I finally decided it was time to go back to college and make something of myself. I started in January and have had ZERO time for blogging or any sort of life it seems. I am still working on my post about the last ten years and I don't care if it's July, I will finish that sucker and post it! :-) In the meantime, Shoo Shoo suggested I post my English essays. Our first assignment was a literary essay. We were supposed to write about a book or an event that changed our lives or left some sort of impression on them. Something that made us greatful that we were able to read. I received my first essay back from the instructor on February 8 and she had given me a 100%! I was ecstatic to say the least. I decided it was probably good enough to share. SO, here it is.........
I’m Not Broken
I was devastated. How did I get here? I was everything I had always despised: pathetic, mopey, and heart-broken. We were at Barnes & Noble for my nephew, after all. It was his birthday, and he wanted to buy some Pokeman books with his birthday money. At some point I had wandered off on my own. I had been stuck in my own head, wallowing in self-pity for weeks and now here I was, standing in the self-help section like a sad, desperate woman begging for help on the Oprah show.
I knew I had to do something to make a change. I was turning into a shut-in. It had been five weeks; it was time. 35 days had passed since the world I once knew came crashing down; I lost my job and my boyfriend all in one day and it destroyed me. I didn’t even recognize the person that I had become. I didn’t want to see my friends. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. All I did was shove food in my mouth, watch sad movies and cry.
I stood there, reading through all the titles on the shelves. Then I saw it, the book I had heard so much about, “He’s Just Not That Into You” by Greg Behrendt. I picked it up, read a few pages and decided it was worth a shot. Next to it, by the same author, a book titled “It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken, The Smart Girl’s Break-up Buddy.” It had a bright, eye-catching cover. The main picture was a vivid turquoise and hot pink tub of ice cream. Yes, perfect, this is SO me! It was a book Greg had co-written with his wife, Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt. It seemed witty and insightful and I couldn’t wait to get home and dive in.
I read “He’s Just Not That Into You” in just a couple of hours. It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. It only reassured me that I had made the right decision in leaving all of my previous boyfriends in the past, but it wasn’t all that I felt I needed to help me with my current situation. I started to read “It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken” and I’m not sure that I ever put it down, except to sleep. I read it in just two days, and then I read it again. The first time through, I ignored the exercises and most of the commandments, thinking they just seemed so silly, but took almost all of their advice. The second time around, I really paid attention. I participated in all of the exercises and applied ALL of the commandments.
Greg lays out seven firm commandments. They were wonderful tools. I found a few of them to be a little more important than others. For example, Commandment No. 1: Do not see him or talk to him for 60 days, also known as “he-tox.” It seemed impossible. He called me several times a week and I would still see him once or twice a week, he just wasn’t my “boyfriend” anymore. By my second time through the book, I was ready. He-tox was the first step in getting my life back, on getting ME back. When the time came for me to break off all communication with my ex, it was actually very empowering. I immediately felt so strong when I said the words to him, “I can’t see you anymore, and I don’t want to hear from you either. You aren’t the one for me. I really do love you, but I’m learning that I love myself so much more. The only thing I can promise is that I will love you a little less every day.” That was the day my journey began!
I started to feel the transformation almost immediately. I couldn’t get enough of it. I kept going through the steps. The next major commandment that really helped me to move past a huge hurdle was Commandment No. 3: Get rid of his stuff and the things that remind you of him. This step resulted in a huge breakthrough for me. I rearranged my furniture and my bedroom. I boxed up all of his things. In doing so, I not only removed physical items, I also went through the mental process of removing him and accepting that he would no longer be there. Certain parts of this process were sad, but a larger part of it was liberating and it felt great! I was single, I had my own place and my own life. It was time to reclaim what was once mine, and that’s just what I did!
The last commandment is something that I still struggle with, on and off, in my single, everyday life. Commandment #7: It won’t work unless you are number one. That statement couldn’t be more true. It is probably the biggest key to this growing process. It not only applies to boyfriends, but to all friends. Every day we have to remember to put ourselves first, in all situations, because if we don’t, no one else will either.
I have passed this book around to at least six of my girlfriends. I know they have all loved it but they haven’t all taken it in as much as I have. The key to the success of this book in your life is to be willing and totally open to the ideas and exercises.
