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Simply Solo Spotlight: A Lot Can Happen In A Year

February 1, 2011

Happy Tuesday, folks! Today’s Simply Solo Spotlight is written by TL from Diary of a Single Girl. This girl is amazing – she’s smart, a great writer and has been incredibly resilient over some hard times. Her writing and experiences resonate so incredibly strongly for me, especially as we have been through some similar challenges this past year. I hope you enjoy her guest post today – I couldn’t have written it any better.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at:

A Lot Can Happen In A Year

A lot can happen in a year.

Christmas Eve 2009, I was getting ready to fly home to my parent’s house with my then-boyfriend to spend Christmas with my family. At the time, we had been together for nearly two years, and were living in a home we owned together. We talked a lot about getting married. In a “when” kind of way (as opposed to an “if” kind of way). I was hoping that since we would be spending Christmas with my family, we would have our moment. The moment when he asked me to be his wife.

As we packed, he handed me a large box. It was light, very light. I eyed it, and asked, “Are you trying to trick me?” I was teasing. Fishing for a hint. He looked at me and very seriously said, “We are not getting engaged this Christmas.” I was crushed. I had been hoping and expecting to get engaged for more than a year. I wanted to be married. I wanted to be his wife. My feelings were being hurt because he didn’t seem to feel like marriage was as important as I did.

Over the holidays, we had many conversations about marriage. And about our future. What we wanted. We talked a lot. He admitted that the idea of picking out a ring, and popping the question, was intimidating. He had no idea what kind of ring I wanted. He thought I wanted a big deal proposal. I didn’t. I just wanted to be married to him. We talked some more. He told me that he wanted to be married to me. So we picked a wedding date together, New Year’s Eve 2010. We went to the store. We picked out a ring. We were engaged! We were getting married! We shouted it from the rooftops.

I planned a wedding. (A freaking awesome New Year’s Eve Bash wedding!) I had a dress. He had Spiderman cuff links. I had purple shoes. We sent save the dates. Our friends and family booked flights. I ordered a wedding gift for my soon-to-be husband.

And then it all fell apart.
It kind of happened over time. He grew distant. Everyone around me told me it was cold feet. And that it was nothing to worry about. He told me it was nothing to worry about. That he loved me, and that he wanted to marry me.

Four months before our wedding, he called it all off. And broke up with me. I was stunned. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Where was I supposed to live? What city? What province? What country? Was I supposed to stay where I was, in a city far away from my family? That hadn’t mattered before, when we were making our own family.

People all around me kept saying that things happen for a reason. That now, I could do anything that I wanted. I could change jobs. I could travel the world. I could be anything that I wanted to be. At first I cried. A lot. (A lot). Because all I had wanted was to be his wife. But then, I realized that they had a point. I could do anything that I wanted to do. I could be anything that I wanted to be. I made a decision. I want to be a lawyer.

So between the tears, and the hard days, I began to study for the Law School admission test (LSAT). I began to research law schools. I began to make small plans. And then big plans. I realized that I could do something else. That my life wasn’t defined by the dreams that I used to have.

Because that is the hardest part, isn’t it? The future that you had all planned out in your mind is gone.

When Christmas Eve 2010 came around I was in a totally different place. I was no longer dreaming of a wedding, instead I was mourning one. Rather than waiting for an engagement, I was waiting for a test score that would help with my new life plan. Instead of dreaming of houses and babies, I was dreaming of a new single life, in a new city, with a new school.
Though this past holiday season was hard, it was amazing to look back and see how far I had come. So many things happened in such a short time. In one year, I got engaged, planned a wedding, had my heart broken, and picked up the pieces. I am growing more each day. It is amazing to look back, because it shows you how much can change. The next year can bring anything. Imagine where I will be in a year from now.

Imagine where you will be in a year from now.
A lot can happen in a year.

26 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2011 9:12 am

    “A lot can happen in a year.” So true! Great post!

    • February 1, 2011 3:27 pm

      Thanks! It is good to know that things can be totally different in a year.

  2. February 1, 2011 9:24 am

    Love this!

    Aw, Life. She’s a real bitch, but she’s awfully amazing too. Congrats on picking yourself up from heartbreak and moving forward with what Life provides for you. All the best from here on out!

    • February 1, 2011 3:28 pm

      Thanks! Life can be a bitch, but I guess you just have to make whatever happens work for you.

  3. February 1, 2011 10:05 am

    I love this! And I LOVE that you decided to go back to law school. I always say, sometimes we find ourselves when we become lost. It is a blessing in disguise. I love that you turned it into something empowering! Good for you! That’s what I say about being divorced. After your divorce, you can become anyone you want to be! Love it. great post!

    • February 1, 2011 3:29 pm

      Thanks! I am working on the law school thing… Something like this really makes you realize that you can be whoever you want to be.

  4. February 1, 2011 10:40 am

    Damn I needed this today! You go girl!!

  5. February 1, 2011 11:27 am

    It’s truly amazing what can happen in a year. And what continues to amaze me even more (you think I’d have learned by now) is that what happens never matches up to the plans I had made in my head. Sometimes it’s shitty, but it can be exciting too– and I am very excited for you, girl!

    • February 1, 2011 3:36 pm

      The plans in your head are the hardest to let go of! Its hard to train your mind to do other things! Thanks!

  6. February 1, 2011 12:49 pm

    LOVE IT!

