Tag Archives: throwbacks

Throwbacks: the story of M.

Meeting M quite simply life-changing for me, and every day over the last 7+ months has honestly been some of the best months of my life, in many ways because of what we’ve cultivated, what I’ve learned about myself in the process, and falling in love, for the very first time in more than 10 years.

Yea, I guess you could say the last 7 months with M have been life-changing and life-defining, huh?

So, for those of you that are new to my story and didn’t catch the beginnings of our story, I thought I would do a ‘throwbacks‘ post on some of my favorite points from past posts from my old blog, for your reading pleasure. Enjoy.

(first, some background: we met via match.com in September. It was my last-ditch effort to try match.com one more time and he was one of the first people I emailed. I felt the promise then, as we had very similar views, drive, and pasts – both divorced, both 30 and born days apart no less, both living happy, single lives, but wanting to finally share that with someone. He had just joined match.com days prior and I was the first person to email him…I’d say he got some beginner’s luck, huh? ;-))

our first date…swoon:


That about sums about my date with M.

Why was it swoon-worthy?

…he has a touch of chivalry, which I dig. As we walked to our table, I walked first, he lightly touched my back. For some reason, I *love* that. And, he not only told me I looked “great” when we met, when we “cheers’d” over a glass of wine, he then told me “you look amazing, by the way.” *swoon*

…he seems really genuine, nice, and funny. We had a very engaging, laughter-filled, honest conversation that lasted four hours. Naturally. Flowed.

…we share a lot of the same outlooks on life – simplicity, driven, happy, independent…but also looking to share that life with someone special.

…he already seems to dig me as much as I dig him. The dig factor. I can feel it, without a doubt.

All swoon-worthy attributes (and when I say swoon-worthy, I don’t just mean that in a chemistry-related way, though I definitely felt chemistry), I mean it also in a “yes! This is what I have been looking for!” I feel the potential pretty strongly and I can’t honestly remember feeling it quite so soon or so strongly right away.

Yea, that’s what it’s supposed to feel like. What I’ve been looking for.


our second date…

that moment when you just know…

…right after he kissed me, our eyes locked, he smiled (as did I) and I just knew.

This was something different, the connection was there, and it almost felt magical.


Last night’s date with M was absolutely amazing and I seriously had difficulty sleeping last night because it was that good.


Moments of happiness…

…being greeted at the door with flowers. *swoon*

…looking across the table on the patio on an Indian Summer evening, and having a real conversation about my day (and his) and seeing that he “gets” it.

…and, looking across the table and seeing nothing but warmth and caring in his eyes. And so surely having the same feeling right back.

…relaxing over a glass of petit syrah (one of my favorites), talking about what we would NOT do again in a next relationship and what we’ve learned from our marriages past. And nodding and nodding and agreeing – like whoa – yes, that’s exactly how I feel too.

…realizing that it’s only been two weeks – two weeks – and everything feels exactly the way it should feel with the “right” one (and whether that’s “right” for now or “right” forever – only time will tell, and I know that as does he).

…knowing that after just two weeks…it’s only going to get better from here.


When we became “official:”

Like M. My boyfriend.


Yep, it’s officially official.




He’s utterly amazing. The way he looks at me, the way he makes me feel, the way I feel when I am with him. More than alive. Like “home.” Happy, like whoa.

Simply put, it’s life amplified when I am with him.


When M told me that he loved me:

“How would you feel if I told you that I love you?”

…uttered by M on the morning of our “reunion” two and a half weeks in the making.

Wow. Um, wow.

My first split-second thought? “But I didn’t do anything…I’ve just been me!”


He loves me for who I am, every day. Wow, really, how did I stumble upon something so utterly close-to-perfect as this? At what feels like exactly the right moment? Blessed.

My second split-second thought? Smiling, as he said “I thought about holding back, I hope it’s not too soon, but as I thought about it in Aruba, I haven’t held back at all so far, so I figured I would just go for it.” My response was “I’m close…I’m falling…close to the edge of the mountain.”

He smiled and kissed me. He was content with that response. He didn’t expect me to immediately say it back.


When I first told M I loved him:

…when you see qualities you have always wanted in someone – devotion, dedication, perspective, genuineness.

defining the feeling.

…when you find yourself thinking ahead to holidays and vacations and the future.

defining the feeling.

…when there is no place better than being in their arms, or looking into their eyes and seeing the feeling mimicked in your eyes.

defining the feeling.

…when it’s on the tip of your tongue, you reiterate it in your brain, and it’s in everything that you do.

defining the feeling.

