Quotable Thursdays

I love quotes, especially the meaningful ones. And it’s funny, because they can show up anywhere – books, movies, tv…  Sometimes, you hear them and they speak to you right away. While other times, it takes months for you to really grasp their message…maybe even years. 

Today’s quote is about love (altogether now, awwwww). 

I love this quote. I think that many people looking for deeper connections and love look for something similar. And I think that people who have had medicocre or unfulfilling connections look for it too.  

There was a time in my life (I’m sure a time in many people’s lives), when I was willing to stay in a relationship that was unfulfilling and lonely. Why did I stay?  Because I remembered the good times, because I made a promise, because it was what was expected, and to be honest – because it was what was easy.  But it wasn’t right for me.  And after I recovered from it, I realized that I wanted a deeper and more real connection with someone. I wanted a meaningful kind of love and partnership. And, more importantly, that I deserved to be fulfilled and happy – everyone does.

So, if you’re looking for love – I hope you find it. And if you’re lucky enough to have it already, I hope you continue to tend it and help it grow. ❤️️

You are worthy

A pick me up, if you need it –

Sometimes after people take advantage of you, it changes you.  You worry that no one else will value you, instead of the things you can buy them or the added self-esteem boost of having someone care for them.  Sometimes you screw up and kick yourself later over things you shouldn’t have done.

But regardless of the mistakes you’ve made before and regardless of the people who have hurt you before – you are worthy of love.  And you are always, always worthy of happiness.

Two tickets to paradise

For the first time in over two years, I’m going on a real vacation.  I’m excited, but I’m also really nervous…


Excited because, well, who isn’t excited to have a vacation from the every day grind of work (and school, for me) and responsibility?

Nervous because…I’m not traveling alone.  It’s the first time in over two years that I’m traveling with a guy…since well, a messy divorce and trust issues.

Yeah.

So I came up with tip of how to travel when you’re in a new relationship:

  1. Don’t be afraid to poo.  So, for whatever reason in new relationships, there’s this thing where people are afraid to poo in the other person’s place.  Don’t worry, everyone poops and your boyfriend/girlfriend/friend/crush/wolverine knows that you poop, even if you don’t do it at their place.
  2. Pack as you normally would. Don’t try to pack light, if you don’t normally. And don’t pack super heavy if you’re a carryon only type traveler. Just do you. 
  3. Tell them what you want or don’t want to see. Be honest. There’s nothing wrong with being agreeable, but don’t be a doormat to make someone else happy, make sure you see/do what you want too. 
  4. Bring your own stuff. This includes credit cards, cash, phone chargers, etc.  It’s always better to have backups in case someone forgets or loses something. Also, if you’re slightly morbid like me…you never want to be completely dependent on someone should stuff go wrong.
  5. Have fun and oh, sign up for frequent flier and rewards points for places you go, because it’s never too early to start saving/amassing points for your next journey. 

Until being strong is the only choice you have

As a writer, I’ve always believed in the magic of words and as a reader, I’ve often felt their power.  Stories and songs have that amazing ability to break through barriers and – teach, show, remind, and reach us.  Quotes can be the distilled form of that magic – few words, with a powerful punch.

One of my favorite quotes is one I’ve found myself turning to many times over the last few years – “you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

And it’s true.

Exactly two years ago was the worst day of my life…

It was the day I discovered my ex was living a double life.

It felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me and I found myself over a yawning pit, struggling to make sense of the truth I’d learned.

It was a day that set my world on fire.

There were many painful days to come – of sorting through the hurt and taking a step back to see that relationship was more toxic than I’d realized and dangerous to my mental health.

But it was also the day I left.

And it was the day that I started to rebuild my life.  It took strength to leave – as it always does – and it took strength to pull myself up and put the pieces of myself back together.  Strength my ex (and even I) didn’t know that I had.

Exactly two years ago was the worst day of my life…Wait, that’s really not true.  It was a terrible day.  A fucking shitty day and it probably turned at least a few of the hairs on my head gray.

BUT, I mark it as my independence day, my anniversary to myself, a reminder of how strong I am and what I can overcome.

And you know what?  My life is so much better now.  I’m healthier, stronger, smarter, more confident, and have more than a little bad-assery in me.  I don’t regret that day or wish it didn’t happen.  It gave me scars but it didn’t break me, it set me free.

And (this is important) – if I can do it, so can you.  Push through that struggle and sucker-punch that shitty day in the face.  Show the world what you’re made of and that this pain can’t break you…that you’ll get past it and emerge stronger and wiser than before.

