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Enjoy diverse perspectives from West Michigan women.

It’s that time of year when we all start shopping for Christmas presents for family and friends. It’s a wonderful time to reflect on the relationships we have and give selflessly to those we love. I really like this time of year, but as of last year, I had to set a concrete budget. I don’t have the kind of income I once did as a married woman. Now, on a single income, I have to watch what I spend and be OK with not overdoing the gift giving.

Thanksgiving. Does it have a different meaning for everyone? Does everyone give thanks on this holiday? I would bet not, although I wish that was not true. What I do think is that it is important to recognize what you are thankful for in your life every day, not just on Thanksgiving. Everyone has problems; everyone has something in their life they wish they could change. Maybe we should just seek out at least one good thing in our lives and be thankful for it, EVERY DAY!

A year and a half has gone by since my decision to venture out on my own and build a new life. Throughout the journey, I have learned so much about who I am on the inside, and who I desire to be for my son, family, friends, and my career. Naturally, this inward reflection prompted me to look at my outward appearance and uncover what this new woman should look like.

Someone very near and dear to me recently told me that we are all damaged goods. My first reaction was sheer disbelief, and I wanted to challenge that theory. However, the more we discussed this topic, the more I realized he was right. Think about it: All of us have a past and have dealt with hurtful experiences. Most of us over the age of twenty-one have had our fair share of positive and negative things that have either knocked us down emotionally or lifted us up. These experiences have shaped our personal view of ourselves, others, and the world.

Everyone goes through tough times. Life can be a rollercoaster of emotions, and managing it can be a lot like walking through a hillside filled with land mines. On top of the daily challenges life presents, throw in a traumatic divorce. I don’t think anyone can prepare themselves for the crazy, out-of-control, bipolar-like emotions of managing through a divorce. I thought I was the exception.

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