I’m dating myself because … well, because I’m alone. It has been a long time since I was without a man. To be honest, I don’t like the way it feels. I have some girlfriends, but it’s not the same thing. I wish I could say that between them, and enjoying my own company, that I feel fulfilled. I don’t, far from it. I’m not going to pretend, because maybe somewhere out there is a woman just like me, going through something similar, and maybe she needs to feel like someone else feels the same way. I have learned that knowing that you are not some kind of alien that nobody can relate to is a really big deal.

Though I don’t love how I feel, I want to relearn to be okay just by myself. I wanted to share this video, because I thought it was super awesome, and kind of inspiring. It was one of the few things I found that made me feel like being alone isn’t the most awful thing in the world. Maybe I can learn something from it, or at least, that is my hope:

Some other good things about being alone…

You have nobody to answer to.
You have nobody to answer to.
There is a power in discovering that you can do things for yourself (I'm not there yet, but I hope to be one day).
There is a power in discovering that you can do things for yourself  and by yourself (I’m not there yet, but it will come).
You don’t have to feel guilty about being the most important thing in your life.
You don’t have to feel guilty about being the most important thing in your life. Being selfish is oodles of fun.

It’s time for me to love myself. I guess it’s not something I’m very good at. Do I like myself? Yes, most definitely. Do I think I’m a great person with a loving heart and much to offer? Absolutely. Do I love myself? Well… I don’t know. It’s something I guess I’m going to have to work on.

What do you do when you are feeling low? I am sure we all have days where we just feel defeated by life. One thing I really like is collecting empowering quotes on Pinterest that I can look at when I need some encouragement.

The last day that I ever saw my husband was in court. I say “saw” but I didn’t actually see him. I was so angry, hurt and repulsed by his presence that all I could force myself to look at was a little piece of his elbow. I was on the verge of tears the whole time, desperate not to break down. There was one thing that helped me keep my composure, and those were the words of inspiration I had collected. From time to time I’d glance at my Pinterest app on my phone. I’d focus on the little messages of hope and encouragement, and somehow, I got through it. Today I thought I’d share some of those words with you, and I hope they give you a little boost when you need one.

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This one, I actually made the as the lock screen on my phone.
This one, I actually made the as the lock screen on my phone.

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Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway

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My favorite one of all is this poem by Maya Angelou. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read it, and what a source of inspiration it has been for me.

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Do you have any favorite quotes that make you feel strong? I’d love to hear them.

Sisters Before Misters
Sisters Before Misters

Recently I found a website called First Wives World. It is an online support group for divorced women or women who are thinking about divorce, and it has been such an amazing resource for me. For one thing, it is so freeing to feel validated. It’s just the most liberating thing in the whole world to know that you are not alone. These feelings of hopelessness that I sometimes suffer from, the attacks of “the crazies”, the fear, the pain, the loneliness… it’s all normal. Who would have guessed? I’m not just some big drama queen cry baby, after all.

On the website it allows you to write a little blog post if and when you feel like it. I did feel like it… sometimes I just have the worst verbal diarrhea LOL. I have so many emotions that I want to get out. It’s why I blog. Anyways, I did that on a particularly low day, and I just got the most amazing heartfelt responses from these wonderful women that I never met before. Getting all those encouraging and sympathetic messages … I don’t know how to describe it except to say that my heart felt bigger. And guess what? They actually featured my post in their newsletter! How awesome is that?!?!

On one hand, it makes me sad that all these great ladies have to go through this along with me. So many of us share the same story. So many of us have sacrificed out of love only to be repaid by the ultimate betrayal. On the other hand, it gives me hope because these women, even though they are feeling down, still have enough love in their hearts to try to help someone else. What is more beautiful than a person who has been kicked, but still bothers to help another?

Growing up, I was always aware of how girls always seemed to be tearing each other down. Did you ever notice, for example, how if you are in a group of females, and one of them leaves to use the bathroom, everyone starts gossiping about her? Girls can be so catty and awful to each other; but true women don’t compete, they empower each other.  My post today is dedicated to those awesome ladies who fight to keep their heads above water, while rescuing the drowning. You inspire me.

0a1d06bb9961ad6cdfd78e8e3db7d383My deepest wish, since I separated from my soon to be ex husband, was that one day I would be sitting on the couch with the man I love, and I’d feel safe, loved unconditionally. I wanted to be with someone who I could feel confident enough to say, “yeah, he’s got my back.” To me, that’s what love is about. The high romance of the first couple years of a relationship is awesome, but when it mellows into a more mature partnership, you should be left with a best friend, a lover, and a partner who you feel confident isn’t going to dump you like a hot potato when things are bad.
I had a really bad week last week. When I say bad, I mean that my mother was making emergency calls to a psychiatrist. Things get so hard for me sometimes, so desperate and overwhelming. It is during these times that I am prone to emotional outbursts. Actually, the film Exorcist comes to mind LOL, but this is when I need love and support the most. This is when I’m aching to hear someone say, “it’s okay, I’ll be with you no matter what. I love you, and you will never be alone.” Someone did say that to me: my mother. Everyone else jumped ship.
Something has changed inside me. Although I’m totally okay with apologizing when I know I’m wrong (and I have), now it’s gone the other way. I want the people in my life who turned their back on me when I needed them most to apologize to me. I want to be acknowledged as a human being with a right to her own feelings and emotions, not shunned like a leper. I’m starting to think that if someone lets go of my hand when I am suffering, maybe I shouldn’t be holding it. It is a sad revelation, but I think it’s something that I need to confront. Maybe there is no knight in shining armor, maybe I’m going to have to rescue myself… but it’s okay. I am starting to realize that I can do this. As of now, I’ve got my own back.

