I do not know how to start this post …
In my 9 years of blogging I have never started a blog post with the words, “I do not know how to start this post.” But, I have to keep it real with you guys, and let you know that … (drum roll please) …..I do not know how to start this post. So, I am just going to start writing, and hope this doesn’t turn into the book I am hoping to actually write and finish by end of this year.
Can I properly sum up and give a complete glimpse of a BIG life picture situation, involving years of experiences, lessons, and how they have evolved me as a person, into one blog post? No, I can’t.
But what I can do, is start the conversation. The rest of what is meant to be constructively shared will flow in divine timing. The reason I use the word “meant” is because I do believe I am being called to share some of these things with women. It’s certainly not because it’s comfortable or easy to be so vulnerable. The reason I use the word “constructive” is because my intention is to share only that which can help others in their own experiences. The reason I use the words “divine timing” is because I have learned that in order for things to fall into place the way that aligns with your overall purpose, you need to relinquish all control to God.
I have prayed over it, talked circles around it with God, asked for all the signs, taken myself on a spiritual retreat way outside my comfort zone in a different country (a whole other adventure I will share more about later), and have come to an understanding that I don’t have all the answers. I’m still figuring out a lot. However, it is time to open up, go deeper, and let God guide the way.
So, here we go…
I am engaged; engaged to be divorced. It has been a very long engagement to my future ex-husband (going on 14 months of this process now). Now, don’t get me wrong, I had every intention of sharing this however I wanted to wait until things were final; you know, sign, sealed, and delivered, to share.
Why? Aside from the fact that this is personal (contrary to what social media makes people feel entitled to know about other people’s lives it’s no one’s business), I have five main reasons:
- I don’t want people’s opinions, feedback, or concerns. I’ve had enough of that from family members who disapprove of my decision. “Divorce is a sin …God hates divorce…You are ruining your children’s lives…You will never be blessed…You are being so selfish…” You name it, I’ve heard it. I have my own moments of self-doubt and fear. I don’t need help with that.
- Until things are final, you never know what can happen. I feel it’s less explaining if I just share one final outcome when it’s all done. Also, as long as this legal process is going on, anything I say or do can be used against me. I’m constantly worried I can hurt myself with my own words somehow, with the help of creative (there’s more suited words that come to mind but I’m keeping it PC) attorneys trying to build a case against me where there is none.
- Out of respect and love for my family. My mom in particular, is having the hardest time of all. She’s not ready to talk about it to others. Her methods of coping with her fears over this situation have been through hurtful words towards me. I forgive her because I know she loves me and wants what is best for me. In her mind, I’m walking away from that and she wants to snap me back into it. So, I will take the consequences of “what I am putting her through” and be her punching bag. I look at it as part of my internal strength training. The words “your marriage was the thing about you I was most proud of you for. What am I supposed to be proud of you for now?” have actually come out of her mouth. Although it makes me sad those thoughts have crossed her mind, I know she just needs time to come around. I do not come from a culture of divorce and this is just not done, on either side of our families. I am being quite the rebel. I knew it’d come with consequences.
- I strongly believe that people need to make their big life moves and process the lessons that go with them in private. You risk a lot by not doing so because you might get caught up in the outside noise, whether positive or negative, and miss your own inner guidance and growth. My strategy: until the timing feels right, handle your shit, like a boss, without needing outside validation. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I don’t believe in making myself a victim of circumstances I chose for myself.
- I do NOT want to hear the words “I’m sorry”!!! I am so proud of myself for making this move and what I’ve accomplished in the past year, that to start hearing that would shift the focus from a self-empowering journey, to feeling like it should be a sad one.
The most popular question…
I’m sure you are wondering; why are you doing this? What happened?
