We are all Pioneers

You’ll notice around my blog the mention of the word “Pioneer” and there’s a very good reason for it.

According to Webster’s dictionary, “Pioneer”:
to explore or open up ways or regions for others to follow; to begin something new or take part in the early development.

When I went through my divorce, I decided to see a therapist and it was life changing (in the best way possible).  It gave me insight on myself, others around me, and my ex-husband as well.

In one of the sessions, she asked about my mother.  I told her that she is originally from Uruguay, and at 18 she moved to Argentina to work and create a better life for herself.  She later met my father and when she was in her 30s, she moved along with my father, my sister and I to the United States for better opportunities.  I went on to explain how when I was 16, she divorced my dad and worked three jobs at once to help me through college.

My therapist stopped and thought for a moment and said, “Wow.  So you two are very much alike in your strength to move forward.  You both moved away at a young age to stretch your independence and make a name for yourselves.  And when facing trouble you both sacrificed and push forward so others can thrive.  She’s a sort of pioneer, isn’t she?  Like you.”

I never thought about it that way, but the moment she mentioned “Pioneer,” I automatically thought of a song that I love by The Band Perry, called Pioneer (from their Album, Pioneer):

Oh Pioneer, I sing your song
Well it’s the hymn of those who’ve gone before and those who carry on
Pioneer, your work is hard
But the future of us all rests on the shoulders of your heart

Where are we going
Oh I don’t know
But still I’ve got to go
What will become of us
Oh I don’t care
All I know is I’ll go anywhere

Oh Pioneer
So young and brave
Be careful of the careful souls who doubt you along the way
Pioneer, you orphaned child
Your mother is adventure and your father is the wild

Where are we going, oh I don’t know
But still I’ve got to go
What will become of us
Oh I don’t care
All I know is I’ll go anywhere
Let your heart not be troubled

I won’t run when bullets chase me
I won’t rest where arms embrace me
I will love when people hate me
I won’t hush, no you can’t make me
Send the dark but it won’t break me
You can try but you can’t change me
Take my life, they will replace me
I won’t hush, no you can’t make me
I won’t hush, no we will sing

Where are we going
Oh I don’t know
But still I’ve got to go
What will become of us
Oh I don’t care
All I know is I’ll go anywhere

Let your heart not be troubled

Now, I’ not a country music fan, but that album got me through an extremely rough time in my life when I found out that my ex-husband had cheated on me and it was up to me to raise my 6-month old son on my own.  It spoke straight to me and I realized, that yea – I am a pioneer.  Heck, we all are!

So to all you the moms, dads, guardians, caregivers – you are more than just a mom or a dad or a caregiver – you’re a damn PIONEER!

Without sight of what the next day will bring, you are the one to take the first to step forward to pave the way for those who will follow, you’re children.  And because of you, they’ll path will be a lot smoother.

We face the turmoil that may cross our paths, shielding those behind us from the hardship it brings because the truth is “your work is hard, But the future of us all rests on the shoulders of your heart.”

So, my dear Pioneer, I hope you take comfort in knowing that we are all leading in our own paths. Sure, we all have visions of where we would like to go, but the truth is, none of us know where we are going “but still we’ve got to go” and we walk through each day in hopes that we get “there” – wherever “there” is for us.

Writing for me – but with you in mind.

Ok, so are you ready for a confession? Here it goes . . .

I’m a perfectionist AND I’m human. Deadly combination, I know.

The thing is . . . I do social media and blogging promotions for a living. So I had this grand idea in my mind about how to go about this blogging thing when I ventured into the blogging world. After all, over years of experience in the industry, I’ve built a sort of formula – write, promote on social, measure, fix things, and repeat (more or less). The only thing is, I work for a large, global corporation with a large social following, large ad budget, and all the resources I could dream of as a social media marketer. How can I expect the same results and attack this private-blogging thing as I do my career?!

Well, I can’t! Duh! Not entirely anyways.

Sure, there are things that I can use and I do have an advantage already knowing how to go about social media marketing, but promoting a NEW personal blog and an already established B2B blog of a global corporation are two different beasts. I can’t expect to get the same results from one as the other, and unfortunately, I forgot that.

