Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Second chances...

How many second chances do we really get in life? Is there one or two great moments, and are we left disappointed and underwhelmed by the rest? I am finding that the answer to the first is largely determined by our attitude, and the second is a resounding "no".

I was watching Project Runway today, one of my few TV addictions, and was unsuspectingly encouraged. Anthony Williams, my favorite contestant (who was SO funny and made the show for me) was voted off last week, only to come back this week to design the challenge-winning red carpet gown, winning the praise of Jessica Alba, who insisted on wearing it to an event herself.

Before he was made aware of his win, he said in his fabulous southern drawl, "I'm like the ambassador of second chances."

LOVE that. Can you say, soul mate?!?!

For awhile, my "second chance" felt more like a life-sentence than an opportunity for greatness. I had no ability to see the forest through the trees at the moment I was struck, not being able to see life without the person I loved the most next to my children. I often felt like giving up, but somewhere, deep inside my heart, there was a voice screaming, "DON'T YOU DARE GIVE UP - that's not *it* for you!" I did hold on, despite a myriad of difficulties. And, things are still difficult. Every day. I have found myself having to forgive my ex on a daily basis for what he did. Thing is, leaving us wasn't a temporary pain, it wasn't a fleeting action - it had PERMANENT consequences for me and for my boys. Without their father, and without my partner in life, things are very different than they could be.

The reality is, SO MANY people are currently experiencing what I am, especially with divorce rates being what they are. So, while difficult, it isn't a circumstance that is impossible to deal with and/or overcome. I am working on the latter.

Second chance #1: I let my ex discourage me from what I really wanted to do, and I'll never make that mistake with a guy again. What God puts on my heart is what I will do. Period.

Second Chance #2: I've finally learned what I'm looking for in a man, and what I need. I am not willing to compromise or waste my time on duds. Dating is wonderful. I've had boyfriends, I've had flings, and both have taught me where I'm headed. I'm patiently looking for a man that is a complement to my life, not for a knight on a white horse.

Second Chance #3: I was pursuing nursing, knowing that it wasn't my true strength. Now, I feel I've finally found my calling (teaching), and feel peaceful with my direction for the first time in years. I've discovered healthy coping mechanisms that work for me, and my new routine has brought me a great deal of joy.

Second Chance #4: This one is for my boys. Instead of being moved all around the country in the "Army way", now they have roots and a permanent home here in Idaho, surrounded by family and friends who love them. This is a great thing for me, as well, but they will be so much more drastically affected by this change, and I'm thankful that this is where God has us.

Second Chance #5: Learning about my own strengths and weaknesses through this process have enabled me to see things I never saw before. I was letting myself be victimized in my own life, and didn't stand up for myself appropriately. Especially with friends. Learning the true meaning of loyalty and forgiveness (and where the two meet) has changed the way I look at all my relationships. Some have improved as a result, and some I have let go. I've never been happier.

Second Chance #6: Looking to myself for an opinion, not to others. The approval of those around me is becoming less important as I get older, thankfully, and I choose to quietly evaluate my own choices instead of constantly seeking the thoughts of those around me. So freeing.

I wonder, where do I go from here? I'm willing to bet, only up.


  1. Inspiring, as always! I know that your "second chances" will pay off in a very sweet way for you, Erin!

  2. Love you Erin! You are such an inspiration to me! *BIG HUGS*

  3. Hello again...sent comment to your yahoo account.


  4. Jen - I agree! It already is. I feel a peace lately that I haven't realized was possible. Tracey - <3 you! Hang in there!

    WokeUp40 - Thank you again for your kind email. I have a whole new analogy to pray about - your emails are always full of such wisdom.

  5. I really enjoy reading your posts. Just wanted to say I'm also a Project Runway fan, and absolutely LOVED Anthony! Thanks for the comment on my post. Always nice to know someone is reading!

  6. You are very welcome! :)