Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hello, goodbye.

logo3Readers and friends, the time has come for me to take an opportunity that feels so right.

As with life, this blog’s (one check or two?) original direction is not something that serves me anymore. Time to reinvent again.

My friend (soulsister, really) have started a site, You.Are.Venus where I will be contributing content similar to what you’ve been reading on this blog.

Please stop by and visit my new project and website You. Are. Venus.

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The Grant Adventures: July, August, and September

GrantChallenges: Still timid around strangers but manages to keep his cool with one mean stare down. Discovered his new-found love for chewing shoes, books, and cords. R.I.P. 1 pair of headphones and 2 pairs of shoes.

Accomplishments: Learned “sit” (learning “down” at the moment), accompanied me on another solo camping trip – adored the outdoors, sleeping in a tent, and discovered his love for splashing in water. His self-control has taken over as he no longer backs himself in corners or darts under parked cars.

As I sit and write these words, Grant is curled up beside me in a tight ball.  He looks like a little cinnamon roll with a set of floppy beagle ears.

Warm summer months have washed over us with freedom, renewal, and a whole lot of outside time. I can’t believe how quick time has passed by (so much that I just turned the big 30). Life for Grant has changed, no longer is he crated and living in a bubble of everything familiar.  His world has expanded by combating fears and learning to make do with a small space, downtown living, and a whole lot of love. Meanwhile, I’ve experienced the same feelings.

I brought him camping during the 4th of July weekend and I watched something wild come out of him as he trotted around in the woods, darted in and out of the warm lake while his small tail whipped around in happiness.  He’s a soul elated for adventure.

A big change in our lives has been the entrance of a new girlfriend (my new girlfriend, not Grant’s – even though I swear he’s in love with her).  It all happened very unexpected but, with perfect intention from the Universe. One thing that is 100% accurate is Grant is smitten with her.  When he sees her, he’s bouncing around with pure joy. It’s kind of an amazing feeling to have your animal so into the person you’re dating and smitten with. Adds an extra touch of cuteness.

These three months have blessed me with beautiful shifts. It’s just another reminder I have no idea what life has in store for Grant and I. I love this.  My days of obsessive planning, routine and timelines have been swept away.

This spirit is free as Grant’s.

ThirtyAlthough it’s just a two digit number, stepping into another decade, it’s something so well-timed to further humble my unaligned life (unaligned by choice). For me, this numerical transition signifies release and enjoying this world through enlightened eyes. Enlightened through hurt, attachment, cracked ego’s, discomfort, and renewal.

In my 20’s, the fantasies of who I thought I was and what I thought I needed have been tested and changed. My heart  broke, my heart loved again, my mind grew, and I’ve overcome it all to be here, exactly where I’m supposed to be.

So here’s to 30. I welcome it with warmth and wonder. I cannot wait to see it all unfold.

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Expectations Shmexpectations

Dorien Israel

Once upon a time (not that long of a time), I lived life on a timeline. I expected to settle down young, start a family by 28 with a partner that would love music, exciting foods, and travel just as much as me. I anticipated entering my 30’s established and “together” while having a slew of societal-driven accomplishments under my belt.

In less than a month, I turn 30. These deadlines and expectations I longed for have been served to me on a silver platter, taken away, and churned out a more humble me with so many lessons learned.

This time a year ago, I lived in a quiet suburban neighborhood in a cute house with a girlfriend (whom bought the house – we both paid the mortgage), two dogs, and two new cars.  Even though our relationship was dormant and unfulfilling, we still clung to the expectations of starting a family and having some kind of commitment ceremony (ok, wedding, if you wanna call it that). This was the “dream life” I wanted – what I was taught to want but, it felt wrong. Why did my inner voice constantly tell me there was more to life than being stifled in a world that didn’t serve my needs anymore?

The expectations I held so close, protected by my ego and fear, clouded my path and made it harder to let go and start again.

But I did.

Whew, if we could lose these presumptions of how our life should be, we would drift more freely through life’s ebb and flow with less ego and more bravery.

