Everything Carries Me To You

It’s 3:02 A.M. Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Outside, there is a soothing and beautiful thunderstorm passing through. My patio door is open and I am listening to the rain fall. Every time it rains, I think of you.

Most other days my mind is occupied with a million other things that are not you. Every morning, I wake up grateful for another day of life. I start my days with daily prayer and meditation. Some days you are still in my prayers, other days, you are not. All I really wish upon you is health, happiness and prosperity. Nothing less.

I’ve been wonderful, in case you ever wondered. Life is good.

I’ve done a lot of soul searching. I have experienced growth, peace, and currently, I am still healing with each passing day. I don’t think of you every day anymore. I’m finally able to wake up and go to sleep without you being the first and the last person I think of each day. Regardless of this, however, I do still miss you.

Sometimes, I share stories about you, as if you were still ever so present in my life. It’s odd, but everything carries me to you.

Every time I have a meal that I know you would enjoy, I think of you. When I am watering my blooms, I think of you. When I smell shrimp, I think of that time that you gifted me some roses that smelled like them. I’ll have to blog about that later.

I used to get angry when I couldn’t stop thinking of you. Now, I just smile and wish you well.

I was in Taos, New Mexico recently, and everything there reminded me of you. I saw a street named Chavez, another named Luna, I went to a spa named Ojo Caliente, like the street that you grew up on. Even the moon and the stars over the mountains gazing down at us reminded me of you. You would have enjoyed the scenery.

I smelt you the other night, while I was taking a bath. It was the weirdest thing.

I haven’t dreamt of you in while but I am always dreaming…

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Oh, brother!

Hey friends! How is everyone doing out there? My day has been a little hectic work wise, but absolutely fun in general. I always say that any day above ground is a good one. So if anything, rejoice in that.

You are here, you are alive and if you are not well, remember that you are here for a reason. You are someone’s pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! BESOS!

I know I have been missing in action here recently, but I was on holiday and enjoying my Spring Break! I’ll share more about my travels here, later. Today, I wanted to share a little bit more about me so that those of you who have never actually met me can get to know me a little better. Aside from the fact that I am Latina, 31, fearless and now divorced, I wanted to share something about my person.

I am many, many things, but one thing I am not always is a lady! haha 

You see, growing up in a Mexican family, with like 20 kids (7—really, 4 boys and 3 girls) there are soooo many things that you encounter. People are all over the damn place, there’s all kinds of fights and fun times, it’s quite the experience! Even now as an adult, there are more damn people, fights and fun times. We are like the Kardashians times a thousand without all the fame, $ and scandals. Well, maybe some scandals, but we are the absolute closest, tight-nit family. We may not be rich, but we are most definitely rich in the things that actually count – like LOVE.

I am the baby in the family and well we all know that the babies are the absolute fav! hehe I am the youngest of 4 boys and 3 girls. My two eldest siblings are my sisters, then a set of twin boys, two other brothers and then me. & when I tell you that there was never a dull moment, I mean it.

To this day, not a day goes by that something hilariously funny, dramatic or serious goes on in our family. We support each other 100%, no matter what, even when we dislike each other. We don’t hold our tongues, we are not shy and we definitely all defend each other like beasts. I seriously feel like I grew up in the best family. I realize all families have their dramas and unfortunate situations but my family has endured so much adversity. We have overcome some rough hardships but we still stand strong. It is absolutely amazing! I’ll share more stories about that at a later time.

Today, however, I wanted to blog about how I became the “Lil’Bro” of the fam. You see, aside from attempting to be a classy, sophisticated lady, sometimes I gets down and dirty. I am truly a tomboy at heart. I’m not a fashionista or make-up guru. I like trucks and fast cars. I know how to change my own tires, oil, battery and spark plugs to my own vehicle; and if I ever needed a jump start, I carry cables in my car! Sometimes I burp out loud, I definitely don’t like housework and I will literally fight a dude, if I had too. I’ve done it before, back in my wild days. I mean, seriously I grew up with 4 brothers!!!

