{Divorced Life Dating} Fish and Valentines

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Friends are quick to offer hugs, Kleenex lay hidden in their pockets just in case I burst, and people tread lightly around the name Charlie. Part of me wonders where the past three years have gone and part of my wonders “How did you find the strength to move on?” Three years is just a fraction in time, but time it stopped on Valentine’s Day. It stopped the moment Charlie became the fifth car in a nine car pile up, it stopped the moment he became the fourth person to die from their injuries. That day was the worst day and the days leading up to February 16, 2012 were the slowest days of my life.

I hung on to every second, every minute, and prayed with all of my heart. That day God failed me and I had to face a life without love. The moment Charlie died, my heart it broke in more ways than I can possibly describe and I lost my faith in the world. My hopes of a country chic wedding with a twist of elegance and a beautiful life were dashed. One person, one person’s decision took the wind out of my sails.I only got to love Charlie for a fraction of my life and he, he loved me until the last breath he took.

A part of me believes that he knew that he would only be a dot on my time line. He Gave me his heart, he peeled back the layers, calmed my fears, and with his love he mended the scars. One man took the time to heal my heart and with that he restored my ability to love. Without Charlie I would still be a semi bitter divorcee. A small piece of my heart will always be for that man. Charlie taught me what love was truly like, he loved every inch of my gloriously flawed self. My heart it needed to heal and in my heart of heart’s I know Charlie would want me to fall, to fall the way I fell for him.

I have fallen, fallen for someone who truly gets my cup of tea. Yes me, little old curly haired me has found love. Honestly, it kind of just jumped out of no where and bit me in the ass. I have no doubt that someone above pushed and pushed until I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a chance. Tomorrow is about spending the day with an amazing man. A man whose eyes light up when I walk into a room, who calls me beautiful when I’m a mess, and who tells me “you are the best woman ever.” Jay makes me smile until my cheeks hurt, a feeling that I haven’t felt in years, he makes me laugh until I am in tears, and his loving eyes never leave mine. This, this thing that I have is something I dreamed of and waited for. Something I lost three Valentines ago and now I finally have it back.

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I have this intense desire to make this the best Valentine’s Day ever and I cannot wait to spend the evening with Jay. I bought what I hope is the perfect gift and I have decided to indulge our inner toddler by buying tickets to the MOA’s Sea Life Adventure. Ya know, because in my mind there is nothing better on Valentine’s day than Love, Fish, and watching movies with the muppet like dog.

{Divorced Life Dating} Light Up The Room

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There are moments where I have thought to myself “maybe your relationships fail because you are incapable of deeply loving someone.” That thought is clearly irrational, yet my track record is not. I was married at 25, divorced by 27, engaged again at 29 and lost my fiancé at 30.

Over the past four years dates have been a plenty and relationships are short lived. I never gave anyone a chance to get past my mote and I rarely took off my armor. Emotions make things messy. I wanted the benefits of a relationship, just not the emotional side of things. In my mind if they didn’t get into the deep then they couldn’t hurt me.

Divorce hurts, burying your fiancé hurts, and letting go hurts. Charlie’s death was easier to deal with than my divorce. Divorce in its own right is like a death, the death of a dream. Yet with death there are no awkward run ins with your ex or “I wonder what there doing” moments. It ends at the grave. You bury your heart in the ground and walk away to fight another day. You walk away to rebuild your heart piece by broken piece.

Repairing ones heart is easer said than done. Your heart never truly heals, you you just learn how to live with the void. Charlie will always be apart of me. He showed me what love was and what a relationship could be. He used to tell me “AJ, you light up the room!” His eyes would sparkle and I knew in that moment that I was his everything.
Charlie’s eyes could not hide his love for me and I soaked it all in. Death does not stop love, love never dies. It is the reminder that we need to heal our hearts and to move on. It is the dream that we build our lives upon and that dream deserves to be lived.