Life happens and the expectations we so desperately grasp to (and sometimes project onto the people we love) are nothing but guidelines, shaped by your past, society, and ego that will only set you up for disappointment and failure.

We all get stuck into certain ways of thinking about how things should be and play out (usually in our favor, right?).  Hell, we’re programmed at 18 years old to consciously “know what you want to be” and peruse college with the weight of expectations from parents, professors, and our growing student loans. After college, we’re assumed to hunker down to a job, buy a house, get married, have babies, go to the Outer Banks during the summer, send Holiday cards … the list goes on and on.

There’s nothing wrong with all of these experiences (in fact, the kid and house sound lovely … at some point) – few people are born to solely fill these roles. Some are not – whether it’s doing life “out of order”, embracing those unplanned surprises, or listening to that inner voice that urges a change – even one that might eradicate everything you thought.

For these experienced souls, acknowledging a path of the unknown, leading to the inevitable fork in the road is frightening and can naturally sever relationships and the life you once thought you controlled. Some of us fight it, wanting to hold our perfect life close to safety but these festering realizations (pointing you towards that other path) will only hide in dark corners, laying dormant, waiting to sprout. And those moments where they unearth, are typically moments of “holy shit”.

Finally, after letting these expectations go, with my path being so unclear, I cannot explain the peace within … and growing.

I broke a cycle that drained me, freed myself from my old self, and am now ready for the waves of change and growth that’ll crash upon my shore.

 

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Working Through the Work.

I started reading, Unbound: The Cycle of Ascendancy – How Your Life Evolves Around It by Dorian Israel. This book was mailed to me from a new friend who I met on (another) recent solo camping trip (funny how unexpected encounters with a stranger can open a door, a conversation, and create a connection).

It’s one of those books which speaks so personally to my world right now that I read it slowly and in my most open-hearted moments of the day.

So far, the first section is underlined like a madman, in particular this sentence which has settled in me with a great understanding …
Alley way

It’s great read, indeed.

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Dismantling the Disney: “Happily Ever After”

905510_594416977235214_187631891_oLike most kids growing up in the 90’s, my ideals of love and partnership were shaped by Disney movies, Cory and Topanga, and fairy tales. Typically (and traditionally), the rough and wild boy snapped into shape and fell in love with the beautiful princess as they lived happily ever after in some elaborate castle, under a rainbow, with no mortgage, love handles or life interruptions.

Happily Ever After.

Man, no wonder we’re so screwed up when our relationships end or run far past their expiration date, leaving us hurt and confused. We’re programmed to rely on the fantasy-induced idea of “forever and ever” to fix our problems. After all, we’re entitled to our “happily ever after” with our “one”, right?

Relying on the idea of “the one” and “happily ever after” [typically] isn’t reality but, it’s blissfully forgotten as we stumble our way into passionate, earth-shattering love with rose-tinted glasses on.

However, people grow and people change, even in relationships – especially in relationships.

Growth can mean lots of things – a career change, facing childhood issues or trauma, becoming spiritually enlightened, moving, or simply discovering different things that make you happy.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned: you can support these changes with your partner (this also means giving them time to grow), complementing and incorporating one another in life’s shifts while the other route, what can tear and once love-filled relationship apart, is when partner involvement is ignored or unwanted. With this latter route, someone becomes confused and feels left out which typically results in bitterness about their partner’s change or who they have “suddenly” become without any form of participation.

Please don’t get me wrong, we don’t need to be involved in every aspect during our partner’s life developments and transformations – they are their own person on their own journey, regardless of their relationship with us. However, when we fail to allow room to give support or simply communicate during these times, it can easily and unknowingly carve a pathway of mistrust and disconnection.

It can also signify our role in that relationship is done. Even that relationship you thought would be one of those “happily ever after’s”.

The night my girlfriend and I broke up, she asked me with hot tears streaming down her face, “what if you’re the one? What if I’m making a mistake and letting the one go?”. Instead of letting my ego overwhelm me with a harsh and emotion-filled comeback, these words came to the surface,

“I really don’t think there is the one. I think there are lots of one’s. You will be fine, I was here when you needed me. You’ll be fine. We’ll be fine.”

