Friday, January 22, 2021

A few tips from your friendly neighborhood hairdresser during these crazy times!

Twenty twenty hit the salon industry hard.  I think I can speak for most of us when I say: we are tired. We are tired of Covid, we are tired of the masks, we are tired of politics, and tired of the tension.

Every day things we loved about our jobs have almost been stripped from us without anyone even realizing it.  Conversing about every day things, hearing about your family and life, those conversations seem to have gone by the way side in the blink of an eye.  See, we are told in beauty school there are certain topics behind the chair that are taboo; sex, religion, and politics. And it seems as if this year, everything went back to politics. From the most sensationalized election in my life time, to Covid, everything has had something to do with Democrat vs. republican this year. From whether or not people believed the virus would disappear after the election, to whether or not the election was fraud, everyone has an opinion, and in most cases, it’s a very strong one.  And as hairstylists, we are literally TRAINED to avoid these topics.  Trying over and over again each day to reroute conversations is exhausting. And yet some how it always seems to go back to politics and Covid right now.  I'm just ready for it to all be over with.  

Here are a few things to consider when making your appointments that would help all of us out!:

1.   Book ahead!!!  I can not stress this enough.  I always recommend booking your next appointment before you leave the salon, however, I know with some work schedules, school schedules, and just life, some times this isn't possible.  So give yourself and your stylist some leeway when booking.  Don't call and want in THAT DAY over your lunch hour and expect to get in.  I don't know about most of you, but my salon has not slowed down at all since the reopening after our shut down.  Our clients have been absolutely awesome, and so supportive of our business, and have been very consistent about coming in and booking ahead to make sure they stay on top of their hair in the case of another shutdown.  However, this is bad for those that may not plan ahead quite as much.  It has really tightened our schedules up.  Know that we will try to get you in as soon as possible, and we will stay late, and skip our lunch, etc.  But we still have little ones and lives outside of the salon that need our attention.  We have people that at the last minute get quarantined that we are trying to get rescheduled, and we are trying our best to get everyone in as soon as possible, so simply booking ahead, if you have that luxury, would help us both out.  It helps you know you can get in, and it alleviates a little bit of stress from your stylist when she is trying to book other appointments. 

2.  If you can't make it to your appointment on time, or at all, CALL AND LET US KNOW!  No showing your hairdresser, or anyone for that matter has a big impact on their day.  Not only do they miss out on the income from your service, but they are missing out on income from other clients that they have had to turn away due to your time slot being filled.  And more than likely that spot can not be filled when there is no notice.  It literally impacts their entire day.  Please just be courteous and call.  We understand things come up. Right now, people are getting quarantined at the last minute among many other things, just call, trust me, we understand.  But not calling is just flat rude.

3.  If you are sick, stay home.  We can not risk getting sick, and exposing all of the people that have sat in our chair.  Most hairdressers do not get paid sick leave.  If we have to quarantine, that is all income lost.  Not to mention, if we unknowingly expose our clients and someone gets sick, that guilt lies on us, and we truly care about our clients.

We've all had that one client since quarantine 
that was in complete denial about what they did
to their hair!

4. Be patient with us.  We are literally packing people in as tight as we can, and squeezing people in as closely as we can with all of the new cleaning regulations and social distancing regulations that have been placed since we reopened.  We are fixing quarantine cuts, and quarantine colors that we may not have expected.  Sometimes, this might mean that we are running a little behind.  Trust me, we hate it as much as you do.  It gets us flustered, and then we start dropping things more, and we start sweating, it's all a mess.  But we are trying.  We are trying to get to everyone on time, in the same cheerful manner that we did in 2019.

