Well, this is it.

My very last post for To Be Determined.

After today, I am going to dedicate my time to my “evolved” blog and though I am looking forward to it, I am nostalgic as I wish I could take this “home” with me to my new home. But for now, I will just visit it every so often, look back at the almost-three years worth of blog posts on my life and what I’ve accomplished.

It almost brings tears to my eyes to think back at where I began to where I am now. I never want to let her go…that scared, fragile, heart-broken, weak, sad and sometimes angry person I was…because I learned so much from her, and how I could turn those negative characteristics and emotions into strength, resilience, perserverence, happiness, and a (usually) abounding sense of perspective.

I’m proud of her ,and who she’s become. And while I am letting her go in favor of the me I am now, she has shaped me into who I am today. I’m damn proud. I don’t care if this post sounds a bit indulgent…I know it probably does, but after getting through the difficulties of divorce and all of the baggage that comes with it (poor finances, loss of a house, lack of confidence, sadness and loss), I’m not her anymore.

I’m me…renewed.

And I thank you all for joining me in my journey and allowing me to share in yours. Cheers, friends.

“There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.”

~~

*If you would like to follow my new blog, simply leave me a comment here and I will email you the link*

Some of my favorite moments of 2010…recapped here, in ‘moment-style’…

at this moment, surer than ever…

life, amplified.

the vacation of a lifetime. like whoa.

moving…again.

the best summer ever, hands down.

…turning a corner, and recovering, my little Nals.

prosseco on the beach. Um, yes.

Maine, Maine, Maine, Maine and Maine!

auntie throwdown…in style.

Tiago. Enough said.

sweating a weekend away.

honest, true, friendship. And some epic-ness.

simple, yet powerful.

bloggy friend meet-up!

BISC Vegas-style!

of pity parties and clarity.

...realizing I’m worth more.

one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

until this.

I’m sure I’m missing many moments from 2010 that I’d rewind 100 times over because of what they stood for, what they’ve helped me become, and of course for the fun many of them entail. 2010…you’ve been one hell of a year, and if it’s been *that* good, I can’t even imagine how good 2011 is going to be. I’m belted in, and ready for the ride.

Bring it.


Is learning that being alone is okay.

That being independent is phenomenal.

That ultimately, I don’t *need* a man to be happy.

(so says she, now that she *has* a man.)

I know, that may be what some of you may be thinking. But truly, this year was a struggle with myself in terms of realizing that I need to release, let go, and it will happen (even though I *did* get sick of hearing this). And in the meantime, I can completely enjoy my life, for me, and nobody else.

And I did.

I think I met Doctor Boy at exactly the right time in my life, and in the year, because I firmly believe I needed to struggle through that in-between of wanting to be in a relationship and finding love, while also wanting to sustain my independence and life I’d built for myself. At the time I met Doctor Boy, I had finally released my mind from wanting to find love so badly and I think that really did help me. It helped me see the potential sitting in front of me, and in the time that had lapsed from my last quasi-relationship with CBE, I had my firm list of dealbreakers and dealmakers in mind, and knew that I wanted to keep my life as ‘mine’ as possible while also letting in love.

It’s still a struggle every single day, to be honest, in keeping the balance I want, while also releasing some of that routine that I don’t always need to keep and just enjoying the man – and the life – in front of me.

But I’m proud. Of how far I’ve come, in this second year post-marriage, learning to be “okay” with being alone and ultimately finding someone so special to share in the life I’ve built for myself. It’s been quite a year. And I won’t spend one day not realizing how blessed I am. I know it, appreciate it, and love it.

What are you most proud of this year?

~~
If you only knew what the future holds, after a hurricane comes a rainbow…maybe you’re reason why all the doors are closed, so you can open one that leads you to the perfect road…

Seriously, is 2010 thisclose to being over?

As I look back at 2010, it’s really hard for me to capture my favorite moments of the year, but I plan to do that, as this year as turned into one of the best years of my life…something I never dreamed possible so soon after my divorce.

