Divorce Chronicles :: Two Years Later

Dustin and I had an amazing time yesterday. We have been talking about going to Six Flags Magic Mountain for over a year now and finally made the trip. Splurged on Flash Passes for the first time ever and got to ride every coaster we wanted, most two or three times. There were a couple good coasters I have never had a chance to ride before, and it has been years, but Goliath, at night, was still my favorite. Nothing beats that first drop. Nothing beats the anticipation and thrill, the energy in the air, that deep breath and long scream, and those moments that steal your breath away. It was perfect. Exactly what I needed and more. 

And then this afternoon, during a quiet moment of the Hurricane’s nap, Facebook kindly reminded me that I have been divorced for exactly two years. So fitting, really, given the mild emotional breakdown I had in the car this morning on the way home… We are flying down the interstate and start talking about our wedding, just 40 days and 40 nights away. So soon, but so far away given that I feel like I have known this man forever – and often have to remind myself that we just truly met a year and a half ago. I commented honestly, that I am mostly pretty sure I am ready to get remarried when a wave of shame and anger and regret washed over me. Those deep in the pit of your stomach ugly, ugly feelings. And my concern for still being able to feel that way, even two years later caused me to burst into tears.

I am certain it is not that I am not ready to marry him. It’s the wasted time, years and years and almost a decade of wasted time, the cracks in my heart, the betrayal of trust that were all for nothing. Because besides the Hurricane, and being free and having a hell of a lot more confidence in who I am and why I’m here on this earth, no good comes from what I went through. But that’s everything at the same time, isn’t it?

It is everything. So I cried for my divorce and for me, and for the messy and beautiful family my son will have. For everything I never really wanted, wasn’t expecting, didn’t sign up for. Dustin reached over and grabbed my hand, calmly told me that it may never fully go away and that it’s okay if it never does and we sat in silence for a couple miles. He is my zen and I am so thankful. I still have a big heart, and it just so happens to be a big day in the short history of my divorced life. The highlight of which was picking up the Hurricane and him running at us yelling, “Mommy! Daddy!” before throwing himself into my arms. The gentle reminder that I am immeasurably blessed among this chaos.

Love and light,

Michelle

Looking Glass

[[The thing about droughts is, the grass isn’t greener anywhere.]]

I’m up too late again. I can feel a headache settling in for the night. Or maybe just the tension of too many thoughts demanding to be recognized before the day is done. My brain feels frantic and my body is too tired to work out that energy any way other than to half sit, half lie here and write. 

So… Tomorrow marks one month at my new job. I made cookies. Oatmeal chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate chip. Half celebrating myself and half because the chocolate chips needed to be used up before the whole bag found its way into late night snack territory. If the idea of baking for myself sounds pretentious or sad, I don’t care. They are for everyone there anyway. And because busying myself with baking and organizing and working out are things I do when I am feeling stressed out and going through things. 

And I am going through them. 

I want to say “it’s funny how…blah blah blah” but it isn’t really funny or ironic at all. It is hard and painful and unfortunate that anything about who I was once upon a lifetime ago affects me today, but I am who I am and so it does. Evocation is not a tendency for the faint of heart. That’s a word, right, evocation, evoke? I’m too tired to look it up but it sounds about right. And I’m not the type of person who can just let the past…be. There’s that whole quote about those forgetting history being destined to relive it. Probably butchering that, but you get my point, I hope. 

I have always, mostly been brutally honest so it’s just been hard. Second engagement brings up a trunkload of doubts and insecurities. My first marriage failed and it is a big deal to me – so much so that I even hate that phrase “first marriage” like I ever went in with the explicit goal of getting out. So yes, Marriage is a big deal to me. I was an awful first wife in so many ways and can only hope to have learned enough to not let that history ever repeat itself. 

I suppose I should make more time to get through this maze of emotions and just be done with it, but time is a rare commodity. I’m happy, so happy but I am also scared. Dustin is such a good man. And we do really make a good team. There’s just the tiny voice all but drown out by the chaos saying it will all, most likely be alright. No promises, but also no regrets. 
Love and light,

Michelle

Love is a Verb

I am up too late, painting my nails, listening to a slow song and the rare sound of my wind chimes blowing in the warm summer breeze.

It was so difficult to be an adult today. To take care of a crabby two and a half year old who talked back or fought everything, every chance he got.. To clean the apartment, clean out my car, get laundry and dishes and all that getting ready for the week ahead done. We all woke up on the wrong side of the weekend. We all napped while hurricane napped. And I get to paint my nails now because the whole house is asleep besides me. 

