Ever Faithful


Okay. So I squelched in my New Year’s resolution to blog at least once a week. I’m only human. And for once, it had nothing to do with the lack of material or the desire to remain private over lame or negative life situations to post. Truth be told, I have been so abundantly blessed in the last two weeks that my head can’t even keep it all straight. The provisions of my needs and wants are practically immeasurable and yet to do service to what I stand for, I must share with all of you.

My last blog post was an explanation as to why my birthday and Valentine’s Day is typically ignored on my end. It wasn’t to sound negative, but to give a background as to why I have been so negative toward them for so long. In my defense, I admitted that despite all of my so-called failures and unhappiness in the past year, I was vigilantly faithful that God was about to turn it all around for me… naturally after a few small moments of “why me?!” every now and again. Like I said, I’m only human. I was “coming out of my desert”, nearing a final breakthrough. Almost immediately upon posting that blog, my breakthrough began and I haven’t really had time to stop and catch my breath, or process the extraordinary turn of events in my life. Continue reading

Love’s Imitation


Does life imitate art?

Does art imitate life?

What about love?

I’m a true-blue movie buff. No question about it. You can ask any of my friends and family and they will tell you that more often than not I will quote some movie in a day-to-day dialogue before I will speak my own original thoughts. Usually, I’m just easing my way through a conversation with an actor’s line because I’m uncomfortable and need an “out”. Sometimes, I relate the conversation to a story-line I have seen and instantly have the line slipping off my tongue before I can stop myself. And it’s not just movies. It can be a song lyric. I regularly speak in Spongebob. Not much wisdom comes from that, but I always get a good chuckle and sometimes, that can be worth a thousand words.

But I enjoy almost all sorts of movie. To me, nothing beats a great horror flick. Action is awesome. Dramas… classic dramas. Comedies (not really the raunchy kind). I love the Marx Brothers.  Independent films… Seriously, I love almost all of them – I am not so much of a Romantic-comedy/chick flick kind of girl. But I do have my guilty pleasures…

Since I often relate to movies, I’ve spent the last year watching quite a few more chick flicks than I actually care to admit. I’m a divorced woman. What did you expect? Romance makes me somewhat uncomfortable, though. This may have possibly been the start to the unraveling in my previous marriage. It always felt unnatural to say sweet things or to touch lovingly… to cuddle. When all of this does catch me off-guard as being natural, then I usually panic and swear that it’s not at all happening. “No, I don’t enjoy cuddling!” Denying can only take you so far.

Dirty Dancing

Chick flicks and Romantic-comedies. Most of them consist of story-lines dealing with love, heartache, and friendship. This seems innocent enough. But as I focus more on what I expected my life to be like – based on chick clicks I have seen in the past – I realize that I’ve been viewing life through a veil of fantasy. Naturally, I put my own twist to these fantasies, because my life could never be an exact replica of art (that would just be silly). But in the end, no matter how much you change the circumstances and appearances of character, the whole concept is unrealistic.

For starters, let’s look at Dirty Dancing. My mom forbid me to watch it based on the title alone. Dirty Dancing. Seeing the style of dancing, she also felt it was inappropriate – it looked like sex with their clothes on. But finally, I watched it behind my parents’ back at my friend Cortney’s house during a slumber party in the 6th grade. I just knew that I would fall in love someday – probably at a camp – and meet a handsome guy that could dance and somehow we would win some talent contest as dancers.

-I couldn’t dance my way out of a paper bag, so it should go without saying that this could never happen. And in that case, I won’t even touch Girls Just Wanna Have Fun or Footloose. UNREALISTIC

So I look at something a bit more acceptable, like The Breakfast Club. I would be in detention and fall for the bad boy, possibly causing some chink in my popular girl armor. Yes, I had a thing for Judd Nelson.

