The End of a Chapter

21 Dec

“There are things we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind.  But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life!”

It was November 30, 2011, 22 days ago to be exact, when my divorce was finalized!  I was, and still am extremely happy.  There is a sense of finality and success as I made it through a very rough time in my life.  Those who were with me during the entire process will agree that it seemed to take FOREVER!!  I would get comments such as, “you’re STILL not divorced?”  But, all things happen at the right time, when they’re suppose to happen in your life.

Now that it’s complete, this chapter of my life is complete as well. I sit here today a new woman, completely free from the  title of “married” that loomed over me for so long: married, but single, separated, but still technically attached…yeah, try to explain that one to a man who asks if you’re single!  Aside from explaining myself to others, it’s the internal gratification and sense of freedom that has been heightened.  As someone said to me this morning, as of November 30, I let go of baggage.  There could not be a more true statement.  I was carrying baggage and although the baggage wasn’t holding me back, in some ways it was slowing me down.  It was unfinished business, a chapter I couldn’t finish writing.

So I sit here now, writing my last chapter.  The last chapter also includes the last entry of this blog because I no longer ask the question, “why did I get married?”  Through interactions with other men and woman going through divorce, through conversations with close friends, through deep self-reflection and through my writings, I know exactly why I got married.  I know I was young and naive. I know I had no idea the amount of work, sacrifice and true sharing from 2 people marriage required.  I was 23 years old.  I wasn’t able to be successful at a commitment that big because I didn’t understand it, I didn’t know ME and I didn’t know my ex husband the way one needs to know a person before being married.  I know I was simply “taking the next step” in a relationship and was enjoying the constant validation from family and friends.  I enjoyed the gifts, I had fun at my wedding and my rings were beautiful.  All of those “things” kept me there.

10 year later I am a new person.  I am truly living my life.  Through this I have learned who Krischa Esquivel truly is.  I have discovered my true passions and have learned not to compromise my authentic self in the process. I am now embarking on a journey I never imagined. I am writing for blogs on education,I am consulting in the field of early education, I am dancing, I am laughing, loving and enjoying the life I have created!  I have discovered that the core of me has been untouched.  The essence of who I am, one who helps others, shares experiences and is open to be vulnerable, has miraculously been protected and  for that I grateful.  Because of this, I have also been blessed to guide so many other people through their personal transitions in life: some divorces, schooling, writing of books, birthing of children, death of loved ones, financial concerns, family issues and parenting struggles.  THIS is where I find my joy, this is where my passions are rooted.  From these things I am more than excited for the next projects coming up in my life, and in the lives of powerful, strong woman around me.  There is more to come, there will be other chapters…but not here.

This journey has been amazing.  This journey has been heartbreaking.  I can truly appreciate being broken down, because from that I was rebuilt and am better than I ever imagined.  I appreciate all the ugly words said to me, because it allowed me to speak life into myself and know who I really am…no validation from others needed!  I appreciate the many struggles, because without them I never would have realized my true strength and spirit of tenacity.  I appreciate the new friends I have made along the way because they have held me up when all I wanted to do was fall down.  I appreciate my family who never judged me, never left me, but held me accountable for my actions and never allowed me or the kids to go without the NECESSITIES.  I appreciate my ex husband for the years of experiences we had together.  Without them I would not be here now.  I would not have been able to share so openly and empower so many others.

So I finish this chapter, end this final post saying thank you to everyone who read, everyone who shared their stories with me, everyone who passed my story to others.  Remember that in sharing your story, you empower yourself, you allow healing to take place, and you give strength to others. Yes, this is the final chapter…but my NEW life is only just beginning!

Words of Encouragement

28 Nov

“Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it.  I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.” 

There are times in your life when things happen and it almost feels as if the wind has gotten knocked out of you.  You find yourself walking in a fog, existing in a fog and doing your best to hold on tight to the sense of sanity you have.  You are going through life, dodging the blows, bobbing and weaving the sucker punches that try to come your way.  Then one day, you stop, relax, and experience the pain and soreness your mind and body is experiencing. 