As part of that, I wanted to look back at some of my favorite posts of 2010 (here’s my list from last year – some of these continue to be my all-time favorites!):

  1. My blog series on my divorce: Probably one of the hardest things I have ever written, but with the most reward. The comments and feedback (emails and on my blog directly) were simply amazing.
  2. There’s Gotta Be Someone for Me Out There: My dealbreakers (and this list also ties in). And man, Doctor Boy fits all of these. Realizing that now as I re-read that post. Wow.
  3. Happy Birthday To Be Determined!: My blogoversary post was fun to write, and also tied back to some of my favorite posts and reasons why I blog.
  4. “When the world whispers ‘give up, Hope whispers, try it one more time:” One of several posts on Nala’s illness this year that I cried through writing (this was the other one) and knowing now that she is SO much better, my heart sings. I remember writing this and just praying so hard for improvement. Wow.
  5. “If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden:” One year anniversary of my Nonna’s passing. I still miss her every single day, but can feel her all around me. Always.
  6. My Man Audits (I and II) – these are just funny. Give ’em a read (perhaps gives new appreciation for finally finding love with Doctor Boy, no?
  7. Maine, if you were a man, I’d marry you. Wow, I already can’t wait to get back to Maine this summer. Absolutely my favorite memories and posts this year were about Maine. Brings me back to that happiness instantly.
  8. Sometimes all you need is family and a lot of faith: I wrote a lot about my sister Jen’s illness after she had my niece Isabel and this post makes me cry every time I read it. I was scared, I was worried and my heart was breaking for my sister. Looking back now, I am eternally grateful for her health now and my dear niece Isabel, well, I just love her to pieces…cue, next favorite blog:
  9. An Open Letter to my Niece Isabel Ann: This post is probably one of my top 3 favorite posts this year. I love her so much and the instantaneously love I felt for her will never, ever wane.
  10. Defining the Feeling and “Can I ask you a Question?”Two defining moments for me this year, beyond all else. I found love. Finally. Yes, this is it.
  11. And my bonus favorite post this year? My “I want” post – is still my all-time favorite post for the sheer fact that I got some of the best feedback I have ever gotten from you all. Thank you. Always.

It was so hard to pick some of my favorites because each and every post I write, I write with purpose and with meaning. I love to write, I love to share my story and I love, love, love all of the feedback and this blog family that gets bigger by the day.

2010…well, she had a fair share of ups and downs by as this year slowly comes to a close, the ups far outweigh the downs, like whoa.

So, I’ve taken the plunge and started my new blog and will begin transitioning to that one, from here.

But it begs the question…where do I go from here?

I still have so much to say and some posts I want to post here, before completely transitioning over.

Part of me is sad to say goodbye to this blog, as it’s been my haven for going-on three years now (wow!).

Part of me is overwhelmed by how much groundwork I need to re-lay on my story.

And part of me wonders how much of that story I should include on that blog (since I am starting from scratch and not carrying any of my posts from here to that blog, for obvious anonymity reasons!), and how much I should just let trickle out as time goes on, given my readership will my “family” of readers until I can re-build up a new following.

But the bottom line is this: I’m ready for the evolution.

As there is so much more I want to say, and so much I have not disclosed here, that I feel I can better in my new “home.”

I plan to do a few more posts here, at least, including a look back at my year, some of my favorite posts, and of course, a closing post to make sure anyone that didn’t see my post a couple weeks ago about my decision to change my blog, will know now.

Thank you for all of your support and comments and enthusiasm towards my decision, here, and in my new “home” and hopefully I can get my thoughts together to do a few good posts coming up soon (as right now, I feel far too overwhelmed…change afoot everywhere, but all good changes, of course).

Your independence.

When I asked Doctor Boy what the one thing he loved most about me was, I wasn’t expecting the response I got.

Him: “I love so many things about you. Do I have to pick one?”

Me: Blushing. “Yes.”

Him: “I love your independence.”

Me: “Really?” That’s what you love most? Wow.”

…and not that I don’t agree that I am independent. I guess I didn’t expect for it to be that obvious that I *am* independent or for him to love that so much about me. But he does. And that means so much to me. Because he respects my routine (yet nudges me to let go just a little bit), he respects my need for a healthy balance of me time, friend time, and time spent with him. And he just genuinely loves me for me.

And more and more, I am falling so hard in love, and it doesn’t scare me one bit. He’s really it. The real deal. The one I want to spent every minute with, that ‘gets’ my humor (as his is similar), that is driven (check!), happy (check!), also independent (check!), supportive of my every decision, and  one of the most generous men I have ever met (yet not in a going-overboard-to-woo-me way).

I told him that what I love about him is just that. His drive. His ambition. His generosity. HIM.

I love him. Through and through. He’s awesome.

Indescribable.

~~

And I never want to take it for granted. And I know I need to let go of my routine a little bit more. Or, invite him into it more. I do, to a point, but why not just embrace it? I will. One step at a time.

Has been met.

But I can’t tell you what it is.

And it’s killing me.

I will, but I can’t. Not here, and not now.