I went into this thinking that it would be “cake” – and when I didn’t get the results I expected from the “perfect” formula I knew to work well, I became discouraged, which then blocked my creativity and my ability to put pen to paper, so to speak. I completely shut down, gave up, and stopped writing – stopped blogging.  Not to mention, I got caught up in the likes and followers of the social media world.

But yesterday, was an eye opener. I got the ability to go to the Pennsylvania Conference for Women and that was truly life changing. Being around women of all walks of life, with different hopes and dreams, and different career paths – made me realize that although I gave up on writing, it has still been in the back of my mind. And it’s not doing any service to anyone by just being there – especially not me.

So here I am, to tell you that – I expected perfection, didn’t get it and I immediately shut down because I’m human and that’s what I sometimes do. But I’m back and this time, I’m determined to write for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I want my stories shared, I want for you to read this blog and share with all your friends and family – but right now, that’s not going to be my driver.  My push forward will be me and my story.  Sharing my experiences while hoping that it resognates with someone out there.

With that being said – read, enjoy, and comment, if you’d like!  🙂

Lets talk about divorce.

I have to ask – where area all my single or divorced parents at?!

I wanted to do a little research on single/divorced parent blogging, so naturally, I took to Google and let me tell you, it wasn’t as easy finding this niche as I thought.  Divorce now a days is more common than it previously was – so I figured, someone HAS to be blogging about it.  Well, I can’t find one – or at least, one that has really drawn me in.

Current Divorce Blogs

Now, don’t get me wrong – there are definitely some single/divorced parent blogs out there – it’s not like they don’t exists.  But there are few and far between and the ones that I did find included impersonal posts that just weren’t relatable.

I found posts that included, “the top 5 lessons from divorce, what not to do during a divorce, how to tell your children about divorce” – all these posts sounded more from a therapists point of view than from the person who sat there and had to maneuver through life as a newly divorced person.

Why are we not talking publicly about divorce?

Statistics show that there are more of us than there once was – so why aren’t we talking publicly about it?  Is it the shame that comes with the word “divorce?” Is it the stigma that is put on us for being divorced – especially a divorced mom?  Is it because we see divorce as a “failure” and don’t want to admit it?  Or is it because society sees divorce as something so negative that we shouldn’t discuss it openly?

Why are we still ashamed of talking about divorce publicly?

Well, let me tell you something! . . . It’s time we come out of hiding.  It’s time we celebrate our freedom.  It’s time we share our triumph over hardship.  It’s time we sit down, turn on our computers and start talking about what we have overcome without shame or guilt.

Lets make it better – starting here!

Divorce/separation is a long, hard, and lonely road.  So why are we making it even more isolating?  The truth is – we never know who we can help by sharing our journey with others.  So, Wayward Dash readers, my Pioneers – I’m promising you that here – I WILL talk about my divorce.  I will not only give you tips and tricks on how to deal with certain situations, but I will give you an insight look at my personal struggles and my personal situations and how I handled them.  Here, you will get a REAL inside look into the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between because the truth is – that’s life! Divorce happens!

So here I am Pioneers . . . I’m 33. I’m a mother. I’m a sister. I’m a daughter. I’m a friend. I’m a working professional in the marketing field.  I’m passionate.  I’m creative.  I’m a DIYer.  I’m hard working.  I’m a writer. I’m a dreamer. I’m a loyal.  I’m genuine.  I’m sensitive.  I’m a provider.  I’m a fur-mom.  And . . . I’M DIVORCED!

So, where are the rest of you?!

Important lesson from divorce

When I separated from my son’s dad three years ago, I thought the world was going to end. Never did I think that I would grow so much and find so much happiness, strength, and power from such a devastating situation. I feel blessed to have been able to take so many positive things from that heart-wrenching time and although I still continue to learn and grow, three years later, there is one thing that I learned along this wayward road that I use every single day.

Some call it a sixth-sense. Other’s call it their gut (which is what I tend to call it). Some say they “have a feeling.” Some might even refer it to their “third-eye.” There are people that might even refer to it as “following your heart.” Whatever you call it, the most useful lesson that I thank my divorce for is trusting my intuition.