You are in constant movement.  You’re jumping over hurdles, you’re dodging bullets, sometimes narrowly escaping life altering situations.  This type of constant movement can be exhausting, but it keeps you in shape.  It keeps you focused, it keeps you alert and keeps you ready.  Ready for those moments when, like I said, you are going through life and BAM…those ton of bricks fall on you, your breath is taken from you and you’re in the fog.

Keep pushing.  Keep fighting, keep dodging and never stop moving forward.  Forward movement ensures you never stop your journey.  Forward movement means progress and forward movement means you are LIVING!

You may be feeling stuck. You may be feeling tired, sore, and out of breath. You may be walking in a fog or even yet, sitting in a fog.  That’s ok, that’s normal.  When the fog lifts, when your muscles recuperate and your full strength comes back, you will be stronger than ever before.

Don’t give up, don’t give in.  Your dreams are waiting for you!

I Will Never Forget

7 Nov
“Recognizing what we have done in the past is a recognition of ourselves. By conducting a dialogue with our past, we are searching how to go forward.”
One of the things I have struggled with in my blog is discussing my past, the beginning of my divorce journey.  I talk a lot about how I have overcome many obstacles: legal, spiritual, physical, and psychological.  I discuss my challenges with the kid’s father and how I have worked through financial struggles.   I have successfully worked through many situations and my outlook on life is positive, making room for only upward mobility.
But the PAST, those very specific, very painful memories that forced me to fight.  Those incidents that first brought me to my knees, had me begging for it all to end, then subsequently uncovered a strength and determination I never knew existed.  What do I do with those experiences?   Do I write about them to acknowledge them, or will that be seen as me living in the past?  Do I write about them so that other people who read my blog can see that no, I have not always been this strong?  
As I continue to make a decision on how to share that part of my life, I will share with my blog readers how I use my past to my keep me going.   When times get tough, when I incidents happen, as they often do, or as I start to get discouraged, I repeat 4 words to myself, “I will never forget.”  And this is what keeps me strong.  I will never forget what I have gone through.  I will never forget the triumphs I have made. I will never forget where I was and how I endured.  No, I do not LIVE in the past, but I refuse to forget my journey.  I refuse to forget the lowest times in my life. 
For me, not forgetting the past is very different from dwelling or living in the past.  Not forgetting the feeling of being broke keeps me disciplined with my budget.  Not forgetting the feeling of being sick and hospitalized for various aliments keeps me vigilant on keeping myself healthy.  Not forgetting the hole in my heart when my kids were not home allows me to cherish every moment with them. I hear about parents getting tired of their children.  But when you have the very real threat of them being taken away, EVERY moment, every laugh, every experience with them is cherished and appreciated to the fullest. 
Lastly, never forgetting my past means I never forget how strong a woman I am.  I will NEVER forget what I have fought for, what I have fought through and how I have done it successfully.  If I allow myself to forget these things and let go of them, I may in fact forget the power, tenacity and endurance I possess.  THAT would be unacceptable!
Word of advice:  Do not dwell on the sorrows of the past, because that is the past.  You lived through it, and regardless of your intended outcome, you made it through successfully because you are alive!  Never forgetting where you were  allows you to never take for granted the blessings of today.  I hear people say, “it could be worse.”  For me, I say, “it has been worse, and it will NEVER be that bad again.”    Happiness is a choice and can be overlooked when we fail to acknowledge our past accomplishments.

You HAVE to get pissed off!

24 Oct

Anger simply shows that something in you is hurt, some wound is there.”

I worked for a long time to not be angry, to not become bitter, to be understanding of other people’s perspective and understand that we are all human and possess a great number of flaws, myself included.  When I first started going through my divorce I did this to a fault.  Anything my ex did I was able to use some kind of psychological babble to explain what HE was going through so as not to internalize it and take on the burden of his anger.  WHATEVER!!  I will never forget the time I was talking to my Aunt about something that  happened.  I said to her, ” I am not even upset about.  I’m just sad and disappointed.”  My Aunt’s response, “that’s a problem, Krischa!  Because until you get mad, I mean really pissed off about all he is doing to you, it’s going to keep happening.”  At the time I didn’t understand, I couldn’t understand and I wasn’t ready to face the reality of the person I was dealing with.  So instead, I remained “calm and understanding of his process.”

