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?

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As uttered by one of my closest (and clearly, sagest!) friends after reading my blog.

And she’s beyond right.

Yesterday’s reactions to my post was eye-opening and made me realize how I’ve pretty much lost perspective on a few things that I didn’t even realize I had. So thank you, friends, and bloggy friends, for giving me the dope slap of reality I needed (in the kindest way possible!).

My friend said to me:

There are 4 major things in life, FAMILY/FRIENDS, JOB, LOVE, HEALTH.  You are one of the luckiest people in the world if they can all be perfect at the same time.  It’s like a big circle, if one is good another is not.  You have to just be happy with what is good and hang the hell onto that. So one part of your circle is broken.  Don’t forget about the other 3 parts that are amazing right now.  You are so lucky.  Don’t look for the full circle just enjoy the partial for all its worth!

I read it almost incredulously because if it were me reading that blog post (and incidentally, in my brain these days), I’d likely be uttering something pretty similar. It’s called perspective, stupid, where did yours go?!

And then Sunshine’s comment:

When I was reading your post it occurred to me that you being hard on yourself has nothing to do with how much or how little you’re working out, or how well you’re eating or not eating. Those are just the excuses that you use…I believe that there’s something deeper to it than that. It seems to me like you’re on a road to true and lasting happiness right now, but there’s a part of you that just can’t “let go” and enjoy it for what it is…you have to still harp on yourself for your perceived imperfections. What would happen if you just let go and allowed yourself to be completely and utterly happy and content with yourself, as you are, in this very moment?

I guess a part of me is just so used to being unhappy with something pretty major in my life (but making the most of it in the process, of course) – finding love – that now that I have it (wow, even writing that feels weird, I DO HAVE IT! YES!), it’s like I am looking for something to happen or nitpicking at other areas of my life.

Why?

Why not just “let go” and enjoy it. Respond. React. Embrace. Breathe in. Observe. Enjoy.

So, friends, I’m going to do it. Enough with this. Life is good. Life is great. And as my sister’s blog echoes oh so deeply – I’m amazing just the way I am.

And so are all of you.

 

I’ve been struggling with finding value lately. And it’s hard for me to wrap my head around this because I do feel valued (T, thanks for sparking this one in me, from your recent posts!). By Doctor Boy (like whoa), by my family, and my friends.

So why don’t I value myself?

First – self-image.

As I noted in my post yesterday, I’ve been struggling with chronic “fat days” and literally just tearing myself apart in my brain and honestly, I’m not sure why.

Sure, my workout routine isn’t exactly what I want right now (but I know it will improve).

But I still manage to workout 5-6 times a week (vs. what? 6-7?!). So, huh?

Sure, I indulged (like whoa) in wine country (but since, I have been focusing on eating clean and restricting wine to weekends (which is VERY difficult to do, at least once a week isn’t so bad, normally, right?!).

But I am doing it, and when I have gone out to eat, I’ve chosen good options (but it’s still eating out, which doesn’t give me much control on what they put in it exactly either).

So, perhaps I am being a little unfair with myself, but I do know I don’t feel as good as I normally do, and maybe it’s just a really long cycle of PMS (righhht) and maybe I just need to work a little harder.

But it doesn’t mean  I should be tearing myself apart. I do value me and who I am, curves and all. Why do I have such a horrible habit? It’s definitely something I struggle with but as of today, I am vowing to take the extra step to think before I immediately say something badly about myself. I mean, if I don’t value me, why should others?!

Second, value in terms of the future.

Where do I want to be? What do I want to achieve? How do I want to get there? I can’t help but think 2011 is the year of changes for me (as much as 2010 has been about change, it’s also been a stepping stone year for me, and of course, the year of me). I ponder these things often. But I can’t sit idle, right? I need to act, I need to make it happen. I need to get out of the comfort zone and just go for it.

I feel like I have built a solid foundation for myself in my first full year on my own, post divorce (since technically, I didn’t get divorced until 9/11/09) and I can’t just expect change to come to me, right?

This is my challenge to me: change my attitude about myself and get back to value. I have a lot to offer, I know this, I really do. So now it’s time to convey it.

Who’s with me? What do you challenge yourself to do?

I heard from a friend of mine that I haven’t talked to for a few months and she asked, “so, how’s dating?”

Uh. It’s not.

Sort of reminded me that I’m not dating. I’m not in a relationship. I’m not really doing anything. But work. But Kick. (yes, I am exaggerating a wee bit for drama, of course I am doing social things too!). I’ve surpassed a lot of milestones in the last six months and am sort of just, well, feeling stagnant.

As I was reading Nicki’s post from yesterday over at Suddenly Singles, about anger, and feeling like she was backsliding, and then her feedback to my blog yesterday, around “just wanting to start this new life already,” I can totally relate, because, suddenly, I am sort of feeling the same way. Not to discount all of the realizations, all of the milestones, all of the dating (and ensuing realizations from those dates!), but right now, I’m just sort of here, doing my thing, but feeling stagnant, not learning a heck of a lot, not meeting potential partners through dates, just here.

