Playing Dress Up

With Halloween fast approaching, I have been thinking a lot about what to wear this year for a costume … now if you truly knew me, you would know how odd this is. I used to dread this time of year. I was always the one turning down invitations to a Halloween costume party. I would avoid them like the plague. I used to wonder why some people wanted to dress up in silly, offensive, scary and/or skimpy get ups. I used to shiver at the thought.

But the last few years, I have been trying to make a conscious attempt at being more social. So the invitations have increased. And I have come to believe that many who dress up may be less inhibited, more carefree, more creative. Maybe these enthusiastic people who participate and look forward to this favorite holiday tradition have better sewing skills or a more versatile wardrobe than me.

Lately, I am leaning more to the mindset of wow who doesn’t want to dress up and pretend to be something / someone else for a day?! What kind of person doesn’t like dressing up for Halloween? I have slowly adopted the idea. It’s just fun trying to be creative, think out of the box, come up with ideas for a costume that many will not conceive. How many times, do we as adults, get to put our hair down = or up, just stop being our normal, every day self, shed our uptight personalities? Heck, I don’t care how old you are, it’s just a fun time waiting to happen.

I am slowly accepting that I am just a theme party kind of gal. I like parties with themes where I get to re-invent myself for a few hours.

Hmmmm …. glamorous movie star, princess, sexy nurse…ooohhh firefighter, oh no warrior. Black & white, Great Gatsby, all white party, pajama party, travel theme, Breakfast Club party, Work of Art Party – they all await me. So many choices. So much fun just waiting to happen.

With grace in my step, hope in my heart…creativity in my mind.

Dating and all things T …

Ok, so for those following my journey, many know that I tend to go on dating sprees every January and then every July. January probably because I was a tad sad at spending the holidays alone so I make a new years resolution to date, to put myself out there. Come July, with the warmer weather, I probably feel the desire for adventure, fun, long summer nights, salty kisses …

But lately I have been toying with the idea of dating only on days that start with the letter T, dating only men whose name starts with the letter T, dating men from towns, cities, counties, countries that start with the letter T … see my T Trend?!

I am going to attempt this T Trend dating and keep all of you posted. Wish me luck. Can’t hurt – at this point, even a zany approach to dating may be my best option yet.

Here’s to all good things T …


My Music Memorial to my Forever Heart

I love the quote by “Where words leave off, music begins.” ― Heinrich Heine

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”
― Victor Hugo, Hugo’s Works: William Shakespeare

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
― Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays

Today I sit alone, quietly yet loudly … music is my solace. Today I cry, no longer in silence to pay tribute to my forever heart and my three other best friends who all perished on 9/11. I lost so much that one day 14 years ago – that I still can’t seem to fully understand, move on from. Unfortunately in our lifetime we will all face the inevitable… the loss of a loved one – be it a parent, grandparent, sibling, child, family member, close friend, significant other or even a family pet. The death of that loved one has got to be one of the most powerful events that we will face in our lifetime. I also believe that almost everyone who has ever lost someone they really loved will remember them through the power of music – by a song that relates to a memorable experience in their life – a moment that is frozen in time. Everyone has there own personal way of coping with grief and it varies from person to person. Sometimes it helps to cleanse our mind with tears when emotions build up inside – it helps me. Michael’s love made me brave; God’s love gives me strength. Being able to share my grief, gives me understanding, perspective…as always with grace in my step, hope in my heart.

Find your passion … Wake up!

Yes, we all must be reminded to find our passion – no more settling!

“Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping… waiting… and though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir… open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us… guides us. Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love… the clarity of hatred… the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we’d know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we’d be truly dead.” – Joss Whedon

Need to find my happy place … places. On my forever journey with purpose, passion … with grace in my step, hope in my heart. <3

Missing my corner of quiet …

Came across the work of Beau Taplin, and immediately felt it was written for me, by me. I’m not sure if it’s because I relate, or if I’m just good at feeling through words, but this quote went straight through me. When I read the words “a small quiet place” I felt pain in my heart. I just love this quote so much. Beautifully written. Missing my forever heart. Always ♡

“There’s a corner of my heart that is yours. And I don’t mean for now, or until I’ve found somebody else, I mean forever. I mean to say that whether I fall in love a thousand times over or once or never again, there’ll always be a small quiet place in my heart that belongs only to you.”

– Beau Taplin || T h e  C o r n e r  

Hmmm … arm candy!

So lately, I have been all about the skies, food, sweets, wine, shoes, and last but not least bangles …  my latest craze in arm candy.  But I think I may have just found another form of arm candy … the younger man.

Yes!  Now I am playing cougar.  Who knew?!  A former co-worker and I have re-connected on social media.  We have met up as friends but now he is pouring his heart out to me about love, relationship … with me.  So, I am trying to keep an open mind.