They taught me mostly everything I know about life. We used to beat each other up, we tackled each other and I am the only sister they invite to “bros” nights. They always joke about how I am such a dude. So, naturally they nick named me “Lil’ Bro”. The girly part of me hates that, but I just laugh because they could not be more accurate. I am so the type of girl that prefers to not wake up at 5am to get glammed up for work. Most days I wear heels, because I love them, but I also love to wear my scuffed up cowboy boots, jeans, a good ol’ tee and a baseball cap!

I have grown to be quite the interesting concoction of a young lady, if I do say so myself.

I realize every day how absolutely blessed I am to have grown up in my family. We are not perfect, but we love each other deeply. When any of us are in despair, we all feel it. We uplift and encourage each other. We pray for each other and believe in one another. Nothing in the world is better than family. Even when things are not always rainbows and butterflies.

My sisters and I are super close too, but I could never relate to them growing up, as the youngest. By the time I was 8, both sisters were already out of the house. I spent most of my time with my brothers. Now, as a divorcée, I appreciate that a thousand times more. Being raised by my brothers, helped me to be an independent, sometimes stubborn but a very strong-minded individual. They have taught me chivalry, strength, patience and of course, how to kick some ass! Being a tomboy has really helped me deal with my heartbreak too, because I process the whole situation in a different manner. I definitely see the girly side of it and being a super emotional drama queen about it but I also take the more laxed and chilled approach to it too.

Guys handle conflicts and emotional distress in a very different manner than we women do. When I get to talk to my brothers about my heartache, they are so quick to prove to me how ridiculously over-analytical I am on so many levels and they remind me that regardless of my situation, I am much stronger than I think I am. They don’t forget that I am a woman and even though they call me “Lil’Bro” they also remind me of how proud they are to have a little sister that can take care of herself without a man around. They have also pointed out where I need to make some more “womanly adjustments” to help my next man, not feel so intimidated by me!

If there is one thing divorce reminds you of, it is where you have fallen short on some of your responsibilities. Although O and I were never a perfect marriage, I do see now, that there were some things that I could have handled differently. The last thing I will share that my brothers have taught me is that as much as men want to be manly, they are definitely more womanly than they think! They too, just want to be cherished, respected and loved.

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Turning Heartbreak Into Healing

Hello, all! How is everyone?

I AM ALIVE, I AM WELL, I AM HAPPY & I HAVE PEACE!

I am also pretty proud of myself for the progress in my healing journey. Today marks an entire month since I last spoke to or messaged Obed. I blocked him and I don’t regret it. Sure I still think of him and miss him some days, but there is no turning back. I have to move forward. Today I want to share about an experience I had recently and also how I broke the news to my nearest and dearest friends about my divorce.

About two weeks ago I visited a restaurant that O and I would frequent in East Dallas. It is one of my favorite places, called Palapas Seafood Bar. They have the best ceviche, estilo Sinaloa (Sinaloa, Mexico style seafood). It is absolutely delish! If you haven’t already gone to check it out, I encourage you to do so. On this particular night I went, I was sitting at the bar with a friend, enjoying a shrimp cocktail and a michilada (Mexican bloody mary).

Suddenly, the chef, came over to say hi and chit chat for a minute. She and Obed are old friends and used to work together. She approached me with a huge smile on her face. I hadn’t seen her in a long while and she proceeded to ask how Obed and I have been. She wondered why “we” hadn’t been by the restaurant in quite some time. Then, I told her that “we” were no longer an item. Her smile quickly turned into a frown as she expressed her sincerest and deepest sympathy.

An entire year later and I still find myself breaking the news to mutual friends and acquaintances about our divorce. I’m just glad I can finally talk about it without bursting into to tears. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t still chip away a little bit at my heart. I suppose there comes a time in everyone’s life when you experience heartbreak.

Sometimes, your heart breaks when your favorite heels get scuffed or someone eats the last damn cupcake.

