I woke up this morning and realized how tired I am.

Of struggling and being challenged…

financially…feeling broke gets old. Fast.

emotionally…wanting love, but struggling with why I feel that pull strongly lately.

generally…Nala, most recently, and just being on my own, coping with the day to day, you know the drill.

It’s been almost two full years since I’ve been on my own, and while that doesn’t seem like long for many, for me, it feels like a lifetime. And I’m tired. I don’t want to struggle. I am sick of being tested. I am happy, but in the midst of the troughs of struggles and tests, and for once, it’d be nice to just have an even keel where everything just sort of flows.

I’m having a moment and this is my way of letting it out.

Because I know, at the end of the day, my life is pretty awesome, despite it all, and it could always – ALWAYS – be a hell of a lot worse, but some days I just struggle with the positive and the perspective, no matter how much I remind myself to keep it in mind. To have faith in God and to know that my path is here, that this is what I am supposed to be doing.

But sometimes…I’m just tired. I think I’m allowed that, right?

This brings me to a post from Little Big Wolf’s Daily Plate of Crazy that I tucked away…around the “Fairness Doctrine” and the fact that life isn’t fair…but we deal. Couldn’t have said it better myself – and her words really are helping me today to pull myself together, out of the poor-me funk, because they are dead-on:

Life isn’t fair, and I do not believe in Karmic retribution.

I do believe in learning from mistakes, in caution where it is warranted, and in calculated risks.

I believe in trying, and that in itself is success, even if I do not accomplish my goal.

I believe in gratitude, and taking whatever comes with as much grace as I can muster, and I confess that some days that’s none at all.

I believe in reminding myself on a day like today, when darkness is palpable, that there will be light again. That there is light, and for me, that light will always be my sons. They are healthy and flourishing. With values they can honor.

There is also light in the privilege of having raised my children, my younger son yet to be launched, and still, I am learning to raise the child in myself. None of this has been easy, but it is a life. It is my life. And on an anniversary that casts onerous shadows, this morning there is sunshine.

Wow – those are some amazing words that I really needed to hear today, along with a post from Quarter for Her Thoughts on doing singleness well…based on last night’s somewhat-fun (but somewhat-serious) post on asking the universe to date me, it was a humbling and much-needed read too.

I’m tired, but I am also proud…of making it, of dealing with life’s challenges and carving out a life for myself that in the grand scheme of things, isn’t so bad. I need to capture my sunshine and channel the renewed feelings I had earlier this week post-Maine weekend, because being in a funk isn’t much fun, now is it?

~~

Some words from Joel Osteen…

Whenever you experience trouble, challenges and difficulty — the lemons of life — God’s desire isn’t just to bring you through it or for you to just survive! His purpose is to reward you by making something GREAT out of what seems hopeless or feels painful.

Today, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, Jesus is the rock who is high above your circumstances. When you call on Him, He will be with you. He will lead you and guide you into the higher places He has prepared for you.

Heavenly Father, today I release every care and concern to You. Have Your way in my circumstances. Have Your way in my thoughts. Help me, Jesus, to come up higher in every area of my life with You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

But I am tested.

I’m really tested right now…to choose trust and faith and stay in trust and faith…that God is working “behind the scenes” to answer my prayers. My prayers for Nala.

I had to take her back to the vet today, as last night, she started to get very lethargic last night, and very much not herself, the kitty that got her personality back in the last week from the medication she was on. The medication ran out last night and it was clearly why she wasn’t herself, but I became very anxious, scared, and worried in an instant, and suddenly my faith and trust had completely vanished.

As Pete actually told me today, I need to control my anxiety and worry, because I can’t control this, I can just support her, help her and make her feel better as best I can.

And I know that.

But I just want to solve it. And I can’t. And that kills me. Breaks my heart. I love my cats fiercely. We’ve been through so much together, and it’s just totally jarring.