While married, my then-husband suffered from PTSD (more to come on this at a later date). PTSD has different “symptoms” for everyone and it shows it’s ugly face in many different ways depending on the person and what they have gone through. For my son’s dad, one of the outcomes of his PTSD was lying. During our marriage, he started lying about the little things. There were such small lies that when I suspected it and had a “feeling” that he might be lying, I would tell myself that I was wrong because “it was so silly for him to lie about something so unimportant – there’s no way he would do that.” Or, I would chose to ignore them because I thought I was “choosing my battles” and I didn’t think something so small was worth the trouble of an argument. Funny thing is, the few times that I did catch him in a lie and did bring it up, I would always say “if you lie about the little things – you’ll lie about the big things.” He would tell me he wouldn’t do it again and of course, I had the “gut feeling” that this wouldn’t be the last time.

Boy, was I right!

Once we separated, weeks/months after finding out about his affair, a handful of lies that he had told while we were together finally came to light and I nearly kicked myself. All those times that I “had a feeling” that things weren’t quite right – were in fact, not quite right. He had lied.

Morale of the story: I had an intuition about it and I purposely chose not to listen to it. Would anything have changed if I would have listened? Who knows! But the point here is not what could have changed. The point is – when did I stop trusting myself and my gut? Looking back – I don’t know when I stopped. And I suppose it didn’t matter – the important thing is to get back to knowing and trusting myself.

It took time, and I still struggle with it sometimes, but I’m happy to report that now, when I get that “feeling” about something – I listen! And guess what?! In the past three years, it has NEVER let me down – which is probably why I’m so happy with my growth through this and where I am in my life right now.

Trusting my gut has helped me end dating situations that I “had a feeling” weren’t right for me. It has led me to take certain paths in my life that have led me to meet some wonderful new friends. Listening to my intuition has helped me manage co-parenting when my son’s dad has been difficult (and that’s a mild word for it). Trusting that feeling has led me to take a HUGE risk in my career that led me to my current job that I love sooooo much and has provided such amazing things for me in the short time I have been here! Trusting my gut has even made me a better mother and to trust the fact that although what I do as a mom might not be perfect, it’s still right for us in this moment in time.

I’m not sure if you know who Theresa Caputo is (Long Island Medium ring a bell?), but my sister and I just went to see one of her live readings and she said something that kind of stuck with me. Now, I’m not sure if you believe in this sort of thing (and I’m not even 100% positive that I do), but I am open to learning and taking things in – so during her reading she was talking to a mother who lost her child when he was 3 years old while the child was under her ex-husband’s care. While she described her situation she mentioned, “That morning, when I dropped off my son at his dad’s and said goodbye, I don’t know why but I held him tighter. I felt like I wasn’t going to see him again. I just had this bad feeling. It was so strange.” Theresa gave her this understanding smile and said, “So you had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right? Like something was going to happen that day? . . . of course you did. That was your soul telling you what was going to happen – you just couldn’t understand it.”

She went on to explain her belief that our souls are a living, active energy within us. How our soul lives somewhere in our subconscious mind – somewhere where we can’t really reach it. But our soul knows exactly what we are here to do in this lifetime. It knows our purpose in life and it knows what our journey in this world is meant to be. And when we ask ourselves questions and listen to our “inner voice” – that’s when we get that “feeling” of something that is about to happen because our souls are giving us the answer, since it already knows the outcome.

I took that statement home with me. I thought about it on the hour drive home from her show and I realized the statement actually brought me comfort that night. The thought that my inner self already knows my purpose and my path in this world made me feel less anxiety about the uncertainty the future brings. It made me feel more at ease knowing that whatever tough situation comes up, one way or another, I will “know” the right choice for me.

Again, I don’t know if you believe in that sort of thinking and you might think I’m crazy that something so silly brought me comfort but honestly, you don’t have to believe in it. The point here is that we all have that inner voice – some of us just choose to ignore it, while others choose to listen to it. The important thing is to TRUST that our inner self knows us better than we realize and that trusting our intuition will lead us where we are meant to be.

A Mother’s Day to Remember

Mothers’ Day is in a few days and this year will be the 3rd Mothers’ Day I get to celebrate.  The thing is, the last two haven’t been pleasant (for reasons I am about to share) and instead of enjoying the day, I’ve spent it in a state of darkness and pity on my current situation and how I ended up where I am.  But this year, I’ve made a decision to make it different.  This year, for me, Mothers’ Day will be a day that I’ve decided to turn into a day of appreciation and positive reflection.

