Category Archives: blogging

February 21, 2009 – 5 years later.

I just happened to look at the date and realized that today is five years since I started blogging (how fitting, on my 500th blog on this blog, my ‘newer’ blog over the past five years).

Five years since I began a journey that I had no idea where it would take me, literally, but also here, in this little space of mine.

I had no idea how many people I would connect with, how many of those people I now consider very good ‘blends,’ – from attending their wedding in Mexico, to a summer weekend ‘upta camp,’ to visits in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, New York City, Costa Mesa, Vegas, and even right here in Boston.

I had no idea what I would discover about myself as a result of blogging, in sharing my story of divorce, discovery, renewal, and love, found, yet again.

I had no idea of the connections I would make as a result of my passion for fitness, the barre (n9ne!) running, my relationship with food and my body, and being a fitness instructor.  Again, literally, and also in processing my feelings, thoughts, emotions and milestones.

Five years. 

I continue to go back to that feeling of realizing what a difference time really makes. And what a difference your life can look like as time spans on, especially as you take that life and shape it into a life you are proud of, and a life that feels fulfilled, happy and full of joy, love, and that (sometimes elusive) feeling of balance and peace.

Looking back? My first blog post on my old blog:

There, I said it. I’m 29 and I’m getting divorced. Never thought I’d be saying it or living it, to be honest. I decided to start a blog as I go through this journey because though it has only been about three months since this all started, I’ve gone through some massive changes and I thought a blog would be a great way to share my experience with those going through it, but also because there really aren’t any blogs out there that talk about divorce and moving on in your life with a very positive vibe. I see plenty that are all about looking back and wishing life had never changed, or being bitter about being abandoned by their former spouse. And, to be honest, I thought I’d fall into that camp as well, but I haven’t. I’ve really taken this time to figure out what I want in my life and have learned so much already, I can’t imagine where life will take me!

Whoa. So weird to read those words and picture exactly where I was sitting when I wrote them.

And the last post on that blog, in part:

I’m proud of her ,and who she’s become. And while I am letting her go in favor of the me I am now, she has shaped me into who I am today. I’m damn proud. I don’t care if this post sounds a bit indulgent…I know it probably does, but after getting through the difficulties of divorce and all of the baggage that comes with it (poor finances, loss of a house, lack of confidence, sadness and loss), I’m not her anymore.

I’m me…renewed.

And I thank you all for joining me in my journey and allowing me to share in yours. Cheers, friends.

“There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.”

And that, my friends, is exactly the sentiment I stand behind day in and day out, be proud of your past, the ups and downs, the strife, the learning, and then let go of it and move on.

Live the life you were meant to lead. 

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On authenticity and being real.

I’ve been mulling over a post for a few days (ever have a spark of an idea as you are drifting off to sleep, only to forget the gist of it in the morning and wish you had written it down. Yeah, that.) on authenticity and being real. I think one of the biggest misnomers of social media is how fake and unauthentic it can be, and that can bleed over into ‘real life.’ In a way, I am sick of seeing the bandwagoners, those that hop onto a trend or ‘thing’ in fitness or in eating, or in whatever the thing-du-jour is on instagram or snapchat or Facebook, and suddenly, it’s all you see or hear about for weeks on end. Until the next ‘thing’ hits.

I never want to be one of those people (and pray that nobody is reading this and thinking that I *am* one of those!).

I never want to do something just because someone else does. Or follow a trend, or ‘diet’ or do something that is completely the opposite of *me* as possible.

I am a runner, but I am not a racer. If I suddenly dove into races, that wouldn’t be *me*.

I have my ‘happy number’ of calories I shoot for day to day, but if I suddenly ‘went paleo,’ that wouldn’t be *me*.

I love to help inspire others with my own journey, in life, love (divorce and after!) and fitness (b94lyf!), and offer my words of advice based on my experience, not based on what so-and-so told me or what I read, even. But on my own experience solely.  If I didn’t base my advice based on my experiences solely, that wouldn’t be *me* either.

And sometimes, I see so many bandwagoners that regurgitate trends, that talk the talk (but don’t want the walk), and are just carbon copies of whatever trend is out there, that I shake my head and get frustrated.

I guess that’s partially why I stepped away from my blog and some aspects of social media for awhile, and why I tend to pop in to Twitter, or this blog, or a handful of other blogs I read now (vs the many many I used to read) for the sake of taking a step back and getting back to basics. Looking for the real. Keeping my own authenticity and not getting caught up in whatever was buzzing at that moment.

I speak to these areas above – running, fitness, eating, life/love, as these are the areas that I am most passionate about, and alternatively, that I am most sensitive to being as authentic and real about as possible.  And when I see stuff that isn’t real or authentic, I get irritated.

And I don’t even know what the point of my post here is, except to just get it out, my quiet frustrations, and my own re-upped commitment to being real, not sugarcoating and being real…perfectly imperf

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ect. Why does it just seem that it is so hard for others to do sometimes?  (note: this isn’t aimed at any specific instance of late, just my general observation overall, and winding back to why I stepped back for awhile).

