Memoir from a Divorce
On September 13, 2008, two weeks after my second son was born, I found a message on my husband’s phone. That moment (thankfully) ended our marriage. Here’s my journals from then. Hope they help.
Intermission (October 2008)
Life is pretty tough right now. You probably won't hear from us for a while. We'll just call this an intermission.
"Intermission: A break between two performances or sessions."
That's what we're having. A break between sessions. One session ending. Now we're taking a break to recoup. Then, once we regain our footing, another session will begin.
Thank you all for your love and support. Odin, Zephyr, and I are doing as best as we can under the circumstances. We are overwhelmed with the circle of love that surrounds us and find solace in the good that exists in people.
We'll be back after intermission.
October 2008-November 2008
Radio silence while I reeled.
Things to be thankful for:
A very healthy, happy baby
A well-adjusted, joyous toddler
A wonderful supportive family
A sweet puppy and a cuddly cat
A beautiful home
The papers are signed, things are official. I guess things are really over, we are really moving, and I am officially poor for it. It is a very bitter-sweet prospect. I will get the help I need but it means that I (and Odin) have to leave our lovely friends that are just wonderful, our fabulous family and their great kids, our sweet little house that I just adore, our town that is SO toddler friendly but would NOT be school age-kid friendly, our current life as Odin & I know it, all the dreams of a future that I had before all this happened and all the effort I put into keeping it all going before this all happened. I'm totally freaked by the prospect of moving. I have no idea what we will do when we get back East. All of you are so scattered, I wish there was a magical place where you all lived that I could be welcomed home to. We could all be neighbors and raise our kids (and friends' kids) together. Ah, I digress. Lately, I have so many daydreams of how I wish things were...delusions of an easier way. It's hard to want to stay in reality when what the future brings is so uncertain and when the present is so sad. I look at the kids and they are just wonderful and I keep thinking that some day I will look back and realize that I missed this wonderful time in their lives because I just couldn't be entirely present for them with all that I was going through myself. Little Z is in that wonderful "I want to stop time" baby phase where you just breathe in his scent and hold him cuddled up against your body and think, "I have to do this again someday." I keep thinking, what if this is that last time I have a baby and I missed it because I was so upset and in my own selfish hurt phase where all I could do was focus on healing myself and making it through? I also worry about uprooting Odin right now from everything he knows. The only saving grace is that he ADORES his Grammie & Grandpa and will still be seeing them daily so I keep thinking he's gaining a big part of his life, and losing some smaller parts. He will also be closer to his cousins Alexandra and Nicholas whom he really likes so hopefully that will make up for him losing his best friend and his cousins that he absolutely adores here. It's also hard knowing that I am moving but will not have my own space again for a long time. Being a grown up and having my own life is a hard thing to give up especially when I don't know when I will get that back again. I don't know when the market will recover, when my house will sell, etc. Anyways, enough of that.
Anyways, thanks for "listening." I'm sure there will be many more totally freaked out entries before this is all over with. It's going to be really hard to let go of everything I've known for the past 5 years. I can only try to hold out hope that the future will be brighter than the "hoping it will get better" past and present. Everyone tells me that things will get better and that there's that perfect someone out there that will accept me, baggage, kids, and all and that I won't spend the rest of my life living with my parents, a lonely mom of two. I'm really really trying to believe that and hoping that the period before this magical "no way in hell that person exists based on my life experience" person comes along will be manageably lonely in an ok kind of way and that some day soon I will feel like I am again standing on my own two feet
Sadness has hit me like a ton of bricks again.
