Okay, I’m just going to admit it. As the entire globe has come to a screeching halt over the past month or two (what day is it, anyway?!), I’m, once again, deep in the cocoon of transformation and emerging as someone I no longer recognize. It’s the beginning of May and I’ve changed so much in the past few weeks that my husband looked at me the other day with a big, playful grin and said he couldn’t wait to introduce everyone to his NEW wife!
Prior to March 12th when I got “the call” from my boss telling me to fly home to Vancouver immediately, I was a corporate jetsetter and social justice warrior on my relentless crusade to change the world for the better. And don’t get me wrong, I loved this fast-paced, full-to-the-brim, rainbow-coloured variety-pack lifestyle that sprinkled all my days with blissful newness. Different cities, different people, different adventures… no week was ever the same, and I was constantly on the go in eager pursuit of achieving a never-ending, all-consuming essential list of professional priorities. You get the idea.
And then, just like an unsuspected thief in the night, COVID-19 crept in as an ominous intruder and shackled me to a fixed address, eradicating the high-flying life I’d worked so hard to build. I’m someone who almost never leaves home now. And here’s the strangest thing of all, and something I could never have predicted: I don’t want to leave! I’ve been as snug as a bug in a rug having undergone a metamorphosis of “extreme-makeover” proportions, that have transformed me into nothing less than a self-proclaimed domestic goddess. Things new in my life: I’m wearing an apron (freshly ordered from Amazon), baking chocolate chip banana bread (I did what??), making dinners (my husband’s the chef) and cleaning my own house (I always considered my cleaning lady my wife). I’m literally becoming someone I didn’t even know I had the capacity to be – or would even WANT to be, for that matter. But the best part of all in my magical, new world is being home every night to tuck my beautiful little boy into bed. Yes… EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. When he looks at me with those big, brown eyes and tells me that I smell like watermelon lollipops, my unicorn heart melts into liquid rainbows and my life is complete. How many nights like these have I missed as I was busily unpacking a suitcase and ordering room service for one, alone in a hotel on the other side of the country? Too many to count. Rather than feeling shackled to my fixed address, I can tell you with complete and total honesty that I feel completely FREE.
But what I’ve come to realize is that, whether I knew it or not, I’ve been preparing for this day my entire life. You see, I know adversity intimately. The two of us go way back to the beginning of time and the familiarity of our relationship has prepared me for today. I’ve learned how to pivot and adapt over time, and I’ve come to expect that I must be ready for change and transformation at a moment’s notice. I understand that adversity is something we’re meant to embrace with faith, so I accept it with confidence, secure in knowing that I’ll grow through whatever I go through. And you can too.
It’s not unicorns and rainbows for everyone.
That doesn’t mean the transformation process is easy or fun by any means. And the experiences associated with what’s happening right now vary greatly depending on your specific situation. There are many reports describing increases in domestic violence, child abuse and racism – to name just a few extra horrors adding to the pain of a pandemic.
I have deep compassion and empathy for the hard, dark days that COVID-19 is currently bringing to many innocent and vulnerable lives. I can vividly recall moments of heart-wrenching darkness throughout my life as well, where it felt like I couldn’t breathe through the suffocating clouds of my despair. I know what it’s like to be a teenager running away from home to escape a toxic environment. I’ve also experienced devastating abuse from a partner who was determined to lock me up in a cage of isolation, control my every move and beat my sparkly unicorn spirit down into a blackhole of submission.
People often feel so ashamed to admit these things have happened to them, but it’s never your shame to carry – it’s the shame of those who abandon their humanity and inflict injustices on others. And it’s nothing more than a desperate display of what can only be described as donkey behaviour in its most broken form. You don’t have to accept it. You can choose to demand better. You can choose YOU. You were born to be a free, sparkly unicorn and fly as high as the heavens with a life full of magic! Never let what has hurt you in life define you. Your destiny is not determined by what happens to you… it’s determined by how you respond to what happens to you and you get to decide the life that you want. Choices matter.
Many of my most cherished and successful friends today have overcome some of the harshest, life-crushing circumstances you could possibly imagine. But they leveraged this adversity and converted their pain into a superpower! Everyone has the capacity to channel their inner unicorn and transform suffering into something that can make them an unstoppable force of nature. If you’re unsure how to start this process, begin by being brave enough to reach out for help. I know it can make you feel vulnerable to do so, but you’ll find that the majority of people will gladly show up and do whatever they can when you need them most. You’re in full control of your destiny whether you understand your power or not. If life isn’t where you want it to be, then my wish for you is to use this time to show up for yourself!