  7. February 1, 2011 2:37 pm

    You could be the poster child for turning lemons into lemonade (I mean that in the best way possible). My attitude has always been, when life slaps you in the face, slap it back. Hard. Show life who’s boss. Sounds like you have the right mindset – you can do it!

    • February 1, 2011 3:51 pm

      Thanks! I am trying really hard to make some lemonade… In fact, I might even make add some vodka and make it a party 🙂

  8. February 1, 2011 5:05 pm

    TL, I loved this post so much – thank you!!

    For some reason or other, this is the part that really got me:

    “I planned a wedding. (A freaking awesome New Year’s Eve Bash wedding!) I had a dress. He had Spiderman cuff links. I had purple shoes. We sent save the dates. Our friends and family booked flights. I ordered a wedding gift for my soon-to-be husband.”

    It’s so amazing how you (and I) can remember all those details. To me, it almost feels like another life. I had turqouise shoes that I agonized over. I also had a fabulous wedding planned out, unique favors ordered, etc. Now, those shoes don’t matter at all (I don’t even have them – my ex does). Those details don’t even feel like they are real. It’s like a dream, and I woke up, and this is the life that I have. For months and months after the breakup, my real life felt like a dream. I thought I’d wake up and go back to being engaged and about to start my life. I’m so happy that it’s finally switched — THIS is my life. THAT was not. THAT was a brief moment of time, and I’m starting to feel like the universe corrected it in some way – that all of this happened for a reason. Or maybe I’m just reading far too much New Age stuff.

    I can’t wait to see where you are one year from the break up itself. Think of how much further you’ll be! You are right…. it’s amazing what a year can do. You are so strong and I am so inspired by you!

    • February 2, 2011 1:48 pm

      Cat, Thanks so much for having me as a guest this week. I kind of feel like a celebrity! 🙂

      The details of the wedding suck. When people are talking about weddings and plans, I can totally relate, but don’t want to enter into the conversation. But I know a lot. I loved the company that did our Save the Dates, but really, who do you talk to about that stuff.

      Feeling like life is a dream is really something that I am flipping back and forth with, some days I feel like this is the dream, some days I feel like that was all a dream. I am looking forward to always feeling like this is my reality…

      Thanks again for having me!

  9. February 1, 2011 7:59 pm

    Thank you so much for your story – I am just hoping I can get the courage you have to start my life over too. It’s such a struggle right now – we own a house together as well and there are so many things to figure out – plus I have a ten year old. Right now we are sort of in limbo. I am encouraged by everyones stories and am so glad I found this blog.

    • February 2, 2011 1:49 pm

      Thanks for the comment. The house thing was a big pain the in ass when my ex and I split, but thankfully he wanted to buy me out. There were a few tense conversations regarding a fair price, but we got though it pretty well. Good Luck! Be sure to check back with some comments (here and on my blog).

  10. 2NewBeginnings permalink
    February 2, 2011 9:42 am

    You really are an inspiration. To have your hopes and dreams stripped away unexpectedly, but still be able to have the courage to pick yourself up and fight back. It’s amazing how we think we know what is best for us and where we want our lives to go, and then one day we wake up and realize, we don’t have a clue. And I think in the end, that is for the best because we would probably mess it up if we had complete control. I think that is awesome you are going after a dream that you may have not be able to achieve if you were still going down the same path. I am currently going through a divorce myself, and for once I am putting myself first. Embracing new things, hopes and dreams. I look forward to the unknown. Though it is scary at times. So yeah you are right, a lot can change in a year! Maybe not what we expected or planned, but I’d like to think it is what we needed in the end. Good luck!

    • February 2, 2011 1:51 pm

      Thanks for the comment! Break ups are such a funny thing. When you are going through them it feels like no one could possibly have ever felt like you feel. But it happens to almost everyone. Hope you are doing well!

  11. February 2, 2011 2:12 pm

    Wonderful story! I am so impressed by your attitude and your strength. Kudos to you!

    I am currently where you were just a few months ago. Your post reminded me of something my friend told me the other day. He said, “Be patient. God works in strange ways… he always rewards the strong, though. Be selfish about your future, not your past” ‘BE SELFISH ABOUT YOUR FUTURE, NOT YOUR PAST.’

    Congrats to you for making the most of the exciting/confusing opportunity presented before you!

  12. February 2, 2011 10:31 pm

    AMEN! Last year for New Year’s, I was blissfully in love and making plans for a future with my boyfriend, but I was terribly frustrated with my job and career. During the next 365 days, I quit the job, and moved to a different city to start our future. And then it all fell apart. I ended up in the fall with no boyfriend and no job. I started the New Year, so excited to begin my new job. My life has literally turned upside down and then right-side up – a total 180 – in the last year. Congrats to you for having the courage and the outlook for brighter days. Don’t take anything for granted because as we both know – it can all change in the blink of an eye.

  13. February 4, 2011 9:10 am

    You (and Catherine) are an inspiration! Wow, a lawyer! It’s amazing how one tragedy can lead to something great.
    I know exactly what it’s like for everything to change in one year.

    Good luck with everything!

  14. February 7, 2011 5:08 pm

    “Because that is the hardest part, isn’t it? The future that you had all planned out in your mind is gone.”

    So true, so simple, so complicated, so lovely. Thanks for sharing this inspiring story and best of luck to the author.


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