My smile is once again genuine. I am really happy. I keep noticing this. I am really happy. Not a fake shell of happy on the outside of an inside that is truly sad. I am still stressed and waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I am happy and that is all that matters. I have dropped to the bottom, bounced and have come back up. I am once again floating in this sea that is life. I just hadn't accepted to what extent you CANNOT control this thing called life. Now, I am ok with that. I will live yet another life of my nine lives. I think I have more than nine lives though since I think I am now on life #10. I even have plans for Valentine's Day already if you can believe that. Plans that I'm ok with, even if they are not what I would have wanted for myself a year ago. A year ago I lived in la la land. Today, I am in the here and now. Reality. In all of its twists and turns and unpredictability. I'm taking it as it comes...knowing that I will always bounce back. I have gone through the worst of it and have come out the other side. Thank you to everyone for helping me get through. Now, let's all reap the benefits of your wonderful support and celebrate! I feel like when all of this went down, someone was pressing rewind over and over making me re-watch the last few years, then someone pressed pause and I was just stuck where I was, and now, finally, we're on play again in real time. Let's make some plans, let's make our own happiness, let's enjoy the moment. Right now, this moment, where we are happy right now and that is all that matters. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
New Beginnings (February 2009)
I have decided that Spring has come early to California to give me the hope and message of new beginnings. I have finally come around to once again thinking that I really am blessed....even through the Hell that has been my life the past few months. Somehow, I still am luckier than most people. When I am lonely, people come into my life. When I am weak, help comes. When I ended up alone, my kids came along. Although this life is not ending up the way I intended, I am still one of the lucky ones. I don't question why I am one of the deserving ones...why I am blessed with this luck. I just am. Maybe it's just how the cards fall. Anyways, the possibilities are endless...my future is unknown but will be blessed. Another part of the luck that is in my life is that I am a person that can find happiness in any situation through the little wonders of life so no matter what the future lays at my feet, I know that I will find happiness in that. I am also working on the new beginnings that forgiveness brings. I have found the beauty in not holding onto your anger because you only hurt yourself. You can't hurt someone else back. They won't feel it. You can't make them see. You can only let it go and move on. One of my best friends said, "You can forgive, but you can also not forget." That's what I'm working from now. I can forgive but I will not forget. I will let myself be a healthy person and continue into the future from a happy place without dwelling on the past but I will not let myself be fooled again...
Destiny (February 2009)
Just starting to wonder if I'm just meant to be alone. Seems like a sad existence but I see so many women raising their kids alone and not finding anyone grown up enough to take them and their children on after their first partner fails to grow up. What has happened that keeps men perpetually in a teenager state? Why do they no longer progress to the point where family means something important enough to grow up and take on the responsibility and where nurturing a future is a valuable commitment that could actually be fun instead of just an unwanted stress? Raising children alone just seems like such a depressing existence. Having your kids think it's normal for their Daddy to just show up for the fun part occasionally when it's convenient. It just perpetuates the cycle. I don't want to raise my boys to think that this is the way of the world. What on Earth has happened that it has become the norm? Where are the grown ups? Do I have to wait another ten years to find one? When the 40 year old men finally reach adult maturity? Sorry if I insult anyone but I just feel that way at the moment. It's so frustrating and makes me feel so defeated. A lonely existence does not a happy future make. Hmph.