Now that I am working with a lot of other men and woman going through various life changes, I see this happen often.  It’s a way to protect ourselves from the reality of what is happening in our lives.  We do it with our finances by making excuses about WHY we need to spend money, an emergency came up so I HAD to use that credit card.  We make similar excuses when things happen to us or people do things to us.  We can explain anything away, justifty any action or reaction.  This takes accountabliity away from ALL people involved.

So now what?  First thing is you have to be ready to accept the emotions that will surface.  Be ready for the wound to be exposed (or for a previous wound to be reopened!) and be ready for the reaction from the other person.  I’m not suggesting you call them up and go off, you may not ever share your feelings and thoughts with that person. I know I haven’t but that’s a personal choice. What I am saying to do is acknowledge within YOURSELF that you were hurt, you were wronged and that it’s unacceptable.  You have to admit to yourself that regardless of the reasons behind the actions, regardless of your role or responsiblity, YOU are not going to accept this behavior.

Until you get TRULY fed up and look at the reality of your situation (finances, friendship, marriage, your job),  NOTHING will change.  Anger produces action and breaks the chains of complacency and excuses.  Be ready…once you get angry, change is inevitable, it’s uncomfortable, but in the end, it’s liberating!

Free From the Past

6 Oct

“With courage in your heart and with God by your side, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin, as best as you can, to design the life you want to live.”

I haven’t posted in a while and believe me, it’s not because my life has been lacking in events to write about.  My days continue to be busy with making meals, carpools, dance rehearsals, homework and soon, I will be back in the workforce full time.  Along with the day to day of my new life, my divorce continues.  Negotiations between my ex and me were going okay for a little while.  I did my best to listen, to hear his side and just focus on the kids.  Well, that lasted all of a week.  Along with negotiations my ex informed me he will be moving 120 miles away and no longer supporting any of the activities I put the kids in UNLESS he agrees to it first…so be it.

So yes, my days and weeks continue to be eventful, so why has the writing subsided?  While talking to a friend, I realized I have not written because the events that are taking place in my divorce are no longer consuming my day to day life, or my mind and emotions.  The actions of my ex are just that, HIS actions.  Emotionally they do not affect me.  His decisions are irrelevant to my life.

The kids and I have begun a new journey in our lives together.  My son loves kindergarten, my daughter adores her dance class and all of her friends.  My son has play dates with his friends from school and they have developed a sense of security and routine that is calming not only to them, but for me as well.  My stress is low and it’s because the 2 things that mattered most to me now have their lives in order.

This is my new freedom!  Freedom from the mental strong holds.  Freedom from the underlying question of what will happen with the kids.  Freedom from the fears of what my ex might try.  The courts made their decision, and now my ex has made a decision for HIS life!  I have the mental and emotional freedom to enjoy my babies, to truly enjoy the time I have with special people in my life and it’s wonderful!

I have “lost” some people along the way.  Correction, some people have lost ME along the way, and that’s ok.  Our time together as friends was nice: baby showers, weddings, funerals, college and everything in between.  But I have learned to stand on my own, to coach myself through the toughest times, and in the process, to become the best Krischa I have ever been!

A person who is very special in my life once gave me some wonderful advice.   He said, “talk about your situation as you need to.  Write about it until it doesn’t affect you anymore.”  And there you have it…it no longer affects me.  Although my process is not “officially” complete, I know I have completed this test.  I know I have learned my lessons.  I know I have survived some of the darkest times in my life.  There were nights I prayed I wouldn’t wake up.  Days I wished would never come…but here I am! So I am able to listen to my ex remind of our anniversary with no emotional connection.  I am able to listen to him tell me how much he misses the family together without any thought.  Why?  Because I let go, I have moved on, I have fought my way through and now, I’m FREE!

Word of advice:  It does it easier.  The hard times do not last forever.  The tears WILL stop falling.  The questions WILL stop.  You WILL learn to trust yourself, LOVE yourself and LOVE the new gift of life you have been GIVEN!  How many people are given a second chance to make their lives exactly what THEY want it to be?  Not many…we are the lucky ones!

I Need to Finish so I Can Begin

13 Sep


“The successful person is not the quickest one to see through a thing, but the quickest one to see a thing through.”