…when you look into their eyes and see home.

what is the feeling? It’s love.

That’s right…when M whispered into my ear as he tends to at least once a night when I see him “I love you,” I finally said it back.


From my “meet M” post where he answered some questions from bloggy readers:

From Jess:

What do you see in my sister that made you fall for her (I mean, I KNOW what makes her awesome, she’s hot stuff, super smart, wicked funny, has a nice ass, a great catch all in all). But I want to know what did it for you.

Well Jess, I think you’ve done all the work for me on that one! I think that the outward things, like beauty and intelligence, not just physically and inward beauty, patience, hot body too, sure, but ultimately it’s what is on the inside. It’s the feeling I get when I look into your eyes, the emotion I feel when I am with you and in my arms. The feeling of excitement I get when I think about the future together. (aww…)


Meeting M’s parents, just about a month into our relationship was huge for me. And now, I realize just how significant it was, in hindsight. M actually told me this weekend that I am the only one he ever introduced to his parents when he was dating. Why? Because he wanted to protect them, in a way, from meeting someone he was dating if he didn’t feel it would be long-term (in case they liked her etc), and until he felt ready. I love that. Respect for them too. An excerpt from that post, on Thanksgiving:

From there? I headed back home and to M’s parents’ house for dessert. I was slightly nervous as his uncle and brother and sister-in-law were there too and I wanted it to be good and fun and natural and not awkward. And it was! I was welcomed by his father who said “there she is! come in! come in!” which for some reason, made me smile and feel so happy. My heart swelled. I felt welcomedThankful.

Waking up this morning, M said my coming last night meant the world to him. He was so happy and said he can tell his family really likes me. That meant the world to me. I don’t think he is “used to” having someone in his life that wants to spend time with him and his family (perhaps his ex didn’t…), so when he says these things, I am still surprised, because of course I want to share these times with him. Isn’t that what love is all about? Thankful.


When I asked M what the one thing he loved most about me was, I wasn’t expecting the response I got.

Him: “I love so many things about you. Do I have to pick one?”

Me: Blushing. “Yes.”

Him: “I love your independence.”

Me: “Really?” That’s what you love most? Wow.”

…and not that I don’t agree that I am independent. I guess I didn’t expect for it to be that obvious that I *am* independent or for him to love that so much about me. But he does. And that means so much to me. Because he respects my routine (yet nudges me to let go just a little bit), he respects my need for a healthy balance of me time, friend time, and time spent with him. And he just genuinely loves me for me.

There you have it…some snippets from our first days together and falling in love. For those who are single…just know that there truly is that person out there…I firmly believe it because I am living proof.

Reading through these posts and seeing our story unfold makes me smile, it puts tears in my eyes, but mostly, it makes my heart burst with happiness and blessedness. I’m truly blessed to have met a man that loves me for me, allows me to be me (and I him), makes life feel amplified when I am with him (and even when I’m not) and has made me believe in love, that deep, deep love that doesn’t come around too often. We’ve got it, I feel it every day and I’ve never been prouder to say, I love him, with all of my heart.

Throwbacks: Same location, a year later.

*I wasn’t expecting to post a ‘throwback’ today, but given my experience today, it was far too uncanny not to**

Before my flight out tonight, M and I decided to spend some time together outside. It was a little blustery and windy, but the sun was shining and it was in the 50s. And given he cooped himself up in my room almost all weekend for 12 hours a day in the home stretch of his thesis, I thought he could use some fresh air too.

We went to a nearby park by my house (it’s on my running route and it always makes me smile, thinking of the summer, the beach and half marathon training!) with our iced coffees in one hand, our other hand holding each others’.

We smelled the fresh ocean air, walked along the sand, towards a rose garden (yet to bloom, of course) and along the grassy paths.

When it struck me…this was the place where I realized, a year ago, that things were just not going to work out with CBE. It was that fateful walk in the park that turned awfully weird, awfully fast, which later ended in a strange conversation about defining happiness (aka ‘he went all ‘The Secret’ on me, for those of you that remember!).

I shared the story with M, who kept shaking his head, wondering (I’m sure) why I had even bothered with him as long as I did. Recapping it, I almost felt silly, because comparatively? CBE has nothing on M. Absolutely nothing. And if I ever thought CBE was even close to the man I’m meant to be with, I was clearly mistaken (and blessedly so, to be honest).

It made the walk in the park today that much sweeter. I held on to M’s hand that much tighter, hugged him closer, and said a little prayer in my head, thanking God for where I am in my life, at this very moment.

