New Fiance

About a month ago, I received this email.

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Crazy right? This girl can’t be telling me what I think she’s telling me…RIGHT? WRONG. This girl I have never met, with zero mutual friends, is writing me to tell me she heard my story, read my words, and figured out my lying cheating ex-partner has done it again. He has asked a second person to commit to him for the rest of eternity without him holding up his end of the bargain. Hard to believe that someone can have such huge balls to commit the cardinal sin more than once.

First of all, not to be rude, but isn’t that Karma? (Also notice Karam and Karma are close…coincidence? I THINK NOT.) I never once have used his name in any of my writing or discussions of him. I almost felt bad that I described my situation so well that someone was able to just guess. This was almost humorous to me that I have done my absolute best to keep his identity a secret and people can still figure it out. Like yes, I used pictures of him, but blurred his face. Am I a terrible human? No, no, no snap out of it. Actions have consequences, and this is a prime example of the universe delivering consequences.

So, in the middle of recording my podcast with some favorite humans I got the email above and that all familiar “I’m going to vom” feeling came right up. Even after a year and a half, the solid foundation under me felt like it crumbled. I immediately responded and asked her to text me, because I hadn’t fully digested the message quite yet. And, let’s be real I want to know. Anyone in my position would want to know. Yes, it’s a little (a lot) drama filled but isn’t that why you all read this train wreck? Because it keeps you on the edge, you never know what could happen, and you never want to miss an update.

She finally texts me and tells me all the details. Somewhere in the conversation she starts telling me about the people he’s cheated on this new fiance with and how they are going to confront new fiancé if he doesn’t tell her himself. He begged them to have the opportunity to tell his new fiancé. RED FLAG. Manipulators have one rule in their playbook: never lose control of the narrative. He doesn’t want anyone else breaking their way into the story he is going to tell. Let’s be completely clear here—he will tell her something and it will not be the truth, that you can guarantee. But to her he is the honest one in the scenario, the man with baggage that will overcome. I’m sure he tells her some version of our story where he is the hero—I’m rude and inconsiderate, and I write this blog now that is all a lie.

That’s exactly what he told her.

After, he told one of the women he cheated on her with to kill herself because she ruined his relationship, his career, and his life. It makes me ill to think about how that girl felt. She was convinced by this man to do something intimate with him—something you should feel lovely about. In the end he convinced his new fiancé and the women that he cheated on her with that my blog is all a lie. Huh, interesting since he is caught up in the same scenario once again.

Initially when I heard that he says it’s all a lie, I was upset. Like a debilitating upset. He tells people I’ve lied about everything. When I have been painfully vulnerable, I have been emotionally abused, I’ve been healing from a traumatic experience. People like him most likely will never change. I tried to remember what chump lady said. This is not a “pick me” dance. His new fiancé has not changed him, and he is the same old cheater he was. “You’re changed? No. I’m changed. The new person here is me. I discovered you played me for a chump. This knowledge has transformed me. Shattered me and put me back together in new ways.”

This one is for you New Fiancé. I hope you gain the courage to look past his bullshit someday. You are a force in this word. I know it is hard to leave. But let’s get real: You deserve an undying, faithful love from someone who has the capacity to treat you with respect. He is not that person. You can shine your bright ass light without him. And if you ever need me, I’m here and am happy to listen.

LET’S TALK ABOUT TRUST BA-BIE

The ole five letter word. So elusive, so annoying, and so necessary. Have you ever had an experience where you lose your faith and trust in another person and suddenly you question everything people say to your face? I’m sure you have, that was rhetorical. Everyone on the face of this mother fucking planet has had someone lie to them and has had to question the validity of another person’s actions or statements. And you know what? That’s life. Life is getting hit in the face with a softball, getting a bloody nose, falling down, getting all fucking dirty, getting back up, and then having it happen again in a week or so. But you still get back up every time.

Do we owe trust to any person we encounter in our life? Um…No. Straight up, you never will blindly trust another person. Nor should you be expected to. Everyone is walking around with “trust issues”. It’s starting to get old hearing people talk about why they have them, where they came from, if they can ever get over it. I’m not in the camp of trusting everyone I encounter because 50% of the people you meet are full of shit 100% of the time.  My trust is something to be earned. Being welcomed into my life as anything other than an acquaintance is something to be earned. It can start with little things: having a phone number, inviting someone into your home, sharing a deep conversation. To me, those are the steps to building trust with another person be it friendship or romance.

I recently went on a few dates with a man I was very intrigued by. He seemed kind, social, and honest. I thought our first date was going well until about two hours in when he told me “you can tell me anything”. Um what? Dude, I just fucking met you, I don’t even know your last name, we haven’t even shared a meal together. My head started spinning—obviously this guy hasn’t dated someone like me “trust issue girl”. My initial reaction was obviously fear. OBVIOUSLY. I’m not about to tell intriguing man that I am a 26-year-old divorcee who married a gross lying cheater, who’s moved across the country to start a new life. I’m not ready to tell him that, why does he believe he is ready to receive “anything” from me?  Is it naïve of him? Or is it guarded of me?

I wasn’t ready to tell him. And often times when I’m not ready to tell someone, and I tell them, I sweep my issues under the rug. I act like it wasn’t a big deal to me.

I’ll be like:

“Yeah I married this guy (the love of my fucking life) but we were only married for a few months (we were together four years) no big deal it didn’t really count, right? (It totally counted I promised to love him forever in front of everyone I know and the big man upstairs) Ha…yeah…and he slept with some people (like 40 women) and I found out (because I didn’t trust him anymore because I was having dreams and found dick pics on his phone) and we broke up (I kicked him out very painfully and left my house in a matter of days). Now I write a blog (that tens of thousands of people have read) and I’ve moved here, and things are going well (every day is a new challenge, and I look in the mirror each morning to tell myself I’m worth it).” (And I don’t trust most people as far as I can throw them.)

I do not owe anyone my story. I choose to share it. And yes, I share it in this format with people who seek it out. But I don’t have to tell anyone these intimate pieces of my life until I am ready.

On date two with intriguing man, he kept saying “I’m not going anywhere until you tell me to”. Do you really have to say shit like that? We met two days ago… Spoiler alert, we aren’t going on dates anymore. About a week later he told me he wasn’t looking for anything serious. Of course, that is after I was dumb enough to sleep with him, and bring him over to my home, and share some pretty intimate details about my life. I even listened to him share a great deal about his. I’m not sure how much of it was true, because he certainly has changed his demeanor towards me since having sex. Experiences like that are why we have trust issues. You owe it to yourself to protect your heart. It’s okay to not let everyone in, and it’s okay to take it step by step. I’m not saying put a “Fuck You” stamp on your forehead. The conversations will happen when you’re ready. The ones about how you might be afraid of intimacy because of how you’ve been treated, or that you got hit by a softball in the face too many times so you flinched when they threw their keys at you, or that you got bit by a Dalmatian once so you hate them.  Trust is a process, and it is earned. The right people will put in the work to earn that piece of you. The right people will see your bright ass light shining regardless of those silly  “trust issues”.

SLUT PHASE

Hi Friends, it’s been awhile and I’m sorry. The funny thing is that I often forget the blog is a living, breathing work. How artsy did that just sound? I hear from people across the US, even from other countries out of the blue about how what I have written has affected them in some way, and I want to just say first and foremost THANK YOU. I started this as an opportunity to heal. Writing is an outlet I have truly never exercised because frankly I found it to be a little silly. Writing words down that no one will consume or gain from. Jokes on me though, huh. Thousands of people have read this thing. In fact tens of thousands. What the fuck are y’all doing with your life that you want to read this? But who am I to judge?! I’m glad the consumption of my writing has resonated with many of you. I also hope to keep up with you, though the drama in my life declines as I type—which is definitely what I need.

I want to revisit the dating scene topics, and self confidence issues. In this post, we are also proclaiming an official end to Slut Phase 1.0 and 2.0. I’m lately trying to empower myself to realize that knowing what I want, and not settling for less is extremely vital to my happiness in any future relationship. Reminding yourself that you have much to offer, and that you can find someone that is your equal gets hard when you are in the thick of it. Of course it’s hilarious to see how many online dates I’ve gone on, and how many times I have been ghosted, but what I haven’t shared is how it truly chunks away at my self-confidence each day. I also think it sets me further away from a relationship. I attempt to make light of it by sharing on Instagram, or by making jokes in my social circles. But let me be very clear with you all: it fucking sucks when someone that isn’t good enough for you deems you unworthy of their time or disrespects you in some way. I am so fucking over it.

Originally, I thought my solution would be to power through the ghosting, that I could hunt for the right guy, find the needle in the haystack. I often thought I was being too sensitive when someone ghosted me or unmatched me, or what have you. I have been completely human about it. I know that I can’t meet the person I will be with on tinder, or bumble or hinge because those aren’t my people. I’m sure I’ll redownload it in a moment of weakness (aka intoxication) but at the end of the day I have admitted to myself that it’s not my medium. That’s hard to admit though even as I write it because so many people I know have met their person on an app like tinder. At this point I’ve swiped through far too many people with shallow intentions expecting a deep meaningful return. I’ve been bullshitting myself. Which is partially why I haven’t found success. I haven’t had the discipline to say to myself “this person isn’t good enough, get moving”.

I know part of it is the attention, right? It’s often inevitable that when talking to a man from an app, things get heated pretty quickly. Or sometimes I give off hoe vibes. People aren’t afraid to flirt HARD through the keyboard. I’m not going to pretend I don’t like to flirt that way, that’s why I end up in this predicament. They say things to you, they’re seemingly attracted to you, they want to see pictures of you, they want you to talk about dirty things, and you skip over the best part. When you get to know someone at their core, you develop a sense of prideful ownership over them. You become a piece of them, and you protect them, you love them, and you want them closer.

As I develop new relationships in Colorado I’m reminding myself that others really do see me in high regard. Even my newest friends are protective over me. Which is strange when I compare it to dating. In fact I went on a date just yesterday (not sure if it was an actual date to be clear) but I was so worried about him liking me. My dearest friend kept saying—he should worry about you liking him. Really? Why? He knows I already like him…why don’t I know that he already likes me? Even after a date I’m struggling to really know when a man is interested in who I am vs getting it in. Would someone talk to me for weeks just to have sex? Well yeah, that’s happened multiple times.  I connected the two things—physical and mental intimacy—for a very very long time. I even think physical intimacy drove the mental intimacy in my last relationship. How do I now switch to making sex, and passion an intimate occurrence when I have so freely given it away? Don’t get me wrong, slut phase had its fun times but damn… I’ll be real with you all I have no clue if I will ever be physically open and vulnerable with another person in the same way I was with my ex. I remember times with that person where I would feel desired, and loved after physical intimacy. That feeling has long disappeared. Where I would feel safe and beautiful. I haven’t felt that way in a long time, and I don’t know why I haven’t wanted it. It has been relatively easy to have sex without expectations, or hurt. It has been hard to give emotionally and end disappointed. It’s why I am more hurt when I’m ghosted by a man that wants to text all night, or talk in the phone, or wait weeks to met if we are far away…My heart is in that. It’s more than just showing someone my boobs. Ha. I don’t think I’ve noticed how easy it is to say I want something casual until I was ready to say I want something serious.