5.  Talk to us.  Talk to us about your family.  Talk to us about your dogs.  Talk to us about the latest book you are reading, or the latest podcast you are listening to.  At this point in time, I would even strike two of the taboos from the list and let you talk about sex and money!  Talk to us about ANYTHING other than Covid or politics.  We are tired.  We miss our old conversations.  Hair dressers tend to look at life through rose colored glasses.  We like to see the beauty in things.  And all of the ugly in the world lately has made that really hard to do.  So please, help us see it again.  Talk to us like you used to.  We miss that.  I have literally been put in situations this year where I have had to move regular appointments and clients around because of the conversations that were had in my chair that offended the next person waiting.  As much as we might try to just smile and say "uh huh", other people around get offended, and this is our business.  We want to get to know you, we care what you care about.  But right now, things are so tense in our nation, that we just can't. We are having a really hard time balancing it all.  Please, please, talk to me about your dog.  (Also, see rule no. 1.... this helps us keep those people that might offend each other on different days and time slots! Do your part!)

6.  Bring us caffeine.  We need it!  Our once 8 hour days have stretched to 10 and 12 hour days because of all of the different precautions, and squeezing people in that have had to cancel due to being quarantined.  Trust me, we don't even care what kind it is, just bring caffeine!

7.  Shop small, buy local.  I know this gets said all the time.  I know that you can get your shampoo and conditioner on sale at some of the big box stores, or on Amazon, but those places aren't keeping your local salon open.  Retail sales can make a big difference in the income of a salon and stylist.  Just keep that in mind next time you stop at Beauty Brands for their liter sale.  Now more than ever, it is imperative that we start thinking small, and support our local communities first.  Let your stylist know if you want something she doesn't carry.  Chances are she can get it in for you!  This literally puts food on her table.

8.  More than anything, know we appreciate you!  We may be tired, and rushing around when you are there, and we may be exhausted from all of the goings on in the world, but we love seeing you.  You brighten our days.  Some times, I'm convinced you bring us more joy that we do you.  We know you love getting your hair done, but we love the relationships we have formed with all of you.  You are important in our lives.  You are not just a number on the books for us.  Thank you for your continued support during this crazy time.  We look forward to seeing you in our chairs and getting caught up with our friends that in many cases have grown into extended family.  

Moral of the story, please just bear with us.  We are trying, and we are tired.  And we know you are too.  So let's just do our best to support each other during these crazy times in our world.  Let's support each other, and help each other see the beauty in things again.  And not just the beauty of your hair, although I can help you with that as well ;).

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

To my "little girl" on her 18th birthday...

My dear, sweet Ashlynne,

 Eighteen.  Legally an adult.  Always my baby.

Bear with me as I navigate this land of trying to figure out how to be a parent to an adult child.  I don't know how to do this.  I don't know how good I will be at this whole "parenting an adult" thing.  But keep in mind, you will always be my child. There will probably be plenty of times you have to remind me that you are becoming an adult.  But remember, I might have a hard time wrapping my head and heart around that.  I will always be your mom.  I took the pregnancy test.  I announced you were coming into this world.  I am the first person that heard your heartbeat.  I got the morning sickness, the swollen ankles.  I felt your first movements.  I felt your first hiccups.  I grew as you grew.  I have the scar from your cesarian.  I have grown up right along with you.  I felt the pain as you came into this world, and the joy simultaneously.  And I felt the pain when they took you away, and I sat in your NICU room and cried.  You see, today, you legally become an adult, a woman.  But to me, you will always be that little baby fighting for her life, and showing the world what strength really is.  

I feel like my days of guiding you are limited.  I hope I am wrong.  I hope you always want your mom's advice.  But just in case, there are some things that are really important in life.  A few things I need to say. Some things I wish I would have known.  Some things that really matter.  Here they are:

*Put God first.  He will never steer you wrong.  When you have that gut feeling that you think you should follow, that's Him.  Just listen. And when you think He isn't there, He is.  Have faith.

*Don't chase them.  Boys, friends, family members, anyone.  Don't chase them.  For if they are worth chasing, you won't have to chase them.  What you will have to do is put in effort.  Relationships of all kinds take effort from both sides, but not all the effort from one side.  If they slip through your fingers, but are meant to have a permanent place in your life, they will come back.  And they will appreciate you even more than before.

*Be teachable.  If you know a million things, you can still learn from the person that only knows one thing.  Believe it or not, we aren't always right.  Be prepared to listen, and hear people out.  Knowledge is more than booksmarts.  And once you leave the realm of high school, this becomes more apparent.  Lessons are to be learned in everything.

