top of page

The Road to Absolution: Finding Myself Again After TraumaI am Adventure. I am Alone. I am Absolution.

Good afternoon! And Welcome to my Blog - “Nomadic Gemini.” Where we talk about transforming trauma, igniting your purpose, and rewriting your story, one chapter at a time.

Now that we’re a couple of weeks into the new year, how is everyone feeling? How are you holding up? Feel free to drop me a comment and let me know where you’re listening from and how things are going for you.

I’m from the midwest. A small(ish) town, my hometown, actually, in the heart of western Iowa. And we are just coming out of the effects of snow storm #2 in one week, the last one bringing upwards of 8-10” of snow and near blizzard like conditions. We also had 45 below wind chills for a few days and days on end of freezing fog. Fun times!

Actually, today is not so bad. It’s cold but we seem to be done with winter for the next week or so and the weatherman is teasing some 50 degree temps and sunshine finally. I’ll take it.

When I first wrote the notes for this podcast and decided what I would talk to you about, I had no idea how my own life would change in a matter of days.

I’ve since lost one of my best friends from high school, Mikey. Who had a heart of gold. He was one of the funniest people I know, and I loved to make music with him and just basically being in his presence and soaking up his creative, artistic, and full of life energy made everything better. Just to have known and loved him was an incredible honor, and he will never be forgotten.

Moving on to last week and still reeling from hearing the news that I’d lost my friend, my dog, Frankie, the one who will forever have my heart, started acting strange and by morning, he was gone. And honestly guys, I just don’t know how to handle it all.

As I’ve alluded to in a past episode or two, we received devastating news back in October about some things that had happened to one of our girls when she was younger and it immediately changed our family dynamic and everything we knew to be true forever.

We’re still trying to wrap our heads around this news honestly and I’m still grieving that loss every single day in one way or another, but trying my best to hold on.

The stress of the last 5 months has even begun to take its toll on our marriage and that’s difficult for me to admit.

We’re working through all of these changes day by day, but with the dark, gloomy weather shadowing my already sad state, I’m not afraid to admit that it’s been rough. 

As many of you probably already know from listening to past episodes, I’m NOT a big fan of winter anymore. I’m over it already, and honestly, I’m just trying to hold on and not let the black hole I so easily fall into this time of year overwhelm me.

Last year was brutal for me and was the first year I think I finally admitted to myself that I truly do suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). 

This type of depression is related to the change in seasons, namely winter for me, and begins and ends about the same time every year. January and February are the roughest for me, and by the end of March, I usually start to feel myself coming alive again as if I’ve been holed up in a cave somewhere for months, afraid to poke my head outside for fear the gloom and darkness will overtake me.

Top that off with everything I mentioned earlier, and we’re just doing our best to survive.

I didn’t used to be this way. I used to love playing in the snow and watching as each snowflake magically danced with the wind and slowly cascaded to the ground. Mesmerized at how each individual flake is so very different and unique, the next never identical to the ones before. 

A lot like we as human beings, aren’t they if you really stop to think about it. We’re all just dancing with wind, trying to keep up with the next storm on the horizon, slowly freefalling into the unknown and never quite knowing where we’ll land next. 

I keep reminding myself it’s only 67 days til spring. I can make it, right? Yes. Yes, I can. And so, my friend, can you.

So while we were huddled up inside and wishing this season away, a little voice whispered my name and reminded me that I’d already fallen short on one of my biggest goals this year - to stop wishing my life away.

Wishing the weather wasn’t so horrible and freezing and snowing every other day.

Wishing there was more sunshine and warmth and that I lived anywhere else on earth but here.

Wishing I was further along in the book I’m writing. Wishing I had more time TO write the books I long to write.

Wishing I was skinnier. Healthier. More motivated to do this. Or that. Or to do anything at all, at this point, I guess.

I often find myself making excuses and playing the “If this… Then that…” game. Ever heard of it?

It’s when you tell yourself that if “this” or “when” this finally happens, then “that” can finally happen too.

One common example I think we can all relate to is IF I made more money, THEN I’d finally be happy.

I relate to this one on a deeper level myself. 

I feel like at the end of each year as I’m looking back over our finances, I’m disappointed that we didn’t end where I’d wanted us to be by now. 

And then as I’m looking ahead at the upcoming year, I just pray we’ll get more debt paid off and money saved then we’ve ever done in the past and that next year at this same time, we’ll be in a whole different place then we are right now.