If you measure your life by your weight than I have shed enough baggage to be back to the person I haven't been since High School. I've somehow lost the 50 lbs of pregnancy weight AND an additional 15 lbs extra in 5 months and am down to 115 lbs without even meaning to be yet I think I actually have MORE baggage than ever before. All of the grade school insecurities, the grown up fear of the future, the post college lack of direction, the loss of faith in your own value and place in this world, the complete shock at how you got to be where you are, and the confusion as to where to look for the answers. I will say that I have recently been reminded of the person that I was before all of this happened. The person that was squished down beneath someone else's issues, needs, and wants. The person that wanted to continue to exist but couldn't when juxtaposed to another's lack of love and own insecurities. I had become a person that was the antithesis of the person she was trying to love and balance out, not the person that I actually am. She is still in there yet somehow I'm now locked into a situation where it is impossible for someone to meet that person and appreciate that person because my kids need and deserve every bit of me. That girl is also now completely saturated in the truth of motherhood which is at complete odds with the free spirit that I love to be and the freedom loving people that I am drawn to. I have also re-committed myself to being the most authentic, truthful version of myself that I can be which I believe is the only way to find your true soul mates in this world but then, when you are brushed aside, it hurts so much more because your true self is being rejected instead of just knowing that you just didn't play the game right or didn't play the required role convincingly enough. I doubt that this makes any sense to all of you and it's extremely vague as I have no idea who might be reading this blog but I am trying to process this place that I'm at. It's a strange irony when I think of all of this while feeding Zephyr his very first real meal. Like he is just embarking on his own accumulation of baggage. Anyways, he ate it as fast as he could, whining between bites because he was just LOVING it! Then, afterwards, he decided he needed a drink so I nursed him and he kept taking a break from drinking, pulling back, looking up at me with his huge blue eyes, and LAUGHING. Over and over, he drank, pulled back, and chuckled! Like we were sharing a great joke about the joy of eating. Like he just couldn't get over how GREAT that rice cereal and breast milk paste was and kept replaying it in his mind over and over! The joy of his first food experience just bubbled up inside of him until he had to let it out and chuckle. I hope you can all picture that image because it was just priceless.
I'm reading this great book called Broken Open that talks about many different theories about life...one of them is a theory that life sends you feedback each day...not messages about the future...but rather feedback on your current life and how you are living it. Today it came to mind about all of the things I've stressed about in the past that turned out to be nothing...(sorry for the graphic nature) but I didn't get my period until I was 17 I think (way after everyone else) and I didn't have big boobs, so I always assumed I'd have a hard time getting pregnant and later breastfeeding. I broke my pelvis when I was 18 and all the doctors said I'd have to have a c-section because of it. My aunts had terrible childbirths and it was assumed, since I had their body type, that I would too. I stressed about all of these things when I was young...thinking I was guaranteed to have these future troubles with things that I cared very much about. I wanted lots of kids and thought it could never happen. Now, here I am on the other side, had no trouble getting pregnant (even while on birth control pills for years) had no trouble with childbirth beyond the fact that my babies were a bit hyper and therefore wrapped themselves all up in their umbilical cords, had no trouble breastfeeding once I figured out the supply/demand side of it, and the only thing keeping me from having many many children was the lack of the right person to do that with. I was in a terrible disfiguring car accident at 18 and I thought I'd be ugly and scarred for life. Today, I look very much like I did before the accident. It makes me think that I should get the message at some point. Each of these big terrible "indicators" of what lay ahead for me turned out to be a small blip on the radar of life and had no bearing whatsoever in my future outcome. Life is telling me that this too shall pass and will someday be such a small blip in the romantic future and lifelong partnership, and strong relationship role model for my boys that is yet to come. I was also thinking that since most people don't find their soulmate until at least 2 years after their divorce, that this is perhaps the situation for my soulmate, and it is something to ponder. It will also turn out to be the reason that I do not yet know him. He is currently living in the bliss of unawareness. He is married, in love, and planning to have a child or has already. Soon, his whole world will be blown wide open as he discovers that his wife and love of his life is cheating on him. He will have to make the difficult decision to end the relationship and will then have to travel the road I am now traveling until he finds me...his true soulmate that understands his place completely and we will go on to have more children and create a bigger family circle that includes stepchildren and new children and ex's and ex-in-laws, and ex-sister and brother-in-laws. The sad thing is that, currently, he is unaware that this will happen to him in the near future and he also does not know that it will turn out better in the end because he will find me...so, let's all spend a moment to honor this poor soul and the journey that he must soon face before the two of us can end up happy, together, in the future…
I read this woman's blog religiously and adore her even though I've never met her...I just think that this part of her entry in something we should all consider and think it is worth passing on...
"Because he could not nor was never meant to rescue me, he did something else…he just sat with me there and let me be sad.
He held me while I cried and spit terrible thoughts and then told me to look him in the eye.