I got a new job. A promotion. It is amazing to the extent of renewing my love for veterinary medicine. I don’t have time to write much anymore – not that I ever seem to have a whole lot – in part because my schedule is different but also because I am trying to catch up my tech skills. 

And since I last wrote, I finally made it to the beach. It had been too long..

 
    

Are you ready? Next great adventure in queue. That photo of me pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter. Happy. So happy and so myself. Choosing marriage again is not something I take lightly, but also not something I can adequately address tonight with the overall mood of today being what it was… 

I did, however, share a quote on Instagram earlier that I know you will agree fits perfectly if you have any knowledge of me/my story. 

[I find it important to add that you also never ever have to feel guilty for making the incredibly difficult choice to leave. Although do be prepared for when those feels try to sneak attack you.]

So we are diving in! I am confident in my choice. Venue at our favorite CA beach and an amazing photographer booked for this October. Dress shopping next weekend. Dozens of little details to work out in the chaos of parenthood and a new job. Nothing is static for long around me, and it is this weird kind of bliss. Like being up late alone, listening to the sound of my wind chimes that have been with me from the very beginning.

Love, love as the verb and sweet dreams,

Michelle 

This is the “then”

Hello again, world.

It has been a while… I have been busy, honest, and I know I say that every time. I have actually been pretty sick on/off since before Christmas with colds, dealing with antibiotic side effects, allergies, bronchitis. You know it is sad when you go to the doctor because you cannot sleep because you cannot stop coughing and your ribs hurt, and the antibiotic they prescribe to prevent pneumonia because you really are that sick, makes your ribs hurt from tendonitis (of your ribs!). Who knew that could even happen?! And since January first it has been all study, all the time preparing for the vet tech national exam. . . But then, last night I was editing the boyfriend’s resume and realized that I really miss writing just for the sake of saying something. I miss just sitting down and pouring my mind and heart out on this keyboard, if that is not already obvious.

There is just a lot going on that I am not sure how to process. It feels a bit like doing math in my head… which everyone should know is not a skill I possess, college degree or not. I am trying my best to get my RVT this year. Forgiving myself for not making that more of a priority sooner, when it would have been easier. Because some days it does feel like any time in my recent history would have been easier than right now to be studying for one of two $300, four hour long tests needed to get my RVT. Know better, do better, I suppose. I am honestly committed. I even gave up Facebook in its entirety for the month of February, maybe even until after the national exam in April. Super serious, yo. I miss my moms on there.

Then yesterday, I had to delete a bunch of old emails. Something about switching to a new phone has the memory on my iCloud spazzing out, asking for more space, so I decided it was time for some stuff to go. A lot of stuff. In the middle of my shift + delete spree, I found the inspiration photo for my second tattoo. A little surprising to see how different the real thing turned out. And it reminded me that reality can be so much better than your dreams. Sometimes. At the same time I found a couple hundred old emails between the ex-husband and me, and that was hard. I had forgotten not only that they were still filed away, but that I had saved so many in the first place. Do not bother asking why, I no longer have any idea. The topics of the emails were so broad and the dates went way back into our forever ago time. The boyfriend could sense a change in my mood and I let him know I was snooping into my past, shared a couple important bits with him and continued deleting. I am just so over feeling any bad about the divorce.

So this year things will be different on December 31, I can say that for certain, but when exactly between now and then things will change is a mystery. I am already debt free – having just recently made the final payment on my car – and that is one goal I set for myself checked off the list. I am studying my brain cells away, barely giving myself time to breathe it feels. I am contemplating a move to a different city somewhere along the way. And I will write, nonsensical posts like this on occasion, complete with run-on sentences because that is the way my mind works when I am flustered. Because some day I will think about these days living in a cramped apartment overlooking a busy street with a different mindset and like so many times before, will wonder what I was feeling “then.”

This is the then we will reminisce.

As always before,

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catharsis |kəˈTHärsis|

I hope he is happy. I hope the divorce does not ruin his life.

I hope the same for myself.

My thoughts driving home from work are so random and odd at times.

And if my hope of these things does not speak of my progress in post-divorce healing, I do not know what will. I can understand now, why it is that my boyfriend’s mom can be friendly with her ex-husband. For the kids sake, sure, even though they are more than grown ups, but for her as well. In my experience and in most situations, it is easier to let yourself feel good things about people than it is to harbor hate and mistrust.

So I would rather he be happy. And as for remarriage and more kids, that is up to him. I would hope that things would be different in both of our “next time arounds”, but not dwell on the idea.

