5 Lessons I Learned from my Divorce

“I got another woman pregnant.” Those were the words uttered by my then husband to me that fractured my seemingly perfect world on July 3, 2004.

Not long after he said those words I was looking for an apartment and filing my own divorce. To say I was devastated was an understatement. Every day for weeks, perhaps even months, I woke up wishing that the moment I had heard those words was just an extremely bad dream, that I could rewind the hands of time and that those words would not, in fact, be my new reality.

My reality was that I was a brand new mom, at the time my son was a mere 7 months old, still being breastfed. I had just started my law practice, which meant I had no money and my entire world revolved around my then husband. I had been living in the United States less than 3 years and I hadn’t yet gotten my permanent green card. I was still, according to the United States Government, “a temporary resident”, and my entire life was falling apart.

I think I cried every day for about 2 weeks straight. I remember crying in the ladies’ room of the Courthouse just minutes before I was scheduled to go on the record to make oral arguments on behalf of a client. To this day I still can’t believe the remarkable outcome I got in that particular case; it was nothing short of a miracle.

It’s been 14 years since those devastating words and in retrospect, I realize that I learned a hell of a lot about myself, relationships and marriage, in general, as I went through the absolute worst phase of my life.

1. Lessons in Finance

Try looking for an apartment in New York City without a few thousand dollars stashed away somewhere. I wasn’t making a lot of money, to begin with. I had recently started my practice on May 1st of that same year and I only had a handful of clients.

However, whatever I did earn, no matter how small, some of it could have been put away for a rainy day; but in my world, at the time there was simply no need to do that since I had a husband. It’s not that I wanted or expected him to take care of me, Lord knows that was not the case, it’s just that I felt comfortable. Nowhere in my head did I ever think of opening a savings account solely in my own name and putting away even a small percentage of any retainer I had earned.

I am almost embarrassed now thinking of how financially naive I was. My broken heart and wounded pride made me want to take my newborn and get the hell out of Dodge. I wanted to leave but I had no money to leave. Talk about being stuck!

2. Lessons in Victimhood

I quickly learned that I don’t do very well with sympathy. Word of my Ex-husband’s infidelity spread very quickly among people we knew, and after word got around, I would typically be greeted with one of either two looks – either one of sympathy or the ‘Thank God I am not in her position’ look. Oh, how I hated those looks. I was always a proud, confident woman, so having people feel sorry for me was the absolute worst. Those looks served as motivation though, for me to be strong, or at the very least, try.

I remember having dinner with a friend, less than a month after my Ex’s revelation, and she was amazed that I was doing so well. The reality was that I wasn’t doing well at all. I was dying inside! Really freaking dying inside, but every day that I made myself get out of bed and get dressed for work I thought about my baby boy Blake and how much he needed me. It sounds cliché, but I felt like I needed to be strong for him. He needed a strong mother, who was about to become a single parent, to raise him, guide him and teach him life lessons, and I would be damned if I was going to let him down.

So every morning I got up, got dressed, adjusted my crown, remembered who I am, put my high heels on, kissed my baby boy goodbye and stepped out into the world with my broken heart because I was determined to fake it until I could make it.

3. Lessons in Co-parenting

To this day I am very proud of the way I left my Ex. The day had finally come when I had enough money saved to make my exit. It was a regular Tuesday morning when he left for work and as soon as he was out the door I started packing. I had organized a group of friends to help me and I had all of my and Blake’s belongings out of his apartment before he came home from work that afternoon.

I would have paid good money to see his face when he opened the front door to his condo that evening only to find that we were gone. He blew up my phone for several days after that, and I refused to answer when finally he left a voicemail message threatening to call the police on me for kidnapping his son.

Oh really?! How about you bring the National Guard too while you’re at it!

I am not ashamed to say that I was not above being petty in refusing to tell him where we had gone and not allowing him access to Blake. Yeah, it was my way of trying to hurt him; but after 8 straight days of just me and Blake I answered one of his phone calls and agreed for him to come and pick up our son. The truth is I was tired and needed a break from the baby. However, It was at that moment that I realized that I couldn’t do it alone. The reality was that Blake also needed his father, as strong a woman as I am I had the wherewithal to realize that there were things that my ex-husband could teach Blake that I couldn’t. A woman can’t teach a boy how to be a man. He needed his father for that. I had to learn to co-parent with him despite how I felt about him. The truth is that even though my Ex had been a terrible husband he was a great father to our son. I couldn’t allow my desire to be petty to jeopardize his relationship with Blake. It wasn’t worth it; because in the long run, it would only end up hurting Blake too.