She might have been shocked by my response (and maybe a little comforted). I was shocked. I had thought she was my “one” from the moment I saw her but, over the past year our relationship was anything but picture perfect, or even alright. Individually, we had changed drastically – and without any involvement from one another.

The fairy tale misrepresentation of reality and ideals on “forever” wasn’t playing out in our favor anymore. Our own “to infinity and beyond” couldn’t fix the damage we created.

Most of us enter a relationship to give and receive love. For some of us, that love and partnership is a beautiful (and fun) catalyst to learn a great deal about ourselves.  When the relationship ends and the fantasy is over, it is our Growth and clearer understanding of ourselves that is the real result of that connection.

This is the hardest lesson a broken heart can learn. This is an ego-less understanding which takes an enlightened heart to see. It is when our hearts are crushed, trampled, and gently reconstructed that enlightenment enters us and those once rose-tinted glasses turn into high definition Ray Ban’s.

My own life journey has already been filled with people whom I loved and learned from, once making my heart swell with intensity and later broken into thousands of pieces in it’s end. Looking back, I see these relationship as a doorways which opened my eyes, heart, and also made room for the next love or adventure.

I don’t know if there is the ultimate “one” for me. And I’m okay with this. If someone else can enter my world, to make me grow even more with their love, lessons, and final exit, that would be fine with me.

However, if someone enters my life and remains by my side for the rest of my time on this earth, learning and growing, I would warmly welcome it. (What a lovely thought!)

For few people, there are relationships where love enters and remains a literal “forever”, through years of all sorts of growth – sharing life together during good and bad (and every moment in between). It’s these kinds of stories of eternal love that are amazing and also somewhat mythical. My paternal grandparents represent this “forever” – they’ve been together for 60 years – gone through ups, downs, and still remain crazy in love, even during a time when one of them is slowly dying of cancer.

I’m not against “happily ever after”, it can exist but it’s not the experience for most – no matter what fairy tales, religion, or love songs tell us.

People enter and exit our life like a beautifully orchestrated play. With these well-timed introductions and departures we are given the opportunity to grieve the loss, rebuild, and grow (and also build walls – not recommended)

Our ideals on “happily ever after” or “the one” are likely to change as we shift through life, learning and expanding from connections with others and yourself. Perhaps, some will find themselves in their own forever relationship. Either way, we’re always growing, to recognize this and learn from life’s transformations is just as beautiful as any Disney movie ending (tweeting birds and rainbow-filled sky not included).

 

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The Grant Adventure: March – June

20140612-175446-64486849.jpgChallenges: Walking on the sidewalk, being around men and freaking out at the sight of the Mega Bus.

Accomplishments: Some walking, not crying at the dog park. pooping on walks (in the grass … yay!) and learning the word “sit”.

 

“Shouldn’t have worn these shoes on tonight’s walk” I tell myself as my wet feet squish against my faux leather Target flats, warm rain continues to hit my umbrella as we walk. Tonight, Richmond’s towering grey skyline looks melancholic from my view on Franklin Street. I exclaim with pride when Grant nervously glides across the street.

As we reach the other side of the street, a man walks toward us, Grant freezes with fear (queue the Pound Puppy face), backs himself under a car as my grip on his leash tightens. The man mutters “what in the world?” as he passes us.  It must be such a sight, a overly frightened dog and it’s owner who swiftly scoops him up while juggling her purse and umbrella.

I tote Grant in my arms for about 10 steps until the strange man is clear out of sight and place him back on the wet and warm pavement.  He makes it the rest of the ½ block until we reach the front door to my apartment.

Success.

I smile and tell him “good boy” with giddy (and slightly annoying) enthusiasm.

I’ve never been patient.  I’m the type who required instant gratification (and expressed frustration when it wasn’t reached) but recently, life has tossed me a handful of hurdles that have turned a lot upside down. This includes learning patience.