She may be unlucky in love, but Morello can totally rock "Spinster Chic."
She may be unlucky in love, but Morello can totally rock “Spinster Chic.” As for me, I’m more Dior than detention center, so I just have to leave karma to deal with my ex.

I haven’t been in the mood to write. I just don’t do anything worthy of writing about. This week I hardly went out at all. It’s not east to do stuff when you don’t have a car and are constantly at the mercy of others to take you places. You just become a burden. It gets embarrassing having to always ask for help. So this week I took to downloading Orange is the New Black. For the last several days I’ve been watching episode after episode. I am in the middle of season two, and I am completely riveted.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it, but I totally recommend it. It’s a comedy/ drama about the lives of women in prison. I feel so akin to the women on the show. No, I’ve never been in trouble with the law, but each one has a very relateable story. They are stories about mixing in with the wrong people, stories of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and stories about not having the same chances that “normal” people have. Of all the women on the series, there is nobody I relate to more than a character called Lorna Morello.

Morello is introduced as a friendly, welcoming, big hearted woman. She goes out of her way to be cheerful and kind. You can’t help but like her. In the first series she goes on and on about her fiancée Christopher. It seems like she spends most of her time in prison planning her wedding and the honeymoon. You can tell it’s what keeps her alive while she is locked up. It is not until the second season, however, that the audience discovers that Morello suffers from some kind of mental illness. She is a stalker, and Christopher is most definitely not her fiancée.

I feel for Lorna so much because I too have such a desperate desire to love and be loved. It’s what makes life worth living for me. I know what it feels like to love a man so deeply, only to have him pull away. More importantly, I understand all to well about the the craziness a girl can experience when that love is not returned. I was on depression medication for almost a year after I found out my husband was unfaithful to me. The thing is, I could have dealt with the infidelity. What I couldn’t get past was when he spelled it out for me: “I just don’t love you anymore.” I wonder what happens to all this love when nobody wants it? Sometimes it feels like your heart will just dry up and wither into nothingness, leaving you in an empty, bitter prison of your own making. Sometimes you wish that your heart would actually shrivel up, because the hurt is just too much, and you just would rather be numb than suffer. I know I’m not alone when I say that being in love has caused me more than my share of trouble and has been behind some very poor decision making. But still, I actually believe that love is the most beautiful and magical thing a person can experience. I’m not sure if that makes me a foolish glutton for punishment, or brave. For me, love is like the Holy Grail, and it is why I keep going. I don’t care if I ever live in a beautiful home or drive a fancy car. I don’t care of I have a great job or the admiration of others. Don’t get me wrong, all those things are great, and I accept any blessings God wants to throw my way. But for me, success is about having someone to come home to at the end of the day, someone who you know has your back. The prospect of that is what makes me want to wake up in the morning. My sincerest, deepest wish for myself is that one day my heart will be held by someone who knows it’s value. One day (hopefully in December), a man (who’s name might be “Napoleon”) is going to hug me (in Paris, perhaps?) with enough love that all the millions of pieces of my broken heart will be glued back together. Stay tuned… 😉

Well, from one prison to another, some good news is that I’ve been offered a job (subject to a background check and a drug test). After over ten years of being a housewife, I will be a working girl again. As much as I hate the idea of becoming some horrible drudge who does the same boring job day in and day out, the truth is, that is what I’m becoming by staying in the house all day anyway. It’s one thing when you have a husband and a home to look after, but just hanging around in my mom’s house is freaking boooooring! At least if I’m going to be bored, I can make some money LOL. Caroline has some adventures left, and if you know me, you know that my adventures aren’t cheap! It’s time for me to come out of hiding and get into the real world. It’s time for me to socialize with other people (if I can still remember how to do it). This is a huge step for me. I’m a bit nervous, but I’m totally ready.

So, this morning I was reading a post on a blog that I like to read, and it said that when things aren’t great, don’t be afraid to dream. The thing is, I think I’ve lost my ability to do that. Let me put it this way… if I was writing the story of my life, and I wanted to write in a happy ending, I have no idea how I would want it to go. When I ask God for help, I don’t even know what to ask for. I find myself on my knees, mute, my eyes full of tears, silently begging for an ending that I can’t even find the words to articulate. My mind is not capable of envisioning it. Obviously I want to be happy, but what happiness looks like, I can no longer imagine. This was how I felt when I left my home over a year ago, and this is also how I feel now.