4. Lessons in Letting Stuff Go!

When your entire world comes crashing down around you it is extremely difficult to convince yourself that the best way to move on is to let go of the desire to punish the person who caused your pain. It’s human nature to want to hurt the person that hurt you, its human nature to want to see them suffer but the truth is that only cripples you; at least I know it crippled me. Trust me when I tell you that there is no moving forward when you hold on to the hurt.

I had to make a concerted effort to just let the shit go. It was much easier said than done though, but I had to make myself do it. I had to tell myself that I had a choice. I could choose to feel sorry for myself, talk about the heartbreak all day everyday to anyone who would listen and spend my time plotting and planning some kind of stupid revenge on my Ex, or, I could find something to do that would occupy my time and perhaps make me a tad less emotional over the entire ordeal, if that were possible. My saving grace was my budding law practice, I buried myself in my work and my cases. I also joined the gym and found a new love for a new dance exercise that was emerging at the time called Zumba.

5. Lessons in Forgiveness

It took months, maybe even a year, for me to be able to communicate with my Ex in a decent manner, you know the one where you actually talk in a civilized tone instead of saying everything with contempt and derision. The first year following our split was an extremely tough one in which I could never have seen myself forgiving his infidelity; but as time passed and I let go off of the hurt, I was able to move on and it became easier to move towards forgiveness.

It has now been 14 years since my Ex uttered those words to me, words that I thought were completely unforgiving; but life has a way of throwing things at us that we had no idea we were built for.

My Ex’s infidelity, despite being something I could forgive years later, will never ever be something I can forget. I will never forget the way I felt at that moment when I heard those words. I will never forget the time; the date; what he was wearing (a white T-shirt and plaid boxers); what I was wearing, where we were, and even what the room smelled like at that moment. I will never forget how his actions, changed the course of my life; but I have forgiven him and that ability to forgive has allowed me to let go, move on, and set me on the path to what, in retrospect, has allowed me to live my best life and allowed me to be the very best Racquel.

Breaking the Friendship Rules

“Who is your best friend?” The question was directed at me.

“Er…ah…” I stumbled for a bit trying to answer the question, as I thought about it. “Well, I have a bunch of really good friends, I guess I have 5 best friends.”

“Five! How can anyone have five best friends?” she said incredulously. “There ought to be that one friend out of your five that you can tell your deepest, darkest secrets to…Who is that?”

What’s with the deepest, darkest criteria for a friendship anyway? Can’t we just connect with people without sharing the so-called “deepest, darkest”? And can’t that connection grow and still be an “honest to God”, real, true friendship without the deepest, darkest stuff? This line of interrogation was beginning to annoy me; I felt I was being forced to choose who I like the most and the truth is these 5 chicks, yeah I said chicks, are all special to me on different levels and for different reasons. Why is it that we are always forced to pick just one?

Longevity = True Friendships

Here’s the thing – I don’t want to be confined to any friendship rules. Like the one that says you have to know someone for x period of time before you can call that person your friend. Really? Nah! I don’t think so. I have people who I have just recently met, that I consider friends. Why do you have to be the kid from Elementary School, who I use to kick rocks with, or the girl from High School, who I use to gossip with or even the friends from College, who I use to party with for you to be considered a friend? Why can’t you just be someone I recently met that I share a really cool connection with? I don’t understand the longevity criteria requirement. I don’t have to know you inside out, nor do you have to know me inside out for us to connect on an “I really dig you” level because let’s face it how much do we really know the people we call our friends?

We Have to Have A lot in Common

You and I don’t have to have to share similar interests or like to go to the same places for us to be friends, we just need to have shared values. I have a really good friend, who is nothing like me. She is incredibly quiet and shy and super intellectual and may never have been to a real party in her life. She analyses everything and never just goes with the flow. Yep, she is the total opposite of me but she is my friend. Why? Because we have these really deep, interesting conversations. She admires me, as much as I admire her despite our differences; and in the short time since we met, we have learned so much from each other. That might be part of the reason we get along so well, because of our differences, we each bring something unfamiliar and new into the friendship. I am forever amazed by the way this girl mind works. We aren’t kindred spirits but there is still a connection.

