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Sometimes a woman needs to date herself. This was the case even when I was married. I lived a very solitary life as a housewife. My ex was often busy, and was not around much (I wonder why…). I learned that if I wanted to do something I had a choice: I could go alone or not go at all. It wasn’t a hard decision for me. My sister in law would tell me that it was “sad” that I’d do all these things by myself. I would always reply, “What’s sadder, me going alone, or you staying home?” I would go to nice restaurants on my own, shopping, see shows, and even spend a few days in Paris all by myself. It was surprisingly empowering. Believe it or not I have grown to love my little solo adventures. Sure, doing what you love with someone you love is the best, but doing what you love on your own really isn’t that bad… actually it’s kind of awesome. There is something very self indulgent about it. I can do exactly what I want without having to worry about what someone else thinks. I don’t need to care if someone is having a good time. I don’t need to worry about what restaurant someone else wants to eat at, or what kind of schedule they are on. I can spend all my time looking at ballgowns and fantasizing if that’s what I choose. It’s all about me. I have to say, I’m totally ok with that. It’s come to a point that I’m so used to having my solo adventures, that these days, doing things with someone else sometimes feels outside of my comfort zone. I’m not a loner by any means, but my alone time is special to me. I treasure it.

Friday I took the day off from work and got to fulfill a wish of mine: seeing Dita Von Teese perform in one is her burlesque show, The Art of the Teese. I am such a big fan. I love her for her grace, style, talent, her cheeky elegance, not to mention her exceptional beauty. When I found out she was going to be in Miami at The Fillmore, there was nothing that could keep me away. I desperately wanted to go with Birdy, but that didn’t work out. Still, I was going. No man is going to suck the joy out of my life. Yeah, I get hurt and upset (and the truth is I miss him terribly), but ultimately I realize that I do have a say in how happy I get to be. Despite some bad days, I will always choose happiness. ALWAYS.

It’s no secret that I like to treat myself well when I can, so that’s exactly what I did. First stop was a late lunch at The Dutch in the W Hotel in South Beach. I had a yummy spicy  Korean fried chicken sandwich with fries, followed by what I’m guessing is the world’s best key lime pie. It is godly my dears. The holy grail of key lime pie, and believe me, I’ve had a few.  These thighs don’t lie.

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I walked along Lincoln Road Mall, but in all honesty that wasn’t doing it for me. It was 96 degrees out, and I was melting. I persevered. I was going to see Dita.

Just waiting on line at The Filmore was an experience. Some people were dressed to the nines, a la Dita. How I wish I knew how to do my hair Dita style. Note to self: must watch hair tutorials on YouTube. Just people watching was entertaining. But the show itself? It was everything. Dita was glorious!!! Wonderful costumes, dancing, humor… and get this, there was even a real live marriage proposal on stage. My favorite act was the opener where Dita does her famous champagne glass routine. There were also some other awesome burlesque dancers (which I guess gave Dita the chance to rest between sets), and there was a super funny and fabulous master of ceremonies who kept us laughing the whole time. Dita certainly had an awesome “Vontorage.” It was an evening of rhinestones, glamour, and fun. It was something I will never forget, and I’m so glad I went. If you have the opportunity to go, GO! That’s all I can say.

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The moral of this post: don’t be afraid or intimidated from doing things alone. It’s better than doing nothing at all. In fact, you may find yourself in a storm of Swarovski and Louboutins with a supremely delicious key lime pie in your belly. I think we can all agree, there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

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It can suck when you don’t have someone around you to lavish you with the praise you deserve. There might be times in life when you have to take matters into your own hands. It’s not conceited to remind yourself how amazing you are. In fact, it’s more important for you to recognize your fabulousness than anyone else.

Just because nobody tells you, doesn’t mean you aren’t the most bad assed unicorn around. I recommend that anyone reading this try this exercize. Write down ten things about you that you love. Is it your sparkling eyes? Your masterfully pruned unibrow? I want to know.  Post a blog and send me link. Not feeling like a magical muthafuka at the moment? Well that’s all the more reason to try this out.

