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 

Facebook Official

The boyfriend and I made it Facebook Official last night!

We were over at the man cave, hanging out with his roommates/the one roommates girlfriend and were trading stories of how we all met. No better way to bond with new friends than to share awkward and semi-embarrasing stories! The boyfriend and I had been hesitant to change anything on Facebook because word of our relationship would get around like wildfire with our friends of friends connections. In fact, a certain church couple spilled the beans before he had even asked me out! So now,  I am certain the exes family will all know in a matter of days, but being in a relationship with someone new says nothing on my parenting of their (great) grandchild or nephew. It is none of their business, honestly. And I do not know why I tried protecting them from the truth in the first place. Sugar coating is not exactly my style, so I must have lost my head for a moment there.

This is all a little awkward to write about, but really, have you met me? I now fully embrace that I am an awkward person, and it works for me. I am happy and sure of myself. I am having fun and feel like me again. I’m a lot more fun than I remembered being for a very, very long time. He brings out the best in me. More sarcasm.. more flirting, more laughter, more awkward pauses and always that good dose of overthinking.

 

Feeling good, feeling great. Hope you could say the same.

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Fair Ain’t What You Really Need

Living in the same town where I met my ex-husband is not always easy. The smallest, every day things are often triggers for memories that I would rather forget than re-live. The cat that followed me on a walk the other night reminded me of a cold winter night we walked hand in hand around a different part of town, with a different cat following us. I try not to dwell on these reminders of a life that was not only a lie, but now also feels like a lifetime ago.

It was the annual, home town Christmas Parade last night.. Skipped the actual parade, but my family did make an appearance at the parade after party of a family friend. The same house, same time of year, many years ago that the ex and I had first started dating. Our first public appearance together, my favorite selfie ever taken of us, (one of the only pictures I saved on a hard drive of that time for my son’s future curiosity) was taken at that house, at a similar party.. And last night I sat at that same window bench with a lovely, Godly woman who knew more about me than I of her, and discussed where I’m going from here. My life had literally come full circle, five years later.

It was the most real conversation I have had about what it means to be divorced moving forward. How it has changed me, how it has caused me to grow up, to see life and love differently. A breathe of fresh air talking with an air of hope instead of pity. It knocked some sense back into me. I get lost in my head, in my thoughts… caught up in memories I wish I could forget when instead I need to let it all wash away. I can guarantee you my ex-husband hasn’t put anything at all near this amount of thought into what happened. Because none of this happened to him.

I can remember praying about my purpose in life while in college. To love and be loved and be revolutionary in my own right.

I’m still working on that last part.

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Once a Bride

I was once a bride. It was a beautiful if not a bit windy, Southern California day. Before my son was born, it was one of the best in my life. The big ivory dress, the company of my friends and family, dancing like nobody was watching even though at times, everyone was. I was carefree. I was naive.

That was a lifetime ago though. I’ve heard from several people that you know you’re ready to move on when you’re okay being single. My dad, in his seemingly infinite wisdom says it’s when you are ready and willing to admit your faults in the failed relationship. I was hurt when he first told me that I played a part in the death of my marriage. My faults? Wasn’t I the one who had been ultimately wronged? … but of course, he was right.

The saying goes, always a bridesmaid, never a bride. My version is a bit different. I don’t know if it’s some sort of vibe that I’m putting out there (anyone want to throw their two cents in on that one?) or what, but I seem to attract people who have no intention of staying in my life long term. Temporary, fleeting, even so much as moving 1,700 miles away. For someone who used to think of themselves as pretty decent relationship material, it’s been a humbling experience being “single.”

Once a bride, now… Just a single mom who had to move home, and is trying to make the best of “ending up” exactly where I never wanted to end up. But there is no need to paint the walls black and draw the shades. Changing every expectation of how you thought your life was going to go is hard, but I’m learning. I’m not ready to openly admit my flaws, but I know what they are, and I am better for it.

Everything happens for a reason. Even this.

Especially this.

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ps. If you are in a relationship, read this article. If you do not have these things, work on them. Coming from a “failure,” they couldn’t be any more true.

Stitch It Up

I can feel the need to write something but I don’t know what it will be just yet. I feel like I’ve made another break through in the journey of post-divorce healing, as silly as that might sound. As I’m preparing to go public, and knowing that will land me in the zone of surprise and pity from friends who do not yet know about the sham that was my marriage…

I feel like this is a story I need to tell. The words push themselves off my heart and out of my mind. I have collected little notes scribbled on the back of receipts, saved quotes I’ve stumbled across on the web. I have met a few people who have helped me through this, and heavily relied on the support of my family and my mom friends. I know I’ve said a lot of the same things over and over in my currently private posts here.

I probably sound crazy. I have yet to proofread this post, as I usually do when I get to a sticky spot, but I imagine I sound a bit like a fruit loop talking in circles about this all. I don’t care. I’m learning who I am again. Learning what I will stand for, after learning far too much about what I will fall for.

I met someone. How isn’t important, and neither is the matter of who he is, because he’s moving and I’m definitely not that kind of girl. And even though thinking I might be that kind of girl is why he said hi in the first place, we had a pretty lengthy conversation. It reminded me of conversations with other friends, and boyfriends long ago. He reminded me that people can connect, even if timing is bad and nothing fits in a practical way. And that opened my heart again, helped me to remember the magic that is falling for someone, falling in love.

I’m not saying I’m falling for anyone, don’t misinterpret my intentions of this post. I had just left a lot more than memories and my pizza stone when I drove away from my old home. I forgot why people got married in the first place. I forgot what was so magnetic, so enigmatic about falling for someone. I don’t know what was real in my marriage anymore. When the divorce was like a raw, open wound hearing that I would find someone, someday was like a thousand grains of salt being poured into it..

It’s true what they say, that sometimes the right path is not the easiest one. I am almost certain that I won’t be alone for the rest of my life, and if I am, it won’t be because of a broken heart. And I am so thankful for a chance to start over, for the butterflies and future first dates and for falling and hopefully staying in love.

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