Tag: #bebrave

A New Approach

A New Approach

At 44, I am tired of hating my body. Or wishing it was smaller or didn’t have cellulite or stretch marks. Or I didn’t have my FUPA. I am so incredibly exhausted from the daily struggle. I have had a lifetime of being told by family, social media or strangers that there is something wrong with my body. That it is not the ideal. I am taking a revolutionary approach; trying to appreciate my body for all it has done for me so far. Saying I am going to love my body felt like a stretch after swallowing so much negativity. I can start with appreciation and build to love. After all, being a mother of a daughter, this is another cycle I want to break. I do not want my daughter to spend her life hating her body. My goal for her is the same one I aspire to: to love her body unconditionally. To think of it not in terms of a number on the scale, or a particular size, but in terms of what it can do for her and how strong it is.

This body has done so much for me. It has survived being run over by a three wheeler (only a fractured cheek bone!). Fallen off countless horses. Gone ass over tea kettle down a ditch in a wheel barrow (thanks sissie!). Been through multiple car crashes, including a rollover and hitting a deer, without so much as a scratch! This body grew a baby to full-term and then some, and then pushed that beautiful, perfect baby out. This body has breastfed for several years, creating an unbreakable bond with my child. This body has carried me to 40 states, 14 countries, with countless more to explore. This body has carried me over the finish line of multiple 5ks, and even one half marathon. This body has survived the loss of loved ones, including my dear father, and been able to pick up the pieces and somehow still manage to carry on, despite the hole left in my heart. This body is currently surviving a divorce, one where I have decided that above anything else (my marriage, my child, my security), I have chosen myself first. I choose me, above anything else. I could go on and on about what my body has done and continues to do for me.

In a radical step, since it is summer, I am starting with appreciating my body in swimsuit. An area so many women struggle with. I bought myself several new swimsuits, ones that a past version of myself would have NEVER! bought. And you know what? I am rocking them. I feel good in them. I feel sexy, which is an entirely new feeling I am slowly getting used to. But the best part? I am not hung up on any imperfection or what my body looks like, because I am too busy having fun cannon-balling and belly flopping into the pool with my kid. Women, I would encourage you to try this yourself. It’s been so incredibly liberating! I have dubbed this the summer of zero f*cks and am enjoying the hell out of it. I dare you to try this too.

To Be (Married) Or Not to Be

To Be (Married) Or Not to Be

Well, it is go time motherfuckers! Shit or get off the pot so to speak. Friday we have our first discernment counseling or therapy session. Never heard of it? Well, neither had I until I had gotten a little information from a therapist on TikTok. Then I did some more research on it and thought, “YAS! This is what we need!”

What is it? It’s a specific type of counseling that helps you to decide one of three paths for your marriage/relationship: 1) continuing as is, 2) separation or divorce and 3) intense couples counseling for 6 months with divorce off the table during that 6 month period. It is time boxed, between 1 and 5 sessions, so it doesn’t drag on interminably. You don’t really use discernment therapy to hash out your relationship or marital issues…it is more or less you, your partner, and a therapist deciding, “Should we stay or should we go?”

I just let out a huge exhale as I typed this, because even though I initiated the appointment I’m still wracked with anxiety about the potential outcome. I know, I know, if we do get divorced, I will not be the first person to ever experience this. Nor will I be the last. But not a single person goes into their marriage thinking they are going to possibly end up divorced somewhere up ahead in the future.

The hubs and I have not been doing well, pandemic aside for awhile now. But the pandemic certainly did nothing to help us out. We even have been in traditional couples therapy for the past year…and it’s not helping. And I am at the point where I am so tired of living in this limbo. I want a decision, whatever that is, and a path forward. I don’t know that I’d call it forcing my husband’s hand, but in a way, yeah, I guess it is. And I will be OK whatever happens. There is something deep down inside telling me this and it’s been rooting me, despite my occasional bouts of anxiety. I have been through so much in my life…what is one more thing for me to overcome? Stay tuned everyone…Friday is the first appointment. This picture spoke to me…and I’ll be repeating it to myself all week long.

Photo by Tonik on Unsplash

Strike Three

Strike Three

Well it’s Friday night and I’m waiting for people to show up at a Meetup event I’m hosting. Half an hour past the start time there are exactly zero attendees here. Just me.  This is the third Meetup and even though people have RSVP’d to events no one has shown up at any of my events. Meetup flakes 3, Erin 0. 

*Waves from the table for one while sweeping the tears out of her eyes*

It’s been a really emotionally shitty week and this makes me feel so loser-y. I feel like crying because sometimes this trying to make new friends shit is hard. But!  In an effort to try to reframe things in a more positive light.    Let’s see how this goes…let me count the ways

  1. I’m enjoying a Thai boba tea on a beautiful night 
  2. I am getting some time by myself
  3. I get to enjoy some artsy-farts stuff 
  4. Dinner tonight is being made for me versus me making it for others
  5. I get to take a leisurely stroll outside 
  6. I am attempting to relax and chill
  7. I am getting some good people watching in

And if these people don’t want to meet me then fuck them!  They are missing out getting to know a funny, reliable, sometimes emotional friend. Their loss. 

Me enjoying my Thai boba tea. Alone.  And that’s ok. 

Meeting New Friends

I’ve written before that I’ve struggled to find my tribe of women mom friends.  Since moving to Atlanta, most of our friends don’t have children.  In an effort to make new friends, I’ve tried creating my own meetup group.  Out of the 4-5 meetups I’ve hosted, I’ve had exactly zero people show up (womp womp).  Despite feeling like a loser, I’m still trying to put myself out there.

I recently heard about an app called Peanut, that helps to connects moms.  The advertisement was during a parenting podcast that I really enjoyed, so I thought…why not give it a try?  It’s basically tinder dating to find mom friends.  You swipe one way if you like the person and swipe the other if you don’t.  I’ve been looking at it, and connected with a few moms through the app, but nothing had led to any kind of substantial communication so far.  And then, it happened!  I had a mom reach out to say hi and we hit it off!

It was great to chat back and forth with her, because it made me feel happy to have someone with similar struggles (i.e. hiding under the crib to look at your iPhone while your darling falls asleep, or dealing with a kiddo meltdown).  Our online rapport and banter had been so much fun, that we decided to meet up for a coffee date this weekend.

I was nervous and excited to meet this new potential mom friend.  What if our online chemistry didn’t translate in real life?  What if we didn’t jive or the conversation was awkward and weird?   What if she thinks I’m a total weirdo (and not in a good way)?!?  Finding new friends, even platonic ones, comes with all the same kind of worries of dating!

I worried all for naught, because we hit it off immediately.  When I found her, she immediately reached out to hug me.  I loved this, because I’m a huge hugger too!  She reminded me a lot of a good friend from Los Angeles.  In some ways, she talked very similarly to my friend that it threw me for a loop at first.  We sat down at a table outside and talked for two hours straight.   We had such easy conversation and my cheeks hurt from laughing and smiling.  I didn’t want to leave, but I also didn’t want to overstay my welcome either.  We made plans to meet up again soon, next time bringing our daughters with.

There have been lots of new things lately.  New job, new approach to my same old problems, new dynamic in my relationship, new way of trying to view myself.  I’m hoping that today is the start of a another new thing.  A new friendship with a kindred spirit.