With my breakup came the separation of our two dogs. This is where I took on full “custody” of Grant, our rescue beagle-dachshund mix who is scared of nearly everything – sudden movements, the bass in a man’s voice, and bridges.

Moving from the quiet suburbs with a large yard to my friend’s house for a couple of months (while I looked for a permanent place) and finally to a downtown apartment has been an adjustment … for the both of us.  The guilt I felt when I couldn’t find an apartment with a yard was overwhelming.  I thought I was ruining Grant’s life.

Mommy guilt, much?

However, in the back of my  mind, I knew we could do this.  It was going to be hard. Really hard.

There was a moment where Grant came loose out of his collar on the street (my heart nearly stopped), lots of times people laugh when I have to carry him on parts of our walks, or when he projectile peed all over me because people were at my house.

Grant has overcome a lot and in a short time for a rescue (that was likely abused prior to his adoption). He’s learned to walk (still working on this), sit, roam carefree at the dog park, even get on and off an elevator (at my work) and I couldn’t be more proud.

The love of an animal is overpowering if you’re in tune to their little (or big) soul.  The connection I feel for my robust 30 pound mutt is indescribable and makes all the sense why I felt like I knew him the moment I saw his sweet face. It’s no coincidence he was put into my life at this precise moment.

There are no coincidences.

Although I drag my feet every morning knowing I have to walk/carry him down the block to use the bathroom or brace myself for his “freak out” moments, I’m happy to do it. I am learning its not all about me in a very routine way.

My life doesn’t revolve around Grant and I’m not a crazy dog lady.  I’m just thankful for the gifts I’m given at right now, Grant is my gift.

Although toting him in my arms along the street (in those moments where he won’t walk) gives me plenty of confused looks and eye rolls, it also gives me a new found humbleness (and pretty decent biceps).

 

 

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mi viaje en solitario (my solo trip)

Beach - shadow“Where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”

– John Campbell

I lie in my hot and humid Coleman tent, blue crabs come out of the sandy earth and surround my tent during the black night.  I hear (and slightly freak out) the incessant click of their claws and scurrying of their bodies until I finally calm myself to sleep.

I am camping in the jungle of Tulum, Mexico, by myself.

My girlfriend and I booked this vacation (swanky all-inclusive hotel and flights) in January, a month later, we broke up.

After breaking up, we went back and forth – deciding whether we would cancel the trip all together, keep the tickets and try to reunite our love in Tulum, or bring a friend in one of our places.

Eventually, the trip was cancelled. However, my inner voice told me not to refund my plane ticket – to take this opportunity to go alone. So, in a week’s time (trying to nudge my inner voice away), I dedicated myself to go on this trip solo. I would refund our beautiful and romantic resort for a cheap alternative – camping in the jungle for $40 a night.

Once I arrive in warm Mexico, I get on a shuttle along with a mother and daughter from Canada. I learn the daughter is going to be the maid of honor at her friend’s wedding in Playa del Carmen.  After talking to them for a bit, they ask if I am traveling alone, which I reply yes.  They seem uncomfortable at the thought of a woman traveling by herself to a foreign country. I didn’t tell them my story – what had brought me here and what I would gain here.

photo 1(7)After dropping off the Canadian ladies to their mega resort, I hop in the front seat next to the shuttle driver, Johnny.  For an hour, we talk about his children, working at Buffalo Wild Wings (which we both had done), and his thankless job as a shuttle driver. I had met a friend, someone I would have never known if I wasn’t traveling on my own.

I say goodbye to Johnny as I check into my campsite. The friendly and fabulous  host shows me to my orange tent, surrounded by green thick palm trees – of course it’s tent #3 (3 is my lucky number, our lucky number actually). I tell him thank you and sit in my tent, suddenly immersed in unfamiliar silence. I wonder how I’m here, in the jungle, in one of the most beautiful places on earth, without her.

