Everyday Laurali Star

Life As a Solitary Green Witch!

Laurali
Hi, I'm Laurali! I live in a tiny, seaside fishing village in Florida where I nurture my plants, go hiking in the woodland, and wear flowers in my hair.

How I Deal With Empty-Nest Syndrome: Two Years Later

 

A cat toy at the monarch butterfly station in the botanical garden at Hammock Park in Dunedin, Florida


Today, I thought I'd talk about what it's been like for me being an empty-nester for the past two years and how much it's made me grow as a person. When you have kids at a really young age, then everyone leaves the nest, it kind of feels like your sense of purpose has been ripped away from you. It was around this time, that I rekindled my love of blogging and my blog has grown up with me!

I've been a parent my entire adult life. I was barely eighteen when I found out that I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. On top of that fact, I had three daughters by the time I was twenty-five years old, so my girls and I have grown up together.

When I was thirty, I went through a messy divorce after leaving an abusive relationship, and I was forced to raise my daughters mostly on my own. There's something about being a single mom that really fosters a close-knit relationship with your kids because all you really have is each other.

My girls have always been the most important thing in the world to me. We definitely had our years fraught with challenges and difficult situations. But, somehow I found the inner strength to carry on when I thought I couldn't.

Being a parent is difficult enough in its own right. Being a single mom is the equivalent to being everything to your kids. It's like you have to be the mom, the dad, and best friend to your kids while simultaneously being strong enough to hold it together and put on a brave face.

I moved into a single mom community eventually and all I did was struggle to keep a roof over our heads. As an adult, before the divorce, the only real job I had ever had was being a stay at home mother.

I worked odd jobs here and there, usually for minimum wage, back in the day. But, when you become a single mom, you have to step it up. Everyone is depending on you financially and sometimes your best isn't always good enough.

But, I remember the good times too. I remember I always had a ritual of watching movies with my kids and taking them to zoos, parks, and the aquarium. I always tried to make their childhood magical wherever I could.

You can read more about some of our more recent experiences in, Snapshots of Childhood Magic, Sweet Nostalgia, and Summer backdrops! Being a grandmother, in addition to being a mom, has been one of the greatest gifts that God has ever given me.

It's coming up to two years since my youngest daughter moved in with her father. I was completely crushed by it. I felt like she was abandoning me, even if that's not a rational thought.

You see, Chloe and I were best friends and soulmates. So, when she wanted to go live with her father, it pushed me over the edge. I became so inconsolable that I was Baker Acted for a few days for being suicidal.

Just the mere mention of that time in my life can bring me back to that terrible place and time. But, I'm in a good place now (mostly) and I'm ready to face my fears and my dark side and shadow self. Shadow Work and Getting in Touch with Your Dark Self is a great way to move into the next phase of life.

It was right after I got out of the mental health facility, that I started this blog. I had different blogs throughout the years, but this one seemed to stick for me. It was a clean slate, where I could write about my place in life now as a single woman and empty nester.

Writing has always been a huge conduit for change within me. Whenever I feel overwhelmed and I start writing, I feel instant relief and soothing energy. Writing on my nature-inspired blog grounds my energy and brings me back down to earth!

It was when I was Baker Acted that I found out that I had something called borderline personality disorder. The best way to describe what it feels like is being a hermit crab without a shell. You have no emotional skin to cover you so you feel things super intensely!

I also have a fear of abandonment, rejection, and ghosting that becomes triggered very easily. For the past two years, I've really been working on overcoming my fears. I would say that relationships are the biggest trigger for me and it's one of the reasons I've been alone for so long.

In so many ways, coming home to an empty nest after I got out of the hospital was the worst feeling in the world. But, it was in that moment I knew I was going to get better. After all, how can you change something in your life if you don't acknowledge there's a problem in the first place?

I looked around the empty living room and realized I needed to discover who I am and find myself. So, for the past couple of years, that's exactly what I've been doing. I work on myself every single day and if something goes wrong now, I genuinely try to remedy the situation.

At first, I hated being alone. There are times, even now, where I still hate it. Being a single woman in her prime (I guess) has actually grown to be something that I love about my life.

This is literally the first time in my life where I can do whatever I want. I make my own schedule and my days are filled with made-up routines and rituals that align me with the universe. My oldest daughter actually told me she was jealous of my life, to which of course I just giggled, knowing she's dealing with motherhood and marriage like I once did.

In some ways, I miss the noise and excitement of having my kids around. I miss having someone to cuddle with at night when I'm feeling scared. But, in some ways, it's been really, really good for me.

The change has become apparent to my two oldest daughters the most, as we talk almost every single day. I'm kind of a free spirit and dealing with empty nest syndrome has helped me to get back in touch with my inner butterfly.

How I Deal With Empty-Nest Syndrome: Two Years Later

Where am I at now? I'm in a really good place! I mean, I'm still a work in progress, always evolving, adapting, and changing. I'm just more confident in who and what I am now and have a strong sense of purpose that's outside of my children.

Could I be better? Of course! But, I've never worked harder on myself than I have the past couple of years since my last daughter walked out the door.

I wasn't ready then, but I'm ready now. Sometimes, life forces things on you that are unexpected and rather cruel. It is in those extenuating circumstances that you find yourself.

I found that where I was weak before, now I am strong. Don't get me wrong, I still have a ton of character flaws and fears under my belt, but I have definitely found my inner strength and beauty.

My biggest dream in life was to be able to work from home writing and snapping pictures of mother nature. Now, I am living that dream, and sometimes I have to pinch myself because it doesn't seem real. Here I am though, plugging away at my computer!

If things hadn't gone down the way they did, I might not have started the Everyday Laurali Star blog! Starting this blog has changed my life in a positive way.

I get to live a slower life and go hiking daily. What can be better than that? I always envisioned myself living in a cabin somewhere, writing about my hopes and dreams.

Maybe I don't live in a cabin, but I practice tiny house living in the tiny, seaside fishing village that I live in! I have a lot of time to work on self-improvement and practice my yoga. I make my life worth living by making up my own rules as I go along.

I really think that being a single mom was super overwhelming for me. I didn't have the best support system in place and it was me and my daughter against the world, by the end.

Although sometimes I wish I could shrink my kids back to being little and put them in my pocket, I know that this is my time for myself. For me, the only thing really missing is sharing my life with someone I love.

You can read more about my love life (or lack thereof) by reading, The Secret, Hidden Places Within My Heart Space (Hidden in Plain Sight!) My life changed this year again when I met someone whom I feel a soul connection with.

At least now I know that I can be alone if I need to. I know that when I do get into a relationship, I'll be ready for it because I took some time to get to know myself. I'm really glad I did that, even if it does get lonely sometimes.

Plus, I love being a grandma! My relationship with my granddaughters and Baby Noah when he was still alive makes me so happy. I look into their little trusting eyes and all I want to do is make their world a magical place to be.

I get to do that without the guilt and responsibility of being a parent. Besides, you never really stop being a parent, even when your kids are grown with children of their own.

Two years later, how I deal with empty nest syndrome is to do all of the things I always wanted to do when I was young. For me, it's doing a stream of never-ending yoga poses, long walks in the park, and living a spiritual life! For you, it might look different.

Out of all the lessons I've gleaned in the last two years, knowing that I can transform and change might be the biggest lesson. I am capable of great change. I can climb mountains and overcome challenges.

I've learned to be still and just sit with myself. It's a quiet kind of life, for the most part, but I can learn to live with that :)

Thanks for reading my empty nesting story! xo. It's been an incredible journey thus far and you never know where the road may take you.

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