-I was never that rich nor popular in high school. I was also too much of a goodie-goodie to even get detention. (And I wasn’t weird enough to be the “Ally Sheedy”). UNREALISTIC

Sixteen Candles

Sixteen Candles it was! Molly Ringwald’s character was more of a girl I could relate to anyway. The girl next door, she wasn’t popular. She was a bit angsty. Wasn’t a complete wall-flower and no one hated her. Yeah, I could be that girl, though never in a million years would my parents forget my birthday. But could the beautiful senior possibly fall for the sophomore girl? Well, he did – but he was a total douchebag that cheated on me and tried stringing me along for years afterward. Jake Ryan would have never treated Samantha Baker this way.

I did however have a geek or two that seemed to never take the hint. UNREALISTIC

College wasn’t much better. Of course, most college-based movies are raunchy comedies. I didn’t find that as an appealing alternative to real-life, but I imagined I would at least look and be built like the beautiful actresses that portrayed the college girls in these movies. Nope. Not a chance. By my senior year, I had finally topped out my college weight at 102 lbs and finally upgraded to a double A bra size. I looked more like Olive Oyl…and even then, I never met my “Popeye”.

UNREALISTIC

Which brings me to my young adult years. How would I fall in love? How would I get married? So many movies I had to choose from!

The Notebook

The Notebook? Not unless my Noah was the douchebag from high school or the  boy I first fell for that lived down the road from me.

Pretty Woman? Well I may have the red hair, but I was never a hooker.

Pretty Woman

Empire Records? I did work in a happenin’ music store at one point in my life with some pretty cool chicks, but we lacked the hott, artistic guys on the staff.

While You Were Sleeping. Though this whole debacle is something stupid I would find myself caught up in, I would have never carried out that facade as long as she did. I would have dumped the guy while he was in a coma and go after his brother. The brother would reject me because I was heartless for dumping my supposed comatose fiance and in the end, I would be alone just the same.

Titanic? I would have let go, Jack, long before our fingers froze together.

Titanic

A quick rundown of what my life has never been: Sleepless In Seattle, Runaway Bride, You’ve Got Mail, Can’t Hardly Wait, No Strings Attached, 28 Dresses, Leap Year, Valentine’s Day, A Walk to Remember (Lord, I hope not. I don’t wanna die of cancer!), Ghost, An Affair to Remember, Dear John, Hitch, 10 Things I Hate About You, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, The Lake House, Clueless, She’s All That, Return to Me, Wall*E (Yes, this would have been a nice change of pace in life in terms of love), Notting Hill, The Holiday, Music & Lyrics, and last but CERTAINLY not least – Twilight.

I am certain I forgot about a million in between. Stick those in there for me as well, would you?

UNREALISTIC!!!

My life has never imitated art. So I wasn’t surprised in the least when my divorce didn’t dovetail with the likes of Hope Floats or Something to Talk About. My shattered marriage wasn’t viewed on a talk show, but like Sandra Bullock, I did secretively slip back into my hometown without even a word. Some of my friends still don’t know that I’m back and living with my parents. And though she finally got a job that she wasn’t overly proud of, at least she got a job. I’m still unemployed.

Hope Floats

Harry Connick Jr. is not waiting in the wings for me. No one is. And even if he was, whose to say that in a few months he wouldn’t freak out because he realized the final step in our relationship would require him to be a step-dad. Sure he loves you and thinks your kids are great, but the end result still remains: He doesn’t want to be a father to them. They never showed that part of the movie.

Julia Roberts was from a well-to-do prestigious family in Something to Talk About and she shocked the other southern ladies of prestige by asking during a public meeting if any of the other ladies had slept with her husband? Though it is very much in my personality to do this, I don’t belong to a prestigious family or a ladies group where I’d even have to ask this question. I will not end up back with my ex-husband either. And I’m terrified of horses.

My divorce has been neither glamorous nor humorous. My marriage didn’t go out with a bang, but a whimper. It’s been a struggle for me and my boys. I’m broke all the time, but fortunate to have friends and family that continue to help me back on my feet. And never in any of the above mentioned movies did the woman decided that what she was missing all along was not a man or her independence and dignity,  but instead the Son of God.

