August 19, 2019
Where did the Summer go? Ahh, I cannot believe it is August 19th already, and it's that time of year for back to school, soon-to-be Fall happenings, and, dare I say, the HOLIDAY's! Okay, okay, I am not going there right now but you know what I mean. I admit, though, I am ready for the weather to not be this oppressive heat and humidity. If it could feel like SoCal weather 365 days a year - okay, maybe some cold, snowy weather around Christmas - than I would be one happy gal.
Back on track. I think I need another cup of coffee. Ugh.
Today marks 3 years since I got divorced. No, I don't want to harp on this but this is what my gut feels I should share. It was a day I will always remember. A day when I went from strong, to stronger (maybe that happened some time after) but the day that "Janine Serio" was reborn.
And, yes, I did keep my married last name.
You ready for this month's "12 Reasons '19' Has My Heart" series?
Reason #5: One of the best gifts I could have been given...even if it is hard to see the forest for the trees.
I remember when my attorney gave me the handful of dates from which to pick from, I put the 19th as the last possible one. I mean, what were the odds that the 19th would be offered AND that all the other ones would be filled by the time our request was submitted. Needless to say, you see what happened, and maybe I should have viewed it as a sign.
I went through the motions the entire morning 3 years ago. Getting dressed, putting on my jewelry, looking at myself in the mirror, and wondering WTF. My Dad and sister gave me a hug and kiss, and my Mom and I proceeded to do something together we never thought we would be faced with.
As I sat in the stark hallway of the court room, the sadness and anger I felt was heavy. Here I was, 30 years old, my marriage was ending, and I was enduring the worst betrayal that I wish no individual would ever have to go through.
The feeling of being rejected, walked out on, cheated on, and, now, divorced. Oh man, the scarlet letter I would wear now.
I held it together; my Mom and I both gave our statements, and walked out the door as soon as we were dismissed. We both cried as the doors shut behind us, in the elevator, to the car, and on and off the rest of the day.
And this is where the REAL story begins.
I look back on my life when I was married, and it, definitely, looks a lot different than where I am today. Not different in a negative way, just different. The things that I wanted and strived for back then align in some ways but also look and feel a lot more "FIt4Janine" today. Sure, I have evolved, have grown, and endured a fair amount in my life right now BUT I think the REAL me is getting to come through right now.
I am getting to live the life that I was, destined, to live, and had always wanted on some level. No, I do not think I sacrificed or settled; I was 23, in love, and I was so excited to begin a journey with a man who loved and adored me as much as I did him. Yes neither one of us is/was perfect, and we both had our things, but that is life.
I would not be honest if I didn't share that the last year or two we were together I was sad and unhappy. I could tell he was retreating; I was doing everything I could to make him happy, be the best wife, have the home looking as great as we could afford, cooking dinners, working ridiculous hours to make ends meet, etc. There were many nights I laid in bed with that pit in my stomach. My gut telling me something was not right. I brushed it off; "it's fine Janine. You are being too paranoid." So, I did what I did everyday...got up to walk out the door at 4:30 am to see a client or teach a boot camp class, and that went on repeat most of the day. Of course, that was coupled with the then corporate wellness job where I was working too.
I tried to not wear my emotions on my sleeve but people could tell I was not myself. This time in my life - 28/29 years old - seemed to age me and took a major toll on my health. Yet, in the back of my mind, while I knew this was not how things were supposed to be, I just kept giving it the college effort because "through good times and bad."
I was always told that I would get to a point where I could talk about this without getting emotional. I think this past year was a turning point for me. I guess time does heal. My heart still aches when I think about the last 10 years but I can navigate it with a level head. My heart is sad for him - he has to look at himself in the mirror every day and live with "it" - but it does not deserve the space to grieve for him anymore. Yes, there will always be a piece of my heart that holds on to those moments in time but my heart needs to make space for the best gift that he could have given me.
The gift of letting me go - even if he did it in a way that was so cowardly and pathetic. The gift of letting me become the woman who I always wanted to be, and never having to feel bad or ashamed for wanting what I want in life.
The gift of creating an empire and a brand that, yes, feels like a f-ing uphill battle right now, BUT I know it is going to reap dividends in the long run.
The gift of travel, working with some amazing people in the industry, shopping (of course), socializing, and, you know what "Janine Serio" and "Fit4Janine" are all about.
The gift of getting me back out in the world, even if it is an "omg, I am single and this feels super scary and raw."
And this is what I think about everyday. The bigger gift that he gave me, even though I had to go through a lot of shit, and even some regret...it is what is getting me to this point.
Oh, and before I go, while this is personal, I do not know where I stand on getting married again, or having kids, or living in the big house with a fence, and a dog, and yada yada. Right now, this is just about having FUN - that's it. I don't want to read into anything; I just want to let things evolve. I appreciate everyone who feels me "you are young, you should get married again" and "omgosh, we so know you want kids."
I am glad everyone has it figured out while I try to figure it out. What I DESERVE now is to just have fucking fun, and let the rest fall into place. That's it.
Okay 19, let's do this today! Have a great week...and be f-ing awesome!
P.S. Photo Credit courtesy of Violetartistry
P.S.S. In case you have missed them, here are the past "12 Reasons Why "19" Has My Heart" posts:
Seasons of Love
2 Health Nuts
'Tis The Season
Cheese & Charcuterie