Heartbreak comes in all different forms. However, I know, that the most dreadful and painful of them all is when you lose someone you love. Whether it’s by a breakup, divorce, separation, death or simply disconnect. We all experience it. No one escapes heartbreak, unless of course, you are the Tin Man! Even though we experience it over and over again, it never gets easy.

Recounting my story of divorce has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. It does get easier each time, especially now that I am kinda over it. I mean…I am not “OVER it” but I have accepted my position and that helps me to able to talk about it.

Initially, when the divorce was freshly finalized, it was so difficult to speak about. I was still in shock of it all and kinda hoping that it was all just a horrible dream. However, once I got to a place of peace and acceptance, I realized that speaking about it and now blogging, has been the best thing for me.

The only thing that doesn’t get easier is breaking everyone else’s heart, and that is why this post is dedicated to all of my lovelies and bestest friends in the whole wide world!

I had the hardest time figuring out when was a good time to share the news of my divorce. There were times when I wanted to send out a mass group text but I knew I didn’t want it to be informal. I wanted to be in a better state, mentally and emotionally. I really needed the time to understand why I was in this position and how I even got here in the first place. Divorce is such a painful experience and sometimes, it takes time to process and accept your new reality.

Once you start sharing your story, everyone always has so many questions and sometimes you just don’t have the answers. You, yourself are still trying to figure it all out. I guess that is why I struggled so much to tell certain friends. I wanted so badly to share, but I just wasn’t ready to be a divorcée. Hell, I’m still not ready to be a divorcée, but I am. So I handled it the best way I knew how. I started telling them one by one, or in small groups, once I got past the confusion and intense emotions. I knew early on that I wanted to blog about it and I definitely didn’t want to have any of my close friends find out through a blog post. Can you imagine? They would never forgive me.

Every time I share my truth about my divorce, it still hurts a little bit, but I know that in that hurt, I am healing and that gives me comfort.

When I share my story for the first time with a clueless friend, I see their reactions and how their hearts break for me. It rips away at my heart, but it also helps mend it back together, because I know that in my pain, in this particular season of my life, my friends are there for me. They love me and they care about my well-being and that my friends, is one of the best things in the world.

So, to all my dolls, my confidants, my best friends from childhood and the ones I have made along the way, THANK YOU!

Y’all are my rocks, my diamonds, my priceless treasure of friends that are so near and dear to my heart and I could never imagine doing life without any of you. Y’all have laughed and cried with me, shared in my pain and helped me to see the silver lining, even in the most difficult times. Each of you have taught me something about myself that I didn’t know, which is, that I am much stronger than I think I am. With this post, I want y’all to know that my strength stems from you. I love y’all so berry, berry, much and I am forever grateful for having each of you in my life.

CHEERS FRIENDS! MAKE TODAY FABULOUS! XO

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Sometimes, I Cry

Hi friends! How is everyone on this drizzly and gloomy Monday? I can testify, that I have had much better days before, but I am hangin’ in there today, even if only by a thread…The past several days, I have been a little somber. I really make it a point to put forth my best effort to suppress those sometimes lonesome feelings and try not to drag myself down into a pit of sorrow. Despite having been divorced for a little over a year now, as time goes on, it does get easier, but I still have those days where I get emotional. There are still some nights when I just cannot seem to catch or even hold on to a Z. It sucks!

The whole process of divorce is one that takes a toll on you in several ways. One of those being exhaustion, but also the unexpected urge to sometimes, cry it out. Most days, I am fine. I have come to accept my position and I know that I am still on a roller-coaster of emotions.

Some days it seems as if I take three steps forward and take two back. The effects of divorce can creep up on you and I am still learning that it is actually, okay. There is no right or wrong way to grieve a loss in divorce. You have to feel it to get through it, they say.

A good friend of mine said it best, when I messaged her venting about my feelings on this very somber day, when I am missing Obed the most. Her response was,

“Acknowledge it. Observe it. Let it flow through you and it will pass. The deeper the river the tougher the drought. Hugs.”