The answer is not so black and white in my case. It can’t be summed up into one sentence. It’d be much easier if I had what most consider a “justifiable reason” such as “he hit me, he cheated, he was a drug addict, alcoholic, etc.” But my future ex-husband did none of that. He did none of that on top of having a good job and being able to financially take good care of his family. So, on paper, he met (and maybe surpassed depending on your standards) the bar at which we hold a good husband at. But is that enough? We are evolving humans and marriage, although still a sacred covenant, was created as a means for survival. Our goal is no longer to simply survive. Personally, I don’t want a marriage that simply allows me to survive. I can do that on my own. I want a marriage that empowers me to thrive. My marriage was not doing that.
The pivotal moment…
I believe there are pivotal moments in life that make us aware big changes to the status quo are impending, regardless of our natural instinct to resist. For me, as it relates to my marriage, this was in 2010. I had just given birth to our middle child, was a few months out of recovering from having a stillborn baby after 8 months gestation, and had just moved to a town in the middle of no where in San Diego called Valley Center, where I felt completely isolated. I was overwhelmed with motherhood, loneliness, and what felt like a slipping away of my purpose and identity. I was alive yes, but my soul and passion for life were not thriving. My way of coping with my stillbirth and the trauma of holding my lifeless baby for 48 hours, was to form a women’s support group in Ohio. When I had to physically move away from that group, I felt I had no where to channel my pain into something positive. Add to that the hormones of being a new mom, and the overwhelming task of moving (again) to support my spouse’s career advancement, and I had myself a shit show of emotions.
Being the practical person that I am, I put a plan into place to get myself back in check. I had this dream of having my fashion business, I had the education and talent in both business and fashion to make it happen, but what I didn’t have was time, resources, or money to do it. So I decided to start something … anything at all, to help me feel like I was on my way there at least. I began my blog “Fierce Fashion Mom” (the word fierce has been engraved in my DNA since before it was cool). I gave other stay at home moms make-overs on a budget and blogged about their before and afters. It didn’t make me money, but it helped me create an online community and gave me a sense of purpose by empowering these women. I couldn’t suppress the urge to design however, so I then began making scarves and swimsuit cover ups; those were the things I could make on a budget and on little sleep. I remember moments sitting behind my sewing machine while nursing my babies (probably not the safest idea now that I think about it). But time was precious and I was determined to grow my Etsy shop. I had plenty of disagreements with my future ex-husband (catchy name isn’t it..?). He wanted time to play around doing yard work on weekends when I thought he should watch the kids so I could get some sewing done for my business. Words I heard often were “if you get a hobby, so do I,” and “this is your thing, not mine.” The power struggles were real.
After just a couple of weeks, I was surprised with my rapidly growing infinity scarf sales (this concept was new in 2010 and I had never seen it anywhere). I saw a potential to really capitalize on that idea and save money to take the next step in my business. It was time to upgrade my sewing machine from my old fashion school one to an industrial one that could keep up. So I went to the person that was supposed to be my number one supporter and partner in life; my husband. I opened up to him about my emotional struggles and how growing my business was not only smart because I was obviously the next Coco Chanel, but a practical way to channel all of this into something positive. I began to cry as I heard myself talking about it because I hand’t really told anyone about the feelings of sadness I was trying to overcome. They were shameful to me. I shared with him that on my lowest of days, if I didn’t have my beautiful children, I wouldn’t want to be alive. I NEEDED to be actively working towards my bigger purpose and I knew it was somehow tied to my business. Maybe not in that moment (I mean, who’s purpose in life is to make fierce scarves right), but in the long run. My proposal to him to help me out was simple; buy me an industrial sewing machine (costs about $750). It can be my anniversary, B-day, V-day, Mother’s Day, X-mas gift combined for the next year. I mean, I threw in all the days I had to work with. I even considered cinco de mayo. He looked at me; his crying, broken, tired mother of his children, wife and said, “I will give you $200. You can find a way to make the rest.”
That hurt. That hurt BAD. He might as well have cheated. I know we think of betrayal in the form of third party relationships but that was betrayal of my emotional vulnerability. That was betrayal of the “love and cherish” part of our vows. That was betrayal of the partnership I thought we had. The icing on the cake was when a week later, a $2400 order of palm tress arrived to our house from Hawaii (he was really into palm trees). That took the pain to a whole new level.