“I can do this with you. You can be broken and sad and I can still love you.”
And he went on,
“No matter if this is something that comes around in predictable or unpredictable ways, we can prepare for it and we will overcome it each time together; you don’t have to face it alone anymore.”
He prayed for us and I let him love me.
I allowed myself to be loved as I am, broken, unwhole and suffering.
When we fall in love we are the most perfect versions of ourselves, propelled higher than the angels, with hope and optimism.
When we settle into life we discover again the demons that have always persecuted us.
We need a lifetime to learn how to fight them, and we don’t have to slay every one of them before we are worthy of finding and being loved.
Self-help books will have you believe otherwise, but there is no need to have everything together before you give yourself to someone else. You only need to have enough wisdom within to know when you have truly found someone worthy of your imperfections.
Find yourself a good man who will come and sit with you inside your sadness to share the weight of it with you; a man who is is not just willing to fall but to remain in love, even when it hurts." @morgandaycecil
Right now, my life is one big backlog. Being really sick is just the thing to make you feel really mediocre at everything. I was up the last two nights with both kids sick (lots of snot, coughing, and eye gunkiness...thank goodness no stomach issues)...then too busy during the day with work to catch up on sleep...and myself feeling crappy too...I just feel like I can only be mediocre at all of my roles...mom, employee, friend, homeowner, housekeeper, family-member, etc. I have a baby book that has nothing entered...not his monthly weight/height stats, first meal, his first tooth or crawling dates and tons of video and pictures that have not made it to the blog...I am trying to keep all the balls in the air but I'm just barely keeping them from falling...and then I'm supposed to find time for a life for myself as a grown up individual too? I just don't see how it's all possible. As soon as I feel really good about one thing...making some money, paying the bills, or mowing the lawn, then something else is not getting done, the laundry, the house, my job, groceries, cooking. I make the kids a priority and always make sure that they are happy, loved, spent quality time with, fed, clean, clothed, and all before anything else and still it seems like I'm not there for them enough either. Odin just tells me how much he loves me and misses me every minute I have to be away for any reason and how much he needs me every minute of every day and Zephyr really does need me and if he's with my babysitter than I just feel like I'm missing out on bonding time...I just don't know how one person is supposed to handle it all. My only choice to be more on top of things is to be away from the kids more and I hate that thought more than anything. I think the time I spend with them is the MOST important thing since they are why I'm doing all this and it's my reward for all of the crap too. If I spend less time with them it hurts me as much as it hurts them...oh geez. I don't know what I'm trying to say...I just hate being mediocre at everything. I'm not that kind of person.
Well, it's official, I'm back to being a non-person again. I'd love to hear from all of you but don't expect me to have much to say...I live in someone else's house, have no job, and basically spend my day keeping a toddler and baby entertained and safe while trying to keep them from breaking anything or making a huge mess. It's rained all week so we can't do anything outside and in an attempt to avoid the flu, we're avoiding large confined areas with lots of people so museums, malls, etc. are out. I really miss the California life I had built for myself but I just have to keep reminding myself that I need to have a longer range view...I'll have a life again sometime in the future (wish I knew when), the kids will have really great schools and a safe place to grow up, I'll have more support and less financial stress, etc. Just really miss having a life and living it. Right now I just feel like I live in limbo, in a void here and now between the what was in the past and and what will be in the future. When will the future start?