*Don't take yourself too seriously.  If you don't laugh at yourself, they will laugh at you.  You might as well beat them to the punch.

*Not everyone will like you.  And that's ok.   Because you won't like everyone.  Find your tribe, love them hard.  It is literally impossible to be friends with everyone.  It is quality over quantity.  I would rather have a few really good friends, than a lot of people around me that I can't form a deep connection with.

One of the best scenarios in life, I heard recently from a good friend.  I will try to do the comparison justice as I retell it.  As we sat on the porch one night she said to me:  Life is like a tree.  You are the trunk.  Some people in your life are the branches.  These are the people that stay.  These are the monumental people in your life that have the most impact, and will never leave you until the day they die.  Other people, they are like leaves.  When a big gust of wind comes along, or the seasons change, they are gone.  They are the friends and relationships that are there for a little bit, maybe when things are good, and fun, but when a storm, or winter comes along, they shed themselves.  But those branches, they stay.  They are still there next year, even when the new leaves come.  You see, trees shed their leaves, and that's part of life, most branches stay intact for a really long time. but some of those branches, they are there for life.  Those branches are the ones you prune, and the ones you take care of, those are the ones that really make the tree beautiful.  

*Call your mom.  When you're sad.  When you're happy.  When you have exciting news.  When you are bored.  Call your mom.  I will never tire of hearing your voice.

You, my love, are one of the things I am most proud of in this life.  If I have done anything worthwhile in this, being a mom is at the top of that list. You are funny, and witty, and kind.  You love animals, and the elderly, and your family.  You love Pearl Jam.  The rest of your music taste could use some tweaking, but we have time to work on that.  But most importantly, you are STRONG.  You are a fighter.  I was just telling the story tonight of when you took your first steps.  Two and half years old, he picked you up out of my arms, and set you in the middle of the room, and told me not to run to you.  And you walked to me.  For the first time.  Crying, and scared, but you made it.  You made it across that room to the one place you felt safe.  I will always be your safe place.  You can always come to me.  No judgements, no I told you so's.  Only love, acceptance, and safety.  Believe it or not, I am still growing with you.  I still feel you.  I still hurt when you hurt.  That didn't stop the day you were born, it had only just begun.

I love you.  Happy birthday young lady.



Monday, August 17, 2020

The beauty of letting go

Healing is messy. But healing is so beautiful.  I think I am finally finding the person I was meant to be.  I have a lot of people to thank for that, but honestly, I owe the biggest thanks to those who have hurt me the most.  

This morning, my daughter asked me what I felt like to have your heart broken.  I couldn't find the words to describe it to her.  All I could do was think of the darkness it pulled me into.  The absolute despair I felt when I looked back at the love lost in my life.  

Never, did I ever, think I would be writing this.  Losing you was the one thing I never thought I would have to face, and when I did, it was the one thing I thought I would never survive.  And for a minute, I barely did.  I was a shell of me.  I lost my friend, I lost my love, I lost a sense of purpose.  We were so intertwined.  We shared friends, we shared hobbies, our families were intertwined.  Who was I without you?  You were supposed to be safe.  You were never supposed to hurt me.  How was it that losing you hurt more than anything I had ever experienced?  How could you just walk away, without looking back.  What about all of this love you left me?  But one day, it clicked.  All it took was for you to continually show me who you really were, that side of you you kept hidden.  I just had to accept that you were that person, and once I did, it was so freeing.  I can't count the hours I spent staring at my phone, praying it would ring with your name scrolling across.  Or the times my heart sank when it wasn't your name.  Then, I took control.  I decided that to keep from breaking my own heart, I had to eliminate the risk.  You knew I was drowning, and you were perfectly content watching me sink.  I realized, that is not the person I want to love.  At the time, I thought it was going to kill me.  But now I realize, staying with you would have killed the person I was meant to discover.  Thank you.  Thank you for showing me what love is NOT.  You don’t destroy someone you love you destroy things, possessions, but not someone you love. But guess what, buddy. You weren’t able to destroy me. Because like a phoenix, I rose from the ashes.  Thank you for clearing the way for who was really meant to be in my life.  Thank you for making room for the man that is capable of loving me. For the man that can handle all the love I have to give. 

