Everything’s going to be alright

I was informed by a friend that her friend is going through a similiar situation as I did a little over a year ago.

Just when you are happy in the life you’re living, happily married with a child or two, living in your little neighborhood. Then, bam. One simple action. One discovery. That’s all it takes sometimes to completely reverse your perception of the life you were living.

As I’ve tried to explain before, the physical pain, stress, anger, anxiety are clearly unable to communicate with words. At one point I just had to give up. Let the pain take over my body. Accept help from others, something I would reject on a daily basis. Now it’s all I had enough strength for- to accept help. How was I ever going to recover? Everything I had known was gone.

Deceit. There’s no greater damage that could be done to a family.

All I want to say is this. Not just for the friend of a friend going through her family’s own struggles, but for everyone who faces adversity so much so that it hurts to look forward. You will get there. You will make it. You will survive. Accept help. Do what you need to do for yourself, your kids. Take that first baby step.

There will be bumps in the road, times where you feel like you’ve taken one step ahead and three giant steps backwards. But remember, when you feel like you’re at the bottom, there’s only one way to go. I can’t tell you what it will take, how long it will take, what will work for you. I only know what helped me communicated through this blog. Hopefully it can help you too.

Take a deep breath. Through your nostrils and out your mouth.

Everything’s going to be alright. This isn’t coming from a friend, your mother, your father. This is coming from a complete stranger who knows nothing about you. And because I have gone through the same thing, I know that you will make it too. And you will be a better person because of it.

You’re going to get to the point where you will be able to choose YOU. It’s all downhill from there…

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If you’re a bird, I’m a bird

Sitting in a closing early this evening, we were waiting for some copies. The title attorney recognized the nursing home housekeeping scrubs that the sweet African-American woman, the buyer, was wearing. He mentioned to her that he had been there before. She smiled a mouth full of gold teeth and giggled as if he was telling a joke. In all seriousness he started to explain how he knew about it.

There was an elderly man whose wife was admitted to this certain nursing home upon advancing Alzheimer’s. They had been married 60 years. He was heartbroken and did everything he could to get her out of the home. He even snuck in and hid to spend the night in her recliner beside her bed just so he could be with her while she slept.

They had little money. This man sold his home to afford the cost of being able to get her out of the nursing home and move somewhere else together just so he could be with her and take care of her.

This elderly man was the title attorney at my table’s client.

I watched as the lightbulb turned on across the table for the buyer. For she had worked at the nursing home for years and new exactly who he was referring to. “Oh that was Miss Elsie!” (Or some name with an E… I couldn’t focus on the details as I was trying not to cry). She started laughing as she recalled how her husband would try to smuggle her out of the home on numerous occasions. The staff even had to put a censor on her ankle in case she ever left the doors. I guess a hand-full of other ladies at the home complained about how they wished a man loved them like that, the rest saying no thank-you.

Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I’d want that kind of love.

I smile thinking about The Notebook and how similar their love must have been to the fictional tale of Noah and Aly. I guess that type of love isn’t just in books or movies.

Balance

It’s something I used to pride myself on before Holden and before the divorce. I feel as though I have obtained or enhanced a few great qualities since then as explained, yet the balance? Completely downhill. Though, my dad says balance is something that is unachievable when there are children in the picture. I think I agree with this because Holden is my everything- my number one priority and it imbalances everything else. I will literally drop everything no matter what it is if he needs me. I guess many parents feel that way right? Goodbye balance.

So often I hear “balance is key” coming from people of success. Is it though? You’re really good at what you do, i.e. your career, and everything else in life is just peachy? I guess some people just get lucky.

For me, being good at something usually takes effort on my side. I’ve always admired people who didn’t have to study and would still ace a college exam- that is definitely something they have been blessed with. But I really admired those people who would bust their ass in the library for days before (You know who you are because I was in the cubicle next to you.) A for effort in my book of admiration. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I like to see people who use what God gave them to enhance their potential.

So, I work at things. I give effort. After my Dark Ages faded into the late fall and early winter this last year, it was time to figure out what my future was going entail as far as myself went. Super apprehensive to begin anything as I was still in a fragile state suffering from depression and generalized anxiety disorder, so I took my time. An opportunity somewhat fell right into my lap. I had never considered real estate before. Sure, I thought it’d be a fun ‘job’ taking people to shop for a house. Little did I know there’s a lot more to it! Anyway, I realized that during a point in my life when just passing time was a difficult task, looking for a new place to live- to begin a new life for myself and Holden together- was in fact a positive experience amidst one overwhelmingly sad situation. So I considered it for that reason alone, of course knowing that the people I’d be working with would probably be in situations less drastic than mine… but you never know! Nonetheless, I’d be working with people. I had barely talked to people let alone worked aside them in months. I had been hibernating. So, I knew it’d be good for me because I’d have to force myself to talk again.