And when in doubt – repeat to yourself:

Down for the count

“One, two, three, four, tell me that you love me more…”  – Feist

It’s the tail-end of Women’s history month, so let’s talk about a modern day women’s issue  – being labeled for having a sex life and the surviving myth of “the count.”  And just so we’re clear, I’m talking about activities that are safe and consensual.

The count, in case you don’t know, is the number of people a woman has slept with…and there continues to be an obsession with it (and how small it “should” be).

But why?

Damned if I know.  Whatever the reason, both men and women engage in slut shaming and it needs to stop.

The solution?  It’s simple, really – the next time you find yourself wondering how many people your single female neighbor/barista/boss has been with or wagging your finger at someone who has had a few more partners than you, ask yourself this – how is that any of your business?  Done.

For all my fellow single ladies –  You just do you, girl.  And don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.  You are a grown-ass woman and only have one person to answer to – you.

Gone awry

Have you ever felt like your life was supposed to be different than this?

Well, you’re not alone.  When I was in college, I had a plan – I’d get married in my mid-twenties, have a job that made a difference in the world/that helped people,  first baby by 28, traditionally published novel at 30, house at 33, MBA at 36, and blissful family, writing, working life in all of the years to follow. (Yeah, I know my list was a little stacked.  Sometimes I think my super hero name should have been optimist-prime.)

Well, you know what they say about the plans of mice and men…


Yep, sometimes they get all fucked up. I’m paraphrasing, of course.

But what should you do when your life goes off the rails?

#1 Reflect – or as I like to call it: freak out or mope for a little while and get it out of your system.

Whenever something bad happens, I generally allow myself a little while to sit and be sad.  It helps to mope, but I try to place a time limit on it so that I can move past the mope cycle and on to the next stage.  Otherwise, I’d get stuck in the endless mope cycle.  And who wants that?

#2 Rebuild the track – or figuring out where you want to go or what you want to do.

I’m calling it the track here and not the destination because, honestly, who the hell knows what exactly they want to do with their life?  (And if you do know, hush your face.  You’ve won, alright? And the rest of us are jealous.)  Anyway, even if you don’t know where you want to end up, with some time you can probably figure out what you want your next step to be.

So, if you want to get published traditionally – start looking for an agent or a new editor to help you on your way.  Work on that query letter (and then please motivate me to do the same, as those things are tricky minxes).

#3 Rebuild the train – pick yourself up and get your shit together, darlin.

Seek ways to motivate yourself – images of the end goal, picture quotes (I’m so guilty of this one), and positive reinforcement.  If there’s someone in your life that likes to shit-storm on your parade, push them out of your inner circle.  If you can’t push them out, then start singing Taylor Swift in your head (“Haters gonna hate, hate, hate”).  Actually, fuck those clowns – sing Taylor Swift out-loud.

#4 Rinse and Repeat, because let’s face it – this isn’t the last time that things won’t go 100% your way.  That’s life, it’s up to you how you deal with it.

Grandma

I spy my toes mid-stretch in downward-facing-dog.  I stick my tailbone out slightly and give in to a deeper stretch.  Usually, at this point, I’d close my eyes and exhale.  Though I can’t stop the breath releasing through my lips, my eyes remain open.

I look down at my toes.

They are like my grandmother’s – big and sausage-like, constrained by chalky, calloused skin and bare nails.  I remember her beefy feet bare and peaking out from under her curled legs, while she catered to her one addiction in this life – reading biographies of famous people.  She used to say that it was better than fiction, what lucky people could have.

But she didn’t always think that.  She used to read fiction; mysteries by Agatha Christie were her favorite.

I have a few novels by Christie, a strange, kind of homage to my grandma.  My shelf overflows with all kinds of fiction – romance, mystery, horror/thriller, science fiction, short stories, and poetry.

But no biographies…

No, not yet.

We both always loved a good story and a good bullshit artist.  I couldn’t tell you why she moved away from the joys of fiction just as I couldn’t tell you why still live in the land of fiction and novels.

I’d like to think that it’s because, even after all this time, I still believe in a little bit of magic.

Summer Music Series VI

IMG_2096Alright, alright.  Summer is almost over, but not quite yet.  Some kids may have started school (my grad school classes are going into their 3rd week, ugh), but everyone knows that summer is not officially over until the last night of Labor Day weekend.

So let’s go on a drive, crew.  It’s still warm enough to cruise around with the windows down – wind whistling through our hair – and the music up.

