My Current Life · The Real Me

When It All Falls Down

In 2010, I was on top of the world.

New job, a new luxury apartment downtown, brand new car, the attention and admiration of my inner and outer circle. I just celebrated my 25th birthday on a beautiful beach. After 4 years of college and 2 years of graduate school, I finally graduated from student-dom and had entered adulthood. My job was everything I thought I wanted. I traveled for work and I even traveled on weekends. I was living the life of my dreams.

And 10 months later, it was taken away from me. It was taken from me in a matter of minutes. I lost my job. I lost my glamorous apartment. I lost the admiration of my friends and relatives. I lost the pride and confidence that I had in myself. I lost the freedom that I embraced being 550 miles from home. I returned back home, with no job and little money. I was no longer on top of the world. In fact, I thought the world was against me.

After moving back to my hometown, it took 4 years to get back on my feet. Four very long, humbling, character-building years. Now, looking back, I am proud of what those years gave me. I spent quality time with my family and built a close relationship with my nieces, nephews, and cousins. When my grandma passed away in 2013, I was happy to have had spent many Sunday afternoons with her: learning from her and laughing with her. I met three of my dear friends during those 4 years. Friends, that are like my sisters. Friends, who stood beside me as my bridesmaids, on my wedding day.

So much fun was had during those 4 years: late-night clubbing, followed by early morning breakfast at Waffle House; sleepovers, where my girlfriends and I would stay up all night contemplating life; Meetup Groups; Kickboxing Class; French Class; and I even became apart of Yelp Elite group for 3 consecutive years. I attended concerts, where I met Robin Thicke. I spotted celebrities at the mall. I partied. I danced. I dated. I went ice skating, apple picking. I met new people. I had a ball.

And I even met my husband during those 4 years.

Now, 9 years after the heyday of 2010, I am in a new space. And funny enough, it somewhat resembles my life in 2010. I recently started a new job in a new city. I live in a new home. I don’t drive a new car, but I did just celebrated my 34th birthday at a beautiful beach. I’m married now. Instead of being a new adult, I am now a seasoned adult. I make better decisions now. I save for rainy days because life has taught me that there will always be a rainy day.

But what I haven’t learned to do is to enjoy the ups.

I am so afraid of the down that I am reluctant to truly embrace the up. Spending money gives me anxiety. What if I spend too much now, lose my job and lose everything else? I tell myself:

Don’t get too comfortable with your lifestyle. Things can be taken in an instant. Remember 2010? Don’t get too close to your co-workers. If you choose to leave, that friendship will never be the same. Why put yourself through so much hurt? Don’t get close to your neighbors. Remember the neighbor that foreclosed recently? If that happens to you, the friendships that you made with neighbors would be wasted.

It’s a carousel that my mind takes frequent trips on. Around others, I am constantly down-playing how satisfied I am with my life.

Former Co-worker: Do you like your new job?

Me: Yes, it’s okay. I miss my old job though!

Knowing very well, that I really like my new job. I believe it’s a really good fit for my talents and skills set. In another conversation:

Someone: You have a beautiful home.

Me: Thanks. It’s not in an exciting part of town. This town is a sleeper.

In a discreet manner, I am constantly telling people to not be so happy for me. I’m bracing myself for when it all falls down. My favorite quote is, Be humble or be humbled. So, I try not to put myself in a position where others talk about me, “She thought she was on top of the world. Look at her now!” It’s sad, but we all say such things when someone loses everything after boasting about their good fortune.

It’s good to be humble, but I think the fear that I’m experiencing is crippling. It’s not healthy to anticipate it all falling down. And I acknowledge that. My fear is real. I will address that.

21 thoughts on “When It All Falls Down

  1. Yaa Yaa! Oh honey! I love the honesty in this piece — and might I add “WELCOME BACK!”

    We’ve all been in/are in this same space of not “wanting to be too happy”.

    It’s something called living in “pre-disappointment”. If I’m not too happy, then when it all goes away, I won’t be so sad because I was already expecting it.

    In my experience, it’s only made me sad twice and even MORE sad when/if the thing goes away because I didn’t get to enjoy ‘the thing’ in it’s entirety.

