I’m very emotionally open and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m not afraid to let people see my vulnerability.

A good definition of love I heard one time was it’s sustained vulnerability.

We stopped seeing each other for a while and then we started again. I just found it so hard to believe that she couldn’t express herself.

I told her within the first two weeks that I thought I was a crossdresser. We would go out with me presenting as female and she seemed to be accepting of it. Then I started on hormones because I realized I was not a crossdresser, I was transgender and I had always been transgender. When I was four I asked my mom if I could be a girl.

I had this intense desire to live as other people thought I should live, to not disappoint my mother, the be a good little boy. I’d get in trouble with my dad for not having any little boy friends, I liked to hang out with the little girls. They were more fun. They weren’t mean. I could relate to how they spoke even at that age much more readily.

I forced myself to do a bunch of stuff that wasn’t me. I forced myself for the longest time to be someone who I really wasn’t and this mask was dividing and hurting my soul. I was uncomfortable with myself all the time.

I decided to transition and she was mad for a little bit but it didn’t affect our love life or anything like that so she was okay and then I decided to have some surgeries and she was supportive.

After I had recovered I said something about being intimate and she said, “I don’t intend to ever be intimate with you again.” That took me by surprise. I thought she was going to be okay with it.

I was thinking to myself this is the last woman who will ever appreciate me for me so I’m going to die alone. I was so upset like this was my last chance. Ever since I was little I always dreamt about meeting that special one and staying together with someone and building a life together and sharing a life together and I just kept picking the wrong people. I was just devastated.

I never wanted to be trans but now I embrace it. I’m happy about it.

When I went back to work I was so well accepted. I was worried about how I would be perceived and accepted. I got no discouraging customers.

It’s so wonderful to be able to be me. To be me and to be accepted and loved.

I had nothing to worry about. It’s so wonderful to be myself. It has helped me so much because I can love myself now. I don’t feel like a liar. I feel like I’m being me. I’ve just blossomed. Both at work and at AA. I have all these friends.

I was afraid I wouldn’t be permitted to go to women’s meetings until a woman invited me. Now 90% of my meetings are women’s meetings because I understand the way we talk and what they share about.

Fall in love with yourself. That’s what I’ve been doing and I no longer have this overwhelming need to have a partner. I can exist without a partner because I have me and I have my friends.

My life is so much different and I am so much happier.

I would never imagine me having girlfriends without there being a sexual component to it and there clearly isn’t. They’re just girlfriends.

I have a social life now. I had closed out my social life because I was ashamed. My life just blossomed because of me being who I am and me not being with my former girlfriend. My therapist noticed too.

I used to exercise excessively trying to make the girl inside stop talking to me. I exercised way too much and I looked it too. I felt like it was something I had to do or I just couldn’t take it anymore.

I got to a point where I couldn’t stand being me because of the lying.

When you are able to live your life as who you really are it is so freeing and so overwhelmingly great. You will glow from within and people will notice that and you will attract people just by being who you really are. As long as you have yourself and your friends someone is going to pick up on the way you glow.

Being myself. There’s nothing better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been more single than in a relationship. I had a sudden realization I was single. Singleness had been a more natural state to me than being in a relationship.

It was a sudden realization of singleness for me. I thought I was cool until someone pointed it out. 

I feel like all my life relationships, boys, men that’s just going to ruin your life.

There are a lot of women in my family who are independent. You just kind of imitate and emulate what is encouraged by your family.

I always felt encouraged to be independent. You don’t need to be in a relationship or be married or to wait for someone to be able to do whatever. My mom was a great example for me. She seemed to pull everything off without my dad being there. 

I feel like it was a fork in the road for me and it could have gone either way. There was that big realization when it hit me and I found a way to process it. It didn’t impact me but it changed the way I saw how people felt.

I was unaware people had other views of singleness. I just thought there was my view. It opened up my eyes to the stigma that is attached sometimes.

I don’t think my life has changed a whole lot. I’m always open to making new friends and hanging out with old friends.

I love music festivals. You have a little more freedom when you go explore on your own. I enjoyed that experience of exploring on my own.

Being alone or being with someone doesn’t make a difference to me. If it’s a first time experience for me I want to figure things out on my own and get what I would like to get out of the experience and then the next time go back almost like in a tour guide capacity.

