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I. Am. Awesome.

I am awesome. What started out as a daily affirmation turned into something I actually began to believe to this day. I am celebrating my 16 month soberversary today and I am so grateful. I’m grateful because at some point, the line began to get hazy between the person I was trying to be for everyone else while I was actively drinking and the person I really am; the awesome me.

My family and friends have seen me go through recovery and they know me; it keeps life simple. Then again, I haven’t invited anyone NEW into my life – male or female. Meeting someone new would mean they are meeting the real me and, up until 2 months ago, I wasn’t ready for all that. Professionally is something different, I can handle that. A lot of us have our professional selves that’s different than the person outside of the office. But personally or romantically, I didn’t know if I was ever going to be ready, both because of personal heartbreak and because of the fear I had that someone was going to meet ME, the real me!

It gave me serious anxiety to even think about it. To step outside of my comfort zone, that is, the hermit shell that I lived in was so unbearable that I cried. A well-intentioned friend tried to take me out of that zone and I had a full on panic attack because I felt pressure to do something I wasn’t ready to do. I’m surprised I didn’t start hyperventilating to be honest. Sheesh!

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I think I woke up one day and suddenly felt it – I don’t need someone, I want someone to share my life with. After a year and some change of being alone (and loving every minute of it), and having a full plate of this thing called “life with kids” that takes priority, I had the nerve to think I had more space in my heart for someone else. I was ready to let someone in. Risky as I felt like it could be, I was maybe 92% willing to take that risk and see what happened.

I was kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place because even though it gave me anxiety to meet someone new, I felt like I was ready to take a chance and let someone meet me: Maritza Ortiz, the boastfully sober mother of 4. My only roadblock was, without picking up [a drink], I didn’t know how to be anyone else anymore, just myself, which was cool because I already loved her. So, ready or not, someone was about to get it and that person was Mr. Baseball (aptly named because he is a fan of the sport and because he took me to a National’s baseball game for our first date, even though he is a devoted Cardinal’s fan – Go Cards! More about him later…)

While I wouldn’t put it on anyone else to make me happy [anymore], I certainly didn’t expect to get the confirmation that I received, either. The confirmation that someone could make me love myself more than I thought. Yes, that’s what I said:

I love me more than I thought I could.

That self-love came from being the real me while I was with Mr. Baseball and he likes me for me – that feels amazing! “They” say you can’t love someone until you learn to love yourself first. Is it cliché? Yes, totally but I can open my heart again because I love me, and I live me, and I feel my feelings, and I experience life, and I love every up and down that comes with it. Today, I am thankfully sober.

*The moral of the story: Learn to be alone because you will love it and, in the process, learn to love yourself and there is nothing wrong with that. 😉

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Where I am

It’s day 76. I’m leaving another successful gathering with great food and amazing friends. I’m honored. I get in my car and turn it on to the sound of “Drops in the Ocean” by Hawk Nelson. My soul smiles and I begin to sing along.

As I drive, I’m reflecting on my weekend and the conversations I had with various people who crossed my path. People I haven’t seen in a while, people I am not close with, but also family and close friends. Yet, I connected with them all on some deep level about life and relationships (both friendly and intimate). Thank you. I can appreciate every moment of time I spent with each person because it contributed to my epiphany.

While the music of WGTS 91.9 feeds my soul, I begin to experience an overwhelming feeling of happiness and inner peace. I realized that I am truly at peace with myself – finally! I’m at peace with not only where I am in life, but who I am. For the first time, I feel like I am where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and going where He wants me to go. My purpose? Maybe. I certainly don’t have it all together and I never will, but I know I’m on the right path.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  – Luke 19:10

I’m home. In more ways than one, I’m home. I’m in my parking spot looking at my little home and I love it. Not everyone can say that they had that moment of clarity (for lack of a better word). People seem to look for their reason for being; at least I did. Now, I can smile because I love me and where I am. I can smile because it’s actually true. I’m blessed and I’m determined to do something big with the seed that’s been planted within me.

Inside, my puppy Bishop waits with extra excitement. It’s as if he knows I’m extra happy…ooooor, he has to pee. 😉

 

 

(Photo from http://www.purposedriven.com – I read Purpose Driven Life years ago and I highly recommend it.)

It’s National Grammar Day!

Be a part of proper grammar movement! Correct EVERYONE! Any way you can raise awareness will help educate the public and future generations to come. 🙂

March 4 – National Grammar Day (I’m a few days late on this one.)

