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Story #18 – Thanksgiving

A still, quiet season – season of life full of constant changes that shape & mold. Shaping into an even stronger & more independent woman, full of views & thoughts of the surrounding world – constantly reflecting on the past & finding new ways of continual new beginnings. & this Thanksgiving season?

H e a l i n g

Yet, it has been so incredibly hard to get into the spirit of Thanksgiving, the holiday season – my favorite time of year (besides fall of course). I find myself once again feeling numb; completely cold to the idea of even wanting to participate. & as I try to dig deep & find the reason why? It came to me today.

Thanksgiving was highly celebrated with Matthew & his family. & he left right before the holiday season began – left me to answer all the unanswered questions back in Ohio when it came to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family “Where’s Matthew at today?” The year prior being my first Thanksgiving back home in 6 years. We had moved back to Dayton the week prior in 2014. & we still managed to celebrate with his family the night before our trek across the country back to Ohio (Lacey pooped under all our chairs at the table during our Thanksgiving feast LOL).

The times we drove down to Carson City NV to celebrate with his grandparents – always talk about us hosting at some point. Something I have always dreamed of doing. If you know me – I absolutely love cooking – cooking for others especially. Creating a welcoming & safe environment. Blessing & loving my friends & family. I also find cooking to be therapeutic & relaxing. That – & I also can’t have gluten, dairy (I cheat on ice cream every once in a while & cheese), & red meat – so I cook more.

When you’re on one path & it suddenly dissipates in front of you – you feel lost. Confused. Left alone to deal with the aftermath. & to also start all over – from scratch.

I was walking down a path I dreamed of, but Matthew? He was walking down a completely different path. & when my path was suddenly gone – Thanksgiving 2015 approached. We had just decided we were divorcing, & I received a text from his mom (who I had a really good & close relationship with) as I was sitting at the table with my dad – wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving & to let me know she loved me, & was praying for Matthew & I. & I realized 2 things in that moment:

1. Matthew hadn’t told his parents yet about our decision to divorce (we had decided weeks prior).

2. I will never celebrate Thanksgiving with them again. I will never be able to host Thanksgiving for them. Matthew will never celebrate with my family – ever again – suddenly.

I ended up breaking the news about the impending divorce, & I immediately left my dad’s house shortly after in tears – skipped going to Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family, didn’t even realize in the midst – that would be my last Thanksgiving with my sweet grandmother – who past suddenly a few weeks later.

The beginning of making new memories, of healing, of not being the victim – started last holiday season. I hosted a Friendsgiving brunch & crammed 10-15 people in my apartment. Followed with Thanksgiving with my dad, followed with dessert with my Aunt & Uncle (just missed my mom, who was depressed about her mom, my grandmother, not there anymore). I went home afterward feeling down. Feeling empty. Drained. Emotionless though. Numbness.

& even though its been incredibly difficult to get into the holiday spirit this year? As I was driving to my dear friend Emily’s parents’ house to join for their Thanksgiving celebration, I realized what I am most thankful for:

My community here – my friends that have most felt like family, coming along side & helping me heal tremendously. I am incredibly thankful for this season in my life. The past 7 months have been some of the best moments of my life. I have never felt so incredibly happy. Quite honestly? I don’t remember the last time I was this happy, this content. My heart feels rested in peace, my soul refreshed, my spirit calmed. Such a relaxing day. Yes, it felt weird not contributing any food (I always make pumpkin pie!), but I’m incredibly thankful for genuine community here. I am so thankful for the changes I’ve made for myself, for my growth, for my self-acceptance & self-love, body positivity & confidence – for finally finding me again, for being me – for not playing the victim – but demonstrated perseverance in the darkest moments of my life, always seeing the light & always moving forward. Always finding the good in the worst moments, the most depressing & draining times. When you feel you’re at your lowest point.

I felt that my last couple months in Dayton before suddenly deciding to move back to Spokane. I knew I had to do something – & with the most gracious & generous help from my dad – my decision to move back to Spokane came about. I had to remove myself from such a toxic environment; a city that was already weighed down in depressing & painful memories from childhood & more added to it – hindering me from really processing my time spent in Dayton, from genuine healing. & the lack of support there (besides my dad & step-mom, my sister, a couple friends)? Didn’t help.

& moving back to Spokane – where the journey of my young adulthood began back in 2008 – I truly feel at peace, feeling more me, notice personally my growth & changes – & I couldn’t have done it without the support of my community here – my family.

I am so incredibly thankful for community.

Will I choose to make Spokane my long-term home? I don’t know. That’s something that’s been on my mind constantly these days, as I feel ready to really move forward – either purchase a home, move back to Dayton feeling refreshed & be near my family again (especially my mom), or move elsewhere. Maybe go back to school, or buckle down & start working toward my long-term goal of opening up my own coffee shop – the idea of dating is slowly becoming more realistic & welcoming – though my fear of another huge heartbreak is there. But my community here? Has tremendously helped me work toward everything – process & healing.

To everyone here in Spokane – my community

Thank You

To continual new beginnings 🌻💛

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Story #17 – Stagnant Faith

“The Biblical educator must not only have a Christian understanding of the material, he must have a Biblical understanding of the student. If he does not, then the result will be a hybrid Christian methodology employed to achieve a humanistic goal.” -Douglas Wilson

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In light of most recent news here within the Spokane community, I didn’t realize how much it would affect me personally – most importantly spiritually. & many of you don’t know about my college career, how I ended up in Spokane in the first place. So I decided it was time to open up about my stagnant faith, quite the adventure – my experience attending a Bible college, where I was at spiritually before hand – & where I am currently now.

