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The idea for this web site came to me about nine years ago.  I wrote it out on a piece of paper and put together some concepts, but didn’t ever create the site.  I was busy getting with life and I also think that I talked myself out of doing anything.  I didn’t think I had anything to offer anyone.  So even when someone told me “you should write a book” or “you should help people through their messy divorces” I just smiled and thought there was no way anyone would ever want to know my story, much less let me help them.

But now I find myself at a crossroads.  I have made some huge decisions in my life in recent months and I spent some time visiting family, I took a break from social media and I meditated and wrote out some ideas for what I want to do with the second half of my life.  And the idea for this site came back to me and this time my little voice said, “Do it!”

Jennifer Sullivan

When I originally conceived of this idea, I’d spent so much time navigating the state systems for domestic violence, help with paying utilities, legal aid, finding a good lawyer, deferring student loans, state mandated marriage mediation, and then of course just getting through a divorce, getting a job again after years of being a stay-at-home-mom, finding new friends, rebuilding a life after leaving a religion, and on and on.

I thought I could help women like me or with similar situations navigate the process.  So that is what I’d like to do. Here are some of the things I think I can help with:

  • finding a good lawyer
  • starting a business
  • finding a job (resume writing)
  • making sure your kids are getting through a divorce OK (i.e., finding a family therapist and child counselors)
  • navigating the teen transgender process
  • facing fears and rebuilding lost self-esteem
  • whether or not to go back to school and why you’re thinking of doing it
  • working with a husband at a company you both own, or he owns, and how to make that work or how to remove yourself
  • how to relate to family who does not relate to you very well after big changes
  • taking care of elderly parents, navigating Alzheimer’s and dementia and their end of life
  • awareness, acceptance, action – how to do it

If you are interested, contact me.

I’ve lived through many of the Signs.  I’ve been seriously ill, I’ve been divorced, I’ve lived through deep pain and isolation from a child, I was fired from a job I loved and I’ve been at many a crossroads.  It is the major life events that lead us to the crossroads and the decisions we make standard at that intersection (sometimes over and over again) lead us ultimately on the journey to take care of ourselves, to accept ourselves, to build up our self-esteem and to want to go out there and take a chance at self-discovery.

This changes a lot, based on my decisions, my daily feelings, etc.  Here is where I’m at right now:

Self-acceptance
75%
Self-care
95%
Self-discovery
85%
Self-esteem
90%

I am a woman, a mother, a sister and daughter, a friend, and a wife.  I’ve been married twice, well three times if you count marrying my first husband twice.  Yep!  I did.  I work hard, I play equally as hard. I am training for my first half-marathon, I have Celiac’s Disease, I write a daily gratitude list, I’m a huge fan of binge-watching Netflix tv shows, and I play piano on occasion. I was raised in a very close-knit, patriarchal religion and I married my first husband in that church.  I always struggled with my religious beliefs because I just didn’t think God was that angry with us and that we should be so concerned with how much we pay our church, what we say, what we wear and even who we are friends with.  I questioned that as a teenager, as a young adult and as a young mother.

I eventually knew I needed to leave that church and I blogged (in the early blogging days) about my journey out of that church. It was done anonymously, but one of my kids Googled me and found it. Soon it was being read by people I’d known in my real life and by people also struggling with a graceful exit from that religion that turned into a mushroom cloud.  Putting my thoughts out there cost me more than I thought possible. In retrospect, blogging about my life and my divorce and my feelings about the church I belonged to wasn’t my brightest move, but at the time I wanted it to be read. I wanted to know I wasn’t alone. Once I knew that, I just kept writing because it was cathartic.

When my blog was discovered by people in my real life, I pulled down the most glaring posts. I was unflinching in my commentary and I wasn’t nice to myself and others who I felt had let me down. Most glaring, I was in the thick of a separation and divorce. I wrote about it all and I thought it would never be discovered. I learned a hard lesson, and it has been with me as the social age has gripped us as people.  Using social media our most personal moments can be published online and once they are there, they live forever.

This is not an anti-religious blog, I am not an anti-religious person but because I was part of a very patriarchal, community-based religion for so long, it defined me for a substantial period in my life and it is still a part of me. Leaving a religion that had been the foundation of my life for over 20 years was, and continues to be, a profound experience.  I now consider my self spiritual, a naturalist, I meditate, and my “religion” is compassion.  I honor nature, warm sun on my skin and I honor people and whatever they need to get through their life.  We all need something and we find it in different places, that is what makes each of us so wonderful. 

The most valuable lesson I learned…was that taking a stand for what I believe in was an empowering act, and even though the weight of loss was heavy, what I gained was wonderful. I no longer rely on an angry God to tell me how to live my life, I don’t listen to old men preach from a pulpit and I don’t highlight scriptures looking for answers. Now I check in with my soul, I believe there is a beautiful, caring higher power out there with a strength we can tap into, I write down my dreams and I do what makes me happy and content, not what I think others would want me to do.

I am on a journey and I have no idea where it will take me…but over time, I’ve figured out where to begin and spend my time enjoying the ride life is taking me on.

 

I’ve done a lot of things in my life.  I’ve gone into bars by myself and sang sober karaoke just to get out of my shell in a relatively “safe” place.  Hey no one knew me so they couldn’t really judge me and if they did, who would they tell and how would I know.

I went back to college to get a Master’s degree.  Half the time I’m glad I did, the other half I’m regretful.

I write a lot and I try and make a daily, simple gratitude list of just three things I’m grateful for that day that have nothing to do with anyone else.  That way it’s a moment I get to focus on my own self-care and self-acceptance.

If you just need someone to meet you for coffee to bounce ideas off of, I can do that.  I am learning to be a good listener and I’ve also worked very hard not to tell people what to do.  Support, empathy, care, compassion and a shoulder.

If you are interested, contact me.

 

 


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