Updated on 7/23/17:
4 years later I am sitting at the nail salon with Mandy getting pedicures after spending a weekend with her in Tennessee. Something told me to go find the blog post where I first wrote about our friendship. So much has changed but yet at the same time nothing has. We are still both single. Searching or waiting or maybe neither for the men God wants for us. Life has been interesting for sure. I’m 35 now with a successful career, as well as, a pretty good side job that has allowed me to do some incredible things in the past couple of years. I am beyond thankful and grateful.
However, I still have the desire to one day be a mom with a family. I never want to settle. I truly believe God has kept this friendship with Mandy in my life for a reason. Being single in your late 30s isn’t easy and I think people forget that. No I don’t want pity by any means just understanding.
Between the two of us we have some pretty interesting dating stories and I know we aren’t the only ones! Dating in your late 30s is an adventure for sure but here we go….
Written originally on 8/17/13:
If you had told me this would be my life at 31, I would not have believed you. I was born in the south and had planned the white picket fence life with a handsome husband, two children, and a beautiful house. When I realized my marriage was not going to be a Disney movie I became very depressed. The thought of being divorced was horrid to me and against what I stood for, so I trucked through and tried in every way I could to save my marriage.
I do not advocate divorce but in my situation it was the best choice for me. I was dying inside and losing myself. I didn’t know who I was anymore nor did I ever really know. What I thought I wanted out of life was looking more and more foreign to me. I still remember the moment I knew what I had to do – ask my husband for a divorce. It was and probably will be the hardest thing I have ever done. I loved this person dearly despite our problems. I did not want to hurt him, but I knew I had to get out. It was the best thing for both of us. As expected, he was upset and grew angry and hated me. Having the person you love hate you is not the best feeling in the world. I knew down the road he would be grateful for my decision and see I was making the right choice for both of us. The divorce process is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the worst roller coaster you will ever ride. Your emotions are ever changing from day to day with no way of knowing what is to come next. I would not wish divorce on my worst enemy. I see now why some say it is easier to get through a death than a divorce because with a death it isn’t that person willingly leaving you. I believed in marriage and the bond. I loved being a wife and having a partner in this world. I can remember our first Christmas and I got everything monogrammed with our married initials because I was thrilled to be in that homemaker role.
I thought about those memories that day I had to stand in court against my ex, thinking, How did we get to this point? Why were these things happening to me? After I wallowed in self pity, I started looking for answers. I began to date, but I was not ready. I met an incredible man and actually fell in love with him but it was too soon. I got hurt, but it jumpstarted my healing process, and for that I am forever thankful.
I started “The Divorced Divas” (which would later be changed to “My Own Diva”) Facebook page and Twitter on a rainy night after debating with God several times that I was in no way fit to help anyone. I even called my best friend and opened up to her about this dilemma. I was an emotional wreck, so how could I help anyone? God still kept trying. I have a huge love for music, so He used that to speak to me. He used a very powerful song to reach me and it was in that moment I knew I had no choice but to create this organization. I created the group on a Facebook page but kept it hidden where no one could see it but me. God still kept at me though challenging me to make the Facebook page public and start the Twitter. I could not escape Him and trust me I tried. I gave it every excuse in the book because I thought I was the LAST person that needed to be helping anyone. I have been following this one woman on Twitter for a while now and she was a constant up lifter in my life. She had no idea who I was and that she was even helping me get through my divorce. I remember the exact night when I opened my Twitter account and read the first tweet, which was hers. What she wrote was vital to my situation. I knew at that moment to make the Facebook page and Twitter account public. It has not even been a year since I started this organization and I have already gotten to personally meet Mandy Hale (the woman on Twitter) in her hometown in a way only God could miraculously plan but I am graciously getting to help her promote her first book by having it as a giveaway. You can find the giveaway on the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MyOwnDiva.
The organization’s name has been changed to “My Own Diva” so that I can broaden the areas in which I can help others. I also want to start bringing in others that are willing to help and share their stories. Everyone has a story. The name changing to “My Own Diva” was simply to give more of a personal touch to the readers and allow them to make a connection to the diva inside of each of them. The new tagline is: My Own Diva…Bringing out the diva inside of each of us. I am starting my own website that will include a personal blog and more. It will have resources available along with a forum. There will be a store that will include items that I have found meaningful and useful. I have been blessed to be a guest blogger for several blogs in the past year but having my own will be very exciting. I have tons of ideas that I want to incorporate into my vision. In my eyes, I have the worst grammar so hopefully you can look beyond my mistakes (because I am sure there will be plenty) and just see my words and feel their depth. It is never easy to write about your personal experiences. You are putting yourself out there for readers to cast judgments on you. But you do it anyway, for that one person you may touch with your honesty in your words. I have no idea what my future holds. I want such different things now than I did five years ago. I love the song, “The Fear” by Ben Howard because in life we are all fearful especially with change. However, with change you grow the most. Thank you for your continued support and love.