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).

Randomly realized this is my 600th blog post today while checking out some of my stats (nearing 100K site visits too – amazing what can happen in less than two years of blogging, isn’t it?!) while also realizing that some of the content on my blog feels a little outdated.

I know I need to refresh it in many ways (going back to that pesky resolution/goal for 2010 to make my blog me!), but one thing that feels outdated is my “who I am” section:

I’m a 30 31 year old woman who has gone through a huge life change over the last two years…I got divorced from a man I have been with for almost 10 years. It’s been an eye-opening process and I am realizing life is all about determination and moving on with your life. So, I call my blog “To be determined” which signifies a few things…to be determined in terms of redefining my identity and what I want the next phase of my life to look like, and to be determined in terms of being determined to be strong, hopeful, and happy for where life will take me.

This blog chronicles my thoughts on moving on, rediscovering who I am and where I want to go in life, entering the dating world, and my ongoing friendship with my now ex-husband. This is my story, day by day.

To catch up on where things began, check out this post, and for when it ended, click here.

While in some ways, it still captures the goal and feel of this blog, in other ways, it doesn’t.

That “huge life change” (read: divorce) feels like ancient history already. It feels like a label. I’m not that label anymore. I’m a survivor. I’m a conqueror. I’m independent. I’m not redefined…I’m refined, into the me that was always there but somehow hidden. I’m me. Probably for the first time in years, I feel more “me” than I ever have felt.

That’s amazing to say and write and feel.

Yes, I am determined. In many ways. I’ve moved on, though, beyond the pain and sadness to a phase in my life where I have never been more self-aware, self-assured and confident that my life as I have laid it out, is exactly what it’s meant to be.

But, “To Be Determined” in the sense of an open slate…what’s next?

What is next?

Time will tell. I want to take the next challenge, push myself out of my comfort zone and go for it.

What is it, you ask?

Well, TBD. 😉

(how’s that for a teaser?! And now to think of how to rephrase my “who I am” section…)

I’ve been thinking all day about my post last night, with regard to my feelings for my ex-husband and feeling a little sad.

Maybe it’s because our relationship is (again) evolving.

I’m realistic to know that it will continue to evolve as we move further and further away from our marriage and our divorce, with less in common, less to talk about, less to *need* to talk about, and while I want him in my life in some capacity (if he’s also willing), it does take effort (from both parties) and it does take commitment from both to want to stay in touch.

I know I have the effort and willingness in me to keep in touch, and I want to, but I also wonder if that’s what he wants, or if it’ll eventually become forced.

I don’t want that.

We’ve come so far from where we began and from where the “we” ended to who “we” are now, that in my mind, it would be foolish to let that wane, for no good reason other than lack of time. With the holidays coming, there will be even less free time (not that I am complaining…I love how busy the holidays are, given much of it is social fun and family time!), but I hope we can continue to at least catch up here and there.

And then I start wondering if I am forcing it. And for what reason?

I care about him, but I most certainly am not in love with him.

I like getting together for dinner sometimes, even if it’s secretly because I miss some of what he used to cook (his meatloaf was out of this world, what can I say?!) and I *do* like hearing about his life, work, family etc.

I like giving him advice, if he needs it or wants it. Yet I don’t tend to ask him for advice (at least not in the man department!).

So, is it worth it?

I think it is. But I still wonder if he feels the same. About wanting to stay in touch. Time will tell.

I’m realistic in knowing our relationship is evolving.

And I’m okay with that. I just wonder if he sees it too (or even cares).

~~

I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, however, that I am thankful for having such a good relationship with him, even if it does wane here and there. And I am thankful that we haven’t *yet* lost touch after more than two years. I just know that as time passes, it will take effort for us to keep it that way, in some capacity.

An evolution.

 

As I drove home this evening after another rewarding (but exhausting!) “baby duty” day with my sister Jen and niece Isabel, it struck me.

This weekend, two years ago, was the weekend my life turned upside down, when I officially knew my marriage was over. (the days leading into realizing this wasn’t just a fight, but the beginning of the end are a little hazy for me but if you read my blog series under “Some of my favorites” you can get all of the details on how it unfolded)

And on this quote Friday, there’s nothing better to fit what I’m feeling than Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish” in large part for these specifically:

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret

I can, without a shadow of a doubt say that I will never look back at my marriage and wish I was still in it. I can, without a shadow of a doubt, know who loves me (and love them back), forgive and never regret. Why? Because at this point in my life, two years later, I firmly believe I am exactly where I’m meant to be. It feels so amazing, every time I reach one of these milestones and realizations that the little things melt away and the big things come to the forefront and I realize this is where I’m meant to be, without a shadow of a doubt.

And these lyrics are dead-on for what I feel – hell yeah, they are dead-on:

But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

It can’t get any better than that, can it?

To know you are loved, and to love back.

…and to know you are capable of love again.

To know that there are big dreams ahead, and a lot to be accomplished.

…and to know you’re capable of big things.

To know that above all else, there are no failures in life, just challenges that make you stronger.

“I hope you never look back, but you never forget.”

Like Doctor Boy. My boyfriend.

