Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Universe Knows Best.

So, Wow ... long time, no post.

The other day, a very good friend of mine came in to the shop I am now working at ... Metropolitan Soul (love it!) ... and was near furious with me. He moved to Portland, ME a while ago, and had been relying on this blog in order to see the latest goings-on of our lives (bad idea). He came to Bangor for a visit to my shop and saw that it had been completely emptied out. Wanting to know what the heck was going on, he asked around and found me at Met Soul. But after talking with me for only a few minutes, he learned that the closing of my brick and mortar shop was not the only major change in our lives ... there is oh-so-much-more ... and I have no idea where to begin. So, maybe I won't. Or maybe I will. Or maybe I will just give you all the major details ... and then simply move on from here ... ??? Let's see how this goes, shall we :)

So, yes, I needed to close the shop that I was once so very excited about. And I needed to sell the Studio to a friend of mine. And I got a new job. And I started school. And Meaghan moved out.

Yes, Meaghan moved out. If you know anything about us, you know that the pain of this was nearly unbearable. I will say only a few words about this here ... in "public" ... but will be glad to answer any questions in person. You may remember how she came to us over a year ago, and if you don't ... here is a bit about it. Well, the sum total of this tale is this ... after a year and a half of living with us, she ran away to move back to her biological family and there is little, short of making her our prisoner, that we can do about it. We tried desperately to "save" her from herself ... and from all the destructive, dysfunctional people around her. But in the end, (and lets hope this isn't the end) ... she chose to run to the people who: threw beer bottles in her face, told her she was no good, stole from her, lied to her, rejected her, enabled her, etc. etc. No amount of love and guidance we gave her over the years would ever pull her sights away from the people who gave her so much less. So here we are. Heartbroken, BUT ready to move on. I am sure this topic will come up in future posts ... but we are still trying to wrap our minds around it ... and don't want to say too much out of continued love and respect for Meg. We simply hope she knows that we are always here for her. Always have been. Always will.

The shop? Well, as fun, exciting and as well-received as it was ... I just couldn't get it to pay the bills. The economy and the location worked against it ... big-time. I tried so very hard to hold on to the business, believe me. That is precisely why you have rarely seen blog posts from me here. So much of my energy was spent in keeping that business going ... and there were times I was holding on by my fingernails ... nearly drowning in debt and in chaos. But WOW, the people we met!!! Because of that shop, and the classes we held within, we made some amazing friends! I have no regrets. And because of the way in which I needed to legally close the shop, I also needed to sell Studio 36 to a friend. The Studio has been successful for nearly 2 years, and will only continue to improve under the vision of Ao Arts. I am sure more will be said about this in future posts as well, but I can say with absolute certainty that this move was one of the best I have made in a long time. Ao loves the vision of the Studio and can bring more to it than I think I ever could ... and I still get to be a part of it! Exciting things are happening there!

School? Yes, please. I have been accepted into the Graphic Arts program at EMCC and will start in January. Very exciting stuff!

So, yes, there are plenty of changes in our lives ... and let me say a few words about the hows and whys of some of these changes ...

I truly believe that the Universe/God/Creator is always at work in our lives. And though we may try desperately to hang on to control over things ... the Universe always knows best. In the past year I have desperately held on to creating successful businesses and to "saving" Meaghan. All my energies were expended in those directions. Friends told me to let up a bit. Halis begged me to let go sometimes. Isaac, as resilient as he is, often suffered when my attentions were everywhere but on him. Our finances suffered. Our marriage suffered. My parents worried. And I lost myself. I mean, nearly completely lost myself (here come the tears). So, the Universe stepped in ... big time. The Universe took everything out of my control ... and brought me back to basics. At first, I didn't even notice, I just went through the motions. But friends ... (and oh do I have the BEST friends in the world!) held up mirrors to my life ... and showed me that if I was not going to save myself, and my family, and my marriage, then the Universe was going to do it for me. And it did. And all is as it should be.

I never would have "let go" of the businesses had I not been forced to ... and my life would continue to spiral out of control. And I surely never would have "let go" of Meaghan ... and am beginning to see that perhaps her running is the best for all of us. She needs to live out her own life journey ... she needs some "tough love" ... and perhaps the best way to love her is to let her (no matter how big a lump I have in my throat when I type this) ... go. We can no longer be her "jailers" and that is exactly how she saw us and treated us. Though our hearts are heavy, there is a peace in this household that has not been here since she came to live with us. See, she never wanted to be here. She hoped to one day want to be ... but it never happened. She had too many people in her ear, enticing her back to her previous lifestyle, and working against all our efforts. Halis, Isaac and I love Meaghan dearly ... and always will. But it is clear that we can no longer lose sight of ourselves and the health and well-being of our family of three in order to "save" someone who wants no part of it. Toward the end of her time here, Isaac asked me, "Mama, why does Meaghan hate me so much when I love her so much?". I answered his question as best as I could ... telling him how she has a hard time with love ... how she resorts to anger ... etc. But no matter what I said, the truth was, I was allowing my son to live in a toxic environment because I wanted desperately to improve Meg's life ... while all the while she was resisting and hating me for it ... and showing Isaac manipulative, destructive behaviors that we have always sought to protect him from. And I would have kept doing it! But the Universe decided otherwise. And I am beginning to "get it". I am hoping that her decision to leave offers her the best. I am worried and doubtful, of course. But I need to trust the Universe. She is a resilient person ... and we believe in her ability to eventually do what is best for her. We just pray she doesn't hurt too much in the process.