But then I remind myself that if that is going to happen, we are going to have to take some steps that aren’t always comfortable or popular with others in order to get there.

You can’t just wish for something to be without putting in the work to get there, and sometimes that’s a hard pill to swallow for many of us. 

I’m an author, for crying out loud, so in my head, it would be easier to just write myself out of debt in the next chapter by winning the lottery, retiring early, and living out the best of my life beside my hubby as we travel the world and live like nomads on the run. But that is very rarely how life ever turns out.

And I’ve learned more so recently that if you want your dreams to come true, you are going to have to work damn hard to make them come true. 

As painful as it is to admit, no one is coming to do it for you. No one is lurking around the next corner waiting to magically make all your wishes come true. 

You have to put in the hard work it takes to get to where you want to be.

And this is the year I’ve promised myself things will be different, so where do I even begin?

The beginning of a new year always makes me consider the ways I need to change. To think about what comes next. To embrace where I want to go with my life and what I want to keep and what I want to let go of to make space for the new.

A few months ago, as I was brainstorming podcast ideas and contemplating topics I wanted to share with you, I couldn’t get my mind off the words “A-Z.”

I would seriously wake up in the middle of the night with the words “A-Z” ringing in my head and had no idea what it meant. 

But as an author, I know when things like this don’t just disappear and they keep happening, I listen and take note. 

Even if I don’t know what it means at the moment, I write it down and save it until the answer becomes clear later down the road.

So a couple of long weekends ago, my hubby and I were at our desks and planning to write and though I was planning on working on a dramatic novel I’m writing about a man who was falsely accused and sent to prison for a crime he did not commit, that still small voice was back and I could not stop thinking about the words “A-Z” again.

This time, I immediately opened up a blank Google Doc and labeled it “I am A-Z.”

I sat with those thoughts for a minute, ruminating on what I was supposed to write.

Before long, I had written a poem, of sorts, detailing the layers of the trauma that I’ve survived.

Within three lines, I penned my healing. The first line is who I was as a child. Who I was and who I swore I’d always be.

The second are the remnants of abuse, neglect, and unspeakable things that no one should ever have to endure. This is the space I was stuck in for years. Unable to understand how to grow or stand or move. Some days, this is the space I unfortunately remain.

But the third… These are the truths I’m speaking into existence. These are the attributes of my healing. And the woman I am becoming today.

So this week, I wanted to talk about the three words that I wrote that began with the letter “A.”

Within those lines, I wrote the words, Adventure, Alone, Absolution.

I will be sharing my entire list in a memoir I’m currently putting together if I ever get enough nerve to officially start.

I guess I’m incredibly afraid of admitting my vulnerability. Of facing the shame and guilt and reckoning with parts of my past that I’ve tried to once again, wish away, hoping they would just disappear and that I’d somehow become the woman I wanted to be without them.

But for now, I’m figuring it out as I go, and this first official podcast of the new year, I’m starting with the letter A, and I’m rewriting a new story, one chapter at a time.

So let’s talk about that first word I wrote - Adventure. This word as I mentioned earlier was meant to remind me of who I was as a child. Who I was and who I swore I’d always be.

When I was little, I was full of adventure. I was the little girl in pigtails who talked wayyyyyyy too much, and who desperately loved to go on magical walks in the woods behind my grandparent’s house, taking my grandma’s hand and playing make believe as we collected leaves we’d press between two pages of a book to keep forever, pretending like we were in another land altogether, and dreaming with my eyes wide open, with zero fear of anything that lie ahead.

I lived in the moment without a care in the world.

I was happy. I was me. I was free…

When we’d arrive home after another afternoon of adventuring in the woods, she’d often curl up on the screened in porch in the house my grandpa built with a good book and always encouraged me to do the same.

I treasure those memories and hold them close now that they’re both gone, but from a very young age, I know that this is where my love of books and the imaginary worlds that lie within them was born.

Now, let’s flash forward a few years and talk about my second word that starts with “A” in my poem - remember I said earlier that the second word connected with the remnants of abuse, neglect, and unspeakable things that no one should ever have to endure. This is the space I was stuck in for years. Unable to understand how to grow or stand or move.

My second word, within the space that keeps me stuck and afraid to live my life outloud is the word “alone.”

See there was this pivotal moment in my life when suddenly my world shattered and my perfectly planned 5 year old life didn’t exist anymore. 