As the year starts winding to a close, I say, let’s do it, let’s put it all out there, the good, the bad, the ugly, the imperfect, and own it. Because life’s too short to fake a life that isn’t real. What’s the point in that, when we are only robbing ourselves?

Confessions: a perfectly-imperfect riff.

Recently, Christine (who I adore and am so glad I just met!!) wrote a fun post called ‘confessions‘ and I loved it and thought it would make for a great post myself. So, here goes, my riff on ‘confessions’ – perfectly-imperfect.

  1. For as much as I preach on about numbers not mattering and it’s all in how you feel, I confess that sometimes they do ‘count,’ especially when you see the number (on the scale, accidentally!) and are floored by how…good it is. And how proud you feel. And how much you want to hate how proud you felt at JUST A NUMBER. But float on cloud 9 all day as a result.
  2. …but that same number can still turn me into a tailspin of ‘what if’s’ – what if it wasn’t right, what if she read it wrong, what if, what if, what if. there I go, stealing my own joy again.
  3. As often as I crave veggies galore (and kabocha, specifically), I probably crave chocolate – and wine – equally as much, if not more.
  4. For as much as I love running, I hate running. Just a titch. (but I really do love it. No, really. LOL)
  5. I can’t go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. Or anywhere, for that matter. Yet, I *can* leave a dishwasher full of clean dishes for 24 hours and wash every dish by hand because I hate emptying the dishwasher and was waiting for M to do it 😉
  6. As much as I love social media, I kinda hate it too. Is that weird? I’m rarely on Twitter (getting back to it a little bit), but am all over instagram and snapchat, like whoa.
  7. As hard as I’m working at squashing the comparison-itis bug, I still do it. More often than I’d like to admit, but I have gotten better, much better.
  8. I think I run faster than I did last winter, outside. I have no gauge to that, however, except how I feel, since I don’t, never have, and never will, run with a Garmin (see #1. numbers!).
  9. I am a terrible bullshit artist. If I am caught on a call with a question and it was that very moment I decided to zone out into Facebook-land, thinking my ‘part’ of the call was done, bam, question for moi. I don’t try to fake a real reason, because that’s far more obvious than owning up. Yes?
  10. I have zero attention span these days when it comes to TV. Unless it is Chopped or some other Food Network show, I can’t be bothered. I’d rather just sit on the couch, next to M, and zone out to whatever he’s watching. I used to be a DvR QUEEN and watch tons of shows. Now? notsomuch. Does that make me old? or weird? or both?
  11. bonus confession – for as much as I *think* I’m doing awesome in the ‘letting go’ and giving up control thing, I seriously suck at it. I can do it for, say, a day, but then I’m back to my type A, uber particular ways. Gosh, this is a hard one to break.

So, there ya have it, my perfectly-imperfect confessions. Care to share any? 😉

 

Friday thoughts: where to go from here.

This blog has always been my haven. From the very first day I started my first blog, freshly separated, starting anew, to this blog, which I started as my ‘refresh’ and the me I am now, not defined by divorce any longer, but better for it. It’s absolutely incredible what this community has done for me, to the many ‘blends’ I have met, to those I still plan to meet and would love to meet on my ‘blend bucket list’, and what these years of documenting my life, from what I’ve learned from being single after more than a decade, to ‘learning’ how to date, and getting reacquainted with who I am again, feeling awakened, as if it were my second chance to build the life I was always too afraid to lead. And to today, I look around at my life and it is completely unfathomable that just about 5 years later, I would be married to the man I was meant to be with, really and truly, forever, after a journey that was jam-packed with healing, learning, and most importantly of all, living.

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So now, I sit here and I wonder where to go from here. Where to take this blog and *whether* to take this blog any further. In one sense, I feel as though our marriage is the pinnacle of where I could have ever envisioned this blog to close on, but in another, I don’t know if I am ready to say goodbye and to shutter ‘Determined to Be’ forever.  Thus why I’ve been so quiet, leading into our wedding and our move (besides being crazy busy!), I’ve just been thinking about what I want to do, and if I want to take it further (reading Tina’s latest post, and it’s as if our minds are in sync!). I haven’t quite decided,

So, there you have it, some thoughts on this fabulous Friday. I’m mulling over ideas this weekend as M and I seize the opportunity to ‘staycate’ during our one and only weekend this summer of zero – intentional – plans. Priorities, balance, and life…it all kinda comes together, doesn’t it?

Cheers friends 🙂

Oh, the blends I have met!

As I was lamenting on how I wish I was going to the BLEND Retreat, I started counting up just how many blends I have met over the years and how fortunate I feel to have met SO many! I thought it would be fun to go down ‘memory lane’ and share that very list here. These blends (blogger +friend= blend!) span everyone from fellow divorcees, to fellow daters (online and such!), to fit and fab, to any and all of the above. These blends are truly some of the friends that ‘get’ me most of all, that mirror me to a “T” in some cases, who have turned into some of my closest friends, and even, some that live closeby and I get to SEE them (relatively) often – the cherry on top, doncha think?