I attended a Christian school grades 6th-12th – was really involved in my youth group, went on a few mission trips to Mexico with my school & youth group, & right before I moved to Spokane, I went on a mission trip to Honduras that was life changing to me in many ways. Before I went to Honduras, I was trying to narrow down where I was going to go to school, trying to decided what to do with my life. At the time, I knew I wanted to be involved in some type of ministry. & I had visited Moody Bible Institute Chicago a year prior (actually, the same weekend my dad remarried – 10 years ago). I fell in love with Moody – the community, the classes I was able to drop in & how involved the students were, the professors – I knew that’s where I wanted to go. It took so much convincing on my part toward my dad, as we didn’t see eye-to-eye on Christianity, believing in God. At that time – I already felt so alone in many areas of my life & the biggest area then – my mom mentally checking out.

I applied to Moody Chicago – & I received a letter in the mail that basically stated “Unfortunately, we cannot accept you at the Chicago campus. However, we would like to accept you into a 2 year program at our Spokane campus.” Which turned into a 4 year program receiving my Bachelors of Science in Biblical Studies.

Spokane?! Where the heck is that? & after researching where Spokane was located – I was in disbelief – all the way out in Washington State. In comparison to a 6 hour drive that turned into a 3 day road trip. & the process of convincing my dad to let me go – which he did. The moment I graduated from high school & returned from my mission trip to Honduras, I packed up my things, drove across country with a friend & her family who were transitioning to Colorado, stayed in Colorado for 2 weeks narrowing down apartments in Spokane & working on my transfer with my job (Regal Cinemas – all those free movies) & up to Washington where my dad met me with my car & my belongings (my little manual 1995 Saturn that he had to put oil in every 500 miles – he’s the best).

2008 my freshman year at Moody Bible Institute – you were either an aviation major or a Biblical Studies major – resides in a church. Students from all over the country, sharing the same story – applying to Chicago & were sent to Spokane instead because the numbers for enrollment were insane. Chicago simply did not have enough room. Moody was rapidly growing. & I was a part of that growth. My freshman year was life changing in so many ways – I got involved with a local church & their youth group, being a youth leader, helped lead worship, school full-time & work. & – I met Matthew – a freshman as well from California. He also applied to the Chicago campus & was directed to Spokane. We began dating our freshman year & were given the title from the students’ “favorite Moody couple.” We were involved in ministry together, we led worship together (he sung & played guitar – I sung). We grew spiritually together – something I had always dreamed of & prayed for. & it unfolded into reality, every day living.

But as the education continued, I became spiritually drained. & so did Matthew. I found myself picking up my Bible to read for classes – not for my own spiritual growth, or personal desire. It became another textbook among many. But because of a syllabus – a 30 page paper on theology & discussion of The Old Testament & the old law. Because of philosophical debates, arguments, convincing to believe solely Christianity & not challenging me in other areas, other beliefs & world views. The constant need to evangelize, getting out into the Spokane community, attending chapel twice a week or receive a failing grade if you don’t or accidentally miss a chapel (that happened to me once). Being preached at 24/7, not allowing room for own personal growth. & by the time junior year rolled around – I became numb. I became stagnant in my faith, needing a break, overwhelmed. I stepped back in participating in theological debates & arguments, became an observer, silent. I fought to make my faith my own again – organic & authentic. Matthew at that point had already become incredibly numb, & began drifting away from me spiritually, emotionally. To the point he associated himself as agnostic – but I didn’t find out until months before he left – 6 years later.

& when I graduated in 2012 – I was so relieved. So relieved to be free from such a legalistic viewpoint on life, on religion, on spirituality. Matthew & I both decided we needed to take a step back from the church. I personally – needed time to process my time at Moody. Reevaluate on my own what I believe, how to make my faith organic again. & as I tried to figure that out, Matthew was walking down a different path spiritually – atheist. I remember when I found out – during a podcast he was recording in our living room back in Dayton – months before he left. & I knew at that moment – we were walking down completely different paths – in all areas.

& when Matthew did leave, when we filed for divorce & I dealt with everything on my own – the first people to reach out to me – colleagues from Moody – judgment. Message after message. & my viewpoint about Moody quickly turned negative, suddenly.

But when I learned this past week that Moody Spokane was closing after the school year of 2018 – I found myself shocked by the news, heartbroken. Apparently enrollment has severely gone down (this impending school year only receiving 37 freshman in comparison to years prior). I began reflecting on my time at Moody. The friends I made, the professors who impacted me & invested in me, some of my favorite classes (Life in Bible Times, Intro to Counseling – playing 007 in New Testament Survey LOL), & after I graduated –  I managed the coffee shop on campus – HeBrews. Connecting with students & making new friends there, providing barista skills to my volunteers. There were still many good memories, good moments, & good people. & do I regret receiving my bachelor degree? Absolutely not. Do I have an interest in it anymore? No. But maybe because how stagnant & numb I became. Lost of interest. Because of the constant pounding in my head, my heart – on where I need to be at spiritually, how I should live my life. But in reality the greatest commandment Jesus taught – Love one another.