Three years ago, on my FIRST Mothers’ Day, I found out that my then-husband was having an affair (I’ll let that sink in for a moment).

Without my knowledge or suspicion, my husband had met a woman during a work function and began a text-relationship for a month, which led to a physical relationship soon there after.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, he fabricated an alternative reality with her.  A world where he told her lies about me in order to make himself seem like a “good guy” in a “bad situation.”  The list of lies consisted of: us never actually being married, I had a tendency to sleep with other men, our son was actually not his, I made his life miserable, etc – honestly, there’s a lot more to this list, but it’s not even worth rehashing anymore.

On Mothers’ Day 2014, my FIRST Mothers’ Day as a mom, my heart fell to the floor and ripped my soul on its way down.  After screaming, crying, laughing, more crying and more screaming,  I found myself as a single parent, a new mom, broke (since I was a stay-at-home mom at the time), with a husband who was suffering from PTSD (more to come on that in another post) and with the rug yanked from underneath me.

Things were hard.  They sometimes still are.  But now, enough time has past that I can honestly say I’m in a much better place and I’m actually better for the things that I have gone through.  I’ve spent the last 3 years providing for my son and for myself and trying to better our lives.  I’ve provided a stable home for my son, a great foundation of family and friends that we both love spending time with, I have been able to find some sort of life/work/mom balance that keeps me grounded, and I have been able to grow my career and financially support the life we are able to live.

Not only have I been able to provide for my son, but in these past 3 years I’ve realized how strong I truly am.  I use my strength every day to get me through and I’ve realized that I am in more control of our lives than I think I am.  Overcoming the hard situations these past 3 years, I’ve realized that I’m a strong and confident woman – I make things happen for us – and that’s a powerful feeling.

Knowing all the hardship that I have overcome and feeling that power and confidence because I’m on the “other side” of it now is what has led me to be a better mom, a better friend, a better daughter, a better sister, a better worker and overall, a better person.

So this Mothers’ Day I am making an effort to use the day to yes, remember what happened 3 years ago – but instead of remembering it with that normal feeling of sadness and anger, I will remember the day with appreciation.  If that day didn’t happen (and everything that followed), I wouldn’t be where I am today – and today, I have a lot to be thankful for.

mommy blogging

“Excuse me, do you like to write?”

It all happened unexpectedly.  And even when I look back at it now, years later, I continue to think – did that really happen?

It was an ordinary Fall day in November 2015 and I was minding my own business at Jo-Ann Fabrics, waiting for my fabric to be cut just like the other 10 people in front and behind me.  As I was walking through the aisle, I locked eyes with a stranger.  She seemed like an ordinary woman in her 30s.  Petite, with a cute baby bump and in the usual mommy uniform (yoga pants and a t-shirt).  I didn’t think anything of it and as I continued to walk around the fabric area, that stranger approached me and with a warm smile on her face said, “excuse me, do you like to write?”

The truth is, yes.  I always have.  I remember writing about everything and anything in middle school which led me to write for my high school’s newspaper.  I enjoyed it so much that I actually decided to emphasize in Print Journalism in college and continued writing as a reporter for my campus newspaper and later became an editor. Unfortunately, at that time, writing became more of a chore then an outlet for my creativity.  I started dreading writing and life also began getting in the way.

I looked at her with a smile of confusion and said, “Yea, I guess.  Why?”  The words that came out of her month next, literally stopped me dead in my tracks.  She casually said to me, “Oh because God is telling me you should be writing.”

Yup, you read that correctly.  She said “God is telling me you should be writing.”  Now, I consider myself to be spiritual rather then religions and I do believe in God and his influence in our daily lives, but God speaking to a stranger about me was the last thing I expected to hear.  Honestly, all I was looking to hear was my fabric number to be called in order to end the agonizingly long wait.

She must of sense that I couldn’t find the words because she continued to say, “Maybe, a blog or a book or something about you, your life or maybe your style.”  I finally got my bearings and muttered, “I’m sorry.  Where are you getting things?”  And very nonchalantly she said, “Oh, sometimes God speaks to me and he’s telling me that you should be writing.  Like I said, maybe a blog about you and your style.  Actually more about your life-”  She stopped abruptly at that sentence, as if she was being fed information right in front of me and with a slight head nod said, “You’ve been through a a lot in the last few years, haven’t you?  The things that you have gone through are very close to your heart and they are very delicate.  It really is a delicate situation, but you should share your story.  I know you hold it really close to your heart, but share your story – you don’t know who you might be able to help.  You really should be writing.”