I walk to the beach, look into its clear waters, search for some inner peace.  I don’t find it so I get dinner instead.  I make friends with the bartender and owner of a seafood restaurant near my campsite.  They make me feel like I’m at home and through a few cervezas and amazing grilled mahi, I realize my experiences on this trip will be just what I need.  That night, I walk the dark tree lined road back to my tent.

crab30 minutes into my sleep, it starts to rain.

I let my mind wander and think of her in the most overwhelming state of isolation while rain pounds my tent.  I fall back into the frantic state of confusion she left me in months after our breakup.  All the things I’ve seen and discovered in the recent weeks have made it clear I really never knew her (more so, she really doesn’t know herself). I try to collect my torturous thoughts and overcome them all in one night, while the crabs surrounding my tent barely let me sleep.

beach readingThe next days, I sit at the beach, write like a madman, read a self-help book, get a horrible sunburn only on my stomach and thighs, and voyage out in the evenings to eat and talk with others.

This is only what happens on the outside.

On the inside, my frantic mind, full of frustration was wondering why I wasn’t instantly accomplishing these thoughts:

“I was supposed to get here and be happy”

“I was supposed to enjoy this independence”

“I was supposed to find myself here”

These didn’t happen instantly. Nothing does when you rely on its outcome.

As the days go by, I try new things, I start meaningful conversation with strangers, and I make room for the hard reality and emotions in a world of disconnection from my own. I let everything be on my time.

At night, I cry in my tent. I wish for a cool breeze. I listen to my old ipod, filled with songs that remind me of her and those moments I wrapped myself in our love.  I write about it all.

In the mornings, I wake up, ready for face the next 24 hours of whatever the universe has in store for me. I try to say thank you each morning for the opportunity, for my strength, and for my journey that I will come to love.

It was during a conversation with a couple from Indiana, when I realize I hadn’t come here to find myself.  I already knew myself. I came here to take a “time out”, to gain confidence, and to be free from the expectation of “getting over it”. No one here knew my story, they only knew I had come here alone.  They didn’t see anything else past it.

YogaThe last day of my trip,  I take a yoga class. The beautiful and wise instructor makes me slightly embarrassed at my lack of flexibility but, she manages to put me at ease.

There’s a point in the class after many intense poses that she asks us to place our hands in a prayer pose in front of our chest.  She asks us to let our hands part – that we’ll feel the magnetic energy that our Chakras have created.  I’m extremely open minded but I was a little reluctant as I parted my hands from one another.  Suddenly, as if a magnet was wedged between my hands, they became polar opposites.  My hands moved in and out.  My mouth was probably gaping open at my fascination of this experience.

After the class ends, the other woman in my class and I tell the instructor thank you.  She’s happy for our praise and explains she hasn’t taught a class in a year and she was nervous for teaching her first class that day.

I would have never known.

After yoga, I get a Mayan Clay massage that helps to detoxify the skin and system. I feel slightly enlightened. How could I not?

I go to the beach for the last daytime sun before returning home the following day.  As the sun starts to set, I write my ex a letter to tell her everything that’s too late to say and say goodbye. It’s around 5 pages long, I grasp the folded pages in my hand until I’m ready to bury it in the sand.

There are moments when I tell myself, “You’re doing this. You’re doing all of this.” These simple words soften my heart and reclaim my value.  On this last day, these words wash over me with intense power and energy.

That night, I eat and drink my last meal on my trip. I walk back the dark road to my tent but something draws me to the beach.  The moonlight casts a glow on the white sand and clear waters that I could never describe in words.

Beach - viewSomething deep within me comes to surface.  Pain, fear, anger, confusion, and renewal.  I wade in the water, letting the salty waves crash into my legs and up my skirt.  I put in my earbuds in and play my ipod.  I let those songs about her become songs about me, in this moment.

I dance in the low tide, sit on the dark sandy shores, and look to the full moon for strength and restoration. I feel it all.

I somehow make it back to my humid tent and fall asleep without waking up once.

The next morning, my shuttle picks me up. On the way back to the airport, I glance to the right side of the highway and see the huge resort we had originally booked, miles away from the excitement of where I had stayed. Another moment which made me realize everything is meant to be.

