Broken. Nearly Shattered.

What an absolutely insane past 8 months I have had. Around 8 months ago my life completely changed. I guess I can’t really do this blog without touching on the ending of my relationship. The future I imagined myself having walked out the door on a Monday in November. I can honestly say it was one of the worst days of my life that I can remember. I can’t begin to explain the way I felt that day or the days surrounding it. Having the person you care about more than anything, who you felt loved you as unconditionally as you did them, tell you that they want something different for their life than what you were offering is a really difficult pill to swallow. Everything I thought that I knew about life or about myself was broken in the time it took to hear those words. I was numb. I was frozen. I idly stood by and watched my ‘happily ever after’ walk out the door. I didn’t put up a fight. I didn’t argue. Thats a funny thing about love. Even in my darkest of moments I still loved him enough to let him go.  I didn’t want him to stay with me and be unhappy. I didn’t want him to feel that his dreams couldn’t be a reality because I was interested in a ‘settled down’ lifestyle.  I still wanted/want what I’ve always wanted for him…to be truly happy. It still hurts to this day. I still cry when think about it or write blogs like this, but it is something I really have to continue to release in order to grow from.

Thank Buddha for his teachings and my willingness to live by them because I feel it has helped me to handle my situation better than I could have otherwise. I don’t hold any grudges. He and I still talk almost daily and remain friends. I still love him but it gets easier.

Fast forward to where I am today. I have sold the house that we used to live in. It was the first home I have purchased but honestly, without him being there it felt less like a home and more like a building. A building very far from where I work. I close on the sale of the home this Friday and it will help me get myself back to being financially stable and mostly debt free. The house was a good house..a great investment and full of a lot of really happy memories but it was also a constant reminder of things that didn’t work. I felt alone there. I felt sad. I didn’t feel like I was growing anything more than more depressed.

Thanks to my incredible family we were able to whip the house into shape and sell it within two days of listing. My family is such a godsend. I really lucked out when they were handing out parents. Not only did they help with the house but they have been so helpful in getting me into a new apartment, closer to work in a beautiful neighborhood that I’ve actually loved for many years. I truly believe it’s kismet that I’m here. For the entirety of living at the house I had a canvas on the wall of a photograph I had taken in this very neighborhood where I’m now living. Its beautiful here. It’s peaceful and quiet and filled with nature. It’s exactly what I need right now during this transformative period of my life.

Which brings me to the future. Where do I go from here? Who is single, independent Mindy? How can I build my confidence in doing things on my own? Will I be in this area after a year? I have no answers for any of these questions. If I have learned anything over the last 8 months it is that the future is never certain.  My plan is to just take each day as it is handed to me. My plan is to fill each day with intention. I want to be more present. I want to write more blogs. I want to get back on track with a healthier lifestyle. I want to read more books and be on facebook less. I want to learn how to cross stitch. I want to cook more often. I want to focus on experiencing my amazing friends and family without a cell phone attached to my hand. So welcome to my new journey my friends… I hope to update more frequently…maybe even with some “Mindy Gets Healthy Version 5837584920” posts as well lol

namaste. ❤

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Is this real life?

I’ve never been ‘that girl’… the girl who dreamed of finding and marrying her Prince Charming while wearing a poofy Cinderella dress. Yet, somehow, I’ve found myself in what I feel is a modern day fairytale.

When I met Brian in 2010, I had been single for 2 years. Prior to my relationship drought, I had been in a relationship with someone who left me emotionally scarred very deeply. The first year of my singlehood was left trying to understand and give myself closure to the ending of that chapter in my life. By the second year I was focusing solely on myself and making sure that I felt strong and happy on my own… without the need to find it in another person. This was a great transformational year in my life. I learned so much about myself, I was in the best shape of my life and I felt like I needed no one. What I didn’t realize at the time was that though I had benefitted greatly from being single and learning to take care of myself, I had also become so emotionally independent that I wouldn’t let anyone break through the wall I had built around myself.

I found myself scouring the online dating sites. Online dating was a way that I could talk to men without actually having to make a true emotional connection. I went on a lot of “first dates” during that year and I met a lot of nice guys… unfortunately I was never emotionally available to any of them.  When meeting people online I always insisted on a ‘friends first’ meeting. I didn’t want to go on ‘dates’ with people I hadn’t met before. A lot of the guys balked over that idea… and those were the guys I decided not to meet at all.

Brian and I struck up a conversation over mutual interests. Neither of us were looking for any sort of relationship. In fact, he seemed to be more interested in fixing up his single friends with me than actually meeting me himself. This made me infinitely more comfortable.

A few months later, Brian and I finally met with a group of his friends and a group of my friends. My attraction to him was immediate. He was confident, smart, quick-witted and strikingly good-looking. I’m not one to believe in love at first sight but I was certainly intrigued at first sight. I absolutely adored both him and his friends… knowing immediately that they were guys I could trust. They were like no one else I had met in the last year and I felt safe with all of them. We had a great night of bowling and karaoke.

I saw Brian once or twice after our first meeting at group gatherings but never anything romantic. I was having a great time and had made some great friends that I knew would be in my life for years to come.

A month or so later the guys were heading to MegaCon, a sci-fi/comic book convention, in another city. They were making a weekend of it for Brian’s birthday and he invited me. Having only known these guys for a month, I was surprised by the fact I was willing to stay in a hotel room with them for the weekend. I knew before going that something about that weekend would change my life. I wasn’t sure how or why I felt that way but I was excited… and right.