Living is what I am doing. Unexpected moments are my crack. On Veterans Day fate took over and a marine walked into my life. (Yes another one) His heart, smile, wit, and charm caught me off guard and I slipped my armor off. I opened up and let him into the deep. He didn’t run nor flinch, instead he fell for me.

Happy?! Heck yes I am. For once I am happy, I am letting myself fall, be swept away, but mostly I am allowing myself to enjoy the process. I have laughed more in the past month than I have in two years and my cheeks hurt from smiling. In this marine I see a sparkle, his face lights up when I walk into a room and that says it all. I have someone who lights up and wants me simply for me. And that is fucking awesome!

{Dating} Writing A New Chapter

Life has a way of moving on and healing our wounds. We cannot have happiness without pain. They go hand in hand. A life without pain is a life not lived. There are those who sit safely at the road side and never dare to get on the track. Then there are the dreamers who keep on running until their dreams run out.

I’d like to believe that I am a dreamer and that I will run as far as my surviving heart will take me. My Mama use to tell me “If you believe in yourself, anything is possible in this world. You my child can do anything that you are brave enough to dream up.” We are braver than we think we are and smarter than we could ever imagine.

I have to be brave, some days being brave is the only thing I have to hold on to. Take dating for instance, to me dates are always like job interviews. You exchange the niceties, job info, life status and so on. Over the past few years I have become guarded and do not spew my life story on first date. Instead I choose to hand it out one layer at a time. Some parts have caused men to run and others chose to stay. Part of me realizes that when I go on a date, I compare every detail of a mans life to Charlie’s life. Charlie is the good that I know and I also take side notes to see if the guy could turn out like the ex husband.

In away I am lucky. Lucky, because I know what worked and what didn’t. Then again I also know what its like to have your heart tore out and stomped on. I have been humbled by the fact that Charlie loved me until his last breath. Charlie showed me that it was possible to love someone with every fiber of my being. He showed me that no matter what happens to us, our love never dies. That love does not disappear when we are gone, it lives on. Love is our legacy.

An I am writing a new chapter in my legacy. I am putting one foot forward and following my heart. Internet dating sites turn my apartment into my own little speed dating session. With the click of a mouse I can say yes or no and move on to the next profile. Truth: I can stand in front of thousands and shout to the world, yet I clam up like a Louisiana oyster on a first date. So for me a string of emails breaks the ice and lets me know what I am getting into. Most of the time I get bored and that string leads to nowhere. But, sometimes I get lucky and meet the person in real life. Well sometimes real life isn’t the best either, there is a reason why I have a google number.

Then there are those moments where I quite the voice in my head and say “just be AmandaJean. Stop analyzing and jus be.” An that is exactly what I did one steamy August evening. I peeled a few layers of my story off over dinner and slowly let a country boy walk into my life. An for now he is a keeper and with each new day another chapter is penned on the pages of my life.

HTC EVO ~ Ninja BFF Date ~ Ninja Antics and Smaller Pants

It is well-known that I have a long-standing relationship with my blackberry. Blackberry just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. His keys were getting stuck, the sound went, and shit the dang thing froze all of the time. The curb is where it needed to go. After doing some research and getting advice from my tech ninjas I decided to get the HTC EVO.

Technology and me are like oil and water. Simple is best and sometimes simple isn’t simple enough. If I can turn on a computer I call that a good day. Anyways so far my EVO is doing the trick. I had to teach the darn thing to recognize swear words, it knows plenty now. All versions of Angry Birds have been downloaded, twitter is on the front page, and foursquare works correctly. So far I am loving the thing and haven’t broken or chucked it yet. This, this is big ninjas.

Big Gingers are mighty fine when shared with a Ninja BFF!

The HTC EVO proved to be entertainment for my BFF Ninja dinner date Miss Angela. Lucky for me she figured out how to turn the darn auto correct off. It was driving me nuts. Speaking of nuts, hot damn it is so hard to find a parking spot around Psycho Suzies. That place is always nuts. Lucky for us we got a table right away and had tiki drinks in our hands within minutes of sitting down. Cheese curds and pizza were on tap for the evening. Since it was 100 degrees in there we decided to bolt and head downtown to The Local. Patio seating was available and my oh my the people watching was superb.