10 things I love about me

  1. My capacity to love. I realize that just because I have nobody who wishes to be the recipient of it, doesn’t diminish what I have to offer. This gift will one day belong to someone who deserves and wants it. In the meantime, I am trying to focus that love on myself. It’s a challenge. I’m not used to looking inwards for love, but I know it’s what I have to do.
  2. My radical softness (a term coined by Lora Mathis that I simply adore): I love it that my experiences have not hardened me. I think it’s awesome that in a cruel world, softness still exists, and I am extremely proud to be part of that. I love it that I am still able to see the best in people, and that I act with kindness and a gentle spirit.
  3. My eye for beauty.
  4. My unusual intelligence. I’m not saying I’m unusually intelligent, I’m intelligent in a way that is unusual. I feel that I have a very unique sort of thought process.
  5.  My singularity: I am not afraid of my own company. I think it makes me special and brave.
  6. My ability to make others feel important.
  7. That I am a survivor. Maybe I didn’t do it with a lot of grace, but I’m doing it, and that’s all that really matters.
  8. My ability to be quiet and still. The funny thing about this is it fools people into believing that I’ve mastered the art of zen, despite the fact that I am on speed dial at the Department of Fuckery — well, at least someone recognizes my unique skill set. I like to be able to project an image of peacefulness, even if it isn’t entirely accurate. Fake it till you make it, right my little dolly birds?
  9. That I am weird and wonderful. I always wanted to become an eccentric when I grew up. I want to wear vulgar jewelry. I want to have delicious love stories. I want to eat music and drink art. I want to be well read. I want to be the type of person that others want to speak to. I want to be interested, interesting and have amazing adventures. I want to have a mind that is joyful and fun. I think I’m on that path. The very idea makes me smile.
  10. That I have am cultivating a grateful heart. It is my secret to my success.

Go on now my lovelies, it is your turn. Tell me what you love about yourself.

 

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I don’t know what possessed me exactly, but I was going through some very old emails, and I found this:

From: Caroline
Date: October 15, 2014 at 7:25:09 AM EDT
To: xxx1234 <xxxx1234@gmail.com>
Subject:Bad dream

I dream about you a lot. My dreams are very vivid. Last night I dreamed you killed yourself.

So now it’s Wednesday. I made it to mid week.

Here is something I wrote yesterday:

What it feels like to be invisible:

I started back at work, after ten long years. The training is long, and most of it seems to go over my head. Sometimes I find myself tuning out. I don’t care that much, it’s only a job. A paycheck. I’ll never be one of those people who lives to work. Work, to me, is more of an unfortunate necessity.

The hardest thing I find about work is once work ends. I go home to a place where nobody really cares about my day. There’s nobody to rush home to and tell them about where I was and what I did in the last eight hours. I am pretty much alone. I am invisible.

The first thing I do when I finish work is remove the fake smile I wear in order to look “normal.” Once I get home I change out of my work clothes. I’m usually crying when I do this. I put on my old and ugly gym clothes (because they are comfy), discard my daily contact lenses, and I sit out on my mother’s porch trying to catch the remnants of the Florida heat before the sun goes down. I do this in clothes that are unseasonably warm. Nobody sits in layers of clothes when it’s this hot. Well, nobody except me. I like that almost oppressive feeling, the heat plus the heaviness of my clothes. It is the closest I come near to hug. It is the closest I get to the “I love you” that I wish I could hear.

I am merely going through the motions. I don’t know how to exist without love. On a good day, I might be able to cheer myself up with some comforting words, a conversation with an old friend, or maybe something fun in my email; but for the most part, this is how I live.

That was so hard for me to read. At the time, I just started my first job in America, and I wasn’t coping well. My divorce process was in full steam. I think I was severely depressed — but I had weaned myself off my medication by this point. I didn’t have a choice. I couldn’t afford to see a doctor.

This morning, when I came across this email, I was transported back to my 2014 mindset, a mindset that doesn’t (and never did) serve me.  The floodgates opened. I’m sure you’ve been here too my lovelies, when you past comes to bite you in the ass just a little too hard?

Let me tell you how to fight back. First recognize that this is the past. It’s not your present, and it will only be your future if you give it power. Remember who the fuck you are. You are that badass bitch who kicked that shit to the curb. Don’t look back. If you have looked back, and it does and will happen on occasion, look at all that you’ve accomplished since then. That pain, those tears, don’t let it be for nothing. Don’t let those bad memories lead to more bad. Tears exist to wash away the hurt, but at some point you must remember to turn off the faucet or you will drown. Although tears have their purpose, and sadness needs to be felt so that you can move on, there is also a time for stepping back into your power. Trust me, it IS there. 

