As I wake up this Easter, April 4, 2021, I sit in wonder of my life.  Part, “how did this happen,” and part “this is amazing.”  For those who do not know, on this day, one year ago, I left a marriage that was not working – a blended family that was a pot of boiling water. I thought it was going to be a two-week trip to let things settle down.  I did not realize I would be spending a full month away and only return to that house with a moving company to collect my things.  I did not know that I would be divorcing for a second time in September.

While I sit stronger and more at peace than I have ever been in years, I am adjusting to a very different life and envisioning a very different future.

And you are probably wondering – Jen, why didn’t you say anything?  Well, using the theory of Brene Brown – because I had written a story in my head filled with embarrassment and shame.  I was horrified of a second divorce – I mean, how did things go sideways a second time?  I didn’t see the strength, the ease, the grace, the opportunity, the peace.  Instead, I decided that all you would see is a galactic failure – because that is what I saw in myself. I had decided you would judge me – a second divorce, and I even made up your comments in my head of “what’s wrong with her?”   Previous boyfriends saying “geeze I really dodged a bullet on that one.”  And just to take this a step further, I mean, “who the heck would want to date me in the future?”  It was easier to hide.

But as I have learned, if you own the story you can write the ending.  If you deny the story, the story owns you.
And no part of my life will ever be owned again, by anything or anyone and certainly not by a story I make up in my head.

There has been a whole lot of learning going on these past 12 months.  In the words of a good friend, I have gone through a transmutation completely unrecognizable from the woman I was a year ago.  Using the path and process of alchemy,  I burned it all down –  everything has been changed from its previous form and can never return to what it was.  (Cue the mystical music).  Much like a newborn giraffe, I am learning to use my legs while running at the same time – and I am having a blast wobbling forward.   I know my part in what attracted that which had no chance of working (time and time again) and am building a life the right person will seamlessly walk into – slowly – when the divine knows we are both ready.

Most importantly I sit with tremendous gratitude for all that I have and those who walked these last 12 months with me. To say it takes a village is an understatement.  This army of close friends and confidants have held me up, patted me on the back, listened, cheered me on, moved mountains, worked miracles, given me hope, and have shown me kindness that brought love and light to my life even on the darkest days.  A few have continued their decade-long role of kicking me in the ass on a regular basis – which is needed and extremely helpful.  And on days when I was filled with doubt,  I had this core group of individuals cheering me on – they each know of my spectacular potential that had been locked away for years.

My daughters, Allie, Vicki and Steph – the center of ‘my why.”  Your honesty started this transformation – your grace and presence have sustained it.
My parents  – for instilling in me the unwavering commitment to “always do the right thing.”  You are the two sides of me that I have learned to blend  – being in your presence helps me understand myself more and more.  Your love and support during this past year have meant the world to me.  Keeping with the family – my cousin Mary K who roots me in my childhood – so many long talks on endless walks.
Dannielle with two n’s for always picking up the phone even on the days when I was inconsolable out of fear or sadness.  Susan Olson & Rich Romig who give me so much I could write a book on just the two of you.  Marcus (the ultimate ass-kicker) who wasn’t shy when I needed to hear what was actually happening in my life.  Mary Fran Bontempo and Kristen Smedley based on their very different paths gave me the strength to know I could thrive – and brilliantly at that.
Leeanne Englert, Sandy Molinari, Peter Dumbro, Danny Simon, Christy DeMetrakis, Gretchen Booth, The Possibility Coaches, Michele Granberg, Pepper Evans, Jon Mercer, and Seth Goldstein.  All were in my life before with little idea of what was going on and all stepped up to the plate.
Wendy Simpson for her constant and unending dedication as the Director of Operations for my business.
New friends have joined my path through COVID as the universal energy has sent me those I needed:  Mary Jane McClusky, clearly sent by God above.  Sister Dorothy, JV Crum, Quincy Ellis, and  Elyse Stoner – life is fuller with your friendship.
And then there are those professionals:  Ed MacConnell, Maureen Miley, Jennifer Graves, Ian Foster, Girard Pisauro, Michael Adler, Kevin Larkin and Diana Schimmel.  Each, and in their own expert way, provided me with safe space, sound advice and legal protection through my endless tears and fears.   All have become friends and very close confidants – a few clients –  and I am forever grateful to have each of you on my speed dial list.
And last but not least – Mike Rosiak, the gentle giant who taught me the lesson that unicorns exist and I am worthy of kindness.  Your friendship, wisdom and presence in my life have been invaluable.

Happy Easter to all…she has certainly risen.