As you continue to read this blog in the future, you will realize that yes, in fact, I have been through a lot the last few years.  My ex-husband of 4 years began suffering from PTSD and had a complete personality shift which led to the end of our marriage in a very dramatic way (which you will read about in future posts) while I was raising our 6 month old son.  So as you can imagine, her telling me that I have been through a lot of delicate things these past few years touched me in a way that I will never forget.  But more specifically, what impacted and shocked me was the fact that writing about my life experiences is something that I have contemplated since this all began.  In fact, I’ve discussed the possibility of it with my best friend several times.  Unfortunately, I just haven’t found the inner courage to put myself out there – until now that is.

As she once again told me “You really should be writing” her fabric number was called and she said “oh that’s me.”  I’m pretty sure I opened my mouth but no words came out.  She smiled at me again, softly touched my wrists and said “It’s going to be OK.  It really is.”  I finally managed to say “thank you” and that was that.  She walked away.

Weeks went by, months, and now over a year – that “itch” to write has gotten bigger and bigger and bigger.  All I keep thinking about is writing, yet I haven’t managed to type one word.  But now, things are changing within me – I can feel it.  In fact, I feel something big is just around the corner and I’m not sure if writing will lead to that “big” thing, but it’s time to take the risk, it’s time to tell my story.

In the upcoming posts, you’ll read about how the end of my marriage has shaped my current life, how a tiny little human I call my son saved my soul, how at 30something I am finding myself each and every day and how co-parenting with someone suffering from PTSD challenges our daily lives.  And despite of all the challenges and the life lesson’s I’ll post about, you’ll also find “every day things” such as being a working mom in corporate America, my love for do it yourself projects, my passion for seeking new goals to reach, books I enjoy, finger-licking-good recipes and other wonderfully ordinary things.

So make sure to follow Wayward Dash. I would love to take you on this unpredictable journey with me.  🙂

The World is Still Standing

I did the unthinkable tonight.

Yea.  That’s right.  I did it. And you know what?!  I’m not sorry about it and if I had the chance – I’d do it all over again.

Today, for the first time – I decided to put my feet up after putting my son to bed instead of doing the nightly chores I usually do – one of them being the dishes.

I looked at them, all two-days worth of them, looking all dirty and grimy, staring back at me.  Taunting me with the memory of meals-past.  Reminding me of the sinful meals that I probably shouldn’t of eaten and now feel enlarging within my thighs and my guilt.  And as we stared each other down, I said “not today, satan – not today!”  I gave them the middle finger, turned around and walked straight out of the kitchen, letting them remain where they were – in the past.

And what did I learn about my bravery?  The roof didn’t tumble down at my feet.  As far as I can tell, the sky hasn’t come crashing down.  And I’m pretty sure the hours will continue to pass.  Hmmm – look at that….I chose to ask myself “why” they needed to get done and “what” would happened if they didn’t.  And when I realized it wouldn’t be the end of the world if they were ignore for the night, I decided to do just that – I ignore the mundane and life didn’t end. How about that!?

Sure, they’ll be there tomorrow (unless fairy tales finally come true overnight and the morning birds help me by cleaning up my dishes AND putting away Sunday’s laundry) – but that’s another problem for another day.  Tonight. . . I rejoice.

But mommy, why?

My three-year-old is at this “adorable” stage (and when I say adorable I do mean extremely irritating part of his life), where after every statement I make he  follows it with “but mommy, why?” And yes….I’ve done the typical “because I say so!”  Sure, it’s a phase he’s going through and most kids his age go through it, but I do admire his curiosity for life and as he continues to grow up, I would like him to continue to question the things around him and to not just accept something as is.  And if I want that for him – why don’t I do it as an adult?  So, lately, I’ve taken a cue from my Pre-Schooler.  I’ve started asking myself “why” for things that I “feel” like I need to do.

