Tara Andvik

The last few years have been quite eventful to say the least. I went from an unhappy marriage to losing everything to regaining my self-confidence and being genuinely happy with who I am. Somehow, in trying to please certain people in my life, I lost who I was. I lost my love for music and took up archery to try and save my marriage. I was desperate, confused, heart-broken and numb all at the same time. I had lost my self confidence & independence.

I have learned so much; most humbling was how wrong I was with my limited knowledge on certain subjects, ranging from relationships to the prison / correctional system to hunting / veganism. I have a greater understanding of how addiction destroys so many lives and am incredibly thankful I don’t have to endure that battle personally. I have met some of what the news and society would consider the “worst” in Minnesota. I listened to their stories and what brought them there and it broke my heart to hear how many women were resorting to negative choices just to try to provide for their children.

I now had a choice to make, one of two paths. Did I want to let this situation destroy me (as I’m sure a few people would have rejoiced in)? Or did I want to make take everything I could from this situation and make it WORK for me? In the beginning I easily could have gone either way. Why not? I had just lost everything in my life…why should I fight? Well, because for starters, I have two incredible children who needed their mom. I was not going to lay down defeated. I was determined to come back stronger, and so far I have.

At times I felt like I was completely alone during some of my darkest moments, but in reality I wasn’t. I have some AMAZING friends and family who stood by me, and come to find out even some complete strangers! Unfortunately some didn’t and that is totally fine. I would much rather have a few GENUINE people in my life than a bunch of acquaintances.

I can never thank those who are in my life enough. I have learned to just be me, and stop trying to fit into a mold of what someone else wants. I cannot tell you how FREEING it is. Do I regret the last few years of my life? Yes and no. I regret that I didn’t speak up when I should have. On the other hand, I am also thankful for the last couple of years. I have regained my independence and self-confidence. I am who I say I am, I do what I say I will do. I have a clear heart and conscience knowing what is true and what isn’t. When you are honest, life is simple. When you aren’t, that’s what makes it complicated.