I’m ready to date. I know what I’m looking for. But, I don’t know if it will come around or how it will happen. The apps have offered nothing but a shallow perspective on how to acquire the next relationship. I know that my value is never going to come from how I look, how much I weigh, or how good my cleavage looks in that pic on my tinder. It will come from my intelligence, my passions, my independent and confident nature, and okay sometimes my great style. Those things don’t come off in a swipe baby girl!

In the meantime I’m going to do the things I enjoy, and have a good time. I’m not going to seek validation from dating apps that end in shallow miscommunication or self deprecating relationships. I know intimacy starts with emotional connection and ends in physical connection. I won’t drown myself in sexual encounters that ultimately lead in lack of pleasure or connection. I am better than that, and I deserve something that makes my bright ass light even brighter. Cheers to the end of slut phase Blog Fam.

Belize Me!

Welp, my skin is peeling off at an alarming rate, and I’m covered in bug bites. I just got back from Belize. (Everyone says wowww, oh woooooowwww) It’s hilarious that the number one thing I hear from people is “I wish I could travel alone” when I tell them I took the country solo.  Some people want to know how to do it: easy, book the ticket, get on the plane, and push yourself to do things. I won’t pretend though that I was super stoked to go on this trip I forced myself into. So, I just wanted to tell y’all how it went, what I did, and then you can decide for yourself if you want to give it a whirl.

My flight was late on Thursday No. 1 was going to take me to the airport. I didn’t want to go honestly. I laid on the couch and COMPLAINED about going to a tropical country to do nothing. Anxiety is real, I wasn’t excited, I was terrified that I was forcing myself into an uncomfortable scenario. Unfortunately, we don’t grow without it!

Of course, once I got to my Air BnB I just wanted to nap. I had some work to get done so I was a complete home body. I also downloaded Tinder AND Bumble. Because that makes sense, right? Little did I know there are actually some Marines, and smokin hot British Army dudes in Belize. So ultimately it made SOME sense. I had this grand image of a vacay fling…That never came true hahaha. Started realizing just how many there were around about the 5th British army dude I matched with. Then two of them knew each other and asked me to have a threesome…Spoiler alert I didn’t do that. Most dudes by themselves can’t please women…two isn’t going to be any better. And, in addition, it sounds like a good way to get murdered. Also, bringing a dude back to an Air AnB where someone lives makes me SUPER uncomfortable. Anyone else? And they were driving me wherever I wanted to go, so it would be like oh heyyyyy here’s the British dude I probably am going to have sex with in your home….NOPE doesn’t sound like something I wanted to accomplish.

Night one I went out to dinner and went to bed at 9pm. I know it sounds so glamorous. Honestly though, adjusting to a new country alone is uncomfortable. Day two I went out to the countryside to horseback ride, and hike. Was propositioned to be married to Jordan who went horseback riding with me... I told him maybe next visit. Went to dinner again and met some locals that owned a bar. They were SO DRUNK, but SO FRIENDLY. I realized most people that lived in Belize truly were super kind. That was my favorite part by far. They wanted to take me to the bar they owned, so I jumped in the truck calming my anxiety with long deep breaths. Walked into the bar, told the manager Sandy sent me, and he IMMEDIATELY took me to table full of people! I was introduced to a few people, namely a local gal who was so genuine and it seemed like she knew everyone that walked in the door. I had a few cocktails, chatted with some friends at the table, was on my phone a little too much, but that’s alright! It was a pretty huge step for me to go to a bar alone in a totally unfamiliar country, and I had a great time.

Day 3 was the first day I felt independent. I went out to Caye Caulker to go snorkeling. It was the first day I talked to everyone I sat near and tried to learn something about them. I met some fantastic people that day. I felt whole visiting Caye Caulker, and I felt this freeing independence. It all centered on how I opened to other people. If you know me, you know I’m a planner, but that day I went with my heart! I only had $50, a swimsuit and shorts and a cover up. But I thought FUCK IT I’ll stay here for a night and just enjoy some time with my new, wonderful Canadian friends. I got an air bnb on my phone and literally rocked my swimsuit outfit for over 24 hours. I was sunburnt, poor, certainly not stylish, but I had the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

Day 4 I spent with my new Canadian BFF’s lounging. It was perfection. I can’t wait for an opportunity to see them again. I learned about the perception of American’s, also that Canadians are friends with anyone that lives in Canada. They all know each other. Unreal.

All in all, going somewhere alone wasn’t groundbreaking. And much like everything else in life, having fun and enjoying the experience was my choice no matter the situation. That is so powerful! You can go on that trip alone, but you have to suck up the fear and anxiety, choose to have a good time, and don’t stress on the plan. Just let it happen even if you’re only outfit is a swimsuit and wet shorts. Don’t worry, people will still see your bright ass light shining.

BUT WILL YOU LOVE (OR EVEN TALK TO ME) ME TOMORROW?

First, some wisdom from the almighty John Mayer:

“Just be fucking honest about how you feel about people while you’re alive.”

This new magical land of dating has been quite the ride for me. We aren’t talking about the type of ride in the song “Pony” either. The most difficult part isn’t the endless dates, or the ones that don’t work out. The absolute worst part is when you hit it off texting or talking to someone and then within day or two they disappear off the planet. They ghost you. Let’s start with Urban Dictionary’s definition: “When a person cuts off all communication with their friends or the person they’re talking to, with zero warning or notice before hand. The act of suddenly ceasing all communication in the hopes that the ghostee will just “get the hint” and leave the subject alone, as opposed to simply telling them he/she is no longer interested.”

I will tell you that ghosting is one of the number one self-esteem killers in my life. I have no idea why it bothers me so much that someone I don’t know, and have never met, feels that I’m not worthy of their legendary (I’m rolling my eyes) conversation or presence. Typing it even makes me feel dumb. Probably because I have never been afraid to be honest with someone if I’m not into them, especially from behind a keyboard. That’s the easiest way to confront someone anyways, why do people have to disappear? It never happens with people that don’t spark my interest, it always happens with guys I hit it off well with. People that you start texting and literally can’t stop texting the night you get their number. Seemingly they’re the same way. WE ‘BOUT TO THROW DOWN SOME SCREEN SHOTS. Let’s look side by side. You tell me that these dudes showed signs of ghosting. VS the men that had the balls to tell me they weren’t interested—Oh that’s right just one so far.

The most recent incident was with a dude that started the convo by saying he really doesn’t ever do the tinder thing. He doesn’t use it to pick up a ton of women, and that he doesn’t play games. He is like the straw that broke the camels back on this whole ghosting thing. He was really cool, we hit it off famously (red flag apparently), and every text back and forth was like a fucking NOVEL the next couple days. I was actually so excited to meet this human, even if it was just to be friends. I don’t care what it turned out to be. It was so fun to flirt, and we snapchatted, I literally didn’t put my phone down for 4 hours. We talked for three days, and he left me on talking about books, and podcasts. Swoon, am I right? He was going to send me some suggestions. RIP new book lists and podcast. I totally know I fucked up when I sent him a response to his text. Then texted him “Happy Saturday!” The next morning. THEN got frustrated and asked what my best play was, THEN drunk texted him about how ghosting isn’t cool…Are you wincing yet? Why the fuck can’t I just play it cool? I can’t do it with anyone… I get it—I fucked that one up. I don’t play this game well AT ALL. I’m really clear about that when I start talking to a guy. If I want to talk to someone, I will try to talk to them.

Let’s talk about what’s wrong with me. Everyone has flaws, even 10s! I know I can be overbearing, I know I am over-friendly, and I know that I can come off clingy when I’m not. It’s my nature to be that way even when I’m trying to make friends. I LOVE to talk, which can end up in me sending multiple texts at a time. My brain is so excited it can’t contain things in a single text. Even my friends can be overwhelmed by that, or my friendliness and invites to go out. Why does that need to come with a warning label? When it does, it’s a really weird warning label too “Just so you know I can be over friendly and come off like I really like you when I don’t”. Isn’t the point to like someone? This is all so confusing, what the fuck.

I also know that some men read my blog and decide I’m undateable or even unmeetable. THEY’VE NEVER EVEN MET ME. That’s what gets me. Most of these dudes judge me before they even sit down for a beer with me. I think it’s because they’re scared to hang out with a woman who is so candid and transparent. She’s written about her ex-husband, about sex, and about guys on her blog! That means she will write about me! DON’T FLATTER YOURSELF DOUCHES. The men I write about exclusively have some lesson worth learning be it good or bad: like No. 1, No. 2, or No. 22. And unless you’re a super douche like No.22 or Ex Husband, you get to read my post before it goes live.

Then there’s the feeling you get after you’ve been ghosted. Did they see an embarrassing picture of me? Did I have a double chin? Maybe they thought I was skinnier than I am? Is it my new haircut? I know that swimsuit pic isn’t super flattering, but I thought I looked cute! Was it really that I sent three texts in a row? Did they read my blog? Do they know I’m divorced, or that I’ve been kinda slutty before? I’ll just send them another confronting text it’ll be fine. No, stupid, don’t do that. It’s an endless hole of questions that leave you feeling insecure, shitty, and most of all alone. I’m sure I’m being dramatic, but when it’s happened so many times without an explanation it really gets to me. I even thought one time that maybe my Ex was behind it all. Like a conspiracy theory, which I know is actually crazy, so I let go of that real quick. If you didn’t know before, I am definitely an overthinker, but you should know that by now.

I have assumed that a lot of men google me or look me up on social once they find my last name—which used to be on snapchat. I have had multiple men mention it to me while talking. Funny thing is, most of them don’t read the whole thing and assume it’s about bashing men, or that I’m not over my ex. So, we can say that women are “crazy” and stalk people on social, but so far, I’m experiencing more “crazy” with men then I could have ever imagined. It’s crazy to tell someone you’re excited to meet them one day and disappear the next. In some cases, is has happened 20 minutes before a date. That is INSANE in my opinion.

Do ghosters realize they’re wasting people’s time and energy? Like before that date I was showered and about to drive off when I noticed he deleted me on snap and unmatched me. 20 MINUTES. Carol King might as well change the title of her song for the new generation of ghosters. “But Will You Talk To Me Tomorrow?” I would love to share ghosting stories from you guys. Please, please, please slide into my DMs and share a story of ghosting. I want to post them all together and I won’t use your name. I’m sure it’ll be a good laugh! Guys and Gals need to know they’re not alone. Let’s not let ghosters dim our bright ass lights. It’s a great reminder never to let someone else effect how you feel about yourself.

NEW YEAR'S EXPECTATIONS

Fuck the resolution. I’m going with expectations this year. To me, an expectation is so much stronger, and holds me accountable. The concept of a resolution at this point has been deflated. Every year people make resolutions to lose weight, eat better, not drink blah blah blah. And typically, it only takes three weeks or less to decide your resolution doesn’t mean shit to you. Resolution is the decision to do or not to do something. Expectation is a belief that something will happen or be the case in the future. Expectation implies that I have to achieve it. It has the implication of success, and that’s what I’m most interested in.

Day one of 2019 spent on an adventure, even though I was hungover.

Day one of 2019 spent on an adventure, even though I was hungover.

My expectations for the year are lofty, but worth my time. I have been taught in my professional life that writing your goals down gives you a much higher probability of success. My mentor when I started at iHeart encouraged our team to write out our goals with intention. In a meeting once, he read us his goals written down from 10 years ago. Each and every one of those goals he read off to us were achieved. He set strong expectations for himself, and by writing them out, he made it much harder to let himself down. So, I’m going to do that with an audience! WOW! I encourage you all to try and write it out as well!