Perfection

I’m still waiting on one of my 5 to return my phone call from two days ago. This friend is moody as hell, if she’s not in the mood to talk, which is often, she will not pick up her phone, doesn’t matter who is calling. She responds to text messages and calls back when she feels like it, or she may respond to your phone call with a text. (I have a rule that a phone call should be returned with a phone call and not a text, but this friend doesn’t care about my rules.) Yet, she is still one of my go-to 5, because I know if I really need her she is there. I might have to text her 911, but she’ll be there😀. She and I have history, she is fun, she is smart and I like her I-don’t-give-a-damn attitude, because you know I have a bit of that I-don’t-give-a-damn attitude myself. Our friends don’t have to be perfect for our friendships to be real nor do they have to conform to our idiosyncratic rules. My friends sometimes annoy me and I am 100% sure I annoy them. Friendships are not all rainbows and butterflies, sometimes your friends will behave less than perfect and as long as a weird situation doesn’t develop that leaves you wondering if that person is actually your true friend then their imperfections are perfectly okay.

Age Differences

Who says we can’t be friends if we weren’t born in the same decade? There is this notion that a real connection can’t be made if the person is not within your age group. False!

Last Summer, my son, who was then 13 years old announced that his new best friend was his summer employer, who is 20 years his senior. He really liked hanging out with her and looked forward to going to his Summer job every day simply because to his surprise “she is a geek” like him. He was intrigued by the fact that an adult could be into LEGO, video-games and Science experiments like he was. He had made a connection, a real one.

Similarly, one of my go-to 5 is 12 years my junior. It’s a real relaxed friendship, she is one of my favorite people, but she does have an old soul and I am young at heart so we get to meet somewhere in the middle as our friendship blossomed over the years and it couldn’t be more authentic.

Distance and Time

Distance and time have been known to create a void in many friendships, so much so that people believe the misconception that they are no longer “real friends” with someone they don’t talk to on a daily / weekly basis. That is another rule I don’t subscribe to. Not because our connections are few and far between doesn’t mean that our bond isn’t as tight as when we were hanging on a regular basis.

Thankfully, social media has made the World a much smaller place and has facilitated greater, sometimes even meaningful connections. However, we all have that one friend who is just not into social media. Conversations with that friend only take place once or twice a year on your respective birthdays; you’re not in on the day-to-day happenings of your friend’s life and vice versa but believe me when I tell you it doesn’t make the friendship any less than it used to be. Gone are the days when you both use to sit in your dorm room and watch “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos” and have lengthy discussions about each show afterward. Those were really great times sprinkled with laugh out loud memories but when you both get the opportunity to connect you realize that what you built years ago still has a solid foundation and that bond is irreplaceable.

There are too many rules and guidelines surrounding the definition of a true friend and what friendships really means. It’s unfortunate that society has created a kind of hierarchy, if you will, of friends in an effort to get people to rank their relationships with each other, but the reality is that when you meet a friend you know, whether or not you’ve spent years or days getting to know them, instinctively you’ll know when you’ve made a worthwhile connection.

5 Reasons Why Online Dating Works

As I settled in on my couch for a night of binge watching “Dexter” on Showtime on Demand I realized this had become a regular Saturday night routine. When I left my first husband, I had a fantasy that I would be re-married within a year, 2 years tops, after all I was “a catch”, the ultimate woman. I was sexy, personable, good-looking, career driven with a successful law practice and I had my own money. Well, fast forward 6 years and I was still single, going through another very long period of celibacy, not by choice might I add.

It was the end of the first decade of the of the new millennium and online dating was all the rage. Everybody and their Mamas were on Match.com or e Harmony; but I still thought how pathetic do you have to be if you can’t meet and connect with someone in real life. I thought online dating were for ugly, weirdos so I refused for years to give it a try. However, loneliness makes us do some crazy things, so 7 years ago I did the craziest thing I thought I would ever do; turned off “Dexter” picked up my laptop and created an online dating profile. Today, I have been married for almost 3 years, and I am here to tell you that online dating works; yes, I met my husband online.

1. You Get a Variety

Here’s the thing, most of us, by the time we get to our mid-thirties, have developed several routines; we go the same gym, hang out in the same bars, go to the same church and essentially have the same friends. We rarely open up ourselves to anything new, let alone anyone new, so we keep seeing the same faces everywhere we go over and over and over again, therefore our chances of meeting someone new and different is zero to none.

