It hasn’t been an easy year for me.

Right about this time last year, I was packing up the last of my boxes to move into my boyfriend’s apartment.

I was so excited that I had finally met “the one.” I had never felt this way before and we moved fast. We were so different personality wise and a 10 year age difference. We were talking about marriage and kids, but my intuition knew something was up.

Then at the end of June, he came home from work one Friday right before we were supposed to leave for vacation and abruptly ended our relationship in the worst way possible. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he started immediately dating one of our mutual friends with whom I had suspected there was something going on. I had to move out of our home quickly when it was the last thing I wanted to do. My dog was so confused and his health started to decline. I had a hard time concentrating at work because I was so devastated by my ex leaving me and dating this supposed friend of ours, that I wound up falling into a depression and had to part ways with the job I loved. Here I was, along and jobless and scared. The rug had been pulled from under me in every aspect of my life and I felt powerless. I loved my life the way it was and I could not figure out why all of this happened.

All I could do was put one foot in front of the other each day and not give up. I had to believe that the doors that closed were designed to lead me to something better for me. I started thinking about all of the things that were wrong in our relationship – how he always wanted to control and change me, and how hard it was for me to be with someone who was very old-fashioned and selfish. It took time but I rebuilt my life. Then the coronavirus outbreak happened – I live in NYC, the epicenter of the crisis – and this is a scary time to be a resident of the Big Apple.

I realized something – I may not be able to control what happens to me and when, but I can control how I react to it. I have choices – I can choose to wallow in my unhappiness and be a victim, or I can use these unfortunate events to help me build a new and better life for myself. I also am one of the lucky ones – I have a great family, friends, career and most importantly, my health. This crisis has shown me just how precious life is.

So own your life as it is right now. Not what you wish it was, not what it could be but what it is right now. When you start taking responsibility for your life, your circumstances, your thoughts, your feelings and your beliefs, you can change your life for the better. You will also be able to make smarter choices that lead to results that will increase your happiness and success.

I’m sharing this personal story because I hope it helps someone else who is also going through a rough patch. Everyone has a sad story – I know I’m not alone in that. Your life is made up of circumstances – how you react and think about them is what determines your feelings and beliefs about yourself and what shapes your reality. Choose people who choose you. When it’s right with someone, they won’t walk out on you and look for someone else, they will work through things with you.