In 3 months

I’ll be 26. I’ll be working at iHeart Media and have sold my first New Business Account. I’ll continue working hard towards my goal of writing New Business and be ready to submit my aircheck to programming to work towards being on air again. I’ll be spending time outside in my garden and working on my landscaping for the upcoming summer. My back yard will become all grass and I’ll have flower beds in the front of the house. And, I will be spending more time outside than watching TV!

In 6 Months

I’ll have a book of accounts to work with and bill at iHeart Media. I’ll be on air on one of our 9 Denver Stations. I will no longer work at White House Black Market. I will plan a trip to Iceland and go to Canada with my friend! I will adventure with the dogs at least once a week and continue my plan to be outside more than inside. I’ll start working on dating seriously, but by meeting people in person.

In a Year

I will have read at least 12 books and visited two new countries. I will be focused on my career and personal life equally. One will not take a back seat to the other. I will Increase my billing by at least 10%. I will no longer have credit card debt.

In Five Years

I will be in a committed relationship with someone I trust, and love. I will not be insecure in the relationship. I will no longer have a car loan. I will be working at iHeart Media as a Sales Manager with a team of talented sales people. We will thrive at direct business and implementing creative ideas. I will own a home with a back yard, perfect for my two puppies (I won’t have three ).

You have to walk before you can run, so if I don’t achieve something in 3 months I can adjust the timeline. I have read studies that say you become more than 40% more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down on a regular basis. If you share your written goals with a friend, it gets even higher! It has to do with the brain…our goals are a combination of the left and right side. Right is the imagination and left is finding the solution to completing it. When the two sides communicate they generate electrical signals that travel up and down our spinal column, thus reaching every fiber and cell in our body. If you simply think about your goals you use one side of your brain. Whereas when you write it you are taking the first steps of action toward that goal. That’s powerful. Like I’m kinda tingly. If you want to read more about it, see here!

That’s what this blog has done for me in the past year as well: writing about my life, how I want to shine, what I hope for in the future. It’s solidifying it, taking it outside of the right side of my brain and letting the action happen on the left side. Don’t just talk about your bright light, let that shit SHINE in the New Year!

 

DON'T LOOK BACK

Dad is on the left!

Dad is on the left!

Some of you may know my dad, and to some of you he is a legend. If he knew I was writing about him on the internet he would probably be livid. He’s one of those people that doesn’t love the idea of his photo being on the internet forever, or having people know too much. So, don’t tell him. My dad is a good man. I’ve always thought of him as the person that takes care of things. When my biological father died I was 1, my brothers were much older, and my Dad was there to take care of things in whatever way was needed. I mean, that’s a pretty great first impression. He has always been my dad, there is no denying that. There was and is nothing that was broken that he couldn’t fix. He is smart, he is capable, he is generous, but one of the things he isn’t is emotional. Let me stop right here and tell you I’m not sure how he dealt with me, one of the most emotional children in the history of ever. I know I was a pain in the ass especially in high school, and he and I didn’t always get along because I felt like he didn’t understand me. I certainly didn’t understand him. I’m sure in his own way he was trying to understand me but what teen girl is in touch with that quite yet?

Through the trying times in my life, my dad hasn’t always been able to deliver the hallmark moments you see on TV, or read about in books. He’s definitely not the dad in that gum commercial that folded all of those paper cranes out of gum wrappers (then we all cried). He was a great dad, taught me a lot about hard work, how to drive a stick shift, how to solve for x, and that succeeding in life is the only option. What he didn’t always have was empathy, or he couldn’t vocalize it. For example: when I called him to tell him what happened with my ex husband, he said “I told you so.”  He said I should have waited to get married, he said he knew he wasn’t the right person for me. All the things you don’t need your dad to say to you when you call to tell him the person you thought you loved most in this world actually sucks. All I wanted him to say was: “I’m so sorry, I will kill him”. I realized a long time ago that my dad would never be that dad that knows what to say when I cry, or go through these wild emotions.

He has his moments though. Last week on the phone we talked for awhile. Sometimes our conversations are trivial, about the weather or what not. Sometimes we talk about things of substance. I’m sure everyone’s dad is like that, but I don’t know. We talk about the weather more than any other subject most likely. On our call last week we talked about my move. How it was going, how I was feeling. Even talked about how dating was going—not well mind you, I’ll write about that soon. He said something though that really reminded me that he is that supportive, loving Dad. Just in a different way. He said “Don’t look back” when we got off the phone. Of course I cried but it was right when we hung up so I don’t think he heard me.

I needed that reminder. Because last week I almost called my ex husband. DON’T FUCKING AS ME WHY. I know it’s stupid. I had that dramatic feeling where I thought “no one understands me like he does”. All I wanted was to call and hear his voice, have a Christmas miracle happen where he apologizes for everything he did, tells me he loves me and we magically have a life together again. You know how mad it makes me to even type that? I can’t lie to you though, I won’t lie to you. Then what is the point of this? I wanted to wrap my arms around that piece of crap dude, tell him we can work it out as long as he loves me, and skip off on the yellow brick road. I thought about the last time I kissed him, and how it still gave me butterflies. That is so fucked up. (As Long As You Love Me: Backstreet Boys playing in the background) I think that stupid Selena Gomez Song “I’d Go Back To You” played on the radio too many times that week or something. Loneliness gets the best of us sometimes, but you have to just say NO BITCH. (In this case it was to myself)

Here’s the deal people, it happens. You can’t beat yourself up. Lucky us though, my Dad comes in clutch when he least realizes it to remind us “Don’t Look Back” before I call my poopy ex-husband. Or before you compromise your self-worth to call yours. Nothing back there is tempting enough to get me to derail off the beautiful life I am creating for myself. Looking back would dim that bright ass light I work so hard to keep shining each and every day.

Regaining Independence: A year of singleness

What does regaining independence mean? It can mean different things for different situations. In a lot of cases it is directly related to your health and wellbeing—mentally or physically. Today, I am celebrating a year of regained independence. A year I never imagined would happen, a year that has proven my own resilience and strength day after day.  (Wow Aime you really love yourself…why yes I do!).  I woke up this morning in Denver CO, with my two dogs, in my king size bed, alone. I made breakfast, sat and had coffee by my Christmas tree, did my hair, chose a fierce outfit, and drove to work perfectly on time for my one on one with my manager.

This time last year, I was waking up alone for the first time, in my house in Saint Paul, crying. I was with my two dogs, in my king size bed. I didn’t eat, I was late to work because I was fighting with my husband over the phone, and I cried the moment I saw my coworker in the elevator. Later that day I had to take down my new Christmas tree, and my friends and I started packing up my home. There’s a pit in my stomach just thinking about how that day went. Everything was so dark. In just 365 days, I have picked my life up and moved it in the direction I wanted it to go. For the most part I regained my independence. I still am occasionally caught saying we. When we moved, when we got this, when we went here or there.

I have read so many online articles about how to do it. Which is so embarrassing. Most of you know my favorite genre is still “Self Help” right now, HA. So I fill my brain as much as possible with all the shit about being great, being at peace with yourself, remembering you have flaws but focusing on the future you want. Believe and you can achieve type bullshit. I say bullshit but, it’s helped a lot. My best revenge will always be success. And here I am.

One of the best things I committed to was not hiding from anything. Being brutally honest with people, and myself. This sounds stupid, but that includes Facebook memories. Every day when I looked back at my memories I was reminded how much of my life was consumed by someone that did not reciprocate. I told myself that if I didn’t delete those “memories” as they came, I would wake up one day five years from now not thinking of him, and think of him. It would control how I felt from the moment I saw his face on my phone. That is independence. Taking control being realistic with myself. Does that make sense? A year of Facebook memories so I never need to be reminded of the day we got engaged, or his first trip to the ocean, or seeing him holding my precious niece.  Regaining independence by admitting to myself that he doesn’t need to be in any part of my memories.

The definition of independent is: free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority. Sometimes people think it means you have to start going to the movies alone. Or doing some Eat Pray Love shit. And, what I have constantly had to remind myself is that independence is not about being alone. It is about freeing yourself from the control that is no longer relevant. Things like: allowing someone to make you feel inferior, or controlling your emotions, or deciding the outcome of your day. Independence is going out with a friend you haven’t seen in a while at 9pm on a worknight. Independence is admitting when you can’t be alone because of how you are feeling. Independence is going on dates for the hell of it because you’re single and ready to mingle. Independence is moving to a new city for a new adventure.

I don’t mistake loneliness for independence. When I tell someone I am independent, it doesn’t mean I’m suddenly “solo sally”. It means my life is not controlled by the wants and needs of another human being. And that is a fucking fresh breath of air. My independence is something I flaunt on the daily as I should. I like to tell dates I am “fiercely”independent (sexy right?), and I’m so proud that it’s true. No one person is controlling, where, when or how bright my light is shining. Cheers to a year of strength, discovery, and happiness and the many more to come.

We got to take new family photos a couple weeks ago. Ones where I am independent but not alone.

We got to take new family photos a couple weeks ago. Ones where I am independent but not alone.

FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN

It's been too long! I’m so sorry. I moved out to Denver on 10/28 in my effort to rediscover what happiness is (for me personally). I’ve been working hard at making my life what I want it to be. It’s a conversation I need to have with myself every day. And you know what? I think it’s been going well. Knock on wood but there have been no nights of unshakable loneliness, tears, or heave cries. I’ll call it a win. Now, I’ve only been here for like 18 days but fuck haterz.

My biggest fears when I made the move werethat I would have no one, I would isolate myself, or no one would like me. Sometimes that fear inspires you to prove yourself wrong. Challenging yourself allows for great opportunity to grow and learn. In my first two weeks I have only stayed home 5 nights total alone, and it wasn’t because I didn’t have the choice. In my first week I had happy hour with my new coworkers—including tequila shots—, I ended up at a rave somehow completely sober, and I met like 7 new friends. In week two I hosted a BYOF party (Bring your own friend) and like 25 people showed up! WHAT?! Sometimes we don’t want to branch out and throw the party, or invite new people in because we are scared of rejection or awkward moments. JUST FUCKING DO IT! No one makes friends or combats loneliness from the couch under a blanket.

I got a message from a friend the first week I moved asking if she should take the leap. I didn’t even have to think about it. If you’ve ever thought about the experience of going somewhere new, I can’t recommend it enough. My mom used to say something to me that I think about every day: “Smile, it’s only temporary”. She’d say it when something wonderful was happening, and when something shitty was happening. Nothing in this life is permanent. It might last a long time, or feel like it’s permanent but at the end of the day it’s not. We have this wonderful ability to pick up our lives and go somewhere new. It’s all only temporary, and if you hate it, you can pick up and do it again. (Just purge your closet and your shoes before you do it again. Moving sucks balls)

So what does this have to do with falling in love again? Look, I came here to be a better version of myself. As cheesy as “rediscovering” sounds it’s absolutely true. I put a lot of distance between me and my baggage. Physical mileage from the person that hurt me. I don’t even know if he knows where I went, and it feels so fucking great. Initially I thought it was running away, like a coward. I was of course wrong. Going for the space has allowed me to adjust my course. I’ve been creating relationships with people as a single woman which is drastically different than establishing relationships with a partner. The only person that defines me now is me. I can talk about me, my interests, my dreams. Maybe it’s selfish but it’s been so refreshing not having to talk about another person as part of me. When you start dating someone you never shut the hell up about them, you love telling people about them, and it’s totally okay.

