The night before my apartment burned down, I was lying in my bed weeping and praying for a less chaotic life. My life was adrift and I was collecting bad habits as I moved aimlessly through it. I was smoking and had other substance abuse issues. I was in a bad, on-again, off-again, relationship with a boyfriend, and I was so sad and so lost. I prayed and I cried.

Fuoco_26-7-2003_Foto_G._Dall'OrtoThe night after the fire I was propped up in a hotel room bed with a cat and a dog, both injured but alive. I gulped a tear filled laugh, as I thought about my desperate prayers from the night before. ….Had I gotten the less chaotic life I asked for?

I had less stuff, that was for sure.

The time following the fire was character building to say the least. Starting with the dreaded phone call to my father, also known as Lt. C. K. Zamek of the Waterford Township Fire Department.

The fire was considered “suspicious” so there was an investigation. A water main had broken and destroyed the uninsured woman’s apartment below mine so there was a lawsuit. The dog, which I was not suppose to have in the apartment, and belonged to the exish-boyfriend, had gotten severely burned and was in need of around the clock care. It seemed everything had gotten even worse.

The exish-boyfriend had become a suspect. The investigation DID prove he was likely responsible for the fire (totally unintentional I need to add in his defense). It was at this point that he had decided to tell me that he was seeing someone else.

…So, at least now I knew what it felt like to hit bottom….

At this point you might think I’m going to tell you to be “careful what you pray for.” But I’m not going to do that, I might suggest you “brace for it,” but not to be careful. You see, after being “liberated” from my home, my belongings, and an unhealthy relationship, things started to become clearer to me. I came to understand a principle that I still apply today in my ProNagger work. It’s this:

You don’t pick-up the pieces and get on with your life. Oh no. When your life is shattered, it’s not going back to what it was before the fracture. A fire teaches this principal really well. Once the photo album, cross country skies, and antique bedroom-set turns into so much soot, they do not, they can not, turn back into the items you once knew them as. Similarly once a life goes through a monumental shift it can no longer return to what it once was. After a life has “fallen apart” it becomes something new, with a new set of parameters.