Her response was perfect. It was everything I needed to read to wipe those tears away and pick my head up. I smiled, because even though I don’t feel strong today, I know I am not weak.

I am still learning that it is a normal part of the process and some days, redundant. One day you are having a ball and you are absolutely certain that you are well on your way to recovery. You understand why the divorce was best. Then, the very next day you can feel that there was still more that you could have done or should have done to save the marriage. You feel guilty about things said or done and you hate that you didn’t save your marriage.

Or some days you think, you absolutely did do everything you could and it was time to just let it go. Up and down, up and down, UP & DOWN! It is exhausting! So on the days I feel confused and the melancholy sets in…

sometimes, I cry.

Some nights, I just let out a tear or two and I cry out to God and I let Him have it. I so undeservingly cast my fears and my burdens onto my Savior. Sometimes I cry harder than others, but in the end I can always smile. Because although I am sometimes weary and restless, I still have joy! I rejoice in the fact that regardless of my circumstance I still have so much to be thankful for. God has given me the ability to wake up to another day and He has most assuredly blessed me in abundance. I have my health, amazing family and friends, a wonderful job, a super cute place, a nice ride, money in my banks and even pocket change.

I may not have everything I want but I have everything I need. Maybe I don’t have the husband that I so diligently prayed for, for so long, but I do have other men in my life that love me: my brothers, my daddy, and most importantly, my Heavenly Father! & if that can’t bring a smile to my face or make my heart pitter-patter, I don’t know what else would.

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En El Olvido

Por mas que pasa el tiempo, no logro olvidarte. Maldita sea el amor, maldita sea el olvido! Hoy, ya pasaron 13 meses y 23 dias, que aun no te tengo a mi lado. Possiblemente te siga amanando, o possiblemente solo este acostumbrada a tu amor.

Unos dias despierto sin pensarte, otros dias, no paro de pensarte. Pero nunca te olvido. Hasta hoy, no lo he podido lograr.

Usted no sabe lo que es el amor…

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Moving Forward

So, it’s been a few weeks since my last blog post and I apologize friends, so sorry. However, I am back and at it again! I’ve really missed blogging and sharing in my healing process. It has been a crazy little roller-coaster, but right now, I am having more ups than downs. I’ve been semi-dating, which is fine for now. I’ve had fun, to my surprise. I cannot commit to anything at the moment and I am honest with the guys I talk to about my availability. This way they can decide whether or not to continue the friendship or give me the boot. Others, I just cut off immediately, if I see no real potential. The latest date I went on, was really fun. We had a cool, chill dinner date and then did karaoke! It was a great time, I’ll definitely see him again.

In other news, I am doing quite well, emotionally. I spoke to the ex-esposo (ex-husband) recently regarding some pending unresolved matters, but now that we’ve moved past that, I did the inevitable and cut ties. In the thirteen months and sixteen days that we have officially been “unofficial” – we have never gone longer than three months without speaking to each other via text or phone calls. That may not seem like much, and really it isn’t but it is progress. Especially when you had a friendly divorce. We had some shared responsibilities that came with the dissolution of our marriage that made it impossible for us to cut ties completely but now that our final feat with the government is over…

I BLOCKED HIM!

On one hand, I was completely empowered by it and I am actually pretty proud of myself for it. I set the boundary and I am sticking by it. On the other hand, however, I will be honest and say that a piece of me is still grieving that loss of contact. To some of you, it may be silly or stupid, but to those of you that have loved and lost, you feel my pain. It is not easy to let go of things that no longer serve you well. Obed, in all his kindness and gentleness, no longer serves me.

Now, he is nothing but a memory. Maybe later, I will be brave enough to delete him from my contacts. Today, however, is not that day.

I still think of Obed. I miss him, I wonder about him, I wish him well but I will no longer look for him. I’ve decided that in order for me to move forward, I must do so without being attached to my feelings for him. I just want him to be happy, whatever that looks like for him.