I’m over here in love with my life. I have never felt more connected to my goals, and sense of being. I love talking about my cute house, my garden, my dogs, my —still horrible—tinder dates, my career, live music, all of these things that I enjoy. Here I don’t have to be grief stricken, lonely, or reminded that I’m a divorced 25 year old. I’m so in love with where life is going and my light is shining brighter than I ever thought imaginable. If you have ever thought of putting the physical space between you and your grief, take it into serious consideration. Its empowering, and you deserve that.

P.S Shoutout to my amazing friends that made this happen for me. I couldn’t have done it without all of you. Thank you for helping me rediscover my freedom and happiness.

GHOSTS DO EXIST

Up til now we have talked about my dating life in pretty loose terms. Other than Number two we haven’t gotten too specific on the who, when’s, and where’s. But, I had this moment a couple weeks ago that I must share. My life is super ironic. (Alanis Morsette begins to play, I’m actually listening to it as I type this) This blog post is a going to be about the ultimate ghoster: Number 22. Now relax, I’ll explain before you just assume that I’ve fucked 22 people. RELAX, it’s not that many.

Let me explain the name first. I was drowning in adorable texts from this dude I “met” on Tinder in Colorado. There was two weeks of constant texting but, we didn’t have a chance to meet in person yet. Did you know that research has revealed that it can take couples an average of only 163 text messages, 70 Facebook messages, 37 emails, and 30 phone calls to fall head over heels for each other? Isn’t that weird? I hate that it’s a thing but, it is. Number 22 was no exception. Well, he felt like an exception to how my life was going. I know you’re all still asking, “Why do you call him 22?”. I was listening to Elvis Duran one morning and they were talking about how many first kisses it takes on average for you to find your soulmate—or the person you end up with. I was well below 22 when I got married, which explains it all. Lo and behold I’m talking to this really awesome man, we are texting constantly, and I realize: If I can just not kiss someone in the next week he will be #22.

WHY DO WE ALL PUT THIS PRESSURE ON OURSELVES.  Okay, no, it’s not that difficult to not kiss a bunch of people in a week. But, why do we take all of that shit so seriously? I of course took it as a sign from her holiness above. #22 HE SHALL BE CALLED. You know I boldly brought it up to him in our next conversation. I have no fear, I have no filter, why live my life behind a wall? He told me I would be #21 for him though, so it might not be fate. I told him he better kiss someone STAT. None the less I was convinced it was a sign, he told me he was convinced too.

Let me tell you a little bit about him, or how he was presented to me, and you tell me you’re not in love by the third descriptor sentence.  First of all, straight up cowboy. Owned a bunch of horses (had pictures to back it up) and told me he trained them. He told me about his dream to own hunting land—he bought a bunch of pheasants to start breeding them on the land—and ranches where young kids that struggled with behavioral issues could interact with livestock and the land. I totally believed him, because no one has ever lied to me before—god dammit. He told me he had traveled a great deal, loved to cook, showed me his gorgeous apartment. He had two dogs, one was a gorgeous golden retriever named Duke. He had a great job for a management company and made plenty of money. Keep in mind the three weeks we were in touch we were talking on the phone, texting, and even facetiming. I was pretty convinced he was who he said he was. I hate to give you a spoiler alert, but he wasn’t who he said he was. Aren’t you disappointed? I could feel you falling for him just then.

April 20th, my roommate and I had planned our trip to Colorado. Accident that it was on 4/20 I promise. Well, #22 knew that and asked if he could come to Minneapolis the Wednesday before, and fly back with us on Friday. I obviously said HELL YES—but stay in a hotel we’ve never met I’m not about to have you sleep in my bed. He sent me a flight itinerary and I thought, damn this lifetime movie is going to be so good. The day comes, he tells me he is headed to the airport and that he will see me at 4:30. I of course go to the airport to pick him up, and he’s a no show. My poor little gullible self said “maybe something happened to him, maybe he is hurt, maybe he’s nervous”. No, the asshole blocked my phone number and pulled off the ultimate ghosting. I thought it would be a fitting October share. BOO mother fuckers, #22 doesn’t exist. Well he does but he is a big fat liar too.

Here’s the problem I always have when I take another look at this story. I don’t want to be a skeptic of anyone’s love story, even my own. I want to be open to the weird ways romantic love can make a comeback in my life. I don’t want to believe that people lie about who they are and get off to the idea of lying to someone just to ghost them. I don’t want to believe that people will lie. But time and time again they do. Time and time again, people like me, and you, get hurt because they just want to let loose of expectations and open themselves up to the adventure that is life. I called #1 that night and he said “forget about him”. And I cried. Why is everything so simple for #1?!

After he failed to show up at the airport I reached out to one of his friends on Facebook telling her he didn’t show at the airport. She said “What airport” I explained, and she said he would call me that night. Obviously, he didn’t. I found out he blocked my number because my roommate gave him a call and it rang on through. I don’t know what he was lying about. He might have been married, he might have just gotten nervous, he might have fallen and gotten amnesia, or had an evil twin that locked him up and he’s still locked up. I hope that’s the case. My roommate and I go to Denver that weekend and she leaves him a series of savage voicemails. There’s one for your viewing pleasure, but she left five.

Union Station for your Viewing Pleasure

Union Station for your Viewing Pleasure

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, I’m in Denver with my two sisters in laws driving to Union Station. It’s a place that reminds me of him, he was always there when we facetimed, I know he liked to sit there and people watch. I joked that he was probably homeless. We walk in and I immediately see him sitting in a booth in the center of the building. We walked right past him in his John Deere hat. My heart obviously sank. I had that all too familiar “I’m going to hurl chunks” feeling. If this were five years ago, I would have just let it go and sat with that feeling all day. But why?! I didn’t do anything, I never asked for this guy to be fake nice to me. My sister stalked by him a couple times getting pictures of him, so I could triple check it was him. When I decided hands down it was, I said fuck it, I am bold, I am beautiful, and ghosts need to know people exist.

I sat down in the booth across from him and said: “Hi is your name Kyle?” (That’s his actual name y’all, I don’t give a fuck this time)

He looks up at me, take a pause and says”……………….No…It’s…Michael?” VERY CONVINCING.

And I said: “Really? My name is Aime and you ghosted me 4 months ago.” 

Him: “I don’t think I did.” Looks down at his cell phone hoping this moment can end.

Me: “It’s okay dude you can admit it. I’m sitting right in front of your face and I know it’s you.”

Him: “Don’t think it was”

Me: “Okay, well great to meet you Kyle.”

And you know what? I probably didn’t change anything about his day or make it so he doesn’t do that to someone else. I proved to myself that I can face my fear and show people my confidence and strength. No one can dim my light. Even if he did momentarily make me believe I would never find a man who wants to be honest with me. I already was newly divorced dealing with knowing my husband was never faithful to me. Who needed some guy pretending to be kind and lying to me about whatever he lied about just to get his rocks off. I don’t need to hide behind a cell phone or act like something didn’t happen. It’s all part of the story now. #22 is part of that story whether he likes it or not and whether I like it or not. That day the ghost disappeared my bright ass light was shining, and ghosts aren’t too into that.

THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

What an eventful week it has been. If you missed it, I announced a big move to Denver at the end of the month. I was able to continue in my position at iHeart Media and it’s slowly proving to me that if I make the changes and have the balls to commit myself to something new, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. I say this because so many people sit back and watch life happen to them. We often think the world is not on our side, there’s people out to get us. In reality, the only person that can affect change in life is you. You have the power to alter your course. That’s what this whole blog is about, right? Something bad happened but I do my best to consistently choose to remain positive and make choices that will help me shine brighter. I have heard from so many women after sharing my story on my coworker’s podcast. It has been wonderful to connect, learn other people’s stories, and often hear about the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s my favorite. Getting emails from people who tell me “I was there and now I’m 10 years married to someone who loves and respects me.” Someone very near and dear to my heart is also experiencing that light at the end of the tunnel. And, I thought would take my post today to share her story, her light, and how she made life happen for herself.

A little background, we went to basic training together and were pretty inseparable. We live in different states, but our friendship is strong. We talk almost daily, and I’ve seen her go from single, to married, to divorced in the entirety of our five year friendship. And YES, other people get divorced as fast as me, so there. We are calling her K.A… K.A met D (because he’s a dick, get it? Hahahah I’m so funny) While she was in college. Her exact words to me were “He wasn’t cute but I was interested in the whole cowboy appearance more than anything” LAWD HELP US ALL. Unless they’re Jason Aldean don’t settle just cause they’re cowboys. She’s from Texas y’all so who knows…Anyways, he would message her on Facebook from time to time and eventually they started talking until one day he blocked her. She was shocked, but after a bit he added her back. Obviously, she had that “What the fuck” feeling, and he eventually told her that his girlfriend caught them talking. He had to block her. She told me it made her feel like an idiot—which he did often in her relationship. (Ok red flag number one right?) She had no idea he even had a girlfriend; however, by the time they started talking again he assured K.A that he no longer was in a relationship. (K.A Trusted D because why wouldn’t ya).

As their relationship developed the ex girlfriend kept coming into the picture. His ex was on his top friends on Snapchat, she would message K.A on twitter saying the D was telling her he was in love with her still.(Are you following?) K.A being the bright ass light she is, confronts D. As we know, the best cheaters are experts at manipulation and gaslighting. He blows up when she confronts him, and it becomes her fault for creeping on his phone and accuses her of cheating. D disappears for two weeks and she is stuck with this idea that she has suddenly upset the balance in their relationship, that she messed up, even though the D is obviously a lying cheater. It’s not obvious in the moment. You have so many feelings for that person, you want to believe them because they are close to you, you trust them with your heart. It’s an immediate feeling of OH NO HE’S UPSET WITH ME NOW. He disappeared from her life for two weeks and it became a cycle. Some people get the idea that this is passion. I mean make up sex right? Ew. I know sometimes I thought if you didn’t fight you lacked passion, you can’t always get along.

Time passes, and he gets this great idea for them to get married. He was on a deployment but would be home soon. She was young, 21 at the time, and who isn’t dreaming of their wedding. Everything is bigger in Texas, so you know she was planning a banger. So D proposes, they get married in a courthouse and start their plans to live together. All in all, they were engaged 23 days, but still planning a big ceremony for 7 months down the road. The time came for them to have their Bachelor and Bachelorette parties and shit hits the fan again. D really becomes a Dick, through the course of the evening he’s calling her a slut, saying that a real wife wouldn’t need a bachelorette party (double standard much?) then, naturally he stops speaking to her again because he’s a D. Never the less they get over it because relationships are hard work right? If someone frequently tells you that call them on their bullshit. Because yeah, there’s work involved but it shouldn’t be miserable, it shouldn’t make you feel like you’re doing something wrong. Your relationship is working toward a common goal. It is not more work for one party or the other. RANT OVER.

Wedding day arrives and so does Hurricane Patricia. Don’t they say it’s bad luck if it rains on your wedding day? Imagine a hurricane on your wedding day. Was it a sign? Probs. Well K.A’s friends tell her they saw D at Texas Roadhouse (classy AF before your wedding day) and he’s wasted AF. Sounds like Groom material. So naturally she’s not feeling great about his ability to stand at the alter with her and confess his love and affection. Oh, and then she learns he also has a black eye because, well, Bar Fights on your wedding day are a must. It’s easy on the outside for me to be critical and judgmental. But all K.A wanted that day was to be with the man she felt she knew. Sure, he had the occasional slip up but it wasn’t who he truly was, right? He would grow up someday, right? All too often though we have to go through this experience before we know what our standards really are. She told me that she had to hold him up during the ceremony, which was symbolic because it sounded to me like she had been holding it all together this whole time. She kept trucking forward because it’s your wedding day. By the time they started cutting the cake she started questioning if she wanted a divorce. He continues to be an embarrassment the rest of the evening. Shocker, right?