I'm not sure who I'm really writing this blog for anymore...those of you that read it are close enough to see for yourselves...those that are too far away now probably don't even know about it...I'm not sure how the people that read it feel about me...I'm so tired of writing about my lack of a life, my exhaustion, my anger, my frustration, my disbelief, and I'm too busy focusing on enjoying and appreciating ever single minute with my kids to try to keep up on writing about them. I don't know how long I'll be able to realistically stay home with them so it seems like I hold onto our time together more and more desperately. The only thing I can focus on in my mind is how much I miss having my own home, my own life, my friends and family in CA, my dog, my cat, but how that is no longer possible since I am now doing it all on my own with a finite amount of financial resources to draw from and two little boys growing at an alarming rate towards what will be much more expensive years. I don't really have a plan for the future to focus on, I'm still stuck with all the things from the past that I am trying to move on from. I would write about my pathetic attempt at dating as I'm sure you'd all find it entertaining but it's just plain sad in my eyes. The wonderful guy who dumped me because he couldn't handle the kids, the firefighter that was just plain overbearing, the young son of a single mom who was just way too short, the surfer that I informed via email that I had moved cross country overnight, the lawyer that assessed and dismissed me within 40 minutes, the old friend that wanted to commiserate about divorce, the 20 something cougar bait that drunken texted me, the boring tax assessor with the 7 year old daughter and bad teeth. It's really hard looking into the future knowing that I will probably be alone for a very very long time. That I will raise my boys alone. That is not ever what I dreamed of when I thought of my future when I was a little girl. I have always looked forward to the partnership of marriage and raising a family together. Why didn't I understand how making a stupid choice about who I did it with would haunt and ruin my world for the rest of my life? I will be dealing with this forever. My children will be dealing with this forever. If I ever find someone that deserves my kids and will accept them as his own, he will also have to deal with my bad decisions forever. When will my life begin again? When will I ever feel normal again? When will I stop regretting what has become of my life? When will I be able to just enjoy my children without feeling the loss of what I always pictured their life would be instead of just feeling good about what is? Anyways, I'm finding it hard to keep this blog going when I question the people that read it and have lost my idea of what the point of it all is. My first blog was a way to convince myself that life was grand and perfect even though I knew it wasn't...this one was a way to start fresh and puzzle it out...but it seems to just continue to be the same questions and ponderings over and over in a pathetic monotonous diatribe. Sorry y'all.
Blur (August 2009)
This past year has been such a blur...I look forward to the day when I can put all the trauma of the year behind me and stop having all these holes in my memory where stress and sadness took over, leaving no room in my brain for anything else. Every time I think that the hard part of divorce is over, it drags on. I'm beginning to look at the "one year of hell" that everything I read said I had to get through before things got better as more of a "5 years or more." I always wanted kids, my whole life, and it is just unbearable that the experience is being soured by this whole situation. I just want to raise my boys and be happy and whole...enjoying every moment...but the circumstances I find myself in make it more like trying desperately to enjoy every minute despite the walls that continue to crumble around me. The sky is falling and I smile on.
I feel like I am drowning...it's like a rope is tied around my ankle and it is attached to the bottom of a rough sea and yet I am just buoyant enough to keep afloat. A big wave will pass over me and submerge me entirely but I am just buoyant enough to pop up on the other side of the wave. Right now, I am fighting this frustrating sickness, on antibiotics, AND weaning due to Lyme disease. Oh geesh. Today, the wave caught me yet again (no doubt an effect of the sickness and weaning hormonal rollercoasters) and my kids reached down and pulled me back up. They held me up long enough to catch my breath once again. The mom in me will NOT let my kids have anything but a PERFECT childhood to the BEST of my ability NO MATTER WHAT and that is what drives me on a moment to moment basis. It's my overall arch that I have trouble with.
Today, in my despair about what I have been reduced to and what I have given up, I felt so hopeless. I find solace in the complete sacrifice that perfect parenting is yet I know that this will not ultimately keep me afloat. I will need to begin again from scratch, re-inventing myself yet again. Starting over again. And, I will have to be alone. No matter how I look at it, I will be alone. I will do it, alone. How can I be alone when I love to be in a crowd and crowds are easy to find? How can I be alone when I find comfort in fellow humans no matter who that might be. I am still feeling the effects of a warm hug from a spanish lady at a playground in Boston that me and the kids found ourselves at. Her cell number and offer of friendship saved in my cell phone. I feel the embrace of the nanny at the playground in CT that hugged me through my tears that wouldn't stay put and carry her number scrawled on a piece of paper in my wallet like an emergency contact to put on the many health forms I fill out. The cell phone number of yet another person at a random playground that offered friendship in a fleeting moment at the car window as I drove away. The business card of a beginner hairdresser with the promise of wet weather playdates at her house. None of these lifelines are what I need or what I seek, yet there they are, keeping me company. How can I fear being lonely? How can I be here, with the constant company of my parents and feel so lonely? How can I cuddle me two little loveys and be lonely for them? Feeling like I am not present enough for them?