And I haven’t even had as rough of a divorce as the majority of other women I’ve spoken to. Maybe it’s time Art imitates Life? I’d pay money to see it, even if it didn’t promote a “happily-ever-after” ending. It should simply end with the woman being happy that she made her decision, because it was the right one to make. It should end as an inspiring cliff-hanger, because that’s what life is on a day-to-day basis. A cliff-hanger. We get to choose our own adventure and we decide if we’re happy or not where we tread or where we land. Hollywood doesn’t choose for us.

When Harry Met Sally

Watching a movie and expecting it to be your reality is like watching a cooking show and knowing that your first meal is going to be a huge success. I’ve been attempting to cook for over a decade now and I swear that not only can I still burn toast, but I could also set fire to my house by simply boiling water. Even in reality-based movies, moms are sexy! I’m currently covering my grey roots and battling my weight. Not sexy. Real.

My Best Friend's Wedding

But I  can still dream! Maybe my life will someday become a When Harry Met Sally as opposed to a My Best Friend’s Wedding.

Just a random thought.

Next week, maybe I should put myself in a horror movie or western, just for grins and giggles.

Dear 16-year-old ‘Me’…


Recently, I came across a video that moved me, called “Dear 16-Year-old Me“. It was a video about Melanoma and how “we” (as a general use) would like to warn ourselves of the dangers of even one bad sunburn before the age of 18. It’s starts out with a bit of humor, warning about perms and that you actually have to practice to get better at the guitar, but quickly transforms into a collection of people communicating to their 16 year-old-self  about the fears and trials they are going to face with this skin cancer. Each one – a personal flare to it. Really, it’s moving and I  encourage every one to check this video out, pass it on to a 16 year-old.

However, I do not have melanoma and this is not about skin cancer. The video inspired me in other ways.

As the people in the video begin speaking to their 16-year-old self, I wondered, “What would I warn my 16 year-old self?”

Wow. Where do I freakin’ begin?

Dear 16 year-old ‘Me’,

Stop coloring your hair blonde; it looks funny with your thick, dark eyebrows and doesn’t complement your skin tone in the least. It just isn’t natural and it won’t at all make you more popular.Enjoy the size you are now in spite of the ridicule you’ve been enduring from others. Your mom is right, they really are jealous. And by the time you are in your 30’s your metabolism will drop and gravity will be working against you. Your jean size willsee double digits, so learn how to excercise and eat healthy now. It’s harder to convert a lifestyle as you get older.
But remember, your size will in no way change your beauty.

Don’t play with the radio when you’re driving. You are not invincible and neither is your car and you risk the chance of getting into a one-car accident that will break your sister’s collarbone as well as her trust in your driving. Your 1979 Chevy Malibu will be totaled and that’s a heavy financial burden on your family.

So what if you’re a virgin? By the time you reach college you will no longer hear derision over the matter and instead admiration from mature friends. Hang on to it as long as possible, because it really is more than just a physical act. It’s the sharing of one’s soul and people can be fickle with your heart. It’s not an easy recovery when they change their mind after the deed is done.

Spend quality time with your family. By the time you’re 20, you will lose the grandmother you’re closest to. She’ll be diagnosed with cancer during Christmas of your sophomore year of college and will not see even Thanksgiving of the following year.

You will move out on your own at 21 and begin to see how the lives of your family members are beginning to branch out on their own as well. Embrace it, but don’t take the time you have with them now for granted.

Don’t judge others so quickly for the mistakes they make and circumstances they’ve been given in life; let your soapbox rest. You may know better, but you’re only flesh – you’re not perfect either. That girl who got pregnant out-of-wedlock? The boy who can’t afford a winter jacket? It could easily be you at any given time.

Please stop gossiping. It makes you look untrustworthy and ignorant and it is no way to keep or make friends.

Singing loudly does not constitute as singing better. You’re hurting yourself and you should treat your vocal cords like gold. By the time you’re 18, you will develop nodules. This will be one time you will not pass off a hoarse voice as an allergy infection and you will catch the problem early to correct it.

