Recently I had a conversation with some random person who told me his ten commandments for life. I decided to come up with my own.
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Rule number one: Show up. If my life had a motto, this wold be it. I have used it to get me through many a tough time. Sometimes life is crazy and scary and completely out of control. Your just want to hide and hope it will go away. Take this magic little pill: just show up. You don’t kneed to know what to do or how to do it. Just put one foot in front of the other, and the path will reveal itself. I can’t tell you how many times  this has gotten me to where I needed to be.

Rule number two:  if it makes you happy, do it. Selfish? Maybe. Is that so bad to put yourself first? I’m not talking about doing something that is going to hurt someone. You are hopefully wise enough to distinguish right from wrong. I’m talking about following your bliss. Care about how you feel. If you don’t, who will?

Rule number three: Do what you can while you can with what you have. Tomorrow the money might not be there, the health might not be there, or the opportunity. The time is now. Don’t waste it. Tell the ones you love you love them while they are still around. Eat the donut(s). Do that thing. You know what I’m talking about: THAT thing. You will never live this moment again.

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Rule number four: Forgive. My dad always used to say, “forgive and forget.” Well I’m not Jesus, nor do I have Alzheimer’s, but I found that forgiveness is actually possible. Learning that was nothing short of a revelation for me. Sure forgiveness the most beautiful, amazing, life-altering, and soul lightening gift I have ever received. Bitterness is poison that only we taste, not the person we are mad it. If time and distance from your situation allows, do it (see rule #3).

I always thought that phrase, “forgiveness is the gift you give yourself,” was a bunch of crap. It’s not.

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Rule number five: Trust that the Universe is working in your favour, and everything is going to be okay. Better than okay my lovelies! There was a time when I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I genuinely thought my life was over. Things were so bad that even if I could have whatever I wished for, my head wasn’t even capable of finding the wish that could right the wrongs. I don’t know how it happened exactly (I think it has a lot to do with rule number one), but I’m ok again. No, it’s not perfect, but it’s beautiful in its imperfection, and I am indeed okay. So will you be.

Number six: Be what you want. If you want love, give love. If you need peace, be a source of peace for someone else. If you need help, help someone. Try it. It will make you feel good in the process.

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Rule number seven: Show gratitude. Become aware of your many blessings. Train your brain to find the good. There will be days when this feels close to impossible, but there is always something. There is the warmth of the sun that shines on your skin, and your two eyes that open every morning. When you can appreciate those things that we often take for granted, life gets a lot sweeter. When you are aware of the good, the universe rewards you with more good.

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Number eight: Know that you are powerful. Yeah, it doesn’t always feel like it, but you are. You are the number one player in this story that is your life, and you decide how things go. Don’t make yourself small, the victim of unfortunate circumstances. Act when you feel inspired. You know what to do, deep down. Do it. Don’t let life just happen to you.

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Number nine: Embrace your weird. It’s okay to be different. The wold would be a pretty boring place if we were all the same. Let your weird light shine so that the other wierdos can find you. Wierd is a side effect of awesome.

Last but not least: Be kind. Sometimes that goodness you need isn’t there, but maybe, in some small way, we can give that goodness to someone else who needs it. I guess this is very much like #6, but it’s more focused on radiating good without the need of getting anything back. The world needs that. Even if you can only do that by giving a kind smile or by telling someone they look pretty today, be that person. You never know what kind of power a small kindness can have. Maybe your small light is the only light someone gets on a really bad day. I can’t tell you how many times a small act of kindness can ripple into something huge.

What about you? What would your rules be?

