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

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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The Search

My work friend and I had plans this weekend to pick out Christmas trees, decorate and have dinner with our kids. I was looking forward to getting out of this tiny apartment, but she cancelled late this morning, giving a reasonable enough excuse. I understand, that this thing that came up was more important to her. I understand that our plans were not the biggest deal, getting a Christmas tree so late in the month when she is not really in the Christmas spirit anyway. But it mattered to me. I needed a friend today.

I am searching for my village, and I will be honest that I am not sure one exists for me. I am looking for my friends here, in this city that is still new to me, who are more like family. The ones who don’t leave you because their life gets too busy or because your life no longer mirrors theirs. Those close friendships that stand the test of time. The friendships that survive moves, babies, hard times, divorces… Not many of my friends from before are around any more. I do understand, life goes on, but being a (divorced, full-time working) mom is so lonely and isolating sometimes. I am in this in-between space, not single and not married with a toddler just hitting the “terrible twos.” I am just twenty-something myself and even with the years flying by now, life is so lonely sometimes.

Speaking on being a mom specifically, I wish just for once when my kid was melting down in the middle of Walmart, I would look around and see knowing glances instead of disapproving looks. I wish the older women at Panera the other night had not audibly tisked at me after removing myself and my son from the restaurant because he could not keep his cool. I thought that was the best plan of attack in the moment. Letting him blow off steam and throw a fit outside was so much easier than trying to keep him in his high chair. I wish there were more support, more micro-villages of those who know how difficult and draining it is to be a parent some days. The judging looks do not help. The mean, under your breath comments, the glares and stares, do not make his tantrum end any faster. Anyone who has experienced life with a toddler can tell you, giving in to every whim will.not.work. It may make the lives of others more pleasant at times, but it is not a sustainable parenting practice.

When was it decided that we so often have to go this alone, and how can I unsubscribe from that list? If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you have probably noticed I am not the type to fit in right away. I speak my mind and find it difficult to sugar coat; traits that seem to conflict with having a large circle of friends. But that does not mean I enjoy the laughter and company of a good friend any less…it just makes them much more difficult to find. I became a mom two years ago, and after a divorce, two moves and getting a full-time job, I am still searching for my village. I do not need your house to be perfectly clean or even fully baby-proofed. I do not expect you to dress up or wear your Sunday best for an afternoon spent with me and my kid. Just time and understanding, camaraderie and those little tidbits of parenting wisdom that might work like magic for my little hurricane.

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Edit to add :: I definitely have considered joining a MOPS group, but considering I work every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-11AM, that really is not an option for me.

 

ps. Inspiration for the thoughts in this post via my late night reading of :: http://www.scarymommy.com/searching-for-my-village/

Freckles and Being a Mom

I have not posted much about my little man since I stopped the monthly updates for the first year of his life. Over half of another year has passed and he continues to challenge my mom skills on a daily basis. Elliott has always been more. He has always done more crying, more fussing, more screaming. He is more energetic, more playful and always, always on the go. He is wicked smart. He can get his own cup, ask for ice, fill it with water and successfully take a drink before spilling it all over himself and the floor. He can buckle himself into carts and wants to “do” everything for himself. He is so busy and so much like the parts of me that I am still working on improving. But he is just a baby, so the tantrums and frustration are understandable and expected.

The first year was so much about all the big milestones, all those “firsts”… first time rolling over, sitting up, walking. First smile, first words. I watched his eyes change color from newborn blue to hazel, starting with a spot of brown in each. I watched him grow a little more into his personality and have realized that although he is not the sweet baby I had hoped for, he is in every sense of the word, more. Making myself see the world through his eyes has taught me so much about him and about me. I may not always feel like the best mom (hello, tantrum in the middle of a grocery store because I told him no, he could not knock everything off the shelf after getting the cart too close) but I am learning. I care and I try and I am here for him as much as I can be, given that I work full time.

It is not easy, thinking big picture, wondering how to better handle tantrums and best teach him how to communicate feelings he does not yet have words for. But then I notice something so small that my thinking is forced back into that moment. A freckle. One tiny, single freckle that yes, I tried wiping off in the bathtub. It was a bad day for both of us. Both overtired from him waking too many times the night before due to bad dreams, teething pains and whatever else wakes a toddler. Too much thinking put towards hoping the coming night was just a little bit better, all wiped away by a freckle that would not budge. And I smiled, so he smiled and splashed the water and showed me the foam bath toy starfish, proudly saying “Star!” And it was better. It all makes sense. The sleepless nights (still), the change of plans. The massive overhaul to everything I thought being a mom would be.

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The freckle and a fake cry. Ten seconds later he was laughing. I would share a picture to prove it except he promptly kicked my phone out of my hand.

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