When is the Happiness Fairy going to wave it’s magic wand in my direction? I know part of the way to entice her into my vicinity is to be grateful for the things I do have. Some good things did happen this week, so let me list them:

1) I got my driver’s licence. That was kind of a big deal for me. Okay, there’s no car, but it’s still pretty awesome!

2) After four job interviews, I finally went on one that I actually found decent AND it really went well. The interviewer and I seemed to have connected on both a personal and professional level. I really hope I get it!

3) I went to the eye doctor to have some new glasses made up, and it turns out that my vision got better! That never happens!

4) On Thursday my mom and my sister and I had lunch at my favorite pizza place in the area, Scarfone’s. They do an eggplant pizza that is simply to die for. The eggplant pieces are sliced very thinly, coated in breadcrumbs, fried, and scattered along a gorgeous coal fired pie like (ugly but delicious) jewels. There’s the slightly sweet sauce, the creamy mozzarella and ricotta cheeses (*sigh* ricotta), fresh basil, savory crispy eggplant, and the perfectly charred crust. There is such a wonderful combination of flavor and texture that work together so perfectly without competing. If you are ever in the area, I urge you to try it!

Mmmm :)... are you feeling this or what?
I’m drooling at the memory of it’s deliciousness.

This was followed up by ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. Yes, I am a piggy.

Hmmm... maybe I can be happy without a man (but I'd be diabetic LOL).
Hmmm… maybe I can be happy without a man (but I’d be diabetic LOL).

Gosh you know what? Just writing that stuff down actually made me feel a little better. Seriously!

I know the trick to this all is to leave it to God. I know things will happen in their own time, the way they are supposed to happen. It’s not really for me to second guess His plan. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, and my belief has not changed. I know that the most beautiful things grow out of the ugliest of situations. Furthermore, it’s not like there aren’t people in worse off situations than me. It’s just that when you can no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is normal to question wether or not it actually exists. You just have to trust that it is there. But I have some good news my friends: ice cream and pizza still tastes awesome in the dark!

Breakfast at Panera: Asiago  bagel with egg and cheese
Breakfast at Panera: Asiago bagel with egg and cheese

I hope against hope that my divorce is reaching it’s end. I can’t allow myself to dream too much, because there is only so much loss a person can take. At this point, I’ve learned to be prepared for everything and anything. Living in fear this past year has changed me. Some of the changes are for the better. For example, I am now much clearer about what is important to me and what isn’t. I have more defined priorities, and I have eliminated a lot of the frivolous stuff. I think at age 39, I have finally matured into a woman.

There is also a tremendous downside: I don’t feel human sometimes. I feel like some crazed “thing.” All of this grief and drama has done something to me that I hate. Even after a whole year of suffering, I still feel so raw and exposed. So many times I’d wish that I would just stop existing. I never actually wanted to kill myself, but I did want to “disappear” and just stop being. It was only last week that my mother had to extract me from my sister’s closet where I was lying on the floor, in the dark, and crying like a wounded animal.

During my career as a blogger, if one would call it a career, I have always tried to write about the the things that made me happy. I wrote about food, travel, art and all the fun involved with being fabulous and female. I wanted to make people laugh and wanted my blog to be tons of fun… I intend to go back to that. I don’t want this to be a blog about divorce. It’s a blog about me, but unfortunately, right now, this divorce stuff consumes me.

These days, I can’t think about the future too much, because it is so fraught with uncertainty. For a control freak like myself, who likes to have all the details figured out, it frightens me enough that I know I’ll just run back into the closet (or bathroom) and crumble. Right now my life is about taking baby steps. For me, that starts with remembering what if feels like to be human.

If I remember correctly, humans eat breakfast. Ah, who am I kidding, in all my years I’ve probably missed about two breakfasts in my entire life. Just check out my thighs, they will tell you stories! All you have to do is read the braille (aka celulite). Although I do not enjoy food as much as I once did, I still find eating one of life’s greatest pleasures. And one thing you might not know about me, is that I am a bagel whore. Like my soon to be ex husband, I like anything with a hole (bagels and donuts for me, and mildly retarded whores for him).  So, in an effort to rediscover a bit of humanity, once or twice a week I go with my mom and/or sister to Panera for breakfast and indulge in the forbidden: carbs.

One thing I missed in London was good bagels. I never truly found a great one there (though I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before that changes, London is one of the most incredible foodie scenes in the world). Although Panera is a far cry from my Holy Grail bagel joint in New York, it is indeed a pleasure. So one morning I came to gobble up an asiago egg and cheese bagel with a cup of tea, and another day a delicious and highly calorific cinnamon crunch bagel with full fat cream cheese. Taking baby steps can be the equivalent of a great leap when you are low.

Please ignore the cinnamon crumb cake that hides behind my already super fattening breakfast bagel. It was free, so no judgements please.
Please ignore the cinnamon crumb cake that hides behind my super fattening breakfast bagel. It was free, so no judgements please.