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… and so the drama continues *sigh*…

Last week was crazy. I bet this first thing I’m going to tell you isn’t going to shock you, but it totally threw me. Birdy has gone MIA… again. I don’t know what happened my lovelies. We didn’t get into a fight. We spent Thanksgiving and Christmas together and it was wonderful. I spent it with him and his family. They made me feel so welcome, and I had the best time. Christmas, when I left his house, there was something about the way he hugged me, that I could FEEL, even without the words, that Birdy did truly love me. Then New Years happened. He started to avoid me. I know he was a little shaken by his grief. A book that he was reading had really triggered him. He wanted to be alone.  Okay, I get it. But that alone stretched. It stretched into complete silence. And so Christmas weekend was the last I saw of him, and there has been absolutely no word. I texted him. I told him I was confused and hurt.  Are we broken up? I asked him. No reply.  I am assuming so, but nobody actually broke up with me.

I am so tired of this. I absolutely recognise a pattern. This has happened before. Whenever he gets close to me, he does this. The same happened last year around this same time. Right after introducing me to his parents for the first time at Thanksgiving, he dumped me … for not brushing my teeth.

I don’t know what to tell you. I am confused myself. All I know is that I love that horrible man. My love for him is unconditional.  At the same time, I do know I deserve to be treated with more dignity than this. I am not a wreck of tears like last time. Maybe because I’m used to it? All I feel is a little sad, a little numb, and a little empty.

Now this second thing I’m going tell you? You might want to sit down for this one. After four years of silence, my ex husband and I have made contact.

You see, it all started with a conversation with a co-worker. The subject of my ex came up, and she said, “Why don’t you contact him. It’s the beginning of a new year. Make a fresh start.” And so, at the time, in my head, what I thought was something that I would never EVER do… I did it. I didn’t have his phone number, but I did remember his email address. To make a long story short, that weekend he called me. I heard his voice for the first time in ages.

We had the most wonderful conversation. He apologised to me me. I forgave him. I cried a bit, there were just SO MANY emotions I was feeling. It was the most cathartic, freeing  thing to happen to me in my life. This is the man I spent 18 years of my life with. He was my best friend. He knew me better than anyone has known me before or after. But the way it ended? Well the last time I “saw” him, was in a court room. I couldn’t even look at him. I remember just peaking at his elbow. That elbow that made me sick to my stomach. The elbow that belonged to the man who betrayed me in the ugliest possible way. The elbow that after betraying me, wanted to keep stabbing me until I was thoroughly destroyed… well, that’s how I saw it back then. I was hurting so badly. At the time I was so raw. Every cell of my body was a bloodied burning nerve ending. I could barely inhabit my own skin. I seriously wanted to just die, except I was too angry to die.

That conversation we had… it cooled the fire in my soul.

There is so much to say. But here is the brief synopsis. Life has taken him down quite a few notches, but he is doing okay. He is living in London with his girlfriend (the girl I discovered him cheating on me with). I should mention that surprisingly, this does not sting like you might imagine it would. I guess that means I am well and truly over him. He is living his life in England, and I am living my life in Florida. We are an ocean apart. BUT, we decided that we wanted to be friends. Because really, that’s what we were best at. We were not best at being husband and wife. We were not best at the romantic aspects. But we were best at friendship. And I am so beyond happy to tell you that my very ugly story seems to have a happy ending. My best friend is back. I am crying as I type this because the amount of gratitude that I am feeling right know overwhelms me (and also because I’m a total cry baby).

We grew up together, but we have grown up apart.

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“Nice” is for milk toast. It does not describe who I am.

People  who don’t know any better see me as this outwardly zen woman, completely at peace. They see someone who is quiet, gentle, and has a soft voice. Yes, that is who I am … on the outside. It is part of me. Inside me lives something totally different, and there is one person in my life who I wish could see the real me. I wish they could see my fire, and how strong and brave I can be– rather than this mouse that I seem to come across as.

It’s fine if most people view me that way. There are advantages to having this kind of persona. People are kinder to you, more willing to help, and more willing to talk to someone who comes across as non threatening. In my job, I use this to my advantage all the time. I’m great at making people feel comfortable, accepted, and important. I think it’s actually one of my greatest skills… but … I am more than that. I am not a slice of milk toast.