It is time again for letting go. For a catharsis of new what ifs and if thens I previously had no idea I was holding onto… Of walls meant to protect me from others, thoughts and other feelings that serve me no good any longer.

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Check. [Soul]mate.

Hello again, to anyone who thought my long leave of absensce meant the death of this little blog. I have been honestly busy this time. Moved two cities over, hit my one year mark at work just in time for the clinic to move to a bigger, better location and am adjusting to life just me and Elliott, although with lots of parenting help from the boyfriend. It has been hard but exhilarating.

So much activity but not much to say about it all. Very little I felt the need to write out loud until the past couple of days. Settling down, for a chronic over thinker like myself, was so much easier when I was sure I was meant to be with someone. I had that feeling with the ex, and even though that relationship blew up in my face in a most spectacular way, there was no denying the magnetism we had for each other. I am not sure I feel that way about the boyfriend, and I do not yet fully know how that makes me feel. With the ex it was all miscommunication and empty love tanks, but with the boyfriend I never think about a love tank, because it is honestly a non-issue. There are none of the dramatic highs and lows. We are steady and stable and it is (sometimes/definitely) weird to me. It is not at all what I am accustomed to experiencing in a relationship. He would marry me tomorrow, would have married me last week, if I let him. But there is just this feeling that I am not ready and I do not know why.

Having gone through a divorce, I would almost rather live with him first…test the waters, see what our relationship will really look like 24/7/365. But that won’t work for him; marriage first he says. And that is a huge commitment. That is quite literally signing my heart and love away to someone else, promising to be there, promising to stay no matter what. Marrying him would mean making myself vulnerable to being left in the most soul crushing way again. To be a little too honest, my scars from ending up on the wrong side of someone’s keep or toss list are still too raw, even more than a year later. I hate it. I hate myself for not entirely being able to leave those experiences buried in the past. I hate that while talking to my littlest sister last night tears formed in my eyes when I admitted another divorce will kill me, or at the very least kill my spirit. I still don’t quite understand how I survived the last one..

It’s all up in the air, and it all doesn’t really matter at the same time. Just that little tug on my heartstrings and the grieving of the idea of soulmates. Adult life is so limitless and immeasurable and hard and wonderful. I hope Elliott listens – but being my son, sincerely doubt he will – when I remind him to not hurry growing up.

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Sunday Mornings

The boyfriend has been bugging me about church for over a month now. Mornings are not my favorite time of day, and Sunday is not an exception. In fact, the only thing I really want to do on weekend mornings is sleep in. Fat chance of that happening with a toddler in the house, but a mom can dream. And if I can’t dream because I was woken up early (again), I can at least enjoy a cup of coffee or two in relative peace. So unfortunately, church often takes a back burner to being lazy, in an attempt to relax. Just being honest here.

When I first moved back to the valley, I did not feel comfortable going to “my church.” It was the one I attended in middle school, the one that helped me find God. The same church I attended with my then-husband. The one his family had attended when they were still local. The idea of going back there did not feel comfortable. I did not believe that I could go, a new divorcee, and not be judged. But eventually, I felt the need to be there surpass my discomfort so I swallowed my pride, and found a seat.

I am long past feeling uncomfortable, but do still feel a disconnect. My church was typically well suited for me. Began as a baptist church, and moved to a more non-denominational way of teaching the Bible. It was not the only church I tried out in the area (went to a Catholic church and Methodist church a couple times with friends), but fit me best. Now, as an adult and as someone who is divorced, I am disheartened that they skirt over the issue and do not offer a divorce care class. I know, without a doubt, that I am not the only divorced Christian in this city. I know I am not the only working mom, whose original intentions did not include working while my child was still young. And yet the women’s bible studies are offered at dinner time on a Tuesday or early on weekday mornings. This particular church supports those with addictions, christian camps, a local food pantry, a pregnancy outreach center.. but what about the single moms, the working moms, the divorced?

I guess I am disappointed. I was there with 2,000 other people at the Easter Sunday service when they said they would be doing remarkable things in the coming year… and aside from sermons reminding us not to compare ourselves to others and how as we travel through life God should be the first thing we consider, I am just not seeing it. Maybe I have high standards. Scratch that, I know I have high standards, but if the boyfriend wants me to go to church, I am going to be the driving force behind some new ministries, or I am finding another one that fits who I am now and challenges me to grow as a Christian. Besides the fellowship and church karaoke, is that not the biggest point in giving up relatively quiet mornings at home?

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