It starts as a typical day at the office. But then you take a call from a new client and suddenly it’s no longer ordinary. A normal call such as this normally lasts maybe ten minutes, this one takes thirty because you slip off topic and find yourself smiling with curiosity and intrigue at the faceless, masculine, sultry, voice filled with humor and charm.

Fast forward six weeks, several professional encounters, a few text messages, and a lunch date was set. A lunch date that began at 12:30 on a Friday afternoon and lasted until five in the evening. Delicious drinks, amazing food, and outstanding conversation filled with laughter, slight flirtations, and subtle cues of interest.

We finally part, but before we do he walks me to my car and reaches down for my hand. It’s a small gesture that makes you grin like a thirteen year old bashful girl. The valet brings my car around just as he leans in and kisses me gently, tenderly, and asks me out for dinner … in a couple hours. I happily accepted.

I rushed home, slipped into the perfect little black dress, stockings, heels, and touched up my hair and makeup. I must have looked comical as my daughter stood there laughing at me acting as if I was getting ready for the prom. I was so nervous I kept dropping things and scurrying around looking for what I was holding in my hand. He seems to have that effect on me.

He picked me up at seven thirty and literally took my breath away when I opened the door. He looked so handsome in his dark blue collared shirt, perfect fit jeans, brown casual shoes, and a smile that burned in my cheeks. He is so stunningly handsome.

We headed towards Old Town Scottsdale and had dinner at the Pink Pony, followed by a stop at his friend’s place, The Rehab Burger Therapy, and finished up the evening at some quaint little bar. It was the most romantic evening. We walked around the town holding hands … talking, laughing. I was astounded by how much we are alike and how much we have in common. What felt like only minutes were in fact hours as time slipped away from us. Before we realized it the bars were closing and it was time drive home.

It’s amazing to me how quickly someone can change your world completely or rather change your view of the world and the possibility of something romantic in it. This incredibly sexy and charismatic man has turned me into a silly little school girl after only one date. I find myself trying to behave like an educated adult and am struggling greatly with it. He has turned me into a blushing teenager who wants to doodle his name on my notebook (oh, admit it, we’ve all done it before … even if it was 20+ years ago!). I have a crush!

The long walk to the door, inviting him in, curling up together on the couch and watching a romantic comedy until the sun comes up. Stolen kisses, heartfelt giggles, and tender embraces rounded out the perfect first date. I’m not saying this is anything because I don’t want to jinx it. But I will say I am happy … and hopeful.

And I cannot tell you how excited I am to see him tomorrow evening for dinner!

So Long & Farwell 2015

As we finally close the door on 2015 and bolt it shut, I will always remember it as one of the most trying and glorious years of my life.

In 2015 I …
~completed and released the final book in my first series.
~moved to Arizona.
~went in debt from divorce attorney bills & accomplished nothing in the process.
~gained my freedom.
~started a new career.
~got my business off the ground.
~forged some amazing new friendships.
~learned some hard lessons.
~endured three incredibly long road trips.
~learned how to navigate a new city without using my GPS.
~had the best holiday season in over a decade.
~realized who my true friends are.
~and most importantly it was the year I became a grandma for the first time!

Proud Grandma holding her angel, Scarlett
Proud Grandma holding her angel, Scarlett

However in 2015 I also …
~broke off some hurtful & harmful relationships.
~learned the true character of some people I’d known all my life.
~walked away from everything I had ever known or possessed in my life.
~dug the knife out of my back, wiped my hands clean & started over.
~was truly disappointed in some people & elated with others.
~realized how greedy, selfish, & cruel people who claim to love you can be.

Upon escaping my wretched bonds I realized I do have worth, I do contribute something to this world, and that I do deserve to be happy. And for the first time since 2001, I am. For me, that means everything. I no longer have someone whispering negativity in my ear filling me with self-doubt or trying to pass off all my accomplishments as their own and constantly assuring me and everyone else in my world that I never would have succeeded if it hadn’t been for their so-called guiding hand and loving support. I realize now that I did it all on my own. I am the one who took every test in college. I am the one who poured my heart and soul into my studies. I am the one who sent out countless query letters once Essence was written, endured the heartbreak with every rejection letter and felt the unimaginable joy that followed with that offer for publication. I am the one who wrote every word of each book I’ve published. I put in the long hours of research of every facet of my storylines. And I refuse to sit back any longer and let someone else take the praise for my hard work. The two dreams I held in the inner recesses of my heart were to someday graduate from college with high honors and to be a published author. My health suffered so much I had to look for alternative resources and needed something to help me out to cope with all the stress in my life. My friend recommended Kratom, Sacred Kratom, she said it was the best thing that shes tried for helping with her depression. kratom withdrawal can be minimized and the side effects regulated through a medical detoxification program that accounts for all the genetic, biological, and environmental factors during treatment. What’s more, medical detox can help to reduce the overall withdrawal timeline, thus making the entire process less hectic. The majority of individuals begin taking kratom with good intentions. When you think about it, they probably want a safe and natural way to relieve their pain, or reduce stress and anxiety. Not to deny kratom any credit, it actually works, and sometimes better than most prescription medication.

2015 was full of ups and downs for me. It also forced me to remember how strong I am and that I can stand on my own two feet. That was something I’d lost a long time ago and to be honest I missed it. For the last several years I was so miserable I had forgotten how to be happy and what happiness felt like. All I can remember is the feeling of being suffocated, and drowning without a life preserver. I am truly upset that I had allowed myself to be beaten down, made to feel worthless, and for staying in such a miserable state for as long as I did.

And I accomplished both … ON MY OWN!!!!

So as 2016 gets underway I am feeling refreshed, breathing easier, and enjoying life. I am eating healthy, exercising more, and feeling more like my old self once again. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders, the shackles finally removed, and I can run free … free to laugh, free to sing (even if it is off key), and free to excel in my professional life on my own merits. The future is now mine to make it anything I wish it to be. And most importantly, I am living in the present and loving life!