I didn’t want to dive right in though. Slowly I began. I took the online course across 3 months and was able to not miss anything with Holden. I’d put him down for bed and hop on the computer to focus. Focusing on something other than my divorce and past life really, really helped me. It motivated me. Motivation that I really hadn’t felt yet. I was doing something for myself. I have always loved to learn new things, and I was entering this real estate world knowing nothing from the beginning. So it was exciting.

My business now has been picking up recently and I’m really excited about it. Excited for this new journey. At the same time, I feel that it poses another imbalance. I’ve always considered myself an over-achiever. Mediocrity was just never my thing. This totally sounds egotistical but hear me out. I do not have many talents (‘but being a mom is one thing I’m good at,’ to quote one of my favorites Emily Maynard), so if I do what I need to be good at something and attain that talent that I wasn’t born with, then I want to go all the way. I am a ‘go-getter.’ I want to know it all, do it all, and do it well. I want to fulfill that potential that was instilled in me. I feel this way about anything. In friendships, in the social world, in work.

Like anyone who works and has a family, it’s an ongoing struggle to maintain the balance between the two. For me, because I’m the only one at home with my child, it’s an even bigger struggle, and an even bigger one since I am a hard worker. But, how can I focus on succeeding at work during times when Holden looks at me with those big grey-blue eyes and goofy smile?

I don’t know my future. I don’t know where my career will go, and I don’t know if I will have more kids. I’d like to think the best about both of the two. But, Holden’s my ‘for sure’ right now. He’s the biggest contributor to my imbalance. In a good way. I just want to make sure I don’t miss anything. If he is in fact my only child, these milestones may only come across once. Not just the milestones, but everything. Every time he looks at me to explain something he doesn’t understand. Every time he sees a truck drive by and yell ‘GO GO GO!’ Every time he watches the ducks flying high over the backyard in their V and make sure I see them too and get excited about it with him. I’d never forgive myself to not be by his side during those moments I’ll never get back or have again.

Connections

The anticipation is the worst part. You know that in a half hour it will all be over and worth it. You try to distract yourself, think happy thoughts as you feel the warm paste on your leg grow bigger. Just as you start feel the breeze come across your face while lying on the beach…YOWZA! There it is!

“So Miss Samantha, you were saying?,” I hear her asking as the tingling spreads across my thigh and my eyes fill with tears. It had been a while since I went in for a wax, and I was due. Overly due. I can’t believe I had waited this long into the summer, especially when swimsuit season starts as early as March in South Louisiana.

She was a light-skinned, beautiful African-American woman with kind eyes and a gentle smile. Strong voice, assertive. Welcomed me right in. I knew I was in for it. The aesthetician room was my torture chamber, and she the master. So abruptly I switched from the dimly lit, aromatherapy-smelling massage room across the hallway. This one was bright and sterile. Like a doctor’s office filled with tools. Preparing myself for vulnerability, I zeroed in on that boiling pot of wax and took a deep breath. I remember thinking, why on earth did I not schedule the massage AFTER the wax?

I have to state though, since becoming a mother I am somewhat superhuman. I have been able to recondition what hurts and what hurts badly. All you have to do is this, as soon as that pain starts to take over, think…Contraction! If you’ve given birth, I can swear by this strategy. People say that a contraction feels like a really, really bad menstrual cramp. I wanted to strangle those people as I was in labor. Hell no, it did not ‘feel’ like a menstrual cramp. Compared to what I was feeling, a menstrual cramp was a nice slice of strawberry shortcake. Anyway, it works. Paper cuts, toe jams, hitting your head, even a wax… just as the words fumble out of your mouth, redirect those thoughts. Holy Mother F….Contraction! Hmm. Doesn’t feel so bad after all.

