Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sadie Hawkins Day

It’s Sadie Hawkins Day!  And if you can’t remember the etiquette that goes along with the Sadie Hawkins Day dance in high school, let me remind you: it’s the girls day to ask a guy out.  

Though I’m still technically on “Time Out”, I decided to take this opportunity to ask out a guy I’ve had my eye on...using a more modern approach - Twitter!  I’ve tweeted to him numerous times before, only receiving a response once, all other tweets met with be honest, I’m probably on the short list for being blocked!  So today, in a last ditch effort, I took advantage of the girl-empowered sentiment and tweeted a date request to Jeremy Hobson (host of NPR’s Marketplace Morning Report). You can hear his melodic voice and witty commentary on market activity every morning around 7:50am. Here is my tweet: It is Sadie Hawkins Day - it's the gals day to ask! @jeremyhobson would you like to go out on a date?

Why did I say that?

So the guy from the weekend set a date for Friday night. Great, no pressure, technically I’m on a Time Out, so 1 dinner is no biggie.  

After a series of text exchanges, he called last night. At first I’m thinking - this is great!  A guy who actually picks up the phone and calls...until reality quickly sets and I remember I’ve already finished a glass of wine and, being the lightweight I am, should not be talking to someone I barely know!

The conversation flow was ok but at many points I found myself thinking ‘why did I say that?’.  Some comments were much more brash than I am, or more pointed...I don’t know how exactly to describe it but it was almost as if I was subconsciously testing this guy to see if he could handle it.

WTF - what am I thinking?  Does anyone else do this?  How do you stoppppp?  After we hung up I wasn’t even sure he’d still want to take me to dinner!

On the plus side, normally my interpretation of what happened is harsher than what happened in reality. But on the minus side, I wasn’t being my true self. I couldn’t relax and just simply be myself.
Wonder Woman says: I’m done with over thinking each thing I say - how it comes off, what the other person thinks.  The whole time spent with the Twinkie, I was careful not to say certain things so I could maintain a certain ‘cool’ edge but ended up realizing that constantly thinking about what you are saying causes a lot of anxiety. Not to mention the constant judgement of critiquing yourself wears you down.  Maybe it’s time to stop asking ‘why did I say that?’ and start saying ‘yeah, I just said what!” (a la New Girl style...if you don’t want that show, it is a Must See!)

All of this being said, I’ve decided :  If he texts today, then all is good. If he doesn’t text today then he thinks I’m a huge freak in which case...well, he’s wrong and should have been smart enough to stick around!  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mom Guilt

I received a note from Grace’s father yesterday thanking me for being such a great mom and co-parent (though what would you expect from Wonder Woman? LOL) I still struggle with having significant ‘Mom guilt’ over the fact I carefully crafted and planned a perfect life for my child only to have it blown up at 10 weeks and left with a big question mark for the future. Will her Dad always stick around? Will she be happy splitting time between homes? Is being away from me at such a young age detrimental to her sense of self security? I don’t have the answers, only more fearful questions.

What I do know is that we now have a blank slate from which Grace and I can craft and live any type of life we want. Ice cream for dinner, morning walks in the park, evening dance parties - it’s ours to dream and make a reality. I am excited to see her grow as a person and can’t wait for her thoughts and ideas on how she wants to shape our limitless life together!

All thoughts come from either fear or from love. Those are the only two opinions when you strip it down to the core. The vacillation between fear based thoughts and love based thoughts swings quickly and frequently. After your life is turned upside down and your trust, your dreams, and your ego are stripped away, you are left in a very fearful place. I am fighting that fear on a minute by minute basis. Trying to replace the fearful thoughts of ‘will my daughter be ok?’ with love based thoughts of ‘our life is unlimited - endless opportunities to engage!’. It’s a battle that I suspect we are all engaged in, conscious or not.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Night out

I went out this weekend with my friend Mulan. Though I am officially on ‘time out’, we did meet a few eligible bachelors during our night out. A well respected businessman in the area asked for my number and, true to “Millionaire Matchmaker” best guidance, he asked me out the very next day! The impending date is still to be set and I have a bit of due diligence left to do to ensure there is not record of past criminal offenses, obnoxious internet videos or other offensives that would be just cause to cancel said date. To my credit, that night I played it cool and confident and I even through in a ‘ya I know’ when a compliment was passed my way!