Moving on is never easy, and I’m aware that it takes time. Tomorrow, I’ll still love him, but by Friday some of that love is sure to fade away. Or perhaps, I never will stop loving him. But maybe someday someone can walk into my life and make me forget his name…

 

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Dating

Hey y’all! How is everybody doing out there? I have had more good days than bad and now that I have officially been on the market for an entire year, I wanted to touch on the subject of dating! EEEEEEEKKK!!! That word, honestly, makes me cringe a little. It also makes me nervous! I am so not in the game anymore. From the few experiences I have had, post-divorce, I will tell you that dating is definitely not anything I am looking forward to, at all!

Initially, immediately after my divorce was finalized, I had a little “blast from the past” with an old flame. Thankfully, that went no where fast. Now, don’t get me wrong, this guy was fun, we got along great, but he was too needy. We knew each other fairly well when we were younger, and to our core, we are still the same people. However, life happens and you experience different things that grow and mature you in different ways. He was sweet, funny, a very hard worker and also very dramatic! Even my divorce was free of drama. I just couldn’t handle it. We valued and appreciated different things.

So, to make a long story short, this blast from the past, was an eye-opener. It taught me so much about how much I actually needed to be single. I learned that I could like someone that was not Obed and that I actually never lost my groove! Heeeeyyyyyy! I also discovered that I don’t want to be with anyone that “needs” someone. If you are not comfortable in your own skin, I don’t want to be with you. There is nothing sexier than a man that is secure in himself, with or without a mate.

I am a realist! I don’t like to play games and sugar coat things. Some men, can’t handle that. One of my favorite things about Obed, was that he always kept it real. Something, I have found, not many men do. They expect so much from you as a woman, but they don’t follow through when it’s their turn to deliver. What I mean by this, is that you cannot expect more than you put in, in any relationship, period! Also, what’s the rush with getting to know someone? No, I do not want to be your girlfriend after two dates…

Since then, I have just been enjoying my singleness. I’ve been on a few dates, here and there, but no one worth wasting my precious time on. I cannot downgrade from Obed. He was a fine gentleman and taught me a lot about being treated like a lady. Anything less from any man I date, would be a disgrace. I want someone that is going to lead me. A man that is financially stable, career-oriented, educated, interesting and smart. I also need a hustler! If he’s not about his money, we can’t date. My hustle game is strong y’all! I can’t date someone who lacks motivation on the paper chase. I am chasing my own dreams, I make my own $$$’s and unless you can contribute to my hustle, grow me and empower me, I don’t want or need you in my life.

In the meantime, I am open to the idea of dating now, but I am not out looking for love. Right now, I am still learning to love myself more. I know that I don’t want to be single forever, but I also know my worth. If a man can’t come into my life and add value to it, then I don’t want to date him. Above all, I am looking for a friend. Someone that I can be myself with, laugh with, learn from, travel with, be adventurous and real with. My next venture is to go speed dating! It’s something I’ve always wanted to try, just for the fun of it. Maybe, I’ll find Mr. Right on a speed date! ha Or Mr. Right Now, I am good with that too! Until next time my friends! XO

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Happy New Year!

Only 6 days past due, but I still wanted to take the time to thank you all for reading along and following my blog. I appreciate all of the love and support from my friends and followers.

It’s 2017! Happy New Year Y’all!

My wish for each of you is to find whatever it is that you need in this new year. Whether it is love, hope, faith, patience, courage, understanding, peace, comfort, health, happiness, strength, or freedom – find it! Go out into the world and make it your oyster. Create the life that you intend with an open mind and open heart to receive all the blessings you deserve.

I’ve given you all an inkling of what is to come on my blog. When I decided to start blogging, I was still married, my marriage was struggling but I did my best to stay positive and keep it together. I never imagined my marriage would end in divorce, and when it did, I decided that regardless of my circumstance, I still had a story to tell about love, marriage and adventure.

