Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fire and Rain

This post is a week late. Last week marked the one year anniversary of your death. It's amazing how much can change in a year. I remember, distinctly, Halloween of last year. It had been a week since your death but the arrangements for the memorial service hadn't been finalized. My ex wanted to go away with his family for the weekend but I was hesitant to make plans... What if they announced the service with short notice and I was stuck 300 miles away? I couldn't believe he couldn't understand that.

I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I'd see you again.

When it finally came time for your service a couple weeks later I was surprised and then again not terribly surprised when my ex asked me one day, "I don't have to go with you, do I?" Is this the man who promised to love me for better and for worse? For the rest of my life? And yet supporting me through your death was somehow... a chore? Of course you know how much I hate conflict. I answered, "no baby. Of course not. You wouldn't know anyone anyway." But inside I was furious.

I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I'd see you again.

Sitting at your service, surrounded by all the people who knew me as a kid, my childhood friends, their parents, their children, my old teachers, elders from our church, kids I used to baby-sit I felt... uncomfortable. I no longer belonged to this world, your world. By my own choice for sure but still it felt weird to be surrounded by so many people who used to know me so well and who now were little more than strangers. I think you would have been sad to see the me I had become. You would have been disappointed in me I think. Disappointed at the mess I had made of my life, the implosion of my marriage that was coming closer and closer like a run-away train, my dis-satisfaction with my life, my job, myself. I'm almost glad you never knew me like that. Because seeing how I looked in my old friends eyes? That was the wake-up call I had been waiting for. Who had I become?

I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I'd see you again.

I think you'd be proud of me now. Maybe you wouldn't agree with the choices I've made (I know divorce isn't supposed to be an option - trust me I didn't chose it lightly) but I think you would be proud of me for taking my life back, for growing stronger, for learning to love myself again. I'm happier now. I even laugh, genuinely laugh, often now. I'm happy. Generally happy for no reason other than that the sun is shining and the skies are blue and life is good. It's not perfect, but it is good.

I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I'd see you again.

You know? I always thought I had plenty of time to mend the rift between us. Plenty of time to work up the courage to seek you out. I figured we would trade awkward pleasantries at first, maybe apologize a little, even maybe yell and cry and get angry and try to explain. But I always thought we'd work through it. We were both so young then, I actually can't wrap my head around the fact that I'm older now than you ever were when we were friends. You always made adulthood seem so... effortless. I think I might have told you that I hated struggling for years thinking I should have everything figured out by now because you were the example I was looking up to. Did you really have it all figured out? Or were you just pretending like the rest of us?

I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I'd see you again.

I'm sorry I'll never get that chance. I'm sorry that we'll never be reconciled and call each other friend again. I'm sure if you could read this you'd say something like, "we'll be reconciled in heaven." But you and I both know my relationship with religion is on shaky round at best these days. I just hope you knew that I always loved you. Even when we argued and I swore I hated you, I hope you know that I didn't. I was just hurt. And mad. But I always loved you and the role you played in forming me in to the woman I became. A woman I hope you would have been proud of now. I know you always loved me. I never doubted it even once.

I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I'd see you again.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Them vs. You

Oh the joys of dating...

First there was the guy who seemed literally too good to be true. We worked in the same industry and could trade horror stories and complaints for hours. He also went to culinary school and LOVED to cook. He loved reggae music, and not just the popular main-stream stuff, but the more obscure small label stuff too. He was charming, flattering and seemed to genuinely enjoy spending time with me. Oh and the kissing was wonderful. But. Turned out he had a girlfriend. Break, or no break, that's not the kind of girl I am.

Then there was the good friend turned friend with benefits. We had (have?) an amazing time together. Laughing and drinking and talking until the wee hours on multiple occasions. Since we were both single it seemed only natural that we'd test out the chemistry waters so to speak. It was... ok. But ultimately I decided I wasn't really cut out to be someone's late night booty call. I also realized that while it was fun to party with my buddy, that's all we ever did. Party. And that's a lifestyle that I don't necessarily want in the long term, you know?