& that’s what I strive to do daily. Finding ways to bless people, encourage, help, & love. Without preaching or throwing the Bible in peoples’ faces. But to live an organic life to the fullest – loving people. I don’t identify myself as a Christian per say, but do I still believe in God? Yes. Even through the many trials that were laid out in front of me over the past couple years – I still believe, & I will always still choose to love people unconditionally. Do I currently go to church? No & I’m ok with that. Currently, I struggle with the church today, & I believe it primarily comes from the judgment I received from people within the church & Moody. A group of believers that are quick to judge, look to find ways to sneak into your life only to preach at you, gossip about you. Its a group I would rather not associate myself with, & instead build my faith naturally. & I know not every Christian is like that – just has been my experience constantly. But if I were to find a church that I felt at home with & comfortable? I would reconsider.

My heart is sad for the Moody community – for students who have to relocate to either Chicago (which they are also cutting faculty & staff back there too) or to another school; the faculty & staff who now have to pursue new jobs, new opportunities, & all the memories I did make at Moody Spokane – if it wasn’t for my spontaneous adventure out west to Spokane almost 10 years ago, barely 18 – I wouldn’t have moved back into a community I have grown to love so deeply, an area of the country that has really felt like home, an area where I have finally found healing & peace, time to process & really grow, challenging myself – becoming me again.

To continual new beginnings.

One photo from high school graduation with a friend who also went to Moody Spokane, & we roomed together freshman year.

Old but good memories through out my years at Moody. From the beginning as a freshman – to the end of my senior year – 2008-2012.

Anniversary · Crochet · Divorce · Emotions · Healing · Hope · Marriage · Memories · New Memories · Portland · Sunflower · Tattoos · Trials · Triggers

Story #15 – Two Years Ago t o d a y

To continual new beginnings – a brighter hope, an even brighter future – moving forward


I feel free. I feel renewed. I feel I have found myself again – self-rediscovery. It has taken me quite sometime to finally get to this spot. Yes, I have my down days – my depression I constantly battle, constantly fight. Feeling drained. Feeling suffocated by my thoughts, by my heavy emotions.

Yet I feel alive – I feel free. Happy. Myself – once again.

How time has flown by. The many years of losing myself in a downward spiral. One that kept pulling me in a black hole – sinking.

Today marks 2 years since Matthew left. Since he decided marriage wasn’t for him. The desire to be with me – suddenly gone. Like I didn’t matter. As if I were just a waste of time to him, or better yet – a passing time of distraction until he found something better, something/one that would fulfill his temporary happiness. One he constantly fought to keep filled with something “new” & “exciting” because apparently – I lost that to him. I wasn’t that to him anymore.

Last year on this day – I was at work when I received a text message from him, finally coming to terms with his abrupt decision to leave suddenly. The longest most emotional text message I have ever received- apologizing. I was working at a doctor’s office at the time, & I sat quietly in my cubicle – sobbing. Sobbing because not that I missed him, but the fact that he finally apologized. He finally recognized what he did & realized how his actions affected me emotionally & mentally – along with my every day life of trying to live a good life by supporting myself with two jobs. I never once thought that I would want to try & maybe get back together after his apology (I’m pretty sure he wanted to try – he regretted his decision, never admitted he regretted but I knew) but a sense of peace moved in, one that I felt my power slowly coming back. & today – I realized that power is officially back.

I actually forgot up until this past week what today was. I scheduled a tattoo appointment for today not realizing what today was. I was suppose to have a friend from Ohio come to visit & we were going to explore Portland together & road trip all over the Pacific Northwest – not remembering what today was. But she recently backed out, which at first I was sad about. I’ve never had the pleasure & experienced to show any friends from Dayton my home, where I have grown to love – the 6 years that I lived in Spokane for school, & now most recently moving back – I’ve always been the one to go back to visit – & its tiring emotionally, to be honest.

But I had already scheduled my tattoo appointment & paid the deposit. & I decided to take this weekend to m y s e l f – to regroup, renew, to continual processing & to continue to get my power back – my strength.

& it has been so incredibly fucking good

So incredibly – fucking good

I decided to visit all new places instead of my favorites. There is so much to explore. So much to see. All over really, just in general. But Portland has always been a favorite city of mine.

So many coffee shops, tried a couple new breweries, visited new shops. Bought a few house plants (now have 38), & the biggest reason I came was to add to my right arm of sunflowers – my favorite flower.  A work in progress of a collection of sunflowers from different tattoo artists. What an adventure it has been!

There’s something about traveling alone that’s refreshing. I bet people stare at me wonder why I’m alone – but who cares right? I have the freedom to do so, to be independent & strong. & I’m not ashamed of it. Especially working two jobs in customer service where I am constantly talking with people – its tiring, & traveling solo & keeping to myself – I’m perfectly fine with it.

& crocheting at bars? Fuck yeah.

I also have had opportunities to meet new people, which Portland is great with. One of the coffee shops I went to this morning – I talked with the owners & a lady who was sipping on an Americano.

& as I’m sitting at Breakside Brewery, writing this post – my latest crochet project in hand, people watching – I feel refreshed. I feel renewed. I feel me again. I don’t feel sad. Nor anger or hatred toward Matthew from what happened two years ago today – but I feel myself again.

a l i v e

Once again

Really ready to begin my life – to seek new opportunities whether it comes to job, dating, & so forth. One thing I do know for sure.

I want to make the Pacific Northwest my home.

Permanently.

It would have to take an incredible amount of convincing to move back to Dayton. I’m realizing more & more that no matter how hard I tried to be apart of the community there – yes, I moved away for 6 years & then back for over 2. Its my hometown & I know things were never going to be the same. People lose touch with one another, lose connection – its authentically natural.

But when it came to making n e w friends. When it came to dating – to seek genuine connections. When it came to building community, building support.

