I stood in front of the tri-fold mirror with my eyes half closed, not allowing myself to focus on the blurry image in front of me.
I was scared.
Scared that I wasn't going to like what I saw.
Scared that what I saw was going to change the way I felt.
Because I felt good.
I felt strong. Healthy. Pretty...
No - I felt hot.
And I hadn't felt hot in a long time. After he walked out, practically running off with a woman just a few years older than our daughter, I certainly didn't feel hot.
It took a long time, a lot of hard work, dedication and perseverance, before I began to feel like myself again.
Two years ago, I didn't think that I would ever feel like myself. Going through the separation process, meeting with my divorce lawyer for the first time - none of that made me feel hot. It made me feel worthless. It made me feel ugly, small. I didn't remember who I was before - 18 years with a man will do that to you. I had to think hard to remember if I'd even had other boyfriends or gone on dates before I met him.
How was I going to start over? Do this all over again?
I think that I realized somewhere along the way that his failures were not my failure, but that didn't stop it from eating away at my soul.
"If I had tried harder. What if I had been sweeter? If I was kinder, more compassionate. If I had lost the weight and kept it off. If I had only dressed better, worked harder on my make up. If I had shown interests in his stupid soccer or..."
The endless list of what-ifs. Those what-ifs, they'll tear your soul to pieces if you let them.
I had to shake it off. Today was different. It was a new day, a new beginning, the start of a new life. Today, I was a single woman again. A divorcee. I was buying a $400 pair of True Religion jeans with the money I got from pawning my wedding and engagement rings.
Out with the old, in with the new.
I opened my eyes and focused on what I saw. I shook out my hair, letting it fall messily over my shoulders. I smiled. I put my hands on my hips, arched my back...
And I liked what I saw in the mirror. I really liked it.
The way I felt? It was right there in the mirror.
And it was hot.