Strange isn’t it? Those brief moments you feel at one with a complete stranger. A connection. Normally people work at these connections. Friendships, relationships, etcetera. This time it fell right into my lap. Literally, with the wax and everything. The aesthetician’s words were telling my story. I didn’t even probe. Just laid there…Contraction!… and taking it all in. Every word. I felt the tears run down my cheeks, not from the burning sensation all the way down my legs. But from emotion. All I could think about as this woman laid out her life to me is what an amazing person she was. Resilient to the fullest, but ever so faithful and honest.  The situation with her ex-husband. A better person because of what she had gone through, and a strong mother whose main priority was a delicate little girl, or diva as she joked. She was talented too, a psychology degree just like me, but a wearer of many hats. An actress in the local theater, a dermatologist’s assistant, a graduate student. Aesthetician on the side, only for her preferred clients. Yea, she knew she was going places as did I when we were both young and naive. As far as we knew it, the world was in our palms.

I left the spa feeling rejuvenated in every way. I can thank that woman for that as well as my smooth legs. Every day we pass by so many people. People we don’t know one bit. Every one with a different story. Then in one second, when the stars align, two of those people connect in a way that was for sure intentional, and probably not under our control. I’ve had many, many of these moments. Each one with so much meaning too. Those instant connections make me so grateful for humanity.

Resiliency

“The strongest quality I’m looking for in someone is resilience.”

Stated the straight-faced attractive man asking the questions during my first pre-graduation job interview for post-graduation. I shivered.

Knowing what I know now, I should have run for the hills. But isn’t that always the case? If I knew then… [in this case: that I’d come home miserable daily from working 14-16 straight hours of unimaginable predicaments, I’d say ‘see ya later alligator!’] In this specific job, someone once yelled at me that I wasn’t “an American!” because I wouldn’t let him open the sealed case to a camera battery before he bought it, solely handling the store-wide power outage of 80,000 sq. feet of space during the first night of spring break the first night I closed on my own, answering to the infuriated 500+ lb. woman angry at my security guard for not letting her get dropped off in the fire lane because of her handicap since she couldn’t park and make the walk, even though an ambulance was pulling in that spot to rescue the woman who’s having a seizure in the cafeteria (then the angry lady proceeded to walk the store floor for 2 hours following), refuting ‘hotline’ calls accusing me of words I will not mention, being confronted by shoplifters, repeatedly having to lock the doors from the outside around 12am by myself and proceeding to walk to my car in the outskirts of the parkinglot. The list could go on. My boss and I joked about starting a reality show called So You Want to be in Retail…

Come to find out I, in fact, did not have that resiliency.

But that’s not the resiliency I refer to now. I’ve seen this word come up a lot lately in many messages and emails I’ve been receiving from readers, commending myresiliency. I’ve come to learn that this characteristic, in my case, is not natural. It’s not something I was innately blessed with, and it’s surely not something I’ve taken on easily.

By definition, resiliency means ‘able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.’ Take out the word quickly, and yes, I do proudly obtain that characteristic now. But, if it wasn’t for those difficult conditions, I would have never been able to recover.

It’s a quality that I believe many people figure out on their own, in their own difficult conditions, their own situations. Obviously, from little to serious matters. The bounce-back time of recovery all depends. Remember when I talked about ‘choosing me’? Making the choice. This was the initial step towards resiliency.

That choice comes, but it takes time. Time needs to be spent consoling. Time needs to be spent crying and feeling sorry for yourself. It’s time well-spent. But it’s only well-spent time once you make the choice to leave it behind. Leave it behind and bounce back. Rise above, attain energy. Refuse to be pushed down and stepped on.

I think when these ‘difficult conditions’ become apparent in one’s life, a natural reaction is anger. In my case, anger was an understatement. I have said before that over time my anger has evolved into gratefulness, but that’s not to say there’s still that tiny flame of madness lit deep inside me. Little reminders of what happened keep me from giving in…Giving in to the inner debate of if I did or didn’t do the right thing by filing for divorce. Something I used to think about by the minute has dissipated into the abyss of conscientiousness. I accredit that choice to choose me, and the refusal to be stepped on, to that lingering feeling of anger. My hope is that over time, God can help me pinch out that simmering wick, and still obtain my resiliency.

Oh, and that retail job? Lasted 7 months. I’d never been so happy to get rid of those clothes. Red and khaki were never my colors.

People in church

The back right. That’s where I sat today in my fold-out chair. I don’t know how long it’s going to take for the remodeling of the church to be complete, but I can’t complain about having Mass in the gymnasium of Holden’s future school. It’s bright in there, different from the usual dimly-lit 8:00 a.m. service across the parking lot.

