Day 7: Where You Are in Your Life vs. Where You Thought You Would Be
Five years ago today, I walked away from the toxic, abusive, destructive relationship I was in and I never looked back. I didn’t have a blog, I had never sent a tweet, and I wasn’t The Single Woman. I was Mandy, the PR girl. I was on a completely different trajectory in life. I was newly single, my relationship with God, my parents, and my friends was in disarray, and I was feeling more than a little beat up by the world. I was a girl with a heart to do something, anything to “make a dent in the universe,” in the words of Steve Jobs…but I had no clue what to do or where to start.
Armed with a dream, my faith, a Vision Board, and the only New Year’s resolution I ever made and stuck to (to focus on getting back in touch with my creative side by finding an outlet to write)…I went to work.
Five years later, I’ve realized dreams that once seemed impossible. I self-published an e-book. I launched a website. I connected with 550k of the most incredible, dynamic women on the planet through Twitter. I signed a book deal. I quit my PR job to be a full-time writer. I published my first book. I met Oprah(!!!!!!) I stood with shaking knees and spoke in front of 10,000 women at the Women of Faith conference. I’ve been on national television. I’ve been blessed to connect with and in some cases, meet and get to know some of my biggest heroes. I wrote a second book, with a title that I picked out a decade ago that I knew would one day be on the cover of a book (I’ve Never Been to Vegas But My Luggage Has). A title I set my heart on a DECADE ago with no idea how or when I would even get to publish a book is now on the cover of a book! How amazing is that?!?
I became The Single Woman. And it’s a process that I’m still undergoing. Mandy is who I am – The Single Woman is the best, most evolved version of me – and every day, the two merge a little more. And every day, I hope I inspire you to tap into your own inner “The Single Woman” a little more. Every day, I get to wake up and speak life and hope and joy into the hearts of women across the world. What a tremendous, awesome gift and responsibility.
I say all this not to brag, or point out how great I am…but to encourage you and hopefully even inspire and motivate you a little. Five years ago today…I was a shell of a woman. I had been lied to, cheated on, pushed around, called horrible names, manipulated, and bullied for almost two years until I no longer knew who I was. But beneath all of that…the lies and the hurt and the tears and the bruises and the insecurity and the uncertainty and the fear…I had a story, and a heart to tell it. So I did. And five years later, here we are.
You might not be where you want to be today. You might be ME, five years ago. You might feel like you don’t have a prayer of becoming the person you really want to be…but that’s not true. You do have a prayer. You have a hope. You have a future. You have a story. You have a DESTINY. And it only takes one step to change every step after. It doesn’t matter what you did last year or last month or last week or five minutes ago. All that matters is what you choose to do NEXT.
Where I am vs. where I wanted to be? I never dared to dream I’d be where I am today. Most people would say “Oh, but didn’t you think you’d be married by now? Aren’t you disappointed that you’re not?” And my answer to that is: Yes. I did think I’d be married by now. But no. I’m not disappointed that I’m not. Because where I thought I would be can’t hold a candle to where I AM! Sometimes where we THINK we’re supposed to be is far lesser than where God knows we belong. He does have a plan for your life: A big, marvelous, fantastical plan. And if you’re willing to show up: broken spirit, broken dreams, broken heart and all, and hand him the pieces, he’ll turn it all into something beautiful. That’s what he specializes in. Beauty from brokenness. No one knows that better than me.
So I am thankful today that where I am isn’t where I thought I’d be. Cause it sure is where I’m MEANT to be.
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ALSO! If you haven’t grabbed your copy of my new book The Single Woman: Life, Love, & a Dash of Sass yet – it’s all about celebrating exactly who you are in THIS moment and is the perfect companion to the Blogging Challenge! Grab your copy at any bookstore!