But I know I need to keep my faith and trust strong, continue my prayers and stay calm and just do what I can do to help her and love her. She’s on another round of medication, for a possible upper respiratory infection, or virus (she’s got a bit of the sniffles and runny nose), or any other infection she may have, plus a steroid that should also help, and an amino acid that can help counteract viruses and illness as well.

Being on my own, it’s going to be tough to give her the pills and make sure she’s getting what she needs because I am 1) not good at giving her pills and 2) without an extra set of hands, that becomes increasingly difficult. But, I have my mom and sister to help me, thankfully, and Pete has offered as well, so I am going to be as strong as I can, and trust that God has a plan. I may be tested, but I need to keep my faith strong.

Easier said than done…but I know I need to.

~~~

Today, shake off the temptation to get discouraged during the waiting process. Shake off offense, shake off discouragement. Remember, all it takes is one touch of God’s favor to take you years ahead. Keep standing, keep believing, keep hoping because the answer is on its way the moment we pray!

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Heavenly Father, thank You for hearing me the moment I pray. Today I choose to trust that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf no matter what I see in the natural. I will praise You today and always because You are faithful. I love You and bless You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

To my loving kitty Nala,

I’ve loved you since I set my eyes on you almost 7 years ago, along with your sister Kayla. You’ve helped me mourn and recover the loss of Shelby, one of the best cats in the world, you’ve been my wanna-be puppy, my fur-soulmate, my rock, support, and love, through divorce, and the light in my life.

Now that you are sick with whatever it is that ails you…I vow this to you:

…to not let you suffer.

…to protect you the best I can.

…to love you as hard as humanly possible for as long as I can.

…to help you recover, if that is a possibility.

…and to watch over your sister, and love her just as much as I love you, as long as I have you both as my “children.”

~~~

This is truly a time where I am digging deep, trusting my faith in God, and hoping my Nala is treatable. I took her to the vet this morning as she had a nosebleed…something I’ve never seen a cat have, and something I never really want to see again. When we arrived, they weighed her, as standard protocol.

…and my heart sank.

She’s only 5.5 lbs…2 lbs less than she was 6 months ago.

…bad, very bad.

Me, worried sick, shaking, scared, a million thoughts running through my brain. She had a mysterious illness two summers ago as she had lost some weight (from around 9 lbs to 7.5 lbs) and after many tests, much bloodwork, and a ton of money, the results were inconclusive, and she seemed to stay steady at her weight.

…and now this.

It’s been a very trying day…and I don’t think I’ve had one full hour where I haven’t cried. I fear deep down that whatever she has is not treatable, and I may need to make one of the hardest decisions of my life. I don’t want to, I’m afraid to, I want to hold on tight and never let go…but I will never, ever put either of my cats through pain and suffering for my own selfish desires.

So…I wait, until tomorrow morning, for the blood work to come back. It’s going to be a long evening, but I am trying to stay strong. Some may think a pet is “just”a pet but these are my children and I love them more than anything (almost…), and truly don’t know what I’ll do if I have to make that decision.

