Five years ago, life was a disaster.
Five years ago, there was an abusive marriage. A job that was fine at the time but it would never truly fulfill me. Outside of the marriage, a wonderful support system of co-workers/friends emerged, without whom I never would’ve gotten away from my ex-husband and would likely be dead.
Five years ago, I was a three-year cervical cancer survivor. As my body still struggled a bit to adjust to life without a uterus, my ex would never miss an opportunity to tell me I was worthless for not being able to procreate. I never wanted to procreate in the first place, which irked him to no end. He’d insinuate that I’d gotten cancer on purpose so I couldn’t give him children. Yup, that’s me. Pro-Cancer all the way.
Five years ago, I was in debt up to by eyeballs because the ex refused to work after we married. The “fancy” college degree I had should be able to support us. He’d make fun of me for not making more money. He stayed up drinking all night playing video games.
Five years ago, I was wasting away. The smallest I’d been since high school, a Diet Coke became my typical lunch. Days came when I thought about committing myself as that (or death) were the only ways to get away from him. He wouldn’t let me go until I became a corpse.
Five years ago.
In January 2018, I took my life back. With the help of a police-involved incident, I escaped. With the help and protection of the aforementioned co-workers/friends, I escaped. I would be dead if not for the fate of these events.
Once rid of the ex, I began breaking out of the box I’d fallen into while making myself small and demure. With the help and love of a support system I fell ass-backwards into, I began to remember who I was before the abuse. I’d forgotten I was kinda funny. Not stupid. Mildly attractive. Spontaneous. Artistic. Weird.
Four months later, I once again stumbled ass-backwards into a person who has never made me feel small. A person who made me remember that I’m a tough broad who’s capable of anything. A person who genuinely belly laughs when I come up with the dumbest, funniest shit; when I make up stupid songs about our animals and force them to dance with me. A person who has refused to let me go no matter how hard I tried to push him away.
He loves all of me, the good, the bad and the psychotic.
Five years ago, I was stuck in every way possible. I could have never imagined that I’d be sitting here with a revitalized photography and art career. I could have never imagined that I’d be running a music magazine that I launched. I could have never imagined that I’d meet my person in Delaware and move with him to South Dakota where I would revitalize my photography and art career and launch a music magazine.
I’m in awe that I’m still here. Never settle. Never make yourself small. Trust the universe is laying things out for you. Be patient.
In 2023, remember who the f*ck you are. I hope that you will start the path on whatever journey that awaits so that in five years you can look back and say, “Damn, I’ve kicked this life in the ass and I’m proud of how far I’ve come.”
We aren’t the same people we were a year ago. We aren’t the same people we were last week. I hope you step into 2023 with your heads held high, ready to kick some ass.
We’re all in this together.
Much Love and Happy New Year,
Editor-in-chief, SoDak Music Magazine