I suppose I get my habit of talking about songs and what they mean from my mom.  And it’s this song, “Will you love me tomorrow,” that I have clear memories of talking to my mom about in the car.

In case you didn’t know it, the song is about someone wondering if they’re about to have meaningless sex or something more meaningful.  My mom would to sing it to me when I was in high school and would point out key lyrics to me, kind of like this –

Mom singing: “Is this a lasting treasure, or just a moment’s pleasure?  Can I believe the magic of your sighs? Will you still love me tomorrow?”  Followed by Mom glancing at me.  She’d say, “You know what they’re talking about, Lee?  Sighs? Sex.  But will he still love her tomorrow? Kind of important, Lee.”

Then the Shirelles would croon: “Tonight with words unspoken, you say that I’m the only one.” (Mom pointedly looking at me, no doubt adding in the translation of “sex” for my benefit.) The Shirelles, oblivious to this exchange, would continue.  “But will my heart be broken, when the night meets the morning sun?”

Leesha would groan and put her hand over her face, knowing what was coming next.  And what came next? What else? As I was a teenager and she a frazzled creature known as the mother of a teenager, she’d launch into a long conversation of sex, relationships, being careful, and all that fun stuff.

Years went by and after the lectures stopped, I would listen to the song and remember that conversation with my mom.  She had a point of course, but you have to appreciate the ingenious way she brought it up.  When the song would come on in the car, I would often turn it up and tell the story.  Then announce to my passengers that I’d one day do the same thing to my kids, treating them all to a silly rendition of the speech, and allowing everyone to relive a bit of those awkward lectures from parents.

And then something happened – I left my husband and had to restart my life…which meant at some point, I’d start dating again.

This was terrifying. (And this is actually an understatement.)

Sure, there were the normal questions that everyone wonders  – After being with one person for ten years, what would it be like to be with someone new? What if it was weird?

And, since I haven’t disclosed any details of my divorce before (and am not going to right at this moment), I’ll just say – there were some added fears for me.

In the first days after leaving my ex, I’d stand in the shower for a long time – scalding and scrubbing my flesh to erase terrible fears.  There was a week when I barely ate.  There were terrible nightmares.  And there were months where I couldn’t even read a romance novel, much less imagine being with anyone new.

But – even though it didn’t seem like it then, little by little, I began to heal.  Time is a greater healer of all things, after all, and one day, I decided to start dating again.  That’s when this song came back to me, in a bit of a taunting melody.  But unlike a lot of people who may wonder if the sex they’re about to have will meaningful or meaningless (though I did wonder about it a bit), I really wondered how I’d react after – if I’d curl up into a ball and cry…or run to the bathroom and be physically ill.

But – amazingly enough to me at the time – none of those things happened.  And, since I’m classy and won’t give away super intimate things, I’ll just say this – I’m back to reading and writing romance novels. 😉

I’ve said all of this for a greater purpose though.  And it’s that you can heal from any hurt that you have.  You can experience something terrible and get past it.  Fear and pain may build up to be a wall set in your path.  But you can get past it…and the other side of that wall is a truly beautiful place.

“Will You Love Me Tomorrow” written by Carole King (I LOVE her) and Gerry Goffin

“Tonight you’re mine completely
You give your love so sweetly
Tonight the light of love is in your eyes
But will you love me tomorrow

Is this a lasting treasure
Or just a moment’s pleasure
Can I believe the magic of your sighs
Will you still love me tomorrow

Tonight with words unspoken
You say that I’m the only one
But will my heart be broken
When the night meets the morning sun

I’d like to know that your love
Is love I can be sure of
So tell me now and I won’t ask again
Will you still love me tomorrow

Quotable Thursdays

When I was going through my divorce (mostly last year), I felt like I had wasted so much of my time with my ex…especially since things didn’t work out and that I was missing out on my true self, my true destiny, and my true calling.

And I’m sure I’m not the only person who sometimes feels this way.  But hitting a snag or a roadblock on our own personal journeys does not stop us from getting where we want (or need) to go.  Sometimes, we just have to take the long way around.  And hey, who doesn’t like the longer way?  Sure, it’s a bumpier road and there are far less people on it.  But, you know what?  It’s the scenic route and the path with the most interesting stories, and I am after all, a writer and a reader – who loves a good story.

That’s when I came across the following quote:

IMG_3132

And you know what?  It’s true.  It’s never too late to become who you want or do what you want in life.  Go out and get it.  You can do it and you can start today.