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 will ask, "Are you dating yet?" Everyone is different. Do you. Date everyone and their brother or sister on Bumble! 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

My brain is broken

I’m happy. But I’m broken. My brain is broken. It’s telling me I’m not happy, that I am not okay. Because that is what depression does. Depression lies. It tells you awful things and then convinces you they are facts. It makes you see and feel things that are sometimes not there. It’s evil. And it’s best friend is anxiety. They show up uninvited and ruin everything. Trust me, I know. I’ve been bullied by them for decades.

Truthfully – I’m in a down cycle. Things are dark in my space right now. I’m unmotivated despite having all the lists of things to do and you guys know I know love lists. My face is a leaky mess of tears and sometimes I don’t even know why I’m crying. I’m lethargic and could sleep for days if it was allowed. I get up and attempt to go through the motions because I’m a single mom and I have to. But I’m just blah. If that makes sense.

Over the years I’ve learned a lot of things about dealing with my depression and anxiety. I’ve learned to watch for signs in myself that things are taking a turn for the worse. It’s taken me a long time to recognize those things but being able to know now what they look and feel like has helped a lot. This time around my therapist has me trying something new. I think the gist is around writing out my emotions – anger, fear, guilt and sadness – and seeing how they relate to anything unresolved. Then finding any unreasonable expectations I may have for myself and flipping that expectation around. I’ll report back on my thoughts.

I’ve been in dark valleys before but that doesn’t make it any less scary. I never know how long they will last or how hard they will be to get through. I’m just focused on the things I do know to be true.

This is temporary. You’ve lived through this before and you will make it through this again.

There is light on the other side.

It’s okay to not be okay.

Give yourself grace.

You are so loved.

Depression lies.

The other night I was reading in bed – that’s what us bibliophiles do – and I came across something that at that very moment I needed. I’m reading Broken (in the best way possible) by Jenny Lawson* and she was writing about tools that have helped her with her mental health and she said:

Forgive yourself. Forgiveness – something I never considered.

*Side note: Go out right now and buy all the Jenny Lawson books and read them. She’s amazing. She’s legit saved me. She’s my hero.

I’m sorry

I’m sorry.
For saying all the things.
For oversharing my thoughts.
For being in my feelings sometimes.
For over communicating.
For being too forward and too honest.
For caring too much.
For loving too hard.
For wanting things that aren’t mine.
For wishing things I’m unworthy of.
For being stubborn.
For being sassy.
For giving my unsolicited opinion from time to time.
For being indecisive.
For being a total head case.
For having anxiety and depression.
For having this body and body image issues.
For crying too easily.
For playing with my hair too much.
For having a foul mouth.
For not being someone else.
I’m sorry for just being me.
I’m sorry.

Unfiltered

Unusual to find a picture of just me
Never confident enough to for people to see
Filters used to make all the corrections
Important to fix my many imperfections
Longing to feel comfortable in my own skin
To feel beautiful on the outside and deep within
Everyday seeking some form of approval
Realizing slowly that self love is more crucial
Eventually I’ll show just me, bit by bit
Determined to be a girl that owns her own shit

Small – Part II

You still try to make me feel small
Every time you show up, text or call

Thinking you can tell me what to do
But I no longer have to listen to you

You say things to mess with my head
Act like you never heard the words that I said

I continue to try and remain polite
But you’re conniving and always picking a fight

You have no respect for my home or my things
Always trying to push my buttons and pull my strings

You’re no different than a school yard bully
Except I stupidly thought you were an adult and could act maturely

But I won’t tolerate it anymore
I kicked you out and changed the locks on the door

I will no longer be made to feel small
I might be short in stature but I still stand tall