• deannaproach

2021 Recap: Victory Over Hardship

It’s that time of year again. Not only is it time to complete all those Christmas tasks we do every year – the baking, the decorating, and the shopping --, it’s also the time when we sit back and reflect on the past year and set goals for the new year.

I would be lying if I said that this year was better than last. In fact, it was one of the most difficult years of my life. Though I will admit, I made certain life decisions that made life much harder than it should have been.

The events of 2020 left me thinking in terms of worst-case scenarios and I brought that baggage into my relationship with my now ex-boyfriend. However, he also had quite a load of baggage from his past, yet I pursued a relationship with him anyways. I knew full well what I was getting myself into, but I was lonely and desperate.

We went to Grande Cache on New Years Day to visit a friend of mine and rang in the new year drunk, determined to forget 2020 and make new, better memories. We talked about all of the things we wanted to do together and we also talked extensively about moving to the Kamloops area, getting married there, and building a family there. We were going to plan things step-by-step of course. And moving in together was the first step.

Then, there was the situation with my work. I am a landscape gardener by trade and was self-employed over the previous two years, but my desire to learn more about gardening and broaden my skills as a landscaper, compelled me to seek out employment with a landscaping company. Besides, I just wanted to earn a steady paycheck. But my brother decided otherwise and practically insisted that we start our own landscaping business. It all seemed good at first and I was actually excited for this new venture. But things deteriorated shortly after the landscaping season began. My brother already has a full-time job, so everything was left up to me.

I have a heart for gardening, but I don’t have a heart for running a business, nor do I have the know-how to build a clientele and run a thriving business. I’m going to be extremely blunt here and admit that I’m a Monday to Friday, nine to five type of girl. People have told me in the past that you don’t get rich working for someone else, but I honestly don’t give a crap what other people think! It’s my life and I see no reason why I can’t thrive working for a good company. In any case, I don’t have to be rich in order to live a comfortable, happy, and fulfilling life.

Having to run a business – one that was supposed to be run by my brother and I – by myself and then having to deal with some nasty clients all on my own, was extremely stressful. To save myself, I walked away from it and put my heart and soul into the organic horticulture course I took online through Gaia College. I also poured all of my heart and soul into keeping my relationship strong and healthy. At least I tried, but I was so beaten down, my soul so weary, all I could see was the negative. Negative thoughts dominated my thoughts and all I wanted was for us to leave Dawson Creek. The sooner we moved to Kamloops area I thought, the better.

I do admit, my negativity did come between my (now) ex-boyfriend to a degree, but on looking back, it wasn’t the reason our relationship ended. From the moment we moved in together, he became a very different person. The man who I thought was so loving, kind, gentle, adventurous, and open-minded, morphed into a cold, bitter and manipulative person. Conversations started to revolve around how terrible people treated him when he was growing up. Seeing the stress I was going through caused him to shut down – yes he actually told me that! He also hated church and wanted nothing to do with it. Note to the reader: When we were dating, he enjoyed church. He also compared me to his ex-girlfriend who he claimed was evil. And yet, he had the audacity to tell me that sex was a big part of a relationship.

Yes, I admit, I am not perfect. I know my attitude was less than ideal, but I was willing and trying to deal with it and overcome just to make our relationship work. But he made it very clear to me what he wanted and he wasn’t willing to compromise with me on anything. Everything was me. He did all of the healing and I was the one who had the issues with anxiety. It was my fault that he became distant from me. He wasn’t going to put up with any stress from anyone because he can’t handle stress. Any more stress, he would sink back into a deep depression and he didn’t know if he would be able to come back out of it again. Yes, he told me that as well.

I still can’t explain how it happened, but one day at the end of July, common sense prevailed and I realized that this relationship wasn’t going to work out well, not matter what I did or how much healing I went through. So, I packed up my things and left him.

I had a friend who was living in Hinton at the time, so I went to visit her at the end of August. I also had a goal in mind to check out the area for potential living. I really did enjoy Hinton for the short time I was there. The people seem quite friendly and the landscape is stunning, but something about being there didn’t sit right with me. It didn’t feel like it was a good choice. And, while I was there, my mom told me over the phone that my dad had to go to the hospital. He was having issues with his lungs. So, I promptly returned to Dawson Creek. Because of Covid, we weren’t allowed to visit him. The only contact we had with him was via FaceTime over my brother’s phone. My dad’s condition deteriorated until he was intubated and flown to the hospital in Prince George. We were told that it was the only way he could recover but they couldn’t even guarantee his recovery.

My dad was intubated for a total of ten days, but he was in the Prince George hospital for six weeks. I was back living with my family, still unemployed, but oddly enough, a sense of peace washed over me. All of the angst, anger, anxiety, and pain I have endured all year left me. I started going back to church; I joined a gym and a hiking group. I have met some wonderful people and have been on a couple of adventures with the hiking group in efforts to make up for what I missed out on for much of the year. In the process, I have rediscovered the single life and I now look at it through an entirely different perspective.

This year 2021 brought me an immense amount of hardship. I do admit that much of what I endured resulted from wrong choices I made, but God saw me through it. And I am much stronger and wiser for it. I have also learnt so much more about myself through all of it. I am now taking things day by day and am not rushing any decisions, especially important ones.

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