January 2020

It’s been a year. 

A year since I decided to leave a state I loved, 

a man I loved, 

a relationship I once loved, 

and a life I really wanted to love. 

I flew back to Florida with my 3 month old baby wrapped tightly in a carrier and didn’t shed a single tear. 

Was I being strong for her? 

Or was it a sense of relief?

Hold it together, Sami. 

I remember the drive to the airport was quiet and it seemed like every song that played was a reminder of the love that felt lost. 

The last few days were spent packing up the rest of my belongings in boxes which made everything feel real. 

This was no vacation. 

I was leaving and not returning to that apartment, that city, that state, that relationship. 

How did it come to this? 

Our goodbyes at the airport are blurred in my mind. 

I was lucky enough to have two flights that weren’t fully booked which meant I had an open seat next to me on both rides. 

More space, less pressure- comfort. 

Breathe, Sami. Breathe. 

My sister and my niece picked us up from the airport and still, no tears. 

As if I was in shock. 

There was no time to process or feel or release. 

Be strong Sami, be strong. 

Liana needs your strength. 

That was the narrative I told myself for many many months to follow until it felt like the pressure was too intense. Until I finally felt held by my environment to open up and start facing the reality. 

Grief looks like anger and resentment and sadness and confusion. Sometimes it comes with delusional ideas or a suppression of memories. And ultimately it’s led to reflection with growth and gratitude. 

A year later and I’m still unraveling. The process is lengthy and messy and far from comfortable. 

As the layers peel back, different memories and traumas and emotions are revealed. 

More work. 

It’s never done. 

A year later and it still feels like yesterday. 

It was the hardest decision of my life but I think that’s what it means to be a mother. 

Make the decisions, shape your life, face the darkness, and pave the way for Liana. 

She deserves a foundation of love. 

She is worth the work. 

And so am I. 

Grow, Sami. Grow. 

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