By Chace Saumell // Sundown United – Dallas (HQ)
Fall is my favorite time of year.
I love the smells and the colors and the holidays.
For those of us that live in Texas and suffer through this unbearable heat, I can say with certainty that 99% of us wait rather impatiently for the cooler temps the fall brings.
Fall is also a time of change. Sometimes change, even when it’s a good thing, can be scary.
And boy oh boy is my life changing!
For those of you who haven’t followed my life on pins and needles I guess I should give you a back story on me.
For the past 10 years of my life I have been a single parent of 2 great kids.
I have been on the verge of homelessness. I have been on the verge of starving. I have worked 2-3 jobs at a time just to keep my house and the kids fed and the lights on. Some years were better than others. But even the good years, were lean years. I remember many mornings after a sleepless night I would sit on the floor in my kitchen and cry because I wouldn’t know what I was going to feed my children that day. One summer day in particular, I was out of work and was looking at an empty pantry not knowing what I was going to cook that day.My beautiful kids were playing in their room and they came out with their tiny hands full of nickels and dimes. The change totaled $1.75, they told me not to cry anymore because they wanted me to buy groceries with their money. It was enough for 2 ice cream cones. So that’s what we had for dinner that day and my kids thought I was the best mom ever because of it.
People are always asking me why I got into MMA and Jiu Jitsu, let me tell you, there is no better therapy when everything in the world is falling down around you, then to be able to beat someone up. Of course I mean beat someone up in class, not on the street, I don’t condone random acts of violence.
Working out is my therapy. Putting yourself in a situation where you can only think about that instant and your actions is the best way to relieve stress.
Over the course of all of these events, my kids and I became a team. We worked together. We worked out together. We did everything together. We made our house our home, our haven, our happy place.
We were the 3 Amigos.
The latter part of the past decade became a bit easier. The kids got older and the daycare needs went away and they were able to help me more around the house. I also got a better, more stable job with a boss that loved me and my kids and helped me out with whatever I needed.
I felt like a chapter in my life was coming to a close and a new one was about to begin, but I wasn’t sure how that was going to come about.
Then, 2 years ago, I met a man who would become my fiancé and will soon be my husband.
Since then, lots of really good things have happened to me and my little family.
I got an even better job. I have a man in my life that loves my kids like his own and I also got 2 more children to love. I have a team mate and a partner that appreciates everything I do and all my crazy flaws.
Trust me, there are a lot of crazy flaws.
As I am preparing to be married and move into a new house, I feel like I am really closing a chapter of my life that was so very difficult, but also very sweet. I feel like I cemented my relationship with my children during that time. I feel like I grew up during that time. I feel like I learned so much about myself and my relationship with God. I learned how to be alone, but not lonely. I learned how to pick my battles. I learned how to not sweat the small stuff. I learned that loving each other is more important that having money. I learned that selflessness comes in the form of tiny hands full of change followed by happy faces with ice cream all over them.
I learned that you can make a lot of meals with a bag of rice.
I learned that Ramen Noodles are very versatile.
I also learned that through all my broken down cars and Christmases without a tree or presents and school years that began without any new clothes or school supplies, kindness would always come at the hands of a friend or my church and sometimes even a stranger and at the most unexpected times.
I learned that while the world is full of ugliness and evil, there are also a lot of angels in disguise that show up to help when you least expect it.
I also learned that for the rest of my life, I’ll never stop paying it forward.
As I’ve looked back over these years I see how my life is like an old book, with its characters that I love and the chapters stacked on top of each other to make a brilliant bittersweet journey.
I look forward to the next part of my journey that is beginning now with a new family. I’m sure it won’t always be easy, but in another decade, I’m sure I’ll find I’ll be looking back on another fantastic and beautiful chapter of my life with new adventures and new characters and new stories to tell.
Whatever doesn’t kill me, had better start running.
Peace and Love,