In so many ways, my life is completely different than it was a year ago. I’m in a different career, I’ve traveled hundreds of thousands of miles, I’ve stretched my boundaries in so many ways personally and professionally, I’ve met M, I’ve fallen in live, and I see a future brighter than I ever have.

So, as I sit here (again) with tears in my eyes, at the airport, these tears are far less about sadness and far more about being grateful for where I am now, a year later. Same location, vastly different outcome.


“One day you look at the person and you see something more than you did the night before…”

As I mentioned in my blog post yesterday, my trip to Jamaica brought on a new level of comfort with M, and I feel as though we know each other more than we ever have. Maybe that sounds weird or couterintuitive because sure, we should know each other more as time goes on, but there were moments where I just saw him differently. I am not even sure I can quite articulate it, but this quote just speaks it so well for me:

“One day you look at the person and you see something more than you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And that person is… suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with”

I just feel that in the 7 months since I met M, we’ve melted together in just the right ways. We’ve learned to understand each other’s moods, needs, habits, annoyances and moods. We’ve learned the best ways to communicate, to be honest, to be open, to have balance, with each other and our lives together, as well as separately. That problem with saying no he had such a habit of a few months ago? I hardly even notice it anymore, because he doesn’t do it as often. There is more give and take.

When I see him, I see us. I see future. I see possibilities. I see it all without fear, without a timeline, without rushing. But I do see it. I think back to our first date back in September where I uttered the phrase: Yea, that’s what it’s supposed to feel like. What I’ve been looking for.

Little did I know how just very right that phrase was then, and still is now. Look for my ‘throwback’ post on meeting M and our first few dates together. For those of you not following my old blog, when I go through those posts, I just smile because those first few dates spoke volumes about us then, and about us now.

Cheers friends, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. As for me? I plan to enjoy it as much as I can, even though it’ll be cut a bit short with my flight out to California on Sunday.

Throwbacks: the end of my marriage

As part of my throwback series, one of my priorities was posting some of my ‘end of my marriage’ series from my old blog.

I will forewarn you: this is probably the most heart-wrenching writing I have ever done and re-reading each post and every single comment brought tears to my eyes. A lot of them. Not because I am still sad about being divorced, but because I am incredibly happy with where I am now in life in every way, and as my friend Jeannine wrote in one of her comments on my old blog: “I’m so sorry you had to be hurt to find your way to where you are now…I truly feel it was for the best.” Friend, that couldn’t have been more true then, and now.

The beginning of the end of my marriage ended in October 2008…here are some snippets from each of these posts…strung together to flow as well as I can (and if you’d like to read the full posts and don’t have the old blog URL, I will email it to you directly if you leave a comment here):

I asked him what was wrong, he didn’t answer. I asked him if he was ok. He didn’t answer. I asked him if he was stressed. He said yes. I asked him if it was work. He said he didn’t know. I asked him if it was his family and he said no. I asked him if it was me – fully expecting him to say ‘stop being stupid’ – and he said yes. I asked him what he meant. He said he didn’t know. He was facing away from me in bed, and curled up, and he refused to look at me. I shook him slightly and asked him to explain what he meant. By that point, my heart had sunk, my body was shaking, my knees were knocking and I was scared. This felt real, and scary, and the first inkling in my mind that something was definitely – perhaps permanently – wrong. And to think it could be us was so unfathomable to me at the time, that I was in utter shock.

Then he said it.

I’m not happy. Something is wrong with me. I think it’s us. I think I don’t want to be married anymore.


I was crying, shaking, bawling, but at the same time, I was angry. I didn’t understand, I thought he was jumping to conclusions. HOW COULD IT BE US?! It has never been us. So, HOW COULD IT BE US? After almost 9 years together and 2 years of marriage and never a fight between us.

How could it be us?


I was stunned.

He said it. “I want a divorce.”

And he was adamant.

I told him that I didn’t think it was us, I think if I wasn’t there, he would miss me and realize it’s not me. He was still adamant, but we agreed that I would move out for the week and live with my sister. No contact. No phone calls, no emails. That was a Monday night. I packed up a week’s worth of clothes. I was crying. I couldn’t see straight. I was numb. On my way out the door, I gave him a hug, and a kiss on the cheek, and I was bawling. I told him that I loved him. He told me he loved me too, but his eyes were a million miles away, and his face looked crushed. He knew was killing me from the inside out, but he was still doing it.