And accept the fact that you aren’t going to sing in the same key as an original artist. Just because Barbara Streisand sings  “My Man” in A-flat doesn’t mean it won’t sound just as wonderful if you do it in G. Besides, why are even singing Streisand? In 7 years, you will resign from theatre work. Believe or not, you will study jazz in college and when you are 29, you’ll play bluegrass and then move to acoustic pop. That’s right, I said play. You’re more than just a vocalist; you can be a musician. And you will be a good one. Don’t sell yourself short. Why don’t you try writing music as well? I think you’d be great at it.

And while we’re on the subject of music: You can hide all you want from that still small voice that speaks to your heart, but eventually you’ll give in and it will fulfill you beyond your imagination. Don’t allow your mother’s opinion of Worship music deflect you from what you were called to do. She is only human and wants what’s best for you – what she is comfortable with. But you are you’re own person.

Hold fast to your faith in Christ. In college, your faith will become shaky, even to the point you will be considered agnostic for a short period of time. Remember that your mom and dad raised you with a strong foundation of belief and would never lead you astray. And no matter how far your think you’ve gone, Christ is always in front of you with His arms wide open; always ready to take you back, because you can’t really run from Him if He is yours and you are His.

Worship how you are led, though. That is between you and God; let no judgement affect you. Who are you to judge how the Spirit of God looks and how to praise Him? You will eventual step out of that mold you were raised in – and it will be bittersweet and scary – but you’re doing right by you and your children.

Yes, you will have children.

That doctor you went to in college was wrong. You are fertile. Very fertile. Be prepared.

Jealousy will get you nowhere. It’ll simply eat you from within. Stop comparing yourself to other vocalists you know. You are all amazing in your own right. Amazing and different – there is no comparison so don’t let others feed that idea into your head.

Do NOT date that guy, even though you will anyway. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. He really is cheating on you and he will dump you by the end of the year so he can marry the other girl. Try not to let it get you down or break you. Trust me, you didn’t want that kind of future. You deserve so much better.

And try to forget the other guy. Well, don’t forget; just move on. You will continue to be involved on and off for the next few years, but if you look hard enough, you’ll see that it was truly all done and over with when he moved. You will put too much effort into something that won’t last. It may be a learning experience, but you’re also closing your eyes to other possibilities because of him – though no fault of his. And what’s wrong with being single?

You do not have the makings to be a cheerleader so don’t waste a summer trying to learn when your mother comes up with the brilliant idea that you can get scholarships that way. Being a cheerleader is your sisters’ thing. You will not spend a dime for school anyway. You’re talented.

For goodness’ sake, Do your homework. Changing a report card every 6 weeks is exhausting and that last stretch before you graduate will practically give you a nervous breakdown when it becomes questionable that you’ll graduate. This is what happens when you are dishonest with your parents. It isn’t worth it unless you consider the experience as book-worthy.

Yes, you will write a book. Writing will become a big focus of yours.

Be thankful that your parents are still married and love each other deeply. Show empathy to those whose parents have divorced. It’s hard on them, even when they don’t show it. Someday, you will be a part the statistics and your children will experience a hurt that you’ve never fully grasped. Be patient with them and show them love. Don’t feel guilty for your decision though. You did what you thought was best for everyone involved.

Dear 16 year-old ‘Me’:

Relax. It’s just a breakup; it wasn’t in God’s plan and He wants you happy. You will be happy. It’s just money. It can’t buy happiness. It’s just a transition; you will adapt and overcome.

It’s just a diagnosis; not the end of the world. Over 17 million people suffer from it. A doctor will tell you at 19 that you too have a chemical imbalance called clinical depression. Try not to wallow in that, though it may seem impossible at times not to. At 21 you’ll consider suicide. Don’t. It’s a selfish way out and in spite of what your brain tells you, many will be devastated by your loss. You have so much potential. Tune in to CBS the night you sit at your dorm room window before Christmas break. Linus Van Pelt will remind you that Jesus came to the Earth to give peace. In that instant you will find that peace and go home to collect yourself. It will be a struggle, but you’re a fighter.