There was nothing – like I was an outsider peeking in, trying to be apart of a community that in reality? I was never welcomed to be apart of. & that’s ok.

Ever since Matthew left – I did literally everything on my own – alone. Solo. No support. No community. Besides my dad, besides my best friend sweet Soleil (best friend of 16 years) & a couple new friends – Lauren, David, Amelia ♥️ but instead received judgment & no support. From my hometown. From a community I should have been welcomed into naturally but instead – the complete opposite.

& I’m ok with that. Really.

& even though I was suppose to enjoy this trip to Portland with a friend I had made during the time I was actively trying to build community back in Dayton – trying to actively build genuine friendships & connections – I’m glad to be alone & to take time to myself.

To continual new beginnings.


Stopped in Hood River for their annual fall fest & bought a couple plants & squash I’ve never heard of. I have some cooking to do when I get back home!


Kainos Coffee – their pour over of their Tanzania was seriously on point.


The Grotto – a place of solitude & peace – simply beautiful.


Migration Brewery – such good food & beer!


Famous Powell’s Bookstore. I usually go & look for an old book on WWII but just had fun exploring it more.


Met with an old & dear friend here for drinks. A friend I knew back in Dayton who now lives in Portland. What a blessing it was to reconnect after so many years!


Doe Donuts – a vegan donut shop & holy shit – 🙌🏻


Kiosko – their kalito of their Mexico was so good. Such friendly owners as well!


Water Avenue Coffee


As I was trying to kill time waiting on my tattoo appointment – I came upon this place just right down the street.


Sunflower #6 from No Hope No Fear Tattoo Studio – I left speechless I was so happy with it!


Grabbed a cone sprinked in freeze dried beets from Cheese & Crack – #sorrystomach


Took home plant #38 from Pistil’s Nursure located in the Mississippi District.

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Stumbled upon this place in The Mississippi District – Wolf & Bear’s Din – I left speechless.


Cutest boutique!


Breakside Brewery – as I finish this blog post here.

What a fantastic trip – to continual new beginnings

Anniversary · Basset-Hound · Divorce · Dogs · Emotions · Friendship · Healing · Hope · Lacey · Marriage · Memories · New Memories · Patrick-Hound · Trials · Triggers

Story #13 – 4 Years A Go – Today

4 years ago today – someone special came into my life. Someone I didn’t imagine at the time – would just end up being her & I. I’ve always been a firm believer that when you bring an animal into your life, they become part of you – part of your daily routine, your life style. They become apart of your intermediate circle, your companion, your best friend – your most trust-worthy & loyal sweet friend.

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Matthew & I at the time, were looking to adopt another dog. Our basset- hound, Patrick – whom we adopted a year prior back in 2012, had the worst separation anxiety. It came to the point it started becoming a problem, one that needed to be addressed immediately. We had talked about adopting a second dog, doing our research & thinking about it, & Lacey came along. Her original owner had passed away & she was given to her daughter. Her daughter’s dogs kept bullying Lacey & Lacey was having a difficult time adjusting the living out in the country when all she knew – was apartment life.

We drove up to Green Bluff with Patrick, to meet sweet Lacey, & I remember sitting down on a step – Lacey came trotting up to me, & instantly  threw her cute self onto my lap & looked up at me, wagging her tale – I knew from that moment we would become the best of friends.

Something my dad has always taught me when considering bringing a dog or animal into your life – Don’t choose the animal; but let the animal choose you. & I felt in that moment with Lacey – she was choosing me.

Patrick Hound? Could care less at the time – but they became great pals quickly afterward, always side-by-side. It was difficult separating the two later on. Emotional.

Lacey became my best friend. She can sense when I’m sad, down, upset. She can sense when I’m about to cry or when I’m crying – & always comes up to snuggle me close. Allows me to hug her tight during those times. & one time in particular – I will never forget.

One week after adopting Lacey, it was my 24th Birthday. & my sweet friend Allison had spent literally 13 hours with me, dreading my hair. I was recently getting over a case of strep-throat, & Matthew? He did nothing for me on my birthday. He said that adopting Lacey was enough ($50 rehoming fee), & he remained silent on my birthday. Not even a “Happy Birthday! I love you!” Not even picking up coffee or making me breakfast or getting a bouquet of flowers for me – nothing. Yes, he did work that day, but there were chances through out the entire day where he could have at least done something. I remember feeling alone, uncherished, not special, like I didn’t matter. & having that feeling on your birthday? Is completely heart-breaking & miserable.

After Allison finished dreading my hair (around 930pm after arriving at 7am), Matthew asked, “What would you like to do for your birthday?” My response ” Well, I would like to go to The Hop Shop & just grab a beer with you.” His response “Ok great! I already invited a couple friends of mine to join.” My response “But, I just wanted to spend time with you on my birthday?” His response ” Well they are already on their way.”

We joined his friends at The Hop Shop (favorite bar of mine that sadly closed down later on due to the owners ready to embark a new business journey), & I remember feeling completely alone. I already hadn’t heard from my mom on my birthday (surprise, surprise since that stopped several years back) & I had to force myself to be social with people I already felt uncomfortable being around, not to mention didn’t want to be around at that time because hey – it was my birthday & I should feel as if I can do what I want to do on my birthday, which was get my hair dreaded & grab a beer with my husband, even if he didn’t do anything for me for my birthday.

