"Treat yourself, don't cheat yourself." The credo I live by. My mantra. Stolen, I admit, by a friend who coined it long ago. That said, this gem is engraved in my mind. I may forget nearly everything else but this, well, this is forever tattooed on my brain and I shall teach this to my children, my friends, and all those who cross my path as this is the most important life lesson that we should all learn and beholden. For who else will treat you the way you deserve to be treated than your own self?
Another dear friend of mine & I spend our weekends indulging in our favorite activities: shopping and eating. We joke that we eat like royalty, going from one best restaurant to the next like it's our mission in life. Actually, it is. We work hard and we play harder. We go full force to live life to the apex, knowing that everything is an opportunity, and that opportunity is in everything.
I believe that life is a gift, that we are all gifts, each of us treasures. And while we need to immerse ourselves fully in each moment, we need to put one asterisk on this: While we need to take advantage of each encounter, we, ourselves, must never be taken advantage of.
I've spent an inordinate amount of time soul-searching and am finally at a place in my life where I understand the true meaning of putting self first. I know that the meaning of life is in serving others; nothing makes me happier than making others happy. I love to be a source of inspiration to those that are down, lost, or at a cross roads. But that can't happen unless I'm at a place of content within myself first. Trust me, I'm not always "Happy." Not always "Up." But I know that I have a guiding force within me, a foundation or source, if you will, that keeps me balanced when I'm feeling a bit off-kilter. And first and foremost, I know my self-worth. Finally. It took many, many years to get here, and it is a constant source of growth, and it is something that is non-compromising.
At 39, divorced, living life on my own terms, I'm now back in the world of dating. And it is completely foreign to me. I had dated my college sweetheart since the young age of 17 and we married at 24...I had never dated before. I truly feel like an alien from Venus! From what I'm told, the rules are completely different from way back then...in fact, there are no rules. I read just yesterday that if you want to fall in love, don't date. What? Combine this notion with "never settling for anything less than butterflies," and I feel as if I'm destined to be the woman living in my Manolo Blahniks with nine Siamese cats. Heaven forbid! (The cats, that is!)
That said, I refuse to give in. I refuse to give up my principles. I know how much I'm worth. And I know that if my destiny is to be living in my Manolos in a loft in Paree, then c'est la vie...who am I to argue with fate?
Another friend posted this amazing quote: "If you aren't being treated with love and respect, check your price tag...It's YOU who tells people what your worth is. Get off the clearance rack and get behind the glass where they keep the valuables." Brilliant. I, for one, am NOT a clearance item!
I still struggle with the notion of being alone...I am a romantic at heart and will, till the day I die, believe in fairytales and my prince. But ever the realist, I am my own heroine, sitting steadfast upon my own white unicorn. I need no saving. And my castle? Well, that's wherever my heart and the Universe leads me to.
At times I am pained thinking the only one cuddling with me is my precocious daughter...and there's not much cuddling going on when her feet are buried toe-deep in my back or in my face. That said, I live for these moments and wouldn't trade them for anything. I know I'm exactly where I'm meant to be. And I know, too, that I'm closer yet to where I'm meant to go. Even my son has dreams of me one day kissing some random stranger, the mystery man that is fated to come into our life. Only time and patience and strength and courage will tell of what will befall us all. Until then, I'll never give up, never settle. And, apparently, never date...