The first night at the hotel, Brian and I stayed up late watching videos on his laptop. We fell asleep holding hands. It was so purely innocent and sweet, I had butterflies. Was this the life-changing moment?

At the weekend’s end, we parted our separate ways… him traveling back to St. Petersburg with his friends and I heading to my neck of the woods across the bay. It hadn’t been 5 minutes since our parting that I received a text on my phone. “I like you”. “I like you too” I responded.  From that weekend on, we have been inseparable.

Falling in love is beautiful.

It was the weekend of June 8, 2012. Our room was absolutely beautiful, as only a Disney room could be. Brian had always wanted to stay at The Contemporary in a room with a castle view… so it was no surprise when I stepped onto the balcony and saw a perfect view of the Magic Kingdom. I remember thinking to myself how awesome it would be to be able to sit on the balcony with a glass of wine and watch the fireworks without having to fight the crowds. I started to relax and was ready for a fun birthday celebration for Brian’s mom who would be staying with us.

We made reservations to celebrate his mom’s birthday at Chef Mickey’s which is at the lower level of the resort. It’s a buffet style dining experience in which characters frequently walk around and interact with the guests. We had a dinner full of laughs as we posed with Tigger, Minnie and Goofy. This birthday weekend was off to a great start!!

A friend of ours decided to make the trip to Orlando to spend time with us at the resort to enjoy the fireworks as well. We all poured out onto the balcony to get our seats for the fireworks that would be starting in minutes. All of a sudden, everyone’s cheerful chatter quieted. Brian glanced over at me and asked, “Are you nervous?” I chuckled. “Um, no, are you?” “Yes…  and…” he dropped to his knee. It took me a few minutes to notice he had pulled a ring box out of his pocket. Everything at that moment completely disappeared other than he and I. My memory of all of the beautiful words he said to me is completely clouded due to the fact I was in complete shock by the moment (thankfully we have a video). The words I do remember in clear, pristine detail however happened when he took my hand and said “Will you marry me?”

After I rambled off a few “Is this for real?” “Nah-uh, you are not!” and “Oooooh!” I finally said “YES!” Minutes later the sounds of “Wishes” came drifting into the room and the first of the fireworks exploded over the castle. Though my focus was purely on the man holding my hand, my Prince Charming, the man I’d be spending my life with, those were the best fireworks I had ever witnessed.

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Real Women Have Curves (and other ridiculii)

As human beings we are predisposed to be opinionated; to be judgmental. When we see something that doesn’t fit in with our opinion of ‘right’ we tend to believe the other person must be in the ‘wrong’.  I don’t believe there are many of us who could actually say that we do not think or have thought this way at some point in our lives. Afterall, we all have life experience… and our opinions on how life should be lived “correctly” are based solely on our own personal experiences. The fact that we can recognize this thought pattern however, can be enough to change our perspectives.

In many cases we do not voice our opinions/judgments of others. The thoughts stay lodged in our brains; filed away on some imaginary tally sheet for future reference. With the popularity of social media sites, however, our thoughts are being heard like never before.

Every day we are bombarded with posts and news about our peers, celebrities, politicians, etc. Most if not all of the posts are written with the opinion of the author being the deciding factor in whether or not the information will be positive or negative with very little focus on the facts.  We as a society have gotten to a point where we even search for our own motivation and validations within judgmental memes and photos. How many times have you seen a post with the line: “A real man [fill in the blank with whatever the author is or prefers]”, A real woman has [fill in blank with whatever the author is or prefers]”?  I was always under the impression that the X and Y chromosomes decided whether you were a “real” man or woman (and with today’s technological advances, even that is no longer true), not our peers.

Why is it we as a society feel the need to be “right” and deem others “wrong”? The only logical explanation that I can see is that as a whole we are a society of insecurity. It is a hard truth to swallow, but isn’t all logical explanation? Think about it. It is important to us to feel that the way that we choose to live our lives is the “right” way. It’s important to feel that the values we hold dearly are also held dear by our peers. It is important to feel as though we are accepted by others. We are constantly looking to prove ourselves to everyone else and if it takes showing others that you are ‘better’ than someone else than so be it. At least you aren’t the butt in this joke, right? Survival of the fittest? What happened to United We Stand, Divided We Fall?

As we struggle to constantly prove ourselves to everyone we fail to remember that the most important person that needs to accept us as we are… is us. Once we accept ourselves for who we truly are, the good, the bad and the sometimes ugly, it’s possible that we won’t feel the need to make judgments of others for how they live their lives.

It takes less than a second to realize when you are making a harsh judgement of someone else but to reframe the thought takes much more effort. The next time you find yourself thinking negatively of someone for their appearance, financial situation or shortcomings try to stop the thought. Remind yourself that you may or may not know this person’s entire story. Try to put yourselves in their shoes. How would you feel if you were on the other end of the thought? Ask yourself why you are concerned with another person’s life choices. Is it because you actually admire a trait they have that you do not? Understand that your negative opinion of this person does not benefit you in any way… the little jolt of self esteem when you determine you are worth more than another human will be very brief. Consider the fact that every one of us in the entire world has a few things in common. The hierarchy of human life only exists because we allow it and we don’t strive to improve it.

Opinions will never cease… but judgments can. The more often we are able to catch ourselves in a judgmental thought and evaluate it, the less frequent they will become. I challenge everyone to try it (myself included). Let’s try to love ourselves and understand one another rather than prove our dominance. How much better could everyone’s lives be without seeing/hearing/feeling the negative thoughts on a daily basis?