Putting it all in Perspective

I genuinely believe that everything happens for a reason and every person that comes into your life is in it for a reason. I have felt very strongly about this since going through my divorce and the concept continues to reinforce itself in my life everyday.

The first person came into my life that made me a true believer I met the very day that I came back from the trip where all secrets were exposed and my marriage was all but over. To this day, I call her my guardian angel. At the time, I was helping coach a local rec. league sport and came to practice completely out of sorts due to everything that was unraveling in my life. I did my best to hold it together well enough to lead practice. There was a new, very beautiful and very vibrant woman at practice. I introduced myself, as did she and began leading practice for the day. Fifteen minutes into practice, I mispronounced her name and was quite taken back by her alpha demeanor as she corrected me. Normally, such behavior would have completely turned me off towards a personality. However, it was exactly the dominance I needed in such a broken down, scared state.

She quickly became one of my closest friends, the only one in which I confided in throughout my divorce. She was my strongest supporter, she lifted me up in my weakest moments, she has always so whole heartedly believed in me that it has forced me to believe in myself, she made me feel wanted when everyone in my life was shutting me out of their lives. It was the loneliest, scariest time in my life; one that I am not sure if I would have had the strength to survive if it weren’t for presence of my guardian angel. I will forever be so grateful for her and whatever it was that put her in my life when I needed her most.

Since then, I have never doubted the importance of a single new person that has walked into my life and am constantly speculating the reason for their presence. But the newest addition in my life may be the most unexpected one that has walked in. As closing time was approaching at my restaurant a few nights ago, a young man walked in and asked if we were still open. I said yes, offered him a seat at the bar, and took his order. I continued to do my end of night tasks as I waited for his meal to be cooked. It caught me a little of guard when the first thing he said to me after five minutes of silence, watching me clean was “excuse me ma’am, I just have to say this. You may be the most beautiful woman that I have ever seen”.

Clearly, he had gotten my attention. I chatted with him about why he was here and what he was doing in this little town. He was far from the average demographic profile for this area. He asked me, as he was paying, if there was any way that he could see me again before he left town. A week prior to this conversation, I’m not sure that I would have had the courage to say yes to a man who I had never met and clearly comes from a very different life than anything I have ever known. But something has definitely been changing in me lately with the exist of the new man; my need to roam, explore and experience new things in life continues to grow.

The next night I went out to dinner with him. He is a very fit, thirty-two year old black man from Detroit. As we talked, I found out that he really does come from an extremely different life from myself. I would have never imagined having to contemplate in my head on a date “should I not ask why he was in prison for ten years? Is that one of those pieces of information that you wait for someone to offer?” He never did say why he was in prison, just said that he was a stupid nineteen year old kid that got caught up in a gang.

He was also the most polite, courteous, respectful, flattering, optimistic guys I have ever been on a date with before. Listening to him talk about his life and upbringing was such a beautiful reminder of what an amazing life I have and how lucky I am to life is such a beautiful place, surrounded by amazing people. Apparently, the universe thought that I needed one more BIG reminder of all that I have to be grateful for in my life. Listening to my new Unexpected Friend certainly put all of my recent griping and frustrations into perspective. So grateful for my life, guardian angels and new friendships.

1621918_811563535527579_1200536004_n

Advertisements

A Lesson in Graditute

I woke last Sunday morning to a message sound on my phone. Hopeful that it was the New Man, I scurried over to my phone to find a message from another man. A man who has diligently been trying to get into my pants since the day that he met me (shortly after I left my husband). I was disappointed that it wasn’t the New Man and a bit irritated that I was waking to messages from a man who I have made it very clear to “it’s never going to happen”. He was going on and on about how beautiful the beach was where he is now visiting to buy an investment property. He has made it very clear that he would love for me to consider moving to this foreign land with him.

I was very aware that part of my irritation was not about this other man, but rather about the end nearing of the New Man’s era in my life. I have known since day one that he would be leaving the area in late May, but as it draws closer I have been grasping for a few last moments ecstasy with him. So, waking to the hopeful sound of communication from him to be disappointed once I reached my phone left me quite grumpy for the day.