….

~~~

Simply stated for Quote Friday today –

“I made it.”

Today’s quote is inspired by the Kevin Rudolf song “I Made It” that I’ve been digging lately, and though all of the lyrics aren’t exactly in line with where I feel my life is (since clearly, I’m not a celebrity who’s made it!), but a certain line in this song totally inspires me, given my week-long series of where it began.

I look up to the sky
and know the World is mine
Ive known it all my life
I made it, I made it!
I used to dream about, the life I’m living now
I know that theres no doubt.
I made it, I made it!

Damn straight. I’ve made it…I’ve come a long, long way since that day in October 2008, and in rehashing where it began, and all of the pain, fear, and absolute crushing sadness, and am where I want to be in life, right now. I want to drink it in, and at the same time, realize that life still has so much in store for me, and it’s my self-professed duty not to get stagnant or reticent, but to keep pushing forward, growing, learning, challenging and conquering.

I know I’ve recapped my year and all that I feel I’ve conquered and overcome a few times, probably many, but I guess I just feel it’s such a huge time in my life, and I’m really proud of where I am now, that it’s hard *not* to talk about it, and in another way, I want to give those that are going through the pain of divorce hope that they will come out stronger on the other side, no doubt, it just happens.

If you believe, it happens.

If you trust, it happens.

If you are committed, it happens.

You’ll make it. I made it, and I never thought it’d be possible.

And now, I’m looking forward. To more personal triumphs – physically and emotionally. It’s been an amazing week, for example…I experienced the Group Kick launch and kicked ass – we all did – and I look forward to continuing to improve, and ace my certification in March. I look forward to running a half-marathon this fall. And I look forward to finding love. I know it’s out there. And the only way to find it, is to have faith it will happen, and to keep your eyes peeled.

I made it. And there’s more to come. Bring it.

Well, it’s Quote Friday, and while I am continuing my series on where my divorce began, I wanted to pull in a quote that ties into that as well:

Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.

I think anyone going through divorce can relate to this – we know pain. we know failure. And, conversely, we know courage and we know bravery. Yet, at the worst of the worst, we can’t fathom courage or bravery, but we do, we make it, we succeed, we are victorious, and we are better people on the other side than we ever thought possible.

~~

The third in a series of posts on the beginning of the end of my marriage, and a look back at our relationship, from meeting, dating, engagement, and the in-laws (that could be an entire blog in itself, but that’s a story for another day…!).

Tuesday. Waking up at my sister’s house. My heart sunk. It was really happening, wasn’t it? Autopilot snapped on, yet I couldn’t ignore the massive, aching, painful feeling in my chest. A heavy, sad, broken heart. It pulsed within my chest, a feeling I will never forget, because I couldn’t believe that you could actually feel a broken heart, but you can. You can feel it throughout your whole being.

I cried. I pulled myself together, hoped the distance was helping, even though it had only been 12 hours at most. I went to work, I put on a “face” and kept to myself in the privacy of my office, door shut most of the day. I cried at one point during the day, as I was IMing with my sister, and the more I tried to hold back, the more I cried. It was two days of this…waking up, crying, going to work, faking it, and getting into the car and breaking down the instant the door was shut. It was the longest two days of my life.

And then it happened.

Wednesday morning. Two days after I left the house. The longest days of my life. Pete called me at work just after 9. I asked him how he was. He said he was fine. I said I missed him. He said he didn’t miss me, he felt a wave of relief, he was happy, and he didn’t need the rest of the week to decide.

It was me.

I was stunned.

I couldn’t believe he called me at work to tell me that. I didn’t know what to say. I started to panic. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t even cry. I was just flailing emotionally to the point of paralysis. I told him I was going home, I couldn’t go through the day knowing what he just told me. He told me he’d come home too, and we’d talk. I made up some lame excuse about a pipe leak at the house and rushed out of there like a bat out of hell. I bumped into BDFF (who was not near divorced yet…) and could barely look her in the eye. She looked at me, eyes wide, asked me what was wrong. I muttered something and couldn’t even look at her. She knew, I could see it. She knew something was wrong, more wrong than it could ever be.