And God gave us two P’s to help us. Prayer and Prozac.

Slow down. Walking fast everywhere you go and driving in a hurry doesn’t increase your time for other things, it only increases you chances of an accident or make you miss the sweeter & simpler things in life. Besides, I don’t think a few more seconds is going to make that much of a difference in time management.

Don’t act unappreciative over the birthday parties your mother throws for you. Eventually, the parties will stop. And when you’re 30, in battle to embrace a milestone you so desperately want to reject, you will have to throw your own party, because your husband at the time forgot your birthday altogether.

I know you’re bored with horror movies right now. They haven’t been the same since the early 80’s. But in a few years Wes Craven will put out a movie called Scream and will revamp your enjoyment of this genre. A few years after that, a new breed of horror will take the genre by an independent film called the Blair Witch Project. Some will hate it. You will love it…but it will also make you motion sick.

Avoid Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween. Only bathing yourself in acid can make the tainting of that film go away.

Go to your senior prom stag or you will be miserable with the date you choose.

In two years your family will finally buy a computer and you will be introduced to the internet. It will literally be information at your fingertips and you will never research in a library again. High school will be over, so this will piss you off, but at least you can still utilize it in college.

And you will be mind-blown with its possibilities when you become an adult.

Being 20 does not make you an adult and you don’t have the all the answers at 25. You sound dumb when you act as if you do.

Crossville is your hometown. I know you hate it. But every time life kicks you down, you’re only able to get on your feet and dust yourself on when you’re back home. It’s much like Scarlett O’Hara and her beloved Tara Plantation…just less dramatic and sensational.

Don’t ever try a Starbucks’ latte. It’ll be like crack to you. Not only will you spend a ton of money on this habit, but your butt and thighs will reap what you sow. But it will taste so darn good.

Relying on someone to support you financially is a mistake. You will leave your job behind and when you divorce at 34, you will not only be broke but have a large employment gap during a bad time in America’s economy. Being hired somewhere will be difficult, but it will happen. Keep faith during this struggle.

Be selfish. Enjoy that, because when you are 26 your life will center around a beautiful baby boy instead and selfishness will have to be a thing of the past. Don’t laugh too hard at your parents’ stories about you as a child. Your second child will give you a run for your money. Be patient with him and guide him the best you can. He has a good heart, he’s just mischievous and stubborn – like you.

Your marching shoes are in no way to be worn off the field. They provide no traction in the halls of your school and you will fall and break your elbow during Homecoming week. Like a nerd, you will be wearing a poodle skirt for 50’s day and your underwear will make an appearance. (This is why they tell you not to run in the hallways.) Some people will not forget this incident, but don’t worry. Eventually, you’ll find it humorous too.

If you don’t taste banana in the punch then you can go ahead and stop drinking the punch because 99 Bananas is not part of a fruity recipe. It will all reappear that evening with the frozen pizza you ate earlier. You will never eat frozen pizza again. But the lesson will be learned.

You’re still listening to Debbie Gibson religiously though she is gone from the public eye already. It’s okay that you enjoy her music, but know that she does not make a come back. And don’t buy the playboy issue with her spread in it. She does this to show people how she’s grown up. It’s stupid. And you look like a lesbian even if you are just buying it for the article.

That guy who lied about sleeping with you? Don’t worry about it. You weren’t even dating him so no one really believes him. You have a good reputation, too. He’ll continue lying about things as an adult and behind his back will be a group of your mutual adult friends laughing at him. Chances are that if he’s still lying at 35, he’s sick.

Continue taking piano lessons and don’t let your husband give your piano away for free just because you’re moving to an upstairs apartment.

Be bold.

Be brave.

If you change your mind about something, then change it and don’t be ashamed.

Dear 16-year-old ‘Me’:

Love yourself. It seems to be the hardest thing for you to do sometimes.

