Category Archives: Boundaries

Emerging

While I never really stopped showing up for my life, recently there has been a theme of emerging in even deeper ways. Early April of last year, I was at a local business event and several people seemed surprised to see me there; which I didn’t understand…was I supposed to stay in bed?

In recent conversation with someone who also encountered trauma last year, I asked if they noted the irony that we’re both ready to emerge more fully into our lives when the world shuts down. How fun.

Someone who was once very close to me, but then cut me off rather brutally, recently sent an IG follow request. To which I turned my head sideways wondering what the actual fuck they were thinking; and NO.

At the same time, other people I haven’t been in touch with lately have come back around and I’ve been able to reconnect with them joyfully. The choice is always mine to make. People continue to emerge back into my life in surprising ways.

Emerging even more fully into my life in so many ways is indescribably sweet and sometimes also bitter. I’m very aware of people that I choose to keep and those I choose to release.

Charlotte is a very, very small town; I am aware that I could encounter these non-connections in a variety of settings. Whether you think I’m writing about you or not, you’re right.

The reality is that my emergence and presence in my own life is only and always up to me; I choose who, where, and with whom I spend my time and energy.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Emerging”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

 

Echoes of the Past

I have a lot of friends in real estate and lately many of my coffee, lunch, and wine dates have been catching up with my favorites of those friends. One of the most common themes in our conversations is about how eerily the current real estate market conditions feel exactly like it did in 2007…right before the Great Recession arrived.

Even with friends who weren’t working in real estate at that time, many of us have known, for quite a while, that we are seriously overdue for a correction. Right now, we all agree that it seems the long-awaited market correction might actually (finally) be arriving.

In fact, even non-real estate, but business owner and finance industry friends have recognized the echoes from the past heralding change. From a birds eye view, the signs are all amassing and growing stronger.

It’s common to be driving around Charlotte and do a double take, wondering “where did that come from?” which is closely linked to “wait, where did that go?” Construction has been going like crazy all around this area and the construction industry has been behaving as though it’s drunk on profits.

The thing is, unfettered growth is not natural, nor is it sustainable. It is unnatural to expect a perpetual season of summer. I’ve been saying for years now that the Charlotte real estate market feels eerily similar to the way it did all those years ago.

In early September of 2008, the day that Wachovia failed, you could feel the major shift arrive as Charlotte joined the rest of the country in the recession. Up until that time, we’d been plugging along and watching what was unfolding in other areas…thinking we could avoid joining in the economic mess.

Until we couldn’t avoid it any longer. Back then, I had a house listed for sale and it was getting great interest. One buyer intended to make an offer, then their agent called me to say their fully pre-approved financing had been denied. The day that Wachovia failed and went first to Citi and then to Wells Fargo, the city of Charlotte took a collective gasp. One of the funniest captions of that day said, “I’ve worked for three companies today and never moved my desk.”

More than a recession, this area faced an identity crisis of: “If we’re not bank town, then who are we?” None of which was fun. Yet for years we’d been growing, and just kept building, building, building; thinking we were immune from the economic forces already impacting so much of the country.

That house for sale ended up not selling until years later, with another agent. Because my then-clients held me responsible. I am many powerful things: single-handed creator of local or global economic conditions is not one of them.

My intuition isn’t often wrong, and so many of us with intimate knowledge of the past are acknowledging that we may finally be starting to see the market correction that is sorely needed. The echoes of the past just keep getting stronger, while construction just keeps merrily forging ahead, seemingly oblivious to them.

All of that said, I don’t believe the coming correction will be as severe as the last one. But who’s to say? Back in 2007 those of us who had never experienced a market correction had no idea what we were about to encounter; it’s probably for the best that we didn’t know.

In a very personal reminder of echoes from the past, I just allowed myself to reschedule two social gatherings. While I really did want to go to both, the reality is that right now I simply don’t have the energy for them. Allowing myself to speak up and say that I need rest rather than quality time is still not comfortable; but I’m getting better at it. That intense lesson arrived about a year ago and I’m still learning to lean into it.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Echoes of the Past”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

Beyond Divorce Insights

My freedom date (separation) is in November, but the actual anniversary of becoming officially divorced is March 8th. And this will be the third anniversary. I could (and might) plan a celebration integrated with my upcoming birthday.