Eat Pray Love (August 2009)
I am reading Eat, Pray, Love and although I find it frustrating to "hear" this woman whining when she has unlimited financial resources, talent, and can flit around where she pleases having these experiences without having to drag her two children along or wonder how they will be affected while also wondering if love will ever find her while she mothers, smothers among the closed in walls of her home, I will admit that it gives me things to ponder on. She says that all you need to do is ask for your guru and they will appear. What I think about this is, I am not ready to hear what my guru has to say. Second, she points straight to me and says, "I, too, am trying to control my world to keep time from moving, to stay as far away from dying as possible, and can therefore not be present. Even as I control, it only proves how this world is beyond our control." Although I am paraphrasing, this is the lesson that I need to learn yet every ounce of my being will not allow this to be true. I CANNOT live from day to day. I CANNOT let the past die, CANNOT let the future present itself. I am NOT ok with my current predicament and constantly think I will, at any moment, wake from this dream and find myself no longer in this predicament. Pinch me.
Yet, here I am, making myself a cup of hot cocoa. Thinking how maybe winter is what I need. Maybe I will find comfort in winter. In the quiet of a snowfall, glowing fire's embrace, cradled by a home, let the wind whistle outside. Here I am, popping back up after the wave has passed, catching a breath. I cannot help but hope, it is the human condition. It also seems to relate to the seasons. Being back in the land of seasons, I remember the feeling of perpetually being driven forward, towards the next season. Thinking that something better is just around the corner.
"So damn easy to say that life’s so hard
Everybody’s got their share of battle scars
As for me I’d like to thank my lucky stars that
I’m alive, and well
It’d be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you sat and watched go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me, I’m alive
And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathin' in and out's a blessin' can’t you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
And I’m alive, and well
I’m alive, and well"
I just got the most interesting comment on my blog saying that I helped someone! I helped! ME! The person that only gets help from others, lives purely by the grace of others' good deeds, and has no life or direction whatsoever HELPED SOMEONE ELSE! They were an anonymous commenter and if only they know how good it feels to have helped even just ONE person to give back a little! I can't help anyone in my own life because I can barely keep it together in my own life, have no money to help with, have no home to welcome them into, and no grounded feeling to offer as support. I'm so glad that I could virtually help someone. I'm glad to hear that someone is helped by me just saying, "Hey, my life is a mess. Things suck. Welcome to my world."
Good vs. Evil (September 2009)
My house is now ready to sell and will be sold within the next two months. The finality of selling the house and the degree to which this is forcing me to let go of so many hopes and dreams and any ounce I had left of my former existence seems to be dredging up so much emotion for me. I am having to get rid of so many things that it is just not practical to move, things that I agonized over picking the perfect one of, then took such good care of, and held on to...the house that I poured my love into making everything just the way I always dreamed of...the life that I was building...it is so hard for me to just erase it all from my life like none of it ever existed. When I try to "take" any of that memory or life with me, it just highlights the juxtaposition to my current situation and hurts too much. If this was always my reality, I'm sure I'd be fine with it, but when you are constantly comparing it to the dream you had and what you wanted from this life, it falls short to say the least. I look forward to some day in the future when I have created so much history between this day and then, that there are foundations on which I stand that have nothing to do with my life "before." A day when I have some sort of context that takes me so far from where I was at before or am at now that it isn't even relevant to dwell on. A day when good and bad once again become black & white, where superheroes and fairies really do exist, magic is possible, and I just live to love, eat, and explore.