& when we got home afterward – everything unfolded. One of my worst fears played out, & I honestly? Should have left him then before he decided to leave me a few years later, even after forgiving him & continued putting up with his abusive & manipulative behavior. Honestly? I don’t even remember what was said, what the fight was initially about. But I do remember he was mad at me because I wasn’t social enough with his friends. What do you expect?! Force myself to be social after recovering from strep-throat & having my head pulled on for 13 hours, to one of your friends actively telling me I looked awful (really, that was said) – to you ignoring me & not including me. I tried to have a genuine conversation, & his anger snapped. Something that quite honestly? Frightened me – for my safety.

We were sitting on our bed – he was yelling at me, raising his voice. I sat there in silence, not knowing how to respond, felt completely degraded – the next thing I know the word “bitch” came out of his mouth & a rather hard sting across my face – & instant reaction on my part – a sting across his face, pointing my finger at him saying, “You don’t dare lay a hand on me, or I will call the police on you.” I’ve never seen him so angry – his anger went from 0-100 in a matter of seconds. He immediately stood up & leaned over my end table next to my side of the bed, & with both of his fists – he began destroying my end table. Thousands of wood chips flying all over our bedroom. Me? Sitting on the bed, frozen, yelling for hm to stop – but he didn’t. I began to cry so hard, & the next thing I know?

Lacey came running in, hopped onto my lap, & allowed me to bury my crying, tear-stained face, into her. She remained calm. She remained still. Shielding my eyes from the pieces of wood flying into her – I strongly believe – Lacey saved me emotionally & mentally that night. On my birthday – a week later after adopting her. & ever since that moment four years ago – Lacey has never left my side sense.

Animals become apart of you, apart of your routine, apart of your life style, apart of your intermediate circle, apart of your family – they become your companion, your adventurer, your best friend. One of my favorite things to do with Lacey is take her to a brewery with me. She loves people, & she sits so quietly & begs for a sip of my beer 🙂 She also loves coffee beans & anxiously waits for me to give her one when I’m grinding coffee in the morning. She loves raw veggies, freshly popped popcorn, & snuggles. Lacey enjoys car-rides, camping, hiking, going on walks in our neighborhood. Most importantly – Lacey loves people, she loves cats (my cat Arwen & her are besties), & other dogs as well. She is incredibly well behaved, very mellow, very relaxed – & she just enjoys being with me, by my side.

There was a reason for adopting Lacey – & I’m so thankful she’s mine. & now that it’s just been her & I now for the past two years – I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To new beginnings

Lacey loves her popcorn! She also loves playing with my crochet projects. Sweet soul.

Our last day in our apartment in Spokane before moving back to Ohio. & When it became just her & I suddenly – we went on so many hikes together.

Lacey loves being outside & also making new friends! Right when I adopted my cat Arwen, they became best friends.

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& a little tribute to Patrick Hound – Lacey’s first best friend, her side-kick, her partner in crime though Patrick caused the majority if not all of the drama.

Happy 9th Birthday Lacey Lou!

Until next time

Anniversary · Divorce · Emotions · Friendship · Healing · Hope · Marriage · Memories · New Memories · Sunflower · Tattoos

Story #12 – NEW b e g i n n i n g s

“You’ve got a new story to write. And it looks nothing like your past.” -anonymous-

One year ago today – a day that approached so quickly, & yet felt so far away. Anticipation. Anxiously waiting. The end of 7 years of my life, of what I thought my life would be for long-term. August 24th, 2016 – literally exactly one year ago to the T. Because this took place on a Thursday as well. Perfect alignment. Reflection. Process. Reliving the events of that morning – & yet reliving the special memories I made afterward. & today is all about making new memories toward NEW beginnings.

Matthew flew into Dayton the Sunday before our court date to finalize our divorce – a lengthy process that took nearly an entire year. All because someone wasn’t ready to officially file, to officially part ways – but yet wanted to keep me as a “back-burner” & pursue a new life style, relationships – while me? Just wanting to move forward, to start my life fresh – all over again.

But he asked if we could meet & talk. I agreed. The day he flew in, we met at my favorite coffee shop that him & I use to frequent together when we lived in South Park – in the neighborhood. 2pm on a Sunday afternoon. I walked into Ghostlight – anxious, nervous, waiting. He showed up & the first thing I noticed – the smell of heavy alcohol on his breath. He showed up pretty intoxicated, & I felt so embarrassed & already wanting to bolt. But I had to remember he did just fly in & literally was dropped off by a friend right afterward. Was he nervous & that’s the reason why he had so much to drink? Fuck yeah. Good – damn good – because he had every right to be nervous.

He sat down after grabbing coffee, started talking & catching up. He then surprised me with, “Are you really wanting to go through with this?” My response “Yes. Are you reconsidering?” His response “Kinda…” I immediately reacted in such a way I never had before to him – stood up for myself & explained what he did to me & how much he had hurt me, & I wanted to be set free – officially & finally. He almost started crying & immediately apologized & said “I’ve never heard you stand up for yourself like that. That was incredibly brave of you. Thank you.” We decided to walk around the neighborhood, continued talking, grabbed a bite to eat in The Oregon District where my best friend & her girlfriend joined us. We then – parted ways. Healing began taking place.