    Let me share a little story with you… My husband and I have date night on Thursdays, I weigh in for my fitness accountability group on Friday mornings. I remember one date night my husband wanted to go out for ice cream, because I had my weigh in the next day, I told him I’d pass. Yaa Yaa, the next morning during my weigh in I had actually GAINED a pound…. I was so upset that I laughed. What I learned? To live and be present in the moment, ESPECIALLY because we don’t know what the future would hold.

    Had I known my weight would go up, I would’ve just had the ice cream …. lol.

    I think BECAUSE you could lose it, is even MORE reason to enjoy it! Besides — I think your story actually teaches that when you fall down, you can actually come back up — and often times better 🙂 You got a husbae, a house, new job and besties — if the fall is what it took, “Come again fall!”

    Honey — when we try to protect ourselves from disappointment, we also protect ourselves from fully experiencing joy. -Brene Brown

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Mac! It’s good to be back!

      You have an excellent point. Anticipating the fall robs us the joy of experiencing the present. The logic – if I’m not too happy, then I won’t be too sad when it goes away – sounds good in theory, but life doesn’t work like that. I agree with you. You’ll actually be more frustrated that you didn’t actually enjoy the good times!

      I love your story. So simple, yet so profound. Who knows. You could have gone out for ice cream, enjoyed a scoop or two and you could have lost weight! And if you did gain 1 pound, you would have embraced it. Cause at least you knew you enjoyed the gaining that 1 pound.

      So, there is redemption in my story, isn’t it?! I hadn’t realized that. I love how you always help me pick out the little gems. Appreciate your comment :).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Allow yourself to slow down and enjoy every moment good and bad, live in moderation and appreciate the simple things. Always trust God the downs are lessons building a stronger you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh Boy, Scribbles (that makes me laugh just typing it) I have so much to say to your young self, from my 69 year old self! I guess your piece resonates with me so much because I was just like that. Then I met a friend who complimented me and I had a down-playing comment to poo-poo the compliment and he got mad! “When you do that you insult my taste!” Wow. I never thought of it that way. So just say, “Thank you. I’m happy with. . . .” and move on. You will choke on the rest for a while, but it will get easier the more you do it.
    My other sage piece of advice is that at this point in my life I’ve gone from welfare to wealthy to lower middle class. Seriously. When I was divorced with two kids I had to go on welfare. My kids still think they were cooler than others because we got free cheese and butter. lol Then I got remarried and we did quite well although blending a family is another story. Then we lived over seas and did VERY well. Then idiots flew planes into buildings and we lost a bunch in the aftermath. Those are the cliffnotes to my point. In the 37 years that we’ve been married we have had some very, very tough times, emotionally, physically and financially, but somehow we always got through them. When i realized that one day and mentioned it to my husband we decided we would no longer spend as much time “worrying” and more time “enjoying”. Not that we didn’t have concerns and keep our eye on the ball, but we didn’t dwell on the bad and minimize the good. It takes a little practice and sometimes I slip down the vortex, but now I know it’s happening and go do something for someone else and get myself centered again. I sure wish I had all of this wisdom when I was your age! Sorry this is so long, but you really touched me with your piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this! This wisdom is FOR US === the 30 somethings who have the opportunity to live a different 30plus years! Thanks so much for beings so candid and honest with your experience! We haven’t met, but BIG HUGS to you Mary!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Mary! I am so glad you stopped my page to share your pearls of wisdom. You’ve really helped put things in perspective for me.

      I never thought that downplaying a comment was insulting to the person giving the compliment. Of course, I never meant it that way; I just thought I was being “humble.” I suppose your strategy of handling compliments is a lot better than mine. I will surely try it next time!

      Lol at your kids thinking it’s cool to have free cheese and butter. It’s all about perspective! And I’m sure your family has been able to matriculate through life’s ups and downs because you all truly embrace the positive pieces of whatever life throws at you. It’s amazing to me that you’ve experienced so much, especially the different financial states. All in one life – it seems like you’ve experienced it all.

      More time enjoying and less time worrying –> I love that!

      Thanks again for your wisdom. It is extremely helpful.

