Since January there's been a lot happening in my world. Here are some of the highlights...
On February 16 my 4-year-old service dog Jack died. This led me to crash and burn for about a week. I couldn't believe that one minute he was fine and the next minute he was suffering from a terrible injury that nobody even knew how happened and I was being faced with the choice of putting him to sleep - which was ultimately the best thing to do for him.
While it took me a while to get over his death my daughter encouraged me to move on, telling me this is what he'd want me to do. I decided she was right and got a new dog to train as my new service dog. Dakota is an American lab who was born on February 1 and while he's a hyper puppy he naturally alerts to my PTSD and night terrors. When I think back on this and the dates I find that God was at work in this the whole time reminding me that while I went through the fire He carried me through to the other side.
As I was just getting over this and feeling that life was about to return to normal after a few months, my daughter's dog died. This was the first dog that either of us had ever owned but for some reason, I wasn't hit as hard nor did I grieve as long. In fact, in May we went and got her a new dog - a cute little fluff ball (Keeshond) named Loki who was three months old at the time. He's such a calm puppy...
In July I decided to start working on my Masters in Theology. I completed one course and was entered into the honors program. While it'll take me some time to complete it, this is something that I've always wanted to do. I'd let this "dream" die when I decided to take a year off after college and my parents told me they weren't going to help me with school anymore and that I'd never get my Masters. Unfortunately, this led me into a path of life that I'm not proud of but that helped shape me into who I am today (a story for another time). Well, now 19 years later, with my daughter fully raised by me alone, I feel it's now time to work on myself. As part of this, I'm working on getting my Masters. While this is in part because I want to prove my parents wrong at the same time this is also something I've always wanted to do.
Unfortunately, in July I was also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. While this is something that affects everyone differently, for me it's resulted in widespread pain and extreme fatigue. I'm determined to push through it though.
With everything that's going on, where I'm going from here, I'm not sure. I'm working with a great therapist (Finally!) who's encouraging me to figure this out. In the past, I worked as a freelance writer and really enjoy writing. I haven't been able to find any work for a while except for one small client who's been with me for years. Otherwise, I'm a full-time student and when not studying, I'm rediscovering my passions which are reading memoirs and WWII fiction (I LOVE history), diamond painting, doing fill-in puzzles, and training Dakota.
Back to my point... I'm thinking of a few paths as to where I'll go when I'm done with school. Right now I'm considering either seeking full-time or freelance work as a journalist for a Christian company. At the same time, I'm also wondering if I'll go for my doctorate right away. (Call me crazy but I also LOVE school).
These are some major life changes that I've undergone in just this first half of the year. Of course, I'm also back to writing for my blog in hopes that I'll be able to encourage someone out there. If nothing else, I want to have someplace for me to write whatever God lays on my heart. Who knows, I may even include this in my portfolio of work someday. As the title of my blog now says, "I'm living my best life and the rest is yet to come." So, while not every moment has been good, each of them helps create me and the journey that I'm on - one that I look forward to sharing with you.
Until next time, stay strong,