I got in the car, and was shaking, and started to cry. I called Jess (who was back in the office) and told her, and she was about to leave too and come with me, but I told her to stay, I needed to talk to Pete. At that point, I decided I had to tell my mom, really tell her. I had hinted at it in an earlier conversation, but did not nearly tell her the gravity of the situation. I cried all the way home, blurting everything out to her as I drove. I’m sure she didn’t really hear half of what I said, but I could feel her pain for me. And that made it even harder for me, because I knew she wanted to protect me, and take this away for me, and she couldn’t. She knew what I was about to go through would be life-altering, and all she could do was sit back, watch, and be as supportive as possible. It was hard for me, because I knew she was hurting for me, and for some reason, that was so hard for me.

I walked in the door to the house. It was silent. I felt like I’d been gone for weeks. I sat down, I cried again. I waited for Pete to come home and suddenly, I knew what I had to do.

I had to let him go.

Despite the pain and sadness and absolute betrayal I felt, I wasn’t about to beg him to stay. If he was so ready to throw something away that I felt was a mistake, but he was still willing to throw it all away for what he thought would buy him happiness, then he didn’t deserve me.

I don’t know how I was that clear-minded that I thought that at the time, but I vividly remember it.

We talked. I didn’t cry. We were logical. I told him he should move out. He was taken aback. Why, I have no idea…but he was. We talked about what we’d do with the house – try to keep it short-term, sell it long-term – how we’d tell family, what we would say. We called it a separation, but we both knew that was just what we were calling it because it was too hard to say divorce.

Before we ended the conversation and he went back to work, two things stuck out in my mind. First, he said he was shocked at how I was taking this. He thought I was going to beg and fight harder. I told him that if this is what he wants, I’ve tried, and I can’t change it. But to know this – if this is his decision, there’s no turning back. Our marriage as we have ever known it is over. It’s broken, and it’s broken so quickly and so badly that there’s no turning back.

What did he say?

He didn’t know if this was the right decision, but it was the decision he had to make. And knowing there was no turning back was the decision he had to make. Little did I know that that decision would end up being more right for me than it was for him. I saw the confusion in his eyes, I saw the fear, and the worry (what if I am making a bad decision?) but he still made it.

That was the beginning of the end – the end of our marriage, but the beginning of the build-up of me as a courageous, strong, confident, happy single woman.

The first in a series of posts on the beginning of the end of my marriage, and a look back at our relationship, from meeting, dating, engagement, and the in-laws (that could be an entire blog in itself, but that’s a story for another day…!).

So, “where it began” really doesn’t even scratch the surface of the beginning of the end of my marriage, and I don’t think I’ve quite recounted that here yet, in almost a year. Perhaps part of it was purposeful, for not wanting to relive those moments, but now that I am so far beyond that, looking back feels more like continued healing, and, sharing the experience with all of you – those going through divorce as we speak, those recently separated, those who are well beyond as “freshly” divorced as me (September, officially). So, here goes…

It was late October, just after our two-year wedding anniversary, which came and went without so much as dinner out, no card, no romance, not much out of the ordinary. And, not that I’ve got high expectations or am high-maintenance when it comes to “stuff” in a relationship, but it just felt definedly different. And, Pete had been acting differently over the past month, sort of withdrawn, not himself, stressed out, lost in his own world. It didn’t feel terribly different than when he’d been stressed out at work in the past, as he sometimes shuts into himself and just deals with it on his own, but at the same time, it was much longer than normal, and he just wasn’t himself. We weren’t having sex, and we hadn’t for quite awhile (at least 2-3 weeks) and he was just withdrawn. There. But not. So, that night (I think it was a Sunday, but I don’t remember the actual date), as we were laying in bed and his indifference and quietness finally got to me.

I asked him what was wrong, he didn’t answer. I asked him if he was ok. He didn’t answer. I asked him if he was stressed. He said yes. I asked him if it was work. He said he didn’t know. I asked him if it was his family and he said no. I asked him if it was me – fully expecting him to say ‘stop being stupid’ – and he said yes. I asked him what he meant. He said he didn’t know. He was facing away from me in bed, and curled up, and he refused to look at me. I shook him slightly and asked him to explain what he meant. By that point, my heart had sunk, my body was shaking, my knees were knocking and I was scared. This felt real, and scary, and the first inkling in my mind that something was definitely – perhaps permanently – wrong. And to think it could be us was so infathomable to me at the time, that I was in utter shock.