Relish your relationships. We consider ourselves single because we are lacking in one relationship.

I think everyone would enjoy being in a relationship with someone they are intended to be in a relationship with. When relationships go well there are great. But this is just one person we’re focusing in on. Take your focus off that for a while and look at everyone else you can relate to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The trajectory for that kind of cancer is four weeks to six months. So we knew one day soon (we weren’t sure when) out time together was going to come to an end.

He died in my arms at home on four breaths. I said to him, “In a body, you need breath and love when you leave a body all you need is love.” On four breaths he left and I was a widow. We were together for twenty-five years. We missed our twentieth wedding anniversary by three weeks.

He was an artist. He left me a legacy of 1000 paintings. Besides the apartment, there was a studio that held 30-years of books and paintings…I cried every time I walked in there.

There was the loss of him, but there was also the loss of who I was with him because we were together 25 years. SO I was and who was…we were completely wound around each other.

You don’t even realize what you gave up until later and then it’s hard to take it back.

One of the things that began to happen after he died was I had to figure out what I liked myself separate from him and what I had given up that I wanted to take back.

There was a lot of discovering how much he was in my life. How many holes he filled: friendship, having my back, touch. For close to a year I would wake up and I could feel his warmth at my back and then I would wake up and remember he was gone with exactly that rawness of when he died in my arms.

I started a pretty public journal as Bad Widow because I realized no one had any idea how to treat me and how to support me.

This pain, this horrible pain I was in had to serve some purpose other than being devastating.

I was really missing going out with men but I was terrified of intimacy. The last person I really loved died in my arms. That brings with it a terror of going into that again.

I created a meditation practice. In those 11 months, there were times when we were so scared. In all honesty, you can’t prepare for it. It’s impossible. There were times when I was angry. I’m looking at this wasteland of a future that I couldn’t imagine.

I built a meditation for us. I would talk to him about filling up with love. We had built this practice over time when we were scared of filling up with love.

I couldn’t find what I needed so I built it.

What I was trying actually worked for other people, which was funny because I felt totally broken myself.

I had one epic love affair in my life and I was entitled to two.

My capacity for people was very limited, my energy was limited, my memory was still spotty. I didn’t trust myself.

I decided to go online onto Bumble. I had not dated since I met my husband in 1992. I had this idea that I’m going to date lightly for years because I can’t be touched. I really was still unclear what I wanted in a man. I ended up writing my profile and putting up my pictures based only on myself.

I wanted to attract to my people who liked what I liked because then we would have fun. Even if there wasn’t chemistry it would be enjoyable, not horrible.

I was a hot mess. I would cry at random times. But he just kept rising to the surface. He just hung in there with me.

It had been 6-months and we hadn’t had sex. We needed to know if that worked. I had finally gotten to the point where he could kiss me.

When I got those feelings like this is not right, I had to ask myself, is it me, is it him, or is it us? I had to be completely clear if I backed off why. If it was me then it was up to me to sort that out.

I knew I had to get myself through this if I wanted to be with this man. And so I pressed against my own boundaries.

He could see how brave I was being. He could see I was pushing past discomfort into my own boundaries because this was really important to both of us. It worked! It was absolutely wonderful.

I love him. I have my second love affair.

Trust yourself but also observe yourself.

When you’ve been with someone for 25 years it’s really easy to push away something that doesn’t feel right. Know that it won’t for a while. Take baby steps.

In order to get to the other side, you have to press past your own comfort zone about intimacy. It’s not automatic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found myself Suddenly Single a little over eight years ago.

I feel like the journey I needed to take that was crucial to my wellbeing was not going to happen if I was in that marriage.

I felt like the last couple of years of my marriage I was slowly unraveling. I had to leave that marriage to go on this journey. It’s been a journey of empowerment and healing. I have found empowerment in being single.

When we’re young, as women, we’re taught we need to have in our life to take care of us and I’ve come to find out joyfully and painfully that that’s not the truth.

In that marriage, I was wearing a lot of masks of who I thought I needed to be.

I thought I had control in my life when I made my life look perfect. My life was not perfect. Taking care of my mom and my sister was kind of like a shattering. It shattered that illusion of perfection and it made me face the reality of where I was at.