This book changed my life. It has been almost four years now since this transformation occurred. I no longer even have the desire to date or have a boyfriend. I realize that may not be the healthiest thing either, but I have become so focused on my wants, my needs and my dreams that I can’t even imagine making room for someone else. I spent so many years worrying about how someone else felt, what someone else needed, and how to achieve someone else’s goals that I completely lost track of my own. I realize I really had no self-worth, and I depended on my boyfriends to make me happy and to make me feel complete. Through his book, Greg showed me that I had the ability to feel happy and complete all on my own, and that is exactly how I feel today. I could never fully begin to express how much this book means to me or how much it has changed me, in every way. I do know that I count Greg Behrendt as one of my heroes, and I am eternally grateful for his wisdom and knowledge. I no longer rely on anyone else to make me feel good about myself. If I start to feel like something is wrong, I take a step back and I try to figure it out. I am now the only one who controls how I feel and what I think. I wouldn’t trade that for the world!
So...the past 10 years. I feel that so much has happened but you really have to sit back and think about it. Things don't seem to change so drastically from day to day, but until you really, really take a long, hard look, things do change dramatically in what seems to be a blink of an eye. Here's my attempt to recap the past decade...in list form -- from the important to the tragic to the ecstatic to the not-so-interesting to the very exciting to the "I can't believe I did that." In no particular order.
1. Graduated college
2. Not yet became the host of the Today Show...(I thought for SURE this was a shoe-in as soon as I landed my degree)
4. Got divorced
5. Lived alone for the very first time
6. Realized I was in love with my high school sweetheart
7. High school sweetheart got married
8. Got laid off (i.e. fired) from a job
9. Was told I resembled Heather Locklear, Tori Spelling and Mariah Carey
10. Completed dream internship in NYC at Us Weekly Magazine
11. Went to Vegas for the first time (and consequently met some great peeps who work for E! My fave!)
12. Became secure enough to go to the bar alone
12.5 Went to too many bars
13. Became an aunt of three:)
14. Fell in massive love
15. Got my heart massively broken and had a massive breakdown. But worth the lessons learned. :)
16. Turned 30
17. Daddy got cancer
18. One of my bff's got cancer
19. Three (yes! three!) of my bff's had kiddos
20. Was a bridesmaid four times in five months
21. Entered a limbo contest
22. Puked in my purse. Twice.
23. Saw Norah Jones live
24. Realized I have really, really great friends and fam
25. Started fashion freelance writing
26. Fell in love with makeup
27. Started the "say something nice about the person to the right of you" game (which, by the way, everyone bitches about playing but no one -- NO ONE -- leaves this game feeling anything but happy.)
28. Became grandparent-less
29. Went to Cali for the first time
30. Got three tattoos
31. Learning a lot about myself (I use present tense because it is an ongoing event)
32. Started a BLOG with one of my besties!
Things I'd like to work on in 2010:
1. Move to the city (not Detroit...How bouts Chicago or NYC)
2. Take control of my career
3. Take control of my finances
4. Be a better daughter, sister, aunt, friend, roommate, worker, person, mom (to my titty tats), gf (if it should present itself), Christian (first and foremost)
5. Not beat myself up so much, lose the guilty conscience, appreciate myself a bit more and think about what it is I truly want
Happiest of happy new year to you all...sending many hugs and smiles your way. May this be the year that we all find what we're looking for.
Jen-a-Roo~I’m a 33 yr old, SWF...and I’m loving every minute of it! I have 5 cats, a great duplex that I have just recently redecorated, have been a Legal Asst for 15 years & am currently going back to college to earn a BA in Forensic Science. I have many passions (music, movies & traveling); pet peeves (the word “ain’t”, people who cancel plans & people who chew with their mouth open); obsessions (Guns n’ Roses, Twilight and California); and quirks (I require a great deal of alone time, I can’t stand it when people touch stuff in my Inbox, & am a little OCD). I have a life list & I’m very dedicated to marking items off as often as I can!
Shoo Shoo ~ I am a 30-yr-old single working gal obtaining a PhD mastering life’s boulders, blunders & lessons. Inquisitive, empathetic & impatient by nature, & oftentimes her own worst enemy & her own biggest fan, she has a penchant for the color black, big cities, makeup & skin care, daydreaming (due to a slight case of undiagnosed ADD), & asking an absurd amount of questions. Blessed by the best family & friends around, she is also a journalist & HR consultant.