In an effort to banish the sadness I felt, I asked myself: okay, that’s old news, what have I done for me lately 😜? Here are some things I came up with.

  • In two years I have doubled my salary.
  • I’ve had, and continue to have, some excellent adventures, and I’ve made new friends to share them with.
  • I can handle loss a lot better. I am no longer desperate to hold on to people who don’t recognize my value. I am enough. I have enough.
  • I have learned the art of self care. I am able to stop myself when I feel myself heading towards a downward spiral (not always, but most of the time). Now I spend more time happy than sad.
  • I am so many steps closer to becoming the woman I’m supposed to be.

I urge you to try this out too next time you are feeling a bit low. Let’s not give our bad moments too much power over us. What have you accomplished since D-day? Or if you haven’t experienced one, how far have you come in two years? I bet it’s a lot more than you realize, we just have a nasty habit of focusing on the negative. Let’s change that.

Woo hoo… It’s Friday. I’ve made it through my last day of work in financial aid. I’ve decided to take only one week off before starting my career as a claims adjuster. I could use the extra weeks worth of pay (besides, when I’m not working I tend spend a ton of money). Anyway I’m really looking forward to the quiet before the storm. Here are three other things I’m thankful for:

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Getting rid of dead weight: There has been more drama between BS and I. It was unpleasant to say the least. You guys warned me that BS was a narcissist and that I should keep my distance. I didn’t listen. BS finally convinced me to meet up, where I ended up being called both “bitch” and “looser.” I am a looser actually. That day I lost a huge piece of crap 😜. The truth is I was in tears, but as I write this the sting is gone. These sorts of people don’t deserve the satisfaction of disturbing our peace. To ensure this doesn’t happen again, BS’s phone number has been well and truly blocked. No more contact. Moral of the story: if someone makes you feel bad, and you are constantly on the  defensive when you are in their company, they are not actually your friend, despite what they may tell you.  People who care for you will never treat you that way. Kick that turd waffle to the curb and don’t look back (you aren’t going that way)!

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With the extra week’s pay in my pocket I decided to treat myself to a little luxury. Back when I lived in England I had the most lovely Bose noise canceling headphones. I ended up flogging it on eBay before coming to America. This week I have replaced them with the wireless version.  I got them in grey to match my beloved iPhone, this way I can be all color coordinated and shit. Although they aren’t cheap, they are pretty freaking fabulous. Aside from the typical headphone function, they can be used to drown out background noise. Instant peace and quiet. I think Bose should rename the product “The Bitch Be Gone Wireless” LOL. I simply adore them. We should all own a pair. It’s times like these where I wish I was Oprah rich so that I could give all my readers one. Why doesn’t God issue these things when we are born?

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Another thing that makes me forget about people I don’t like: food. Lately I’ve been loving my little visits to Paul Bakery. In Paris they are as common as McDonalds, and there are quite a few in London too. Visiting brings back some very beautiful memories for me. I often order the choquettes and a pot of tea. Chouquetts are a popular snack in France. I remember reading somewhere that French children flock to their  local bakery after school and munch on these on their way home.  I don’t know any other place where you can buy these things except Paul. I love them. They are basically choux pastry topped in crunchy pearl sugar. I find it a very comforting snack. I really want to be able to recreate these lovelies at home… maybe I shall try my hand at it this week.

I am looking forward to the week ahead. I don’t have any plans as of yet, but it will be nice to wake up with the day all to myself. I do hope there is just the teeniest bit of shenanigans ahead. I do enjoy a bit of fuckery every now and again. I like to keep my skills fresh. What are your plans?

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I want to start by telling you about two old ladies. The first lady is called Emma Morano. She is a 116 year old woman living in Italy. When asked for the secret to her longevity, she credits two factors: eating raw eggs every day (yuck) and being single. Then there’s 109 year old Jessie Gallan from Scotland. She attributed her long life to porridge, exercise, and never marrying. Notice a common denominator? Does eliminating men from your life create a sense of well being?