My ex-husband is an incredible human being. My marriage was not a bad marriage. It’s just that I was not doing the work I needed to do to heal within myself.

I felt like I had a calling…like there was something bigger than myself within myself and I felt like there was so much more that I came into this life to do and it was not going to come to pass in that marriage. I knew I had a bigger destiny that I had to fulfill.

Even though I knew I was doing the right thing by leaving my marriage it was probably some of the darkest days of my life. I went a little crazy…I started drinking a lot…I felt like a failure…like I couldn’t.

I felt like a quitter so I felt like I needed to be punished for that.

I needed to figure out who Audra was again because the only Audra I knew was Audra as a wife, Audra as a mom, Audra as a caregiver and I didn’t know who I was anymore at the depth of my soul so I went on a soul journey and I started investigating things I had interest in because I had put all these things on the back burner.

I always came last and I was finally putting myself first.

I finally came to a place of realizing the reason I needed to leave that marriage was not to meet anybody else outside of myself but to actually meet myself.

I decided to take Reiki classes and I absolutely loved it because it was very spiritual to me.

I went and got myself clinically certified in hypnotherapy. I felt like I started my life completely over.

When I started taking the energy classes I met a group of people who were mirroring back to me a self that I had never seen before and so that made me excited to explore that part of myself.

It has probably been the hardest eight years of my life but it has also been the most incredible eight years as well. I have found so much empowerment in myself and not needing somebody else to fill the space.

Even though it has been challenging, painful and sometimes very lonely, it has been well worth it. I know I made the right decision in leaving that marriage and I wouldn’t take back a single second of the hardship. It was completely worth it.

When I first separated my kids were mad at me. I think they understood but they were still angry because not only did I shatter the life that I thought I was supposed to have but I shattered their world too. But I think them watching me go through my won journey they understood it and it has made our relationships so much more.

I think that is the best thing I could have shown them as a mother…how to feel empowered on your own two feet, and how to take care of yourself and how if you’re not loving yourself how to learn how to do that what that looks like.

You can’t judge anyone by the choices they are making because you’re not living their life but I don’t think, in my personal opinion, I don’t think the kids should be the reason you stay because if that’s the only reason that you’re staying then whatever relationship you have with your partner isn’t a good model.

I’m looking forward to publishing my book and speaking about healing. My future looks really bright and I’m so excited!

Don’t be afraid to walk through your fears and even though change is uncomfortable, in a lot of cases, change is what’s best for us. Walk through those fears and self-doubt, spread your wings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been single for five years now without being in a committed relationship.

I remember sitting in the car with my girlfriend at the time and saying, “I don’t think this is going to work out.”

The relationship was four years long. I found myself single with the leftover aftermath of being in an abusive relationship.

I thought this was just a breakup, it was going to make me feel great about myself.

I realized the past five years have been a lot of personal growth and development, loneliness, and realizing where I’m coming from. I realize ending a relationship, whether you’re the one ending it or not you still find yourself in a similar position as the other person.

When you go through loneliness it’s like a detox from reality. You find yourself having to come up with a lot of coping mechanisms.

Instead of allowing yourself to have the most heightened state of energy and being loving and caring, you’re withdrawing and you’re neglecting and you’re protecting your own ego.

The same time I was going through the breakup with her I was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

I found the things that supported me the most were people who were closest to me, getting a therapist, getting all the boxes checked for my mental health and the biggest thing for me, self-care was simple basic things…getting your diet right, exercising, meditating. I use Headspace very frequently.

It took rock bottom. It took feeling like there was no other choice than to listen to all the people around me to get help.

My relationship was a very toxic and abusive one. Something I’m coming to terms with is that I may have been the one who was abusive and at the same time she was abusive. There can be two sides to the abuse.

As someone who feels pain emotionally and physically, it was a big emotional wound for me.

It was one of those relationships that was high passion high conflict. I had to heal from the trauma of that relationship, which I’m still working through five years later.

The one thing that kept me grounded was deep down knowing how successful I was going to be. I knew these experiences were going to allow me to help someone in the future.

Relationships are really a reflection of who you are. I adopted the relationship model was used to. I thought I was always in the right. I do think I was definitely a party to the toxicity of the relationship.