I threw on some sweat pants and a hoodie and headed out to grocery store. Somberly did my grocery shopping quickly as to avoid as many small town acquaintances as possible. As I was checking out, the always flattering checker asked me “where are your flowers?” He was right, I buy myself flowers every single week at the store and failed to do so today due to my bad attitude that had been provoked by my early morning messaging. His question woke me up in a way, making me realize that I was being a bit consumed by the New Man leaving. I went a found a simple, closed bunch of lilies and returned to the check out with them before he was finished ringing up my order. I thanked him for pointing out that I had forgotten my flowers for the week; I really do enjoy having fresh flowers to come home to. The checker completed my order, I paid and then realized that he forgot to ring up the flowers. He said “I did that on purpose. I want to buy you flowers this week”. As I always do when people are trying to give me anything, I insisted that he not buy them, he insisted that he was going to.

I took the next day off from work and scheduled a massage that I had been gifted, ironically by the man whose message I awoke to the day before. I just needed a day to myself to kick my gloomy attitude. As I was walking with the massage therapist she observed “you are very lucky to have someone attentive enough in your life to realize when you need a massage”. And once again, she was totally right. I am in no way attracted to the man who gifted me the massage, but I am still very lucky to have him in my life.

After a wonderful massage and soak I picked up my children from school and headed home to start our routine for the even. The first words to come out of my daughter’s mouth as we walked in the door were “mommy, look at how beautiful the flowers are now. That was so nice of the man at the store to give then to us”. Everywhere that I turned someone or something was showing me how much I have to be grateful for in my life, with or without the New Man. It was exactly what I needed; for my energy to be redirected and focused on gratitude for everything my life already has. Rather then moping around about the one small piece that I am losing.

The next morning I decided it was time to say my goodbyes to the New Man. I didn’t want the looming feeling of knowing the goodbye was coming and my recent lessons in gratitude made it much easier for me to focus on what the New Man has already provided me with and how grateful I will always be to him for helping me find the strength to finally let go. It was fun. He was fun. I am grateful. Moving on…

tumblr_m0q2zkZfH41qzm6buo1_500

What if…?

http://www.policymic.com/articles/85541/nasa-study-concludes-when-civilization-will-end-and-it-s-not-looking-good-for-us

The article in the above link has been swirling in my head for the last several days. Life has also recently completed a cycle of three deaths; it is strange but has held true in my life. When one person dies, two more quickly follow. One loss was heart breaking for me, the other two were acquaintances. Nonetheless, it is hard to watch people you care about suffer and mourn the loss of their loved one.

Like most people, I tend to assess how I am living my life when people around me die unexpectedly. What if my time is almost up? Would I change the way I am living my life, if I knew that the end was near? The above article reinforced these questions by indicating that humans, as a species, may have as little as fifteen years left here on earth. The reality is, we may sustain life here on earth much longer then fifteen years or my life could end tomorrow. We have no guarantees, all we have is  the memories we’ve made and this moment.

Am I satisfied? Do I have regrets? Am I at peace with the life that I have led, if it all ends tomorrow? I have learned so much in the past several years about life, love and letting go, but at the end of the day have any of my revelations brought me any answers about “life”?  What answers do actually have about my life?

The biggest question that I have been asking myself is if I would be living my life differently if I was given a date of final destination? The reality is, we should all be living our lives like it is the last day of our lives, but that is scary as hell! I am a mother, a business owner, a daughter and hold many obligations in my life (like everyone) that prevent me from living every day like it is my last. Answering this question is genuinely a struggle for me, which in a way makes me happy. I know so many people who would say “hell yes, I would quit my job tomorrow and…”.

