I’m the girl who never got asked to the prom…

“you’re only lonely if you’re not there for you”…

whatever is happening to 43 year old joey is opening up a whole new world to 43 year old nanette…through varying emotions, varying moods, varying conversations and varying experiences, I am learning who 44year old danielle will be…I’ve shared thoughts, emotions and a recent story that rocked my world with a few people in the past few months…reactions have been overwhelming, sometimes heartwarming and sometimes irritating…the heartwarming ones are keeping me going…

with all the goings on, I find myself self reflecting on a daily basis…I’m practicing mindfulness and I’m loving it…the more I reflect and the more I self evaluate – the more I grow as an individual and as a professional…part of my practice that has worked for me all these years is the ability for me to be empathetic to my clients, situations and experiences…over the last year, my experiences have expanded…they have expanded to a place that I never thought I would be…my ability to take a negative experience and turn it into a positive outcome is a skill that I have developed – developed from hard work, self determination, and a good therapist…

if my life were a movie, I’d like it to be one that shows me living in the present day with periodic flashbacks to my past…I think that’s how I live my life…

flashback…

I’m the girl who never got asked to the prom…always had an amazing amount of friends but never that girl that a boy asked out…it was the grand march and I asked a boy to walk with me…he said no…at that moment I remember thinking why…we’re friends…I try to remember what I felt that day…but I can’t…but I remember that I loved getting my dress made…I loved wearing a corsage that I bought for myself (well my folks did cause I was 17…lol lol…)…I loved signing up for decorating, volunteering for safe grad and buying my ticket for the meal and dance…I went solo to my prom…but I went…weird thinking back, I wonder what 17year old danielle was thinking that day that she was getting dressed for prom…was I the only one going solo – I have no idea now…I know my friends all had dates…in all my pictures though, I was smiling ear to ear…

present day…

i’m the girl without a significant other or partner, the new lingo…i’m the girl that doesn’t get asked to couple events cause newsflash, i’m not a couple…i’m the girl that doesn’t get dinner party invites cause newsflash, i’m not a couple…unless it’s a single event, or partners are away, then i’m in…now this is not true with everyone i know cause i have many fun date nights with my friends significant others there…but there are events that i’m left of the guest list because it might be awkward…awkward for who is the question though…i think people have a perception that if someone is not like them, then they’re miserable…I’m here to say, drop that attitude peeps – it’s old and it’s tiring…

what do I have that makes me this person…I love my person, my whole person…I thank my parents for that…they taught each of my siblings and I that we are the most important thing in this world…and to never, ever miss out on something because it doesn’t fit the norm…amidst all this I believe it’s normal to be down on yourself once in a while…it’s normal to question, why…it’s normal to be sad…it’s normal to be lonely…it’s normal to be well just be normal…

when I walked into prom with no one on my arm I’m sure I didn’t picture myself a 43 year old woman with no one on my arm…but I’m also sure I didn’t picture myself as the woman who would put herself through university twice – soon to be third…I’m sure I didn’t picture myself as the woman who would buy her own car – well on my 4th car…I’m sure I didn’t picture myself as the woman who would buy her own home…and I sure as hell didn’t picture myself as the woman who would become a single parent of a 4legged monster…

strength is a talent, a skill and an aspiration…

I’m not sure if my parents set out to teach me all that they’ve taught me…I’m not sure when we sat at the table at supper time chowing down vegetable soup and potted meat sandwiches that they had an agenda…I’m not sure when they’d gather us in the station wagon and get us to guess how many train tracks we’d cross before getting to grandma’s house, that they knew that’s where we’d learn to love eachother’s company…

my parents aren’t perfect…we didn’t have the perfect upbringing…my parents tell stories of struggles, poverty, hardship and well love…my parents worked their asses off to provide for my siblings and myself…when pregnant on me, they had no car, lived in an apartment and worked shift work…at birth I nearly killed mom, I was colicky, clingy and attached to my parents at the hip…my grandparents took me at 6 weeks old while my mother returned to work with a fresh belly cut and I’m sure a heavy heart…I spent most of my childhood in a dresser drawer – times were tough…but I was so loved…I was raised in the most brilliant home with the most amazing parents who just simply provided for us in the best way they could…

strength…they reeked of strength…

my mother once told me, no matter where you end up or who you end up with…protect yourself – have a little nest egg she said…she went on to say that you never know what another person will do or turn into…my mother taught me that you can only trust yourself at the end of the day…my mother is a brilliant woman, married to the most amazing man I know – the only man I know who will always love me, my dad…yet she still will advise to save for a rainy day cause as she says amazing is a 7 letter word that can change in the blink of an eye…

how do I stay in the present…mindfulness…try it…my therapist did this with me last session…if you wanna try and experience what mindfulness is – go get a raisin…I swear, a raisin…I’ll give you a sec, go get one…

now hold the raisin between your thumb and pointer finger…stare at the raisin for about a minute – notice the shape, the crevices; are the corners rounded, broken, ragged or rugged…now close your eyes, take the raisin and roll it in the two fingers, feeling the texture thoroughly…now wave the raisin in front of your nose, back and forth – do you notice any distinctive smell, does it linger, or escape your nostrils…now put the raisin up to your ear – squeeze the raisin, what do you hear, any distinctive sound…you just spent about 5minutes with a raisin – how would you describe that…my answer was “I just spent that time on a raisin”…she asked me, “did you think about anything else during that time”…I smirked and answered “I didn’t, I really didn’t”…I had just practiced mindfulness…I just embraced my present…

when you find yourself living in the past, projecting the future or simply afraid of the unknown – give yourself a few minutes to revel in your present being…life isn’t worth wasting with worry…life isn’t worth losing yourself in someone else…be open, be willing to reflect, self evaluate, experience and feel…have a little nest egg for yourself, don’t think you’re different, this will never happen to you – open your eyes, it can…

It took me nearly drowning to learn to breathe…

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