I hate being single. Most of my life has been spent in a relationship. It’s what I know and what I’m comfortable with. Being alone totally sucks for me. I try to make the best of it, and sometimes I succeed in having an awesome adventure or a rush of happiness all on my own, but for the most part, I hate it.  I never really took a break from men. Right after Dr ManWhore and I separated, I started with dating websites. Can you believe it only took two weeks? Why so fast? When Dr ManWhore explained why he didn’t want to be with me anymore, one of the reasons was that he was not attracted to me. This devastated me. It really crushed me.

I was desperate for a man to tell me I was pretty, so I joined a dating website. I didn’t actually intend to meet anyone, I just wanted validation that I was attractive. Of course, curiosity got the better of me, and I started making dates. Meeting men was fun. I felt desired. I got taken to restaurants and told lovely things. It was pretty great. I was able to use men as a distraction from the pain I was feeling. And actually, it worked. The thing is, I never was able to parlay any of this into a healthy and long lasting relationship (no surprise I guess). That killed me.

It’s like I have some kind of weird love addiction. I don’t know what the word for this is.  It is just a constant need for validation and “protection” by the opposite sex. I don’t feel good about myself unless some guy is giving me attention (this has nothing to do with sex by the way, it’s all about attention and receiving affection). I have never admitted this before, so writing about it is kind of a big thing for me.

After I ended things with Birdy, I decided that this has to stop. I set myself a “birthday challenge” Until my birthday, I am taking a break from the opposite sex. Mind you, my birthday  is only like 40 days away–but still, this will be the longest I’ve been without looking for a man since I was 17! What, I wonder, will it feel like to not get ANY validation from the opposite sex? So far, it’s only been a few days. I am trying to distract myself by listening to motivational stuff on YouTube and job hunting. I also have New Orleans coming up. I am trying to keep my mind engaged as best I can, which is hard because I have loads of time on my hands at the moment. If I could just get a job, well, that would be great. That would take up a ton of my time and energy.

It’s highly likely that I will extend this break to continue after my birthday. I just didn’t want to commit myself to more than I could handle. I want see where this goes. What happens when there is no guy around to tell me the lovely stuff I want (and need?) to hear? What happens when it’s just me?

Fun fact:  The oldest person who ever lived was a woman called Jeanne Calment from France, who lived to be 122. According to Wikipedia, her secret was “a diet rich in olive oil  … (as well as) one  kilogram (2.2 pounds) of chocolate every week.” I guess if the man diet doesn’t work, I can always try eating more chocolate.

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Sometimes we don’t give ourselves enough credit. We don’t realize how far we’ve come. I am starting to recognize it, as lately I have been coming into contact with a few people whose D-day is painfully fresh.

The other day I met this guy. I have this feeling that we are going to become great friends. He is a foodie, he likes the same music as me, can hold a conversation like nobody’s business, and he is into art … he is also a complete f’ing mess. He is absolutely crippled by his divorce. He was me.

My life is faaaaar from picture perfect. My lovely Birdy has flown away (though I did leave the cage door open), I’m unemployed… blah blah blah, I can’t even be bothered to list all the crap, but if you read me, you know.  But you know what? I’m not the flaming disaster that I used to be. I remember when I started this blog almost two years ago. I hadn’t gotten my first job  yet. I just received a bill from my lawyer in the UK, and I was thrown into utter and complete panic. I had no idea how I was going to pay it. It wasn’t THAT awful, it was just the  straw that broke my back. I felt so violently sick, scared, alone, desperate… you name it. At that moment I wished I was dead. I hid inside my sister’s dark closet and I cried like a wounded animal. My mother had to pry me out. I will never forget it. It was a pain so hard and real you could taste it. I was petrified. I’m guessing you know that feeling too.

These days, it’s a mixed bag. Good days and bad days, but the “bads” are no longer complete meltdowns. I am not that crushed, defeated creature anymore. There is something that comes from surviving the worst pain in your life that changes you. It changes you in a very powerful way. I am not going to pretend that all of the sudden I’m some super strong wonder woman now. I’m not. What I’m saying is that in these bad times, we are forced to prove to ourselves who we are. We are forced to overcome challenges because we have absolutely no other choice. I have found, as I am sure you have, that we are so much more than we ever knew. That weak spine develops a steel core that allows us to stand up again. While our body is adjusting to that foreign object, it is debilitatingly painful. The end result is pretty freaking amazing though. We have scars. You don’t get out of the most brutal battle of your life unscathed. BUT when those scars heal, we are better. We are more cautious and weary, and sometimes we are angry, but we are also strong in a way that we have never been, and we are infinitely more beautiful. We have been through some shit, and guess what? We are still here!