In another year of valuable insight, awareness, and wisdom; I’ve learned a lot more about myself.

– I like having complete control of my calendar without being obligated due to external commitments. This complete flexibility has surprised me by how much I enjoy it. Letting go of some old identities was really liberating. Identities that absolutely transformed me, but that I had (I can now admit) undeniably outgrown.

– Dating is a shit show. I am not interested in dating for the sake of dating. I also don’t require an app in order to meet people as I do that naturally wherever I go. In addition to Pisces (my ex), Gemini has firmly been established as an absolute no. Love my Pisces and Gemini friends, and professionally they are great clients, but I don’t do well in intimate relationships with them. Lesson learned.

– Actually publishing my first memoir is rapidly nearing completion and as I said to my current designer, Shit!!! This is becoming very real and tangible. A Cheryl Strayed quote I love is “Your book has a birthday. You just don’t know what it is.” This first memoir may be born sometime this spring, and that both exhilarates and terrifies me.

– Reclaiming my bedroom space has been an ongoing process. I’ve slept alone for five years but it was only after my divorce was final that I fully re-painted it. A year ago, it’s where I retreated to heal, and for a while I was very productive from bed. But I don’t like having work in that area and appreciate that it is fully back to personal space.

– I like going to the movies. That was never something ex and I never did together, and it’s only recently with friends that I’ve realized how much I enjoy it. The reclining and heated seats don’t hurt the experience. And even with no knowledge of the show, Downton Abbey was absolutely brilliant.

– Relationships shift and change over time. Some grow more intense and stronger. Others run their course, and all of that is okay. I just reconnected with a friend; I truly forgot just how much I enjoy talking with them, and how much we have in common.

– Sometimes, it’s just so nice to be on the receiving end of an invitation. I tend to do a lot of inviting, gathering, coordinating and it’s just so refreshing to have someone reach out and ask for time with me.

– Quiet and down time for and with myself aren’t weak or lazy; they’re requirements. I truly love time by myself. I am very social and love the people in my life. I also cherish time alone. After being emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted, I spent New Years Day and January 2nd in bed reading. It was blissful.

– Communication and relationships are things at which I naturally excel…when they are with the right people. Both are skills I would have previously denied but over the past year have become even more prominent.

– Having my own space these past years has become so precious to me. But at the same time, I can choose who I invite and allow into that space. Welcoming people into my space has been very healing.

– I actually like traveling even by myself. Ex and I never traveled well together and by the end we just didn’t. Having gone to new places, both with friends and most recently alone, has been so much fun.

My life has changed tremendously over the course of a year, not to mention over the course of the past three years. I am continually surprised, sometimes shocked and sometimes delighted, by all of the new that continues to show up.

This life experience is messy beyond belief. It also includes invitations to witness wonder, magic, and brilliant resonance. I’ve learned that all I can continue to do is keep showing up for all of it. For that, I am grateful.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Beyond Divorce Insights”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

Complicated Relationships

I have complicated relationships with many things in my life, even with some words. But there are three that are the most consistent: writing, sleep, and technology.

When asked to describe my relationship with writing, I can’t say that I love it. “It’s complicated” is much more accurate. Like an intense attraction and equally intense resistance to it. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? For me, writing doesn’t really involve choice; it’s simply something I must do. Storytelling isn’t something I sought out, it’s something that continues to choose me; regardless of how I feel about it.

Honestly, some days I actively despise writing and wish I could untangle myself from its grasp. I’ve tried, and it’s simply not possible. So I get to a place of thinking Fine, if I’m going to have to write, let’s just do it.

Right now, I’ve almost finished the final edits on my first memoir. The manuscript of which I’ve had for, oh, several months by now. I am so damn sick of this book. UGH!!! However, I’m also aware that I’m now into writing my third memoir, and in order to move on, this damn first one needs to be published. So I force myself to sit down and work on it. Ignoring all of my (very loud) internal protesting and just keep reading and writing.

