Fresh start, new beginnings, and being on my own for the first time in my adult life

I want to preface this by saying that my goal from this is to be myself for really the first time. I’ve always looked to others to get validation, affirmation and confirmation that I’m who and where I’m supposed to be. Right now, life is messy and I’m not put together and I’m learning how to be okay with that. I’m learning the value of self love and self compassion in order to grow, to help and to give.

Eight years ago today I got married. I started 2019 divorced, almost 28 and completely devastated. I never knew on that day that my life would look so drastically different today, eight years later. I really didn’t think I would be divorced. I remember running through the halls of the courthouse full of joy, ready to vow my life to someone else, it was the best feeling. I felt so loved and overwhelmed with possibilities. A feeling I haven’t felt since that day. We didn’t have a wedding, but it didn’t matter, we went for it and stood in front of the judge smiling ear to ear ready to take on life together. Marriage felt like a fresh start for me after going through painful family experiences and living with anxiety in my teenage years. It was brand new, it was with someone I loved so deeply.

There was so much ahead of us, I was 19, I still lived with my parents and was now about to start my adult life with someone else. We grew together in college, with friends who loved us dearly and we were happy.

Life hit us full force — the pain a marriage can bring, but the joy it also brought for so many years. We got through it all. We got jobs, we learned how to pay bills together, we were creative together, we wrote each other the most beautiful love notes, we finished college together. We lived in a city by the beach and I never knew it would all come crashing in like a wave dragging us both out to sea.

We moved together to a new city, and everything started to change. I don’t think either one of us recognized what happened or how it happened. But still we got through the most damaging of times, trying to love one another, trying to fix all we could through therapy and prayer and the support of our family and friends.

We both started working at the same company shortly after, and we felt deepest separation a short time after that. The summer of 2016 was one of the worst times of my life, and I can sometimes still feel the sting from it. That was the summer, I got to know myself better and realized how much I feel emotionally. By the middle of it, God brought us back together — it wasn’t perfect but we wanted to work through it.

For the next year, we got through it — we argued and cried, but we also laughed and found a new love for one another. And then we lost people, and trauma was unleashed. We had different views and perspectives and hurts and pain that neither one of us knew how to get through. Mental health and addiction, and we both lost part of ourselves to it all.

Over the next year, into 2018 and now into 2019 — it really all ended. I sit here sad, looking back at the past year knowing I am no longer a wife, knowing I’m no longer living my life with someone else. Knowing my adult life is so different than what I thought it would be when I was 19. Knowing I won’t start a family right now and that everything else is still unknown.

It’s a devastating loss, and I’m learning how to get through it. It’s difficult and I don’t understand the grief my heart feels. I know I had to write this, because I’m exhausted from pretending I have it all together, and I feel like others need to hear that as well for themselves. I have lived my life only to please others, to care about what they think, and to take care of them. I still desire to take care of others and always want to give, but I hear the words being spoken over my heart to start fresh. This time, as an adult — trying to figure out who I am apart from others. My social media is now clean, my site now clean and refreshed. I am working to understand myself more, what I actually like, because honestly I really don’t know.

I have taken time for the first time this past month away from work, away from the things I’ve always known and it is terrifying, but felt so necessary to help me move forward.

I know I want to be healthy, whole, and loved. I want to love others and pursue helping again, but I’m learning and healing. I’m currently in the process for healing from anxiety and OCD. It is a difficult and exhausting battle, but I’m truly fighting it for the first time in my life.

If you are reading this and don’t want to follow my journey on social media or on this site, that’s okay and understandable. I really want to be surrounded by those who want to walk together and learn from one another’s trials and celebrate with each other’s victories.

This is a true vulnerable post and the start of something new for me. Writing has always been something I’ve wanted to pursue, but I haven’t known how. Moving forward, I’ll be documenting my daily/weekly life and experiences. I hope I can spread some encouragement with all the chaos that’s out there and really be true to myself.

I’ll also be sharing a collection of poems I haven’t really been devoted to sharing in the past, but I’ve found that it is one of the only parts of myself that I can see and understand that is real and true to who I am. Poetry is something that has helped me process my emotions and my experiences. I’ll be sharing new poems as well.

Whoever has taken the time to read this, and feels overcome by life, divorce, loss or anything else — you’re not alone. You may feel broken, but God and the universe have a way of turning brokenness and even emptiness into light and colors and beauty. I’m choosing to believe that today.

I don’t want to be a poser or act like I have my life together anymore, I don’t and I’m learning how to live in this world step by step.

Leaving this post with a poem I wrote called “The Beginning”

I begin

and end

in the same place

comforted by

the story of

my birth

the knowledge

of my experience

the hope of my


and the promise

of love

xo Joni