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.”

~~

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I’ve clearly had some pending milestones on my mind this week that have actually turned into some pretty thoughtful posts (it feels good to be back to blogging regularly after my trip, too!), and all of your feedback this week in particular, has been amazing, so thank you, friends and bloggy friends, it means the world to me, and is one of the many reasons why I absolutely love blogging.

My quote today for Quote Friday, ties into that milestone coming up (two years since separating from my ex) as well as in my journey towards finding someone special to share the life I’ve built for myself.

“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.”

Yeah, I think my life is successful, I’ll say it. I really do. Despite some persistent money woes and desire for some new challenges (including physically. stay tuned on that, as I have some thuoghts on new fitness challenges for the winter now that the half marathon is over), I’ve come to a place in my life where the effort, persistence and patience (albeit sometimes shaky patience!) has brought me to now…the place where I’m meant to be, firmly planted.

And while it may sound a little premature to say that I’m happy to be sharing the life I’ve built with someone else, I say that as in the 5 or so weeks since I met Doctor Boy, I already feel some pretty strong feelings for him and think this weekend’s “reunion” of sorts will really make clear where this is heading. And I’m really looking forward to it. I’m ready. I’m content, no matter what. And that feels better than I ever imagined.

I also think this quote is relevant to some other people in my life, who are going through some struggles in life, with their Faith, and trusting that all that is happening is for a reason. There is no failure in struggling through some challenging times, because ultimately, I firmly believe that you do make it through better, stronger, happier, after overcoming these life challenges. It becomes glorious success.

And man, that feels good.

Happy weekend everyone, I hope you enjoy it (I know I will!)

~

PS – check out my new header, that’s a picture from the hot air balloon over Napa. The sun rising…breathtaking.

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.

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, moving this time around vs. last year felt different in a few ways, and I guess I hadn’t realized how far I’ve actually come since then.

What ways, you ask? Let’s see…

…the power went out during my first night in my new apartment around 2 am. I noticed only as I use a fan for “white noise” (have done that ever since college and it’s a habit that has stuck. It feels “loud” without it going, oddly!) so I woke up when the fan shut off. Instantly, I froze, because my mind likes to play tricks on me (what if someone is trying to break in and they shut off the power to scare me? Because that doesn’t *only* happen in scary movies, right?!), and it felt super dark as the lights outside went out too. I was close to calling my sister or my mom out of habit…but then thought better of it, calmed myself down, and eventually went back to sleep. Of course, I also realized I don’t have any flashlights, so clearly that’s next on my list. But, for me, it felt huge to not immediately freak out (just minor freak out!), though at the same time, it was one of those moments when I was I had someone next to me in bed, but I digress.

…doing all of the bill switchovers for electric and cable myself. I know, that sounds run of the mill, right? But last year, Pete did it for me…out of habit. I asked him if he would, because I hate crap like that, but why do that? I mean, it’s my place, why rely on others – especially him – to do the “big girl” stuff I know very well how to do (remember the bombast incident?! heh.). Check.

…simply settling in, not being afraid, and loving my place…MINE. Last year, it was a whole new transition for me, moving from a house that was OURS to an apartment that was MINE, and now, I am so accustomed to it, and I truly love living alone, something I never thought I’d say. And I truly enjoyed every minute of my solitary day yesterday.

I’m sure there are others, but on a weekend where a year signifies a lot, in many ways, well, what a difference a year makes.

~~

…and guess who has a date with Doctor Boy tonight. Meeee! Woohoo 🙂 More on that tomorrow…

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!

Image removed by sender.

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.

I choose today to trust in You, knowing that You are good, and You always lead me into victory.

These are the words my sister forwarded to me this morning, from Joel Osteen’s daily word. And I truly need to dig deep and have faith that He has a plan for Nala, and that will give me peace.

Yesterday was one of the most difficult, low, sad and trying days since the day Pete told me he wanted a divorce. And writing yesterday’s post was truly echoing what was going on in my mind and my heart, and all of the outpouring of thoughts, prayers and support from everyone that commented (and everyone IRL that offered their words of support, including Pete, who has been there for me, as well) has been amazing. And while I may have cried reading many of those comments (and my sister Jen’s blog post here), they got me through last night and today.

And after waiting all day for the vet to return my call, he finally did this afternoon. The early findings from the bloodwork?

Almost exactly identical to the results almost two years ago when Nala went through a similar “mystery” illness.

Come again?! Seriously?

Yep. Inconclusive for the most part, a little bit high on the white cells, but probably only indicative of an infection of some kind (and she’s now on antibiotics for the next 7 days), and nothing else really out of the ordinary. No fever. No vomiting. No lack of appetite (quite the opposite! She eats like a horse). Nothing really out of the ordinary except for oh, losing almost two pounds in 6 months.

It’s agonizing not knowing what it is, but at the same time, I am a bit relieved that it isn’t anything bad at the outset, but it also means that we probably have a winding path to determine just what it is. For now? She’ll stay on antibiotics for a week, and we may start steroids at that point, to see if those help spur things along as well. And then, if that doesn’t work…we’ll determine the next step.

What that next step is? I don’t know.

What I do know is this – I need to dig deep, trust that God has a plan and take it day by day.

Father God, thank You for ordering and directing my steps. Thank You for working behind the scenes on my behalf. I choose today to trust in You, knowing that You are good, and You always lead me into victory. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

…before you assume the subject line means things are over with CBE…you are wrong (made ya look! okay, that’s not really that funny, I ‘spose. Maybe I’m just slaphappy tonight!).

This is the topic of a guest blog post I’ve been asked to write for How Not to Marry the Wrong Guy! While I won’t go into a ton of detail here, so as not to “steal the thunder” of that particular post (in draft form now…), it does make me think about it – why am I better off alone? AM I? Or am I just coping?

Most days, I think I am better off alone – as in, out of the marriage itself, but other days, when I’m perusing my ever-growing list of blogs, I continue to realize how lucky I am to have sustained a relatively “normal” marriage and divorce and continue to have a solid friendship with my ex-husband. And sometimes…just sometimes…I wonder…

Why did we divorce?

Sometimes, when I really think about it, and think back to it, I think it could have been mended. Sure, it would have taken a lot of work, but it could have been rectified. And then other times, I think back to the hurt and pain and fear and anger, and I realize – there was no going back…it was the point of no return, no matter which way you look at it.

It’s bittersweet.

Sometimes it’s sad.

But the bottom line is, I am better off alone. Why?

Because I am a better me.

(it brings tears to my eyes, it gives me a lump in my throat…but it’s true. I am a better me. The emotions are happiness, not sadness…it’s the power of change that brings the emotions.)