Life is short so try as many things as possible while you are still breathing and young enough to enjoy it.

35 is still very young.

Take care of your skin. Wash it regularly and moisturize it.

Sleep. If you’re tired, sleep. It keeps you healthy and young-looking. And I promise you won’t miss much during your down time.

Cut back on Mello-Yellos…well, sodas, in general. They’re bad for your teeth. No matter how tired you are before you go to bed, brush them. Every night. No exceptions.

Spend your money wisely. Start making good financial habits for yourself.

Don’t wear orange. It may be your favorite color, but it’s not appealing on you. Get the charcoal colored sweater instead.

Don’t sell your banjo. Your best friend may want to learn to play someday – or at least toy with the idea of learning.

Finish college. Don’t major in music or theater. Major in a Plan B.

Avoid Myspace and Facebook if you can. Sure, you will be able to catch up with friends and family better than way, but it will consume too much of your valuable time with no benefit in return. It will also make you look as if you have no life.

Follow your instincts. $6,000 is a lot of money to invest on a business you really have no faith in – so don’t. You’ll lose it all within a month.

And lastly, 16-year-old ‘Me’, know that you are not alone. You never have been and you never will be. You have friends and family that will stick by you even in your lowest of times.

And a Father who holds a boundless love for you even when you don’t believe in Him.

He will bring you back and you’ll be better than ever.

You will not peak at 16 and be done with like so many others. You will stay on top as long as you desire. It’s always your choice.

Love,

34-year-old  ‘Me’

P.S. You can do this! I believe in you.

An Independent, Independence Day?


Quickly approaching is my first major holiday and apparently, I’m going it completely solo. They call it Independence Day, and yet strangely, I don’t really want to be independent that day.

I have a few of my favorite holidays: Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving…. and the 4th of July. Looking over them, I realize that I enjoy the “kid-friendly” holidays the most. Maybe it’s my maturity level? Halloween, we get to dress up and eat candy – of course, I’m like a fat kid in a candy store when it comes to the horror movies. Christmas – TOYS!!! Thanksgiving is simply exciting because you’re with family and really, it’s a preview of Christmas – TOYS!!!! The 4th of July is to be filled with Sparklers, “ooohs” and “aaahhhhs”, barbecue, lake time, summer sun, parades…. and all of this is greatly provoked by children or friends.

Well this year, I have offered to let the boys be with the dad for the 4th because his family always has a big gathering in the countryside to shoot off a ton of fireworks. Plus, being a family business owner, it the ONLY day he has off. I refuse to hinder a solid relationship between my boys and their dad. That relationship is just as important as the one they have with me. Besides, I can spend the weekend before the 4th with my boys. I can spend the 4th with my friends….

Wait a minute. I don’t really have any friends.

I don’t want you to think I don’t have people to turn to, to talk to, and meet up with for lunches. I truly do! But for the last ten years of my life, I have had my husband, his family, my boys, and my family. The friendships I had acquired through the years were watered down to Facebook and Christmas cards. I no longer have girlfriends to have “Girls Night Out” with or to have weekend getaways with. Not that I expected to. When we settle down, we focus more on family instead of friends. The few friends we do keep are usually because they, too, are married and with kids about the same age as our kids. They all have families of their own now. Seldom do we actively stay in constant contact with our single friends with different goals and focuses.

So here I am, close to a week away from the 4th of July and no plans to speak of. Nothing to do. It is quite depressing to say the least. My children will be with their dad, my friends will be with their families. My family members will either do something with in-laws or with their family friends. I haven’t the foggiest idea as to what I will do. It’s not a romantic holiday, and yet I sense a loneliness if I don’t partake in some sort of celebratory event.

Do I ignore the holiday and call it an early night – sleep through its marvelous beauty and fun? Do I post on my Facebook wall that I haven’t any plans and want someone to take pity on me & invite me to their function? Or do I celebrate Independence Day independently?