Here's a thought. (October 2009) I moved into my own place.
You know what's an interesting thought? I look back at the postings that are as recent as a few months ago, and the feeling's gone. It's just gone. Like a faint whisper you heard but then weren't sure you actually heard anything. A whisper that makes you think you've just seen a ghost. I actually feel like that. Those thoughts have left me. I'm starting a new life. I'm happy. I'm excited. I like who I've become after this whole experience. I feel confident in my parenting again. I'm not afraid of the unknown. I'm taking it as it comes...and that's not scary. It's liberating. I know I can't control it and that life is a mystery as the future just unfolds. A slow, messy, eventual unfolding. Not an unfurling...but an unfolding. Each section reveals itself but the fold creases remain. The image is still whole in its entirety...even with the permanent creases. They just give the paper character, age, wisdom, and a humanity that makes people feel comfortable to handle it yet not too afraid that it will crumble in their hands. Just a thought for those of you who are also going through this. As always, Zephyr's development often makes me reflect on my own baby steps this year. He just started walking and is bravely taking off into his own world beyond the arms of his Mama. I'm proud of him and admire him with his perpetual smile and complete disregard for his Mama's issues. I think that I too have taken to walking again...and you have to crawl before you can walk. That's for sure. It's much better for you that way. You know how you got to where you are and that, should you fall again, you can handle it. You'll just slow to a crawl again and plug along.
I have no profound thoughts to share with you all except the overwhelming joy of being truly happy. I realize that is a bit redundant but I am...happy! I am loving our little town of Marblehead, it is truly the perfect place for me and I'm so glad I put in the hard work and soul searching way back when to figure out what it was that would make me happy and to try to create a future that had all of those elements. I do believe that we all create our own happiness...so I am truly giving myself the credit this time for making it happen and for hanging in there with a solid dedication to my future happiness in the times when things seemed so dismal. I love the person that I am and the conscious effort that I put into my life each and every day. If I am single forever, raising my boys alone, I will still be truly content. I could not have said that in the past years but today, I can honestly say that I love where I am in life...with a future unknown and only possibilities on the horizon. People say that when things are good, you need to stop and appreciate it for that moment is fleeting. Well, here I am. Appreciating it. In all its momentary glory. Right now, in this minute, I am SO happy :) I don't know where this life is taking me or what the world has in store but I sure am loving the ride. I will leave tomorrow to its own devices...love to you all!
Resolve (June 2010) I met someone. I wanted to tell him that, although he was done having children, I wanted one more. And it was a deal-breaker for me.
I have come to a realization and I am writing it down so that I do not lose my resolve in this new conclusion that I have come to. I have decided that being a grown up means saying tough things even though you know that it may mean that you lose immediate gratification in favor of a long term gain. It means knowing yourself so well that you can say with complete conviction what is most important to you and what you are willing to sacrifice and what you are not. It means knowing what makes you happy and creating an existence where you can be happy all on your own. So happy that you are willing to walk away from something that makes you happy in the moment if it will not create the future that you see for yourself. It means being honest about what your expectations are regardless of the outcome because you want to be happy and you know that you can be happy alone if all else fails and that you are not willing to compromise your image of what you want in the future. Truly knowing yourself and thinking long and hard about what is important to you is the only way that you will find your future happiness and you must be so dedicated to that future that you will not settle. Life is about making yourself happy, so happy in fact that the fear of being alone will not drive you to make decisions based solely on that fear. I am going to be gutsy tomorrow and lay my cards on the table. I will not cower away from what I want. I will not put my own wants aside for fear of being alone. I will say what is truly important to me and how I envision my future. I will make myself a priority because I deserve to be happy and if someone cannot help me towards that goal then I will go it alone. If I don't get some guts and go for it, then I am only doing a disservice to myself and the people I love. Emotional honesty is scary but necessary and it is where mature grown ups dwell. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Better to love and to lose than to live a life unfulfilled. Wish me luck on sticking to my guns. I am so very not good at this. I can only be strong in the fact that I have found my own happiness and that will be there to carry me through any outcome.
