Tag Archives: divorce

On taking a chance…three years later.

Three years ago today, I walked into a restaurant, anxiously awaiting my date to arrive. It was my self-proclaimed ‘last ditch effort’ at match.com, after almost two years of on and off online dating, I was ready to throw in the towel and do some soul searching. But there was this guy that caught my eye, as if every single word of his profile was written AT me, and I couldn’t resist, I had to take one more chance.

He walked through those doors and I had nervous anticipation. What if he wasn’t who he said he was. What if he wasn’t what I expected him to be. What if…it was another letdown. But as soon as he got closer, all of that melted away. Because he already *seemed* to be who I thought he *might* be. And when he greeted me, I looked into his eyes and I saw…him. And it felt right, and familiar, in a way, and my anxieties quickly dissapeared. As soon as he guided me to our table, placing his hand gently on my lower back, I melted. The small touch of chivalry…just spoke to me.

And from that day forward, three years in the making, here we sit. That was the beginning of my first (and last ‘first!’) date with M, the man I was meant to meet and  marry. It blows me away every time I think about the last three years. Of where we have been together. Of what we have experienced. Of the love that we have cultivated. Of the best friendship that we have built. Of the life we brought together. Of us. Of the home that we now live in…and? The marriage that has united us, forever.

Three years ago, there was no way I would have ever guessed that, fast forwarding to today, my life would be what it is today. Five years ago, I would not have believed, or perhaps trusted, that my life then, broken, alone, heart shattered, would transform into the life that it is now.

It honestly makes me speechless. It gives me chills. And a wave of thankfulness, blessedness and happiness washes over me.

Three years with the man that has made me believe in true and utter love, to the soul love…the love that you see with the catch of an eye, the turn of a smile, the comfort of a hug and the passion of a kiss.

Love that – had I not gone through what I did, had M not gone through what he did – that would never have happened. Love that came together because of what we both went through. And again, that brings us both to the realization, yet again, that we were brought together because we were meant to. Because we trusted, had faith and took a chance.

Truly.
Truly.

Could it really be?

Five years, (almost) since my journey truly began?

One that was born out of divorce, that brought me to the here and now?

As I thought about what  I wanted to post today for a barre n9ne studio instagram challenge we are doing (#b9thinkspring – 7 days of photos, from favorite pre-workout snack, to spring accessory, to someone that inspires you, to something you are thankful for), there was no question about it: I give thanks for my life, this life, the one I am living each and every day, the life I have lived  as true to self as I ever have, since that day in October 2008 where my (now) ex-husband told me he wanted a divorce.

Five years. Just about five years ago?

I have no words. Just this quote, which pretty much sums it up.

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Happy weekend friends…I hope you are thankful too, for wherever you are in life, for wherever it has brought you, for who you are, as a result. Be inspired.

 

More than just a graduation.

This weekend, M graduated. For the fourth (!) and final time. Two bachelor’s degrees, one master’s and now a doctorate later, and M is done, accomplishing something very few ever do, and I couldn’t have been prouder of him walking across that stage getting his degree.

It was the first time I’d truly seen such pride in his face. For once, basking in it, rather than brushing it off, or just going through the motions towards that finish line to get.it.done.

And while I wish I had known him throughout this entire process, seeing him through perhaps the toughest part of his degree, supporting him the best that I possibly could, and throwing him one hell of a party, makes me feel so blessed and fortunate to be a part of his life now, meeting him at such a pivotal time, for him, but also for me.

Because, you see, his graduation day also marked my one year barre n9ne 60 day challenge barre-o-versary. During a weekend of celebration, it was a weekend where I felt as though everything in my life had fallen into place exactly where I wanted, for the very first time. From my life, to my love, to my body.

And when I asked M if he were to make a speech, what he would say, he said ‘I would look around at my friends, my family, and you, and say that three years ago when I started on this journey, I never imagined the people around this table would be around this table today, but I couldn’t be happier.’ 

I couldn’t agree more. 

For him, through a marriage ending in divorce mid-way through his degree, to finding each other, at the exact right time in our lives, and for me, walking into barre n9ne a year ago, never expecting to experience a complete and utter transformation from mind, body, and soul, just as I feel the last three years of my life, in parallel to M’s has been. Full of complete change, struggle, sadness and pain, to strength, confidence, happiness and love.

This weekend, it was more than a graduation. It was the culmination of the last three years of our lives, so gently meeting at the same intersection, together. As it were meant to be. 

And if this picture doesn’t capture the essence of the weekend, and this culmination, I don’t know what does. As a friend on Facebook noted,: ‘you’ll look so content and happy and totally blissed out.” And she was right. <3

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I don’t normally cross-post to M’s blog, but he wrote a post that made me speechless. It really speaks to his journey from here until now, and if you have the time, please give it a read. Congratulations, love, you are amazing.

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As for the 60 day challenge barre-o-versary, there is more to come, including a before and after picture. But this post just felt like the essence of what I was feeling and thus, the before and after can wait ;-)

On marriage: more than ‘just’ a piece of paper

**The fourth in my mini-series on marriage. I am exploring why I want it (or trying to), what goes into a successful marriage, and snippets of conversations M and I have had on this very topic**

Marriage is more than ‘just’ a piece of paper.