      Like

  4. And 30 years from now you won’t care what others say about you. You will have been the best you that you could be and will still be making improvements and adjustments. You will look back and smile at life and be happy about all of it. Just sayin’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aww!!!! Welcome back ! As usual it is great to read your posts. You have made very valid points and your fears are justified. I have been there 😦

    However I’d like to challenge you ( us) to look at life a bit differently. Everything in life is a season and we grow through the ups and downs of those seasons. Can you name one person who you know has had no challenge over the past year? 5 years? 10 years? The bible says we WILL have many tribulation (not maybe)… but thank God He has overcome the world and through Him we are more than conquerors!!!

    This is to say, please do not let your motives be driven by fear. Live in the moment, show gratitude, pause, enjoy what you have, where you are, the people you love and who love you back so dearly. It will not always be easy but joy always comes in the morning! And you know… life is fragile! Our breath of life is not a guarantee and can be taken away at any moment. Lets all make each moment matter!!! It will not always be easy but joy always comes in the morning!

    Love you girl and I recognize myself up there with our party days and it was an honor to see you walk down the aisle! XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s good to be back. 🙂

      I can’t even name a person who hasn’t gone through challenges in the past 1 year, yet alone 2 years. Even a baby has their ups and downs. (Teething must be painful!)

      You’re right it is good to stop and embrace the sunshine. Life is a witch. Life can be amazing one moment and devastating the next. There is wisdom honoring life’s fragility.

      It was an honor to have you to stand by my side! And no one shut down Cream more than we did. Oh, the good ‘ole days!

      Like

  6. First. Oh how I have missed you!! Second I’m so happy for you!! Third I’m even more proud of you!! Everything happens for a reason, This is your season for rejoicing, celebrating and overall being happy for YOU! We don’t give ourselves enough credit. Everything you’ve worked for and have now — you deserve it.

    This is your moment. Live in it Sis.

    Like

    1. Thanks Tati! It’s so good be back to blogging. I’ve really missed it. Thank you, thank you! I’m trying really hard not to “poo poo” on the compliments. It has been a long, hard work. You’re right; it’s time to celebrate!

      Like

  7. So happy for you that you’ve been able to nourish those amazing bonds in your life! And yes it’s so important to be humble and I do get why you feel the way you do in the present moment about celebrating your wins. I feel like you deserve to be happy about your accomplishments! We never know what tomorrow may bring but I feel like God wants us to show gratitude and appreciation for what we have & not to live in fear. These blessings have been placed in your life for a reason & you deserve it all! Wishing you the best 🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a delicate life balance that I am trying hard to cultivate. It is difficult! Some days I nail it, but other days, I don’t. I agree. We should enjoy the good times with a gratitude. Thank you for the well wishes. (So hard for me to say that with our downplaying my wins.)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s so so so so so good to see you in my feed again, love. I feel this pain all too well; I didn’t have everything taken from me, but I grew up with nothing and I’m all too aware of what that feels like. Sometimes the fear of not going back to that point ever again makes it hard to fully appreciate what you DO have now, and puts undue stress and anxiety on you. But you’re strong, and lovely, and I know you can do it ❤ I missed you!

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    1. It’s good to be back and it’s great to see you in my comments section! I can imagine how anxiety-provoking it is to grow up with nothing and suddenly have everything. It can be a real challenge! You spend all your time in fear that you”forget” to enjoy the moment. Thank you for the encouragement! It’s glad to know I’m not the only one feeling this way.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Welcome back! I agree with everything above. Having also been on that rollercoaster, you learn to expect the unexpected, but you also learn to live for the day. When times are good, it’s easy to self-deprecate. We don’t want to show off, we may think we’re not worthy, we know how easily it can be taken from us. And EVEN IF that does happen again, we now know we can get through, we now have good foundations, we are equipped to cope and we appreciate all the small things. You’ve worked hard to be where you are. Reap those rewards! People who care will want to see you happy and they pay compliments because they’re deserved. I feel this is coming across as a bit lecture-y and not nearly as uplifting as the above comments! But you get my drift ;).

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    1. Thank you! It’s good to be back. I had to challenge myself. Am I self-deprecating because I don’t believe I deserve what I have or because I don’t want to show off? I still can’t figure out the answer to both. Maybe it’s a little of both? And maybe because I don’t like it when others show off. It’s a pet peeve of mine. Haha, bring on the lecture-y! Lol, thanks for your encouraging note.

      Liked by 1 person

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