I will be honest, from then on, a small part of me checked out of the relationship. Not because I was throwing a tantrum or holding a grudge, but because he no longer was my safe place to talk about my hopes, dreams, goals, feelings, insecurities, and feel supported. This moment was one of many with the same underlying theme of control. I developed excellent coping skills for them. I got in a habit of using my frustrations as fuel to my fire. That combined with already being determined AF, I always found a way to make things happen; take that business trip, fund that collection, pull together my events, and just really hustle to make it work. But, it was a lonely journey. This compartmentalization in a relationship works, until it doesn’t. I felt I had to tip toe around my goals that didn’t fall into the box I was supposed to live in. I felt like I was constantly needing to apologize for being ambitious. Apparently my being ambitious translated into not being grateful and content with what I had. I felt I had to keep something that was so important to me and I was so proud of, separate from “us.” I felt I constantly needed to prove myself which puts you in a position of “me against you.” That’s a danger zone. There are enough critics out there waiting judge. Your family support should be free of that and solid.
Yes, I know…
I know that marriage is work. I know it’s not supposed to be easy. I know I am far from perfect. I will take responsibility for the fact that the minute I felt the part of me that was outside the wife and mom box could not freely exist in that relationship, I didn’t make things any better. I fully understand that marriage will, and should have, ups and downs, just like life does. But the difference is, they should be gone through as a couple, with mutual growth on the other side.
An emotional partnership, with someone who can lift you up on your bad days, sees your full potential, and wants to push you to it, is something I truly wanted. I did not take the easy way out. I did the work. Staying in it would have been easy. It would mean comfort, security, and achieving what on paper and in traditional standards is the dream. But I chose the harder route because I am not about comfort. I am about growth. If we both, together, cannot grow side by side, then we need to do it separately.
The past year has been a challenging, emotional roller coaster, which I will go more into depth about in time. I will always love my future ex-husband and I do believe he still loves me too (you know, in a “come back to me or I will take you down in court and give you as little money as possible” ..kind of way). We’ve been in each other’s lives since we were 17. We had 4 beautiful children together, shared a life together for 18 years, and our karmic lessons have been invaluable. Although it’s hard right now, I am determined for us to have a good relationship, regardless of where life takes us. God works in mysterious ways. You never know.
Relationship Status …
Currently, my goal is to be in a committed relationship with myself. I haven’t been single since I was 17. I’m actually excited about it. My 11 year old daughter hates when I say this (she is scarily eager for me to start dating men that “deserve” me) but, I am dating MYSELF exclusively. I am taking the time to heal, increase my self-love to avoid future settling, and practicing the act of not giving my power away in relationships. I’m proud of what I have accomplished, especially under an emotionally imbalanced relationship, but am now fearlessly going all out. I know I deserve to receive all the fruits of my REALLY HARD labor and start manifesting in an even bigger way.
Last, but certainly not least, the most important subject matter in all of this, the kids! I am obsessed with my kids. They are so freakin’ awesome, it overwhelms me sometimes. Yes they are work, loud, and can’t seem to understand how decorative pillows work, but they are 100% my biggest supporters and fill me with unconditional love. I have had numerous conversations with them throughout all of this. I have asked them (actually begged them) to please let me know if this ever gets too hard for them and they want me to stay with their dad. Their answer is always “NO MOM! You cannot go back!!” They see the truth through their innocent, loving, non society molded eyes. Our bond is growing even stronger through all of this and getting to spend time alone with them is helping them flourish in their own creativity as well.
After a year of dealing with some of my biggest fears and judgments, the biggest lesson has been to stop seeking people’s approval. Some of you won’t like this blog post. Some of you won’t like my decisions. Some of you won’t like my pictures. Some of you won’t like my way of thinking. All of me will not care. That is not something I can honestly say has always been true. I used to care. I used to care a lot. I was a people pleaser at its finest and constantly seeked approval. But now, I’m proud to say I rather be disliked for who I am, than loved for something I am not. And that right there, is the most freeing revelation of all, and something I hope to inspire in all women at a new level.