Not to be a downer tonight, but I’m just feeling “hmmph” (not sure how to describe it other than that!). I’m still happy, I’m still enjoying life, I just want something to happen. I want love, I want companionship, I want some excitement. The excitement I was getting from dating, and I’m still on the hunt for the other two (love, companionship).

Damn you self-imposed dating hiatus. Damn you!

~~

But, on a bright note, I had my highest daily hit rate yesterday (over 400!) and hit 25K…nice milestone, if I do say so myself 😉

Sometimes I even amaze myself.

I took the plunge today…and have decided to take the plunge on something I have wanted to do for a long time – get certified to teach a kickboxing class!! Seriously, who IS this person?!

Now, sure, it scares the living daylights out of me, to be honest, but that’s why I am doing it, because I KNOW I can, I’m capable, I’m fun, and I can work out like the best of them! Now, how that translates in front of a group of people, microphoned, choreographed, sweating, and on stage – remains to be seen, but I am going to push for it, with the hopes of learning a lot, finding a new sense of confidence and presence (which will hopefully translate into work as well), and having a hell of a lot of fun (and hey, any pounds lost or other physical benefits, I’m all about!!)

To think about doing this a year ago, or even six months ago – I just don’t even think I’d consider it, so I look at myself and see a whole new person. Willing to take chances and put myself out there – above and beyond the relationship and dating scene, and into the year of ME, where I choose to do things for me, me, me. I’m excited, I know it will be hard, I know it will be scary and I know I will be completely out of my comfort zone, but I ‘m excited at where I’ll come out on the other side.

Check it out – it’s called Group Kick (and my sister will be blogging about this very topic tonight, no doubt!).

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On another note – check out Mandy’s latest series on SinceMyDivorce – following The Quest for T’s journey – a good read. I love it!

Well, this is it, no turning back now – less than 24 hours and I’ll be a moving fiend! The “no turning back” really sums up this whole experience – deciding to take our chances with doing a short sale.

It’s unchartered territory for me, to say the least, and has been nerve-wracking, moment by moment, step-by-step, wondering if it’s going to be approved by the mortgage companies, with no real guarantee that it WILL get approved. And from there, the consequences would get worse and worse, and likely end up in foreclosure, something I wanted to avoid at all costs. It was a really difficult decision for me, and I knew I had to listen to my heart and my mind and do what is right for ME, not because it’s the “right” thing to do, or because Pete wanted to do the short sale, or anything like that. It had to be right for ME. And even though it was a decision that I don’t think many could or WOULD do (many – even some of my family and friends – would likely try and hold on to it and hope for a turnaround in the market.

This was something I didn’t see outweighing the negatives of my current situation – being VERY short on being able to pay the mortgage on my own, the amount of upkeep in a house for one person being quite a lot, more than I want right now, not being able to refinance to lower the payments, and likely, going into further debt just trying to keep up – vs. selling the house at a loss, taking the ding on my credit, and moving on. Sure, the market may improve, but even if it did, so, I MAYBE break even in another 5 years? So, I’ve lived in a house for 10 years and just broke even on what I paid back then? No thanks.)

Has it been scary? Hell yes. Has it been long, stressful, and unchartered territory? Double hell yes! But has it been worth it in the end? By far, yes. Why? Because the mortgage companies DID approve the short sale, with our being required to pay a somewhat nominal amount at closing, because I DID find a place of my own, available at the right time, and at the right price. I took a chance, trusted myself, trusted God, and went for it, and I’m happy to say that – now, on the point of no return – I’m really proud of myself for sticking to it, despite the fears and concerns from family (and my own nagging worry!).

So, I’m ready to sail away to the next chapter of life, confident I can make my own decisions, and ready for the next…check out the lyrics and video below from the latest song I’m digging – “Sailing” by Avant  (thanks to boy #7 for suggesting it) it’s peaceful, it’s soothing, and it’s exactly where my mindset is right now.

A good friend of mine shared a really powerful poem with me that I wanted to share, as it – like other poems or quotes I’ve posted here – felt really significant to me, and is something I need to remember myself. Here it is:

One Flaw In Women

Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness, love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.

They don’t take “no” for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.

They are happy when they hear about
a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they
think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

They’ll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what
makes the world keep turning.

They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideas.
They give moral support to their
family and friends.

Women have vital things to say
and everything to give.

HOWEVER, IF THERE IS ONE FLAW IN WOMEN,
IT IS THAT THEY FORGET THEIR WORTH.

So true – it’s so easy to discount how I treat those that I love, how I act in relationships and friendships for just something you do in a relationship, but it IS significant and shouldn’t be forgotten or discounted. I am worth it, I need to remember that, especially whenenver I enter another relationship. I shouldn’t take a backseat to “us” – it should be me, him, and us – all equal.

Short post for today, but I don’t think this poem needs much commentary. On another note, I had a nice afternoon today, taking the afternoon off for a little pampering a la new hairstyle (not drastic, just a few tweaks!) and some fun highlights for summer. Feeling refreshed. Let’s see how long this lasts 😉