I couldn’t wait anymore and it’s not just me being impatient. I wanted to move on with my life and this stigma was holding me back. “Oh, by the way, I’m married.” The look of shock on TMM’s face was unforgettable. “This is something you should have told me about!” I honestly didn’t know where things were going with him so I didn’t feel it was necessary to disclose it, especially assuming that it was going to be insignificant in two months (June 12th). Eight months later, it’s still not final and I just wanted to be single. Legally. I was beyond frustrated with wasting additional time. Approaching a year since I filed for divorce, I finally requested to get the marriage bifurcated to get my status back and all lingering issues that were causing the delay to be dealt with later. Getting this signed was also no walk in the park.
Five months later, we finally agree to the terms to list the marital residence and it is listed on the market. Six months later, we finally signed a judgment to settle things, but the judge needs to finalize it. I was told that the Contra Costa County Family Court was taking two to three months to finalize judgments. It was now two years since I left the house in the middle of the night with my dog, my laptop and the bare necessities.
This period of my life has been a challenge but I have definitely overcome. 2013 was amazing, besides the fact that I lost my dear Lolo. That broke my heart. But I am so blessed to have so much love in my life. I am so grateful for the loving people in my life that genuinely care about me, have my best interest in mind and know the insanely crazy busy, opinionated, independent, workaholic, feisty me but still love me anyways.
Last year was full of incredible adventures with wonderful people. I survived my first Valentine’s Day as a single woman after 10 years, hiked to Alamere Falls and Lolo Vista by myself in Kauai, traveled to Miami for a Bachelorette Party with 11 fun, beautiful women, nailed the June wedding in Carmel Valley, had the absolute best trip to Vegas for business and pleasure, went to multiple Los Lonely Boys concerts as usual, my sweet and favorite Mormon got married and asked me to be a Bridesmaid, my beautiful niece, Arya, was born, Filipinos took over Nashville for Cousin Chu Chu’s wedding where we gained a darling cousin and partied at the honky tonks downtown, finally went to Graceland and paid respects to one of the most gorgeous men of all time, survived driving in the most ridiculous and scariest storms from Memphis to Nashville, had an amazing birthday at the Niners v. Colts game, learned how to ride a sports bike and bought my very own Honda CBR 600, I survived my first 11-day cleanse and my first Warrior Dash and became Partner of a company, Dirty Water. Oh, the memories! Tuesdays became the new Thursdays to go out drinking. My boss asked me how I could go out on Tuesday night. Answer, “I’m single!” My dad recently told me that he definitely worries about me always being out and about, but also confessed that he’s glad I am living life to the fullest. Indeed I am because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, People. I’m One Busy Bee. That will never change. If the time comes to try this marriage thing again and fulfill a dream I have of being a mommy, of course I will rearrange my priorities. But for now, life goes on. And if that just isn’t in the cards, I’m a damn good Auntie, and I think I’ll be OK with that.
2014 has been good but challenging. I said goodbye to a friend (again!) that was always such a dark cloud. But I got closer to a good friend that very same day and it’s been great. I started doing a hike a once a month and so far have done Mt. Tam (bucket list – CHECK!), Pt. Lobos in Carmel, around the Lafayette Reservoir, and The Dish in Palo Alto and tackled nice inclines in Big Sur. I went snowboarding for Cugino’s birthday. I hurt my tailbone again but I still got out there and did alright the whole day. I also got back out there and had some first dates. Oh, the dating stories. TMM is gone. But shockingly one person actually had morals, a conscious, isn’t afraid of being honest and doesn’t just disappear off the face of the planet. It was refreshing. Everything else with that package was a bonus. But the statement still holds true: I’m Single.
The passing of my Auntie Annie was a loss for our family, but in the two trips to Southern California, the Lagade family has just grown stronger. Cugino and I got matching shrimp tattoos while we down there. We were called The Shrimps when we were little because we were small. Not anymore! When we went on our cruise in Europe in November 2012, it was #ShrimpsOnABoat. I also got a tattoo on my back of a bee with a crown: One Busy (Queen) Bee. And yes, I was working on Dirty Water while at the tattoo shop while my cousin Jenny got her trampstamp.
I went to more Los Lonely Boys concerts, more Yelp Elite events, and traveled to Seattle and Vancouver, Canada to fulfill my once a year international trip, as inspired by my lovely Nikki B. I discovered that Colorado’s elevation kicked this tough girl’s ass and damnit, I can check off sky diving off my bucket list. I want to do it again! The experience was so amazing. I went to Maui to spend time with my dad for his 60th birthday, and to Kauai to see Shanti, Sol and Pablo in August, and two event planning events went well. My girlfriend, Christina, and I booked a spontaneous trip to Boston for 36 hours this coming weekend and two days later, I am headed back to Kauai for a friend's wedding and to meet my new baby nephew. My 2015 international trip is looking like Milan. I want to go back to Italy so bad.
With that said, I can FINALLY show you just how happy I am to be MISS Bernadette Manzano again. I was never going to drop my last name, BTW. Brides have trash the dress photo sessions after their wedding. Well, this Wedding Planner had a trash the dress session to celebrate my divorce! Unfortunately, these photos were taken prematurely but they still celebrate being in a much more beautiful place in life. Brian Finch of Love Bliss Imaging and Mia Moriguchi, my hair and make-up artist, were up for the task. The shots were taken at sunrise at Moloaa Beach. I had to get up at 3:30 AM, get my hair and make-up done and Brian picked me up to drive to the beach. Everything in these photos are exactly what I wore on my wedding day and I couldn’t wait to get in the water that was surprisingly warm at 6 AM. I wish I could say that I can close the book on that part of my life but one thing remains lingering, which also should be finalized soon too. Being married is not one of them, PRAISE JESUS!
Party? Oh yes,…