I spend 12 hours that day traveling back to America, stand in long lines to get through US customs, run for connecting flights, and discover someone has stole my debit card information (yes, I filed a claim). But I am at peace.

Once I land in Richmond, I’m overcome by unexpected serenity.  I come back home to my joyful dog (many twirls and jumping) and fall asleep in my cool apartment that feels so safe.

Most people I met on this trip told me how admirable it is that I’m traveling on my own.  The women with husbands exclaimed they would be doing the exact same if they were single. I don’t want to toot my own horn but, looking back I can’t believe I did what I did, from experiencing raw moments in the hot jungle, finding happiness in conversations with wonderful people, and facing post-breakup pain on a vacation intended for a completely different purpose.

SelfieThis wasn’t my first time in Tulum.  I went last September with friends, this time alone, and am planning for another adventure with friends later this year.  Moments during this trip, I imagined what it’s going to be like to bring my future partner and family here.  It’s a beautiful place, full of positive energy and simplistic grace. I can’t wait to share it with someone who loves me with as much intensity as I deserve.

So, this is my solo trip story. It’s an experience I would recommend for everyone to try once in their lifetime – doing it after a loss or major setback is challenging and might break you open a little but something about renewing your power while being vulnerable is something that can never be replicated.

 

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The Dog Card

Charlie + Grant.   My loves.

Charlie + Grant.
My loves.

I remember when we got Charlie.  He was playing in a enclosed area (my ex referred to as the “puppy corral”) at the SPCA one Sunday afternoon when we just went to “look”.

I wasn’t a dog person, I grew up around cats and despised the stinky slobbery mess of a dog. However, my ex grew up around dogs and loved them.

That day, when we just went to look, we ended up taking home the most adorable and stubborn beagle-mix puppy I would ever meet.  My girlfriend was overjoyed. I hadn’t seen her happy like that in months.  That night, after adopting Charlie, we finally connected with one another. For the first time in months.

He was our band-aid.

When Charlie became too much with his constant anxiety, barking, and high activity, we decided to get another dog.  Unfortunately, we failed to really work with Charlie; he craved walks, needed the dog park, and we failed to provide these outlets of energy to him.  Our inactive relationship and lifestyle leaked onto our animal.

We thought another dog would help.  We’d bring a new addition into our family to become another band-aid.

Oh, this cycle.

When we saw Grant on Petfinder.com, we fell in love.  He was about to be euthanized at a local pound but [fortunately] got a second chance at a Washington DC rescue so Charlie, my girlfriend, and I toted our way to the Nation’s Capital one beautiful Fall day to follow a dog we might or might not adopt.

The Love.

I’ll always remember the moment I saw Grant.  I wanted my reaction to be authentic as possible so I watched my girlfriend’s face and Charlie’s tail-wagging reaction as the rescue employee carried him down the narrow hall I couldn’t see.  They were both ecstatic.

My girlfriend’s happiness and joy made my world. Unfortunately, this was a trend as I usually pushed my own joy to the side for hers.

When I finally turned and saw Grant, a skinny and fearful chestnut colored dachshund-mutt inch towards us, tears started to well in my eyes.

I knew he was ours.

I tell their adoption stories so you might understand the pain when I said a final goodbye to Charlie and the guilt I felt when my ex met me at the park last Saturday, where she gave me Grant.

She’ll have Charlie. I’ll have Grant.

We’ve split the dogs.

Dividing animals amongst the normal pain of a failed relationship is heart-sickening – for everyone involved.

Last night, I went to an Astrologer.  As we made way through the session, we eventually got to the real stuff; our breakup and what lay ahead. She asked me to draw 7 cards from her spread Tarot deck. Turning each card over, she smiled or said “hmm” while I tried to decipher exactly what they meant.

In a calm tone, she started with the first two cards, which represented I was coming back alive but I also endured heartbreak, which required healing and renewal. I needed to purify myself of the ordeal and also needed to forgive her.