I started doing a lot of writing about this and it has helped me get over my abuse. Writing is a good outlet for anyone who is trying to heal or understand what’s going on internally.

I was looking for this fairytale.

You search for this love that will fit perfectly when you realize all you have is yourself. That’s what I realized from my relationship. If I’m not right with myself, then the next relationship is just going to be a demise.

For me dating with an intention was very healing.

I found connecting with women, healthy women, women that understand me has really opened my eyes to what is possible. I think the best reason to continue dating is to understand what’s possible and what’s out there.

The best thing is to put yourself out there even on the days you don’t want to put yourself out there. Show up to the plate.

If you can learn how to connect with people you can learn how to have some great conversations that end up being pretty healing for yourself.

Do 100 things a day that you’re afraid of. We sit in our minds afraid a lot of time. We’re reacting because we’re afraid of something. Go out. Act. Learn something. Do something new. Write.

It’s really taking action and when you don’t feel like taking action having a way to cope with that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was 14 when I met my ex-husband. I met him on my first day of high school.

Because I met him so young we got married pretty young. I got married when I was twenty-one.

He went off to Bootcamp and I got a phone call about a month in saying, “your husband tried to commit suicide.”

I was having a daily migraine for 3 years. Something felt super wrong. I couldn’t place what it was but something didn’t quite feel right in our relationship.

It didn’t feel like either one of us was growing. We felt super stagnant.

When we were together I didn’t feel that niceness that I fas feeling when I was by myself. When I sat down to think about it I realized we’re still doing the same things we were doing when we were eighteen and I’m twenty-five now and I don’t want to do that anymore.

It turns out I also have my own mental health issues that were untreated at the same time so I was angry a bunch.

Instead of dealing with my problem I became a workaholic. I poured myself into my work.

I didn’t like being at home. I didn’t like being at work and I was stuck. I didn’t know what to do.

I can’t think of a reason I’m not supposed to be in this relationship. But it didn’t feel right. Both of our mental health situations were getting much much worse and neither one of us was dealing with it.

I had no outlets unless I was alone in my house.

I wanted to sit down with him and I wanted to talk to him…let me try one last thing…

I finally said, “I can’t do this.” That feels super sudden but it had been a build-up for years at this point. I said, “I’m not happy, you’re not happy. We’re making each other miserable and I don’t think that I can do this.”

This had been my whole adult life. I married my second boyfriend. It’s the only thing I had ever known, really.

He had a bunch of messages on his screen from a girl’s name that I didn’t recognize.

He ended up marrying her.

I was alone for the first time in my adult life.

I don’t know what to do with myself.  I was slowly reclaiming things I liked to do. I was reading more, learning things, studying languages…all stuff that I liked to do that I’d kind of lost through this whole multi-year breakup. I started to draw more.

I rediscovered I really like to draw and paint, which was nice.

People who experience depression need something to focus on that’s not how they feel.

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

If you’re not happy and they’re not happy and you can’t figure out how to be happy together, that’s a perfectly legitimate reason to make yourself happy somehow.

You don’t have to have some huge dramatic thing to end a relationship.

Stagnation…you can’t grow from that.

Trust yourself and don’t be so hard on yourself.

He said, I’m moving away for this job and maybe it’s a good time for us to explore other things and I’m really more attracted to women of another race than you.

I didn’t say anything to anybody at that point. I was of the opinion at that point that if you let people know about the problems in your marriage you were being disloyal to the marriage.

One thing I regret is that I had a few drinks with someone one night and told them a lot and that was probably not a good idea. She kept feeding me drinks so I would tell her more and more and more. Then I ended up at her house crashed and he thought I was out with someone else which is kind of ironic in retrospect. It was just a bad night all the way around.

We had not had much of a physical relationship pretty much the whole marriage which is very discouraging because you don’t know how to handle it. Do you goad someone about it? Do you ignore it? Do you try to earn it? So I tried to do a lot of those things.

Back then I took a lot more guff than I would now to try to make things better and hope I could make it better and make it work but it didn’t.

A couple of things I would recommend to anybody is I went on Meetup and I got on a group that just did social things and the reason I did that is because these people didn’t know my story. I could socialize with people I could meet people and it wasn’t a dating thing at all. What I liked about it was it was new it was separate and I didn’t have to dwell on my story.