I have been having issues trying to date in my age range. We all have baggage – some more than others.  Learning, that with a younger man there is definitely less baggage. I won’t have decades of past relationships and other issues to deal with. I don’t have to worry about his ex-wife and children — it will be all about the two of us.  And right now, at this point in my life – it’s what I want and deserve, Growing tired of playing it safe, of being alone.  I like to be chased, adored.

I was always a bit of a late-bloomer, and being with a younger man may just somehow keep me in a forever-inspired mode.  My younger friend may have less, but gives more.  I am in a non-settling frame of mind.

One of my favorite aunts was in town last month and she started telling me how lucky she was to have married a younger man – her second chance at love. She was widowed at a young age with small children when she found her second chance. She had a stroke two years ago and was feeling fortunate her husband is healthy and younger. She also told me that he was less judgmental, less traditional, less bound by stereotype – which has helped her in many ways to being happier, even a better mom. She had me thinking … then bam, he comes back into my life – this time not as a co-worker, but a friend.

Who knows…I am not making any decisions, I don’t need to. I am just taking it one minute at a time. Enjoying life. Trying to worry less, stay sane and get healthier. I am going to stop worrying so much about what others may think, stop wondering what this younger guy sees in me, and just enjoy the attention. I deserve every flattering, delicious moment … so I plan to sit back and continue counting my blessings and start looking for this Maca root from the jungles of Peru.

Looking forward to finally, freely living some more, to have my emotions raw, to the potential and the possibilities of having my body, mind, and soul literally rocked … ah nirvana may indeed be mine. Fulfillment, contentment … indeed … on my journey of living deliciously with grace in my step, hope in my heart. I am back …

Life is short … buy the shoes!

This past winter had me more than cold and blue, the spring has me sneezy and red, but summer should be soon enough and hopefully that will see me smiling sunny skies.  I just realized I have not really written much besides checks for the past few months, and I am beginning to think I have a problem.  I have been shopping, yes me … I have even been sighted at a few malls lately.  I detest shopping, but I am slowly coming to the realization that I have a shoe addiction.  Yes, shoes!  Me?!  I am usually the least materialistic person I know – but lately there has been a definitive shift in my brain and heart…. I still crave and live to eat and travel but lately I am in love with shoes, especially ankles straps, and bangles.   It’s now all about #wristporn and #shoeporn.

While I am still #LivingDeliciously and enjoying good food and even better wines and desserts, I find myself on this hot foot race pursuit of shoes and silver/black bangles. Ah….for the love of shoes ….black shoes!

Geesh   I never knew I was so black shoe obsessive.  Yes, all in black  – well some with some white or silver … Women have long realized that cool, trendy shoes do not only complement the outfit, they are the whole point. From Cinderella to Carrie, we have all fallen head over heels for “the right pair”—and most say to hell with cost or comfort!  Not so much me – I am all about the comfort, with a heel for my high foot arch, and I have no choice but to be cost-conscious.  No red-heeled Ln Christian Louboutin’s for me … sadly.   I am waiting to relive that iconic scene in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, when Anita Ekberg decadently drinks champagne from her show in Rome’s Trevi Fountain.  So many TV, movie, even fairy tale moments center around women and shoes …  Cinderella and her glass slipper, Dorothy clicking her red glitter heels together in the Wizard of Oz, Carrie Bradshaw’s love affair with her Manolo Blahniks in Sex and the City … let’s face it – shoes, especially heels, make most women feel sexy, powerful, and stylish.

In the words of Marilyn Monroe, “I don’t know who invented the high heel, but all women sure owe him a lot”…. #Truth !!!

So, whether it be thanks to some male French nobility, military, Catherine de Medici, Leonardo Da Vinci – let’s all say a silent prayer praising them all.

Now …who wants to help me organize my closets??  #Bueller??

#SexualHeeling #HighHeels #ShoesToKill #ShoeAddict #LifeIsShortBuyTheShoes #ShoeFetish #ToeCleavage

#ShoeChaos <3

#ShoeChaos <3

Some of my favorite shoe quotes:

‘I can be naked as long as I’m wearing the right pair of shoes.’ – Anna Dello Russo

‘How can you live the high life if you do not wear the high heels?’ – Sonia Rykiel

‘I can’t concentrate in flats.’ – Victoria Beckham

‘To wear dreams on one’s feet is to begin to give a reality to one’s dreams.’ – Roger Vivier

‘Keep your head, heels and standards high.’ – Lola Stark

‘For women, shoes are the most important.  Good shoes take you good places.’ – Seo Min Hyun

. ‘Life is short, your heels shouldn’t be.’ – Brian Atwood

I am finally free …

Well I know I have months of healing emotionally but I had a major breakthrough this past holiday.  I feel like an orphan with no real immediate family but I have great friends who will never let me feel so alone and lost again.