Nicollet mall is an interesting run way of sorts for the late night crowd. bachelorette parties ran wild and the cougars were on the prowl. In between checking out the people dessert was had. Ninja BFF dates always end with two things: 1. whiskey and 2. dessert. At The Local they combine the whiskey into dessert so it’s a win win. It was getting late and my date was turning into a pumpkin so we headed home to uptown.

Ultimate Ninja BFF date nights end with dessert!

Uptown is quite the place. My neighbors felt the need to vacuum at 8am. I didn’t appreciate the noise neither did my aching head. Much of Saturday was spent sleeping and running errands. I ran into my ex BFF. Target is no longer my happy place. Jack talked me into meeting up for drinks. Well since I wasn’t on call and after much begging I agreed to hit the town.

Ninja antics ensued as we hopped from bar to bar. Crown and cokes are what I have been drinking lately. A man at the bar told me “I don’t trust girls who drink whiskey. They get crazy.” With that heard I looked the bartender in the eye and said “Crown and Coke sir.” The man next to me: “Shit, and you seemed so normal.” Haha men should never make a comment about a ladies drink of choice. Some of us choose fruity cocktails and others well we go for the hard stuff. No fruit necessary. Soon the evening wore into a blur and I was ready to settle in for the night.

Sunday morning was pretty much a repeat of Saturday. Except for the photo shoot. Man that camera flash hurts the eyes. With the shoot in the bag I headed home to my Mama. Mainly so she could do my laundry. Laundry is important. Since loosing 26 pounds none of my jeans fit and well Rochester has pants lots of pants. I let my mama drive the prius so I could play angry birds on the way down. Priorities I know, there mixed up but hey this was my first time playing angry birds on my new phone. My new pants are a size smaller than the last ones I bought. Go me! I am almost back to my premarriage weight. The ex husband is who I blame for the weight gain and now that he’s gone I am melting like a stick of butter in the hot July sun.

It was a weekend filled with new pants, BFF Ninjas, and to many crown & cokes to count. It was beautiful and a great way to spend my first weekend off in months. Monday always comes to soon. Weekends should be longer and filled with so much love that your heart bursts wide open. Kung fu and ninjas that’s a weekend dreams are made of.

A Night at the MN Opera

Wuthering Heights

Minnesota Opera presents “Wuthering Heights,” the opera based on Emily Brontë’s novel, is now showing at the Ordway through April 23rd (tomorrow).

Wuthering Heights did not disappoint. It is one of the few operas sung in english and the score invokes deep-rooted passion, misery, and the heart wrenching pang of lust. A lust that transcends class that is not weakened by separation. Lust that continues beyond the grave, as Heathclif asks Cathy to haunt him until his last dying day. An haunt him she does, her voice trails through the halls, as he demands her spirit to come into the walls of Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff is haunted, tormented, and driven mad by the woman he craves, by the lust he never quenched.

The back drop is a gloomy walled Wuthering heights, that opens to a lush green flower filled moor. The projections designed by Wendall K. Harrington create an effective visual representation of the music. The images transport you to the lush moors and grip the changing seasons at Wuthering heights. The visuals brought the stage to life and left me wondering what was next.

Conductor Michael Christie brought the Ordway to life. The opera really pops when textures and melodies intertwine. You feel the grip of emotion as the strings take you to a crescendo of devoted love and the pain felt at Wuthering Heights. The vocals filled with passion and pain, invoke the emotions of love lost.

It was beautiful, heart wrenching, and darn right amazing. It had been a while since I’d been to the opera. Oh an I must say I didn’t go alone. The Irs man came with and he liked it as well. I would highly recommend this opera to anyone. It’s a must see.

Disclaimer: I received free tickets from the Minnesota Opera. All views are my own.