I do work very hard, sometimes perhaps too hard. My sin is pride; I have a very hard time asking anyone for help. But it is also very rewarding for me. I have done well with my business. There are families (in addition to my own) that rely on my business for their livelihoods, that is rewarding. I have regulars that come in everyday to chat with me for a few minutes and it is the highlight of their day, that is rewarding. I am able to independently provide a life for my children that most children could only dream of, that’s rewarding. I do not rely on a single other person for the stability of my livelihood, my fate is in my hands, that is rewarding (and scary as hell too).

So, would I give it up if I knew that the end of my days were drawing near? I honestly don’t know. I have passions, interests and hobbies that have been put on the back burner due to the demands of my life and the list of what is wrong with this one horse, backwards thinking town I live in is endless. But at the end of the day, I love my life. The only thing that I would change about my life, if I knew my end was near, would be to acknowledge how much I love my life and celebrate it every single day.

That sure made living for today seem more obtainable. Starting tomorrow, I will do my best to acknowledge how lucky I am to be living this life, let the past go, celebrate every moment and every person in my life, like it may be the last moment I have with them. I will hug my children longer, kiss the New Man with more passion and less reservation, praise my employees, cherish my friends and forgive all that have wronged me (because they are my biggest blessings of all).487686_587839401244274_1504799545_n

Between Here and There

I felt so confident that divorcing my husband was the right thing to do when I left that I refused to do anything that was going to hinder the process or slow it down. I left the home we owned, every piece of furniture in it, what little money we had in savings and every other worldly possession we acquired during our marriage together, behind. I have a legal background, so I was able to file all of our divorce papers myself. Not having to deal with attorneys and all of the costs of a divorce helped the process a lot. Not allowing my ex-husband a single thing to argue about made the transition easier for our families and children to accept. We were, and still are, happier people not being with each other.

I was initially very overwhelmed and intimidated by being single for the first time in my adult life. I had no idea what it was like to want to be hit on at a bar, let alone date anyone.  Not only was I single for the first time, I was single in a very small town. FRESH BLOOD IN THE WATER! Men were so aggressive. Men that I had known the entire time I had lived here were acting entirely different in an attempt to get me to go out with them. I had fun and sewed my oats for a few months, but being the fresh meat on the market got old really fast.

I started dating a man, that in retrospect was too intertwined to my past. His baby momma (and all the drama that came with her) was who The Other Man’s wife chose to confide in during this same time period. He is a very nice man and was very sweet and loving to me for the two years that we were together. He plays guitar in a band, snowboards, skateboards, owns his own business and was quite good in bed; all very sexy. Unfortunately, staying with him as long as I did was not fair to anyone. I didn’t want to be single and was comfortable with him, but I knew that we were not meant for each other. I had a very hard time dealing with his constant baby momma drama, I jumped into a long-term relationship way too soon after my divorce and unfortunately I still had feelings that I didn’t want to admit for The Other Man. I did eventually end the relationship (that’s a story for my next post) and still feel very bad for him. He was heartbroken and I should have never let him get so attached to me. I owe a lot of where I am now to the lessons I learned from leaving that relationship.

On the work front during this time period, I continued to work from home and waited tables a few nights a week to offset my new expenses (since there was no way I was battling over a cent of child support). The longer I worked at this restaurant, the more responsibility I was taking on there. Eighteen months after my divorce was final I purchased the restaurant and a new home on the same day. Talk about an exciting and overwhelming day! The restaurant has prospered under my ownership and it has been very gratify venture for me. I love the home that I bought, mostly because of everything it symbolizes to me; freedom, independence, and most importantly ALL MINE.

My ex-husband and my new life began to have a new normal to it. We get along well, spend holidays together and are able to take our kids on vacations together. Most days I am grateful to have his friendship back for the first time in years. Other days I am grateful to have my own home to return to without him in it.

I try not to pry much, but from what I can tell he is still patiently waiting for The Other Woman to leave her husband. It is a small town, so we all see each other on a very regular basis. It is impossible not to feel bad for her. I could not even fathom how much weight she has gained, but it is a lot. She never appears happy, yet has chosen to stay with her husband for going on three years since this has all transpired.

I love my home, my children, my job, my life. I certainly could not have said all of that three years ago!