Category Archives: Uncategorized

Personal Choices: Marriage and Children

I do not want to have children, and I do not want to get married again. Both are personal choices, yet the most common response I receive is: “just wait, you’ll change your mind when you meet the right person.”

That response has always confused me. Because both personal choices have zero to do with anyone other than me and what I choose. They have absolutely nothing to do with another person. So why would anyone else change my mind? It just makes no sense to me and never has.

Even with friends, they’ve assumed legal marriage is equivalent to a relationship. To me, the two are completely different. The legal institution of marriage has nothing to do with the quality of a relationship. The two are not related.

What I know to be true for myself is that there is no man that could ever change these two very personal choices of mine; no to having children, and no to being legally married.

In fact, a recent conversation with a man covered this topic and it was fascinating to hear his perspective. We both arrived at similar personal choices through different pathways. Mine included divorce, his has not ever included legal marriage.

He shared his opinion that relationships not involving legal marriage can actually be stronger and more deeply committed. Rather than some legal arrangement, they are purely the choice of two people who commit to one another because they each choose to do so. I really love that perspective.

I’m not anti-children (though a neighbor’s obnoxious kids regularly threaten my sanity) and I’m not anti-marriage. I simply know that I don’t want to be a parent or a wife.

Would I consider a committed relationship? Yes. It would have to be with someone truly extraordinary and while I’m open to the possibility, I don’t require it to enjoy my life.

In today’s “no such thing as coincidence” experience, after writing about this earlier, an email conversation brought another opportunity to have conversation about different choices related to children. Which is certainly one that I’ll happily show up for and share my personal choices.

We’re all free to make our own personal choices, whether that’s related to marriage and children, or any other aspect of our lives. We are all free to embrace such personal choices without apology and also without judgment for anyone who makes different choices.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Personal Choices: Marriage and Children”

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

Refining Social Media Boundaries

About six months ago, I deleted my Facebook account. I had been wanting to delete it for a while and since I did, haven’t had a single second of regret.

Yesterday, I deleted my LinkedIn account. In both cases, it had gotten out of control and not only did I not enjoy engaging with either of them, I was not about to go through a couple or four hundred contacts to clean them up. So in both cases I said fuck it, I’m done.

Facebook had become not just chaotic, but out of control, with how many and which people had access to me. Same with LinkedIn. When considering what I’ve benefitted from as a result of either platform, the honest answer was not much at all.

Which leaves me with only a single social media presence, but it’s the one I enjoy: Instagram.

I certainly have a complicated relationship with technology in general and social media specifically. It’s in no way a substitute for real, genuine, in-person connection. In my experience, there are benefits, but not necessarily on all platforms of it. So I choose to focus my attention on the one I most enjoy.

The premise of “requiring” a presence on social media reeks of bullshit, and in my most recent evaluation, most of what I’ve gotten from LinkedIn was people trying to sell me crap, people looking for me to send them business (without building a relationship), and people attracted by what I can do for them.

Instagram has ironically been the one platform where I’ve met and connected with people in ways that have really surprised me. It’s the only social media account I’ve shared anything on in nearly a year.

Sure, there’s still an element of creepy trolls or men trying to use it as a dating arena (please…just stop) but there are also people I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered that have turned into beautifully inspiring connections.

I have two Instagram accounts and am now free to focus more on both of them. My personal one is @ladydi423 and my business one is @betweenthelinesclt. Both are set to private so that I must approve followers, and that’s intentional.

But it’s not as simple as whether or not I’ve met someone in person when I evaluate who I approve. Which is probably why it takes me longer to consider follow requests.

It feels liberating to reduce the amount of accounts and social media I directly engage with. My hesitation at deleting LinkedIn was short-lived and I simply don’t need it. I have an extensive network of Charlotte area connections that don’t have anything to do with that platform.

More importantly, I find Instagram both quick to catch up on and also fun. If I’m going to do anything, fun is a critical factor these days. Fun is by far the most influential benchmark in how I evaluate so much in my life, and I’m really good with that.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Refining Social Media Boundaries”

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

Enchanting New Opportunities

The Fall season seems to consistently bring endings and brilliant new beginnings my way and is full of happy anniversaries, birthdays and celebration.

This year is no exception, and thanks to several recent conversations, I’ve realized I cannot remember the last time I traveled simply because I wanted to. Being self-employed for fifteen years, and then a business owner for the past two years, I’ve had a consistent pattern of not taking time off.

Sure, I’ve traveled, but it’s mainly been for weddings or to visit family. Going to visit my family in upstate New York last weekend was awesome, and while not the area I grew up in, the terrain was familiar and reminded me of how much I love the mountains.

For so long, I’ve been carrying around a story that I can’t take time off. Since I’m not traveling for the holidays, I might as well work while I’m here. Conversations with friends who are also business owners illuminated this bullshit story I’ve been holding on to.

The reality is that I do own two businesses, both of which are highly flexible. One of which (writing and ghostwriting) I can do anywhere. So what exactly is stopping me from booking travel and going to explore places I want to visit? Me. I’m the only one stopping me.