Variety is the spice of life; with online dating there are so many potential suitors at our fingertips, the variety made me almost giddy with excitement. There were so many men to choose from, all with different backgrounds, different looks, different interests, different styles, different levels of education, and it was a pleasure to find out that most of them were in fact not ugly weirdos. The differences were pretty damn sexy; you could go from winking at a bad boy rocker with an arm sleeve tattoo to having an online conversation with an English professor all within 2 minutes. I was in heaven. Within a few days of creating my online dating profile I had scheduled a date with a guy I seemed to share several interests.

2. You Meet People You Wouldn’t Usually Meet

My husband is from New Jersey, and I would never have met him if I hadn’t tried online dating. I could count on one hand how many times I had been to Jersey prior to meeting my husband, Greg. Similarly, Greg’s trip into Brooklyn on the night we met, was one of only a handful he had ever done. In fact, he got lost while he was on his way to pick me up, our first date was before Google Maps became a thing.

Online dating works so well that Greg wasn’t my first success story. Even before I met and fell in love with Greg, there was Paul. I met Paul 3 weeks in after I first signed up for online dating. Paul lived only 2.2 miles away from where I did, less than a 10-minute drive, yet we never met prior to connecting online. We just didn’t move in the same circles and even though we had similar interests we had never ever bumped into each other before. Paul and I dated for a year and a half but alas we went our separate ways when our relationship got to an impasse. We broke up the first week of 2013 and that was the last time I saw him. Despite living only 2.2 miles away from each other Paul and I have never seen each other again; but for online dating we would never have met.

3. You’re in Control

Online dating gives you more control initially than dating in real life does. Take for example, you meet a seemingly cool guy or gal at the grocery store in the checkout line on a Saturday afternoon. The conversation is short and sweet, so you exchange numbers in the hope of continuing the conversation another time. During the very first phone call you make plans for a date. During that first date you realize that guy or gal is a freaking psychopath based on the crazy things he or she is spewing out of his or her mouth. You quickly end the date and escape with your life.

Now, had you met that same guy or gal online, chances are, during the very first several email exchanges you would have realized that he or she is a psychopath and you would have had the fantastic option of blocking that person from future communication with you and avoid wasting precious time on a date from Hell.

One of the beauties of online dating is that it gives you ample opportunity to weed out the crazies before you are seated in front of them sipping on red wine. I have had the sheer joy of using the “block” feature on a few occasions during my online dating experience and I couldn’t be more thankful. Dating tends to work a lot better when you’re in control of the situation.

4. You Meet Like-minded People

All online dating web-sites require that you fill out an application illustrating your hobbies, needs and desires before signing up, the application also asks that you be detailed about what you’re looking for in a partner, from height to weight and everything in between. As such you’re more likely to find the one or the one that works for right now since online dating applications demands such specificity.

Dating sites make it easy to find other like-minded individuals because it requires that each person create a profile explaining who they are, what they are looking for in a partner and what they want. So if you’re looking for a hook-up and you make it clear that that’s what you’re looking for then you’ll probably find someone who is also looking for something casual. Similarly, the same is true if you’re looking for something “long-term”, as was the case with Greg and I.

There are even websites designed to bring people together with similar beliefs and tastes, if you will. Take for example “Christian People Meet”, that site exist for believers seeking other believers to share a cup of coffee and talk about their faith. Further, if you’re adventurous and your desires lean towards something raunchier you will have several sites to choose from, among them “Adult Friend Finder” claims to have a 97.5% satisfaction rate among their members.

5. You’re Encouraged to have an Open Mind

Online dating will work because oftentimes it encourages individuals to step out of their comfort zone, think outside the box and have an open mind. Sometimes what you think you want isn’t what will make you happiest. In your mind you may be dead set against dating a guy who is under 6 feet, especially if you’re a woman who stands 5’ 10 without shoes on and likes to strut around in elegant 4-inch heels. However, you may be winked at by the guy who barely stands 5’9 and even though you might not have winked back he may still be brave enough to send you an eloquently written email that piques your interest, so you’ll go back and check out his pictures and while doing so you realize that he has gorgeous eyes and great teeth. Chances are you might just respond to the eloquently written email.

