A Month Later

Can’t believe its been a month since I began my first ever solo trip. I wasn’t alone the entire time. I’ve never EVER been on a road trip let alone on a solo road trip. Sure I been to a few cities a lone but its been work related. This was different on so many levels. I just can’t begin to articulate how proud I was of myself. When I originally planned the trip it was with the help of someone who I had been spending a lot of time with. He helped me plan the route, literally sat down with me and drew my stops on the back of a receipt. That would be the last time I would see this person and for a moment this trip became bitter sweet. I should be honest, for a moment I thought of coming back home after Vegas, I figured I could stay home and clean, get caught up on home chores. I don’t really know why I thought of cancelling, deep down I think it was fear but that’s what I been fighting. Fear can only be as deep as the mind allows and I want to limit its depth as much as possible.

My sister kept me company the first 3 days, we went to Disneyland,got to spend time with my best friend and then we were off to Las Vegas. Technically we entered Arizona since we stepped on the boarder while visiting the Hoover Dam.
Driving from Nevada to Arizona was amazing the Sonoran dessert it magical. As I was driving through it I kept wanting to stop and explore. Sedona was beautiful, it was everything I expected and much, much more. I spent the best $150 bucks and paid for an all day tour to the Grand Canyon. If you haven’t been…GO. I once read a quote that said, “people should only cry at funerals and the Grand Canyon” I didn’t cry, but I did shed a tear…OK maybe two. I got to visit Jerome, a quirky little city 20 minutes from Sedona. I went horseback riding and wine tasting in Cornville, home of Senator John McCain. I hiked Red Rock, Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock. I went to Perry which is 3 hours from Sedona. I visited Antelope Canyon and the Horseshoe Bend, I even got close to the Colorado River and nearly entered Utah. It was AMAZING! 2700 miles on a rental. Shameless plug the Volvo xc90 is amazing and a great road trip car. I ended my trip by driving into LA, spending quality time with my cousin. If you follow me on Instagram all pics are there.

I learned a lot while on this trip, I learned about my ability to face my fears, to seek adventure, to welcome silence, to laugh alone. I learned that I really like who I am. that I am a better person than I give myself credit for. Hiking Red Rock was such a challenge for me, it was especially hot that day and I decided to take the trail that would lead me to the Vortex. The joke was I went to Sedona to find myself so it seemed irrational to make that trip and not visit the Vortex. Before getting to the Vortex I reached 5100 feet of altitude, talk about achievement! As out of shape as I am, as hot as it was and all alone I pushed myself to get it done. There were moments I questioned why I was there, alone. Instances when I wanted to turn around and walk back to the flat trail, where I’d be around people but I didn’t.

I got to sit in silence for a significant amount I been calling it divine intervention. I started my stay in Sedona with a flash flood warning, thunder, lightning and a black out. If that wasn’t Gods way of saying, “you wanted thinking time, you got it” I don’t know what is.

I never knew how empowering being alone could be. When its all said and done we only have ourselves and the difference between embracing that silence and running away from it is perceptions of our self. I have no doubt that if I would have taken this trip even last year my state of mind would have been “run away” actually a year ago I doubt I wouldn’t have taken a trip like this. I felt peace and joy, I felt sadness and fear, I lived victories and remembered defeats. I know cheesy but I felt like I came full circle.

I got to cry which I had done recently but there was something so powerful about crying alone while also feeling peace. It was a cleansing of the soul. I cried over what was, had been and even what I knew could have been but never will be.

I am not angry anymore, I am not tortured. Am I done? No, I would question everything if I felt like I’ve worked through it all. My views on forgiveness took on a whole new life. Forgiveness is not just about making a conscious choice to move forward and drop resentment. I learned that forgiveness is about embracing strength. Forgiving, truly forgiving has brought me out of much of the darkness I was in. As I have worked through that darkness I’ve gotten to experience and meet a whole other side of myself one that is stronger than I ever though possible, accepting that, giving myself credit for that has been huge! I am learning to embrace that strength even in those moments when I question it.