Anyway, this post turned out much longer than I had hoped ... but this is some heavy stuff ... and I have only offered the most brief details. Thank you for coming this far in your reading of it ;)

So, the posts will continue. There is more time in my life to come back to blogging ... sharing ... learning ... etc. And now, although my Portland friend should certainly CALL ME more to find out what is going on in my life ... I will be sure to update him through this medium as well.

Thank you ALL for your friendships, your support, your love, your guidance ... and for just being there! This past year has been a tough one ... BUT I would not trade it for anything! The lessons learned, the people we met, the experiences we have had have all been so worth it. And we feel good about knowing that for the time we had her, Meaghan was safe & well-loved ... not just by us, but by all of you. Thank you.



P.S. Please continue to send Meg your love and well-wishes.


Jennifer Hooper said...


A beautiful post. Although I've not had the chance to get to know you well (yet), through this post I learned that we have shared some kindred journeys and subsequent lessons. Perhaps we can sit down over a cup of tea sometime and talk about the growth that emerges out of loss and letting go.

Wishing you the best in your peaceful home and exciting new endeavors.


Kait said...

My heart breaks for you and for Meg but it sounds like you did the best you could. Hopefully someday she'll be able to look at it for what it was and appreciate everything you did for her.

Mandie said...

I admire your honesty in your post. I just wanted to let you know you (or the universe or whoever) made the right choice. I was in a similar situation to you last year, I took in a student who I loved like a daughter. Sounds similar to Meg and in the end, everything around me suffered, my job, my relationship with my husband, my sleep, and nearly my sanity. No matter what, it was the right choice at the time and I know I (and my family) filled a deep void that child so desperately needed filling, and I'm grateful for the time I had with her. At some point, I realized exactly what you did. It was very, very hard and very devastating for me, but it was the right choice.

I'm bummed I didn't get to frequent your store when it was open, but I hope to see you at Met Soul or online.

Best of luck to you!

Jodi Renshaw said...

Jennifer, I would absolutely love that cup of tea! I had no idea (as we usually don't) ... that you have had some similar experiences with letting go. I would love to hear whatever stories you are willing to share. And now I have time to hear them :) Please email me through facebook and I would be glad to make a time to see and share with you. xoxo

Jodi Renshaw said...

Kait --- thank you. I think my heart broke the other day (Tuesday was the worst of it) ... and now I am in mending phase (and a bit of anger). I use to tell Meg that she never needed to love or appreciate me, just respect me. And with that said, I am not sure what her true emotions really are ... as she hides them ... or uses them for manipulation (sadly). So, I love her ... and dont need her to love me back. I just needed her to be safe and to enjoy a childhood (as she never had one). I will never be sure whether or not I did my best, but I do know I tried pretty damn hard. I have no idea what the future will bring her ... but I realize I never had any control over it anyway.

Well, much love to you Kait. You are always so generous with your hear and your words.


Jodi Renshaw said...

Mandie, thank you so much. I had no idea that you were in such a similar situation! I hear everything you have said ... and recognize it completely ... though did not fully recognize it when I was "in it". And you are right, it is an absolutely heart-wrenching choice/experience ... but I am beginning to feel it was the right one. And thankfully the Universe/Creator took care of it before I let it go too far.

I am sorry for your heartache as well --- but as we both know, we wouldnt change what we went through --- as hopefully it did some good. It just sucks when it doesnt end the way we had hoped. But kuddos to both our families for trying! Many people never get involved. We did. We learned from it, and we kept her safe for as long as we could. Hopefully that makes a difference.

I am sorry you didnt get to see the store either. It was sweet and fun. BUT Met Soul is amazing and I am so glad to be part of it! I hope you will drop by :)


Kim @ mommyknows said...


I'm so sorry things didn't work out with Meg. It can't be easy.

Hopefully her road will not be too troubled. She'll always have the good life lessons she learned with you to fall back on. :)



Jodi Renshaw said...

Thank you Kim. You are so sweet to reach out across the miles to send me this thoughtful message ;)

Love to you and yours.
~ Jodi

Lobster On A String said...

Jodi--My heart goes out to you with all these difficult changes in your life lately. I hope the universe soon brings you peace and comfort--it sounds like you have some positive things to look forward to.

Debbie Nelson said...

Jodi, our family has experienced so much of what you have, it's amazing. We supported and unconditionally loved a couple - relatives who were in dire need of transitioning from homeless to independent. We too sacrificially gave for a year. My husband got him a job, she went to school, then got her job too, and we provided all transportation. Their job was to save up for a car, which my husband helped to get registered. Nevertheless, they bitterly complained about their own choices, expecting us to solve their problems. We showed something they'd never known - genuine kindness.

Just a few days ago they abruptly announced they'd found their own place. We helped them move, brought groceries, gave the majority of what makes a nice home. Two days later false accusations were made about my husband's performance at work putting him under scrutiny. They took as much as they could, and betrayed us. One wise woman said that you just never know how people will respond to kindness. We'd all hope to have an experience like "The Blind Side" movie story...not the betrayal the star of the movie experienced. We don't need applause, we want to be treated with respect & hope to be loved in return. I will pray Meghan will carry back with her the beauty of the love you shared with her, and that she will have a positive impact on those around her. And I do know first hand the peace from the end of on-going tension. I want to encourage you that many teens who grew up in close, loving homes also leap from a nest long before we see them as ready. I hope you will embrace the memories and enjoy each new day <3