As we continue our celebration of “failure,” and the strength of the human spirit this week, I’m honored to have another special guest with us today. Meriah Nicoles is the SuperMama behind A Little Moxie, a blog about travel, disability, and living live with a little courage. She also writes about farming and homeschooling and might be one of the most fearless people I know. She has been featured on Huffington Post, BrainChild, and Parents.
Meriah’s story is much more than a failure story. She is one of those brave souls that has walked through the fires of fear, doubt, confusion and abuse and you’ll want to stand up and cheer for her by the time you finish her piece.
When she’s not traveling, Meriah lives on the Lost Coast of California with her husband Mikey and three children.
Meriah and her family at the Grand Canyon.
TRIGGER WARNING: This content deals with an account that may be triggering to some people.
Here is Meriah’s failure story in her own words:
The darkest moment is before dawn.
And often major life changes too. The darkest parts happen right before something massive, a quickening in the movement of our lives. Like a child ready to be born, there is pain before the joy.
I am a third culture kid – I was raised abroad in countries different from my parents own. I was also a missionary child, and grew up poor. Added to that, I am deaf, had brain injury from going through the windshield of a car when I was four years old. It might seem unbearable to add something to that list, but the worse of it all was my father, who is a pedophile.
The dark before the dawn with my father: I was a party and drug-addicted alcoholic for over a decade. Anything to keep my mind in darkness. I quit everything when I became pregnant with my first child, whereupon I knew an unbearable pain and panic from memories. I was diagnosed with PTSD. I went through therapy for survivors of abuse and while none of it was particularly easy, I emerged 4 years later as a new person.
When my unborn second child was diagnosed with Down syndrome in-utero, I felt kicked in the gut by God. I felt that I had already done my time on the alter of disability and difference; I’d already suffered enough. I didn’t want to go through more and yet I couldn’t abort her. (You can read Meriah’s piece on Choosing Moxie here)
And so I gave birth to her and learned another lesson in how dark the dark before a bright dawn could be. I learned how wrong I was, how having her was actually giving birth to the release of my dreams, a pivot in the way in which I lived my life. I quit my job and dedicated myself whole heartedly towards living with moxie.
We planned of a Pan-American overland trip, dreamed of a place to call our own. We worked hard, struggled, scrimped and meticulously planned for two years and were able to leave. 5 months into our trip, we had to abandon it and return to the United States due to a bad investment.
I should have known better though. I had enough experience at that point to know that something so powerful, altering and full of the stuff in which despair can come from, most often leads me to a place of solace and joy.
So too did the abandonment of our travel. It led us to an area of California we had never been to before. It led to farming, financial security, a wonderful place to live, a life that I want. One that with learning curves, adventure, happiness, surrounded by natural beauty.
We are traveling again, this time knowing we are going to farm again in a few months. We’re traveling without worry and with confidence in our future. When hiccups happen along the way – like when only one hotel in an entire town will accept my hearing service dog, I am confident that something great is about to happen. And it invariably does.
Because it’s always darkest before dawn.
SO jealous of this set-up!