My journey continues…

When I first started blogging back in 2017 my original intent was really to share my story, my pain of a broken marriage and lessons that I learned as a result. Little did I know of how much I had yet to learn, how much about myself I had to discover and how much pain I still had to overcome. During that time I just knew that I wanted to utilize my blogging platform to be some source of strength to women that were going through the same pain that I was navigating. Not realizing that during that time even though I was sharing some parts of my story I was still so ashamed and wearing a mask trying my very best to be strong even though I really had no idea what being strong really meant and I definitely was not ready to take my mask off. My mask was the safest place where I can hide my pain. It allowed me to smile the biggest smile and laugh the loudest laugh and pretend everything was okay. Only a select few really knew the deep pain that I was experiencing.

3 years later I can truly say that I am in a much better place. In the last 3 years I have gotten to know myself again. I spent the time learning about me, re-discovering  the things that I enjoy doing, reading books, setting goals, exploring my passions, making new friends, letting go of old friends and old ways of thinking and embracing new ideals. I absolutely fell in love with me. All the while my self confidence was increasing, it became so much easier for me to begin letting go of my past and forgiving myself for past mistake, finally accepting that it was okay. It was okay to be broken, I did not have to be perfect, there were lessons in my pain, lessons that I had to really learn from. Once I started paying attention to those lessons  and truly face my pain head on, it made me so much more understanding of the pain of others, less judgmental, more mindful of myself and others and seeking constant opportunities to feed my soul.  Now I find myself willing to share my story, no longer ashamed of it. It was so freeing to finally rid myself of my mask in more ways than one. I am definitely not “there” yet but I am proud to say that I am well on my way!

Benefits of journaling

I discovered the benefits of keeping a journal several months ago and have not looked back. Writing in my journal has become part of my weekly ritual. I find it extremely therapeutic and a great way to relieve stress. Whenever I’m feeling sad, uncertain, confused, stressed, happy or just want to set goals, I take out my journal from its hiding place and start writing. I find it most effective when I just let my thoughts flow and write whatever I’m thinking or feeling in that moment. I write until I get all of my thoughts and feelings out. When I’m finished I sit and read what I wrote about, it helps me to make sense of why I’m feeling the way i’m feeling in that moment, it allows me to celebrate my accomplishments, acknowledge my blessings and set specific goals. After I close my journal and put it back in its hiding place I find that I walk away feeling a sense of peace because I was able to take some time for me to express my private thoughts and feelings and that’s the most rewarding feeling of all. What about you? Do you have a journal? How has it helped you? Please share your thoughts…

 

Empowerment through finances!

Saving money can seem such a daunting task for many but here is the good news, it can be done.  It’s extremely important to have at least 6 months worth of emergency savings set aside, life is unpredictable. Here are some tips and tricks that I’ve done myself or in the process of doing and so far it has worked:

1) Savings can start by getting new quotes for homeowner’s, auto, renter’s insurance etc… many people tend to be loyal to their insurance providers which can cost them money in the long run. It can be well worth it to set aside some time to call around and get quotes, you may be surprised by how much money you can save and get the same or better coverage than you are current getting. Make sure you have your insurance declaration pages in front of you when you call because you would want to compare what coverage the new company is offering you versus what you are currently getting.

2) Set up a separate savings account, have a goal in mind of the amount of money that you would like to save within a specific time period and work towards that goal. Side tip: you can transfer the money that you  save from switching insurance providers , so this way you see the savings. Also, set up a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly automatic transfer from your checking to your savings it does not matter how small, what matters is diligence. Once your paycheck gets direct deposited pay yourself first by having a small portion go into savings and do not touch it.

3) This is one of my favorites, open up a CD (once you have the money) and you can put as little as 500.00 in it for at least a year. When that money is in the CD you cannot touch it unless you want to pay an early withdrawal penalty. After the CD matures at the end of the year add some more money to it, it does not matter how small the amount, 25.00, 50.00, 100.00 or more and rollover the CD for another year. It is such a good feeling knowing that money is there in case if an emergency. Side tip: look for an online bank that pays decent interest and one that would reinvest the interest into the CD so you will earn interest on top of interest. My favorite bank right now for interest rates is Ally Bank. I love to take money from my savings that I’ve saved all year and when my CD matures I just move some of my savings account money into it and roll it over for another year.

4) Finally, as I don’t want to overwhelm you, pack your own lunch to take to work and drink water. Everyday I take my own lunch to work, I take the time to pack my snacks, which typically consist of fruit and nuts and I pack left overs from dinner the night before and if I did not make dinner the night before, then I pack a sandwich for lunch, I also take a large water bottle filled with water and drink that throughout the day. Eating out is way too expensive as it adds up and I’m all about saving my money.

If you decide to try these please let me know how it works out for you.

So, your turn, I’m always open to learning new ways to save and trust me I have many. Please share your tips and tricks….

Thanks for reading!

Know your worth!

It is so important as women for us to know our worth. This week I got to thinking about how far I’ve come since the demise of my marriage two and a half years ago. When my marriage first ended, I was left feeling broken. I was not sure who I was, what I was about, what I liked doing or what I brought to the table. After enduring a season of infidelity and being told by my husband that I did all these things wrong and I had all these things wrong with me. I did not even realize that I believed all the lies that he said about and the negative impact it had on my self esteem.