The next morning D wakes up and tells K.A that she embarrassed him that night. GASLIGHTING. Luckily, one of the groomsmen called to talk to him and told him EVERYTHING that happened. They talked it through, made up like they always did and moved forward. Naturally he wanted her to take the next step in their relationship. Which would include bringing a human life into the world. She finds herself sneaking her birth control in the car every day. Meanwhile his career was taking him to Hawaii and she was packing up to go with him. They got in yet another fight and the fight ends in the final straw. Physical abuse. Listen, everything you read up to this point was abuse too. Many people don’t realize that it doesn’t have to be physical. People show their respect or lack their of for you every day. She should have ended it before it became physical, but at least she knew to end it now.

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Mama K.A came to the rescue, packed up the apartment, and drove them home. While they were packing K.A found women’s clothes between the mattress and boxspring. K.A made a decision to make a change in her life. It took a lot of bullshit before her balls grew in but they grew in strong. She’s found the light at the end of the tunnel, and along the way didn’t rush into being with someone else. Now she’s with a man who treats her with the utmost respect, and together they are a team. And he has a sweet mustache. Literally inspiration right there.

I’ll end with her reflection in her words.

-I didn't cry the whole time I typed this. This might be because I'm at work, but it's also because I'm confident in the decision to leave this man.

-I got my spark back. "Getting my Spark back" was the internal theme I had with myself, similar to you "Letting your bright ass light shine"

-At first I always questioned why God let me go through this, but I started to go to church again. My first time back was Christmas Eve and I cried the whole time (hell I'm crying now) but it's because at that church service I felt Jesus hug me. I was sitting by myself, no one was around but he hugged me and I hugged him back while he told me that I was forgiven for my divorce (that was something I really worried about), and that I was home. I knew I was lost but to have him spiritually tell you that you're home its weird. It's beautiful. I know this sounds crazy, but I know it was real because even now I still long for that touch. I can feel his presence with me sometimes, but that hug was the greatest thing I ever needed.

-Finally, I wouldn't be who I am without my divorce. I wouldn't be as happy as I am, I wouldn't have the job I have, I wouldn't be close to my mom, and I would've never met the boyfriend I have now (which I firmly believe is a gift from God). Ultimately, my divorce was my call to faith. I have taken more chances, I have stood on my own two feet and I have made THE BEST FRIENDS since my divorce, I wouldn't trade a thing.

When you choose to let your bright ass light shine, the light at the end of the tunnel gets just a little closer.

Those not so gentle reminders

You know when people send emails “just a gentle reminder” “just a friendly note” well Not everything in life comes with those warning labels. I’m the type of person that HATES reminders. Anything that is a “reminder” to me makes me feel as though someone is assuming I don’t have my shit together. It’s a horrible trait of mine: I’m super sensitive. When my parents would come down to my room in the morning before school to make sure I was awake in high school I’d get so angry. Like duh, I go to school every day you think it’s not important to me? How dare you! I am responsible! Don’t need your reminders no sir ree. Though I do need the reminders at work when they clean out the refrigerator. Some reminders are necessary, so you don’t lose your fav Tupperware.

But we aren’t talking about those reminders. How about the ones that are inevitable? Everyone talks about hearing the cliché song on the radio they can’t listen to anymore after a break up. There’s so many painful occurrences that happen so frequently, how can we just let them pass? How do we get through it? You get through it because you’re dope, and smart, and lovely, and know better than to let someone control how you feel. And you stare it in the face and tell it you’re not afraid of it. Don’t ignore it, face it, let it make you feel something, let those feelings make you stronger. Adversity makes you well rounded, more interesting. I promise, A chiseled edge is always more interesting and beautiful. A lot of you have reached out to me telling me about the children you share with people that have wronged you. Those are reminders you can’t just say goodbye to. And I’m so sorry that there’s no easy way.

After my first breakup with my high school boyfriend I of course was devastated like a 19-year-old girl would be. The truth is neither of us were happy being thousands of miles apart and you can’t force someone to have feelings for you. None the less everything reminded me of him. Even Airplanes! Every time I saw a damn plane I nearly drown in tears. I was afraid to even listen to music. But how silly! That only made our future of a friendship even more difficult. Now I’m realizing the deeper the relationship, the more frequent and difficult the reminders become.

Even in the case of losing my mom. There is a fine line between being sentimental and being reminded “Oh I don’t have a mom anymore”. Grief is a funny thing, just when you’re feeling okay something will sneak back. I count the days I have gone without speaking to him. I haven’t received or sent a text to him since April 15th. That’s a little over 23 weeks, almost 6 months. It’s like when you quit smoking, you count every day you’ve gone without having a cigarette. Literally Cigarettes kill people and that’s not compelling enough. I’m addicted to someone pretending to love me, sleep next to me every night and say nice things and share life with me. It’s so many days, you don’t want to start back at zero. That would fucking suck. And yet, even last night I laid in bed alone, and thought “I can just text him”. My heart told my brain it would be okay. Spoiler alert I didn’t do it, but part of me would just love to feel that feeling again. Even thought it was fake. Talking to your best friend who holds your heart, telling them all your secrets. But then your brain has to come in with those sirens HE FUCKING HURT YOU, DUMB BITCH COME ON ONE NOW, GET SAVAGE, GET ANGRY.

Don’t forget about the reminders that come from the person I thought was my friend. Her and I closed the book on our friendship. There were months where it was clear she was either struggling internally or couldn’t handle not knowing I don’t want to be friends anymore (A very midwestern trait). It’s usually a text, she has never called me or knocked on my door. Not that she lives here I’m being slightly bitchy about that part. She has texted me to tell me how things are going in her life namely when she bought a house. She’s sent a text telling me she’s praying for me. It was pretty self-serving actually. Whatever you have going on with JC is between you and JC. Then I had a mental breakdown because I didn’t respond and I was a bitch for being angry thinking what I thought. I don’t feel like it’s my job to validate her remorse for her actions. But part of me of course wants my friend back. A month later I got a text saying she wanted to catch up even though “She’s not my favorite person”. It was at midnight that time, a night I wasn’t sleeping anyways. I texted my friend, Number 1, he called me and told me “Fuck that”. He has a way with words. That night I finally blocked her number.

Nothing is worse than Facebook memories. Dear God I can’t look away. But, some reminders are minute: I’m wearing that red dress with the top cut out in a cute pattern he said he loved, the arm woven blanket he got me for Christmas is still on my bed, the rubber mats he got for my car, or my wedding dress that is tucked away in the closet. Then there are some that blatantly stare me in the face every day: the piano he gave to me promising it would grace our home for the rest of our lives together, my entire kitchen filled with wedding gifts, my dog polo who he was so excited to bring home to start our unofficial family. I awkwardly put on my engagement ring the other day for no reason, I have photos of him tucked away in my desk drawer at work I want to burn but haven’t. Hell! He even showed up on my tinder the other day. Then I deleted tinder. Some people think it’s simple to ignore. But it’s not.  Discounting those reminders is doing a disservice to my grieving process. They’ll all subside eventually. So in my opinion there is only one way to deal with the reminders: see them, feel something,  get the fuck up, affirm yourself, and let your bright as light shine, because no one else is going to do it for you.

YOU SHOULD SEE SOMEONE

Hey Blog Fam! I had the opportunity to be on my coworker Falen's podcast, so I thought I would pair it with this weeks post.  I apologize ahead of time for my language and tears. I am thankful to have the ability to share with all of you and now her podcast listeners as well. This hasn't been and never will be easy, but remember if you're going through pain you're never alone. Listen to it on iHeart Radio or iTunes in Episode 8. 

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Have you ever been in a relationship where you cried a lot and couldn’t figure out why? Have you ever had someone make you feel like you needed them? Have you ever met someone that has this sick talent of turning something they did wrong into something you did? And when you’re in it, it’s not clear. But when you’re out of it, it punches you in the god damn face.  That’s a bit of what it was like for me.

My partner and I developed a relationship very quickly, and honestly it was strengthened by a tragedy that happened in my life. In 2013 I lost my mom very suddenly. And I mean suddenly. You see I was in basic training in Fort Sill OK (a horrible place mind you) separated from the world. No cell phone, no internet, just the people around you and the “mission”. I was pulled into the office after some afternoon training. I stood in front of her, and the commander looked at me and said Red Cross called. My initial thought was that something happened to my grandmother. She was around 90 at the time and I’m not a stranger to people passing away. When she said my Mother, I didn’t hear what she said after it. Literally she said, “your mother” and I fell down into a chair. And it was not a your mom joke. My head fell into my hands and I heave cried. I traveled home to be with my family. In the course of 8 days we had to pull our 55 year old mother off life support, tell our family what had happened, get everyone to Reno, plan and execute a funeral, and make sure her wishes were all respected. It’s a lot for any family and it was a lot for this 20 year old girl.

During that time, I had my phone, and soon to be partner was a rock for me. He would call me every hour. He would stay on the phone while I slept. He built trust just on those actions. I believe your heart is the most open when something tragic happens. You hug strangers, you hold anyone’s hand, you cry when you see the sun rise. I let someone in. Someone I thought was kind and understanding.  I will never look poorly on what he did for me, but I do think it was part of how he developed my dependence on him. He knew I was a people pleaser and he ran with it. By the time we moved in together, I was dependent on his company, and his physical presence. It was like a drug for me, an anti-depressant. I wanted his validation daily. I’ve since learned that sociopaths like Charles Manson would lure women in like this. I listened to a podcast about how he wooed a girl at Berkeley after a tragedy struck in her family. I’m not saying I married Charles Manson, but like they had a few similar traits…too harsh? I know. My bad. The point is, Narcissists don’t think of anyone other than themselves. Even if they are kind, there is an agenda.

As our relationship progressed, I would become more insecure. I joked that he was a 10 and I was a 7. How sick is that? Every day was a challenge to make him happy. I’d get ready for work and seek his validation every morning—do I look okay, can you just open your eyes and look before I go? And with this dependence I think he got away with more and more. On nights where he went to practice I would cry. He would constantly tell me to see a therapist. This is where we will approach the biggest 4 red flags in my relationship, and how I was talked into, and talked myself into believing each and every time that it was my fault.

1.       After being with him a year I found out he was on Tinder. When I confronted him, he told me he had no friends. He moved to the town we were in to be with me, and he didn’t know how to meet new people. I’m pretty sure he even cried. I felt HORRIBLE. OF COURSE, this man I love is just looking for friends because I made him move to a new place and get a new job and I was his only friend. (see that black magic where he made it my fault?) I explained to him that tinder wasn’t an app for making friends. He agreed to delete it, I trusted that he deleted it. Okay Aime, you were an idiot but, like, I guess we will move on.

2.       After moving to the Twin Cities we had agreed to not have snapchat because he saw a friend of mine shirtless in a snap that was sent to me. (somehow my fault) I woke up one morning and saw snap notifications up the wazoo and saw they were all from women. He told me it had been so long since we agreed to delete it he just “forgot” to tell me. Oh, and he was only following porn snapchats they weren’t actual people that he was engaging in sexual activity. Why don’t you trust me? He would say. BECAUSE HE WAS FUCKING PEOPLE AND MOST LIKELY THOSE PEOPLE.

