A Lot Can Happen in a Decade: Happy New Year
A Lot Can Happen in a Decade: Happy New Year from The Organic Prepper
My decade began with a horrible loss.
At the end of the last decade, 2009, I lost my father. At the beginning of this decade, not even 2 years later, my girls lost their father, too. The two men who, in all the world, cared the most about my children were gone.
Over these hellish two years, I lost the house that I had purchased as a struggling single mother and painstakingly renovated by myself. I lost my car. I lost the furnishings I couldn’t afford to move out of the house. In fact, trying to move this stuff by myself, I suffered a crippling back injury that left me barely able to walk for years. Tensions were high with family members and there was even some estrangement.
I even lost my job, probably because I was in a dark place and struggling so hard to keep things together for my family that I had nothing left in me to provide customer service and participate in office politics.
To say this was a low point would be like describing the Grand Canyon as a little valley. As I struggled up through the murky waters of the worst period of depression I have ever survived, though, I knew that I would make it.
I had to. I had two fatherless girls depending on me.
TO PARAPHRASE DORY, I JUST KEPT SWIMMING.
I used my last real conversation with my father to inspire me to live my life in the way I had always dreamed of living it. He asked me, on his deathbed, what I was going to do with my life. I said, “I’m going to be a writer.”
He shook his head sadly and said, “No, you’re not. You only talk about writing. Writers write.”
At that moment, my grief was too profound to take action but I remembered what he had said. And when everything went to hell over the course of the next two years…when we lost EVERYTHING I had worked for my entire adult life, I turned to my father again for wisdom.
I had two girls for whom I wanted to be an example of resilience. It was time to get my sh*t together.
I STARTED WRITING.
I wrote every day. I did freelance gigs. I got a job writing for an alternative media company which allowed me to work from home and be there if my daughters needed me. I busted my ass at that job and was rewarded with lifelong friends, a mentor, and the knowledge to start my own website, which I did in December of 2012.
A couple of years later, my mentor, who shall remain blissfully anonymous (he knows who he is) fired me. I was shocked. I said, “I thought I was doing a good job.” He said, “You are doing an incredible job. This is a mercy killing. It’s time for you to focus all your attention on your own business. You don’t need this job anymore and it would be selfish to keep you here.”
I was stunned…reeling…terrified…felt like the rug had been ripped out from under me.
But he was right. It was the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me. My own website was doing pretty well. I had self-published my first two books while working for the other organization. It was time.
So I put every ounce of energy into making my business a success. And it worked. Seven years later, my site has exceeded my wildest dreams. I’ve published several more books. I put two kids through college/trade school debt-free. I got an audience of readers that I love like a big, extended family who has given me love, support, and cheered me on, whether I faltered or flew.
My mentor remains a dear friend to this day and he and his family are some of the people I trust the most in this world. I’d do anything for them.