FAREWELL, HEARTACHE

In addition to the election, Syria, terrorist attacks, police making black lives shatter, the passing of brilliant artists, etc. I am personally ready to say "sayonara, bitches" to 2016 because my heart was wounded this year. Sia's "Chandelier" was my 2nd most played track on Spotify as it was emblematic of my defiant determination to continue to drink life to the lees. But my bravado was beleaguered by anguish.

Not long after we split, I took a shower and blasted the song on repeat so that I could feel the pain as deeply as I felt the love. I am not afraid to cry and, in fact, embrace the catharsis. As I sang the chorus at the top of my lungs, I surrendered to the sadness and sat down, sobbing. I pulled my knees tightly into my chest, while the water and tears formed a swirling eddy of heartbreak and vulnerability around me.

I'd spent years after my divorce ducking & rolling and sticking & moving to protect myself from just such feelings. But at the beginning of 2013, I was finally open to the possibility of love again. Late that year, he approached me at a birthday party, took my hand, and didn't let go. As I sensed myself falling I was shook. It had been almost 20 years since I'd felt this and I'd forgotten how consuming and unsettling it was. When I shared my fear with Joan she said "Soph, don't you remember? When you love, you love hard."

I'd always wondered what the man after the father of my children would look like and here he was: kind, patient, soft-spoken (but from the Southside, so definitely not soft), funny, smart, intellectually curious, ambitious, creative, supportive, and the most attentive man I've ever been with. I spent my career and marriage supporting and managing brilliant men and here I was, being cared for by one.

He guided me wisely and steadily through every experience and encouraged me above all to tell my story. He made me laugh, dried my tears, touched my soul, listened to my spirit, and held my heart ever so carefully in his strong gentle hands. And I was safe. As ferocious, independent, and powerful as I am, I need my man to make me feel protected--emotionally, spiritually, physically. Only then do I surrender myself utterly to the stunning power of love.

I knew he would be different from the gate because we never played games--no calculating how long to wait before responding to a text or call. We both hated drama and dealt with issues head on. And we never ever had a fight. The beauty of being with a grown ass man as a grown ass woman is that you have grown ass conversations about everything, including goodbye. 

I am eternally grateful for the Journey, but it's time to move on. So, here we go 2017, show me what the fuck you got.

 

 

BRUISED BUT NOT BROKEN

This was my theme song as I was coming out of my post-marriage funk. It was produced by my boy Raphael Saadiq and written by Diane Warren. I traveled to Europe in the fall of '07 with the wonderful Sam Martin and I listened to this non-stop. When my marriage was ending, several friends said "You're the strongest person I know." That's a profound compliment but I never said to myself "Be strong, Sophia! You'll get through this!" I always knew everything would be fine. I've never lost sleep over a break up or cried myself to sleep or couldn't get out of bed. Life is too short and once I've made a decision to leave, I'm out and never look back.

When it first became clear that my ex and I were not going to be together, I was afraid: of failure, of humiliation, of what to tell my parents. But--after four years of trying and sitting on my shrink's couch--it was an easy decision. I remember telling my mentor Michael Ostin that things were bad and he said "Is that the model of love you want for your kids, Soph?" That resonated deeply with me, particularly as I've learned so much about parenting and family from him.

And so, there I was: single, post 40, two kids, and everyone is communicating via text, sexting, sending dirty pictures. I was like Austin Powers who had just come out of his cryogenic coma. But, like everything else, I figured it out with the help of my friends. I remember the first time I had sex post-marriage Joan said "Just put on some sexy underwear and go for it." Then she remembered that all my panties looked like they were bought in bulk at Costco, and they were all large. She said "Soph, in what fucking world are you a large?!" But I did have one pink thong and got it together, got it on, and the rest is history which I'll discuss more in future posts.