Though meeting cute guys with was fun, my favorite part of the night was watching my friend Mulan in full form. She is gorgeous, smart, sexy and confident. She will talk to anyone who walks nearby and always holds an engaging and entertaining conversation. She meets people with such ease that it is enviable. I am very lucky to count her among my Superhero friends!

I have no ‘ah ha’ insights from this weekend other than - wow did it feel good to get some attention from a couple of different guys in one of my first unattached nights out on the town.

Friday, February 24, 2012

4 Easy Steps

A friend gave me this advice to find your way to knowing you deserve better:
  1. Focus on the little moments each day that feel good. Replicate those. Do other things that will create more good moments.
  2. Persist with these activities until there are more and more good moments.
  3. It is in those moments that you will start to see who you really are.
  4. It is in seeing who you really are that you will know what you deserve more/better/love

Saying “Yeah, I Know”

As you can probably tell by now, I’m having a crisis of confidence. I’ve spent so much time telling myself negative things that it has skewed my perception of what is really there.

You may be curious about what Wonder Woman gives up for Lent. No, it is not the empty calories of extra doughnuts or cursing when bad guys scuff my awesome red patent leather boots....I gave up thinking negatively. It really doesn’t work for me anymore.

But giving up those annoying negative thoughts isn’t enough - I need to boost up the confidence. Frequently when people pay me a compliment, I reply “thanks I appreciate it”. Because I feel genuinely thankful that they said something nice which I then proceed to discredit in my head and dismiss. Those days are over! It’s time to say “Yeah, I know”. When someone astutely points out one of my many Wonder Woman-esque qualities, it’s time that I step up and own it - “Yeah, I know!” Because deep down, I know that quality is true. And the other person knows it too, they are the one who said it!

Ok, it may seem a little cocky at first. But when you are Wonder Woman in the midst of a crisis of confidence - you need a confidence boost! Yeah, I know!

Building Superhero Strength

“Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of sh*t and not be squeamish about taking a good look.”― Pema Chödrön

I thought my secret was out and my membership to the Superhero Club was going to be revoked - I’m not the strong, independent, all around awesome person that people believe I am - I’m a scared, vulnerable girl who has to focus hard to put one foot in front of the other right now.

I’ve been feeling as if I’m been falling apart for the last few months. They say you have to be in a safe enough place for really intense emotions to process. For me, that is about 1 year post life-explosion. I spent a year getting my life in order and just recently the reality of what happened hit like a ton of bricks and the pain is wide open again. It is shaking me to my core.

The fear of the pain of the past and the uncertainty of the future is intense. Regular life occurrences are hitting like huge waves, knocking me off of my feet and leaving me gasping for air.

In the past few weeks, I finally started to cry uncle and tell my friends that I’m in trouble and need help. And, being the Superheros that they are, they showed up in full force, providing unconditional love and support that would be enough to defeat even the most evil forces.

I thought that by exposing my vulnerabilities and sharing my fears with my Superhero Friends. they would see me for the weak person that I really am. But an amazing thing happened - they helped me see the opposite: Confronting fears and vulnerabilities, learning to navigate very difficult waves is what makes you strong.

I am a strong person, not despite what has happened or what I am feeling, but because of what happened and the feelings I am engaging with head on to learn, grow and live life to its fullest.

I owe my friends accolades of thanks for many reasons which I will happily relate as the story continues...but for today, I owe them a thank you for showing me that strength isn’t what you portray on the outside but it comes from what you are made of on the inside. With this revelation, I truly have the strength of Wonder Woman.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Calling Time Out!

That’s it - I need a time out! After a whirlwind of a year, i’m tired, flat out exhausted! My adventures in dating, while fun, occassionally dramatic, and always entertaining have left me short of breath and in need of some serious soul searching.
In the last year, I have dabbled with:
The Cheshire Cat - amazing smile, says all the right things, but disappears into thin air - he never showed up!
The Ken Doll - handsome, smart, funny, the whole package. But he has his Barbie and while I wish them the best...well, I really don’t, I secretly hope to hang out with Ken again!
The Twinkie - originally coined during an episode of friends when Monica was dating one of her father’s friends (played by Tom Selleck). Monica’s father referred to his friend’s girlfriend who was in her 20’s as “the twinkie in the city” - not knowing “the twinkie” was his daughter! Twinkies are young, carefree and fun. They are sugar filled and taste good, but Twinkies don’t have the substance that you need when you are in your 30’s and raising a little girl.