My eyes can’t help but wander. Able to see everyone unlike being in the L shaped church on Sunday mornings. The same people are there though. Young ones, old ones. Lots of yawns and bed-head. Happy families and a bunch of solos.

Today I’m a solo. Mom and Dad offered to watch him early for breakfast while I went. Mom’s day out. Grateful a bit because when Mass is in the gym Holden likes to climb up and down the bleachers and yell as loud as he can. He’s proud of himself when he reaches the top and wants the whole congregation to be proud of him too.

Still groggy from a long night of thinking, the subtle hymns of the cantor carry in and out of my ears as I look around. From the back right of the gym.

A couple seats to my left is a woman by herself. Mid 60’s if I could guess, short combed hair with strands of gray throughout. I wondered why she was alone. Had she lost her husband? Was she visiting family around the area? Slight hint of a smile on her face. Contentment. I don’t know her story.

In front of me stood an elderly woman. She was put together in her Sunday best- a navy suit and red blouse with pearls. Her dark gray hair perfectly set from the pinned curls the night before. To the right of her was her middle-aged handicapped son. Balding. He would turn his head to the right and then back in front a few times in a row, time after time. I watched as his eyes quickly moved side to side, his mind focusing on something serious but his disability unable to communicate it. He too in his Sunday best. A striped cotton colored shirt and navy shorts. Tall tube socks and white Reeboks. There was a connection between the two. They barely looked at each other the entire hour but the body language emitted contentment. I don’t know their story.

Walking in late and sitting to the right of me. A handsome 30-something father and his daughter, probably 4. He had a five-o-clock shadow and her’s was in pigtails. I could tell he was a single dad right away. The unsymmetrical part down the back of her head between the pigtails showed his work took effort but screamed help. What he didn’t need help was in the love that he had for his little girl. She’d sit on his lap and lean her cute rosy face up against his chest. Put her hands on his scruffy jawline. He repeatedly kissed her on her head, next to the lopsided pigtail. It was a little breezy in the gym and her black and white polka-dot dress was sleeveless. I heard him whisper to her, “I’ll keep you warm.” Wrapped his long-sleeved covered arms around hers. She’d get up from his lap and sit in the seat next to his like a big girl. But she didn’t go too far from daddy, and soon after she’d be right back on top of his lap. I heard him kiss her again. During the collection he folded a $5 bill into an airplane. Her big blue-green eyes watched in amazement. Her dad the hero. She was so proud dropping that plane in the basket that her daddy had made her. I tried not to glance obviously. But something was missing behind his eyes that watched his daughter with a smile. Contentment. I don’t know their story.

No matter where my mind is during the service I always zone back in when its time for this one particular line. Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed. I think the actual words altered a few months ago when some big changes were issued within the Catholic Mass. But you can’t take the originals from the 25 years of repetitions going through my mind. This is my favorite part of the whole service. What a wonderful line it is- I am not worthy. This contradicts what I feel like is a major holdup in my own generation. Sometimes I feel as though one’s feeling of entitlement gets in the way of being humble, admitting mistakes. Personally, I like to recite it deep in my heart. I am not worthy. I am not worthy. I am not worthy. But, I shall be healed. Lord, just by you saying it. Shows what a forgiving and all-loving Father we have. I have. And I am not worthy.

As the mass was ending, the priest said something that really struck me. It applies to everyone, and I had heard it a million times over. But this time, it slapped me in the face. He advised to live in the present, not in the past, nor focus on the future. I’m guilty. And that there is an extraordinary God visible in an ordinary day. That we should live in the present every day, so that we may be able to see this. Appreciate it.

See it in the dark haired widow’s smile to my left, see it in the elderly mother and her handicapped son’s body language in front, see it in the single dad’s love for his daughter and his daughter’s admiration for her father on my right. The present.

An ordinary day. Ordinary People. Each with their own story. All with contentment. Extraordinary God.

More to give

It’s 10p.m. on a Saturday night. I’m blogging from the middle of my oversized bed, with my oversized comforter, oversized pillows, and two oversized dogs under the bed. I feel so small. I feel small in a big world. A world I had been moving along quite quickly in up until last year. Dancing a little slower now.

Most twenty-something year old girls are probably doing what twenty-something year old people do on a hoppin’ Saturday night. They’re probably at a bar, movies, maybe a club, on dates, even a few getting married tonight. Time of their lives. Good for them, really.