And in that moment, in hindsight, it’s where I first began to feel alone.

I’d like to read a passage from Chapter One, “How to Find Your Voice Through Writing” from my recent book “Things I Wish I Knew Before I Wrote the Book,” to help you relate better to how my adventurous little spirit was eventually jaded and I began to lose who I was meant to become:

If there is anything the last few years have shown us, it’s that we haven’t always become who we thought we’d once be. At least, that’s true for me.

As a little girl, I dreamed of a fairytale life one day. You know, the one where the girl gets the guy, and they fall in love at first sight - the one where he never, ever leaves.

I’d live in a cabin by the lake or a farm with a bunch of kids. The house didn’t matter as much as the home we’d build. But my ‘happily ever after?’ I never once doubted it would come true.

But that’s not always how life goes; twists and turns are everywhere, it seems. 

Ones that redirect. Make us stop and reflect. And ones that bring us to our weakened knees.

I spent my life searching for who I was since and came up short every time.

I listened to others as they led me astray and told me who I was supposed to be.

And then, I lost my voice…

I learned quickly that the fairytale I once dreamt of seemed less realistic and more likely some sort of a facade.

See, in a world full of pretty princesses, I never quite fit in, so I wondered and wandered as I daydreamed, then gave up and wished upon stars. 

I learned to feel broken, battered, and unworthy. I never felt like enough.

When I woke up and spoke up, my voice shaking in fear, I was told to sit down. Be quiet. There is no place at the table for you here.

So I shrunk back. I withdrew. I cowered in my own skin.

I silenced my speaking, my truth, and my voice, only to find out that in that darkness was where my strength would begin.

But I’ve done this my whole life. Wished things away until they were better somehow.

Tried to become something without putting in the work.

Waiting for this “new me” to somehow magically appear.

Turns out, I’m not really becoming anything by hiding those pieces, scared to take the fall and face things head on.

I know many of you can relate to this same feeling. And I know that you too, are afraid of the shame. Afraid to admit the things we were told never to talk about or let come to light.

But in the process of doing as we were told and absorbing years of generational trauma that no one knew how to break, our own voices were silenced and we’ve forgotten who we even are.

When we were on Christmas break, my husband and I did a little project after I listened to an episode from Mel Robbins called “How to Make 2024 the Best Year: 6 Questions to Ask Yourself.”

She includes a companion workbook, which we filled out in great detail, that brings clarity and insight to empower you to take the next step forward in your life and become everything you’ve ever wanted to be.

It was within this thought-provoking exercise that I realized there was an underlying theme to my unhappiness. To my loneliness. To my doubt, fear, and stagnancy.

I felt lost. I felt alone. And I didn’t recognize the woman I see staring back at me in the mirror anymore.

But I want to know her. I need to get to know her again. I just didn’t know where to begin.

This year, my goal is to find her again. To know thyself, as they say. And to fall in love with the little girl I let go of and left behind so very many years ago.

See, I’ve been used to just being okay. Or settling for waiting for “someday” before I figured it all out.

Someday… When the kids are out of the house, maybe I’ll have the time to do the things I want to do. Maybe that is when I’ll find myself again.

But here’s the thing guys… I’m at that age now. Far past it actually. And my kids ARE out of the house (for the most part, lol. We have one that moved out and moved back in, but that isn’t what I’m focused on right now.)

And when my kids all left home, I DIDN’T suddenly find the “me” that had been missing hiding in a closet somewhere or magically discovering she’s been here all along.

I honestly felt like I had even less of a clue now who I was meant to be now on my own. 

And I had never felt more alone.

I found myself drowning in self-doubt and facing uncharted territory where I didn’t know what my purpose was anymore now that I was someone more than just “his wife,” “their mom,” and I thought surely my world would collapse if I was selfish enough to finally put myself first.

This year, fear be damned, and my wish from my mouth to God’s ears, I will find my path to becoming me again.

But this time, I’m doing it a little differently. I’m not waiting or wishing for the fear to go away.

I am, in fact, turning the page and leaving the past behind, as I’m unbecoming everything I was never meant to be, anyway.

I’d love to be the one to help you and to show you the way out of your own pain too.

I’d like to share another Excerpt from my book “Things I Wish I Knew Before I Wrote the Book” that I hope will motivate you to follow your heart. To listen to the call you feel right now inside you to move, to grow, to change:

See, I was waiting to become the person I always imagined I could be. The one who had life all figured out somehow.

