So recently I've been motivated by two things. The first is a good experience and the second is a bad one. Let me break it down.

the First

Last week, I experienced one of the most wonderful nights of my life. Myself, along with five ladies from work, went to the home of the most hospitable woman I've ever met. She previously worked at the same company, but quit to pursue her own business. Anyway, her home was gigantic and gorgeous and wonderful. She had a wine cellar (we got the complete tour) and a secret room in her kitchen (part of the cabinets was a door) and a movie theatre (where she said her favorite was watching Harry Potter marathons). Y'all! I. Can't. Even. 

Anyway, we had a wine and ice cream tasting complete with a card where we rated each wine, ice cream, and pairing. There were six pairings, and she shared the story of each wine. All were wonderful. Then the night ended chatting in her backyard while drinking bourbon and smoking vanilla cigars and eating dark chocolate. And if that weren't enough, she gifted us each a bottle of wine (with her own label) and let us take home whatever we hadn't finished from the tasting.

So basically, that night I was living my best life. And I never dreamt that my best life included bourbon and cigars. But let me tell you, it does. It absolutely does. 

the Second

Well, I think all the relationship drama has finally come to an end. Communication has ended. So over the past few weeks, I've been looking back at what I gave this man—scratch that, guy. The time, love, honesty, loyalty, trust, effort, vulnerability. And you know what? A big part of me wishes I could take it all back. I know you should just wish someone well and be thankful for your time together. I know. I know. I know. 

But truthfully, I'm angry. I'm so angry that I haven't even cried since we've gone silent. Not one tear. (And Lord knows, I have my share of good cries.) I'm angry that I was this wrong and foolish. For giving what I gave to a man who would literally take any woman just so he doesn't have to feel alone. A man who lied about his love for me. I won't go into all the details, but I've never felt betrayal like this (and I've been cheated on!) I was dating a selfish narcissist. A wolf in sheep's clothing. And I pray that the next girl he preys on sees it so much sooner than I did.

To end this venting session, I've come to realize a few things. The main one being something that's given my heart peace. I'm thankful for the love I have experienced—with the man I dated several years ago. He was a man who made me a better person and had the best heart of anyone I've ever met. He truly saw me and loved me. Even though he had demons that he was wrestling, I know with all my heart that our love for each other was real. And while I can't say that about this most recent relationship, I'm so thankful that I have known real love. It gives me hope.

So what has all this motivated me to do? Focus on living my best life. To live confidently. To be healthy. (Yep, the anger from the second bit has fueled me to exercise daily and eat clean.) So all I can say is I'm thankful. For the good and the bad.