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LET THEM EAT CAKE (or whatever else you want to enjoy!)

I met my first husband the 2nd week of undergrad, married him 5 months after graduation and because he was all I'd known for 7 years of my life, the thought of moving on without him was such a foreign, inconceivable concept for me that I had no idea how to even BEGIN to progress forward. I'm guilty of being that woman who was so consumed with being a key part of my mate's life that I forgot to have a life of my own. Some call it pitiful; I foolishly called it love. Since he was the only relationship reference point I had and I'd made our lives so intricately intertwined, when he, the comfort zone, was removed from life, I felt like I had hit rock bottom. What do I do now? Where do I go from here? And, though I was nowhere NEAR ready to date yet, the thoughts of 'who is going to want me now' also replayed in my mind. Then one day I looked at my daughter. Though she was so small at the time, I feared that she was watching the way I grieved my marriage. I feared that she heard my sobs at night or saw the inevitable change in my countenance and attitude.That caused me to remember the prayer I'd prayed when she was born, that if the Lord brought her into this world safely, I would do everything in my power to take care of the gift He had given me. To me, that meant more than just the tangible things like making sure every boo-boo healed or that she had hot water and 3 square meals a day. It also meant providing her with the intangible things, such as strength and showing her how resilience looks, demonstrating what it looks like to fall down and get back up with grace and determination.

Thus began my journey of dating myself. And by that I mean the works. I would get myself all cleaned up, full make-up from foundation to eyelashes, put on a banging (but sensible) outfit and take MYSELF out to dinner. I would STRUT, heels and all, head held high, reciting to myself at first, "I don't need a man to take me to The Cheesecake Factory; I can take myself." And then slowly but surely, I didn't have to recite it anymore, it became second nature. Slowly, my confidence returned, the wounds lessened, my strength rebuilt and I no longer felt compelled to take myself out just to prove that I was worth something; I was taking me out because shoot, I work hard, I look good and I deserve to treat myself whenever I want it! Because I am just that phenomenal! My whole attitude changed and "I'm worth it," became more than just a recitation, it became a personal movement! Spending that extra intentional time with myself granted me some much needed bandaging I could not have received elsewhere; it allowed me to see me for the first time and to genuinely start to love the person I was seeing in the mirror.

So, my dear readers, whatever state you are in your healing process (freshly wounded or over-it-and-onward-moving), remember the jewel that you are. TREAT YOU GOOD because if you don't, why should anyone else? Know that you are beautiful and yes, you are worth it!(The picture you're seeing is on the 72nd floor if the Westin, at the Sundial Restaurant, one of my me-dates with the greatest view I've ever seen. Yes ma'am; I'm worth that!)

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