I tried way too long to keep it together. I took a few months to really realize this wasn’t going to work plus him physically being gone.

I wanted to go out and get a little attention…to dress up and look pretty and make myself feel better and it wasn’t necessarily for a relationship. I hadn’t dated in over twenty years.

Theater gave me a way to express myself and get it out. It’s my passionate hobby. It was an art imitates life situation.

I tried to really enlarge my horizons and do things I might not have necessarily done. I gave myself that gift. I spent a lot of time introspectively. What can I learn from this?

It was a great adventure. It was great that I knew I could do it. That I could do things that I wanted to do and I didn’t and I didn’t have to worry about someone else’s opinion of what I was doing and why was I doing this and how much money did it cost or whatever.

It was me. It was independent. It was very empowering.

A lot of my energy would have been focused on what kind of experience is he having and I didn’t have to worry about that.

In the heat of this, for like the first three months, I was pretty much barely functional. I was barely sleeping not sleeping well.

After about three months I went into therapy which was for me a godsend. It helped me immensely. It was a huge turning point for me when I went into therapy.

I got to the point where I was just like, I have to do something. I was a mess. I wasn’t functioning. I ended up being in a medication situation for a while which was great because if you don’t sleep you just aren’t right so that was an amazing thing for me.

It’s really good to have somebody who is impartial that is not in your situation that can see the forest through the trees.

Nobody tells you how to be married.

I’m not willing to take the level of stuff from people that I used to. That said, everybody’s got some stuff, including you. I think I became a lot more discerning and a lot more what do I really want in a relationship.

In retrospect, there were probably some warning signs that I ignored because I wanted to get married.

You really need to know that someone is on your team on your side and isn’t criticizing things that you do.

For him to apologize it was very interesting. I let him say what he needed to say. At the time I think that was the best thing to do.

You have no control over what somebody feels for you or doesn’t feel for you. It doesn’t mean you’re any less of a person.

You have to go dig and find things in yourself, which I did.

You’re still there. The essence of you is still there. There are people who will love and cherish you for who you are. You want to be around people who will help you to be the best version of yourself. It’s going to such for a while, no doubt but it gets better. It does get better.

You’ll find new friends and you’ll find some wonderful people along the way. It does get better.

You are worthy.

I found myself pregnant pretty quickly and eventually found it was twins. We barely knew each other but we decided we both wanted to be there and participate in creating a family together.

Over time we realized we weren’t really a good match. After about 7-years of working really hard to make things work, we split up.

Now I’m a single mama. I have 7-year old twins.

We do 50/50 co-parenting. We both love the kids so much and we make it work. It’s not easy but it’s working out and I think our kids are doing really well.

I think our kids are becoming resilient, sensitive and wise because of this experience.

I think we really struggled with communication with each other. Neither of us was able to feel heard or seen in that relationship.

There has been a lot of grieving I have had to go through with this.

I feel like grief comes in waves for me.

I have a very deep spiritual practice. For me, nature is God so I just went there.

There will be weeks where I just can’t stop crying. I think grief is really healthy. It helps us release things that are no longer alive for us. It helps us process loss.

There will be weeks where I’m crying a lot and weeks where I’m like okay, I’m good. I’m here I’m excited about possibilities.

We tend to numb ourselves from it. Grief is really uncomfortable.

We don’t have space in our culture for people to really grieve in a public way.

Learning how to hold space for my own grief I think of it as an act of service. The more I get comfortable with my own grief the more that I am going to be able to hold space for other people’s grief.

We don’t grieve something we don’t love. It teaches us what matters to us, what we care about, what we love what our hearts long for.

I kinda gave myself the summer. I gave myself a break a little bit. I spent a lot of time just walking in the forest letting my mind just wander and learning to love myself again as just me.

We kind of lose parts of ourselves and I think that’s how it should be in a certain way but when you become single again you have this opportunity to discover who you are again. Because we’re never the same. I’m not who I was before this relationship. This relationship obviously changed me. I learned and I grew from it.

I gave myself the space and time to really take care of myself. I spent a lot of time moving my body, eating super healthy food and spending a lot of time in nature. I just let healing happen.

