Stepping into a new chapter, with a jungle-red prosthetic toenail

Each new chapter requires a step in a new direction. (Mine is the orange, in case you were wondering)

I left the doctor’s office this morning with a big smile on my face. When I walked in there I was in pain. When I walked out, I was missing a big toenail and a miracle had occurred.

Like everyone on this planet, I have had major changes in my life and major hurdles to overcome. And each time I had to “step” into a new chapter, my toe would become a problem. I even went to a spiritual healer (when a friend dragged me there) and he said that I was holding back on making changes in my life and I wasn’t able to “step” forward. Thus, the toe problem. Examples of this…In my early 20s I moved to New York with a boyfriend and it just wasn’t working. Should I leave? Should I stay? I developed a tumor on my toe. I had it removed and not long after that, he left me and I left New York.

Fast forward to my life in Florida. I was working a temp job, living with a friend in her mother’s condo. We were trying to decide if we should leave the state and start over. I wanted to leave but that would mean leaving my family and all my friends and starting over in a place where I had never been. The tumor returned. I had it removed and we left for Arizona without jobs or lodging set up. It worked out fine.

A few years later I met a wonderful guy. He wanted to marry me. I wanted to finish my college degree and write for a newspaper. What a change, what a new direction in life, you say? Right, and guess what returned once more? Seriously, what is the deal with this thing? I had it removed (and rather painfully I might add. A week on the couch this time). I got married. I finished my degree. I got a job at the largest newspaper in the state. We have two kids.

Our youngest is now finished with high school and has started college classes. She is still young, but already talking about moving out. When she’s gone, I have no more excuses. I need to get on with my writing life, I need to get published and stop messing around at this writing gig. Husband says, “Now you can support me with your best-selling novel.” No pressure, right honey? It’s a brand new world out there to call yourself a full-time writer/editor rather than a part-time editor and full-time parent. And guess who’s back? Yup. The pain was unbearable, the tumor had to go. But an accidental trauma to the toe caused major damage. And an accidental meeting with some fellow writers has led to wonderful encouragement and the courage to write without looking back.

And that brings me to the doctor this week and the miracle. I anticipated the need for surgery and bad news. The pain was worse than it had ever been. But things were different this time. “I don’t see any tumor,” she said. The toenail is gone and there is nothing underneath. The trauma had somehow removed the tumor.

Would you be happy if your toenail was gone? Probably not. But to me, this is a sign from the Gods of Change. Stepping into this new chapter will be easy. I have healed on my own, I have taken steps on my own toward happiness in a brand new way. Of course, I learned from all of those experiences that I couldn’t let anything stop me from stepping forward, even a cranky toe. This time, I’m moving ahead with a brand new toenail. (OK, I know this is TMI for some of you, but take it from me, this is really cool!)

The next chapter after this one? Who knows. But this much I’m sure of…I’ll be ready for it with a brand new toenail already painted jungle red.