Love, for me is still a beautiful thing. I am not scared of it and I have not given up on it because my heart is still filled with it. Love surrounds me everyday. It is in all the smiles, the sweet and kind gestures, from family, friends, or even strangers. It is the one thing we all believe in or want in our lives.  However, it is also the one thing that not many of us know how to receive or give. The world around us has misconstrued the idea and meaning of what true love is. After my divorce, I learned that love is many wonderful and beautiful things, but it all starts with yourself.

Moving forward, I want to share more with you about my healing journey and of course, still fill you in on all the good, the bad, and the ugly of my short-lived marriage leading to my divorce. I hope you have enjoyed my blog posts thus far and that you continue to follow along. My hope is to encourage you, make you laugh, remind you of your beauty and strength, and ultimately inspire you.

May the new year bring forth all that you are hoping for and dreaming of. Cheers friends, stay warm! XO

 

 

 

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A Year of Transformation

Today, December 15, 2016, is my divorce anniversary date. I don’t know that you “celebrate” a date like this, but I guess you do acknowledge it. It is a reminder of how far I have come, the progress I have made and the fact that I have an entire year full of uncertainty and heartache behind me. Now that, is worth celebrating! So, if you are here, tonight, reading along, and following my blog, let us toast:

“To facing fears, shedding tears, embracing heartache, and looking forward to a new year with endless possibilities! CHEERS!”

This past year was a challenging and rewarding year for me. There were a lot of ups and downs. When you hear people talk about divorce and the “rollercoaster” of emotions that you face, let me tell you that it is real and there is no other better explanation. One day you are happy, one day you are sad, another day you are angry and so on and so forth. It is absolutely nuts! However, divorce, in all its craziness, uncertainty, heartache, and pain, has a tiny silver lining, that does in fact exist.

You see, divorce, like many other positive or negative things that happen in our lives, is just a life experience. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything relevant to your well-being. It doesn’t hold some type of magic power or have control of your life. Divorce is just divorce. It just simply means that you are no longer bound to a promise or commitment of a marriage. Now, that doesn’t mean that divorce is easy. It also does not undermine all of the pain and heartache that you feel, but it is just an experience and in order to get through it, you have to feel it.

When Obed and I got married, it was without a doubt, one of the happiest days of my life. We had not been through a lot together, but enough to know that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I suppose he felt the same way too. I don’t think either of us ever thought our marriage would end in divorce.

In fact, not long after we married one of my best friends in the whole wide world broke news of her divorce. I never-ever saw that coming and it broke my heart. I cried! Even though I wasn’t going through it, I felt her pain. I remember her text message so vividly and clearly, “My whole world just turned upside down. _____ and I are getting a divorce.” As a newlywed, it scared me, but I was so sure that Obed and I would never go down that route.

As soon as I read the message, I burst into tears. She didn’t want to talk about it then, but when she finally felt ready, she shared her story. At the time, I didn’t understand why she had chosen to keep quiet of her struggles in her marriage. We talked often and I knew of some issues, but I never knew of the contemplation of divorce, the real struggles behind closed doors and the fact that she was grieving her marriage all by herself.

Every story of divorce is different but they all share one truth: YOU GET THROUGH IT! I won’t tell you about her story, because it is not mine to tell but I will tell you, that when I finally went through it myself, I understood why she chose to keep quiet about her reality. It is not easy to talk about. I just felt horrible, because I wish I could have been there more for her. Now, more than ever, I understand that if she had never experienced divorce, she couldn’t have possibly given me the love and support I needed in my time of grief and desperation, while I suffered through my own divorce.

I wholeheartedly believe that God gives us these “crosses to bear” in order for us to share our story, give our testimony and help others facing similar struggles. As time goes on, the more I share, the more I blog, the more I open up and share my truth, I realize how much I needed this divorce. I didn’t necessarily want it and I certainly didn’t initiate it, but I did speak of it. The idiom “be careful what you wish for” never made better sense to me than now.