Part of it is that I’m an introvert. I’ve always been. I accept it, I like it, and I have no wish to change it. But there is this particular person I wish to impress. When I am around them, I find myself choking on my words, and I hate that! I know it’s kind of childish to ache for recognition. I remind myself of those little kids saying, “look at me mommy.” I don’t want to be that. Begging for attention is demeaning. But oh, how my insides ache to be recognized!

Still,  there is the me that lives inside my skin that sometimes wants to shout from the rooftops.  It wants to scream at the top of her lungs, and I’m sure it’s a voice so loud that it could shake the earth.

Mousey? No. That is not who I am. I am soft spoken and introspective, but I am no mouse.

Are you familiar with the “I Am” statement? “I Am” are two of the most powerful words in the universe. They are our mission statement, and how we define ourselves to our own self as well as the outside world. The words that follow “I Am” need to be positive, powerful, and in alignment with your core- the very truest part of you.

So who am I? I have thought long and hard about this.

  • I am regal.
  • I am gracious.
  • I am kind.
  • I am thankful.
  • I am passionate.
  • I am loving.
  • I am beautiful.
  • I am artistic.
  • I am brave.
  • I am unique and irreplaceable.

Whenever you start a sentence with “I Am” you are creating. You are deciding who you are and what you want to be. Don’t feel afraid to come off as conceited. Why do women always feel the need to belittle themselves to make others feel comfortable? Fuck that. Own who you are. So, who are you?

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In my last post I told you that I had plans to see the fireworks with a friend. Plans changed. BS (yes, that is really this person’s initials) is kind of an A-hole. I don’t see BS often, and there is a reason for that. Have you ever spent time with someone, who just drains the life out of you like a blood sucking vampire? It’s kind of like they feed on your goodness only to leave you feeling absolutely deflated. BS is that sort of animal. Sometimes people like that are family members, and we have no choice but to be tolerant and turn the other cheek, but why would someone actually volunteer to spend time with someone like that out of their own free will?

It’s pretty pathetic, but let me just be honest: sometimes I really dread feeling alone and would rather be with a shithead than be on my own. How lousy is that? Yeah, I still have a lot of self-work to do, that much is obvious. BS has this ugly habit of always insulting my religion. I try to shake it off, but BS grabs onto it like a dog with a bone and will not let go. It is just one insult after another, and I can’t help but feeling terribly offended. I tend not to speak up about it. I know that if I do things will get ugly… and then last night I was lying in bed, and I decided, NO, I was not going to let this continue. I texted BS to explain my feelings. BS told me that this is just who they are, and that I have to accept it if I want to hang out. To make a long story short, we parted ways. Apparently I wasn’t a friend enough to deserve any sort of respect. I was only required as a doormat, not as a person with actual thoughts and feelings.

I have nobody to blame but myself for allowing that kind of treatment. Somehow I got used to it, not just with BS, but with a lot of people.  When you get used to something for long enough, it becomes your “normal,” even if it isn’t actually normal at all. In fact, it’s sticking up for myself that feels positively uncomfortable for me. It is unfortunate, but as a little girl, I got picked on a lot. I was the subject of severe bullying, and I know it took a huge toll on me. It really effected my self esteem, even well into adulthood. As a wife, I kept quiet to keep the peace with the in laws. I just wanted to be liked. It didn’t matter what it cost me. It’s strange how I am still battling those old demons today. Some say life keeps throwing us the same lessons over and over again until we learn. Maybe I am learning.

It is highly unlikely that I am going to see the fireworks now. Maybe I might catch a glimpse of light from the porch, but I most certainly did celebrate Independence Day in my own special way. I didn’t feel bad, like I was loosing a friend, I felt like I was getting rid of something very heavy. I love it when I do the right thing LOL. It doesn’t happen every day. Today I gave myself a special kind of independence, and there were no fireworks necessary.