3.       I saw a message on his phone from her, the friend, that said “love you too” with nothing before it, nothing after it. I flipped my lid. He told me I was being crazy (gaslighting), that it was obviously an accident, they weren’t even talking on messenger couldn’t I see? I went to work that day and he sent me a screenshot of her telling him she was so sorry and that it was an accident. I apologized for being crazy. 4 months later I found out she and my husband had been actively dating for 9 months.

4.       I went to Chicago and he was going to stay over at a friends house (a guy) the next morning he would only text me, wouldn’t answer the phone. Then on the drive home I had a panic attack. He said those famous words he would always say to me “you should see someone—a therapist”. Then suspicion ensued and I became that crazy fucking bitch.

You see, I went three whole red flags before I went into crazy wife mode. I think people are so quick to mention that women are crazy or that they get crazy. I was justified and if you don’t think so, you can gtfo off my blog. By November I was having reoccurring dreams where he would tell me he slept with 6 people. He would be stone cold in the face, not an emotion on him. I’d wake up sweating and he would get me water and tell me “dream him is an asshole”. My body was physically not okay. My hands were swelling, my wedding ring wouldn’t fit. I actually bought silicone wedding rings because I couldn’t keep mine on.

My entire being knew. But I let this person have control of me.  I was never crazy, I was ignoring the signs that were in front of my face out of fear and lack of confidence. I trusted someone that never earned my trust. I will never make that mistake again. I didn’t love and empower myself prior to starting this relationship. I think if I would have, it would have ended it at Red Flag 1, and not let my insecurities about loneliness get in the way. So here I am, and while it was quite the lesson to learn, and it took me quite some time, I am so proud to say that I will never enter a relationship without having full confidence in myself and my bright ass light.

Number 2

Blog Fam, have you ever wanted to just enjoy spending time with someone you’re attracted to and not feel weird, like them too much, not get crazy, not get super attached? I HEAR YOU ALL SAYING “YAAAAAS”. Say it again for the people in the back. LADIES, YOU CAN SPEND TIME WITH A MAN YOU LIKE, NOT BE CLINGLY, HAVE FUN, AND MOVE ON WITH YOUR LIFE. MEN YOU CAN DO THE SAME. I feel like Oprah!

Did I just blow your mind? Well make sure you’re sitting down because we are about to crush some stereotypical “dating” factoids. Again, Dad, don’t read this one. Blog fam, remember I’m not shy, I’m going to tell it how it is. Dad stop reading this if you’re reading this. You guys think I’m joking about my Dad, but I really don’t want him to ever read this.

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We must talk about what it means to casually date. You all know I was/am on tinder when I feel alone. So, in most cases if I meet a new person it ends up being from online. I’ll tell you that so far, only 2 out of the 700 or so matches (I’m a mother fucking catch but wow I’m lonely a lot) I’ve had over the past 9 months have been worth a dang. Not that everyone is shitty, but let’s define them as people that intrigue me in real life. You heard about one of them in the T for Tinder post. How he has become a wonderful friend to me and a reminder that I need to have standards. Well let’s talk about Number 2 while we are at it.

Number 2 and I matched as I was in the midst of reading this book called “The Love Gap”. If you haven’t checked out the page of my book suggestions do it after this, K? The Love Gap basically is about the different type of men an “End Goal” woman like me—and you—encounter during dating and just how to date them. The best information I have retained from the book is admitting to yourself when you’re not ready to date someone seriously. Men do it all the time. Often, they know what they want as their “End Goal”, but when it’s staring them in the face a little too soon, they freak out and disappear. One of the men interviewed for the book summed it up well: “Who I want to end up with is different from who I want to be with right now”. As the “EG” woman you have the power to control the situations you enter. You are intelligent, powerful, and confident. And while you may be an “EG” woman, it doesn’t mean you have to seriously date anyone.

Number 2 is an “EG” Man, let me just get real with you. I forced him to read this, so he knows what I think about him. TBD if he disappears post reading this because we for sure aren’t dating. First of all, he is THE MOST easy on the eyes, has a dope job at a trendy sparking bev company, is intelligent, has a good family, is like 6’3…HELLO, can hold conversations—fun ones at that, has a perfect smile—and laugh, likes adventures, dresses well…And I won’t say we’ve had sex but if we did, it was pretty good multiple times. But I’m not saying we did. I texted my friend about it at one point…see screenshot. I did slightly exaggerate. I really thought he was going to bring me free (insert product he sells) but he has yet to.

So now you’re all done reading that thinking “CHASE HIM…MAKE HIM LOVE YOU…HE’S THE ONE”.

NO!!!!!!!!


Do I "like him", like him? Well sure I probably do, or could if I tried, but I am in control of my feelings. People, I am not ready to date another person. I am very aware of my situation. But, how wonderful is it to know that there are these perfect humans that are in MY league that I can make connections with out there? If he asked me to date him I would say hell yeah just give me a few months. What. Who said that.


Number 2 has gotten nervous a couple times. Thought about ending our fling. I don’t know if it’s because he assumes I can’t casual date, or if it’s because I’m super dope and hard not to fall in love with. Real tough to say—it’s probably option 2.  I think I’m in a very esteem boosting position because for once I know where I stand with someone. It was established from the beginning that we were both interested in casual situations nothing exclusive or defined. I don’t reach for his validation constantly (I may have asked for a compliment the other day if we are being real) but I have my own confidence.  He certainly doesn’t reach for mine. So, when we are together we just have a good time. It’s absolutely wonderful. And, I don’t have to think about where it’s going when, or how I’m going to get there. There’s no game to play. I think I’m setting the stage for my mindset in a future relationship with someone. I’m not saying it can’t be with Number 2, or even Number 1, or maybe even number 76, for that matter, I don’t even know if I’ll be with someone again. It certainly won’t be with Number 22 though I’ll write about him another time. Who the fuck knows blog fam! I’m saying that going forward there are a few key things I’ll have my mind focused on if and when I enter into a relationship.

1.       I’m not trying to find the end of this rainbow. If it’s meant to happen it’ll happen.

2.       I’m not seeking validation, because I have self-confidence. Someone that is interested in me will show it in their own ways.

3.       My future relationships are between me and another person. I won’t have an incessant need to share it on social media and put on a presentation for other people.

4.       Be positive about the connections you make and if they aren’t lifelong romantic ones, don’t be disappointed.

5.       Communicate with the other person. If you feel yourself being interested in more, tell them. And, don’t be afraid of them saying they don’t want that from you because then they aren’t the right person or it’s not the right time.

6.       When you’re ready for the “EG” Man, remind yourself that’s what you want. Don’t waste time on people that don’t meet your standards.

I’ve learned a lot from going on casual dates. I am not saying it’s easy, either. I’m sure I tend to be a little clingy for Number 2’s taste. I ask him to hang out a lot but that’s because I genuinely enjoy his company. I could easily be his friend, I think we are friends. I am learning how to balance “I want to be friends with you, be intimate with you, but not date you”. It’s very easy to be around him. One time he had a confetti gun in his pocket just so I could shoot it off in my kitchen. If that’s not End Goal I don’t know what is.  I’ve learned who I don’t want to date by process of elimination. It’s taken me a few months to figure out that having standards doesn’t make you a bitch. I’ll never ghost someone, I’ll always just be straightforward. Sometimes men will perceive you as a bitch when you're honest, their opinion is irrelevant in your life. Shine you bad bitch.

The last piece of the Love Gap that I would care to share is being okay with the guy who is in the grey area—like Number 2—as long as you can do the grey area emotionally. If this was back when I was 20, I would have never been able to do this. I was a jealous, insecure young woman which is not uncommon. Manage your expectations and know that he’s not going to reach to be with you or give you grand gestures. If it’s meant to be something else, even if it’s years down the road it will happen because of the connection you made. Don’t have the expectation that down the road you’ll fall in love either. Just be pleasantly surprised if it does happen. You don’t ever have to force someone into loving and valuing you. That is not a healthy relationship, you are better off single. When the right person comes along it will be a natural part of what they have to offer you. It doesn’t happen right away either. So be open to the idea that it could happen with any person you’ve connected with down the road. In the meantime, focus on letting your bright ass light shine, because first and foremost the most consistent love you will ever have is self-love.



THE REUNION

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I started my week out with a good heave cry. My mind has been focused on how different my life is compared to just a year ago. It's about to be a year since the "reunion". 9.1.17. And what better way to start then to immediately show me as a bride.  This is the blog post that you don’t read if you’re remotely interested in me romantically. Seriously, don’t read it, don't look at the photo gallery. But, now’s the time to show yourself because I’m ready for a hot dude and some great charm in my life. It’s going to sound shallow, but I guess I don’t really give a fuck. I’m livid that I wasted my one chance at a HUGE wedding on a shit bag. Can we all just admit that? If you know me, you know I love planning, and I love planning parties.  It ties in with the people pleasing part of me. Also, if you recently met me and you didn’t know me with my partner, seeing these will kinda jolt you I think. If you didn't know me last year, this is an opportunity to visualize exactly where I was in life one year ago. I was planning a major life event, ready to spend the rest of my life with someone. REPEAT I went from thinking i'd be with someone for REST of my life to never again.

Now here I am. On Monday I pawned my wedding bands. Last Wednesday I gave away my Kate Spade Champagne flutes that say "to have and to hold", to my friends that are getting married next year. Tonight I'm selling my wedding dress. The past 8 months I've burned decor, ring boxes, thank you notes, cards. I wanted to burn the dress, but I can't imagine getting rid of something so beautiful so violently. I'm emotionally drained even though it seems like it happened a lifetime ago.

I wasn’t the girl that grew up dreaming of her wedding. My family always joked that I would probably get married in the back yard. As I got closer and closer with my partner this magical concept of sharing our love in a big way just became more natural. On our first trip to Tahoe together he said, “We have to get married here” That was two years before we actually got married. From the start it was apparent that he and I were going to be together. When we were touring venues in Spring of 2017 we got to the top of Northstar, looked at each other and knew that was it. It didn't matter how much it cost, this is where we would get er done. I had a passionate connection with my partner. I don't think that was made up. At the bottom of this post you'll see some of our wedding photos, some of you have never seen his face, I blurred them as much as possible, I'm sorry for my horrible scribble skills, HA! My guess is that it will make you physically uncomfortable to look at the photos of the two of us knowing what you know now. (As long as you didn't start on this blog post)

My wedding was nothing short of a fairy tale. But in all honesty, it’s constantly painful to think about how that fairy tale moment actually was a fairy tale. It wasn’t real life, it was pretend. It’s like we all got together and played dress up for a day.  I refuse to call it our wedding, because obviously it shouldn’t have happened. So, now I will refer to it as the reunion—that’s what my friends call it anyway.  Because it was too perfect to go to waste, for everyone. I had one of the most beautiful venues, in the most perfect place, with the most perfect people. And every day its something that I have to regret. Every fucking day. I didn’t even get the final wedding photos before we got divorced. I gave Kim Kardashian a run for her money.