When I met Greg, I had a check list with specifics for what I thought I was looking for in a guy. He had to be at least 6 feet tall, be accessible, which meant he had to live within a 10-mile radius from my home, no way I was driving over a bridge or through a tunnel to go visit my boyfriend and most importantly he had to be Jamaican, or at least be from the Caribbean. Well, my Greg, is none of that, what he is, is the sweetest, kindest, most compassionate man I have ever met. He is the epitome of the strong, sensitive type – physically strong, with an inner resilience that is second to none, while highly sensitive to the needs of others. He emailed me on a Wednesday, we had our first date the following Saturday on March 16, 2013; and on November 13, 2015 we were standing in little Chapel in Astoria, Queens promising to continue to love and respect each other through good times and bad, with our family and friends as our witnesses; all because I had an open mind.

It’s never easy to put one’s self out there and that is what online dating requires us to do. It takes a certain type personality to cast that net into the World Wide Web and hope for a catch. Is it risky? Yes! Is it worth the risk, 100 times yes!!!!

Mothering from the Sidelines

The phone rang while I was driving and because of the capabilities of Bluetooth I was able to answer. It was Blake, my fourteen-year-old son, and he sounded excited.

“Guess what?” he said.

“What?” I asked.

“Two girls asked for my number today.” My son had just started summer school a few days ago so I could only imagine that these two girls were from the summer program.

“No way? You serious? Did you give it to them?” I was excited too.

“Yup”, he quipped cheerily.

The rest of the conversation, which in totality lasted less than 2 minutes, only gave a tad bit more insight into the situation. As I presumed, the girls were part of his Algebra summer class, and he had only just met them the day before. When I tried to probe a bit further he abruptly ended the conversation by asking me to bring him something to eat when I was on my way home.

As I drove I was flooded with bittersweet feelings. My baby, my only baby, was growing up. He was now excited about girls; well to tell you the truth he had been excited about them since he was a toddler, but they were now finally being responsive. Apart of me, the Cool Mom part, wanted to high-five him as soon as I walked through the front door, then another part of me, the Mama Bear part, was terrified of him getting his hopes up and getting hurt. Then there was the other part of me, the serious, no nonsense Mother part, that was thinking he is totally not ready for this yet, he is only 14 years old. He is still too young for all the emotional stuff that liking teenage girls comes with. I remember thinking, “Holy shit! Is Blake about to go out on his first real date?” I sighed to myself, how was I going to handle this one.

My thoughts went back to his past crushes – they both crushed him. The first was when he was in Nursery School, yes you read right, Nursery School, he wasn’t more than three years old, maybe even two years old; when he came home and announced that he had a girlfriend and her name was Grace. I asked him exactly what he meant by girlfriend and he explained that she was pretty, and he really liked her. Well, that crush lasted for years, Grace’s mother and I would constantly joke about it. I remember when he got invited to Grace’s 5th birthday party and insisted that he wanted to bring her flowers for her birthday. At the time my son was only a mere 4 years old and I couldn’t understand how he knew that buying a girl flowers was a romantic gesture. I suggested we buy her a doll as a birthday gift instead and even though he agreed with the doll suggestion he still insisted on bringing her flowers, as well. I remember trying to purchase a little fake potted plant arrangement for Grace and Blake wasn’t having it. He insisted that I buy real flowers. “Girls like real flowers, Mom, you know that.” I was amazed and pleased; I seemed to be raising a gentleman.

A little after her 5th birthday Grace got tired of Blake and started crushing on another boy, Eric, from their Pre-K class. She proceeded to tell Blake that her father said she wasn’t old enough to have a boyfriend and then promptly ran off into the sunset with Eric. Needless to say, my kid’s heart was broken. He handled it well though and pretended for years that he was never in love (I’m using this term tongue in cheek, of course) with Grace and forgot girls even existed until he landed in the 2nd grade and met Emma.

Emma was physically different from Grace. She was tiny, while Grace was tall, closer to Blake’s height. During their three years at Nursery School, Grace was always the tallest girl in the class and Blake was always the tallest boy. Grace was dark with an exotic type of look to her while Emma, on the other hand, was a pale, simple beauty. Clearly, my son did not have a type, which is good. When I asked him why he liked Emma he matter-of-factly stated that she laughs at his jokes. Of course, that made me smile.