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Ta da! I did it. Sort of.
In my last post, I told you that on day 30 of 40 I lost my Birthday Challenge when I contacted Birdy. Though I’m not particularly proud of that, I forgive myself. No need to make myself eat any harshmellows in repentance. Thirty days is still a decent amount of time. I’m not kidding when I say that I really did learn a lot from the experience. Today I thought I’d write about those 30 days. They weren’t easy, but they also weren’t as awful as I had imagined.

The thing that surprised me most, is how much more even tempered I became. I won’t say I didn’t have ANY bouts of tears (I’m a terrible crybaby), but I had a lot less. A LOT. My mood wasn’t constantly swinging from despair to elation. I wan’t constantly looking to see if I received a text. I seriously calmed the F down. That was good. Life without a man’s attention was actually okay… most of the time. I had moments where I definitely felt lonely, but  I had way fewer of those episodes. I genuinely did experience the ability to find happiness outside of a man. That was momentous for me. Truly.

With all this newfound time on my hands (no job, and no man to focus on),  I immersed myself in positive thoughts and ideas. I guess you can think of it as brainwashing. I washed myself of a lot of my negativity. How? I watched loads of stuff on YouTube. I watched (and continue to watch) anything from Ted Talks to some new-agey sort of ideas that some of you may find odd, but which really seem to work for me. I can honestly tell you that this has sparked a definite change in my thought processes. I see things with slightly different eyes now. I am a bit more confident, a bit more positive, and a lot more okay. I am hoping this will translate into my relationships with the opposite sex. But its not just about guys…

Just to give you an example, on the day I went for my job interview I was so pumped up with the good vibes I got from watching videos, that I KNOW my interviewers felt it. I’m sure it came across in my smile and my confidence (there are very few times in my life where I exuded confidence, but this was one of them). I know that’s why I got the job. I was positively radiating the good stuff. So I can tell you without doubt, that your thoughts really do become things. If you are able to harness this idea, you tap into something incredibly powerful. If you want to know more about this concept, start googling “Law of Attraction.”

So why did I fail the challenge? I actually wanted to ask Birdy a medical question about something that was really bothering me, but then I couldn’t help myself from telling him that I missed him. I told him about my new job and about T. He was kind and understanding, and the next day he asked me to have dinner with him. It was kind of awesome. He actually texted me when I was writing the post  100 Things I Love. It was about a minute or so after typing “unexpected text messages.” I kid you not. I am dead serious when I say that being in that good vibe zone creates magic. I know it sounds all hippy dippy but I totally believe it.

So, after 30 days, do I think life without men is better? Um… no. Love to me is the best feeling in the world, and the greatest gift us humans get while we are on this earth. The problem is, I have not loved or been loved in a very long time. I get high hopes, I have gotten the initial excitement … and then I have gotten terribly disappointed. I don’t think that will always be the case. I know I have a lot to offer, and that somewhere I will find someone worthy of me. It could be Birdy (and I hope it is), but it also could be someone I have yet to meet. I am open to the possibilities.

My takeaway from all of this is 1) thinking positive can attract positive things and 2) that even though I find life more fun with a man, I can actually be okay without one. It really wasn’t as bad I thought.

Currently I am reading a book called 100 Days of Happiness by Fausto Brizzi. It is a fascinating work of fiction about a man who finds out he has terminal cancer (ironic, huh?). The doctor tells him he has about 100 days to live. In those hundred days, he solidifies what is important to him, and there are some places in the book where he gives the reader tips on how to find out what is important to them too.