I feel like I’m still in this process of discovering what I want in relationship and what matters to me. I started to look backward a little bit and look at the patterns.

Sometimes we learn more from mistakes than from the things that work out.

One of the things I noticed for me is when I’m in the beginning of a relationship I just want the other person to like me so badly so I wouldn’t pay attention to what they were doing because I was so fused on trying to please them and make them like me that I wasn’t really paying attention to how we were relating to each other.

I started looking at my habits and maybe I wasn’t always as honest as I needed to be.

I’m not looking for a certain kind of person. I want the relationship to feel a certain way and for me, that’s the important thing.

I want to be in a relationships where there is safety and trust and a willingness to continue growing and both people are supported in that.

Before this relationship, I wasn’t very clear on what I was looking for. I feel like this has helped me so much become more clear and I feel like every day I am getting more clear about it.

I didn’t believe I was going to be able to pay rent doing the work I love.

It’s all been working out. I’m standing on my own two feet. That has been huge for me. To really watch myself make it all work. It’s not perfect…challengenges arrive and I just keep meeting the challenges. I just keep grown. Every day I just keep learning something new and that is so satisfying to me.

We probably would have ended the relationship sooner than we did if I was making a larger amount of money and if I had more money saved up.

So much of the money things is just about believing in ourselves and about being able to make things happen and be resourceful.

Money is really just a form of energetic currency. I’m in the process of really learning to value myself and learning to value the work that I bring to the world and the offering that I make to the world.

I think the universe will continue to show us more if we open ourselves up to that. I think a lot of it has to do with our attitude.

Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of courage and a willingness to step into the unknown every day and a willingness to trust that things will work out.

I get all my information from my body and I listen for how I feel when I’m around the person.

I think that we can love people from far away.

Just use your intuition. Our body knows. Everything I do ss trying to get better at listening to her and trusting her. The more I do that…the more I listen to my body and follow her it always takes me in the right direction.

It kind of played out like a bad Lifetime movie. It was one of those things where you’re like, “this can’t be real. This can’t actually be happening.”

I had been dating someone for about 3 and a half years and we were engaged to be married.

I found out my would be finance had lied about everything he told us. He stole a ton of money from my parents and I…a ton of goods like collectibles and sold them he did that from friends too. He had done a number on my mental health and on the mental health of a lot of friends.

The private investigator said in this situation, a lot of people won’t leave the person doing this to them. My dad and I threw him out of my house and I obviously dumped him. It was insane. Absolutely insane.

I was having night terrors. My anxiety had gotten so bad I was getting no sleep. I would ake up screaming and yelling. I had no idea why. I had started to feel very dumb and forgetful. He had managed to corral me away from all of my friends and support so it was just him.

It was easier at the end of the day to go, “I must be wrong” than to look all of this in the eye and try and figure it out.

When your gut says, “I don’t think so” you go I don’t think so.

It’s amazing what our bodies know and try to tell us even if we don’t want to listen.

I made the decision I would have to be as compassionate as possible with the whole situation or I was going to destroy myself in the process. I had changed so much as a person. I had become really small. I had boxed up all the things I was passionate about if it didn’t suit my ex. I had this incredible anger.

I didn’t trust myself enough. I didn’t know my own voice.

I tried to be calm and methodical about it. I started doing meditation which helped a lot. I, of course, went into therapy which helped. I did start dating and things like that again just to try and find my footing.

It was like being the walking wounded. The entire time it was like trying not to bleed all over this person I just met and not being able to.

You need to figure out a way to heal yourself from this before you go back out into the dating world because you’re just looking for healing, you’re not actually going out there to be partnered with somebody.

I was still trying to live up to expectations that I don’t know who set for me but it wasn’t me.

It set me on this path of figuring out what I want for myself and for myself and what I want to give other people.

I was still buying into the fact that I shouldn’t take up space and that I was not worthy of being the person I was.

In order to trust myself, I started to spend time with myself. I looked at the things I actually enjoyed. I started saying no to things.

I was saying no to things that I had been saying yes to out of habit instead of saying yes to because they were fulfilling or life-affirming or they were things I really wanted to do.

I discovered I really did like horror movies. All of a sudden I was watching then 24/7. It’s a controlled scare so it’s very comforting. I got back to writing, I started learning a foreign language, I started learning to play guitar.