Sleep and I have a long history of being complicated with one another. Starting way back while I was married, sleep and I are occasional acquaintances. Despite the fact that I do really love sleep, it seems we constantly have a push/pull connection with each other.

The most severe insomnia I’ve ever experienced led to some very productive writing. Funny how the two are related. I’m not sure when I slept at all during the first half of September 2017, but I do know that’s when I wrote one of my favorite parts of my first memoir. Contemplating whether there might be men who are compatible with me that I just haven’t met yet led to simply writing: Fuck. One of the favorite sentences I’ve ever written.

I’m currently not experiencing insomnia because I am sleeping…just at some rather interesting times. Often, I’m awake from 2 or 3am until daylight, when sometimes I have to put myself to bed. Sleep and I continue a complex relationship, but there is something I really like about that early morning time of day. It’s peaceful and quiet of the communication that is so prevalent during “normal” business hours.

Finally, probably my least favorite: technology. With this one, it’s definitely more of a love/hate dynamic at work. I do love and appreciate the ease of connection technology brings. At the same time, I hate the overwhelm of information and how easy it is for people to reach me.

From telemarketing sales companies to political campaigns, I find it disturbing how many people contact me. Many with the sole intent of selling me crap I don’t want or need. Fucking salespeople. And yes, I realize that as a real estate broker, I am one; cold calling and harassment have just never been my style.

When it comes to technology, I can admit that it’s brought about connection with people I would never otherwise have met. And I do see value in that. Instagram seems to be the most reliable resource for connections and I’ve even hired people through connecting on that platform, without having met them in person.

On the flip side, there is a creepy aspect to IG when some men try to use it as though it’s a dating site. It’s not. One message I recently received read, “Hi dear, how are you?” To which I thought Dude, who the hell are you and WHO replies to such a thing?  All I know is that I do not.

When it comes to technology, severely limiting notifications has helped. As has deleting apps and leaving places I no longer have profiles. I do use technology on a daily basis and appreciate that it allows me to record podcast episodes from home. I also appreciate the times that I get to silence my phone and simply be inaccessible for a while.

It seems likely that I’ll continue to have complicated relationships with writing, sleep, and technology. And I’m actually comfortable with that fact.

Copyright©2020 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Complicated Relationships”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, joyful integrity and creative expression

 

Insight Into the Path Beyond Least Resistance

I have so very much to say. The month of July was not one I was at all sad to see go. It was more like a firm good riddance, let’s turn the damn page already and move into August.

July just felt like a lot. A lot of intensity, a lot of heaviness, a lot of emotion, a lot of uncertainty and fogginess, a lot of clearing and release; all of which become exhausting very quickly.

One of the themes that has come up in many recent conversations involves the concept of the path of least resistance.

And that same concept just showed up in the editing of my own writing today. That content of mine is currently open and waiting for me to continue with it…while I productively procrastinate and write this post.

To me, there’s a difference between the path of least resistance and surrendering attachments to an outcome. They are NOT the same thing. The path of least resistance feels stagnant and somehow tired. Surrendering expectations or the insistence of a specific outcome feel liberating and uplifting.

This path of least resistance is not ever really a valid option for my life experience. I’ve been told often in recent months, you’re so “brave” or “strong” or any number of similar sentiments. My reply is usually some version of the truth that I haven’t been aware of any other choice or option. Bravery, strength and courage don’t exist in the absence of fear; they exist in collaboration with the choice to move forward anyway.

I experience fear, doubt, worry and anxiety on a daily basis. Finding myself in a variety of parking lots doesn’t stop me from getting out of my car, worried that some random person will physically assault me. I move through the world intentionally showing the hell up for my life. Maybe it’s a reflection of my innate defiant and rebellious nature. Perhaps it’s just a refusal to shut down. Either way, I keep showing up.