I have had to draw boundaries with my family and its been hard, sad – you name it.  But I will no longer accept their attitude toward me, it has devalued me for years.  I used to go around thinking, “we have always had our differences but we have always worked them out in the past” but now I have accepted that, no, in the past I have always backed down and let them have their way.  I tried to stifle, bury my hurt.   No more.  Now I wear my pain as a badge of honor, courage.  I have been through the worst times of my life without my mother, sisters and their children by my side.   And I accept now that this was by their choice, not all by design or my doing.  I have tried.  My conscious is clear.  I am done reaching out.  I used to walk around thinking, will I ever be good enough.  Well I know I am the best.  I have a huge heart.  I am worthy.  Their loss if they never got to fully experience my goodness.

I have read many books, watched many movies, and met many women who have good relationships with their mothers, sisters. So many discuss the mother-daughter and sisterly bond. Each time I hear or see this, unexpected tears would stream down my cheeks. For I could not recall attachment, closeness, memories of this bond within my own life.

I have tried talking honestly with my family.  They refuse to understand my view, accept me, refuse to meet me half way.  And its finally okay.  I have no other choice but to accept and move forward …without them.  I am actually writing this right this minute and not crying.  Its a first for me.  Every time, I wrote about the lack of relationship with my immediate family, I would break down.  In the past, I have stayed away, traveled a lot, made sure I wasn’t around.  I used to cry when I realized how much of my nieces and nephew’s lives I missed out on but those tears will no longer reach my cheek.  My nieces and nephew are old enough now to forge a relationship with me, if they wanted one.  I guess they don’t.  They have expressed to me in the past how hurt they were about me not being around for a few years.  But really?  Did they ever think about me and my pain? I am sure they have not.

The past few years, I felt rejected, unloved, unwanted, forgotten.  My self esteem has been at an all-time low.  My health is poor and my body keeps failing me.  And even with all my physical, emotional and financial troubles, I tried to reach out to them.  I tried.  Not being worth it, had always been my deepest fear; I felt as though they have all proven to me, I was unworthy of their love, acceptance, inclusion by them not trying to work on our relationship.  But in reality, I see clearly now, their actions do not make a statement about me; they make a statement about them.

My trying to be worthy to them, was at the root of all my depressions and low self-esteem. I have decided to move on again.  I am not going to sacrifice myself, my time, my energies, my money, to them anymore.  I have learned that there are some people who are incapable of healthy, loving and mutually respectful relationships  I am slowly understanding, I am capable. I have great friends – so I know that I am a loving, respectful person. I have done my grieving.  I have shared with them all I had to give.  I have tried to follow the golden rule:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  But I was always the one left more confused, hurt, exhausted, broke – you name it.  We all hear how we should be the bigger person, the example of love and forgiveness.  And I tried – I feel that I have succeeded.  Now.  I forgive them and myself.  I will continue to pray for them.  I will always be happy for their success; and sad for their loss.  I will just remain in the background, at a distance.  Where they have put me.  I am okay there.  Now.

I was not being an example of love to myself nor anyone when I allowed my family and even some friends walk all over me.  I see now, that I was sending the message that they were more important than me.  Every time, I dropped my plans to accommodate them or help them I was devaluing me.  I allowed them to think they were more deserving.  I was willing to accept the smallest kindness as a huge step forward.  Like a dog that always comes home to the master no matter how the master regards the dog.  No more.

So many people, even in my own family, believes that a barren, childless woman is selfish, or can’t understand certain things.  They regard motherhood as a sacred institution and most regard it as the highest gift.  If so, explain to me why or how so many mothers kill their children – physically, emotionally?  If there is no unconditional pure love, what is left?   For too many years, I felt a void, a lack of empathy and interest, and a lack of feeling loved. For many years, I did not understand and tried to rationalize it.  I tried to fix it.  I tried to be the good daughter, the good sister, the good aunt.

The more accepting I am learning to be, the happier I am.  The more I learn to just let go of expectation, the more I can let go, also, all my sadness.  I no longer have to try so hard for them to love me, accept me.  I love myself.  I accept me.  All this has allowed me to understand more and begin to find my quiet sense of being, my peace.  I have become more centered.  I am no longer invisible, especially to myself. Without understanding, we flail around, we make mistakes, feel deep unworthiness, and sabotage ourselves and our lives.  No more.  I am happy, at peace.  I love myself unconditionally.  I used to think my cancer, my accident, my family, my work all defined me.  Now I am free from that.  I define me.  And I choose happiness … with hope in my heart, grace in my step.  It’s been quite a journey…and I am looking forward to more self awareness.