In one scene, he goes to a restaurant. On the wall, which was divided into two by a line, there was a place for patrons to write “Things I love” and “Things I hate.” Lucio, the guy dying from cancer, invites the reader to do the same. I thought I’d take him up on it. I decided to write only things I love. So here goes:

  1. Me (and why shouldn’t a person be on the top of their own list?) 
  2. My dear friends: they are few but mighty 🙂
  3. My family
  4. Finding pennies on the ground in random places (I save them in a special place, and I think of them as good luck).
  5. People who want to see others succeed– life is not a competition, we are all in this together. Nobody gets out alive, so let’s help each other!
  6. Museums
  7. A great book: I especially like the naughty bits LOL
  8. Frida Kahlo, my soul sister with a unibrow to match my own
  9. Pablo Neruda: a poet who may be the most romantic man who ever lived.
  10. Dita Von Teese’s unabashed but classy sexinessc23b39a5e5382caf4064c6dbfd0d41e2.jpg
  11. Kindness
  12. Dressing up and going somewhere fun
  13. The feel of the sun on my skin
  14. My Stella McCartney sneakers
  15. The color green
  16. Unexpected text messages
  17. That moment when you are at a restaurant and the food arrives to the table.
  18. The anticipation of an adventure
  19. Chocolate dipped coconut macaroons 
  20. Wynwood
  21. Reconnecting with people from the past (people I like LOL)
  22. The lessons my dad taught me. My favorite one is to smile even when you are scared, nervous, or uncomfortable. It throws people off.
  23. The smell of garden tomatoes
  24. Day dreaming
  25. The beach at night
  26. Hand written letters
  27. Music that make me feel empowered
  28. Ted Talks
  29. Making someone smile
  30. Delusions of grandeur… they are fun.
  31. The chocolate chip cookie at Levain
  32. Truly good bread and butter
  33. The romance of Paris, so thick you could cut it with a knife.
  34. Invader
  35. Stand up comedy
  36. Murrays Bagels in NYC
  37. Accomplishing something I wasn’t sure that I could do
  38. The scent of lilacs
  39. Baby slothsa4cd17c7b17fa0670146baa4e77c246b
  40. Cherry blossom trees in bloom
  41. Samosa chaat at a place called Shahanshah in Southall (UK). Its a tiny little hole in the wall that serves the best samosas I ever tasted.
  42. Chatty people
  43. Bubble baths
  44. Browsing in bookstores
  45. Diane Von Furstenburg dresses
  46. Having the house all to myself
  47. That feeling you get when you can tell that someone you adore loves you too
  48. Pancakes at the Wolseley in London
  49. The ceremony of a proper afternoon tea
  50. Documentaries about outer space. I can’t put my finger on why, but I find them very comforting.
  51. Baking something that makes other people happy
  52. Feeling proud of myself
  53. My iPhone
  54. Santa Maria Novella’s Rose Water
  55. Feeling confident 
  56. Unapologetic women9107e60d712e444c3cb62f5bb5c95d95
  57. Learning something new
  58. Open-mindedness
  59. That brief moment when you are sitting in the movie theater and the lights dim
  60. Good hair days
  61. Hot pretzels at the mall
  62. John Galiano’s designs during his Dior days
  63. Clear nights when you can see the stars
  64. What it feels like to be on a motorcycle 
  65. Fairy tales
  66. Optimism
  67. Cartman from South Park
  68. Lightbulb moments of inspiration
  69. Laughter that comes from the heart
  70. Kisses in the park
  71. The few people in life who allow you to be truly yourself
  72. Being healthy (though not necessarily eating healthy LOL)
  73. Good news
  74. Martha Stewart
  75. When things are done to a high standard
  76. Pinterest
  77. Being brave enough to take a risk
  78. Mr Mugatu from Zoolander
  79. YouTube
  80. The people who help you clean up a mess when everyone else has gone.
  81. Holding hands with someone I really care for.
  82. Hearing or saying “I love you”
  83. Comfy fat pants to lounge around the house in … the uglier they are, the more I like them.
  84. Red toenails
  85. When a stranger smiles at you and you smile back
  86. Movies and music from the 80’s