The crush on Emma started in the 2nd grade and continued until the second semester of the 4th grade. During that time, Emma would always get a Valentine from Blake. He always reminded me the day before Valentine’s Day to take him to the store, so he could purchase a Valentine balloon along with a Valentine sticker for Emma. I thought the entire thing was cute and I encouraged it. He never got a Valentine from Emma though, but she would still laugh at his jokes and play with him during recess. Not sure where my eight- year-old wanted this crush to go but one morning in the 4th grade, after a two and half-year attempt at courtship, my son finally sent Emma a note with the following words:

“Dear Emma. I like you. Do you like me? Check the right box”. Underneath those words were 3 boxes and each box had a word next to it. Next to the first box was the word “Yes”, next to the second box was the word “No” and next to the third was the word “Maybe”. Well, Emma, smart girl as she was, did not check any of the boxes but instead wrote back at the bottom of note – “I have a boyfriend. His name is Liam”.

I found that note while cleaning out his book bag, not entirely sure how long after it was written that I found it, but I had a habit of cleaning out the junk from his book bag every 2 weeks and it wasn’t there the last time I had done a thorough clean. He looked so melancholy when I asked if he wanted to talk about it. Aw man, my baby was going through another heart-break. How does one protect our children from that? Now I knew how my own Mom felt when I was going through my Divorce. I’m a bit dramatic with that comparison, aren’t I? Needless, to say I wanted to pick up the phone and call 9-year-old Emma and give her a piece of my mind but luckily the adult part of my brain prevailed, and I just held my 8-year-old son while he cried in my arms.

My boy is a 9th grader now about to become a 10th grader in the Fall, and in all that time since Emma broke his heart in the 4th grade, there was no more talk about crushes or girls or anything of the sort until now. I even remember asking him a month before his Middle School Dance last year if he planned on taking anyone to the Dance and he looked at me like I was crazy. Fast forward to last week and I can’t help but wonder is my baby in for another heartbreak?

I arrived home with ice-cream ready to have a bonding session with my boy and get all the details on these 2 girls. Were they nice girls? Were they pretty? Had they called or texted yet? Did he ask for their numbers in return? Which one did he like more? I was also ready to offer unsolicited advice on teenage crushing , because after all this was way bigger than Nursery School and Elementary School crushing, now my boy was playing in the big leagues. I guess Blake must have sensed this because I got nothing. Zero! Zilch! When I announced I had ice-cream and asked if he wanted to hang out and watch Netflix. I was told he was about to start a pre-planned game on his PS 4. I asked about the girls and I was basically shunned; suddenly he did not want to talk about it.

“Wait! What? I thought you wanted to share this with me.”

“Forget I said anything, Mom. Teenage boys don’t talk to their Moms about this kind of stuff.”

“Who told you that? YouTube?” I pleaded.

“Mom, just leave it alone. Put the ice-cream in the fridge. I’ll have it later.” He turned towards his gaming console and that was that.

To say I was disappointed and maybe even hurt is an understatement. What had happened in the few hours it took me to get home? I am not ashamed to admit that I begged and pleaded for a bit of conversation regarding these mystery girls, but Blake wasn’t having it. I figured after he was done playing his game he would want to share so I deliberately stayed up past my bedtime and lurked by his bedroom door in the hope that we could have a chat but again I got nothing.

It’s been a week now and despite my friendly cool mom attempts to approach the subject of girls or specifically to find out what’s up with the two mystery summer school girls I still get nothing. These days when I bring it up, my queries are met with an annoying look followed by an eye roll.

On the positive side, I do notice that he now takes special care in dressing himself when he is leaving in mornings. Within the past week his attire has been well-coordinated, this from the guy who thought nothing of wearing plaid and stripes together; and just this past weekend he announced he needed money for a haircut and went to the barber all by himself. I am not exaggerating when I say that I usually have to beg my son to get a haircut, like seriously beg. Obviously, these changes have done nothing but piqued my interest even further, but my husband has warned me to stay out of “Blake’s business” so that’s what I am doing; or at least I am trying. 🙂

One Love,

Rakkelle

Racquel Writes!

I started a writing course last week, in fact it is a Blog Writing course, it was entertaining and fun and I also learned a lot. It was great to be back in the classroom as a student. It was a bit challenging though because my chosen main subject topic didn’t always go well with the class exercises assigned during the 3-hour class period. I made it work though, and was actually pretty damn proud of myself for the Blog ideas I came up with.