I realize I can be a bit much.  My laugh can be a bit loud.  My sense of humor can be a bit dark.  My face can be a bit intimidating.  My personality can be a bit large.  I'm not for everyone.  None of us are.  But I have realized that the people that can't accept that are gradually weeding themselves out of my life.  I, lately, have found myself surrounded by the people who unapologetically love me.  

For the first time in my adult life, I can finally say I am living for me.  I am making my own decisions, rather than just keeping my mouth shut to keep the peace, or choosing what I think someone else would want, just to keep them happy.  Now I live for me, and have attracted people around me that fully accept me, and not people who are hoping I will morph into what they want me to be.  I am finally choosing people.  I'm choosing friendships, relationships.  I am no longer willing to sit back and let life happen to me.  I am in charge of my own life.  Do I have it all figured out just yet?  No.  Will I ever?  I don't know.  But I will certainly try, rather than leaving my fate in someone else's hands.  And as far as all of that love you left me?  Well, here's the thing, you left it with me.  And now, I get to chose who I share that love with.  That love is still there, it is just no longer for you.  You lost.  I didn't.  I gained.  For when you failed to see my worth, it forced me to search for it.  It forced me to recognize what I brought to the table, and it made me realize, I was done settling.   No longer will I plaster on the fake smile that I had mastered for you.  No longer will I gut out excruciating situations, so as not to rock the boat.  That girl is dead. 

So to those of you who have hurt me.  Thank you.  For you have unleashed the me I was always meant to be.  You have helped me discover the person inside of me that I am learning to love.  You have helped me realize what I certainly don't want in my partner, and that is as important as realizing what I do want.  You hurting me, and leaving, has paved the way for me to be the type of woman I was meant to be for the man who was meant to love me for me. 

For those of you who have stayed in my life, or maybe are just entering it:  Welcome.  I am choosing my people, my tribe.  If you are in my life, it's becauseI want you here.  From now on, no one else gets to chose for me if they belong in my life.  I get to chose that.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Quarantine life in a nutshell

These shirts are ordered, and will hopefully be
here by our reopen day, set for Monday, May 4!
I laugh at the t-shirts, and memes I have seen created since the "social distancing" has become our new normal.  I nod my head in agreement with the jokes that say that some of us have been preparing for social distancing our entire lives.  But the truth is, I miss my life.  I miss my routine.  I miss the smiling faces of my clients.  I miss greeting the mail man and paper guy each day at work.  I miss gently bullying my coworkers each day.  I miss having a reason to get out of bed, and to get myself dressed and dolled up for the day.  And I miss the certainty that each day seemed to hold prior to March 24, when the stay at home order was issued.

For a virus that a majority of us will never contract, COVID-19 has affected all of us more than we ever thought possible.  

Over night, I went from a full-time working, salon owning, boutique owning mom, to a stay at home, homeschooling mom.  Not a role I ever saw myself in.  And let me say, hats off to you ladies that do this every day.  Your job is a challenge, and I respect the hell out of you!  That being said, my kids have been awesome.  They have done their school work, then jumped in to helping me with whatever project I have going for the day.  And how awesome is it, that all three of them have randomly asked how I am doing, and if I am ok, because they know I miss my salon family and life?!?!  I seriously have the best kids!

Miss B turned 9 during quarantine.  We spent
the day tie dying, and opening gifts.  Her favorite
gift?... Her WWE toys she got.  This girl loves
wrestling and the Bella Twins.