*gasp*

Yep, it’s officially official.

Swoon.

Swoon.

Swoooooon.

He’s utterly amazing. The way he looks at me, the way he makes me feel, the way I feel when I am with him. More than alive. Like “home.” Happy, like whoa.

Simply put, it’s life amplified when I am with him.

And even when I am not with him. I can feel him with me, I think about him often (and know he does too), and look forward to all of the things we have talked about doing together.

The fact that he came straight to my house last night, around midnight (after a late flight in, later than he initially thought) from Aruba (and no, not for *that* either, though swoonage of course took its course…), the look on his face when he walked in the door and the ginormous all-encompassing hug I was greeted with.

A-mazing.

A beautiful thing is unfolding and amid all of the other stresses in my life right now (including my sister Jen’s ongoing recovery etc. More on that later…) and I couldn’t feel more blessed, despite it all.

This was worth waiting for…two years (almost) since my life felt like it was shattering around me. And ironically? Today, four years ago, I was on a flight to Kauai, about to get married.

Funny how life works, isn’t it?

…to be continued (stay tuned tomorrow for some very big moments from last night and this morning that I want to elaborate on separately from this post…)…

Sparked by another interesting conversation today comes my thoughts this evening…where is the line between being supportive and keeping someone’s best interests in mind and being honest?

I tend to have divorce on the mind right now, given the milestones I mentioned in last night’s post, mostly (and wow, thank you for all of the comments and feedback, you all are so sweet. I’m constantly amazed!) and thinking back to two years ago when I was faced with probably one of the most significant and pivotal times in my life – if not the most pivotal – whether to fight for my marriage or move on.

As my blog series last February noted – that I didn’t want to be with someone that didn’t want me – I chose to move on with the hopes of keeping the most important part of our relationship – friendship – intact, and realizing that I’m worth someone that loves me for me and wants me for me. I shouldn’t have to convince them to love me, be with me, and be devoted to me. I’m worth more than that. But, as a question I posed this evening…what if I did fight?

Would my family and friends been duly supportive? Or would that support turn into advice towards my best interests, where they might advise me that this was not meant to be and I should trust my gut and move on? Would I have taken it? Would it have been in my best interests? Where is the line between being supportive and putting it out on the line and being honest, that yeah, maybe this isn’t in your best interests. He doesn’t love you the way he wants. You aren’t satisfied in the marriage, deep down, because it takes two to keep a marriage sustained.

I think it’s obviously a case by case scenario for anyone going through that struggle. Wanting to be there for your friend or family member that might be in a relationship or marriage that ultimately is not healthy and isn’t making them happy and fulfilled…you want them to see what you see. You want them to listen to your words and understand that you are better off moving on.

But with all of that said, I firmly believe that no matter what you say, no matter how much you urge…that person has to see it for themselves and make that critical decision on their own. You can’t do it for them. You can’t show them the light. You can just offer your perspective, show them the light and hope they walk towards it.

My fight? My fight was for me and self preservation, in a sense. And I know, without a shadow of a doubt that I made absolutely the right decision for me.

I’m proud of that. Beyond words proud. I own that decision through and through.

As I near some upcoming “milestones” related to my past marriage and divorce (day I got married – 10/21/06, weeks leading into separation – right around now, separation, 10/31/08), a very touching conversation I had recently, and reading this blog post from I’m Gonna Break Your Heart, I more than ever realize that strength comes almost entirely from one source when you are tested in this capacity.

The power within.

In the midst of the realization that your marriage may be heading towards separation – or worse – divorce, the immediate fear, panic, and pain are almost unbearable. It’s blinding. And it’s raw.You’re empty. And it’s not something you want to talk about with anyone, admitting the reality of things, feeling ashamed. But somehow, as time passes, and you start taking steps towards healing, you realize that you can do it.

…it’s the power within.

You realize that you are better, stronger, smarter, and a hell of a lot more worthwhile someone who loves you for all that you are (and even, for all that you aren’t), who doesn’t want to change you, who jives with your personality in every way (complementary, not mirror image), who challenges you to be a better you, who can accept the challenge of being a better him, who is devoted, and caring, and genuine, and honest, and real. You realize that the man that you were married to might not be you’re one and only. As hard as it is to imagine, you start to realize that maybe you’re better off alone, to find the one you’re meant to be with.

The power within.

You realize divorce is not a failure. That it is an accomplishment (in a sense), that being alone is something to be cherished, to be learned, to learn to love. You realize who your friends are, who aren’t your friends, and true colors of all of those around you. You realize the circle you’ve built is because you’ve built it. Because you are worthy and they realize it.

.…it’s the power within.

And suddenly, you’re doing it. You’re smiling again. You’re eyes shine. You embrace the days that you don’t talk to a single soul, except your cats, reading a book, in complete silence. You fill your days with friends, family, and you. You learn new things. You challenge yourself. You set goals. You not only achieve them, you kick the crap out of those goals. You redefine you and it’s a better, stronger, more resilient you.

The power within.

And then, you realize that your life is full. It’s rich with the life you’ve built. You look around and smile and feel healed, and the closure you want and need quietly appears. You’ve arrived.

The power is you.