There are a few others who have been left out, the basketball player, hot hair, etc. They all fall in the bucket of very fun but it ends at fun!

The trend here is all guys who aren’t ready to invest. I invest so freely and easily that I keep getting hurt. At first I took this as all rejection - the old story of ‘I’m not good enough’, which is all too familiar to anyone who has experienced infidelity first hand. But upon second look, I’m investing in all the wrong guys! I pick amazing friends. Superheros who try every day to make the world a better place. But the guys...I pick the ones that are doomed from the start, investing in guys that will never give the return that I want.

So I’m calling Time Out and taking some time to look inside of myself to find the peace and happiness that I’ve been looking to everyone else to provide for me.


“The Itsy Bitsy Spider” is my daughter’s favorite song. I sing it to her every day, showing her the hand motions as she watches with wide eyes. Singing it a second time, I help her tiny fingers through the motions which is consistently received with ripples of laughter. One day, after performing our daily musical ritual, I began to think about how prophetic this song is for my life.

In the month leading up to my daughter’s birth, I was happily climbing up my own water spout, dreaming of the day I would meet my newborn child. After six months of grueling fertility treatments with my husband, I was sitting on the edge of the miracle I had longed for. My dream was coming true in every way.

Grace was born in mid-September and I was elated. How could I be so blessed to have a real-life angel become part of my life? I noticed that my husband was pulling back and becoming withdrawn, but I figured that was not uncommon for a first-time dad who was trying to get his head around life with an infant. So I launched my own personal campaign to reassure him that he was a great dad and that while new babies are tough, things would only get better from here.

Two months after my daughter was born, the rain started to a drizzle and dampen my new life. My husband informed me he was not happy in our marriage and wanted more freedom. I was in shock. This was new information to me! So I spent four gut wrenching weeks speaking with friends, family, and a therapist hoping to find the golden key to restoring our marriage. Unfortunately, a month later, the downpour came. My husband informed me he was having an affair.

A month before our baby was due, while I was still climbing the water spout with dreams of baby dancing in my head, he was testing out the freedom he wanted so badly… in the form of a relationship with another woman. Although many friends pointed out that all of the signs of cheating were there, I defended him until the end. Not my loving husband! He would never do that! He would never intentionally hurt me so badly! When he finally admitted his affair, I broke into a thousand pieces. I had to tell myself to remember to breathe.

The rain came down hard and it surely washed this spider out. My husband made it clear that he was not planning to work on the marriage. His plan was to claim his freedom, including staying in contact with the other woman. I told him he was no longer welcome in our home, effective immediately. Overnight our lives changed permanently.

I awakened the next morning to a vicious physical reaction. I was sick to my stomach, barely being able to pull myself to a sitting position. My best friend, Liz, came over immediately to tend to Grace until my mother arrived. My mother proceeded to take tender, loving care of my daughter and me. Through her wisdom and unwavering love, I learned that I could manage through another day of this torrential downpour.

Christmas was fast approaching and I had to make decisions that would set the tone for our relationship. I reached out to my husband and his parents and invited them to join my family on Christmas morning to celebrate our daughter’s first Christmas. On Christmas morning, it felt like a bucket of cold water had waken me from my peaceful dreams; my vivid dream of our first Christmas together as a family was washed away and I was faced with the cold, stinging reality of the situation my husband had created through his own selfish actions. It was both one of the hardest decisions I had to make and one of the best, because our family, shattered by pain, came together to focus on the love we have for Grace.

During the weeks that followed, an amazing thing happened. The sun came out and the horrible rain actually started to dry. Love and support for my daughter and me came from every area of our lives. Family, friends and even coworkers reached out, making it clear that they were not going to let me fall down. They were going to prop me up and help me take those first steps back up the spout. The outpouring of love was overwhelming. For the second time, I had to remind myself to breathe, as the warmth of the love surrounded me so completely.

Today, despite the daily searing pain, my life’s mission is to ensure my daughter is happy, secure, and surrounded by love. I have the opportunity to dream new dreams. Our possibilities together are limitless. So I find myself climbing up the water spout again. Admittedly I am scared and shaken, but I am also stronger and more determined than ever to be the type of person that my daughter can look to for inspiration when one day life’s inevitable rains come and she finds herself needing to climb up the spout again.