I've done all the things that Quarantine '20 has required.  I have binge watched all of Tiger King , and fully believe that Carol Baskin killed her husband, got caught up on all of my true crime TV shows, done several DIY projects, and have done some baking.  We even had a 9th birthday party for my red headed princess.  She took it like a champ with only being able to have siblings and the neighbor friend over.  She made the best of it and I was so very proud of her for that.  Trying to find ways to keep myself occupied has never been an issue for me.  In the past, I spent my days wishing I could find a few more hours in each day so I could accomplish what I felt I needed to for that day.  After getting home from working all day, and doing supper and a few chores, there was almost always certainly some sort of project I was in the middle of o prepping for.  I was never good at "oh, it can wait till tomorrow".  I was a go getter, and felt the need to finish a project that I started, and would work myself ragged until it was done.  Now, the last few days, more often than not, I find myself just kind of walking around looking for something to do.  I've cleaned out the storage rooms.  I've rearranged the living room.  In fact, I have gutted the bathroom, and gotten new flooring in the main part of the house, redone the laundry room, cleaned out the cabinets... the list goes on.  Now, I find myself wondering, if without my salon life, if I have a purpose.  Sure, the kids need help with their homework for a couple of hours, but when those hours are over, they are off doing their own thing.  Who am I when I'm not a hairstylist and a mom?  This question really bothered me the first few days of self reflection.  Now I have realized, maybe I'm no one without these two things.  And I'm ok with that.  I will be a mom for the rest of my life, and the relationships I have made doing hair will follow me through out the rest of my life.  And that, my friends, is a blessing. 

The amount of love shown to myself and my family throughout this safer at home order has been overwhelming.  I've gotten texts, phone calls, facebook messages, and even good old fashioned letters, encouraging me, and letting me know that people believe in me, and my business, and they are going to support it when we are allowed to reopen.  I've heard more people insist that my job should be considered "essential", and let me assure you, to me, my clients are "essential".  I have missed those smiling faces more than I can describe.  To my clients reading this, I want you to know that each and every one of you is cherished, and are a blessing to my life!  Thank you so much for supporting my family, and supporting my dreams.

On Monday, fingers crossed, I should get to reopen the salon.  There will be new regulations in place.  All a part of our new normal.  I will have to wear a facemask, as well as my client.  So I'm hoping that we have all had a chance to recharge, and that I will be able to see the smile in everyone's eyes, since I might not be able to see your smiling lips!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

To the man who loves me next...

First of all, let me say thank you.  Why thank you?  Because obviously you are special enough that I am willing to let you in... willing to take the risk of being hurt again.  That must mean that you have shown me something that made me think you must be different... so thank you.

Next, let me apologize.  I'm damaged.  Broken.  I won't be easy to love.  Your job loving me will be a tough one.  I don't know how much of my heart I have left to give, although I promise, to the right person, I will give all I have to give.   I'm insecure, anxious, I overthink, and the only thing I am certain of, is that people leave.  I will push you away when I feel like you're getting too close, and just hope and pray that you fight your way back in.  When given too much time to think, I will try to talk myself out of loving you.  I will convince myself of all the reasons you are certain to leave.  And I will probably try to tell you about all of those reasons....  I'm working on that.  I keep telling myself I'm working on "rewiring" my brain.  But most of all, when I do that, what I'm looking for is just some reassurance.  Reassurance that you aren't going anywhere, and reassurance that you are going to be patient, as I figure out what a healthy love looks like.  The sad thing is, I know I'm doing it, but for some reason, my defense mechanism is stronger than my self control in this area.  Call it self preservation, if you will.  But, if you are patient, and ride out this storm with me, I promise I will love you like you have never been loved.  Teach me, show me, and I promise you, it will be worth it.  I am worth it.

I want you to understand that I don't need you.  I want you.  There is a huge difference.  I once had someone ask me, "Do you love him because you need him, or do you need him because you love him?"... read that again.... think about it... The two choices are very different, and very profound.  Sure, I will let you help me if I need it, although it may be hard, because I've been forced to be independent.  But understand that I don't need to be rescued, saved, or fixed.  I'm working on doing that on my own.  I just need someone to stand BY me as I fix myself.

And there might be times that I seem demanding, or stubborn. Which, I can definitely be both.... but this time, I refuse to settle for less than I deserve.  I refuse to settle for what I know is less.... I will not continually give more than I receive.  This time, my love will not be one sided.