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 12.56.22 PM copyWhen my eyes fixated on the third card, that kind of lump-in-your-throat-stifled-ugly-cry moment occurred. What the card represented was the release of fear and unhappiness.  Yes, very true. However, the picture of two brown dog figures separated by a road, under a beautiful full moon was all I could focus on.

Of all the 78 cards, I picked this one.  And I would.  When we broke up, I asked the universe to show me signs to make me realize I’d made the right decisions.  Although some things I’ve discovered have been incredibly devastating, the signs have not failed me.

Whether you agree with Astrology, religion, spirituality, or none of them, signs will swirl around you.  Of course, it’s all up to you whether to acknowledge, learn, or gain reassurance from them. And yes, sometimes the signs are painful and destructive to your mind but they’re there for good reason.

So, I’m calling this my Grant Adventure … starting a journey with a dog I never thought I wanted (remember, cat lover here), a ex I never thought I’d have, and the mentality I never knew I could own.

p.s. – Although my journey might seem strong and empowering, I’m still struggling. Every day. There are times when I see her picture or think about what she’s doing and it turns my stomach in knots or mashes my brain and heart into a cyclonic mess. Just sayin’ …

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2 – 1 = 1

Sometimes, I can’t believe I’m here.

Now that sadness and anger of my breakup has coursed it’s way through me and flipped my once “safe” world upside down (shit, NOT fun), I’ve started the new and unknown journey on the road to healing.

For the first time, in a long time, I’m connecting back with … me. At the same time, I’m gently healing the parts of myself, damaged by the emotional, physical, and spiritual neglect I experienced in our unstimulating relationship.  It’s no surprise we sometimes lose ourselves in our partner.  Luckily, I during it, I was somewhat conscious so I didn’t forget myself completely.  However, the parts of me that I couldn’t cling to were severely damaged.

I’m starting to come back alive, every day.  The more alive I become, the more see our relationship in a different light. The more I see it this way, more I resent her.  The more I resent her, the more I try to let it all go and forgive her.  This 24/7 cycle is what I call growth, my friends.

Being single is so … interesting. From cooking dinner for one, watching whatever I want, to using my first coin operated washer and dryer at my apartment … this whole “me, myself, and I” thing is settling in.

During this time of self-discovery, I’m not morphing into someone I’m not or distracting myself with people who don’t know the genuine me. I’ve even put some acquaintance-types of friends on pause because they’re not adding support or respect. Their whole “you just need to sleep with someone … that’ll help you get over it” answer is completely … not me. (They should know this, right!?)

The switch from a unit to individual has been spiritual, because I let it be.  By using the word spiritual, I mean a deep, blind dive into a sadness-drenched, physically painful, obsessive self-doubting whirlwind and now, the start of my rebirth. The old and the new, stronger me is starting to collide.

One of my favorite things I’ve read (and re-read) is the concept of “Conscious Uncoupling” from Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog, Goop. Although it’s talking about a marriage coming apart, breakups are no different emotionally.

This is some deep stuff and I’ve learned with an open mind, I can understand (of course, not all the time I feel this zen about it all) …

“It seems ironic to say that a marriage coming apart is the cause of something else coming together, but it’s true. Conscious uncoupling brings wholeness to the spirits of both people who choose to recognize each other as their teacher. If they do, the gift they receive from their time together will neutralize their negative internal object that was the real cause of their pain in the relationship. If we can allow ourselves this gift, our exoskeleton of protection and imprisonment will fall away and offer us the opportunity to begin constructing an endoskeleton, an internal cathedral, with spiritual trace minerals like self-love, self-acceptance, and self-forgiveness. This process allows us to begin projecting something different into the world because we’ve regained a missing part of our heart.

My exoskeleton is shedding everyday and my eyes are opening every hour. One day, they’ll be so open that I’ll be thankful our relationship and breakup crushed my heart and spirit … only for this time.

So, while I’m getting used to the quietness, there’s a strong self-revolution on it’s way.  A better me – a little smarter, maybe more cautious but, a mended spirit that’s been broken and beautifully reconstructed.  All on my own.

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