Putting myself in the way of beauty.

I think by now everyone knows that Cheryl Strayed is my favorite author of all time. I’m reading more of her work and listening to anything I can find that features her. Yesterday I was listening to a talk on YouTube while working and that quote struck me. I’ve read it before because I’ll read anything and everything Cheryl puts out but sometimes words only mean something to you based on whatever it is you’re going through in that moment.

This week I packed up all my personal belongings and moved in with my brother and his family. I cried so hard the first night I slept in my room with all my stuff crammed up in there with me. I’d always taken so much pride in my independence so having to move back in with my brother at 30 felt like such a huge blow to me. I thought at 30 I’d be moving in with the love of my life.

I spoke to a few friends and my love’s aunt about it and I LOVE what they told me. My love’s aunt said that people who struggle with addiction are encouraged to change environments when they come out of rehab to avoid relapsing because going back to the same environment they battled addiction in puts them at risk of returning to their old ways. I’m going on a healing journey next week and it wouldn’t be wise to return to my place when it’s now a huge trigger for me.

When I told one of my love’s friends about my frustration with having to move in with my brother he said, “Life is long. Even the fastest formula one racers go back to the same garage they started their race at. Use the opportunity to recalibrate and mourn in the company of your support system. Take things even slower if you can.”

On the one month anniversary of that tragedy a friend texted me, “I really don’t think it can get any much worse than it has the past 30 days, it can only get better here onward.” Whenever I’m stressed I lose perspective. It was so good seeing it from that perspective. Sure there will be days when it will hurt but I can’t imagine anything worse than the pain I’ve felt this past month. It can only get better from here.

I have so many other messages I’ve received that have moved me. Thank you to all of you wonderful people who are carrying me with your love and words right now.

I was sitting outside in the sun yesterday watching my nieces play and in that moment I really felt like I’d put myself in the way of beauty. I could have stayed at my place and stewed in my misery alone but what point would that serve? I decided to move because I realized I had nothing to prove to anyone. I don’t need to prove that I’m the strongest person alive by continuing to live alone in a home I basically shared with my love when every moment there just torments my soul. There’s no prize for enduring the most suffering unnecessarily in life.

In fact all the messages I’ve been getting were basically telling me to choose anything but suffering. I couldn’t quite articulate what the common theme was but now I know what everyone has been telling me. PUT YOURSELF IN THE WAY OF BEAUTY.

One friend told me to use everything available to make my healing journey lighter. Even in grief I deserve softness. This journey doesn’t need to be any harder unnecessarily. Where there is some ease or softness to be found, I’m putting myself in its way.

I’m so thankful for this grace that I’m finding here. My life is not over. I’m still trying to figure out my life and make sense of what has happened but while I do that I choose not to suffer any more than I have to. I am intentionally putting myself in the way of beauty because beauty still exists.



I tell stories about my experience of being alive. Perpetually day dreaming of reading and writing by the beach

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umzila kawulandelwa

I tell stories about my experience of being alive. Perpetually day dreaming of reading and writing by the beach