The first time I went through the photos I was drunk with my friends. I cried on the couch with some wine and snapchatted my version of graphic design—poop emojis over his face. I still do that when he comes up on my Facebook memories. It’s reliving a moment that actually was a total sham. I have a version of it that was the truth to me, all the while my partner was standing in God’s creation, in front of everyone who loved us, and lied to my face about being faithful to me always. It wasn’t a lie to me. I didn’t lie. So, I had this version of reality that wasn’t reality. And suddenly my reality was rattled like a mother fucking maraca. Did I say reality enough times? One thing I haven't mentioned is that one of my dear friends was involved in my husbands infidelity. Like, she was in my wedding. So while I'm mourning the loss of a husband and partner, I was also dealing with losing a close friend. I try not to talk about it much because I don't want to hurt her, but she was just as dumb as a lot of these women that believed his lies.

So you know what? Here’s my moment. The one I didn’t have. Because that wedding was flawless. (except for the fact that there wasn’t AC in that building my bad people) God bless my wedding photographer, shout out to Jeramie Lu for dealing with me and dealing with the fact that I was divorced by the time I got these photos. Embarrassing. I will never have that opportunity, with those people together in one room, ever again in my life. Even right now, this is hard. I’m crying going through each photo. I hope you look at them and realize that people truly can be lied to and have no idea. EVERYONE at this reunion was lied to. These photos should make you feel ill. Except the ones of me looking like a fox. DAMN GIRL SLAY. Potential love interests, you're welcome.

To me though it’s still worth celebrating. I can’t pretend it didn’t happen, because he and I lived in different realities. I have been sitting on these photos since January 1st, and I’m ready to present them in this way. Not all of them, but some highlights, true moments of joy and love. I had a day full of love, joy, and kindness and I don’t regret it. . I can never take back the money or give people back their time. I can’t get in the Dolorian with Doc. Tell past me what future me knows. I have to rejoice in it for what it was. A celebration of the love I do have in my life. Who would want to forget Shelly rapping EVERY verse to Ice Ice Baby, Danging together to September, Aubrey's killer Air Guitar, The breathtaking ride up the gondola, staying in a mountain home together seeing my friends make new life long friends, and laslty listening to my friends play and sing together. And when I think about it, a minimal piece of that went away. I will be eternally grateful for this day that I was given. I will not let anyone change that.

So if you were there, I’ll apologize one more time. But I really don’t apologize, because look back at what a wonderful time we had, and what we shared.  We had so much fucking fun. We laughed, we cried, we danced, we drank a shit ton, and the cake was so good. No Ragrets friends. Keep Shining.Don't be afraid of the changes life brings, you never have to pretend like something didn't happen. 

THIS "NEW" YOU

I had the “pleasure” of finding out about my partners infidelity really close to the New Year. Do you know what this means? It means everyone, and their God Damn Mom was saying “New Year, New You” to me. Not that I don’t love people’s words of encouragement but DAMN. NO NEW ME IS NECESSARY, I AM ME, I AM GREAT. I really struggled with this idea that suddenly I had to become a new person because my relationship was over. Doesn’t that go against everything we tell people? You still have your own identity in a relationship, you still are your own person when you get married. Why did people feel the need to tell me that I had the ability to become a “New Me?”. Oh, I won’t keep you hanging you know I’ll tell you. But let's start with a before and after..This was before my last relationship, and last week. I promise you at the core this person is the same.  Can't you tell? I'm just a little blonder and have eaten a few more cookies.

I think it’s because people fear making changes. Which is a legitimate fear don’t get me wrong. But, changes we make in our life don’t make us a new person. People inherently stay the same at their core. Which is one of the reasons my partner and I could never reconcile. You can change on the surface, or say you want to change but deep down you’ll always be a narcissist. It doesn’t matter what we do to try and change, there are some things that define us and always will. I’ll never not be afraid of heights, or spiders, I will never not love dogs. I will always be nervous about walking into dark rooms, thrilled by getting in front of an audience. I’ll always be a hopeless romantic, I’ll whisper that’s what she said at the wrong times. I’ll laugh when I’m supposed to be crying, I’ll cry often. I’ll fall in love with everyone I met and I’ll never say no to an adventure.

People expected me to change all of these things about myself to make a statement. But I think I just have strengthened and solidified what has always been inside me. Nothing about me has really changed except I got rid of a dead weight that took a great deal of my energy. Now that energy goes more towards self, and there’s some trickle down to my friends. My friends notice the most when we go out—which I didn’t do a lot when I was dating someone. I dance in public, I run down the street, I sing out loud no matter where we are, I enjoy life. They notice when I take time out of my day to do something special. But, I have always done those things, I’ve always put my energy into making other people smile and having a good time. I just put a lot of it into another human being which means they didn’t see it as much.

Here's my dope ass tattoo. 

Here's my dope ass tattoo. 

I’m not saying I didn’t make changes. I went blonde. Like really blonde. It was a process. Every time I think I can’t get blonder I just do. God Bless Steph Perry the Hair Queen. One of my favorite memes is “Women don’t cry and eat ice cream anymore, they dye their hair, buy a new wardrobe and pierce their titties” FUCK YEAH.  I got a huge tattoo, like huge (Sorry Dad, how many times have I apologized to my Dad?). My tattoo is a constant reminder that I am strong, and that there are people and places and experiences that make me strong: Mom, Dad, home, poetry. It’s huge, I waited exactly 6 months to get it, and it’s beautiful. I didn’t pierce my tits so I guess we can all take a breath about that one. My parents were the type of parents that said they would rip out or iron off unauthorized piercings and tattoos respectively.  So that is quite a sore subject in my household.

 I’m still waiting for that “revenge body” to come in. I think I have to work a little harder for that one to come around and honestly, it’s not a priority right now. I think my “Revenge Aura” is even better. I did however apply to be on the TV show “Revenge Body” By Khloe Kardashian—she’s the best Kardashian don’t even argue. And honestly, I think I was too confident about my current body in my application. It asked what I liked about myself and I found myself with an endless list: My legs, My hair, My toes (seriously gorgeous), Long Nail Beds, Nice Tan, Clear Skin…And then I was like hmmm maybe I don’t really need a revenge body HA! They asked what I didn’t like, and I had one answer, my stomach. (Get Over it Aime) It was a beautiful experience to go through those questions and realize I really love myself and don’t think getting a flat stomach will solve my life’s insecurities or problems.  Never make that change because you think you aren’t good enough. Make it because you want to make a commitment to your health and your body. You’ll be more successful and committed to overall well-being.

Oh, and I forgot to mention I’m writing this from the Social Security office where I’m waiting to change my last name back to Karam. Further proving that in fact the old me was whole. That I have this wonderful opportunity to commit myself to loving the life I have and making small changes to enhance this life. When the next person comes around that is worth my time, they’ll have the opportunity to know the same me, to love my new blonde hair, my big ass floral tattoo, but also my deep seeded love for others, my fear for spiders and the dark. There’s no new me to offer, my bright ass light is just shining for everyone to see now, not one person.

#BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING

Have you ever slept in a bed with 3 people in an extremely platonic way? I realize that sounds absurd, and five years ago I would have told you you’re a fucking werido if you asked me that. There are two types of people in this world those that hug total strangers and those that go straight for the handshake. Growing up I had the type of parents that were affectionate towards each other. They weren’t shy about it around their children. We hugged friends, people we were close to. But, when I dated my first boyfriend there was absolutely no touching in front of my parents. It was an insecurity I had, and I was never sure why.  I never wanted people to know that part of me. The part that was interested in affection and love. It seemed like such a private experience to me. I also had insecurities about being vulnerable and having someone reject me which I think are very natural.

We started looking at colleges when I was 17. The final choice was a small private school in a rural Iowa town called Luther. I wanted to be as far away from my parents as possible—isn’t that a horrible thing to say? It wasn’t because they were bad parents or because I hated them. It was because I had this enormous amount of potential to be independent and I wanted to grab it. I looked at close to 10 schools to begin my chapter of independence. Eventually I chose Luther, and my first year I HATED it. I know why now but at the time it seemed like it just wasn’t a fit.

Actual photo of Neverland Luther.

Actual photo of Neverland Luther.

Luther was like Neverland. 90% of the student body was involved in music. No, that wasn’t a typo. It was a school of artists, creators, and vulnerability. I was a music student, but I never truly wanted to be the person that held a random person’s hand. Yet, I was forced to. YUP, in choir you HAD to hold hands with the person next to you. Thus began the breakdown of my walls. Think about spending an hour a day with the same people, holding their hands and creating art together. Think of being forced to live in communities with your classmates where everyone gathers every night in September to dance and sing to “September” By Earth Wind and Fire. Eventually you become the person that holds hands with strangers. A place where professors invite you to their homes for dinner, as a totally normal thing. Where your professor and his partner can become your "Gay Dads". (Real thing in my life)

The ability to be vulnerable was a recurring theme in my college experience. When it came to making music, the best performances were the ones in which you had a connection to the text, you felt the melody. My classmates and I had the opportunity to hear often from the Great Weston Noble. Each time he visited rehearsal he would discuss vulnerability. That when we tear down walls, and open our hearts and hands to the people around us, we create great art. It becomes a palpable experience. It makes us unique and different. Eventually the art of vulnerability transcended just my studies. It was so weird because everyone was happy all the time at Luther. Everyone was into making friends. Everyone was #blessed, and finally a year into it I realized I was too. Seriously, I had never experienced a community like that before. I know a lot of people haven't.

Another part of it all, let’s face it, is the big man upstairs. My main man, JC. I haven’t had one of those crazy faith altering experiences. I do consider myself faithful and religious. I don’t go to church every Sunday, but I have faith. One of the mottos of our college was “Soli Deo Gloria”. It means, Glory To God Alone. Being vulnerable made that mission in my life and education easier to obtain. Dropping all your other cares and worries and saying “Holy shit forget about the drama in the world and in my life, look at the community we have built together here”. Sharing that with other people literally opened my heart. Professing your love and faith for God’s creation while holding others is something few people have the opportunity to do. So here’s where I share “O Lord God”. A piece Luther College Nordic choir shares at the end of each performance. They hold hands and invite Alumni to join and sing. Through song we create connection, community and the share importance of vulnerability.

“I will sing to the lord as long as I live”

When I lost my mom, I started becoming more vulnerable. Admitting to people around me that I wasn’t okay, letting them hold me longer when we hugged, grab my hand if I looked alone, or comforting me with a hand on the back. I realized that vulnerability helps us heal and connect with our loved ones, and even welcome new people into our life. That year was the most productive for me musically. I let emotions drive decisions, I was open and vulnerable, and I became emotionally close to many people in my life. That also lets you become physically close with other people—not in a sexual way. Some of my friends call it the Luther Phenomenon. We have this ability to be physical with someone in a platonic way and its weird I know, but it has shaped my life in a profound way.

Did you know physical touch can reduce stress, improve heart health, improve immune function, calm you? And when do you need those things the most, when you go through a tragedy. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to figure that one out. Physical touch promotes a sense of wellbeing and happiness. So, you won’t be surprised to know that embracing others, holding hands, and sleeping next to people has been a huge part of my healing process. No, I’m not talking about hot chef tinder dude, I’m talking about my friends! Though hot chef was nice to hold hands with too… (sorry Dad)

Being vulnerable is a key part of letting go of insecurities, being open, and living well.When tragedy comes in the form of loss, or divorce, or whatever else may come I am reminded that my Luther experience was a #blessing. I know other people have no idea what it’s like to hold hands with a stranger, give someone a warm embrace, or sleep close to your best friends when you’re hurting. Maybe give it a try and see how it lets your bright ass light shine even brighter. Forever thankful for my Luther family. Soli Deo Gloria.