So I guess all that is my way of saying that we deserve some cake and a big fucking party. We have come such a long way. Don’t forget it.

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Has it ever occurred to you how ridiculously difficult it is to be female?  Why do we pluck, bleach, dye, shave, and wax hairs? Why do we wear heels that contort our feet into positions which are not only torturous but also unhealthy for the human body? Why do we straighten our hair with irons and treat it with chemicals? Why do some of us inject poison into our bodies and use mild acids on our skin? Why? Because God forbid we wrinkle (after all, we all know the worst thing a woman can do is get old …  or fat)!   I am guilty of many of these things. There is no reason to be coy. I’m guessing you are too, because if you are reading my blog, you are probably a woman.

Growing up I remember my mom brushing my hair. I remember having this huge knot right behind my neck that had to be unmatted. It took her ages to detangle me. I was crying and upset, and my mother said something to me I will never forget: “A little pain is a little beauty.”

The things we do to be “beautiful” are really over the top stupid. Imagine if you were an alien looking at us from outer space and you saw that all these tortures were not only self inflicted, painful, and expensive; but that we deeply wanted them. What would you think? Us women are a strange bunch. But if you think a little deeper, there is more to it than that.

I just read the most amazing book called Dietland by Sarai Walker. It made me think a lot about all the self harm we do in order to fit someone else’s idea of what women should be. Someone needs to slap those people. We are rad as fuck just the way we are, dontcha know!? When it comes to Dietland,  what looks like some ordinary chick lit, with its cutsey little cover, is actually one of the most eye poppingly unique feminist manifestos I have ever had the pleasure of reading (and that’s saying quite a bit as I do a lot of reading and have a minor in Women’s Studies). It starts off being about a fat girl who goes by the name of Plum. Plum is trapped in her 300+ pound fleshy suit of armor which prevents her from living the life she wants. Instead of relationships and romance, she gets snide and nasty comments. Instead of feeling worthwhile and beautiful, she covers herself in loose clothes trying to go unnoticed. She is contemplating gastric bypass surgery when the story opens. What actually unfolds, however, is not your typical fat girl gets thin and gets a guy book. No indeed. What happens, as Plum’s journey unfolds, is that Dietland leads the reader to question why being fat is actually so bad. For that matter, why as women, do we feel such a desperate need to cling to almost unattainable standards in order to feel that we have worth? Is beauty the most important thing to aspire to? Aren’t we more than the flesh suits we live in? Maybe our fat / unibrows / excessive body hair / flat chests / aging bodies aren’t really the problem.

Dietland  was not just an engaging read. At times it is dark and hardcore, at times it is funny and sweet. It also made me angry … but in a good way. Some of the characters in this book were also angry, and the novel explores what happens when women stop trying to be all sugar and spice and decide to fight back. Dietland will leave you with a smile on your face, an unapologetic door stopper of cake in your hand, and a feeling of empowerment. This book is for any woman who ever felt like she was “less than.” So yeah, this book is for anyone who is a woman. I wish I was rich like Oprah and could buy a copy for every single woman I know. I hope you read it.

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Happy New Year my lovelies! It’s almost time to start 2016. I have to say, I have a feeling this year is going to become a fine vintage. Something awesome is going to happen. I feel it in my bones. I am feeling hopeful and relaxed in a way which I haven’t felt in along time.

Unlike any year before, this year I actually have a resolution. I resolve to make a conscious effort to just “let go.” Imagine this… what if, in your your hands you held a lot of stuff. What if that stuff was your life? Imagine that it comprises of all the thoughts and feelings you have. Good stuff, bad stuff, memories, a laundry list of “to do’s” and obligations. Imagine that the stuff in your hands (both good and bad) weights a lot. It is all you could possibly carry. Now, what if something new comes in your life, something awesome, and you want to pick it up but you can’t because your what you are holding on it is already at its peak capacity? If you haven’t figured it out, what I’m trying to say is that if we keep holding on to negative thoughts, memories of what happened when someone hurt us, fears and worries, it makes it almost impossible to pick up new ones. It is too hard to hold on to good when you can’t let go of bad.