Perhaps it will be the first post on my new blog, and I know it’s a ridiculous tease to even mention it here without being able to disclose it. (hint: if you email me, I will tell you! drop me a line…and some of you already know what it is, privately, of course)

I will say this – it does tie in to one of my resolutions for 2010…and maybe that will help you connect the dots. But I am so proud of how far I’ve come and how 2011 is truly shaping up to be utterly amazing in so many ways.

Beyond this ‘unspoken’ resolution I vowed for this year, I’ve accomplished so much, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Hell, I’ve found love! I never even thought that would happen, and I’m embracing it, I promise. It will be difficult to capture all that 2010 has meant to me, but I plan to, in upcoming posts, because I want it seared in my memory forever (and documented here, before I shift into my new blog…or shall we just call it an evolution of TBD?)

So, friends, know that there is major change afoot in my life. It’s scary. It’s brand spanking new. And I’m ready to dive in. Wheee!

 

To think about the next phase of my blog.

And moving it.

To a new, anonymous blog.

I never thought I would see the day that I’d decide this is what I want to do, but for now, I think it is.

I find that more and more I censor some of what I say, or avoid topics altogether.

And the purpose of this blog is to be transparent with what I’m feeling and experiencing and while the majority of my posts do bare that, not all of them do.

So, in the next month or so (or less, if I can swing it sooner), I’m going to start investigating some options to transition this blog into a new one. With a new name, a new look, and reflecting the “me” I am today.

I think the hardest part is coming up with a new blog name (and knowing I will lose some followers for awhile, but hopefully will build up the new soon enough!), but I have a few good candidates in mind and can’t wait to get started on this new blog journey.

What I will need from you, friends, is to let me know if you would like to follow my new blog, so if you do, just comment here and when the new one is ready, I will email it to you separately, and for now, will continue blogging here as always, until I pull the trigger 🙂

I think it’s time.

Don’t you?

(Thanks T and IntrigueMe for prodding me along to go for it)

On this Thanksgiving, it’s hard for me to put into words just how thankful I am to be where I am in my life, at this very moment. Incredible.

Even more incredible is looking at my post last Thanksgiving and at that point, feeling so thankful for MY life and what it had become, only one year after being in such pain and sadness that Thanksgiving 2008. Who knew it would get better and better to this point today? Sure, this year has had its fair share of ups and downs, but it’s truly been the year of me, and to now include love within that life blows my mind.

So, the quote I’m using today, really does sum it up, for me, and for you, I hope, as you piece together the good in your lives, despite whatever bad may be brewing as well:

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

What am I thankful for this year?

…my family, their good health, and our closer-than-ever bond (cue sisters!).

…my beautiful niece who I don’t think I could love any more than I do right now. She’s amazing.

…stability. in finances (somewhat), job, and personal health (these things we take for granted, sometimes, don’t we?).

…my friends. they’ve been my stability and my sanity. And always will.

…Doctor Boy. Enough said.

…my cats (yes, my cats!) and their health, especially Nala’s.

…happiness. Through and through.

…challenges and pain. Mentally and physically (cue half-marathon this year on the physical pain side..and challenge side).

…the potential that lies ahead. I know there is more to come, if I work at it, and that’s thrillling!

Be thankful. It’s a powerful feeling. Happy Thanksgiving all!

 

Who *am* I?

It’s so tough to capture “me” in words (sort of like writing about what you look for in a mate on match.com or any other dating site!) because while I know who I am, defining myself for the purposes of this blog has been really hard to wrap my head around.

Probably because I’ve changed a lot since I first put pen to paper blog a year and a half ago (February 2009) and 600 posts later.

But, here goes, my take on “who I am”  –

I’m 31 and divorced (almost) two years counting. But that doesn’t define me (anymore).

I started this blog in February 2009 with the goal of chronicling my pending divorce (which occurred on September 11, 2009, after being separated since October 2008), and since then, it has morphed into my haven. For sharing my thoughts on what has gotten me through divorce, my mantra for choosing happiness, gaining (and keeping) perspective on life, challenges, self, and love, as well as my two-year journey towards finding love (again). This is my story, picking up the pieces of my heart, redefining myself, shaping my life into what it is today, and determining what it is I want in a relationship and a man.

I am happy, strong, confident, motivated, self-aware and willing to take chances. Why? Because life is too short for regrets and what’if’s. This is my life. Determined.

To Be Determined. I’ve conquered the sadness and pain, determined to move forward. To Be Determined…my life, anew. Now? To Be Determined, where will I go next? TBD…

(note: some helpful links to read my backstory can be found here or under “some of my favorites” where I include a series on the beginning of the end of my marriage.

What do you think?