I will do my best not to hurt you.  But I will.  Just as I am sure there will be times you will hurt me. My tongue can be sharp, and my shoulder can be just as cold.  But I really do try to avoid this.   My desire to not hurt people is so strong, that more often, I end up hurting myself.  That has been my pattern in the past.  A pattern that I've had a really hard time breaking.  So please, once you figure this out, don't take advantage of it.  Because I would never take advantage of you.  And please, do not mistake my kindness for weakness, everyone has their breaking point.

I'm done playing games.  Games are for kids.  Games only get people hurt.  If you feel something, say it.  If you want something, say it.  The bad boy routine is played out.  The bad boy thing was attractive when I was a teenager.  Not anymore.  Little girls are in to the bad boy thing, not grown women.  That ship has sailed.  I don't want that man that pretends to not have a care in the world, including me.  Now, I want a grown ass man with his shit together who isn't afraid to say how they feel.  Show me your sad, vulnerable side.  Because trust me, I have one too.  I want someone that can carry me on the days that I can't give it all, and I want someone who isn't afraid to ask me for help when they need it too.   So, if it is games you are looking for, if you love that chase, then get bored with the actual relationship, look for a different opponent.  Because love shouldn't be about games, which indicates that there are opposing sides.  Love is about oneness.  Love isn't about the chase.  Love is about the life you build.  If you aren't looking to build, kindly leave me alone.

I'm looking for that great, safe love.  I'm looking for the man that is just as proud to call me his when I'm standing in the kitchen in one of his tshirts, as he is when I'm all done up for a night out.  I'm looking for a man that is just as content spending a night in, as he is spending a night out.  I'm looking for that man that isn't afraid to shout form the rooftops that I am his.  I'm looking for that man that is willing to show me what real love is.  I want you to know that you may not have been my first love, but I'm hoping you are my last...  And if that man finds himself reading this, just know, I've been waiting for you.... Hello Handsome...

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Finding Cora: part 2... deeper in the process

This is going to get raw.  Proceed with caution.

We have now reached the ugly part of the divorce.  Anyone who has gone through this knows what I'm talking about.  You know the part, where the gloves come off.  The part where the hurt isn't as fresh, and the person that walked away is no longer feeling guilty for hurting me.  The part where the sadness has transformed into anger.  The part where you never know which version of that person you are getting for the day, the nice one, or the angry one.  The part where I can ask a simple question and it gets a snarky answer in reply.  The part where I hear the things he is saying about me to people, and I have to pretend it doesn't bother me.  The part where public shame on social media turns into a game, to see how low of a blow can be dealt.  The part where I have to turn the other cheek, and not react.  Where whatever he does is ok, but everything I do is wrong.  Where it's ok for him to move on, but not ok for me to do the same.  The part where, for some reason, it seems as if hurting me is his goal.  The part that I never wanted to reach... the part where I hate him. The part where I can't stand to look at him.

"You will never be enough for the wrong person"
I'm trying so hard to take the advice of all of my friends and "not take the bait"...  and just not fight with him, not give him the satisfaction, but damn, that's hard.  For so long, not feeling like I had a voice in my marriage, I want to scream back, and finally be heard.  I want to scream that he no longer gets to control me through manipulations, and backhanded comments.  I want to scream "YOU DON'T GET TO DO THIS TO ME ANYMORE!!"  I want to stand up, and show that I am my own person, and Cora is someone, with or without Him by my side. I am enough.  Whether he saw that or not.  I am enough.

But if I wasn't seen by him in my marriage, what makes me think he will see me now?  What will fighting back solve? Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  It will just drag this whole thing out.  If it was time to walk away, it's time I do just that... walk away.  I'm just ready to close this chapter of my life.  I'm ready to stop hurting at his hand.  I'm ready for every one of my past mistakes to not be used against me.  I'm ready to not have the kids used against me.  I'm ready to not have things like property settlements, and parenting time used against me.  I'm ready for him to not be able to threaten me with things "not working out for me" or "getting ugly".  I'm ready to stop shedding tears caused by him.  I'm ready to be able enjoy myself and not have it ruined with a nasty phone call or text from him.  I'm ready to not have a feeling of dread in my stomach when I look at my phone and realize it is him calling or texting. I'm ready to not have to "pretend" to be ok being around him for the kids, and to actually be ok being around him. I'm ready to walk away.  It feels good to say that.  I didn't know that I would ever get to that point.  But I'm here, and I'm ready.  