One thing I resolve to do is to stop writing about any of my exes. That goes for ex boyfriend(s) and ex husband(s). They have taken up enough space. I have held on to such heavy sadness for so long that my hands bled. No, it stops here.

While this started out as kind of a divorce blog,  I don’t want it to be that anymore. My divorce is well and truly over. The bridges to my past are burned beyond recognition. I’m not saying I will no longer think of it. I’m not even saying I will no longer feel sad about. What I am saying is I am turning the page, and one of the ways I plan to do that is by not giving people who didn’t recognize my worth any more real estate on my website. It’s time for a clear out dollies! I’m leaving all the sh*t on the curbside with the other garbage. No more dirty feet allowed on my beautiful soul :D.

So yeah, this year I challenge myself to clean out as much negativity as I can. I want and I need to let go. I want to make a conscious effort to nurture my tiny seed of hopefulness into something epic! I hope you will join me because I think there is going to be some really cool stuff along the way.

What about you daaaahlings? Will you be making any resolutions?

 

6a05bb877f07ce1f4ad92769d4ce3da3I know I have been writing a lot less frequently these days. There is no excuse really, except that I just haven’t been feeling like it. When I had a food blog, back in the day, I felt obliged to churn out a post every week. It became almost like a job that I didn’t get paid for, which kind of sucked because my blog was supposed to be a hobby—something I did because it was fun. I don’t do that now. I just choose to write when inspiration strikes and there’s something I want to say or share.

I did want to let you know that I’m doing okay. Well, some days I’m doing okay. I had a few rough days this week. I still have days where the tears start right after work, and they can last for hours. To be quite honest, I’m not sure if I still suffer from depression, or that these feelings are just the natural byproduct of what I’ve been going through.  I do have a therapist friend who tells me I’m depressed, but I don’t necessarily believe that. I feel like I just have depressed moments. I never want to go back on antidepressants. I feel like whatever emotions I experience, I’d rather just experience them, not mask them. What am I crying about? Feelings of fear, loss, wondering how I’m supposed to do this thing. How am I going to continue to put one foot in front of the other? I often suffer from feelings of complete hopelessness and loneliness. I feel like there is this vast emptiness inside of me. I hope one day that goes away. But there are some really good feelings that I’m experiencing too. Although I’m far from what I might classify as “successful,” I am becoming a person that I respect and admire – and that is something which I didn’t have back in my housewife days. I find that so completely ironic. Without the money and the comfort, I am a person that I like even more now. Somehow I see myself as more real and more beautiful. I’m more compassionate, more in tune with what makes me who I am, more arty, more passionate. I’m just more. I do like that very much. I think I’m becoming someone pretty special. I love me so much, that I believe I could marry me LOL.

I’m reminded of a famous quote by Gloria Steinem: “We are becoming the men we wanted to marry.” I now understand exactly what that means. As a housewife, I was glad to give all the responsibilities to my ex. He was the breadwinner, the problem solver, the one who was supposed to “make things happen.” I never realized what a huge burden and responsibility that was until now. I am now the one who earns my money, who solves my own problems, who makes my dreams come to reality. It is both a confidence booster and a terrifying prospect at the same time. Now, whether I fall or I fly, it is totally on me. While this does not excuse my husband AT ALL from being a complete whore, It does gives me a new respect for the kind of responsibility he carried on his shoulders, and it makes me appreciate what an exemplary provider he was. Now its my job, and being realistic, I know I’m not going to achieve what he did, but I’m determined to achieve what I consider to be enough, and that will just have to do.

I am now my own knight in shining armor, and I’m going to have to rescue myself. I have encountered men who will say the magical words I’ve longed to hear: “I will take care of you.” These “Prince Charmings” … God, I don’t even know what happened to them. They may look the part, and talk the part, but there is something inherently wrong with them. They have no honor and their words lack value. These days, knights in shining armor are nothing more than A-holes in tin foil. They are completely lacking in moral character; they just say what they need to say to get what they want. If that’s going to be the case, then as lonely as it is, I choose myself. When heroes are in short supply, sometimes you have no choice but to become your own. Though I don’t consider myself to be the hero type, not even in the slightest, I have no choice but to become one.