Next came the out of the comfort zone guy. He really liked me, pursued me for MONTHS and I never really gave him a second thought. Until one night we were out at happy hour(s) after work and it ended up being just me and him basically alone at one end of our table. Turns out he had recently gone through a divorce also and this guy was FUNNY. Like, I haven't laughed that hard with someone in years, funny. At the end of the night when he asked to kiss me I said yes... just to see right? Wow. I was completely unprepared for how much chemistry there would be. But. This guy was obsessed with money. How much money he had. How much money he made. To the point where he would pull up his investment portfolios on his phone to show me the balances. Ugh. Just... no.

Then there was a guy I met over the summer. We hit it off right away.. lots in common, great chemistry, lots of laughs. I felt comfortable with this guy right away. He was perfect for what I thought I needed at the time - funny, friendly, and CLEARLY in to me in a big way. But. (The inevitable "but"...) He was WAY more serious than I was prepared for. He chews with his mouth open and occasionally talks in a baby voice and makes this annoying chewing, teeth chomping sound in his sleep. But really it was the too serious, too soon that got me.

Which leads me to believe that at the end of the day, while there may be bad or annoying things about all of these otherwise perfectly nice guys, that the main problem they all share is that THEY... are not YOU.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


It's been 8 months since TheEx and I finally decided to shoot the lame horse that was our marriage. 7 months since I moved in to my first non-shared (and admittedly tiny) apartment in over a dozen years. I've alternated between feeling relieved, feeling angry, wanting to cry and desperately wanting to move on. I've gone out with the girls, kissed a few boys, attended too many happy hours and worked a lot more hours. Nothing could have prepared me for this transitional time in my life. It seems like no matter how many hours I spent planning to leave or how many times I day-dreamed about getting out of my terribly unhappy marriage I never, ever could have pictured what an interesting ride these last several months have been.

For example, I met TheEx's new girlfriend. Three times. And I didn't hate her. In fact, I quite liked her. Though I don't really understand what she's doing with my ex if I'm honest. She seems nice enough, well educated, goal oriented, strong. And yet the first night I met her, when she had to hunt him down outside a function because he'd left her alone, I felt... sorry for her. I felt grateful that it finally wasn't me wondering where he'd snuck off to, only to find him standing in the dark talking to some girl. Not that I'm just "some girl" but. I couldn't help but wonder why on earth she'd put up with that crap after only 6 months? Out of all the feelings I thought I'd have coming face to face with this woman, the first of the ladies my ex was seeing and could acknowledge publically because we're no longer together, I didn't expect to feel... relief. Surprising.

I also learned that men can apparently sniff out when a woman opens herself up to dating. After going months without so much as a single flirtation suddenly, and seemigly without warning, the flood gates opened and I found myself with more invitations than I knew what to do with. After initially telling myself I'd go out, at least once, with anyone who asked me (just to see - its seriosuly been so long since I've dated you guys - I wasn't sure I knew how to do it!) I finally had to put my foot down because I couldn't keep things straight. Some dates were fun but some were more like a chore. Some guys I felt chemistry with but most I only liked. All in all I'm not sorry but I have discovered that there is a reason I've had so many long term relationships - I'm a serial monogmist at heart. Dating is just... exhausting. Surprising.

All I can say is that I'm really looking forward to what the next several months have in store for me.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Nothing. I've got nothing.

Every few days I open up a new post on this here blog and think "today! today I will resume this activity I once loved so much!"  Then one of two things happens.  I either a) sit staring at that stupid blinking cursor and typing then deleting random positive crap that sounds hollow even to me ("hey guys - getting divorced is great - yay!") or b) the shit I write is so dark and depressing that I'm afraid to publish it for fear someone will call me in on a 5150.

But then... I was perusing some of my favorite blogs because, while I can't seem to muster up the energy to post anything meaningful, I still love keeping up with all the great things happening on my favorite blogs and I found a link to a blog I've never read before.  Turns out the author of this blog (comic strip?) had been MIA for over a year and then just last week finally posted something new - so people were understandably excited.