So me …

“I’m quirky, silly, blunt, and broken. My days are sometimes too dark, and my nights are sometimes too long. I often trip over my own insecurities. I require attention, long for passion, and wish to be desired. I use music to speak when words fail me, even though words are as important to me as the air I breathe. I love hard and with all that I have… and even with my faults, I am worth loving.”

– Danu Grayson

Good bye …

I have spent the last few years struggling….emotionally, physically, financially – and despite or perhaps in spite of all, I have tried to find love. I always believed if I could find just one person who will love me, have my back, things will make sense. But I learned that you can’t find true anything, especially love when you are so lost and struggling. You find pieces. I have allowed the wrong people in my life the past few years.

I recently found myself so sad, crying inconsolably because an ex found happiness with another woman. Yet when the tears dried, I took a good look in the mirror and asked myself what was that all about – you don’t even want him back. All true. We were toxic together. But in my vulnerable state, I made it all about me and my own feelings of unworthiness. I thought I was too sick, too broke, too old – that is why he is treating her so much better than me. I kept questioning myself and a few friends, why could he change for her but not for me? Why does he love her more than he ever loved me? Ha! My eyes are wide open now.

I am sure there are many of us out there who dated a guy, had some great times with him and then he says something like he doesn’t want to be in a relationship or that he’s not ready to settle down. Then BAM … six months later, you find out he’s engaged to the next woman. Huh? How did that happen? And even more curious still … why her and not me? I have learned, the hard way, it’s not about me. I would obsess about all – what went wrong, how things could have been better, different, what the new woman has that I don’t, etc. I could go on and on, but the real question has been: Why am I obsessing over a man that clearly didn’t want, love or respect me?

No more losing sleep on someone who is just not worth my time nor energy. I can see how my friends may think that all my lamenting means I am not over him, or I want him back. But its not about that. For me, its about learning, accepting, growth. Honestly, it’s not that my ex never recognized that I was a good woman; I truly believe he just wasn’t ready to grow. If we are lucky, we all grow and change over time. Certain experiences, both positive and negative, change us forever.

In any relationship, there are unintended hurts, offenses, and betrayals. Over time some things are resolved, some things are healed, and some things create wounds that begin to erode the relationship despite the attempts to move past it.

When someone new comes into the picture it creates a new dynamic. It’s a clean slate, for one thing. There is none of the history, hurt, and toxicity in the new relationship. Since the new person is different the whole relationship is different. And hopefully we have learned valuable lessons from the last relationship. For me, I choose no more self-blame. I understand now how I allowed some of his behavior. I take responsibility for my part.

Naturally, I have seen him step up when a woman doesn’t take any nonsense – You could say he respects a woman who won’t tolerate his nonsense. But in reality, I shouldn’t care so much how different he is with her. What I see is all surface. I have no idea what is really going down behind closed doors, and I shouldn’t. He’s her problem now.

I logically understand that my ex may remember some of the things that were important to me and do them for his new girl. Since she didn’t have to beg, or even ask, she reacts with delight that he is so thoughtful. He feels good because it she seems so simple to please. Its a beautiful cycle. Yes, basically, she is getting the benefit of my past struggles with him. I get it. At first, trust me, I was hurt, I didn’t like it. But with each passing day, I am a little more thankful. I am even a little happy for him, and her. Yes, I am. They make a great looking couple. I hope it lasts. But then I recall just how bad it was, and just how narcissistic he was. And I almost feel bad for both of them. He has issues that he needs to resolve before getting too serious with anyone. I just hope he receives the help he needs.

A friend reminded me that some people, especially a narcissist don’t really change. He will romance this new lady just like he did me at first. He will be charming, romantic, sensitive, and he will be everything she always wanted in a man. He will tell her how different she is from me, how she is his dream woman, and how I never appreciated him. He will deny any angry outbursts or violence but if he can’t deny it he will explain it away as it being a “very difficult time” in his life – subtly casting the blame on me.

He will make her feel like a princess as long as she is providing something he needs – supporting him financially, admiration, a place to stay, or the “look” of a normal, responsible man. I couldn’t pretend for long – this is why we never worked.

Sadly, for some people, things don’t really change. A person can only hide, run from the truth for a certain amount of time. Eventually she is not going to be enough for him either – she’ll suffer a financial setback, gain some weight, get an illness, or become aware of his crap. The pattern will continue, but luckily not for me.

Yes, I need to accept the fact that my ex is going to treat women in other relationships differently than he treated me. I am learning not to make take it so personally. It’s not a true statement about who I am. My ex failed to see my true value. His loss. So a final good bye. I am working on me – rebuilding my life, my strength, my health, and regaining my self-confidence and just moving on forward … with grace in my step and hope in my heart.


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