A trip down memory lane…oh, the blends I have met! (in no particular order!)

the amazing Lindsay Cotter - a beautiful soul, to say the least! (cottercrunch)
the amazing Lindsay Cotter – a beautiful soul, to say the least! (cottercrunch)
Momma Sunshine, Canadian Bald Guy, T! This was the most epic bloggy meetup in Maine EVER!
Momma Sunshine, Canadian Bald Guy, T! This was the most epic bloggy meetup in Maine EVER!
This picture cracks me up - also from the epic Maine bloggy meetup, Twister FTW!
This picture cracks me up – also from the epic Maine bloggy meetup, Twister FTW!

Meeting Lee (In my Tummy) a year ago this week, actually. SUCH fun (we met at a Digital Summit social media event, how fun!)

Meeting Lee (In my Tummy) a year ago this week, actually. SUCH fun (we met at a Digital Summit social media event, how fun!)
Tina Reale also happens to live near Lee, so I ALSO got to meet this beautiful soul (and AGAIN this year at the Chicago Marathon!)
Tina Reale also happens to live near Lee, so I ALSO got to meet this beautiful soul (and AGAIN this year at the Chicago Marathon!)
Marisa from the Immature Matron - she is such an intrinsic soul, and has turned into a good friend, too.
Marisa from the Immature Matron – she is such an intrinsic soul, and has turned into a good friend, too.
Meeting Shannon first at BISC in 2010 (??) to being honored to attend her wedding in October 2012 in Playa del Carmen. Love you friend!
Meeting Shannon first at BISC in 2010 (??) to being honored to attend her wedding in October 2012 in Playa del Carmen. Love you friend!
Meeting (again!) with Tina and Chelsey (Clean Eating Chelsy) at the Chicago Marathon - so fab!!
Meeting (again!) with Tina and Chelsey (Clean Eating Chelsy) at the Chicago Marathon – so fab!!
Meaghan, my beautiful kindred spirit, who lives not 10 mins away. We have so many similarities from our pasts, it's almost scary. <3
Meaghan, my beautiful kindred spirit, who lives not 10 mins away. We have so many similarities from our pasts, it’s almost scary. ❤
BISC 2010 - blast from the past, much? Akirah, Shannon, and me!
BISC 2010 – blast from the past, much? Akirah, Shannon, and me!
Also from BISC? Meeting Erika (newlyweds on a budget), and fun fact? I get to see HER quite often as she lives in the same areas as my work!)
Also from BISC? Meeting Erika (newlyweds on a budget), and fun fact? I get to see HER quite often as she lives in the same areas as my work!)
For a second time? Heather!! SUCH a long time coming, and time flew by! (not pictured: Dorry! LOVED that surprise meet-up!!)
For a second time? Heather!! SUCH a long time coming, and time flew by! (not pictured: Dorry! LOVED that surprise meet-up!!)

Whew, I swear there are some that I am missing, but after scouring pictures, that is all I seem to have! (that is quite the list though already!)

Not pictured but met:

Amanda! BEST fact ever about our meeting? I got home from our coffee date and M proposed to me not an hour later…how’s that for an epic meet-up, and one we need to do again VERY soon!! Hell, if that happened when we met last time, can you imagine what would happen this time?!

Also from my weekend in Chicago? Snarkbutt Divorced (blog now defunct), MyHeartHasHope, IntrigueMe, NYSoonerGirl, and for a third time? Shannon! The best weekend of meetups ever! (oh and a kind of sort of meet up? I saw her running the Chicago Marathon but we didn’t get to actually chat, sad face! Heather!)

I do believe INRIS was one of the first bloggers I met! Great great guy 🙂

LiveLoveRunYoga – LOVE her, she’s awesome, AND another local!! 🙂

These Happy Miles – another fab local runner! we still have yet to meet up again, but we must…barre and running 😉

Westford Mommy – yet ANOTHER local fab runner! She came to barre n9ne once, which was so much fun!! Also needs to happen again 🙂

Poise in Parma – gah, another fabulous meet-up – her brother lives in Boston, and it was suuuuch a fun meetup with Jess (somewhat!) recently. Redo needed 🙂

Adding all of these up, it’s kind of crazy how many I have met, and how many I *still* want to meet. So SO many. I am fortunate I have a job that has taken me to many locations where I have blends in, so I have been able to meet so many that way. And I have my bucket list of blends I still am dying to meet (Sarena, Spabettie, Christine, NaomiRachel – this one is in the works, must happen!, City Girl, Booshy (fun fact! I was in her town and we didn’t get to meet up in the 24 hours I was there but she left me a gift at my hotel. sweetest.thing.ever and the list goes ooooonn and onnn!)

Have you met a blend before? Do you have any on your list you would love to meet? And if you have met a blend before, doesn’t it almost feel like a blind date at first? 😉