Scoop me up out of my life and place me in a club now: awkward alert. I would have no idea what to do, what to talk about, who to talk to. Who’s that girl in the corner? The one who looks like she has paranoid schizophrenia. Me.

The first wedding I attended after my life fell apart. I was going to actually see people. Face to face. I hadn’t looked at my own face in what felt like months. Some people had no idea of what had happened. And I was still heavily depressed and suffering from general anxiety disorder day after day. This was going to be a big weekend for me to handle. A learning experience. Just another first right? I was the weird, antisocial girl. At the reception, a guy in his late twenties came up to me sitting alone, my eyes still bulging red from crying in the bathroom stall. Out of nowhere I hear, “So are you dating anyone?” I turned to him with a look that forcedAre we being serious right now? across my forehead, and kindly said, “No. I am going through a divorce.” Taken back he backed up, looked at me and said, “Wow. That’s weird. The only people I know who are divorced are my parents’ age.” It took a few days to remove the fist that had been punched in my gut that night.

I have to say though, I learned a lot this weekend. And not just the average age of divorcees as I was introduced to by that charming fellow. My eyes were opened by this couple, in their twenties as well. They had something figured out that I missed out on my first time around that circus. I couldn’t put a word on it, but I was more than happy and grateful for them. And I wanted it too.

People who are close enough to feel comfortable asking me this have asked: Does it make you sad when you see your friends dating? Happily getting married? Having babies? My answers could have been a little different during my Dark Ages. I couldn’t so much as think of a white dress without throwing up. I don’t feel like that anymore. Just because my world stopped, that doesn’t mean everyone else’s did too. There is still love, moments happening for everyone else. Those special times. That’s life. I am happy for my friends to experience the milestones. I can celebrate with them now.

I think most people look at the situation I’m in and think it’s a shame I’ve lost my twenties. If I hadn’t gone through this, and if I was at a bar tonight, maybe I would think that of somebody who’s laying in bed blogging too, who knows.

I don’t know how to reiterate enough that this is not the case. I do not feel as if I’ve lost out. It couldn’t be further from the truth and how I feel about my life. I absolutely love my life. There’s nothing better than knowing that my little man is sound asleep in the room next to mine, dreaming his happy dreams, cuddling his green silky blankie, under my own roof. On my street. In my neighborhood. Holden’s future’s memories.

But also, it is during these quiet nighttime minutes I think about my future. What God has in store for my life. For Holden’s life. When it comes to someone special for me.

If I had a penny for every time I have heard someone say, “Well, when you are ready to date, I know this great guy…” and yada yada yada. I’d have quite the busting piggy bank. Or elephant bank with green polka dots like the one atop Holden’s dresser.

Here’s my thing. How I think now. July 13th, 2012. No one wants to be alone.  No one wants to be in an oversized bed alone, with overstuffed pillows, on a Saturday night. Feeling small. I would love to have a loving husband by my side. But I am not going to throw around the H word lightly.

Am I ready to meet new people? Sure. Am I ready to date? Probably not. I do not have time or energy. I probably am telling myself that too. But I do have an open mind.

It’s not just me anymore. It’s two for the price of one. Holden and me. People tend to judge single mothers I’ve come to realize. Oh, she’s just looking for a father for that child. I can’t exactly say if I agree or disagree with that judgment. I know for me, if I were to allow someone special to come into my life, he would most definitely be coming into Holden’s as well. I wouldn’t allow anyone to do thatwithout some type of fatherly qualities. It’s just not going to happen. I will only expose Holden to a good influence. And I’m sure as hell not going to bring people in and out of his life every now and then. I was a psychology major. I know what that does to kids. Not to mention, Holden and I have a pretty sound routine going on.

Anyone who knows me on Facebook knows that I’m a fan of the current Bachelorette Emily Maynard. She is a single mom. (Also blonde hair, brown eyes, around 5’2, but who’s comparing?…Can I be her?) She has vocally come on to the show saying that she is looking for someone who can be both a husband and a father. Her daughter’s father is deceased, so she has no father. But, it’s pretty bold to say out loud that he has to be ready to be a father. You go girl.

All I’m trying to say is this. I’m not ready for a relationship, but yes, I hope for one. I want to be married. I don’t want to be alone. But, it’s going to have to be somebody special though. (I think Samantha Tebow has a ring to it, don’t you?) At the same time, if it doesn’t happen, that will be okay too. I won’t sulk. I will still be fine laying in the middle of my oversized bed, at least I don’t have to fight for leg room.