I was so nervous, so sick to my stomach – one year ago today. The idea of even going to court made me nauseous. We were to arrive at 8am, downtown Dayton. I had taken the entire day off from both jobs, knowing emotionally? I wouldn’t want to be working, with both jobs being so customer service oriented. I sat there, waiting, waiting, & waiting. Texting my sister freaking out – is he coming?! He finally arrived. I could tell by the look on his face – he had been crying. He was regretting his decision – to leave me. But I held it together – I never felt so strong in my life. We had to walk to a window to pick up our papers, & as we waited outside the room – Matthew tried to hold my hand. I let him for a brief moment, then pulled away. ‘Why is he being like this? This was YOUR decision. You wanted to move on & start fresh with your life.’ Thoughts rolling through my head.

And as we were called into the court room, I remember him trying to hold my hand again, & that time? I didn’t allow it.

It all ended in 5 minutes – 7 years of my life – ended in 5 minutes. The judge was pressuring me into taking alimony from Matthew. I responded I didn’t want it & her response? “That’s not a good enough reason. You could easily lose your job tomorrow! I need you to give me a better reason.” This was an on-going battle & I threw my hands up & started crying & said “I want nothing to do with him! This has already been dragged out long enough. I don’t care if I lose my job & I am very well aware of that. I have family who would support me. I want no ties to him from this point on.” Matthew looked at me & instantly began to cry – sobbing. The judged then moved on & began questioning Matthew “So how long have you lived in Colorado now?” Matthew “10 months.” The Judge “Since the beginning of the separation? You left first?” Matthew “Yes.” The judge shook her head in frustration & marked on our papers that Matthew? Abandoned the marriage.

Afterward we were directed to walk down to the Clerk of Courts office to hand in our papers to officially have our divorce recorded. Before we walked in, Matthew pulled me aside & asked if we could have a moment. He was literally – sobbing. Me? Stone cold. Emotionless. Afterward he asked if he could walk me to my car – I agreed. We stood there for a moment. He continued to sob. And he said to me “I will always cherish you, & consider you as one of my best friends. I’m so sorry I caused you so much pain.” He handed me a stone, remembering how much I love semi-precious gemstones – I can’t remember the name of the stone, but it was beautiful – pink & white – that represents healing & moving forward. I placed it in one of my plants & still have it, today.

Before we parted ways, I encouraged him to go take some time to himself at one of his favorite coffee shops he frequented when he lived in Dayton – Press. I went to Ghostlight, where I cried, processed, sat alone, regrouped. A couple dear friends of mine – David & Stephanie – joined me shortly afterward. Stephanie brought me one of her delcious treats, a cake in a mason jar with this beautiful apple on topped that she created to make it look like a rose.

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My dad checked in on my. My step-mom did & we grabbed coffee the following day. I went home for a moment & received a phone call from a dear friend here in Spokane. She just felt like she needed to call me & see how I was doing. Alignment. Blessing. She’s the one that helped me with my transfer back into Spokane at Trader Joe’s.

My sweet friend Laurie & I met up for lunch where I was able to continue debriefing. And my sweet long-time friend from way back (second grade, Sunday School class LOL) Rebekah, met with me where we treated ourselves to pedicures & cheesecake. Today? She reached out to me & asked how she could bless me today – she’s setting me up an appointment for next week to receive a pedicure (thanks to groupon!) Blessed. Friendship. Community from afar. Words cannot express how much that meant to me.

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Afterward I met with my best friend Soleil & her sweet girlfriend Julie. Where Soleil made some damn good eggs (what at 10pm?! LOL) & we went out for drinks in the district where our friend David joined up with us again. What an incredible day full of emotions of all sorts but yet – instantly began making new memories toward new beginnings.

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& this photo – that random ass dog just chilling in this bar – LOL Oh dear…

& as today began to approach, I realized how this anniversary is still very much raw. I instantly began planning to make new memories. & one of those was adding a sunflower to my right arm. The gal that did it too – so incredibly talented with such a sweet spirit! I thoroughly enjoyed talking with her. When I first messaged her I explained what this day was & what it meant to me. & she usually has Thursdays off, but new how important it was for me & took me on. I didn’t know that until after I arrived for my appointment – Thank you so much Chole! Words also can’t express how much that meant to me.

& as I am sitting at one of my favorite coffee shops (Vessel Coffee Roasters) writing to you, I’m realizing a whole new chapter of my life – is officially about to begin – toward new beginnings, a brighter hope, an even brighter future.

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NEW beginnings – in my handwriting – a phrase I have dedicated to myself. & now I have a constant reminder under my favorite flower that also holds many meanings. Undead Ink Studio in Spokane Valley – Chole is so talented & I look forward to getting another piece done by her in the future! Look her up on instagram.

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& that almond milk latte sweetened with honey – iced – on point as always.

Until next time.

Divorce · Emotions · Healing · Hope · July · Marriage · Memories · Sunflower · Trials · Triggers · Uncategorized

Story #10 – Slow to S P E A K

“Before you say something, think how you’d feel if someone said it to you.” – anonymous-

“If the words you spoke appeared on your skin would you still be b e a u t i f u l?” -anonymous-

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One of my biggest frustrations since Matthew left – the constant down talk about how “I could have done better.” How he was plain stupid, not well-liked, etc. Why on earth, do you even get the slightest thought, that it’s ok to speak to me like that? Or to anyone?

Very recently, I had a moment where it happened. In great company too. And one of my dear friends, who knew him before he snapped & changed, recognized the severity of the rudeness, but I held it together & let this gal speak. Her talking – minutes felt like hours. But yet – I bit my tongue & remained calmed. I let her speak her mind. I sat there, listened, took the brutal talk, brutal words, & listened. Agreeing with her. Because I didn’t want to get involved in an argument, from having a great evening with dear friends – my community. I wasn’t going to allow her painful words – affect & hurt me. But – I can’t seem to shake it.