After my marriage ended I felt lost, uncertain, devastated and did not know what to do next. At some point I made a conscious effort to invest in myself, I think it was after someone asked me what  I enjoyed doing and I could not answer because I had no idea. The last 12 years of my life was spent obsessed in a marriage that I lost myself in. I was on a mission to rediscover the woman that I had forgotten all about over the years. I started to trying different things to see what I enjoyed doing. I went back to school to pursue my Bachelor’s Degree (something I had started a few years before but I never finished). I made new friends, male and female. I started journaling and setting goals for myself. The more I invested in my well-being the more I started believing in myself  and all the things I can accomplish on my own that I didn’t think I could have done without my husband.

While my heart still aches from time to time over the loss of my marriage, I am proud to say that I feel so much stronger now. I know that I have a lot to offer and any man would be lucky to have me. I believe that I am a queen and deserve to be treated as such. I know that I am smart and can accomplish anything. I am proud to speak up for myself. I know what I like and what I don’t like. I know how to ask for what I want. I know what I enjoy doing and most important, I know that I am valuable and he lost a good thing.

The best part of this journey for me has been that  I found out that I love to spend my time supporting, encouraging and empowering other women. I love reminding women to believe in themselves and use every opportunity I get to do so. Ladies, we got this!!!!

2018 accomplishment!

pexels-photo-372098.jpegI did it!! One of the things I had on my to do list for 2018 was to update my resume. The last time I did it was back in 2015 so it was overdue for an update. Since 2015 I have changed my career path, I’ve gone back to school and done some volunteer work. Late last night I took the time to include this information and remove information that I feel is no longer relevant. I am so proud that I was able to do this! Now I’m on to the next task as I seek to empower myself which is  continue working on developing some meaningful friendships. What about you? What are your 2018 plans that you are working on?

What is your morning routine?

Good morning! Early this morning as I was beginning my morning routine I could not help but wonder what other people did in the morning to help get themselves prepared for the day. Before I wake the kids in the morning to get ready for school I get up around 5 and spend 20 minutes to half hour exercising in my bedroom, I roll out my yoga mat and do some crunches, I do some stretches etc… after that I like to head downstairs make a cup of coffee, take my vitamins which also include a teaspoon of coconut oil and then I sit with my bible, read, pray and meditate. After I am finished, I feel at peace and ready to begin my day! Oh, and later before i leave for work I make a protein shake for breakfast What do you do?

The best revenge after a breakup!

In my opinion and experience, after a breakup, the best revenge is to empower yourself. After the failure of my marriage, somewhere along the way I found that I drew strength and energy from finding ways to make myself better. I found it healthier  to pour my energy into my own personal growth than investing it into my ex by crying over him and trying to figure out why and what he was doing. Some things that I started to do for me included:

Donating to my local food pantries.(It felt good to help others).

Volunteering at a community center that helps families. (Again, it felt good to help others).

I went back to school to obtain a degree in Human Resource Management. (My ultimate plan is to advance my career and earn more money).

I also started to talk to other women I met who were going through the same thing about my own story and being a source of support for them, because I knew exactly what they were feeling. It made me feel good to do this and it made them feel good to talk about their feelings.

 

It’s all still a work in progress as I am still on my journey and always looking for ways to empower myself but I have to say making sure to invest in myself and using that to pour into others helps to lift my self esteem and helps me to grow as a person.

What about you? I would love to hear from others about your own journey to make a comeback!

Some recommendations to heal after marital separation or divorce…

When I was deep in the middle of my grief these are just a few of the things that I tried based on the suggestions of others that helped me to slowly but steadily  feel stronger:

  • Reach deep inside yourself and tap into that inner strength that is already within you.
  • Support support support. Reach out to trusted and caring family and friends, a therapist, pastor etc. believe me the more support you have the better to help you begin to heal.
  • Pray and trust God to help you through this difficult time.
  • Take it one day at a time, don’t put too much pressure on yourself and don’t let anyone dictate how you should feel.
  • Talk about your feelings and what you are going through, it helps, believe me. You may even want to write in a journal, that helps too!
  • Do nice things for yourself, it does not matter how small. In the beginning you many not even want to get out of bed, but that feeling passes and when it does take that time to treat yourself you deserve it.
  • Get together with friends that can relate to what you are going through (once again you need that support).
  • Set goals for yourself, having things to look forward to helps the healing process.
  • Believe that you will recover from this.

Thanks for reading! I hope this helps someone.

I would love to hear recommendations from other women that can relate.

My Story, an introduction…

As I alluded to earlier, life threw me a few curve balls and these are curve balls I was not expecting. After 10 years of marriage I found myself suddenly separated, living alone in my condo with my two children and crying every chance I got and asking myself now what?  It was not an easy time by any means, the pain was immense, I sought support constantly from the people that I chose to confide in, again it was not easy! I was terrified of all the possibilities, I was not sure where to turn. During all that pain and uncertainty I still had to find strength. Did I say it was not easy? I had two children  ages 9 and 12 I had to be strong for and also a brave face to maintain as I went to work everyday with a smile on my face but completely dead on the inside. I was ashamed that my husband had left me (for the 2nd time, there! I said it)  and chose not to share this with anyone at work. One thing I learned about myself during that time is I am a great actress, no one knew at work what I was dealing with at home. I found myself scrambling to find my way and myself, I did not realize how lost I had become during the years of my marriage. Thanks to God and my mother for being my source of strength during that time. My mother listened to me whenever I needed to talk, it did not matter what time of day or night, what a friend! I started attending church again as I had not been to church in many years, I am so glad I did as it helped me to get stronger… I feel like I have so much to share with you all but I will stop here for a bit and give you a chance to share your stories. One thing I must say that I learned on my journey is the more you talk about your experiences, the more empowered you become.

Your turn…