All of which led to this morning’s insomnia session looking into rentals around the Asheville, NC area. The more I look at the possibilities, the more intrigued and attractive it all feels. In fact, there’s a part of me screaming to just go and get away even for a few days.

Recent months have included (and still include) massive amounts of communication on a daily basis. To the extent that last week’s two hours with my phone on airplane mode wasn’t just welcome; it was blissful.

Going away and just being, doing, or not doing, whatever the hell I feel like is intensely appealing. For whatever reason, the mountains of NC continue to come up in so many conversations. I was offered a getaway not long after the whole broken jaw incident happened and considered but didn’t pursue it.

As recently as earlier this month, friends invited me to join them somewhere up in the mountains. But I knew with family travel, it wasn’t the right time to go.

Now….I’m done with northern travel for the rest of the year. And I’m seriously considering just choosing a place and getting away to explore a new area. One that I have a feeling I’ll really love.

New levels of embracing freedom continue to arrive and I’m more enchanted with my life than ever before. In fact, my personal travel list continues to expand with both professional and personal opportunities. Ones that I couldn’t imagine embracing even a year or two ago.

If nothing else, these seasons of transformation keep surprising me in wonderfully magical ways.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Enchanting New Opportunities”

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

Podcast Episode: The Path of Least Resistance

Brilliant, fascinating, in-depth conversations surround me wherever I go. This latest podcast episode is no exception. Check out: Disrupt Now Podcast Episode 45: The Path of Least Resistance Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Natalie and I had a conversation with Anonymous Al, and we touched on everything from the path of least resistance, to morality, grief, humanity, and consciousness. All three of us have eerily similar backgrounds and this was an instantly collaborative conversation.

In this episode, we share our own stories and experiences related to the path of least resistance, and choosing to break free of that pathway.

One of the things I love most about this episode is that it’s a very open and vulnerable dialogue among women AND men. It is absolutely a reflection of other conversations I’ve personally had with men in my own life.

Communicating about feelings and emotions, insecurities and doubts, is not exclusive to women. There are men willing to engage with those topics as well, and it’s always refreshing to meet them.

I am having so much fun co-hosting the Disrupt Now Podcast, it’s such a perfect fit for me and recording every episode is just so joyful. It’s also fun to participate in the episode, then listen once it airs. I’ve usually forgotten exactly what was said or discussed, so it’s enlightening to me too, even though I was part of the conversation.

Of all the new experiences that have arrived this year, this creative and collaborative podcast partnership is most definitely one of my favorites. It’s one of many opportunities I’ve said “yes” to from a space of trusting my own intuition rather than rationalizing.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Podcast Episode: The Path of 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

Finding Home

Earlier this week the concepts of leaving home, and finding home, were presented as writing prompts. I immediately went to my home and its role in my divorce, writing that “it was never about the house.”

This all happened on the anniversary of the day I sold the first house I never wanted, and bought my current house in October 2007. It is a bit crazy that I’ve lived here for that long, and have lived alone for nearly a third of that time.

Back in the fall of 2015 when I told my ex to leave, I knew the house would have to be dealt with, and also knew I wanted it. This was always my house and I was determined it would stay that way.

But it wasn’t really just about this house. It was deeper than that, and was more a journey of not just reclaiming physical space, although that was certainly healing too. It was more about finding home within myself.

That internal journey did impact how my physical space looks, and as I continue to change, the appearance of spaces within my home shift and change too. The living room and my bedroom are the most transformed rooms in my house.

Friends who have known the married, divorcing, and now happily divorced versions of me have noted that the way I relate to my home space has also shifted dramatically. The day I had the locks changed I was an anxious mess, constantly on guard and concerned the ex might do something stupid.

Today I’m so content at home, it’s a level of peace I don’t even have words to describe. It just feels really good. I like the freedom to decide who I do and don’t invite into my space.

The past several years, even just this year, have been…interesting. “What’s new?” is still my favorite question, because the honest answer is: everything. The most significant change has most definitely been continuing to find home within myself.

That sense of presence and confidence allows me to navigate my city with ease, exploring new events and experiences. It allows me to reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in a while, creating new memories and conversations. It also allows me to cultivate new relationships with more recent acquaintances.

My divorce seemed to drag on forever, with my house always hanging in the balance. But that process allowed me to become strong enough to be able to stand in the office of my ex-husband’s attorney and receive the documents that would release the house to me as sole grantee.

The version of me anxiously having the locks changed had given way to the one who liked having his attorney’s staff meet me in person for the first time. Defiantly holding my own ground and standing face to face with the people he’d hired to oppose me.

This new and stronger version of me politely declined his attorney staff’s offer to record the deed, explaining that I started this divorce…and I would be the one to end it.

I’d been holding my breath, unable to fully exhale, until his name was finally and officially removed from my house. It was a weight lifted that I didn’t realize I’d been carrying.

In the years since then, my home has only become even more my own. And I do love that absolute freedom, not just to be at home within my house; more importantly to be at home within myself.

