I remember being very enamored with Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones when I was a child. He was brave, adventurous and handsome. I mean, who doesn’t love a man in leather? The movie, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” remains one of my favourite movies to date. The scene where he has to cross over the deep void is gripping – there is no mystery to solve or trap to overcome. He has to dig deep within himself and find trust and faith – and step out into “nothing” to move forward in his quest to obtain the grail and save the life of his father. That first step has me on the edge of my seat every time, that moment of truth, that leap of faith.
In my own journey, I had to take a leap of faith to move forward in my quest to obtain personal health and to better the life of myself and my daughter. Even though I was not in a life or death scenario like our hero Indiana Jones, the hesitation and fear of the unknown felt overwhelming. Despite the chaos that was my marriage, there was comfort in the “knowing”. I had a steady income, I was a home-owner, I was somewhat stable. I had routine and constants – even if they were unhealthy for me. The unknown terrified me. I considered what life would be like for my daughter without the comforts of two parents in the same household. I was concerned about her ability to adapt to the changes that I couldn’t even explain fully to myself. And for myself, I considered what future partnership would look like, if I even found a future partner who would accept all my baggage, my fears and traumas and the most important thing to me, my daughter. Could I do life alone? Was it better than being in the situation I was in? There were thousands of questions and considerations to take and I had no answers.
I needed to have faith. Faith in myself and faith in the feeling that this wasn’t the life that would nurture and sustain me. There was no healthy way forward on my current path. I needed to trust in the anxiety that being in the chaos brought me. I had to learn to trust that even if I was uncertain, I was certain that change needed to happen – and quickly.
My leap of faith took me down a stressful and scary road, I am not going to lie. I moved out of my beautiful (and freshly renovated) bungalow on a quiet street into a very rundown apartment complex. There were nightly fights out on the front lawn and you could hear everything. It was a higher crime area than I had ever been in, and the vicinity to my city’s public commuter train didn’t help. Set two blocks back from a main road there were also several pubs and liquor stores close by. Vehicles were vandalized and broken into, drug paraphernalia littered the hallways and I was never really comfortable being there alone. I had my daughter half the time and I felt like I was always holding my breath on the Monday-Tuesday nights and every other weekend hoping there wasn’t too much of a commotion going on. The apartment never felt like home. It was supposed to be my “safe place” and in reality it felt like anything but. There was also the strain of conflict with my ex-husband. We had verbally separated 3 months prior to me moving out, and had been sleeping apart since then – but there was a lot of pain and frustration and anger involved on both sides.
Thankfully, my ex and I have found a very healthy and workable balance in our co-parenting dynamic since then. We are invested first and foremost in maintaining our co-parenting health for the sake of our daughter. Secondly, we do still care about each other, in a very complicated friendship kind of way. When he is struggling he shares with me, and vice versa. Since I met and began a relationship with my new partner, I have been careful what to share with my ex – but we are aware of the main stressors in each other’s lives. I believe that helps to keep balance and awareness in our parenting journeys. And I am pleased to say that my partner and I have taken a big step and moved into our own home (no more landlords or drug using neighbours down the hall!).
Life is full of leaps of faith, some are easier than others for sure. There is always those uncertainties, the unknowns – where fear creeps in and threatens our idealistic existence. But, when we can step out confident, not in the outcome but in our ability to overcome and persevere – we are doing well.