Marriage is a lot of wonderful and beautiful things. However, even with all the rainbows and butterflies, it ain’t always pretty. Marriage challenges you in so many ways. It helps you to be more selfless, it motivates you to think more rationally, it tests your patience and grows you in so many ways.

Today, on this somewhat somber and painfully memorable day, I have so much to be thankful for. Despite the many nights I spent crying myself to sleep, questioning God’s authority and plan over my life, I can sit here and type these words out in confidence and affirmation that regardless of my divorce, my story is still far from over. In my pain and suffering from the loss of my marriage and a husband that I thought would be mine forever, I found a lot of wonderful things.

I have rediscovered so much about myself and I have found my own identity without being attached to anything or anyone. I’m single! I am 100% my most authentic and truest self. There is not a person defining me. I hold my own value. Right now I am living as a single, individual, unique and beautiful person. I am whole. I thought I needed my marriage for my life to be complete. Divorce taught me the complete opposite.

I am stronger, I am bold, and I am brave. I am living a good life! Sure, I love Obed but I’ve never needed him. I needed the lessons. Marriage taught me a lot of great things about love and the meaning of sacrifice, but Obed taught me strength.

There are a lot of things that one endures in a marriage. Those things are not always the same for everyone. We all experience very different struggles. However, both parties are responsible for whether or not a marriage fails or succeeds. Blame does not fall solely on one person. Marriage is a team effort and if I had never gotten divorced, I would have never found my own strength. I guess I have Obed to thank for that.

Now, I am at a place of peace, comfort and solitude. I am my own MVP. I went from being married and chasing dreams with a man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with to being divorced and chasing my own dreams. Everything I thought I wanted with Obed is no longer. My vision and direction has changed, but he helped me to find focus. If I was still married, I likely would have never shifted gears and listened to my own self. There were things that I needed in my life that Obed simply could not give me.

I needed myself. I needed to be complete and happy with who I was so that I could reach my highest potential. Of course, I still miss Obed and sometimes I hate that my dreams with him are shattered, but now, I have a full life ahead of me with endless possibilities.

In this past year, I have traveled more than ever. I have cried more than ever too but I have laughed a lot as well. I’ve experienced a whole different side of life that has transformed me into a much better person. I do everything for myself. I am kinder, I am wiser and I am constantly changing more and more each day into who I want to be. I’m growing and learning daily in this process, but more than anything I am free to be me.

Unapologetically, me.

Photo Credit: Little Laugh Box Photography

 

 

 

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An Ode to Myself: Celebrating Ana

Well, my birthday has come and gone but I am still celebrating! First, I want to give a big THANK YOU to all who took the time out of their busy lives to send me well wishes. It was awfully kind and sweet of you. It also made my day! Last year was a little rough for me and the point of my solo “Austin Adventure” was to remind myself to be comfortable in my own skin, be kind to myself, be happy with very little and to love myself more, without anyone or anything validating my self-worth.

I started my morning with some prayer and meditation, then breakfast with my parents. I left Dallas by 8:00A.M. By 11:30, I was getting a pedicure and sipping on some vino. I stopped in Georgetown, Texas to visit Grape Creek VineyardsOn the Square. As a wine club member you get a free tasting everyday or a free glass of wine. The vineyard is actually located in Fredericksburg, Texas but they happen to have a tasting room in Georgetown, so it seemed fitting to make a quick stop. Afterward, I explored the town square and made my way into a little antique mall, called Rough and Ready Antiques. I bought myself a book published in 1907 called Poems With Power To Strengthen The Soul. It is a very special treat and I have enjoyed reading it before bed every night since my birthday weekend.

Then I made my way to Austin and visited the art exhibit I mentioned to y’all in the last blog. I walked around Austin for a bit and was able to check in a little early to my hotel. I made it just in time to drop off my luggage and make my next appointment. Now, don’t get jelly, but I scheduled myself a 1-hour massage and it was ah-mazing! It was part of my “love yo-self” challenge! Then, I went shopping for a birthday outfit and bought myself a Calvin Klein, LBD (little black dress). It was perfect for the occasion. Then I went back to the hotel to get dolled up for my next event. This is where all the birthday magic happened.