The piece of my writing that sparked conversation with several other happily divorced writers: This journey to home within myself has invited creative, collaborative, and amplifying relationships into my life. There is such power in sharing our stories, owning our truth, and connecting with one another beyond the superficial. We all have our own story about finding our way home.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Finding Home”

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

 

 

 

Past and Current Versions of Myself

I realized recently that at every wedding I’ve attended since the Fall of 2014, I’ve been my own date. On my way to the most recent wedding, I was reminded of both past and current versions of myself.

The most recent wedding has connections that go back more than a decade, to when I worked with the groom’s mother, helping her buy a home that she still lives in. The now husband and his new wife are clients of mine and I’ve been invited to a number of their family’s celebrations over the years.

Witnessing this couple’s wedding and celebration brought so much full circle to me and was so very meaningful. It was exquisitely beautiful to see him dance with his mother. And even more touching to listen to his toast, which included the fact that those of us in the room weren’t friends or family; simply family. He’s a great guy, and has a great mom.

Driving to the wedding location, I realized it began with the very same route I drove many years ago to meet his mom and have her sign real estate paperwork. I could see that past version of myself, and it brought awareness of how much has changed, but also awareness of what connections have only grown stronger.

Then realized I was driving past a house that a thirty-six year old me helped a family sell and close a chapter that included unimaginable grief, while starting a new chapter in their lives.

I also knew I’d soon pass the location of my first official job in Charlotte, seeing the twenty-three year old special education teacher version of me. Who was as adept at writing an individual education plan as she was at letting a boy grab her hand and joyfully pull her into running around the campus at the end of the school day.

Attending weddings was something I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about while I was ending my marriage. The first one was rough, and happened to be my brother’s. I was relieved to not have my ex with me, it just brought up a lot of layered dynamics and emotions.

Twenty-three year old me would never in a million years imagine that someday there would be a forty year old me driving by, comfortable and confident in attending a wedding as my own date to celebrate people I care about. The thought of that same person also owning the fact that I’m a writer and publishing books…also incomprehensible.

She’d also never envision the version of me who shows houses in workout clothes or yoga pants. In fact, most of my professional and personal meetings are done wearing just those clothes.

But there’s also a version of me who sometimes likes to put on a dress and three inch heels. Yesterday both versions showed up, and the dress version even wore makeup. Because I felt like it.

There are so many past versions of myself that I remember, but would not ever again want to re-visit. If I could tell any of them what I’ve learned…it’s that one day there will be a “you” that you can’t even begin to imagine, but that will be so effortlessly genuine, you’ll know it was worth waiting for.

This new me has conversations involving divorce and dating while alone in a kitchen with the home inspector before my clients arrive. She throws up her foster parent hands in frustration, adds a shelter stop to the day, and implements a new kitten medical routine. She talks about divorce, death, grief, and healing, in the halls of a space she’s walked a million times before.

She shows up for her life in ways younger versions never dreamed possible. She also leans into moments of the most precious grace of all…those with whom she can not just communicate with deeply; those with whom it’s safe to simply be silent. I really like this new version of me.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Past and Current Versions of Myself”

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 Expansiveness of Freedom Season

Back when I was first separated from my ex, I decided very quickly that the month of November would forever and always be my freedom month. And every year since 2015, that month has been an intentional celebration of the fact that I am free of that relationship.

This year, it seems I’m choosing to expand the celebration from a single month to the entire last quarter of the year. And because I both write and re-write the rules of my own life, I am free to do so.

This freedom celebration seems to be very aligned with lots of new activity in all areas of my life. The level of synchronicity around me has increased yet again to even higher levels. As gifted as I am at communication, I’ve been glued to my primary email folder all afternoon and still can’t keep up.

Between texts, emails, phone calls, and in-person engagements, floods of communication just keep coming toward me.

It’s all great, wonderful even, but damn…exactly how much new is going to continue arriving? I’m scheduling closings, updating contract forms while reading podcast notes, scheduling social dates, reviewing stats, oh and writing for myself and others. Let’s not discuss the amount of dishes in the sink, the mountain of clean laundry, or the lawn that’s well overdue for attention.

Months ago a friend laughingly asked when I’m going to start being careful what I wish for. Clearly, I’m not done tempting the universe to outdo itself with the magic of synchronicity because I keep challenging it. And it keeps outdoing itself.

I could seriously use a nap, or maybe just a solid night of sleep. But the thing is, no matter how insane and chaotic things are…I love that this is my life. Meeting new connections of every variety, deepening and expanding existing connections, going out to new bars and restaurants around town, having endless conversations with depth, running into people I haven’t seen in a while. Driving with windows down and music up. My life is full of joy.

Music and memory are very intertwined for me, and the Coldplay song Something Just Like This became a favorite right around when my divorce was final. It’s been showing up again lately, and hearing it while out running and turning back home, I realized; that’s what I’ve always wanted, a life just like the one that I have.

So I’ll happily take these last several months of the year and continue to celebrate the fact that I am more free than I have ever been. Because that is always worth celebrating.

Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “The Expansiveness of Freedom Season”

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