I drove to my sister’s house, bawling. I walked in the door, and she was in the kitchen. My brother in law was on the couch, and he just sat there and didn’t say a word (I think he was trying to respect my privacy, perhaps). I walked into the kitchen, looked at my sister and just broke down and cried. She held me, tighter than anyone has ever held me, and we both bawled, and cried, and cried some more. Despite how close we are, we never hug. Ever. But I couldn’t let go, I wanted to just hide in her arms and make it all go away. At that moment, I knew.

There was no turning back. My marriage was irretrievably broken. The pain I was feeling was irreversible. The saddest, hardest, most painful feeling I have ever felt. It literally felt as if my heart was breaking. In my mind, all I was thinking, over and over was, I’m 29 and I’m getting divorced. No, no, NO, this is not happening…what happened to my life? My perfect, wonderful life?


Wednesday morning. Two days after I left the house. The longest days of my life. Pete called me at work just after 9. I asked him how he was. He said he was fine. I said I missed him. He said he didn’t miss me, he felt a wave of relief, he was happy, and he didn’t need the rest of the week to decide.

It was me.

I was stunned.

…I got in the car, and was shaking, and started to cry. I called Jess (who was back in the office) and told her, and she was about to leave too and come with me, but I told her to stay, I needed to talk to Pete. At that point, I decided I had to tell my mom, really tell her. I had hinted at it in an earlier conversation, but did not nearly tell her the gravity of the situation. I cried all the way home, blurting everything out to her as I drove. I’m sure she didn’t really hear half of what I said, but I could feel her pain for me. And that made it even harder for me, because I knew she wanted to protect me, and take this away for me, and she couldn’t. She knew what I was about to go through would be life-altering, and all she could do was sit back, watch, and be as supportive as possible. It was hard for me, because I knew she was hurting for me, and for some reason, that was so hard for me.

I walked in the door to the house. It was silent. I felt like I’d been gone for weeks. I sat down, I cried again. I waited for Pete to come home and suddenly, I knew what I had to do.

I had to let him go.

Our marriage as we have ever known it is over. It’s broken, and it’s broken so quickly and so badly that there’s no turning back.

He didn’t know if this was the right decision, but it was the decision he had to make. And knowing there was no turning back was the decision he had to make. Little did I know that that decision would end up being more right for me than it was for him. I saw the confusion in his eyes, I saw the fear, and the worry (what if I am making a bad decision?) but he still made it.


Some might think I didn’t try hard enough to “win” him back, or “keep” him, or fight for my marriage. But I tried. I tried so hard. I suggested we rekindle, maybe it was just that. I tried to suggest counseling, he wouldn’t do it. I tried whatever I could…but he was unwavering. And because of that, because he was so willing to just GIVE UP, and walk away, I lost respect for him…if he couldn’t respect me, our marriage, or our life by TRYING, then he wasn’t the man I thought he was.

And I deserved better.

So, I made the decision not to try anymore to retain my marriage…because, no matter what, it would never be the same between us. Never. It was already too far gone, I was already too hurt, and he was already too far gone. I knew it was going to be a long road, but at the end of it all, I knew the one thing I wanted to retain, was our friendship.


The ‘atomic bomb’ of divorce affected so many around me, like an atomic bomb or a tsunami, a tidal wave of damage around me is how I felt the effects of divorce were. One of the most poignant and memorable moments from my divorce was the very last ‘real’ conversation I had with my Nonna (Italian for ‘grandma’) before her passing (little did I know, the day after this moment, she had a massive heart attack and within 5 months of multiple heart attacks and strokes, my beloved Nonna passed away, on May 20, 2009. I will never, ever forget this moment. I can still feel her arms around me and her hands holding mine…)

…my Nonna pulled me next to her, as she sat in her favorite chair, and looked at me, and could tell I was really sad. She held my hand, hugged me close and talked to me quietly. She said “nonna is always thinking about you, and praying for you. I love you, you are strong, you will be ok. I love you honey, and am always here for you.” And she gave me a kiss on the cheek, and let me cry, and just sat with me. And it was a really powerful moment for me, and I am so thankful God gave me that special time with her, its significance will never been forgotten.


Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.


Wow. Revisiting this series brings it all rushing back. One of the most difficult periods of my life, yet it feels like a lifetime ago. I never want to feel such pain again, but at the same time, I am grateful to have struggled through it and not only survived, but thrived. I wouldn’t be who or where I am now. I wouldn’t have the job I have. I wouldn’t have M in my life. I wouldn’t want my life any other way than right now. I am firmly planted right where I am meant to be.

Divorce, I truly believe, was meant to happen not TO me, but FOR me.