But, I do wish this. And I pray this. If that somebody special does end up coming into my life, I hope sooner rather than later. Not for selfish reasons, not to rush either. But, Holden’s life is moving forward. He is getting smarter every day. Growing every minute. I would love for someone to be able to experience this, rather than have to be told about it later while having to earn his friendship.

I can’t tell the future. I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know who will come into my life, or who may come back into my life. I don’t know if I’ll get married again. But what I do know is that there’s a lot left to give of this heart of mine.

Tim Tebow if you’re reading this, holla at me.

Fashionista

No pity party tonight… just a little girl (or boy) talk for ya.

My favorite definition of the word style is this: a mode of living, as with respect to expense or display.

Everyone has style. Their own style. You may say someone is stylish or has style, but what does that mean exactly? Maybe that they dress with the trends, that they always have a put-together look. Sure.

One expresses oneself through style. Normally it’s external when we use the word. Furthermore, the style I’m talking about can be expressed through anything we see. Artwork, how one does their hair or makeup, how they decorate their house.

I am a very aesthetic person. I like things to look… well, I just like things to look ____. You fill in the blank, because I don’t know which word I would choose. I’ll admit, this is a very superficial interest. But it just gets me. Maybe it’s the type-A personality inside of me screaming. I sometimes feel if things aren’t ‘put together’ in my life, whether in be my outfit, the organization of the house or life for that matter, etc. then I do not have a sound mind. I’m weird, but it’s true.

Style normally connotes expensive. But why though? Does’t have to be. In fact, I love me a good deal. I’ve had people ask me where I found some item or other, and the look of shock on their face is sheer entertainment as I reveal TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning, and do I dare say… WAL-MART! This is totally sacrilegious, but my counselor and I recently discussed when finding a ‘deal’ on something, how sometimes we say a quick ‘thank you God’ because we think of it as a little blessing. I told you I’m weird.

Side note: I’m a mom. But I don’t wear the mom jeans because I’m a mom. However, sweatpants for the first few months being a mom is a different story. Even the ones with the elastic ankles are permissible.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like nice things, nice clothes. Expensive things. I likednice things a lot more in my former life, i.e. before a child and a divorce. They mattered more, because I was more materialistic… I guess I’ll admit I still am but less so, but I like aesthetics. Now, I appreciate nice things. Not because I don’t have money to spend on them so when I do get something nice I appreciate it more- not the case at all. I appreciate something that is $5 and I appreciate something that’s $1,000 all on the same level. But what I appreciate in the nice things these days much more is the quality- the tedious crafting of that object, whether it be a handmade and pressed piece of clothing, a leather handbag, a signed piece of artwork, a mirrored nightstand, a designer lamp, a pair of Louboutins. (No, I don’t have a pair of those yet.) There is a reason behind the dollar sign of ‘nice’ things, and to the myself nowadays, it’s just not the label.

One of my favorite quotations referring to style comes from The Fashionista Files. This is my motto:

A fashionista can tell her Pucci from her Gucci and her Blahniks from her Choos, but she’s as comfortable in Kmart as she is in Chanel. She’s a clothing chameleon: a sharp tweed suit and a ladylike driving gloves one moment, a punk rock T-shirt and studded belt the next. She’s a gypsy, a princess, and a diva… And you can be her, no matter your size, style, or budget.

Ok, substitute ‘Kmart’ for ‘Target’ and then there’s my motto. Don’t you like this? It’s very forward. No matter the budget or label, fashion and style is something that anyone can have. For those of you pleased by aesthetics like me, as long as something displays _____, it’s style.

A big thank you!

Hi readers!

I just wanted to take a moment and say how appreciative I am of all of you. I really had NO idea what kind of reaction people would have… and now I am so glad I actually went through with it.

I have received numerous messages, notes, phone calls, you name it. From more people than I would ever imagine, even people I don’t know or haven’t been in touch with in years. Every message has been so unbelievably heartwarming. Each with a story too- so many different situations, but so many common emotions that I have experienced and shared along this blog. I’m so glad you have felt comfortable relating and reaching out. Don’t ever stop! I may not be able to respond right away, but I will respond!

Anyway, so thanks for that! I hope I can still make you laugh, cry, or just keep coming back from more. I promise I’ve got enough to go around.