So many of the things that happened during this trip might seem insignificant to many from my excitement about driving alone for 12 hours the conversation I had with complete strangers. Every part of this trip was exactly what I needed.

When you hold others to high regard but…

They prove to be everything you thought they never would. That my friends is not disappointing its reinforcing. Part of finding myself and shit is forcing myself to see thing as they are not as I want them to be. Welp that’s especially easy when those around me take actions with clear intents and purposes. I gotta keep reminding myself this is about me learning to accept NOT finding ways to change them.

Today’s moral of the story is- ALWAYS hold yourself in high regard. NEVER lower your head to anyone or anything. We are who we are, there is no perfection there is no road map. We are who we’re meant to be.

Is it just me?

How many times have you been told, “you are so good at what you do” or “no one can replace you.” Now how many times have you downplayed your value and answered, “oh its no big deal” or “anyone can do it” or the ever so common…”I’m sure there someone that can do it better.” Has this ever been you or is it just me?

If you’re a woman you might know what I mean. You never ask for anything and work with the bare minimum because you don’t want to come off as a complainer or my favorite…you’ll be damned if you don’t make things happen because that’s what we do, we are miracle workers. I’ll be honest I’m that woman, the woman that does everything in her power to stretch things and make it work. I’ll drive myself to the ground because I’ll be dammed if I fail or God forbid bother others. How about in relationships? Ever been told how amazing you are and you just can’t seem to come to terms with the fact that you are? Ever rebuttal when you’re told you are beautiful, unique or simply amazing? Yup! I been there, I’ve done that and even lost along the way.

There’s something I been thinking A LOT about lately and that is how amazing I am….YUP! I just said that. I am F^%&*@ AMAZING. Why? Because I am! Because I am damn good at what I do and guess what when I don’t know, I research, I ask, I try. I love my job and although there’s very likely someone better than me at what I do at my job in my site, I am great at what I do. Yes! it takes a team and I been extremely blessed to learn and be surrounded by great exemplars but I’ve earned my stripes. I am amazing because I’ve seen darkness, lived in it and while I lived in those dark caves, I never gave up. I was determined to find the ray of light. I am amazing because there is no other woman like me because I am unique, as are you! I am amazing because even when I’ve f-ed up I accept it and I learn, yes, I do. Maybe not in accordance to others but I know I do. I am amazing because in moments of silence and despair I still see my beauty and as hard as I am on myself I know I deserve more. Trust me when I say, I’ve seen darkness, I’ve felt it in every part of my body and no not just recently with the breakup but in my teen years when there were moments, I felt like a sack of skin taking up space. Few people have seen that side and I refuse to let it be seen, not because I pretend to be perfect but because those moments don’t make me, what makes me is what I learn from them. Loving who we are, who we REALLY are is not easy. It’s probably the hardest thing, I’ve ever worked on. Being kind to myself, letting shit go, trusting that who I am is who I am meant to be. All that makes me amazing and I am learning that like me there are tons of amazing people who don’t acknowledge who they are.

It shouldn’t just be me.

What Now?

Disclaimer- If you are a grammar or spelling Nazi leave now. I don’t intent to pretend to be a writer, this is just me being me. 😉

So here I am. Its been over a year that I walked away from a 9 year relationship. It’s been one of the hardest but also most rewarding things I’ve ever experienced. Reward? you may ask, yes learning that you can survive heart ache has been my reward. Being stronger wiser and not losing sight has been my reward. This breakup was not by choice, no this breakup came as result of infidelity.  Looking back, I know the relationship ended way before he started to have an affair. I knew that going to school meant sacrificing all my relationships. I entered a graduate program while holding down 2 jobs, volunteering at former middle school and trying, endlessly trying to keep up with everything else. I knew that something would have to give and having grown up hearing “men need attention” all my life, I subconsciously came to terms with the fact that him cheating on me was a possibility. For the record, if I had to do it all over again I would. I chose my education because my career was my dream. My education has always been my priority and I was determined to do what few thought I was capable off. You might ask, “then why stay?” and the answer is simple, I loved him and there was a huge part of me that wanted to be proved wrong. The when, where and how are not important. Cheating is cheating and no detail changes the level of betrayal. In an attempt to try to mend a broken heart and 9 years of my life, I decided to attempt to work things out….let’s just get to the point, it didn’t work out. I quickly began to realize that our being together was not going to happen not only because he cheated and I could not forgive or forget but because we become 2 different, very different people.

