Start From Where You Are

We’ve all had it happen a time or two. For whatever reason, life just comes tumbling down. Everything we’ve built, or have been trying to build, is suddenly in splintered pieces around us, and we are left with nothing.

It could be anything that put us there. Job loss. Divorce. Bankruptcy. A string of bad decisions that have finally caught up with us. Backstabbing friends who screwed us over. Or we could have just been blindsided by tragedy. But, now one morning, we wake up and find that the life we have been trying to build is gone. And in its place are emptiness and heartbreak.

How do you respond to this? This is the life lesson I have been learning. I have found the answer to be—start from where you are. You can wallow in regret, and live in denial at where you should be. You can rail and curse your wicked lot and everyone whom you feel is responsible. You can tend the weeds of regret, anger and bitterness until they grow like a ragged garden in your heart. You can roll over and give up.  Or you can take the higher road. You can face what has happened and say, “Well, this is where I am right now. For better or for worse.”

So, you have an MFA, and after years of disappointing interviews, finally got a job…at Forever 21. You can call yourself a failure and let the hours behind the counter erode your self-esteem and drain the light from your eyes. Or you can tell yourself, “It may not the right job, but it’s the job for right now.” Start from where you are.

Work at Forever 21 with integrity, faithfulness and humility just as you would an executive job. And then…watch the doors slowly start to creep open. They will, as long as you don’t drop anchor. Money follows money, movement follows movement. Sometimes getting off Craigslist, and off our basement couch is just the movement we need, to create the movement we want. Keep trying. Keep moving. Money and opportunity will soon follow. But you have to start from where you are.

So, he’s a punk and left you with three little kids so that he can be a rockstar. What are you going to do about it? You can let yourself be so consumed with what he isn’t, and let him take more of you with each passing day. You can becry what you weren’t, blame yourself, and die inside, leaving the kids to raise themselves. You can rogue your lips and swish your hips oh-so-desperately to get him back. Or you stand up say, “Okay. This is where I am. What can I do about it?” Start from where you are.

So, you can’t be a stay-at-home mom anymore. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep moving. It will get better. I promise. But you can’t die here. Not now. Your family needs you. You need you. And you deserve better. On the other side of this, you will find that you are an empowered woman, capable of so much more than he ever realized. More than you ever realized. And when that time comes, and he comes crawling back to you on his belly, you will hold the cards…not he. But you have to start from where you are.

When we are young and starting out in life, we somehow believe that life is a straight shot from graduation to success and happiness. Life teaches us otherwise. How we respond to it determines our character and our destiny. Start from where you are. Sometimes that’s all you can do.


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