Possessions Lost, Perspective Found
Anita Prins no longer cries every day.
That's a change from when Michael and I last saw her a month and a half ago, standing outside a condo in Colorado that wasn't hers. Little in her life was. A former business proprietor who once owned two homes, Anita had been staying in borrowed space, eating donated food and relying on public transportation to get around.
Her life had leaped from one extreme to the other--from coveted autonomy in which she relied on almost no one else to forced dependence in which she had no choice but to lean on many.
It would take the recession, she told me when I called yesterday, to help her find a balance somewhere between those two states.
“I can’t even begin to speak about the level of appreciation I have for what I’ve been through,” Anita said, describing a newfound “interdependence” in which she has learned to accept support as well as give it. “Probably a lot of my tears over the years have been in seeing how little I valued people. It sounds so terrible, but it’s true.”
Michael and I had met the 36-year-old at a community dinner in Silverthorne. She served food to others, then put some in a Styrofoam box to take home that night. She had lost almost everything: an industrial design business, a house, a condo and a closet filled with fashionable clothes. (She was down to three outfits). Her relationship with her parents had grown strained and a few friends, those who no longer knew how to deal with her, had slipped away.
If she cried, it was understandable.
A month later, she says her mood lifted after we ran the piece about her life here on Half A Tank, in part because of the response from strangers (she received more than a dozen emails) and in part because of her decision to live a healthier lifestyle (she joined the gym and began eating healthier).
“A person can really be pulled down and stay down,” she said. “But if they just allow themselves to morph, it can really end up being a beautiful, growing, maturing process.”
She still aspires to work in the design industry, but no longer wants to run her own business. Instead, she hopes to work with a team. In the meantime, she plans to move in October into the B&B where she's been working part-time. Once there, she's already decided she will start baking goods for those in the local hospital who have no relatives to visit them.
A few days before we met her, Anita wrote this on her personal blog: I don't want to do this anymore. Blogging. My time here is apparent in its meaning for me to be away to repair and recover. Putting my thoughts out into a quiet space occupied by millions of people is too much for me right now.
About a week ago, she wrote this: Fear, doubt and control won't 'do' - reliance, trust and surrender is what I work to bathe my self in daily. Yet, the sweet sting of my recent losses (assets and mind/body/soul) seems to be my greatest feat. Forgiveness. And I can't help to wonder if that was in God's Ultimate Plan for my stay here; fulfilling my need to completely forgive myself before I'm able to move into the next season in my life journey.
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