"Happiness is the best revenge"
I've heard it said many times that being happy is the best revenge.  But what if it isn't revenge you are looking for, but simply peace?   Revenge isn't a solution.  Revenge just fuels the fire.  Revenge implies vengeance.  It implies a hatred of sorts.  It implies it is consuming your thoughts.  Revenge is done out of spite, not out of healing.  It's time for me to heal.  I'm done with the one upping, and the fighting.   I'm done letting the anger and sadness consume me.  There was enough of that in our marriage.  The whole purpose in realizing it was time to walk away was to be free from this.... yet it continues.  When will it stop?  When will enough be enough?  How do people get satisfaction out of knowing that they have hurt someone with their words or actions?  How does it give some people relief to know that have exacted "revenge"?  I don't want revenge, I want peace.

I know as I sit here and write this, that I am not the only woman on this planet going through this.  I know that there is a woman out there reading this, nodding her head, completely relating to every word.  I know that I am not the only one crying, when my kids aren't looking.  I know that I am not the only one trying to heal from things someone will never apologize for.  I know that I am not the only one hurting from things I don't discuss.  This is why I write this.  I don't write this to air all of my dirty laundry... trust me, we would be here for much longer if that was my quest.  I don't write this to rag on my ex... that's the last thing either of us need.  I write this to tell everyone going through this, you are not alone.  There are countless other people going through what you are going through, and people who have already been through it.  And in my heart, I know that I will be ok, in fact, better, at the end of all of this, and so will you.  If I can do this, so can you.  Did you hear me?  You can do this.

Quotes.  I love them.  I search for quotes on the internet.  Friends send them to me daily.  I share them on facebook when they resonate with me.  Sometimes they are things I am going through, some times they are just things I think someone needs to hear, and they have nothing to do with me.  Meredith Grey is a rock star, right?  I mean, if you need some good words or inspiration, just watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy and after 46 minutes you will walk away with some "Meredith-isms" that will help you stand up and face your Derek.  What woman doesn't love Meredith Grey?  Who DOESN'T relate to her?  She is the philosopher of our generation. Move over Ghandi.  Sometimes there is true power in words.  So this is what I am asking of you, my readers... If you are, or have gone through a tough situation, share some quotes that have gotten you through your tough times.  Share them for the other women out there to read, to lift them up if they are struggling.  Let's flood each other with positivity, and support.  I know I am not alone in my situation, and my pain.  Let's power through this together.  Let's be each other's rock. You are not alone... WE are not alone.

Hello Cora, it's nice to see you... I'm glad you are on your way home.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Finding Cora

I am getting divorced.  There, I said it.

This journey has been an incredibly painful one.  Painful knowing my marriage is dissolving right before my eyes, painful self reflecting, painful knowing there are things I could have done better, and painful questioning whether or not I ever knew this person that I thought I would be spending the rest of my life with.  In a matter of a few signatures, I will watch all of the dreams and plans we had made together disappear.

The whole way home from that lawyer's office I cried.  I had just felt like I was hovering outside of my body, watching as we parted off all of our possessions, and things we had worked for our entire married life, and before.  I thought of our wedding day.  Of all of the promises we made to each other, of all of the dreams we had, all of the love.  I have watched the years whittle away at those dreams, and those feelings, leaving both of us feeling defeated, and no where near where we thought we would be over 9 years later.  Then I started thinking of all the nights, where I went to sleep wondering if I was even loved, as I'm sure he did the same.  I started thinking of all of the fights, where our pride meant more to us than not hurting the person we had committed to loving.  Somewhere along the way, we both lost sight of the fact that love isn't always a feeling, it's an action, a commitment... and now we are too far gone.  There are just certain things you can't come back from.  To be honest, I'm still crying.  I allow myself 15 minutes in the morning to let my feelings take over, then I have to boss up.  I have things to do.