I realize now to share my true, authentic self - faults, traumas, scars, and all, I needed to stop hiding behind a mask of feigned perfection and meet you right where you are. 

It became clear that I was right where I was meant to be.

And I am the person now that is best equipped to help the person I used to be - and the person you are today.

Every single path along my journey to healing from my own trauma has led me to where I am meant to be.

It is no mistake that you’ve picked up this book and decided to ask for help writing your story too.

I’m learning to trust the knowing - even when it doesn’t make sense.

If there is nothing else this world has taught me lately, it’s that life is too damn short to waste another minute living in the shadows of someone else’s dream.

Be still. Pray. Listen to your gut.

You only get one shot in this life, and it’s time to take that chance on yourself right now!

Tomorrow just might be too late…

I’d like to conclude by sharing with you my 3rd word in the poem I wrote from A-Z - These are the truths I’m speaking into existence. These are the attributes of my healing. And the woman I am becoming today.

This word, the culmination of the hard work I am about to put in to find myself again is the word “Absolution.”

This is one of the words I could not get out of my mind and knew that it must be included in my poem. But I didn’t honestly remember what it really meant.

After looking it up in the dictionary, I found that the definition of absolution is “the formal release from guilt, obligation, or punishment.

Man… did this one every hit home.

I’ve lived myself in a tailspin of guilt, feeling sorry for things I hadn’t done. Paying extra dues because somehow the things that have happened to me had to have been in some way my fault somehow.

I think I’ve felt obliged my whole life to make everyone else feel safe and comfortable so I didn’t ruffle any feathers. 

Be the good little girl and do as you're told so no one gets hurt and other lies I’ve told myself would be a good book title wouldn’t it now?

The tragedy of remaining the peacekeeper and silencing my own voice is that I lost myself in the process of making sure others didn’t suffer, even if they were the one to blame.

I’ve punished myself for far too long and I’m done covering for other’s mistakes.

This will be the year I work on forgiving myself. For walking away from that sweet little girl and leaving her alone to fight the demons that came for her as she spent years feeling lost and abandoned and alone on her own. 

She didn’t deserve the things that were done to her. But she most certainly didn’t deserve to feel alone or that it was somehow her fault and that she had to fix the ones who were broken despite the fact she didn’t know how the hell to begin to fix herself.

And then there is the working on forgiving those who have wronged us. Now that is another episode in and of itself I’ll save for a later day.

Just know that I understand this isn’t easy.

That we’re all just doing the best we can every day to survive.

But let’s not make this about just surviving this year, my friend.

Let’s work on ourselves. Let’s crawl out of that shell of protection, that dark, scary cave we’ve been hibernating ourselves away from within. Let’s dust ourselves off, let’s stand up, and let’s open the curtains and start to let some light in.

I’ll be right here with you each week, working on myself too. But I promise you, through it all, you’ll never have to walk this path alone.

You are the greatest project you’ll ever work on, baby. So let’s start by turning this first page and validating your own worth.

As I said in my last podcast, as I grow into the woman I’ve kept hidden away. It’s time for her to rise up and now, it’s her turn to find that little girl she once was and ask her if she wants to come out to play.

I’m done hiding. I’m done being quiet. And this will be my year.

So in this new year - 2024 - a year I’m rebranding and calling the year that WILL BE my catalyst to change - we are going to turn the pages of an ending that no longer serves us.

And we will rewrite a new beginning as we rise from the ashes. And find peace and joy and hope in this journey once again.

I hope you'll join me in this new year for a brand-new season with new content, motivation, inspiration, and special guests who inspire and motivate me to thrive, not just to merely survive.

I will continue to encourage my listeners to embrace your personal journey, highlighting this podcast’s role in helping you unlock your purpose and embark on a transformative writing journey through episodes centered on self-discovery, rewriting old narratives, and healing from past trauma, one impactful episode at a time.

Most of all, hope, I hope you know that you are loved, you are worthy, and you are enough, no matter where you are in your healing journey.

Together, we can, and will, heal as we learn to let the past go and welcome in this next chapter, turning pages of transformation, healing, and change.

I can't wait to see where this new road takes us as we embrace this new year and make it into everything we need it to be.

Thanks for being here.

And thanks for making a difference in my life.

I wouldn't be where I am today without you.

Hang in there, and know that you are loved from here to the universe and back.

Until next time,

I am unconditionally yours,

All my love,

~ Sadie

bottom of page