The finality of this process is so close, my excitement is rising and there is a growing sense of relief and peace in my home as the kids and I have been reintroduced to life together.  It’s been a little bitter-sweet for everyone, but the children are doing very, very well.

Internally there is a sense of urgency to complete this process.  To close the doors on this journey and FINALLY move on!  The timeline has been bumped up a bit and hopefully things will be finalized by the end of the year.  Can you imagine?  Entering 2012 having successfully completed this journey?  There’s an inner excitement because I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I have been through the ups and downs and am now able to have a sensible conversation with the kids father…well, most of the time!

There are loose ends that need to be clipped in various areas of my life.  What I am realizing is that I cannot end certain things, until THIS has ended.  I cannot start other things until THIS is complete.  So,  I have allowed myself to slow down.  To take my time in decisions, and to plan for the future I have ahead of me.  After years of  fighting, at least one aspect of my future is certain.  The certainty of what I know is what I will focus on.  Day to-day things  may change and that’s okay.  The sense of accomplishment I am feeling as I near the finish line is amazing.   I know, this is a divorce.  What’s so amazing about a divorce?  It’s not the act itself that is amazing.  It’s the manner in which I was able to clear each hurdle, get up the many times I fell down, and continue with a sense of tenacity I didn’t know I possessed.  That’s what makes this so amazing.

As I am nearing the end, there are others who are just beginning.  There are many things in store for me.  Many checkpoints I have yet to reach and still some open chapters within the book that need to be completed.  But just as you have to learn to crawl before you walk, I need to finish so I can begin!

My advice:  Slow down.  Yes, the sense of urgency to do everything, to complete all tasks, to hurry up and move on can be overwhelming at times.  In each step is a lesson to be learned and new things to discover about yourself.  Be sure to do that.  There is an amazingly strong person waiting to be discovered! Before you know it, you will be finished and you will be able to begin!


The Happiness of Today

6 Sep

At first I was feeling as if my overall happiness was on a roller coaster.  But that’s not the case.  I am in charge of my happiness, it’s my situations that change.  And even with that, I have the power to control how I react (or not) to situations.  When I thought about it even more I realized it’s all in my mind, my anticipation for what’s to come and my past experiences that can keep me from experiencing all the happiness I deserve.

I was talking to some friends about all of the wonderful things going on in my life.  As the conversation continued, I started moving into the “what ifs” and what about,” all the hypothetical situations that I have no control over, and no guarantee ANY of those things will happen.  One of my friends gave some wonderful words of wisdom, “just go with the flow.  If you’re happy now, that’s all that matters.”  WOW!!

Getting caught up in the future and attempting to over plan for tomorrow, and next week and next month, can keep you from being fully present.  The moment of happiness you are experiencing right NOW is what matters.  I know for me it does.  The overwhelming amounts of happiness, fulfillment and excitement for all the things I’m involved in are feelings I deserve to feel, they are feelings I enjoy and honestly, after ALL I have endured, I have EARNED these feelings!

When someone goes through a traumatic event, they can become shell-shocked, always on high alert and waiting for the next situation to happen.  That’s how I was for so long.  And why wouldn’t I be?  I was in the battle of my life with someone who was relentless!  I was attempting to live one step ahead, trying to next move of the enemy.  Now that the “war” is over, I have to remember how to live in the moment and relax.

Being fully present is a wonderful gift I have allowed myself and my children to have.  The authentic moments of laughter are irreplaceable!  Supporting others fully as they support me is a feeling unlike any I have experienced.  I was so busy this week , and I didn’t get much sleep.  But in return I laughed a lot and truly enjoyed the people around me. I was able to enjoy experiences…even if one experience was simply hanging out at home watching movies. I will take that trade-off any day!   I have decided that rather than waiting for it to end, rather than trying to prepare and protect myself for disappointment, I am going to live fully and enjoy every wonderful moment in my life that I fought for and deserve!  Change is inevitable, change can happen suddenly, but change does not have to be devastating and it should NOT be paralyzing.  You will live through it, you will make it…enjoy it all!

My advice:  Learn from the past, but don’t hold on to the experiences, hurt and disappointment.  Open yourself and allow yourself to live a new reality, experience a new level of happiness.  By doing this, you can live in the present, truly experiencing the happiness of TODAY!