There are people out there that are judging us... saying we didn't try hard enough, saying that we are throwing our lives away.  But the bottom line is: none of those people lived in our 4 walls.  None of those people know how hard either of us fought for this.  None of them saw the life we lived, when we BOTH tried our hardest to just put on a happy face.  They can judge, from their perch on the outside, but that will get them no where.  The end result is still the same.

I read an article the other day that said something along the lines of this:  when we realized we could no longer save our marriage, we started trying to save ourselves.  That is where we are at.  Trying to still form beautiful lives that we can both be proud of.  Our children were going down with the sinking ship that our marriage had become, and I also realized it was up to me to save them, as well as myself.  The worst part, was realizing that we were the reason the other person needed saving.  We had gone from being each others' safe place, to being the reason the other needed a safe place.  How does that even happen?  I can't answer that question with any certainty, but I can say that it wasn't one single event, it was very gradual, and happened so slowly we weren't even aware of what was happening.  Eventually, it came to a point where I was sacrificing myself in attempt to keep him content.  I was losing myself, drowning, so he could live.  I have to save myself.

I will not sit here and talk bad about him.  Although in a small town, I'm sure people are waiting for it.  I will not make this some dramatic episode, fit for a soap opera.  Although I'm sure people will take that upon themselves to run with a story and add to it.  There wasn't some huge event, or some sordid story.  What happened between us was just that, between us.  Sure, there have been low blows, and things that have happened since the split, but I'm trying my best to rewire myself, and not react. Some people crave the reaction, and I'm not giving in to that any more.  I gave in for far too long.

Here are the things I know about my soon to be ex husband:  he gave me a beautiful daughter, and for 10 years, let me share in the raising of his son, and he is not a bad person.  He might not have been good for me, but that doesn't mean there isn't good in him.  I would like to think that at times, we both bettered each other.  I would like to think that neither one of us can say that we hate each other.  And I would like to think that we are both walking away from this with some valuable lessons learned.  I wish him nothing but the best.  I hope that he can come out of this a better man.  I hope we can both internalize the things we know we did wrong, and not repeat the same mistakes.  I hope we can both move forward, and maybe somehow form a beautiful friendship.  I can't imagine ever hating someone that I loved as much as I loved him. I also don't want people to take sides, although I know that some will.  I'm sure that he would also say the same.  It won't benefit our daughter at all if there are two separate sides to her life.  Here are some things I know about me:  I will be ok, I am stronger than I thought, and I have some amazing friends in my life.

I will move on.  He will move on.  And while I'm sure we will both struggle watching the other live life without us, it is part of it.  It will be hard watching him for a life with someone else that he was supposed to form with me.  But, for him, I wasn't enough, or he would have stayed.  I am not  sitting around crying, playing the victim, thinking I'm an inadequate person, and a failure at life.  I'm simply being honest and real, and raw.  I was not enough for him.  My best was not good enough.  Your best will never be enough for the wrong person.  And I wasn't his person.

The bottom line is this:  he heard me, and I heard him.  We both heard the pleas of each other, asking for some give and compromise, and sometimes asking for change.  And I'm sure with some time, we will both make some of the changes that the other wanted.  But for some reason, we couldn't, or wouldn't do that for each other.  This is the part of my life where I get to start figuring out who I am.  I have to figure out my hobbies, rather than just following his.  I have to figure out what I like to do for fun, rather than doing what someone else wanted to do.  I have to figure out who I am without being Russ's wife.  And I will figure it all out.  This will be a painful, but beautiful journey.  I pray for peace.  I pray for healing.  And I will continue to pray for him.

A few tips from your friendly neighborhood hairdresser during these crazy times!

Twenty twenty hit the salon industry hard.  I think I can speak for most of us when I say: we are tired. We are tired of Covid, we are tired...