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    From my favorite 80s movie: Some Kind of Wonderful
  87. When someone tells me they miss me
  88. Guys who smell good
  89. Old fashioned glamour
  90. Perfume and the art of perfumery
  91. Naps in the middle of the day
  92. Keeping a journal and reading through it later on. I like to see how far I’ve come.
  93. Buying little gifts for people I love
  94. Being barefoot (but not pregnant)
  95. Laughter in the midst of difficulties
  96. Bollywood, it’s an acquired taste.
  97. Botox followed by burgers
  98. That feeling you get when you know you did a good job at the gym
  99. Getting and giving compliments
  100. Love

And really, there are soooooo many more. This is such a good exercize my lovelies. I urge you to do the same on your blog. I dare you to do it and not crack a smile. Life is short. My friend T is such a perfect example of that. And yeah, it’s not always all pearls and roses, but F that! Let’s make this journey as fun and good as we can. Tell me, what are some things that you love?

 

 

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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?

 

One thing I never wanted to be is a woman on her own with a cat: aka a “cat lady.” I positively loathe the idea. Cats just don’t do it for me. In fact, I don’t think I’m an animal person at all. That poses a little problem, because I really wanted to have a spirit animal LOL … don’t ask me where these ideas come from.

So what exactly is a spirit animal? According to urbandictionary.com, its supposed to be a “representation of your traits and skills that your are supposed to learn or have” (in animal form).

Cats, they certainly exhibit a particular beauty and mystery. They appear to have a certain sort of wisdom in their feline eyes – but despite that, I’ve never been able to really like them. I daresay (sorry cat lovelies) that their is something about them that I actually find somewhat off-putting. Now, before anyone gets too offended, I should say that if we were to go through the entire litany of Noah’s Ark, I don’t think there would be any one creature in the that represents who I am and who I want to be. Therefore, I nominate Cartman from South Park as my spirit animal.

I shall present my case:

“Screw you guys, I’m going home.”

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Cartman is smart enough when to cut his losses. When his devious motives don’t go according to plan, he curses his playmates and leaves the room. What better lesson could I possibly learn? Learning to leave when love is no longer being served is something I have really struggled with. Leaving with your head held high and your middle finger in the air– that’s the way to do it. Cartman is one classy dude, he leaves with a bit of style, and I admire that!

“Respect my authoritah!”

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Wether or not he deserves it, Cartman demands respect and will not tolerate anything else. I can not be beign to count how many times I have let others steamroller over me and put myself in inferior positions for one reason or another. Maybe I didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, maybe I just didn’t want to argue, or maybe it was a lack of confidence. It’s great to admit when you are wrong, but a person should have the courage of their own convictions to demand to be respected for their beliefs.

“What-eva! I’ll do what I want.”

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Another cool thing I admire about Cartman is that he doesn’t second guess himself. He does what he wants and doesn’t feel he needs to seek the approval of others. Yeah, I got to learn how to do that. I feel like I’m too old to worry about what other people think of me. Being a people pleaser all the time can really, as Cartman says, “suck ass.”

Telling it like it is

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OMG, this is like my favorite Cartman quote eva LOL! This one kind of speaks for itself. There is a saying, “speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.” Cartman does that in spades. I gotta say, the tears add that subtle special something. How can you not love this guy. He says it like it is. He says it without apology. He says it with a soupçon of drama. Yeah, he is the man!

But, my favorite thing about Cartman…

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He doesn’t take anyone’s shit. In my all time favorite episode of South Park, “Scott Tenorman Must Die,” Cartman exacts a revenge with such perfect execution of evil genius, I could have wept with glee. When Scott tries to pull one over on Cartman, Cartman devises a highly devious plan of revenge that ends with Scott crying some very rewarding “tears of unfathomable sadness.” Showing someone that you will not lie down when they are trying to take advantage of you can be f*cking sweet and highly empowering!

Perhaps, now that you know my choice for spirit animal, you might be thinking that Caroline is not the best role model out there LOL, but what-eva, I do what I want ;).

Have a great weekend my lovelies *smoochies*