I suppose I could have chosen to respond to certain events by curling up and never getting out of bed again. That’s not me, and it’s not how I choose to live my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m writing from bed right now. I love being at home. I also love quality time with the people I care about, and have both professional and personal social plans most of tomorrow.  I’m a study in contrasts for sure, and I live in the gray area between extremes.

The path of least resistance concept doesn’t feel intentional, and it certainly lacks passion. It feels very much like accepting something that’s “fine” rather than choosing to believe that “exceptional” exists and is a completely valid possibility.

I’m not interested in things, experiences, or relationships in which “fine” is the standard. I choose to set my personal standard at the exceptional. What is really interesting while reading things I wrote years ago, is the recognition of how much I have changed. As have my personal standards.

I was recently asked what having chosen a path of least resistance might have looked like while navigating divorce. I really don’t know how to answer that question. I find it intriguing to consider, but at the same time; I just don’t recall ever really seeing it as a valid pathway for myself.

When I really look back at it from my current perspective, my ex husband was a clear example of one who consistently chose the path of least resistance. Maybe that’s what underlies my refusal to even consider it as an option for myself? The endless side effects of a highly active mind include turning my inquisitive nature on myself. Often.

Regardless, as I continue to navigate my own life experience and make decisions, I do really appreciate the ability to evaluate options based on how well they align with a standard of exceptional. I’m not interested in “fine.”

Especially in recent months, I’ve noticed myself making decisions not from a space of obligation, but from one truly rooted in desire and passion. I just like how that feels a lot more than any previous decision framework I’ve ever had.

And regardless of outcome, I’m still willing to show up for the possibility of exploring the exceptional. Whatever that may look like and however it may appear in my life. That choice and intention feels like true magic, potential, and possibility.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Insight Into the Path Beyond Least Resistance”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

The Reality of Dating Beyond Divorce

I’ve been threatening to write about my experiences with dating for quite long enough. For about 8 months now I’ve had some type of online dating profile, and there have certainly been some “interesting” experiences.

If nothing else, it’s absolutely entertaining, not just to see what men post about themselves, but also what they say and how they interact with me. I swear, people don’t realize how much they give away about themselves with words alone.

If you’re a woman dating after divorce, there’s a must read article that a fellow joyfully divorced friend sent me and it finally highlights a truly practical aspect to online dating: Woman Joins Tinder to Pick Up Couch from Ikea

When I first read that article, I cried from laughing so hard – the most hilarious part was her screenshots of interactions. Because YES, that’s how most men interact. And it is hilarious.

From the beginning, I didn’t like match.com at all and once they censored my language, I was done with that site. My experience with it was creepy, and the majority of communication I received was just so stupidly beyond anything I was remotely interested in, it wasn’t worth my time. The fact that the site told me that men age 50-70 were my ideal audience should have been a clue….I was 39 at the time and thanks, but hell no.

I’ve had better interactions with the app Hinge, and yet, I’ve become much more discerning over time and at this point ignore probably 98% of messages. The most recent one that I received was “you’re absolutely gorgeous” to which my reaction was rolling my eyes thinking “and you’re absolutely superficial”. Needless to say, he’s not getting an actual reply.

The ridiculousness of what men say, share, and post is just beyond words. My personal favorite direct message I’ve received: “I just want you to admit you want to have sex with me”. Well, I’m pretty certain you’ve just eliminated any possibility of that ever actually being accurate. Seriously.

Even better have been some in person conversations with men who, while otherwise were perfectly nice, responded to my sharing the above message by telling me that they hoped I let the guy know how I perceived it.

As though I’m somehow responsible for educating men on how to behave and interact with women. What the actual fuck?! Dear men, I assure you that I have plenty of responsibility for my own behavior, I’m not interested in taking any amount of ownership for yours.

The reality of dating beyond divorce is enlightening for sure and the level of arrogance is astonishing. For any men reading this – arrogance and posturing is not attractive, and it’s evident regardless of what you think.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “The Reality of Dating Beyond Divorce”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

Exceptional Conversation Connections

If there’s been a theme for the past month or so it is most definitely communication. I’m really good at conversation and communication of all kinds.