This is the part of my journey that feels scary… and sad. But the last thing I want is pity because this was ultimately part of MY decision.

“Do Over!”


“Do Over!” – This is such a funny, but common phrase with children when they make mistakes or realize they can do something better a second time around. This phrase has repeatedly coursed through my mind in the last several months as my husband of almost ten years and I have decided to get a divorce.

I’m 34 years old. Yes, I am aware that I’m not “mid life” yet, but I figured that since my Grandma Ellis died at 67, my Grandpa Ellis died at 54, my Grandpa Perdue passed away at 79, my Grandma Perdue (now affectionately coined as G.G. – for Great grandmother) is still alive and kicking at 82 and both of my parents are still breathing, I could very well be in the middle of my life expectancy. I see my life as a time line (remember those in school?). The beginning would probably have the terms “Infant” or “Toddler” followed by “Puberty”. “Teen Years”, or “The Years I Had to get the Last Word In” would probably be next, right before “When I tried College and hated it” and then “My Early 20’s” (Which I considered tagging as “The Years I Thought I Knew Everything”). Starting at 24, I started the “Richard Years” when I said “I do”, and the sub-category of “Mom” started 2 years later at 26. For some women, they lose their identity at this time. I don’t think I lost mine. If anything I added to my identity.

When I met Richard in 1999, I made choices that I neither regret or celebrate. I had been a “starving artist” working as a singer/actress in theatre since the age of 16 and at 22 when I “fell in love” I felt that I could no longer lead that lifestyle (and yes, that job requires a different lifestyle than that of a normal person). So I gave it all up to work a normal retail job. I managed a music store just before Napster ambushed the CD industry. I was informed early on that I may have difficulty getting pregnant (which has proven to be completely untrue), so I was surprised to find out a week before our one year anniversary that we were expecting our first child. Aidan (now 8 ) was born in 2003 and again made the choice to be a full-time stay at home mom, like my mother and GG before me. I wouldn’t change that for the world. I enjoyed spending that time with both of my boys, Aidan and Ethan (now 5). But did I feel like I lost some of myself? Sure!

I missed my music like CRAZY! So at the age of 30 (which I had a hard time with, I won’t lie. I hope 40 isn’t as bad..) I felt that my youngest son, Ethan, was old enough for me to actually leave behind with Richard and Aidan at the house more often than just for a quick trip for groceries. I began playing music again. I wasn’t gone a lot. It started out as a night or two every month, but swiftly grew to every weekend. My children adjusted fine with this. I was with them every minute of every day during the week anyway.

But it hit the marriage.

I won’t go into details. Sometime explanations are simply not needed. We grew apart. I began relying on other people for support instead of family and it only made things worse.

Which brings me here – to this part of my time line… My mid-life do over.

I declared a “Do Over!” in 2010. We’ve parted as friends who care deeply about one another and for the upbringing of our children. I know many people say that, but in this case we truly mean it. We regularly send funny texts to one another, take playful jabs despite the hurt, fear, and angry we both feel. We spent 12 years together. Why make that 12 years seem like a waste? Our relationship has gotten better which proves that we made better friends than husband and wife. I detest the word “Divorce”. The word always seems to carry baggage of bitterness, loathing, and a blame-game. So my big “D-word” is “Do Over!”

My life is not done. I may be mid way… and then again, I could drop dead tomorrow. Nonetheless, I still have time to correct what some may deem as a mistake (which I don’t). This is my “Do Over!” and I’m going to make discoveries about myself, my children and others during this journey. Hopefully, I’ll gain better footing as an individual and get a better grasp on how I work in this world – not how the world works, because it NEVER “works”, let’s face it. I’m going to make mistakes. I’m going to see light at the end of the tunnel. I’m going to have dark days. I will feel relief at times and also anger and fear. And there are so many possibilities!! Will I spend the rest of my life as a single girl focused solely on my career, children, and myself or will I find another companion? Will I date again? Will I marry again?

Only time will tell… and I’m okay not knowing in advance.

Welcome to my mid-life do over!