Then he said it.

I’m not happy. Something is wrong with me. I think it’s us. I think I don’t want to be married anymore.

Blindsided.

I was crying, shaking, bawling, but at the same time, I was angry. I didn’t understand, I thought he was jumping to conclusions. HOW COULD IT BE US?! It has never been us. So, HOW COULD IT BE US? After almost 9 years together and 2 years of marriage and never a fight between us.

How could it be us?

I just didn’t understand, and I cried, and I tried to understand, and I just didn’t. I said that I refuse to believe that, that it can’t be us, that we have a wonderful marriage, we don’t fight, we are very compatible, we have a wonderful home, two wonderful cats, a brand new bathroom that we designed top to bottom, a circle of friends, good jobs…and each other.

So, how could it be us?

We went to bed that night agreeing that we needed to talk, and figure out WHAT this was. That it WAS NOT us, that maybe he should talk to someone, that maybe he was just confused.

The next day, I woke up and thought it was one of those nightmares that just you wake up from and realize it wasn’t true, and you feel a wave of relief. Yet, it WAS true, and I was scared, and ashamed, and sad, and crushed, and well, broken. I didn’t tell anyone, I was afraid to, I was ashamed to say it, for fear of making it real. But it was real, and I had no idea where to begin, what to do, how to save it, or fix it. I wanted to run away. I wanted to hide. And most of all, I wanted it not to be us, and for Pete to come back to me and realize what we had was one of a kind, and could never, ever be recreated.

I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the beginning of the end…but also the beginning of the beginning, of the most awe-inspiring year of my life.

Wow, writing this down brings me rushing back to that moment – I can feel my knees shaking, I can feel the bewildered look in my eyes, and in Pete’s, and I never, ever want to feel that way again. Tomorrow, part II of this post – and realizing, that at 29, I was going to get divorced.

To be continued…

~~

Broken. It’s how I felt. This song spoke to me, for months. I was broken, I didn’t how to fix it, I didn’t know where to go. Who used to “fix” me, comfort me, make me smile, make me feel safe – was him. My love, my best friend, my all….and he wasn’t that anymore. How do you feel anything *but* broken?

More and more. I am finding that I am my own worst enemy, and way more than I thought I ever was! With every challenge I encounter, my fears, self-doubts and anxiety tend to take over sometimes, and impact my performance. Whether that performance be how I handle a challenge, or confronting an issue I’ve been trying to deflect, or, literally, performing.

Enter Group Kick.

I know I tend to talk about this a lot lately, but it’s literally on my mind 24/7. If I’m not working, I’m Kick-ing, if I’m not Kick-ing, I’m thinking about cuing, or certain moves or tracks, and hoping that I can perform when it really matters.

Tomorrow is one of those moments that I need to truly shake off the enemy sitting on my shoulder, casting doubt on my abilities to perform, to put on a good show, and to KICK SOME with attitude. I KNOW I have it in me, I show it when I’m not “on stage” but why, oh why, can’t I do it when it counts most?

Because I’m my own worst enemy.

I need to crack the enemy code and have faith in myself. I have faith in myself in every other way in my life right now, but why, when it comes to truly performing do I crack?

I know why.

I have a deep-seeded shyness from my childhood that I’ve overcome for the most part, but still hits me at the worst possible moments sometimes. It’s amazing how habitual shyness can be, and how it can overshadow EVERY SINGLE THING YOU DO, unless you kick it away and put on the face of confidence. My job requires confidence, and it requires some sense of performance and presentation and from time to time, it still gets me. I get stage fright. It’s silly, really…I’ve been doing my job for about eight years, I know my shit! I do!

Same with Kick. I know the moves cold, I am 75% there on the cuing, and can fine-tune that in the two weeks we have until launch, so why do I freeze??

Back to tomorrow and why it’s important. Tomorrow is a crucial practice and I need to shake it off and bring it. We’re running through the entire release, being filmed and critiqued by our fitness director. We have one week until a closed preview class and two weeks until launch – we have to do well tomorrow. I have to do well tomorrow, like WHOA! I’m going to dig deep and do my best, because I know I have it in me.

I just need my enemy to disappear. Can someone tie him up and toss him in a closet for me? That’d be great – thanks 😉