What 2011 Meant for Me

From the time I officially got divorced in 2007 up to 2010, I felt like I was just going...you know, just making sure that life was going on, that things were moving along...sustaining life. I did not allow myself any spare time to worry nor to be overwhelmed by fear because for the first time in my life, I    knew I was all on my own...with kids to boot.  Despite knowing my family will always be there for me, I knew I wanted to make this work all on my own. I was definitely in an unfamiliar territory: I had no single, unmarried friends, I had no idea what life was like outside "family life," I did not know to handle what I called life's technicalities (insurances, auto maintenance, health benefits, investments, 401Ks, etc.) and most of all, I was lonely and felt alone (marriage makes one co-dependent you know).  But looking back, I think I did just fine. At the time when the economy was plunging and people were losing their jobs and their homes, I secured a new long term contract with a huge networking company and I closed escrow to my very first, brand new condo. (All the time I was married, I thought I was co-owner to the million dollar home I shared with the ex - can you imagine when I found out, I had no stake in it or pretty much anything else?- sad). I've met an amazing set of friends that has had a positive impact on my life, my kids are as normal and healthy as they can be, I have never missed any mortgage payments and I am still here...fast forward to 2011...thriving. Thank  You 2011!!! I am declaring 2011 as the culmination of my post divorce era in my life. I am not exaggerating when I say that as if some higher being very early this year, has blown away from me, residues of any remaining "post -  destruction" dust. This year, I lost all craving in finding Mr. Perfect Forever (goodbye co-dependency, goodbye Match.com - woohoo!). Instead, I gained a new level of appreciation for the word FREEDOM!  Oh, all the things I can do and not compromise - lol! I got to spend a lot more time with my friends, got more involved in my son's school, developed a better appreciation for my home (I want to redecorate everything in my place!) and most importantly, I found myself again and reconnected with my passion ...my photography. This year, I stopped going with the flow and started deciding the flow...how I want things to be, who I want to spend my time with, how I manage my calendar and everyday, I made the choice to be happy. As this year comes to a close, I know that I have a clearer definition of my dreams, my weaknesses, my strengths and where I want to go from here. From sustaining, to thriving and now...winning.

So before I get ready for the big countdown tonight, here are some random thoughts or life nuggets I have either learned or further reinforced this year and will continue on with me to 2012:

  1. Think right. Do right.
  2. Be nice even when no one is watching. It is a small world we live in, and it gets smaller everyday. (A guy I once dated told me [to make me feel good], that he deactivated his match.com profile.  I said, ok, thanks! But a friend winked at him before she realized why this person looked familiar.  So my friend contacted me and apologized, AND sadly announced, that he replied with a "nice message" to her.)  I dumped the guy the same day not because he sent her a message, but for his poor character.
  3. Don't lose yourself, your aspirations, your dreams, your priorities over someone. It is never worth it.  Your special someone has to enhance your life.
  4. Respect and commit to yourself. Just as you are committed to your kids, to your loved ones, so should you to yourself. If you say you are going to lose weight, commit to it.  You owe it to yourself.
  5. Dress the part. There is so much to be said here, but whether you like it or not, people will by nature gauge you by the way you project yourself, who you are and where you are headed.
  6. It is not ok to burn bridges but it is ok to let go of some relationships, even friendships. Surround yourself with the people that can enhance your life. Likewise, if you find yourself not contributing "goodness" to someone, it is time to let go.
  7. To dream does not cost you anything. So keep dreaming and then decide if and when you want to pursue the dream or parts of it.
  8. Give expiration dates to sad or hurt feelings. My therapist used to say I am good at "emotional cut-offs".  I disagree. I get hurt from time to time.  But I can't let it get me down for a long period of time.  I allow it to consume me for a certain time frame and then I breathe it inside the red balloon, tie it up, and let it fly, far, far away.
  9. Don't wait for it to be perfect. Sometimes, you just gotta give what you have, and that is better than perfect...because you provided what they needed.
  10. If failure is not an option, what would you do?
  11. If you are a man, treat all women right.
  12. If you are a woman, reward your man if he treat syou right :)

Share. Love. Be Pure.

Stay Sexy Strong and Beautiful.

Happy New Year to All of YOU!  Much Love!

Owen

p.s.: self portrait taken w/ an iPhone.