Calliope Writing

Today, March 4th, is National Grammar Day here in the United States.

A few things I will not tolerate on this day:

  • Grammar spelled as “grammer.”
  • Sentences ended with prepositions.
  • Using “you and I” when “you and me” is appropriate.
  • Anyone who utters the sentence, “Grammar is stupid.”

To celebrate, enjoy some funny grammar memes. And then double-check your grammar habits.

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H/T to the following for the above memes: SocialTalent, Someecards, GeekFill, TES

And a Little Something Extra

The Reader’s Room has come up with something that may coerce me to actually watch basketball: the March Book Madness reading challenge. Hardcore readers: You don’t want to miss it.

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Here Is Why Paying For The Date Is Not About The Money

“The right woman doesn’t want your car, your money, or gifts. She wants your time, your effort, your honesty, your loyalty, and your respect.” FACT! FACT! FACT!

JamesMSama.com

So, you’ve spotted this woman at your local Starbucks, or grocery store, or tagged in a friend’s Facebook photo. You’ve started up a conversation, and she has agreed to spend some time with you. Let’s keep it simple and say you go to dinner.

Fantastic! You pick her up, open the door, and are a perfect gentleman all night. Then, the bill comes.

The next thing out of your mouth is “So, should we split it?”

And then, her face:

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In my opinion, the man should always pay for dates, at least in the beginning stages of a relationship. But, why? She makes her own money, maybe even more than you. Shouldn’t she split it? Or, maybe even pay for it?

No. And this is why:

Dating is about courtship. Traditionally, men have been the ones to do the pursuing when it came to dating. They had to prove to…

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Things You Should Know About Introverts

All of these are me, except #7….that is SO me! I should really be embarrassed that I get SO excited about that….

Playfully Tacky

From MeetTheIntroverts.com From MeetTheIntroverts.com 1) We need to recharge alone.
This right here is the cusp of the entire introvert v. extrovert debate (if there is one, anyway) – Introverts need to be alone to recharge. We tend to get completely worn out by socializing. This is basically what it means to be an introvert.

2) We don’t hate being around people, but we probably hate crowds.
I love being with people, but if you drop me into a large crowd I instantly feel like I’m alone and invisible. I try to avoid situations where I feel that way, so I may decline your open invitation to some random event. It doesn’t mean I don’t like to be around you, it just means I like to have more control over my surroundings.

3) We don’t mind silence.
I can sit beside you in silence and not think we are having a bad…

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Minding my business…

I had a situation the other day that I wonder what others would have done in my shoes.  People in our society these days like to take this “I’m not going to get involved” approach to things.  I tend to wonder where people draw the line on when they are going to say something and when they won’t.  We have folks who want to chastise parents for parenting (aka spanking) their bratty kids and then there’s the people who watch as other kids are actually abused without saying anything at all.  My story is not at this level but, after the fact, it made me think…

I went for my dress fitting and, as I was sitting in my car getting ready to leave, I received a phone call, so I sat to talk for a minute.  Now, imagine this: the parking spot in front of me is empty and there is a car on both sides of the spot: a shiny, blue Acura Integra on the left and a junkie, old, banged up Toyota ‘something’ on the right.  I’m blabbing away on the phone and I see this person coming from the right to pull into the parking spot and they’re coming in pretty fast.  It’s going to be a tight squeeze even for the little Honda that they were driving….

Okay, FINE, i’ll say it – it was a woman driver!  Geez!  Back to the story…

So, to make matters worse, girlfriend was on the damn phone.  She was coming in fast and she pulled into the spot as if there were no other cars on either side!  Translation:  she COMPLETELY rubbed up on the bumper of the Acura and, I kid you not, she didn’t…even…flinch.  The entire Acura moved as she was rubbing it so I found it hard to understand why she didn’t stop as soon as she made contact.  My mouth fell wide open and I actually said, “ouch! ouch! ouch!” out loud.  Incredibly, she didn’t stop there, she continued to park.

Not actual incident.

Not actual incident.