Heart ache sucks! It literally makes you feel like life is being sucked out of you, you feel like your heart is being pulled out your chest and cut into a million little pieces. Like your chest has been pumped with air and you’re desperately gasping to catch a full breath. It messes with your sleep, for many they lose weight in my case I gained it. It wasn’t until recently that I began to sleep through most of the night. Closing my eyes meant seeing images of them together, because as my luck would have it, the woman he chose to have an affair with posted their relationship on social media. My thoughts would beat me every night, there I laid in bed, in a dark room staring at a sealing waiting for daylight to arrive. I remember at its worst, the pain I felt was indescribable, really there were not words. It got to a point I got an my knees and began to talk to God, if he wasn’t going to take that pain away then all I asked was that he gave me the strength to endure it.

I’ve battled depression since the age of 14, I’ve beaten many battles but this one, this heartache became a battle I had never experienced so there I was trying to make sense of everything and nothing. We all fight demons, I fight mine everyday day, they are depression, anxiety, fear and past that even after years of therapy creeps in when I least expect it. So what now? I desperately asked myself, what am I suppose to do now?

So do I hate him? No, I don’t, I mean that 100%. I actually wish him well as I truly believe he is capable of being a great partner just not to me and as hard as that is, I’ve come to terms with it. I won’t sit there and say it didn’t hurt, of course it did but I also strongly believe life gives you who and what you need when you need it. He is not for me. I don’t have any ill feelings towards him, even after ALL I’ve been through. People assume they know what happened but if you’ve ever been in a relationship you know there’s much that’s never told, exposed or revealed. I have chosen to allow people to think they know because lets be honest…people will talk no matter what.

So what now?  What happens after a relationship is over and dust has settled? Well, naturally I set out to find myself because that’s what society tells us we should do. Yes! that whole self discovery, set out on a new journey, push restart narrative was one I took on. Prayer, meditation, allowing some self pity (not too much)! I’ve done it all and I continue to because its the only way I’ve some what managed to get by.

I began to date again, I met a great person, I plan to write an entry about it in the near future but let me not leave you in suspense, it didn’t workout. Timing, life, space, situations, my inability to be honest about my feelings and how much I really cared about him all played a part. He has his opinion and I have mine but at the end of the day this is what I know for sure. I am who I am, and I am worth everything this world has to offer, I love, love. I am loyal to everything and everyone that is loyal to me. I am determined to live not just survive and I refuse to give up on the idea the fairy tale exist. Perhaps I am naive but I’ve seen darkness, I’ve lived it and I refuse to ever be there again. I refuse to live with hate, grudge or remorse.

So what now? I continue to live, I continue on this journey and I’ll do my best to see the signs along to way, to collect memories and grow from them. I continue to establish and grow my relationship with the higher power and keep faith in the direction he is sending me in. What now? I give thanks, I continue to appreciate the heart ache and bad experiences as much as my blessing. What now? I simply continue to be me! All of me.

 

It’s now 2017

I logged in after more than two years,  what a difference a few years make. I received my MA just 2 years ago and now here I am now trying to master this thing we call living. Time is a double edge sword, it can can build you up and tear you down all at once. Now 32 years old there are a few things I know for sure.

1. The best years of my life have just began….no really, they really are. After working my ass off in my 20’s I am finally seeing the fruits of my labor.

2. In life we outgrow people and it’s OK.

3. Education will take you to places you never imagined.

4. Happiness really does come from within and I am optimistic and certain that at some points my happy days will surpass my not so happy days (this is solely based on the relationship I have with myself)

5. When people want to be around you they will, they really will and they will accept you flaws and ALL.

6. WHEN ANYONE TELLS YOU WHO THEY ARE…..BELIEVE THEM. The hardest part of this lesson has been to accept it.

What do you know for sure?