Friday, April 27, 2012

New beginnings

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my divorce. The infamous ‘first year’ is finally over.  As I fell asleep last night, I listened to the rain and felt it washing away all the bad that has happened in the past, making way for a fresh start when the morning would come.  I remember a year ago on the same night, it was a drenching rain as well and I knew it was washing away what had came before to prepare a fresh start to my new life.

Today is the first day of my new beginning. I don’t know where to begin to recount the stories and lessons of what transpired in the infamous ‘first year’ but I do know that I survived and came out stronger.  And that is something that no one will ever be able to touch and I will be forever thankful for.  As I stand today, I do not regret anything that has happened. Not my marriage, as without it I wouldn’t be the person I am today - more knowledgeable, wiser, and most importantly a mother to Grace.  Not my divorce, as the marriage was never a fit and I find it to be divine intervention that it ended right after Grace was born and did not drag on a moment longer.  Not my fight to get back on my feet, as that brought resiliency that will carry me through good times and bad for the rest of my life.

I’m not the only one with a new beginning this week.  Two of my good friends from work were laid off this week. It came out of nowhere and was a total shock to them, to me, to our team.  The reasoning in unclear and we are all left trying to make sense of something that seems so unfair. But one thing is for sure, for those two women, they are getting a new beginning. They are leaving an environment that was increasingly stressful and get to redefine who they are in terms of career and goals.  While I can’t pretend to know the hurt and betrayal they likely feel from this awful departure, I do know the strength that comes from surviving and the hope that comes with a new beginning.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Don't hold it against me...

One of the harder things about being a single mom is the time after Grace goes to bed, when the house is silent, I’m exhausted and yet yearning for some type of adult interaction.  In the last year this time has been filled with text messages flying back and forth with various guys, which has filled the void that is felt most in those weekday nights. However, since implementing much higher standards of whom I’ll spend my time with, I find myself guy-less and those evenings are deafeningly silent.

So...(please hold your sighs of disappointment until the end)...I reached out to The Dad (aka the Ditcher) and sent a short email saying I was starting to read Hunger Games 2, thought of him and was chuckling at how fast that crashed and burned.

I’m sure there is a collective thought of “why” that you are asking right now.  After a very dull date with someone online (total dull date count = 4 guys), I realized that the Dad is the first person I’d met in a while who was stimulating, sane, and somewhat attractive. While I realize he is not suitable dating material, perhaps it isn’t worth completely shutting him out at a time when I just need a little attention and someone to buy a few drinks :)  So I turned the tables, so to speak, after a year of many guys using my attention and taking without giving, I think it is time I ‘use’ a little - get a little attention that is much needed for a mom who is feeling blah and drab.

If you are wondering what happened next, he replied with apologies on a few accounts of that evening and we’ve exchanged one email a day since (but nothing with future plans). Even with that, it is nice to be thought of once a day and I am keenly aware that it’s not going anyway, but I’ll take my one email a day to break the silence.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Importance of an Advocate

Today is the farewell soiree for my long-time boss, mentor and friend.  There is so much that I would like to say to her but I do not have the words.

This woman, whom I’ll refer to as Ms. Prada Manolo for her love of shoes, saw something in me from the day she hired me. I remember at my interview she came right out and said I was the frontrunner for the job.  I went home with my heart racing, hoping that I would be able to work for this firecracker of a woman.  Sharp as a tact and quick witted - a force to be reckoned with.  From my first day on the job, she acted as an advocate for me professionally and personally and 7 years later continues to do so.

As I sat in meeting after meeting marveling at her analytical skills, professional demeanor and unwavering confidence, I took many notes of how I could shape myself into even a fraction of a businessperson as impressive as she.

For the last 7 years, Prada Manolo pushed me to rise up to challenges that I didn’t even know I was able to meet. She taught me how to problem solve in the toughest of situations, even when it seemed like a successful solution was near impossible.  She taught me to always fake confidence it in meetings if I felt insecure, showing no fear, and then asking questions to confidants later to catch up on what was unknown.  She showed me how to reason with unreasonable people and how to keep perspective when things were seemingly out of control.  Her guidance, mentoring and advocacy have shaped my professional life.  I have achieved things I never thought possible, thanks to Ms. Prada Manolo.

But above all of the lessons learned, Ms. Prada M. helped to build my confidence.  Seeing things in me that I did not see at first, I opened myself to the idea that I was able to accomplish more. That I am able to accomplish anything I set my mind to.  This is not to be taken lightly, as many women in the workplace are inhibited when it comes to their own self confidence in their abilities.

I can not stress the importance of having an advocate in your life. Professionally, it is a necessity at your job. Find someone who believes in you and stick with them!  And then pay it forward - become an advocate for someone else who you know can shine.

Thank you to Ms. Prada Manolo, my life is forever changed for the better because of the time I spent with you. I do not know how to repay you but I hope to pay it forward and be equally as good of an leader and mentor for the next generation of women to follow.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Warning: this blog post references the Hunger Games (I won’t give anything away though!)

After reading the Hunger Games last week, I have a new appreciation for the word Fearless.  Katniss, the main character, would easily be described by readers as fearless. you read (or watch) closely, you notice that she is scared or concerned or stressed throughout the book. It isn’t that she doesn’t fear what may be, but she doesn’t allow those emotions to affect her actions.  She sets aside her fear to make decisions based on love, respect and integrity. She preservers throughout the book, always taking the high road, winning respect and admiration from readers (and viewers) worldwide!

Katniss reminds me of Sage Sitter, one of the most fearless Moms that I know. As we were waiting during the infamous ditch scenario last week, she shared with me challenges she’s faced as a young a single mom and I observed how fearless she is. Through every challenge she has set her fear, not allowing it to guide her actions. Instead she acts with bravery, integrity, and heart.

