It’s Been 10 Days

since my last post.

Life's been busy, as well all know. It's not just me. Single mothers, working mothers, mothers of one or mothers of multiples, married women, spinsters, leisurians or librarians, we all seem to have busy lives.

I went away last weekend with the gals, only 90 minutes south to Chicago for a “spiritual” conference. It was a blast — lots of great speakers, lots of laughs, great meals, stay-up-late chats and even a night of dancing. We’ve done this every January for the last 10 years — my friend Brea and I. Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the gals from their appointed weekends away. This certainly was the case as we left town Thursday evening in the beginning hours of a blizzard which left the roads wintry white and insecure. It took 5 hours to drive what normally takes about 1 hour. That did include a stop for dinner, hoping we'd miss the storm induced grid lock. When we resumed our trek, we found several cars being pulled out of ditches or extracted from median strips and watched at least 3 or 4 spin out right before our very eyes. It was 9:30pm when we arrived at our hotel and the night’s festivities had long ended.

One of the sweetest things that began my weekend was when  I received an unexpected gift. We met my girlfriend's husband, Casey, at a park and ride. Brea and I were going to ride and room together, but since we had a slight delay, we were able to have him join us for the ride down. He usually attends with his guy friends and stays in his own room. Weird? Not really. Brea and Casey attend lots of things together, and early on she and I both decided we'd always make this weekend a girls' weekend regardless of whether our husbands attended or not. Upon arrival at the park and ride, Casey handed me a large cup of Starbucks coffee. I didn't know what it was for. He and I both have a coffee addiction in common. "What? Are you asking me to hold your coffee for you?" I asked. "No. That's for you." I almost fell to the floor. Do y’all know how long it’s been since a man has brought me coffee? Do you know how reluctant I was to see Casey? He was friends with my X. Not great friends mind you, but friends nonetheless. Also, Casey is known for giving people shit. He looooooooves to give his wife’s friends a hard time. Absolutely loves it! His whole personality is one large joke. He's a funny guy. He's slightly (wittingly) sarcastic (in a very funny funny way). So I was prepared to hear things like, “You know, if you had just ... Matt wouldn't have left you,” or maybe some riffs about the X. I knew that if he would give me a hard time it would be in jest, but I was fearful nonetheless. None of that happened. And the coffee wasn’t the only nice thing he did for me that weekend. Cloaked in humor, Casey let me know all weekend long that I had his support, without using those words. Brea and Casey have a solid marriage. He is a dedicated father and a very loving husband. I’ve known him for years. I really cannot say a bad thing about him. What I gleamed from his actions this weekend is that he was, in a way, telling me he was on my side, or that rather, he understood. I’m always astonished when my friends’ husbands support me. I could cry talking about it.

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I have a need. I'll admit. Am I ready for a relationship? I don’t know, probably not. I know I’m not ready for the big time, the kind of relationship you can’t wait share with your family, friends, coworkers. Yet, there are times that I realize I have a need to be held. A need to sit across the table from someone. A need to be seen as an attractive, confident, mature woman and told that I’m beautiful. A need to feel the comfort of someone’s hand across my back, shoulder to put my head onto, someone who lifts me up in those places where the break up has worn me down.

I have a need to receive, a need to give. To a man. Not just my family, friends or child. But a real live living breathing male, one with strong hands and a warm chest. And lots of testosterone.

I want to feel alive again, like a woman, not just a mother. Because I know I am more than a mother. 

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Life is good today. My ride into work on Wednesday morning had me more joyful than I’ve felt in a while. I am feeling good these days, but Wednesday morning I felt true peace, contentment and a passion for my life. Thank God. Brea said to me this weekend as the conference wrapped up, “Andrea, we finally have you back.” I know. I rejoiced when she shared that. I’ve been gone a long time. The Andrea I knew, the one I had been forever, was breathing again. I’ve come to. I'm happy. Content. I like my life. A lot. Even work, which has leveled my ego, is a good place to be at. Facing daylight is not painful anymore. Waking up is a good experience. I have peaceful mornings, quiet, warm mornings. Good coffee. Beautiful readings. A lovely home. A soft, comfortable bed. I like me again. I like who I see in the mirror (even with the 20 extra pounds). I feel good about who I am. I know I am loved. And best of all, I am so incredibly happy and content with God. I feel so loved and supported. I draw strength thru Him. I feel His presence daily. I spend time alone with Him. I'm filled up by Him. 

I can’t believe it. I’m finally here, finally out of the smoke. Finally, I can breathe again. 

I’m happy. I’m happy to be leaving the past behind me. I’m courageously forging into my future.

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PS. I'm officially a blonde now.