It’s no secret that I’m busy, as most of us are.  I have a job that requires a far commute, so I start my day at 5am.  Between taking my son to school, commuting, working, school pick up, dinner, soccer practice, finding time to workout, and getting ready for the following day – I don’t finally get to relax until 8-9pm.  And by then, there are tons of other things I need to do:  household chores, PTA work, school items, more work, and…oh – sleep! So, I decided to start asking myself why?

By the time I’m home at 6:30pm, I would have a list of things I needed to do that evening before bed, with no time for myself.  And guess what?  Most of them wouldn’t get done due to lack of time and that would just add to my stress levels which would trickle over to the following day, which would bring additional things to do and so on and so on.  It was an on going cycle.  So now, once I’m ready to do my to-do list, I just ask myself why after every task I list for myself:

  • I have a pile of laundry to do. . . but why?  Because we might not have clothes or essentials for the next day. Then, ok – that needs to get done.
  • I need to do the dishes . . . but why?  Well, they are dirty – although I have plenty of clean dishes.  So what will happen if they don’t get done? Well…nothing.  Then, its not a priority!  Next….!
  • I should fold laundry….but why? Well, they will be wrinkly.  Is that the end of the world? Will an iron not do the trick?  Well, no – the world won’t end.  Then, it’s not a priority!  Next….!
  • I need to bake cupcakes for my son’s school . . . by why?  Well, I committed to brining dessert for his event.  So what, I can’t buy cupcakes in the morning?  Hmm – I guess so.  Great. then, it’s not a priority!  Next….!
  • And so on . . .

Trust me, I get it.  There’s so many dirty dishes that you can keep in the sink before you are eating with your hands and believe it or not, my house isn’t a total mess (I actually consider myself pretty Type A) – but

the point of asking why is to realize what is a priority THAT day and what’s not.

Yes, its a lot of self talk but, just simply questioning myself on why I feel something needs to get done and what will happen if it doesn’t has really lighten the weight I feel on my shoulders every day.  It has given me the opportunity to spend more time doing the important things, taking time to spend with my son after school, using up my weekends to the fullest and taking time to just relax a bit and let my mind rest – which has changed my attitude completly.

I don’t feel on edge as much.  I don’t feel stressed and disappointed with myself when I don’t finish my list.  I live more in the moment than thinking about what needs to get done in a few hours and overall, I just feel more present and more at peace than before.

So mamas – whether you’re a single-mom, stay-at-home-mom, working-mom, or if your a dad or just someone who is just busy . . . whatever your status is, we are all bombarded with things to do every single day.  So step back for a minute, and just think – “WHY do I have to pick up all the toys right now?  WHAT will happen if you don’t do it now and maybe do it tomorrow?  Ah ha!  nothing right?

Well then, put your feet up during nap time instead of during chores and just relax – you deserve it!

Cake for Dinner

I love the celebration of things.  Taking the time to cherish, honor and celebrate that specific time of year.  Whether it’s a grand opening of something, a good grade on a test, an anniversary, or in this case – a birthday . . . I just love the festivities that come with specific moments of life, including when you are celebrating others.

While I was married, I made a point to celebrating the little things.  But thinking about it now, I realized that I celebrated in hopes to get the same in return.  I wanted so bad to receive some sort of attention from him, that I celebrated his moments in hopes that he would celebrate mine when the time came.  Unfortunetly, my attempts failed.  He was so invested in his own being that he never celebrated my moments and in turn, I began to feel unimportant, not worth the hassle, not worth celebrating.

As the years passed by, and year after year, event after event, it all ended with me being crushed at the feeling of expectations being shattered and then blaming it on myself – that maybe I just wasn’t worth it.  “Why should he celebrate me?  My accomplishment wasn’t worth the festivity.”  And without realizing it, my soul began to shriveled into its self, not wanting to be seen, not wanting to be noticed and not wanting to speak – while keeping a hard exterior that could be shattered with one single push.  Only thing was, that no one noticed – not even myself.

Now, I’m in my 30s, single, divorced, and a mom of a 3 year old with a birthday that suddenly, without even the slightest notice – showed up….yet again.  The thought of taking yet another step deeper into my 30s doesn’t really bother me.  A lot of people, especially women, dread birthdays after 30s or even 40s, but not me.  I don’t mind.  What I was dreading was turning 33 by myself.  My family and friends live out of town, my son is only three and sure, I have coworkers – but no one to really make the day just a little special for me or to make it feel like it had a slight different energy then the rest.

