One year later

Today I’m officially one year divorced. Salut! *cheers-ing herself* And it’s been one hell of a year. A good year. A year of learning, growth and change. I did some reflecting and thought I would share.

Own who you are.
You should never have to hide or be someone else to be with someone. That's not healthy.

Never let someone belittle you.
No one should ever talk down to you or make you feel small. And if it happens, correct it immediately or remove that person from your life. Period.

Work on you.
Spend time on you. Do some self reflection. What are things you need to work on? Do that. Self love is hard but something you need to work on all the time. You have to be comfortable in your own skin - literally and figuratively.

Accept your imperfections.
We all have flaws. Some of which we can work on. Self improvement is important (see above). But perfection is unrealistic, despite what Insta and TikTok show us. We are human and therefore we are flawed. Come to terms with your flaws.

Respect alone time.
Okay this is a hard one. Loneliness and being alone are different. Being alone and being okay is important. We all need alone time to recoup. Even those moments in the car by yourself in silence count. But getting comfortable in your space by yourself and not constantly feeling like you need someone to talk to or be with is critical. You have to accept that time and use it for you.

Date when you’re ready.
There is no right amount of time or scientific calculation that says you need to be single or need to date in XYZ months. And people with ask, "Are you dating yet?" Everyone is different. Do you. Date everyone and their brother or sister on Bubmble! Or don't date till you are ready. Or find someone in the produce section at the grocery store. Whatever works for YOU, at YOUR pace, in YOUR time.

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Understand that partnership is not always 50/50.
There should be a natural ebb and flow to a relationship. Sometimes it might be 50/50. But other days it might be 70/30 because your person is just having a day. Or it might be 10/90 because you got sick and your partner is taking care of you. That's part of the partnership. Filling in the gaps when your person needs it. If your expectation is always 50/50 you're setting yourself up for failure.

Partners allow for space to grow.
People grow and growing together is amazing. It's important to give your person room to grow. It could be in any number of ways - academically, professionally, etc.. But let them grow and support them in their efforts.

Work together.
Work together. Set goals together. Plan for your future. Work on projects. But do it together, not against each other.

Actual love is effortless.
Real love is easy. That takes your breath away, only thought it existed in movies kind of love exists. And when you find it, it's effortless and so rewarding. They say relationships take work and that's true. But loving that other person shouldn't.

Really communicate.
Communication is not just talking. It's also listening. Make an effort to communicate. Understand your partners love languages. Make sure they understand yours. And know that communication is not always with words.

Don’t be scared to be honest.
Honesty is key. It's important to be honest without being hurtful. Lies are like cockroaches. Once there is one - there are many. And you will appreciate honesty even if it does hurt a bit in the long run. Don't shy away or avoid the truth.

And so life continues. Onward. Upward.

Jolene

I recently found a true love for Country music. I know I know. And I even went to Nashville for a girls trip. The Grande Ole Opry was my favorite! Dolly is my girl. ❤

Have you ever listened to Dolly’s lyrics to Jolene? Like actually listened? She’s begging this other woman – arguably a home wreaker – to not steal her man. Explaining that she gets that Jolene is way more beautiful but she’d never find love again if Jolene took away her man. While a great song – easily one of my favs from Dolly – it’s kind of sad when you think about it.

I had a Jolene once.

I felt where Dolly was coming from at one point. I pleaded internally with my Jolene night after night, as I laid there alone. But then one day this switch flipped in me. I distinctly remember it. I hated her. Loathed every fiber of her being. I was jealous of her. She stole the heart of the man I was married to. How could she?! She ruined my life!!! Or did she? Then I felt bad for her. What if she didn’t know any better? I know of her but did she know of me? What if she was just a girl who fell for the wrong guy? I understood that. Same girl, same.

I went through all the feelings towards Jolene. Literally all. And after I had gone through all the stages of grief, got help, faced some of my demons, rode some emotional roller coasters, and did all the things…I realized I might owe Jolene a thank you. She might have done me a favor. I know you’re thinking what in the actual hell is wrong with you Sarah but hear me out.

I won’t reach out to Jolene. But here is the letter she’ll never get:

Dear Jolene,
I suppose it’s odd that I am writing you this letter. You may know who I am, though at this time I am not entirely sure that’s relevant anymore.

I wanted to reach out and say thank you. A while ago, you forced me to really look at my life and see how broken things were. You made me face reality and facts that I probably knew were true but didn’t want to come to terms with. Thank you for that push. Because of you I had to be stronger than I ever thought possible and stand up for myself. I’m now mentally, emotionally and physically healthier and in a better place. I can be a better mom to my kid and that means a lot to me. You contributed to that. And for that, I owe you gratitude.

There is a lot of ugly in this world and I believe what you put into it you receive back. Blessings. Juju. Karma. Whatever it maybe. I wish you nothing but the best.

Regards,

Sarah