Slowly (extremely slowly), I see a life forming ahead of me that I know I can be proud of. I would just really like to find someone who is worthy of sharing it with. I would like to know that truly good men still exist. Until then, I know of one truly good woman I can lean on, and that would be me.

Wishing all of you a very happy Thanksgiving. Be thankful for who you are, because you are awesome.

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Today marks one year ago that I moved back to the United States. Life is unrecognizeable. I can’t decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Lots of changes have taken place in this year:

I started my first job in 12 years. I don’t love it, and I am looking to replace my current job with something else, but I’m pleased with how I’ve adapted. It was a bad time, those first few months after coming back to America.  I was dealing with so many emotional issues. I remember crying during training class when the lights were turned off and the trainer was doing demonstrations on the projector. It wasn’t until I’d leave the classroom, however, that the floodgates would really open. I was inconsolable. A girl I later befriended recently told me that she and some of my other collegues didn’t think I’d make it to the end of training. Yet, I somehow managed. I woke up every day and went to work. Today, over half of the people I started with have gone. I remain.

My divorce became final. The man who I spent 18 years of my life with is gone forever. There is zero contact. I am greatful most of the time. Sometimes I am sad, because I am really scared of doing this all on my own. During my worst times, I still find myself wondering if it is better to have a cheater for a husband than having to go through life alone. Of course it is better to be alone, when things are bad, however, it doesn’t always feel that way though. Life is scary when there is nobody there to hold your hand.

I am making friends, just like normal humans do. When I was a housewife, I lived a very isolated life. I didn’t mind it really. I enjoyed my own company and got used to spending day after day on my own. I had a routine. I’d go to the gym, I’d make myself a nice lunch, clean the house, blog a bit, maybe take the train to London. I created a lifestyle for myself, and I was happy BUT days, weeks, even months would go by where I didn’t speak to anyone besides my husband (except for the Sunday phone call I would get from my mother). That’s pretty odd don’t you think? Upon moving back to the US, things have changed. I met J, my fellow divorcee-to-be, who I am in contact on a daily basis. Not a day goes by when we do not reach out to each other.  I reconnected with a few dear friends via Facebook, including my best friend since I was 3 years old. She is nothing short of a sister to me. It’s pretty awesome having friends again.

Somewhere I read something along the lines of “the Universe does not like a vacuum.” In other words, when an empty space appears in life, the Universe (or who I like to think of as God), fills it up with something new. I feel like my new friends are God’s way of filling up the lonliness I feel. Though of course it is not the same thing as having a husband or a partner, I am happy to say that they are relationships based on trust and honesty, and this is something I didn’t have with Dr ManWhore. I value that beyond measure.

I feel part of a family again. When I was married, I moved countries. I left my family behind. Yes, of course I remained in contact with them, but the dynamic changes when you live so far away. In many ways you could say I was “adopted” by my ex’s family. The hard honest truth, however, is that blood is thicker than water. That fact became very obvious when it came to our divorce. Eventually Dr ManWhore’s parents, though I believe they cared for me very deeply, were forced to take sides. They took his side, even though they knew him to be a cheater. I was not surprised or even angered by this, I was just hurt; but, I understood. Now I am with my own family. They are on my side even if I do stupid sh*t (which I don’t do LOL). I have to say, that is pretty awesome. My family have really stuck by me during tough times. They are there for me. I forgot what that felt like. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I had it again. And yes, they do drive me absolutely crazy sometimes, but they are mine, and I love them.

I took a driving lesson this week. It was another first. it’s has been ten years since I last drove. Although I did not feel confident behind the wheel by any means, I kind of impressed myself. I did way better than I could have hoped. I drove on a very busy highway, and I am still alive to tell the tale. That was kind of a big deal for me.

Could it be that I am on my way to becoming a fully functional adult?!

It has been a year of goods and bads. It has been a year of high emotions and plenty of drama. I am so happy to say that despite it all, I am doing okay! There was a time when I thought I’d never be able to utter those words. Yes, life could be better, but I am okay. Things didn’t exactly work out how I planned, but here I am. I am surviving. Every day I put one foot in front of the other, and in doing so, I prove to myself that I am stronger than I thought I was.