I started to redefine myself by the things that made sense to me and by the things that made me happy to be alone with myself.

It was a very scary process because I felt I had changed so much.

By embracing that geeky weird horror person I was, all these people were like “yeah!”. The thing I feared most was losing my community entirely and they really stepped up for me because I started being really honest.

It’s still a work in progress but I feel very comfortable with myself in general. There’s a stillness that comes out of the center of me now.

It’s about listening to your instincts. It’s about being willing to recognize red flags and being willing to put aside your expectations enough to kind of recognize what’s right under your nose.

One of my favorite sayings is, “when you’re going through Hell keep going.” It’s about not building a home in your pain but using it to transform and to heal yourself and heal the people around you.

It’s about being okay to be wrong. I was dreadfully wrong and I had placed my trust in the wrong people and that was okay. It’s something that you can come back from and you can learn to forgive yourself for doing.

We were together for about 4-years and were two weeks out of buying a condo together…we had been living together for 2-years talking marriage.

I got a text saying, “We’re over. Please be out by Sunday.” It was a little sudden and out of nowhere.

The first day I didn’t know what to think so I grabbed a bottle and sat on the bathroom floor and cried. I did that for about a day and a half.

No answer is an answer and you have let go at that point.

I had a fabulous tribe that showed up.

I had $10.00 in my bank account…we had just purchased a business 10-months earlier. We had agreed he would pay all of our personal bills for 2-years and I would put all of my money back into the business.

At 34-years old I got to move back into my parent’s basement. Every grown woman’s dream. It worked out. I’m grateful I had that opportunity but it wasn’t my dream.

I look back and I can see why I was so unhappy for 4-years and hadn’t really realized it. I still kinda feel like maybe I should have broken up with me. This went the wrong way. I should have been the one walking out.

I had changed so much over that time we were together. He had started to wear on me.

I was always walking on eggshells or trying to see the positive but seeing the negative that was all that was pointed out to me. I’d gotten to the point where I had tremors and cluster headaches.

Everything about me had changed and my body was clearly revolting and saying this isn’t the way you want to live.

I still had to keep my business going. I couldn’t just shut everything down because this was now my sole source of income. It was my only way to live. It kind of inspired me to work harder.

I got over this relationship a lot quicker than anyone thought I was going to do.

I started leaning into my community. I started leaning into getting reiki services and getting massages.

I was trying to just deal with it. We all just want to suck it up, put our big girl pants, and go throughout our day…but sometimes you have to lean on other people.

I don’t think it was ever about me. I don’t think him leaving was about me. I don’t think him being in the relationship was about me. Having that clarity of mind but it really helped me process and then realize who I was and who I didn’t want to be any more from there.

Hearing other people’s stories and talking to other people and being open just helps you to heal so much.

We are all trying to be too tough. Honestly, the biggest thing I learned was coming out of that particular relationship was to start talking about it…to start talking about how I was human and how things hurt and it wasn’t fun and how occasionally I missed my life.

I missed going home to somebody, even if I wasn’t happy with that somebody.

I realized I am a lot stronger than I thought I was.

I really started leaning into being a lot more feminine. I grew up a jock. I’d always thought left-brained.

As I was coming into my new self, I started leaning into being more of the nurturer, being more empathetic looking more into beauty and art and dressing girlier and wearing jewelry and I just feel so alive and so me in a way that I never had before that and I don’t know that I would have ever changed it and I stayed with him.

I want to be the calm in the storm. I want to be the thing that brings beauty and positivity and happiness to anybody I’m around.

Your aura is your best advertisement.

I think a lot of us need a lot more empathy and compassion and those things that women are known for.

Now I do mediations all the time on my divine feminine.

I feel so much more connected to everything and everyone around me.

Whatever breaking point you think you’re at, you can bounce back.

I’m doing better than ever. I have become so much more aware of my life and what I want and I don’t want to settle for anything that makes me feel less than fantastic.

I’ve become so comfortable with myself that I can sit at home alone and be perfectly comfortable too.

You look back and see all the things you thought would break you and we’re all still kicking. It’s pretty amazing.

Do what you need to do. Feel what you need to feel in that moment.