The reality of that skill is that many people are simply not capable of navigating conversation at the same level that’s so natural for me. Which can lead to a lot of boredom at times on my end.

However, while it’s certainly more the norm for conversations to be at or below the level that I find fascinating and intriguing, that doesn’t mean no one exists who can meet me at that level.

Over the past several years MANY exceptional conversation connections have shown up and it’s always a little stunning when they arrive but also somehow delightful. And they just keep showing up, even as I continue ongoing relationships with those I love to spend time with in conversation.

These are the people I would without any hesitation spend any amount of time with, well beyond my typical hour threshold for meetings and social engagements. Whether it’s in person or messaging there is depth, humor, sincerity and trust woven into the thread.

When these connections arrive it’s usually unexpected yet somehow feels effortless, easy and fun. It just works with a level of synergy, alignment and depth that can be a little unnerving by just how strong it is and how quickly it develops.

This conversation aspect is totally a primary indicator for me when it comes to boundaries, security clearance and how close people will get to me. Without exception, those in my closest circles ALL have this component in common.

I am so grateful to each one of these people for arriving in my life when I was ready to meet them. There was a very long time when I didn’t have such people around me, so I’m also acutely aware of how valuable and special they are.

They’re unequivocally my favorite people on the planet and it is just so fun to know them. The brilliance of conversation and connection is in a way nourishing to my soul at levels I don’t quite have words to explain.

I suffocate in the superficial and strangely enough I am now a girl who randomly talks to strangers while out and about each day. But it’s these exceptional conversation people who are without question those who provide the joy, laughter, inspiration and connection that at times leaves me breathless, but always sparks gratitude for their presence in my life.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Exceptional Conversation Connections”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression

Unapologetic Sovereignty

The idea of sovereignty for my own life is not new but is one that continues to evolve and expand.

I define unapologetic sovereignty as the commitment to trusting myself to navigate each and every step of this life experience as it feels most right, true and aligned for me. It’s a deep and sincere faith in myself to recognize the next right step AND the unwillingness to pick up the opinions, reactions or beliefs of anyone else.

Certainly it became a primary theme through and beyond my divorce. It seemed there was always an endless supply of opinions as to options and countless suggestions swirling around me. Even when those external “suggestions” were truly coming from a place of love it is ultimately only ever up to me to decide.

Through all of that external noise I began to really lean into trusting myself to know what did (and did not) feel right for me. Imagine that, trusting myself to know what is and is not right for me.

Unapologetic sovereignty of my own life includes trusting myself to navigate my own life experience……as I see fit.

It also innately involves honoring the fact that I am simply unwilling to pick up or carry anyone else’s opinions, expectations, or experience of me. None of those things are mine to hold. There’s a beautifully liberating release in that awareness.

In addition to being liberating there’s a deep sense of peace that comes with both allowing myself AND others to navigate our own life experience. Unapologetically and in alignment with what works for us.

For a long time I did attempt to carry external opinions, expectations and even reactions. To say it was heavy, awkward and decidedly not fun is an understatement.

You know what’s not only badass but really fun?! Trusting myself enough to know and honor what does and does not feel right for me.

Allowing and giving myself rest when I need it, quiet time when I need to recharge, quality time with people I enjoy being around when, where and how I want it.

External opinions, reactions and expectations do not belong upon my shoulders. When I catch myself starting to pick them up, I’m a lot faster at recognizing it and setting them back down.

There’s so much noise all around us it can stifle and drown out the softer voice that whispers rather than shouts, while inviting each one of us to walk this life experience in our own unique way.

The truth is that no one but YOU can walk your path or navigate your life’s journey. Certainly we can cheer one another on, but in each and every moment we are always invited to step into unapologetic sovereignty for our own experience.

I trust those I love to walk their own path and I choose to trust myself to navigate mine. Unapologetic sovereignty doesn’t eliminate connection or relationships, it strengthens them with a trust that goes way beyond words.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Unapologetic Sovereignty”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, Between the Lines LLC Ghostwriting Services, founded in heartfelt alignment, connection and creative expression