343 Days, Or Eleven Months and Nine Days

I can’t believe it has been nearly a year since I took to writing in this journal and if I am being really honest I really don’t know where all of the time has gone. I am another year older but I am not sure I am another year wiser. I just turned forty-one on the ninth of October and for some reason I find myself taking the time to re-assess the status of my character and life. Self-reflection is an inherent quality that I already possess but I find although to some degree or another I am always contemplating life there are just a couple of time a year I find myself really taking a good amount of time to evaluate my progress as a christian woman, as a person who so wants to love herself and those around her. The anniversary of my father’s death, Easter, Christmas and most importantly my birthday seem to be the times when I really become introspective.

My father’s death because if it wasn’t for that life shattering event I am not sure I would still be here on this earth living and breathing; although it was a devastating time in my life his death was my ultimate rebirth. And then of course Easter because of the sacrifice given to us through my Lord and Savior Yeshua (Jesus Christ) and then Christmas because everyone seems to be full of love and joy, it is the only time of year where everyone seem to be in the spirit of giving.

And then there is my birthday and for me I reflect on and around my birthday because it means I am another year older and that much closer to the end of life here on earth and closer to my eternal life with God. So I find myself at the end of my forty first year beginning my forty second year asking myself a ton of questions about who I really am, and what I really want.

This year I have begun to feel the empty nest syndrome as my daughter is now twenty-three and my son will be eighteen next month, with that comes a sense of loss of part of my identity and I know for some you may be thinking a loss, how? Well my whole entire adult life has been dedicated to being either a wife or  a mother.

I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t either one of those titles. I met my ex-husband when I was fifteen and I became a mother when I was seventeen. So before I was even a woman I was a wife and mother and for me security has been in both of those titles. My desire never really was to do much else; I remember as a little girl wanting to have what my parents never really gave me which was a family.

Unfortunately my husband and I never could quite get it together but I always vowed to be the mother I never had, so I poured my whole entire self into being a mother and until recently that seemed to suit me just fine but now I find myself being needed less and less by my children and being left alone more and more. Re-discovering or maybe a better way to say it is discovering myself has been a journey, one I am still trying to navigate my way through.

Finding out who I am and what I really want out of life has unearthed desires, ambitions and goals that scare me. For someone who has been fairly traditional in my beliefs I now find myself wanting to venture out and discover life like never before but there is a part of me that is scared of who she really is and what she really wants. Trying to remain grounded while floating in the sky can sometimes be hard. On one hand I no longer have anything hindering me from traveling or exploring but on the other hand to be doing it all alone is frightening. I have never been truly alone because I went from living at home to living with my husband and children. Even after my marriage broke down I always seemed to have my children and their friends around to keep me busy.

So how do I go it alone? That is the question I continue to explore an answer for. Here I am reflecting on the last 343 days knowing that even though I cannot really fully explain myself I have grown and changed. Some events in these 343 days have been gut-wrenchingly painful and difficult to bear alone but I am confident that I am only steps away from being able to answer the question of who Leslie really is.

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