For the Doubters, Haters and Naysayers

My life hasn’t been picture perfect. Yet, my blessings have been, and continue to be innumerable.

I’m what one might call a “late bloomer.” I dropped out of college right after High School and pursued acting, performing in local productions, and working with an improv troupe for several years. All the while, I was building my talents as a hairdressing waitress, with a penchant for mixing up delightful cocktails, and provoking endless amounts of fun. I parlayed that into a nice management position at a high-end steakhouse, with a regular clientele, and a close-knit staff. Very good times…

I began seriously dating my future ex-husband in 2000, (who I shall affectionately refer to as FEX from here on) and we eventually ventured off into our own business, in the home improvement field. The housing market was soaring in NY, (mind you this was around 2002) and FEX and I were living it up…vacations, parties, weekend getaways and the like. More good times…

We got the house in the middle-class neighborhood, got married, and had 2 healthy, beautiful babies. A boy then a girl. Picture perfect. Um. No.

Fast forward to 2008ish. The housing market was in a drastic, downward spiral and seemingly took our business and financial security with it, in what seemed like a blink. Eventually, our marriage was to follow suit.

Still trying to hold it all together, I returned to school, in 2010. Having already attained my Associates Degree while working at that fine Steakhouse, I began to chip away at my Bachelors in English (of course) in hopes of becoming a teacher. I was an excellent student, and the go-to editor, for my friends and family, whether they needed a letter, or a college paper written. I thought becoming a teacher would be the answer to our financial woes.

That is when FEX declared that he was unhappy and wanted out. Our children were 2 and 4, at the time. It unraveled quickly after that. 6 months later, FEX moved out and I really wasn’t sure if I could manage life, house, children and dogs, without him.

I made a decision, that no matter what challenges were to come, I was going to make my job as a parent paramount over everything else. FEX proved a disloyal husband, but certainly does still love and provide for our children. We do get along (mostly) and work together at parenting our offspring. I still do cut hair, and waitress and bartend, and I also continue to put parenting my little ones before all else. But now, I can see clearly that I have the need to fulfill my own passions, and purpose. Yes, it is an actual NEED, and I shall honor it.

Which brings me here. I realize that it was necessary for me to be brought to and through these challenges and struggles, so that I could learn of my own strength, and astounding ability to improve myself. Because when the material things, and the plans I had made for the future were abruptly stripped from me, I was left with myself.

I get by, with a little help from my friends, and a lot of help from my family. I am quite Blessed, in both departments. But the point is, that I choose to be happy. I choose to chase my dreams. I am writing, which centers me, and makes me feel that all is right with the Universe. I am editing a wonderful book for my fabulous friend, mamalisa4, which excites me immeasurably. I am on the right path. I can feel it in my bones.

For those who have doubted or judged my decisions, I say, “Mind your own matters.” To my supporters, who have been there with an open heart, through it all, cheering me on, I say, “Thank you. You’ve made all the difference in the world to me.”

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Thank God I Married the Wrong Man

As a self-proclaimed “scorned” woman, and you will come to see, I definitely fit within the parameters of such a title, I have learned that there is a pitifully negative connotation attached to this status. It’s societal and familial. It is the concept that we are not whole if our partner or spouse does us wrong, or worse yet…leaves all together.

I actually use the term “scorned” in a satirical nod to my ex, who, during those dark times in our relationship, following the initial break-up, used to throw the word around at me as if this was some valid explanation for my “irrational” resentment towards him. In fact, it was true. I was scorned. I was hurt, angry, broken. At times, I was like a crazy-women, pissed-off and reeling, especially during those first treacherous months, whilst trying to regain my balance. I had two little ones, a boy, age 4, and a girl, age 2, at the time. I believed wholeheartedly that someone had pulled the rug from beneath my unsteady feet, and my entire world shifted.

The reality is, it is not possible to force another person to hold true to their commitments, even after you’ve both proclaimed, in front of God, Church and family, “‘Till death do us part.” Though, with my vision becoming increasingly clearer, it is apparent that, even though our marriage didn’t go the distance, my relationship with this man who scorned me is interminable, for the simple fact that we were gifted with two awesome children, who now literally bind us in ways both obvious and imperceptible, till death and beyond.  And I wouldn’t change a thing.

There is a quote by Cynthia Occelli, about a seed, which resonates so deeply with my feelings on the failure of my marriage, and the ensuing chaos and subsequent calm to follow. “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

I am that seed, and my desire and ability for growth astounds me. Each of us is capable of this incredible blossoming, even after we are faced with a seeming destruction. For this, I am thankful. For our beautiful children, I am thankful.  And for marrying the “wrong man,” I am indeed thankful. From that scorn, I was reborn.