learned of a South African tribe who have a mantra….UBUNTU…meaning individual happiness is meaningless unless it benefits all. Here is something I wrote long, long ago…………A BLACK BLACK SEA POLLUTED BY FAILURE……ITS WAVES OVERTAKE ME AND TOSS ME DOWN….THE ROCKS ARE MY DREAMS WITH SHADOWS FALLING….TO THE COLD AND MUDDY GROUND….I LOOK FOR SOME LIGHT BUT THE SKY IS AN OCEAN…..I SEARCH FOR A MEMORY TO HELP BELIEVE…..I PEER INTO WINDOWS TOO DUSTY TO SEE…..THEN CLOSING MY EYES I QUIETLY GRIEVE…..MY LIFE IS A CLOSET OF YESTERDAYS PROBLEMS…..ALL CORNERS ARE FILLED WITH HAND ME DOWN LIES….I FIND AN OLD MIRROR….DIRTY AND BROKEN AND SEE BUT A TRACE…..OF MY GRANDMOTHERS EYES..
About two months ago, the following question popped into my head: What would my life have been like if I hadn’t suffered the abuse I did as a child? The very next night, I stumbled across a photo that someone had shared…it was one of the now-famous RT Littles.
Once I cleared the tears from my eyes, I dug up a picture of me from just before the abuse started and wrote my little self a note. As I found RT and posted my own Little, the question from the night before was replaced with the following: If I could get rid of the bad things that happened to me, would I be willing to give up the good things that happened to me because I survived them?
Thank you, Ella, Evie, and everyone in the Rebel Thriver tribe for helping to answer that question for me. ❤
I am So Grateful for You Ella ~ Your Fortitude, Gentle Strength, Giving Nature, Tender Truths and Blossoming: Wings to Fly & Flit down, Helping Others Find their Way and Emerge from Cocoons of Despair into a Tribe of Thriving Women. I Love You, and How We Are Banded Together by Ties that Bind Us on so Many Levels, Forever. Thank You BE-a-U-tiful. *_*
Christina, I love you. period. You know that too…I think you are an amazing woman and I am so happy that our paths crossed! Xo Ella
Hello from Africa lovely Ella… I think you (and your blog) are just lovely so have nominated you for the SHINE ON award. All you need do to accept, is pass it on to those stars who inspire you
Thank you my beautiful African friend. I accept and I will pass it on. XO Ella
I’ve been reading and reading. … I’m touched, inspired, challenged, overwhelmed, comforted, lost. .. so many things.
With every hurt, sadness or triumph in my life, I’ve struggled to grow – to hold onto hope so that I might emerge one day. Maybe battered and broken, but still here.
One solace has been the ability to help others through my own experiences, as though the pain has a purpose. That in turn lessens the sting somehow.
But I’m drowning. I feel like someone keeps dunking my head under water. I come up for air and deal with the fear. I learn to hold my breath a bit longer. But the dunkings don’t stop. They’re getting worse and now I’m struggling for air.
I try so hard to hold onto hope. To learn all the lessons. I see that one part of me is polished gem, in the same way waves and sand beat smooth edges onto glass. But the other side of me is not coping and acts out like a child of whom I am ashamed.
I don’t know why things are as they are but I feel guilty for the unhappiness it causes those I love most.
Hope is much harder to find these days. . At least I knew before that all my hard work to fix myself was paying off, even if only one slow step at a time. I was becoming a better me.
But now I am sick. There’s no cure. Everything I know doesn’t work anymore. I can’t just try again or try harder. I employ all I know and learn new things, like the importance of gratitude. Yet it’s not enough. I don’t know how to thrive anymore.
Life is up and down all the time. Right now you are feeling at a low, but remember that tomorrow is another day. In truth you still have the rest of today too. Never give up. I wanted to so many times, but I didn’t. I held on when most would have let go and I keep will. That is truly what a Rebel Thriver is. Someone who continues to strive for the balance and the peace. XO Ella