The weeks approaching my birthday crept closer and closer and I began to feel that heaviness in my stomach, until, on April 11th, at 5am, I woke up to start what I thought would be just another day although, it was the day I came into the world, 33 years ago.

The day began just like any other and without any expectations, but as it progressed, the energy around me did change.  My coworkers celebrated my day with fresh cookies from a local bakery – a small gesture that not only filled that empty feeling in my stomach with sugar, but that also brought a smile to my face.  My social media filled with best wishes from people that I hadn’t spoken to in a while but have so many memories of joy and laughter with.  I received sweet phone calls and texts messages that made me feel that for at least that day, I was noticed.  But what really changed my day was my son.

That morning, I told him it was my birthday which he quickly asked “is there cake?” – cause of course, what 3 year old doesn’t associate birthdays with cake ? . . . I mean, I’m 33 and I still do.  And I casually blew off the question as I distracted him by getting him dressed for the day because no, we didn’t have a cake – we weren’t going to even acknowledge the day.

At 6pm, I picked him up at school and as I walked the hallways his teachers wished me happy birthday and as I finally arrived in his classroom, I realized, “Wait.  How do they know it’s my birthday?  I didn’t tell any of them.”  That’s when one of them said “Oh, since this morning he’s been telling all of us and his friends that it’s mommy’s birthday and you guys were going to eat cake together.”

I knew I loved that kid!  That comment absolutely melted my heart.  This child, loves me so deeply that he continues to think about me throughout his busy pre-k day.  Even as he’s playing with his friends, creating art projects, expanding his vocabulary or playing outside – this child loves me so much that mommy is even in his thoughts throughout the day.

Right then and there, I realized that this day was very different – today I realized that I am noticed.  I’m noticed every day  by the one little person that brings me so much joy in my life – and heck, I bring him joy too!  He warms my heart with his sweetness, lightens my load with laughter, and keeps me moving forward by just being himself.  In his little head, I’m celebrated every day and I can’t put into words how much I appreciate that from him.  I know that I do things for him on a daily basis, but what he gives me every day doesn’t come close to what I try to offer him.

On the other hand – maybe he was just working me for some cake.  🙂 Either way . . . we had cake for dinner that day.

The Time is NOW

Over a year ago, I gave this blogging thing a try.  I blogged for about a month and a half and it was fine – but something was off about it.  The truth is, I’ve wanted to start a blog for a while.  I love to write and have loved it since I was in middle school.  I loved it so much that growing up, I would write short stories, I wrote and helped managed my high school newspaper and eventually went on to write and be an editor of my high school newspaper.  I’ve always kept a journal with my own thoughts and feelings but somewhere along the way, I stopped.

I think adulthood got in the way and then I began to feel insecure about my writing – “I’m not a strong enough writer.  I have nothing to say.  My feelings are too private to share.  Everyone is going to judge my writing and my thoughts.” The usual doubts and fears. But as I continued growing up and began to go through tough times (which you will learn all about in posts to come), I started finding my voice again and that need to write slowly began to intensify within me.

I wanted to share my story, I wanted to share my thoughts, and most importantly – i wanted to impact someone – someone who might have the same thoughts and feelings about a certain situation and might feel alone, much how I felt and sometimes continue to feel.

So when I started to blog a year ago, although I didn’t realize it at the time, looking back at it now, I found myself not connecting with my emotions and writing just for the sake of posting something. Although what I wrote was very real – there wasn’t any emotion behind it  – I wasn’t 100% behind it.  So naturally, I lost interest and it became a chore – a chore I didn’t want to do.  So I stopped.  I let it all go, with no intentions of coming back.

Time passed and in the last 6 months – writing has taken over my mind.  I find myself thinking about topics to discuss and how I would state certain things and picturing exactly what and how I would talk about things.  The thought of writing overcame me to the point that I couldn’t focus on anything else.  And now that I sit here typing, I know that THIS is my time.  The time is now!

The stars have aligned and I’m emotionally ready to share some of my stories.  Maybe not all – not at this time.  But I’ll know when I’m ready and in the meantime I’ll go through this journey with you all.  Together we will fine ourselves and we will find our voice and our purpose – because this is the time!