I arrived to a beautiful home nestled in the Austin hill country in West Lake Hills. This was the private and intimate soirée featuring pianist, Graham Yates and soprano artist Lucy Bergin. I can call them by name now, because not only did they put on an amazing performance, but we also made friends. It is even Facebook official! When I got there, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I was there alone, but as soon as I walked up to the front door, I was greeted by the pianist himself. He welcomed me in and directed me to grab a glass of wine and find a seat, as the show was soon to begin. The next person I met was Lucy, the soprano artist. She was very warm and sweet. When I finally made my way to a seat, I ended up front row and center, sitting right next to the next person I made friends with. Her name is Pat, and we became instant besties. The show started and Oh. My. God.

It was absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. Totally gave all the feels. It was a very heart-felt and magical performance by both artists.

At intermission, everyone would get up and mingle, get wine refills and some snacks. Well that was when I met Pat. We ended up at the bar together. We had not formally met, although we were sitting next to each other. Neither one of us had really noticed to be honest. We realized it when we made our way back to our seats. Before we did, though, I met the owner of the home, chatted up with Lucy and that was when I told them, I was celebrating my birthday. I truly could not have chosen a better way to celebrate. Ironically enough, all the songs chosen for the performance were related to love, loss, heartbreak and finding yourself. It was absolutely amazing. As if God and the Universe conspired together to perfectly tailor the weekend, just for me.

But wait, it gets better—

Once the next intermission came around and everyone was making their way back to their seats, I hear the show starting without me, wine glass and snacks in hand! I walk into the room and was greeted with the most amazing “Happy Birthday” serenade ever! A mini opera, singing to me for my birthday, on my actual birthday with a room full of strangers and newly made friends. It was the absolute sweetest gesture. I was truly humbled and just overwhelmed with excitement. It was the most amazing birthday serenade ever! It will forever be one of the most memorable birthday experiences of my life. Honestly, I don’t know that anything could ever top that. After the show, Pat and I met up with Lucy to watch her band perform at a cool little bar in downtown. However, before we did, Pat and I made our way to the rooftop patio to check out the breathtaking view of downtown Austin. The next part of the night was pretty spectacular too. The Lady Jams put on a killer performance and gained a new fan. The night ended with more “Happy Birthday” serenades, selfies and of course, tacos!

The following morning, I woke up and had me a hearty-healthy breakfast, compliments of my swanky hotel. I debated whether or not I would take a hike or maybe attend church service, but time really did not allow for my jam packed itinerary. However, I was ever most gracious to God for another year of life, a wonderful birthday celebration and I was looking forward to what other surprises my weekend would hold and it did.

After breakfast, I checked out of my hotel and was right on schedule. I drove over the Texas State Capitol and enjoyed the free tour. If you have never been, I encourage you to do so. It is rich in history and pretty freaking awesome, especially if you are Texan! I had a wonderful time, learning new facts and exploring the Capitol. Right after, I made my way over to the University of Texas at Austin, for the last play of the season, Lost Girl. It too, was a wonderful play and happened to be the perfect ending to my birthday adventure. I even snagged a front row seat!

Finally, I made my way back to Dallas and as if that weren’t already the best birthday ever, to top it off, one of my sweet, dear friends, Alice, invited me over for a birthday dinner. She prepared an exquisite Italian dinner (my favorite) and we drank expensive dessert wine all the way from Napa Valley. It truly was an all around amazing birthday and I thoroughly enjoyed every single part of it. I cannot wait to see what this next year has in store for me. If it is anything like my birthday weekend, it will be full of sweet surprises!

Right now, I am at a place of peace and comfort, embracing and enjoying each passing day. Every day I learn more about myself and I am able to find joy in simply being myself, without any validation from any being. I just love me some me and I am happy just the way I am, flaws and all.

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