DON'T PANIC!

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I’m writing this a day after I saw my ex-spouse and his new/current girlfriend in public for the first time. It was at Panic! At the Disco, I should have known. We were even joking about it when we got there. And yes, We will write about the girlfriend thing another time. Guys, the “I’m going to vomit” feeling came right on back. At that moment I was in the mindset that I would never have to see him again. But, it wasn’t always that way. We should probably rewind to how I felt a month into finding out about the extreme infidelity my partner had committed.

If you don’t know me here’s a bit about me. I’m a people pleaser. I often do things because I know it will make someone else happy. I try to be a selfless as possible. This isn’t me putting myself on a pedestal, but it’s me being frank about who I am. I like making people happy, it makes me happy. When my partner cheated obviously I left, obviously we fought, obviously there were harsh words. I loved that man. I thought it was likely that he loved me and just had a problem. I’m still not sure I suppose. So, after he moved out, I tried my best to be a supportive human. On day two we sat together, he cried, I cried, and I promised to help him, to get through it and get it done fast and clean. I held his hand, told him he would be okay. I told him that if there had to be someone he did this to, he did it to one strong woman. A month into it I was trying to text him, make sure he was doing okay. I also thought hopefully he would be thinking about me. I wasn’t at all thinking about myself.

It's pretty delusional to think that you can be friends with someone who tears your heart into pieces and doesn’t even bother fighting to get you back. When I left, he didn’t try to call, text, apologize…nothing! He just told me he hadn’t been happy, made excuses and never told me the truth. I thought I had a full proof plan. That we would run away together to New Zealand, leave everything behind and start over. If he had the chance to start clean he would never hurt me again, right? (you're an idiot past Aime.)Who needs friends, or family. I have a sick cheater husband that obviously loves me. Ohhhh Aime, I’m so glad you bucked the fuck up. I had these sick fantasies of still being with this person! WHAT?! WHO DOES THAT? He couldn’t even look at me. But I would text him telling him that I hoped he was well. We would talk about how he was feeling. I would let him get angry at me and make excuses for him because he was sad. But when I was sad, he would tell me to get help.

Him “I CANT FIT THAT SHIT IN MY APARTMENT I’M NOT TAKING ALL OF THAT SHIT I ALREADY TOLD YOU”

Me: Oh okay, well I just thought it might be nice to have. Would you like to sell them? I had left all those things for you to pick up. Then you can keep the money.

Him: “RAAAWRRR NO”

Me: “I’ll clean the whole house and be an adult and talk to the landlords and coordinate everything, can you just clean the garage?”

Him—never cleans the garage.

Okay I’m a bit dramatic but the first and second lines are real life. Now that I look back on it, why would I allow someone to make me feel a certain way? Our hearts are funny things. We want so desperately to hold onto love even if its dysfunctional because we have this deep seeded fear of being alone. I’ve never been scared to admit that. I’ve never been to a movie alone. That still sounds fucking awful. I had never gone on a vacation alone, got over that for sure. I never thought of this common sense concept “being alone and happy is better than being with someone and being miserable”. I also think it’s something you learn as you get older. I will never need someone to complete me, only compliment me. Because what I have to offer the world is beautiful on it’s own. It is whole. I am whole. I hope you know you are whole as well.

People got really tired of hearing we were trying to be friends.  Eventually my coworker texted my ex-partner and told him we can’t be friends anymore. I pretty sure she ended it with “upwards and onwards”….He should have known it wasn’t me, who says that? He always ended with a very dramatic “goodbye”. When my coworker did that for me, she helped me take the hardest most important step: pushing negative energy out of my life. There was no way I was going to be able to hit send on that text. She was pushing a toxic person away. She gave me the power of never having to see him again. I do that with everything I find to be toxic now. Friends, relationships…doesn’t matter. If it doesn’t help my light shine, I refuse to waste my energy on it. Don't waste your energy on people who don't lift you up. I promise you'll be happier if you don't.

BUT, throwback to the Panic! At the Disco concert and there he is with his new boo thing wearing clothes I bought him 4 years ago at JC Penny’s. I tucked and rolled outta there. I don’t think he saw me. I took a few minutes, a few breaths, talked to some friends about it, and then got back to it. Also, I had a wonderful friend with me. She let me take a breather, and went with the flow. Surround yourself with those people. I refuse to let another human being be in control of how I feel. Maybe for a few minutes, sure. It’s a choice. It shook me up, but I moved on. The next day I woke up with a slight wine hangover but my bright ass light was shining.

YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME-THE DIVORCED 20’S CLUB

When you go through tragedy there is always this “woe is me” vibe. You’re all alone with no friend in the world and no one will ever know how you feel. You lay in your bed and cry because crying is so therapeutic. Okay, but you think that and it’s not true. Guess what, I’m not the only person I know who’s partner has been unfaithful. As we have learned from my previous post, there are so many people out there that can empathize and sympathize. Yeah, they’ve maybe not been cheated on by their spouse with countless other people, but one person is trauma enough too. When you share what’s going on in your world candidly you’ll find an opportunity to build and grow with support.

Now let’s reference someone. We will call her A. A and I went to high school together. Weren’t crazy good friends, but enough to where we follow each other on social media now. It’s been 7 years since I graduated high school…Woah that’s the first time I’ve said that out loud. A saw my post on Facebook announcing that my partner was a big fat cheater. And she reached out because she is a good person. She’s a genuine human that was hurt by a shitty human. Her husband—they’re still married—was unfaithful while overseas. She stayed true to the person she loved only to be hurt and disappointed. She had the courage to reach out and tell me she was hurting and just how he hurt her.

It’s funny because as I look back at my Facebook conversations with A, our first message was in 2012 when she asked me about my long-distance relationship. I was still dating my high school sweetheart—great guy, no complaints we are friends. I won’t write my next blog about him. She was dating her High School Boyfriend as well and asked how often we text or call. So maybe we have always just been tied together by dysfunctional relationships.

Anyways, In the past 7 months A and I have shared some of the toughest moments together. When something traumatic happens—I see him in public, he texts me drunk, I don’t know if I should talk to him—She’s there. I got my wedding photos and remember telling her “I’M GOING TO POST THEM ONLINE, FUCK THIS”.  I will post some in a blog, because honestly someone has to see them. She simply empowered me, told me I looked stunning. She gave me a book recommendation that changed my life. I try to be there too when her husband blasts social with posts of his new lady friend, when his lady friend takes mirror pics in thier home, when she feels the pain of being alone, when he tells her he stopped loving her. We have built a support system just us two divorced 20 somethings. We joke at our first high school reunion that we’ll wear matching divorcee jackets. (It’s not a joke though I will make that happen)

Being open and vulnerable isn’t easy. Finding common ground is a beautiful thing, even if it’s based on tragedy. Talking about it is healthy. Sometimes your immediate friends just don’t understand and they say the wrong thing, like “I don’t know why you’re even stalking him on Facebook anymore”….Well because he fucked up my life and it’s hard to let go. Why don’t we just talk about how I suck at moving on…Anyways, there are people that will understand your pain, or parts of it. They won’t judge that you looked at his Facebook and got upset that he has a girlfriend. They’ve done it too. They have felt that pain. Being vulnerable allows us to take that next step forward and heal. They know that every day is baby steps towards a new life.

And if you’re wondering how A is doing, she is crushing it. Traveling, applying for law schools, spending time with her beautiful family, and deciding where life will take her next. A is a warrior. She has felt some pain you guys. She still is feeling pain we both are, but I’m so thankful we have each other and together we can let that bright ass light of ours shine.

"CAN I LIGHT HIS ASS UP ON SOCIAL MEDIA?" ACTUAL QUESTION I ASKED MY LAWYER

 

You know when you have a burning hate for something? I don’t really, other than people that suck at driving. Or sometimes I yell at my dog when he eats the couch. Well, a coworker and friend of mine was giving me advice about my recent separation. I was telling him that I didn’t want to let go, that I could be my partner’s friend and we could help each other move on.  We tried that and I’ll write another blog juuuust for that. (As I’m typing I’m sure I also thought pigs would fucking fly) My friend told me that sometimes I must let that deep burning hate drive my decisions. I don’t want to say he was right, because I don’t think I’ll ever say I hated my partner. I still don’t. I wish I did, that would be easier.

When I first left my partner, even though I made the decision to leave, it wasn't as easy as cutting the cord. What he did was horrible, but of course I still loved that person. I'm sure a part of me still does, and that's okay. I'm in a weird situation. I think I was with someone who has some issues beyond being a serial cheater. I think he truly wanted to be in love and share life with someone. In those first weeks when I was alone I would consider calling him, telling him about my day. I often thought about what reconciliation would look like. Thankfully, I came to my senses and realized my own self worth. I also realized I wasn't the person that could solve his problems. Often times when I felt the most lost, those moments of hate would boil over. All I wanted was to yell in his face, or throw something, break a dinner plate or some shit. And I remember a specific day that was particularly angry and I sat with my lawyer. 

 I was in her office for a meeting and she asked if I had any questions. My first and very important question was “Can I light his ass up on social media?” I had posted about it, but not given the gory details . She obviously said that was a bad idea. Some would argue that I’m doing that, I disagree. In fact when my partner and I were trying to be friends he told me to light his ass up if it would make me feel better, if that’s what I needed to do to move forward.  I didn’t, and I have plenty of things I could use to do it.

Ultimately the moral of the story is that that burning hate inside of you won’t make you feel better. I chose to dedicate my time to something more productive. Cooking, Sleeping, Exercising, being with people I love, praying, okay and not so productive on Tinder (you already read about that I can't lie now). Nothing is going to change what someone else did. If you share it all with the hopes of hurting someone else, you’re doing it wrong. It won’t make you feel better. It won’t make your light shine brighter. It’s best to decide against spiteful actions. Down the road you’ll regret it.

Eventually I stopped using the #FuckCheaters bit too. I knew it made him feel bad, and I felt bad. At one point he told me that I did what I did out of vengeance. By telling people what he did online and reaching out to those women (refer to previous post) I was getting revenge. He actually used that word-vengeance . It has never really been a word in my vocabulary. It sounds disgusting saying it. After getting this note from him, I went into a dark place. I was still believing his lies. I had no idea how to help, or what to do.  I went back to thinking it was my fault. In my current mindset I know it was just pulling me deeper into manipulation. Making his problem actually mine aka gas lighting. I didn't ruin these relationships, he did.  Don't let someone control your emotions like I let him control mine during our relationship and in the start of our break up.

I’m not interested in building myself up while simultaneously putting someone down. I wish the best for that person I honestly do. I hope they take the necessary steps to start becoming true to themselves. But I will not keep his secret. That isn't my responsibility. He needs to confront the truth, I share that with other people. Am I mad at him? For sure…Am I devastated? For sure…But does that mean he should burn in hell…no. No one deserves to live in a darkness they feel they can’t get out of. And for a portion of that process I made him feel that way. I regret it.I don't regret reaching out and figuring out the truth. I will NEVER regret taking ownership of how I move forward.

I don’t think he will ever read this, but if he does here’s a tid bit for him. I’m sorry for hurting you. Everyone has times where they want and need to be selfish. I never meant to put you down to build myself up. I think I’m on a more positive path now. I’m self-reliant, and I can let my bright ass light shine without putting yours out.