I learned last week that my Blog should have an objective and a theme. Really? How about if I just want to ramble and write about a myriad of subjects and topics because that’s what I intend to do here. I really don’t think I need to stick to one main theme to have a voice. Maybe this week I want to write about movies, maybe the week after I want to write about fashion, and maybe the week after that I want to write about sex. Why must I follow a set theme? I don’t want my Blog to be placed in a specific category and I think that is okay. The point of this Blog is to share my opinions – rants, raves, reviews and ramblings on everything, and I mean everything that matters to me; and even some things that don’t matter to me but I have an opinion about. How is that? I don’t need a theme, I don’t want to have a theme, I just want to write whatever whenever.

Am I being a rebel with that kind of attitude? Usually, I am a rule follower and I never want to be the troublemaker who doesn’t follow the rules. As it turns out my Blog Writing Instructor is a successful movie critic Blogger, who obviously knows what the hell she’s talking about; but not all the advice that she gave me I agreed with. Take for example; after another class assignment, where we were required to write 5 Blog ideas and relate it to our main subject topic. Well the theme the Instructor gave us was “The 4th of July” and earlier in the class the main subject topic I had chosen was “my husband”. If I had had any idea my main subject topic would follow me through out this entire course I probably would have picked something else. I struggled for a minute with coming up with Blog ideas that combined my hubby with the 4th of July and I finally came up with the following:

  1. How do I get my hardworking husband to commit to hanging out with friends when he just wants to relax at home on the 4th of July?
  2. Planning a 4th of July BBQ with my very anti-social husband, who detests entertaining.
  3. Convincing my husband that going to see the movie “The Purge” is not a true 4th of July Holiday tradition.
  4. Reminiscing on our first 4th of July date on Fairfield Beach in Connecticut, where we watched the most amazing fireworks display.
  5. Explaining to my husband that he should accompany me to my niece’s, birthday party, who is born on the 4th of July, is a good thing even though she’s my niece from a previous marriage.

Well my instructor liked it, she said my Blog ideas were good but she also warned me to be a bit more positive with my Blog. Wait! What? I believe she said, “You should try to keep your Blog positive.” My interpretation of that was that my ideas were too negative. I wasn’t feeling that critique at all.

I write based on my emotions and sometimes I might write when I am high on life and another time I might feel like writing when I’m in a sucky, fucked up mood. That’s life, right? We are not happy, smiley, giddy with contentment all the damn time. I felt like I should have objected to the “more positive” comment critique but I didn’t because she was going around the classroom and the truth is that I did not want to take up too much of her time on my work when my classmates were waiting to hear from her. So the question now is do I send her an email letting her know how I feel /felt? She gave us her personal email and said we could email her anytime, in fact she encouraged it. Or do I just let that shit go? Since I am a grown woman who is going to Blog about whatever the hell I want whenever the hell I want depending on my mood.

I have always enjoyed writing and it has always been a hobby of mine, but I am not a professional writer and by no means am I holding myself out as one. The objective of my Blog is to gripe and opine about my personal experiences while offering a bit of entertainment, maybe even peppered with a little humor, if I’m in the mood. The reality is that I work in a very serious, tough profession. The practice of Law is very hardcore and I would like a hobby where I can express myself in a light-hearted fun atmosphere. I want my voice here to be real, yet fun, hence the reason I’ll try hard, very hard not to blog about Politics and or provide social commentaries on controversial topics; that’s not my style anyway. I will save my serious no nonsense side for the Courtroom. Well, that’s my initial plan anyway but you and I know how quickly our intentions can change based on our day to day experiences. Who knows a right-winged Conservative or bleeding heart Liberal may piss me the fuck off and I might come here to vent (wink).

So what’d you think about my very first Blog post? Do you have any questions for me? I’d be happy to answer them. Any suggestions or comments? Play nice now…I can be a bit sensitive, as is obvious considering my reaction to my Blog Instructor’s critique.

I think one of the reasons I took so long to start my Blog, apart from me being a procrastinator, was the exposure it brings with it. Public blogging really opens oneself up to all kinds of criticisms, but I’m going to put on my big girl panties and make this thing work because this right here, what I am doing right now, is a bucket list item and I am happy I decided to go for it.

One Love,

Rakkelle