Gary Zukav, author of Seat of the Soul, asserts that all actions come from either love or fear.  Every decision you make & action you take is based on either love or fear at the core.  You know when you act from fear because you get that sinking feeling inside when you know you could have acted differently. And when you act from love, even if not the easiest path, you know because a feeling of peace sets in where the fear was.

I’ve been consumed with so much fear about pretty much everything since I’ve been a single mom.  But I refuse to let it shape my actions going forward.  And I especially do not want Grace to live in the shadows of fear but rather bask in the sun that the security of love brings (love for herself, for her family, for others). I enjoy watching practiced “Fearless” woman like Katniss and Sage Sitter acknowledge their fear and then set it aside, choosing to act out of love for themselves, their families, and for others.

Oprah said, “I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.”

(will someone please remind me of this next time the fear starts to set in and I need to let the sun to shine through?)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ditched Part 2: Retribution

The day following the Ditch, I decided it is not fair for someone to act such little respect for another person’s time and feelings.  This has happened repeatedly over the course of my year-long dating career. Guys so focused on themselves, they inadvertently (or maybe even intentionally) hurt others in the course of doing what feels good in the moment to them.

I decided to call out The Dad on his poor behavior and politely requested an apology.  I wanted a symbolic apology for all who have carelessly hurt someone else and moved on without pausing to take accountability for their actions and issue a justly-deserved apology.  All too often girls think ‘this one’s a jerk time to move on’. But I personally think that just allows jerk to continue with the same jerky behavior because they are never held accountable.

Apology I asked for ("Perhaps the word you are looking for starts with S and has four letters than follow"), and apology I received: in the form of a singular text saying “
Hey - been a very busy couple of days with family/friends. Sorry I didn’t communicate better last night about the locale of the little get together. I’ll follow up with you later”.  And that was the last I’ve heard from him.  On the plus side, an apology was issued!  On the downside, it was pretty lame (obviously).

Score one point for me! (and hopefully this particular guy will never do this again to another woman)!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Just back from an awesome spring break visit to Orlando (ok, it was for work, but thanks to Hot Hair (aka Super Mom) and another very fun coworker, it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time).   While we were in Orlando, taking in the scenery and local customs, I exchanged a few emails and short texts with The Dad. He continued to express interest and asked what I was doing this weekend but he wasn’t emailing/texting like the previous week. I started to think he couldn’t be that interested if he wasn’t making the time to reach out for more than a few mins each day. However, he inquired about my weekend plans and invited me to go to a friend’s b-day party.  I happily accepted and got a sitter for Grace. I was really looking forward to seeing him, thinking - oh it must have been a busy week, that’s why he wasn’t in touch much.  

His last email of the day tells me that he’ll get there around 8:30pm and one of my other guy friends would be there as well. I text back to suggest that we arrive together since technically I’m at add-on to this soiree but I do not receive a text back. 8pm rolls around and I’m hanging with the Sage Sitter (good friend/also babysits Grace on occasion) and no word from The Dad. We decide to give it a bit more time but by the time 9pm rolls around I decide something must have happened to change his evening and Sage Sitter heads home. Feeling a bit defeated, but positive there must be a perfectly logical explanation for his flaky behavior, I watch TV and doze off.

10:30pm I receive a text from The Dad saying it was a good move that I didn’t go to the party because it was small, etc and he was already home. To which I replied “yeah, that and you didn’t tell me where the party was nor reply to my last text”.  Then, for good measure I added “twisted joke?” because at this point, what else could it be?  His mixed signals of interest but flaky follow up have left me wondering WTF is going on! Seems like he’s just playing a game?  He replied “It’s official. I’m the worst”. And that’s the last I have heard from him. No apology, no phone call acknowledgement.  

It stings. Pretty badly.  I am seeing a repeated pattern where I ended up treated as a convenience in someone’s life. Not any level of priority or with any value. Just a convenience. Twinkie did this for 3 months.  Ex husband did this in various ways for 8 years. And now The Dad!  I was holding out hope that he’s older and more mature and wouldn’t pull this kind of college-esque BS.  

This is a great test of ‘it’s him not me’, as my first thought was ‘how am I not good enough to at least deserve a follow through when someone asks me to hang out?’  But I quickly pushed those thoughts aside and replaced them with ‘what a self-centered, flaky jerk!’  Go me!  As this situation would have crushed me before, it is only a bad sting now.

I’m left wondering - are there any good single guys still out there? Or have we passed the ‘best if used before’ date and they have all soured, developing bad habits of treating girls poorly in one way or another.

Monday, April 2, 2012

You're money baby - part 2

I feel a bit disingenuous after my last blog post. It’s not that I don’t think that I should know how ‘money’ I am, but the truth is, I still do not.  The flakiness of the Dad (flakiness = sparse communication over the weekend - not enough to send a clear ‘interested’ or ‘not interested’ signal) threw me right back into the same story: something about me is not good enough.  

How long after an affair does it take for someone to get their confidence back? It’s been almost a year since the big D and I am still feel rejection in each situation, completely ignoring the possibility there is another side to the story (i.e. the other person has their own sh*t going on). I haven’t fully accepted the idea that ‘it’s him, not me’ from my marriage, so I blame myself when things don’t work out as I hoped. How can I just wave  magic wand and make all insecurities melt away and only leave me with my money-esque qualities?

Best comment received on this topic: “I really think you intimate them all with your BOSS like style”*

BOSS as defined by
1. Incredibly awesome; miraculous; great
2. noun-a person who is a leader, someone who runs shit in his/her hood or city.