Photo by Gabe Rebra on Unsplash

I haven’t been writing. Not in the creative sense at least. The last two months were a bit of a blur — adjusting to new routines, hustling through a new season in my career, starting a business (or two) and distracting myself so that I don’t feel the pain. But I’m not gonna lie, the year has been tough. Horrible, actually.

With my new found “freedom” I am now lonelier than I’ve ever been before yet my heart is full. There are pockets of time in the day where I catch myself holding my breath. My heart beating steady and slow, my mind spinning. I question everything. The how, the why but all I’m met with is deafening silence. I now sleep with the curtains drawn so that light can come in because the darkness is terrifyingly quiet. When I look out my window, I see the lights in the distance. It’s something that brings me a comfort that I cannot quite put into words.

My friends have been a great source of support, aside from my family of course. It’s amazing how I managed to put myself into an isolated bubble yet receive overflowing comfort the moment it popped. There are times I wonder what I’ve done to deserve such grace. My days get filled up week after week without me even batting an eyelid. I was naive to have thought that community was pointless. We actually need it more than we can ever comprehend. It keeps us grounded but more importantly, it keeps us sane.

In the last month, I’ve picked up not one but two instruments. The ukelele and acoustic guitar. Before this, I could just about only manage an egg shaker and the occasional tambourine during Christmas when I was a teenager. Most times though, I am a habitual shower soprano. Whenever I feel like a proper loser these days, all I do is pick up my ukelele and play Highlands until I stop crying. It’s become a habit. But I like it. Progress is a bit slower with the acoustic because my pinky feels like death when I have to press on the E string. Also, the skin on my fingers are peeling but I’d like to think that I’ll get there eventually.

It’s so strange, isn’t it? How just one person can unravel your whole life after being in it for merely a year. What a shit storm. But I think it had to happen this way because I needed to learn things about myself that I wouldn’t have otherwise. Before this, I was willing to compromise on things that I shouldn’t have. I gave up so much of my sanity for temporary acceptance. For temporary joy. I won’t lie, I wanted answers. I felt like I deserved to get closure. Every time I went back, my heart would get torn apart even more. It took a lot to walk away, to realise that I deserved someone better — someone, who wouldn’t give me the excuses he did.

I don’t need to know why he could no longer love me. All I needed to know was why He did not want this man for me. And despite all the questions, that was the only answer I needed — I have to be unshakable and unwavering in my allegiance to the One who sustains me. If I can trust Him with the small things, I can definitely trust Him with the big things. I mean, I don’t know how but even though it’s been only a little more than a month, I’m feeling a lot more like myself than I have been in the last year. In the words of those around me, “You have that spark again. You’re back to the Denise we know and love”.

So I will praise You on the mountain
And I will praise You when the mountain’s in my way
You’re the summit where my feet are
So I will praise You in the valleys all the same
No less God within the shadows
No less faithful when the night leads me astray
You’re the heaven where my heart is
In the highlands and the heartache all the same

So I will praise You, again and again.