That post was perhaps the singularly best description of depression I've ever read in any book, blog, magazine or self-help article at the doctor's office.  The quote that literally stopped me in my tracks was "Yet there I was, casually wishing that I could stop existing in the same way you'd want to leave an empty room or mute an unbearably repetitive noise."  And reading that, and even (gasp) laughing at some of her cartoons, I felt...  hope.  Like if this person gets it (and you guys, she TOTALLY gets it) then maybe...  Maybe what?  I don't know.  But maybe feels like enough right now.

So.  If you're wondering where I am or want a little glimpse in to how I'm feeling you can read her posts in their entirety on her blog:

Start here

Latest post here

Or, if you'd rather, just scroll through her "best of" section.  This chick is hilarious - truly.  And in the meantime I'm going searching for corn.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I dreamed a dream

Most mornings when I wake up, alone, in my apartment...  it takes me a few moments to realize where I am and what has happened.  That this is really happening.  My husband didn't love me.  I did move out.  We are getting divorced.

And still I dream he'll come to me

That we'll live the years together

But there are dreams that cannot be

And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be

So different from this hell I'm living

So different now from what it seemed

Now life has killed the dream I dreamed

No wonder I just seem to want to stay in bed and sleep all the time...  Dreams are better than reality for now.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Grief - the proposal

Well so much for happy-go-lucky, "I can't believe I feel this GOOD".  I read this article the other day on CNN about how going through a divorce is like going through the grief process and I'm starting to think they were right.  Apparently you can even go back to various stages of grief that you thought you were passed.  Denial.  Anger.  Bargaining.  Depression.  Acceptance.  Well.  Isn't that fun.  Though I have been writing, trying to chronicle these feelings so I can see if/when I ever start making headway.  The problem with that is I keep remembering little things and they in turn make me sad, upset and/or angry all over again even though some of these memories are literally 12 years old.

W. T. F?

Like the other night I was thinking about when we got engaged (which was like 5 1/2 years ago).  I couldn't remember any of the positive spins I put on it at the time (sadly) and all I could think about was that I had to force TheEx (generic nickname I know but its more PC than I'd chose right now so cut me some slack) to even buy my ring, which I picked out myself being super cost conscious because the man couldn't be bothered to save for it or take part in the design.  I mean I literally had to email him the link to the ring I decided on, go home, turn on his laptop, pull up the page and sit there and watch him order it.  Kind of takes the surprise out of it right?

And then, on the day it came, I was still excited even after all the drama.  I was STILL convinced that he'd discover marriage wasn't so terrible, that I could be a good wife, that we could be happy.  And I KNEW he had the ring so I kept hinting that I wanted to see it (because I was nervous buying something like that over the Internet partially but mainly because engagement ring!) and he, I think jokingly, said something like "don't you want me to plan some romantic proposal?"  To which I replied, "are you ever going to do that?"  And he responded "no".  Which I think at the time I figured I just knew him well enough that he wasn't the romantic planning kind of guy (no matter how much I begged for date nights - "too much work" according to him).  So he handed me the ring in the kitchen on a random Friday night, 5 minutes before a friend of ours arrived to spend the weekend and we began painting the new house. 

And STILL I was excited!  I wanted to call my parents right away and I spent a few minutes squealing into the phone with my mom while TheEx hid silently in the kitchen, presumably opening beers for us to celebrate.  When I finally got off the phone I asked if he wanted to call anyone.  He didn't.  Said he didn't see the rush in telling people right away - they'd all find out soon enough.  Which, now in hindsight, is his exact same stance on our divorce.  Why rush the filing and paperwork?  Why the rush with moving out?  It'll all happen soon enough right?  Ugh.  I just remember feeling so hurt that he didn't even want to share this news with anyone, no friend, no family member, no one.  The most exciting and happiest (??) moment of our lives and he just had nothing to offer me.  He didn't even want me to tell our friend who showed up a few minutes later.  I wasn't wearing the ring (painting the house) so he figured why bother?

Maybe I should have known then.