Remember how I said it was a tight squeeze?  Yeah, well, she threw the door open and hit the Toyota.  I’m not sure why she expected to be able to get out of her car.  If she just looked out her window, she would have seen that the door wasn’t going to open more than a foot. That STILL didn’t deter this girl…she still tried to get out of her car.  (Sidebar: that must have been some phone conversation because she was still on it.) There was no way she was getting out so  she turns back in her seat, closes the door and starts up the car to leave.   This is where the self-imposed dilemma begins…

I wonder, ‘Is she going to leave-leave; or, just move to another spot?’  I don’t know what she’s going to do so I frantically grab a piece of paper and pen to write down this broad’s license plate number – just in case.  She knows that I’ve seen her rub this car and now she can probably assume that i’m fumbling around to write down her license plate number.   She moves to another spot and she’s watching me as she’s talking on the phone.  So, I think to myself,

“Oh, Maritza, do you REALLY want to get involved with a possible crazy woman?  You’re in front of a bridal salon for Pete’s sake.  Everyone knows that brides be crazy and she could be the bride so she might go nuts on me…do we chance it?”  😉

Girlfriend got out of her car, went to look at the Acura and after standing there for a moment on the phone she decides to get back into he car and FINALLY get off the phone – first smart thing she did.  The second smart thing was to spend another 8 minutes finding paper so she could presumably leave a “note”.   Well, to make a long story short she leaves a huge 8.5 x 11 piece of orange paper on the handle of the car and I decide that she was doing the honest thing and leaving a note about the damage.   I’m not going to get out of my car and check the note to make sure she didn’t leave an advertisement instead of a damage note. I’m going to trust and believe that she made a stupid mistake and now she’s making it right by leaving a note so she can take care of whatever damages there are.  Good!

Now, I can go home and eat dinner since I starved myself before my dress fitting.  I kid, I kid…

Marine Corps 17.75k Recap

CAN’T STOP! WON’T STOP!

It was Friday.  A beautiful Friday, at that.  The sun was shining, the temperature was in the upper 70’s, and there was a perfect breeze going on.  Nothing gets me more excited and motivated than perfect weather outside.  Maybe a little too much;  it was the kind of day that makes me want to do something crazy like, oh, I don’t know, randomly decide to sign up for the Marine Corps 17.75k (that’s about 11 miles for us non-metric system using folks) which is at 7 am on Saturday – yes, the next day.  I say “crazy” because lately I haven’t run more than 6 miles, so to jump at 11 miles seems a little irresponsible, but what’s another 5 miles??  Luckily, I was able to find somebody to sell me their bib.  JOY!!

I’ve done the 17.75k before, but this was going to be a new course that I haven’t done.  I couldn’t imagine it was going to be that much different – hills are hills.  Where there’s an uphill, there’s a downhill and I can live with that.  So, Saturday morning, I get up bright and early to get my rear into gear.  I’m going solo, which I haven’t done….ever.  I usually take someone to races with me or I do them with someone – I like to bring my own cheerleaders, I guess, but I didn’t mind.  There was something liberating about going by myself and being by myself.

THE COURSE:

The beginning of the course was torture!  Not only was it a gravel path with plenty of rocks and uneven ground, especially considering the hundreds of people around you, but the hills weren’t just up and down – oh no!  They were looooong and unending.  That lasted for maybe 3 quad-busting miles!!  After that you were on a paved road, mostly flat, but there were some hills that annoyed the dickens outta me.  The wooded area in Prince William was actually very pretty and made it easy to jog through.  I was looking around and taking it all in – aaaaaah!!!

Since we all know a “run” just didn’t happen unless it was tracked by Nike+, I had it going so I could have an idea of how much further I had to go; you know, just in case the mile markers weren’t enough of a clue.  So around mile 8 or 9 i’m thinking that the rest is gonna be such a breeze!  But noooooo, no breeze!  That’s when you’re back on the original gravel trail to get back to the finish and it’s all gravel and hills again.  Man, I totally thought I was going to improve my pace and jog all the way to the finish; I thought I would catch my 2nd or 3rd wind.

THE FINISH:

Alas, I crossed the finish line to my own satisfaction and received my finishers coin along with the coveted “access granted ticket”, or “golden ticket” as it used to be called, which guarantees my entry into the Marine Corps Marathon.  I still don’t know if I want to run THAT much at one time.  I survived the 11 miles and maintained a nice 10:30/mile pace.  That isn’t fast to most but, for me, it surprised me that I could maintain that pace, all things considered.

AFTERTHOUGHT:

I booked it home as soon as humanly possible, and within the speed limit, only to get out of the car as if I were the tin man in desperate need of some WD-40, starting with my knees!  UGH!  The mileage wasn’t the tough part, but I probably wouldn’t sign up for another race like that with just one day’s notice if I don’t have everything I need to care for my body once I’m home.  Lesson kinda learned….i’m sure this won’t be the last time I do something like this.  😉

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