For those of you that didn’t know me when I was married, for me to say this now and truly believe it…telling.

Because when I got married, I don’t think I truly believed in marriage and what it stands for. I saw it more as a formality, as the next ‘logical’ step in our (then) 7-year relationship. I pish-poshed the rituals of the engagement party, bridal shower, the whole nine yards wedding. I got married with none of my family or friends nearby. When we said our vows overlooking the waters of Kauai, I distinctly remember thinking ‘I should be more emotional. I should be crying. Or something. This should feel different. And powerful. And ‘us.’ But instead? It felt lonely (as I’ve said before). And it did feel like ‘just’ a piece of paper afterwards. We were happy, but we weren’t any *more* happy because we were married (not that I think that it’s like a light switch, suddenly your now-marriage is perfect puppies and rainbows, but there is something to be said for the ‘honeymoon period’ for a reason, right?!).

As these words flow from my fingertips…I am actually surprised at what I’m revealing. And the revelations I am uncovering through this post and this series, overall. I think my disbelief in marriage and what it stands for was one of several underlying reasons why our marriage ultimately failed. Because my ex-husband had this very same view…marriage is ‘just’ a piece of paper.

But now? I think in order for marriage to succeed, both have to believe that there is a reason to get married. That it’s not just a ‘logical’ step. That we want to publicly commit to each other (hopefully) for a lifetime. And put in the commitment necessary to make it succeed. Now, I am not saying that I suddenly ‘believe’ in the big white puffy dress fairy tale that so many do as they grow up, but I do know this: if/when M and I marry, we will be surrounded by our close family. Where/when/how/what is still up for debate, but making this commitment with our families there is important to me. For the very first time.

Because, it’s not just a piece of paper anymore. It’s purposeful. It is filled with intent. And it is a commitment I am ready to make. When the time comes.

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For now, this is the end of my ‘on marriage’ series, though there may be more of these down the road…ya know, when the time comes (wink). Writing this series has been an incredibly eye-opening experience for me. Because with each topic that comes to mind, I actually have had no idea what I was going to write, until I wrote it. Free-flowing. Stream of conscious. I urge you…if there is something you are trying to work through, like me, and my thoughts on marriage and what I want it to look like, write it out. It truly makes it all come together.

My why.

One of Tina’s posts recently got me thinking about why I do what I do. Why I consider myself somewhat of an overachiever, why I feel like I always want to make goals and continuously work on self-improvement, both physically and mentally. It boils down to…

My Why.

Knowing the why behind what I do is what motivates me.

But also knowing how I feel after I accomplish something is what motivates me. Beyond the why. It’s the how.

Knowing how I feel after I’ve reached a goal, or observed self-improvement, whether it be a physical improvement (my run challenge, for example) or a mental one (my recent work trip that took me out of my comfort zone) or even a quasi-mental and physical one (training to be barre n9ne certified!). It all comes back to knowing who I am and what works for me in terms of change, growth and challenging myself.

But why do I do it? Why do I constantly challenge myself? Because it is truly what I am passionate about. When it comes to physical challenges and fitness, I love how I feel after I have sweated through a workout. Or realized that my flexibility is improving through begrudgingly stretching 1-2 times a day. Or finding my a-ha moment when it comes to mind-body connection during a particular ab exercise.

And the eating? I’ve honestly never felt better than when I eat for fuel rather than for fun. Eating is still fun for me – a-ha – but in a different way. Rather than eating a huge piece of cake and while sure, that may taste good, I would argue that a Dove ‘promises’ chocolate tastes just as good, if not better, with a cup of tea, coffee or yes, even a glass of wine. I’d much prefer a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate over a piece of cake. It might be a trade-off to some, to pass up the cake, but I know me. And I know my body. And I know that I will feel better and just as, if not more, satisfied with that combination. (On the flip-side of that, I am still learning to balance watching what I eat, and choosing healthy options over having days where I just want to throw caution to the wind and eat and drink more than normal. It’s a struggle, I won’t lie, sometimes. More on that later…)

And finally, the mental challenges. I consider myself somewhat of an overachiever…not a surprise, I am sure. But this overachiever status really came to light in the last few years. As I was forced to face things that scared me, that I wanted to run from, but that I had to conquer just by nature of what it was. Divorce. Something that wasn’t my choice. That pushed me out of my comfort zone. But it was also what started to teach me things I never thought I’d face or want to willingly face, either. And ever since that time, it’s like I’ve made a deal with myself. To never settle. To never slide into complacency.

My why.

…To challenge myself. Not for sake of challenging myself, but for betterment and learning.

…To focus on being the best ‘me’ I can be. Mentally, physically, emotionally. A better sister, lover, daughter, aunt, friend. 

…To maintain the life that I have built for myself. Not settling. Not sliding into complacency. Not doing to do or eating to eat. Doing with intention and purpose.

…To love myself, with flaws and with areas I struggle with. And know that facing my weaknesses will only make me stronger.

…My why. 

What is your ‘why?‘ (thank you Tina, for such an inspiring and thought-provoking post!)