I’ve been battling with negative thoughts since – was I stupid? Naive? Could I have done better? What is wrong with me to receive such poor treatment? Constantly? Harsh & judgmental words? How suddenly quick she was to speak as well. I sat there in shock, hurt, fighting back tears. I felt so belittled, incredibly stupid. Incredibly low. And I have been since. A thought I haven’t really thought about it.

Ever since Matthew left, I’ve had more people come forward to vocally voice their opinion on how they viewed him, how they disliked him, wandered why I was with him, why I – didn’t leave him. You know by whom? By those who only met & knew him – after things drastically changed between us. After something snapped. Because those people? Didn’t know him before he changed – they didn’t see the caring, gentle, & sweet spirit he was – the little things he use to do for me, like place bouquets of sunflowers on the dashboard of my car – while I was at work. The several times he brought me coffee also while at work, that one time he surprised me with tickets to my favorite band – mewithoutYou – twice! The several times he cooked me dinner, brought me breakfast in bed, told me how beautiful I was, how he really loved me unconditionally – and those who knew him before he changed suddenly – saw his love for me, & his sweet spirit, caring self. He was well-liked by others. My dad & him grew a close friendship tremendously – he even took my dad out to breakfast to ask for my hand in marriage. He was good – really good.

I grieved over what was gone – his old self, the self I missed dearly – sometimes I still do. And for someone who has no clue what the past two years of my life have been like, the last few years with Matthew & what I dealt with when he snapped suddenly – to speak such harsh & hurtful words. “I thought he was stupid & I always wondered why the fuck you were with him. You could have done better. And then he really fucked up when he left you.” Well no fucking shit – he really fucked up & I hope & I assume that he realizes it. But even during the worst times with him – I remained hopeful, because I knew what he was capable of – because I experienced it, & so did everyone else.

I ran into my roommate from college at work a few days ago – first time seeing her in exactly 6 years – literally. One of those moments where you both lean back, looking at each other, realizing you recognize one other – “Marcie?!” “Shannon?!” Shannon was my last roommate before I got married, & by far my favorite. We lived in a house together with 3 other girls, & then it was just us 2 until we both went on our separate ways, both engaged – she now has two adorable little boys, with her husband. And me? Alone. The look on her face when I told her, sudden heartbreak, sadness. “But Marcie! He loved you so much!” I know he did – but shortly after her & I parted ways? He didn’t – suddenly. Sadness. Pain. Devastation. She was experiencing those emotions for me – because she saw, & she knew – What Matthew was like before he – changed suddenly.

I just want to encourage everyone – please, please THINK before you utter any words. You have absolutely no idea what the past 7 years of my life were like. You have not walked in my shoes. You have not experienced what I experienced & went through. To the next person that speaks to me in such a way – I will call you out on it. Right there. To your face. Because that type of treatment needs to be stopped – immediately.

This week has already been rather emotional, full of self-reflecting, thinking, process, continual healing – & that conversation? Was the icing on the cake from everything else this week – & it’s only Thursday.

I’m emotionally drained – when will I stop feeling this way? When will I stop crying? When will I find myself normal again? To not constantly be on the verge of tears? To not constantly randomly start crying? To not let my mind wander to the past? When will I feel like my normal self again? When will I be brought out of this – depression?

& even though last weekend was a huge weekend in celebration toward new beginnings, a brighter hope, a brighter future – continual healing finally taking place – I still have my moments, I still struggle, & I recognize it – & I am trying to figure out what to do – to help myself.

I’m just being real. Raw. Honest. Authentic. Me – thoughts, process, healing – until next time.

14F1818F-961C-40DE-BCEE-51D8A0CB0C8D“You should step into my shoes and walk a mile. Then maybe you’ll see how hard it is to hold back tears and fake smiles.” -anonymous-

Anniversary · Divorce · Emotions · Friendship · Healing · Hope · July · Lavender · Marriage · Memories · New Memories · Sage · Triggers · Uncategorized · Wedding

Story #9 – 7.9.11

“At last – my love has come along. My lonely days are over. And life is like a song.”

“You smiled, you smiled. Oh and then the spell was cast. And here we are in heaven. for you are mine. At last…” -Etta James- (song we had played while we kissed at the alter)

6 years ago T O D A Y – 7.9.11 – a life long commitment that was made in front of family & friends, vows that were made, the hustle & bustle beforehand to prepare for this moment of my life, the excitement leading up to it, the pamper of myself, the magical moment where I became a bride, ready to unite with her groom, someone who I thought loved & cherished me unconditionally. The beauty of community surrounding us in support, the merging of two families from across the country. The love & promise between husband & wife.

Today would have marked 6 years of marriage with whom I thought was my best friend, my life partner, my soul mate, my companion. Today marks first wedding anniversary – divorced, single, alone. I remember this day last year – I turned in our dissolution papers to the post office one last time. And when I arrived, standing in front of the gal, I realized what day it was, the oddness of turning those papers in one last time, that shortly led to the court date to finalize my divorce – a month later. I never imagined myself in this position. I had made a promise after all – quitting was not an option. Leaving, abandonment – was not an option. But it was to him. And I couldn’t change that. All the handwork I put into our marriage, because I cared & loved him unconditionally, but didn’t receive it back. Nothing matter.

I remember our wedding day very clearly – in a little old chapel located on my high school campus (I know, weird right?! But an orphanage built in the early 1800s? Lots of great old historic buildings), sunflowers as my main flower (obviously), an ivory colored wedding dress, my closets friends by my side, my best friend, Soleil, as my maid-of-honor & my sister right next to her, my family & his. I wanted to get married back in Dayton OH, primarily because I wanted to give my mom the opportunity to attend – but she didn’t. In her state of mind, I had a feeling she wasn’t going to be there, but I had hope, & wanted to give her that chance.

It was incredibly humid, no air-conditioning in the chapel. Matthew was so nervous, he consumed an entire container of altoids! I was so sweaty, I asked for a fan to be put directly underneath me, the cold breeze shooting up my dress (LOL), my relatively small heals were killing my feet – so I kicked them off & walked down the isle with my dad holding me lose -shoeless, peaks of the blue polish on my toes showing. But time stood still – a beautiful moment that I had dreamed of & prayed for, was coming true. Who knew, that everything would come crashing down & abruptly end a few years later? Because he simply didn’t want to be with me anymore? Because he decided to stop pursuing his faith that now has me questioning mine, because of what happened & all the incredible amounts of judgement I received from Christians, when it wasn’t even my fault in the first place? Everything – suddenly changed, the future erased, the path became unknown & unsteady, rocky, shaky. Alone. Afraid. Heartbroken. Emotionally & mentally destroyed.

As today was approaching, & after finding out Matthew was back in Spokane – I began to worry, get down on myself, sad. How was I going to face today? What was I going to do to turn this day into a positive one full of new memories, new beginnings?

I took the day off work. I was determined to make new memories, toward new beginnings for myself. I didn’t want to dread this day today & in the future, but to look back & remember the good memories I made.

It started out with coffee at one of my favorite coffee shops, Vessel Roasters. I met with a new sweet friend, what a beautiful spirit she is! Her husband is a local musician, & such a talented one! And I met her at work, last month, when I was doing a carry-out for her & her adorable baby girl. We got talking & I put the connection together. We grabbed coffee this morning, & what a sweet blessing it was. I began talking about my divorce & everything. And after the conversation, I remembered thinking to myself “I wasn’t sad when I talked about it.” A new friendship blossomed.

I drove & met with my friend Rashel, who I went to Moody Bible Institute with. Her friendship has been a huge encouragement to me. We always have some of the greatest conversations & times together. There was a U-Pick lavender festival that I wanted to check out & she wanted to go with me! We each brought some snacks, water, and a pair of socks (admission to the festival as a donation for a local organization). We picked bundles of lavender, while being serenaded by a harpist, laughing & taking photos. After we finished, we drove up to Green Bluff (all these local farms where you can pick produce) & went to a brewery & enjoyed a lavender IPA that was fantastic, followed by cherry picking. After we got back into town, I met up with another sweet long-time friend, Emily. What an incredible blessing she is & has been to me. “This is your night! I’m just here for ya, along for the ride.” Drove & picked her up, went & purchased a small bundle of sage, went out to eat at one of my favorite places – Ruins. Up the street in The Garland District that’s become a favorite place of mine to one of my favorite bars for drinks, Bon Bon. Sat, ate popcorn, had a couple drinks, knit/crocheted, all the laughter. Spontaneous sunset photo shoot in my neighborhood, & back to my apartment where we had a sage burning ceremony – cleansing all negative energy out of us. Outside, in the cool summer breeze, as the sun was setting. The smell of sweet sage, burning, cleansing my soul, my spirit – healing – toward new beginnings, a brighter hope, a brighter future. And as Emily was covering me in sage – I thought to myself “I rid what this day use to mark, & start fresh, toward new beginnings for myself.” And after we finished, I felt free.

The community here in Spokane – has been overwhelmingly incredible. The support, the encouragement, the genuine connections, the healing. Something I struggled with constantly back in Dayton when I was there over the past two years – my hometown. A time in my life where I really needed the support from community, but instead – received nothing. For the first several months of Matthew gone & I was struggling making ends meet for myself, I was alone, & dealt with nothing but negative energy, judgement, shame. All from a situation that I had no control over, that wasn’t from the root of my own personal problem, but his. I tried fitting into a “community” that was made apparent that I didn’t belong. I stopped caring for myself, out every weekend getting intoxicated, desperately wanted to fit in, to not feel alone, but in reality? I still felt incredibly alone. Yes, I made some new friends along the way, toward the very end of my time in Dayton, that I am incredibly thankful for – for I believe they helped bring me out of a dark & depressing time of my life. But over all? I was struggling. I was in a funk, a pattern of constantly being stuck, depressed. On repeat. And my abrupt decision to move back to Spokane, where it all started with Matthew, determined to make new memories in Spokane, a city I always had a love-hate relationship with – I knew it was time. To move back to a community I knew would have been there for me, to help me through my time of depression, my divorce. And the moment I returned – nothing by reassurance of that very fact – and today, proved it tremendously.

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My sweet friend Rashel – so incredibly thankful for her & her friendship over the past several years!

Vessel Roasters w/ new sweet friend Nina – Big Barn Brewery & Cherry picking w/ Rashel!

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So incredibly thank for Emily & her sweet friendship, her encouragement, & her badass self – strong & independent.

7.9.11 to 7.9.16 – complete healing – toward new beginnings, a brighter hope, a brighter future – toward self-rediscovery, to being strong, independent, uniquely beautiful, to finding purpose in life & seeking new opportunities – to finally being free from pain, heart-ache, trauma – to complete healing.

Thank you to all who reached out to me today – & to Nina, Rashel, & Emily especially.

Until Next Time.