I was reminded today by a friend of the perils of marriage. I am, myself, in the wonderful stages of the promising beginnings...the time when you still remember being alone, wondering if your soulmate existed, if you were destined to be alone forever. I was happy alone...don't get me wrong...I wasn't just looking for any old person to keep me company...and I did remember what it felt like to be in an unhealthy relationship and I certainly would never want that again...but I'm MUCH happier with someone that complements me and my personality and I do look forward to spending the rest of my life with that person. I do still remember what it looks like to imagine living as a single unit in this world for the rest of your existence. No matter how much work a marriage takes, I still choose to try.
HOWEVER, what happens when you no longer remember what it was like to be alone? When you start to take your soulmate for granted? These are the questions that keep me up at night and as I watch some of my closest friends reach this point and their marriages start to faulter...why I feel it is my job to remind these couples of how lucky they are. I watched my own marriage fail...and although we were certainly not right for each other, it did give me a flavor of the fine line between a relationship functioning ok and a couple that is so resentful that they lose their way and end up hating each other. To the people I love out there that were lucky enough to find their soulmate in this world...please remember the love you felt for this person before the stressors in life came along. Remember that although they may be causing you pain in some way, they started from a place of love...that they are a good person...and that you both deserve the love that you have for each other. It is important to find that again. Do what it takes. Go to counseling where they will force you to open pandora's box, talk about the things you have ceased discussing, and to remember how much you love each other and appreciate each other. Try to find your place of love again because coming from this side of things, the beginning, it feels REALLY good to love and be loved and it feels REALLY awful to watch your marriage disintegrate, leaving you alone and floundering in this world.
I had no choice but to end my marriage, but unless your spouse is doing something really really awful that you cannot look beyond, save it. Cherish it. Find the place of love again. Don't wait until things are so bad that you have no choice. Rescue it before the flame has burned out. A little bit of work now is worth saving you from how bad things can get later. Don't be embarrassed to say, "We need help. We need a third party to shake us from this bad pattern." There is no shame in it. You deserve a healthy relationship and you deserve to be loved. Your significant other is the one that will give you that love. He has just lost his way as you have lost yours. Give each other the benefit of the doubt. As my Nana said today, "With all the disabilities your Grandfather has now, I have to focus really hard and use a lot of patience to support him with even more love than I ever did before." She knows what it takes to keep things going. When she gets frustrated, she puts more love out there, loves him more ferociously than she did before, and she knows that it is worth it because of the love he has for her in turn. They respect each other beyond the annoyances and pity resentments. They know that the history created between them is worth its weight in gold and that they are soulmates through thick and thin.
So, to all those couples out there that are feeling the strain. Know that I am thinking of you and wishing only the best for you and your loves...but that I also hope you step up to bat and fight for your marriages. I can't imagine all of you floundering out there alone.
Such is life. (December 2010) I found out that the man I was dating had a vasectomy and didn’t tell me, even after agreeing that he was open to having another child with me in the future.
To anyone that begrudged me for my happy moments and how I may have overshared my joy...I now feel entirely justified for doing it. My rationale was that I realized how fleeting happy moments can be and how they always seem to come to an end in my world at some point so it's important to soak it up while it lasts. I'm glad that I fully appreciated my reprieve from single-momdom for the last 7 months. It was really nice to feel loved and special. I had wonderful company and felt cherished and lucky. I was able to enjoy my boys more and to really love every minute of my life. Regardless of whether I was taken for a ride or not, no matter what the real story is or was, and despite the fact that it might have all been a mirage of smoke and mirrors, this time I actually don't regret a thing. I had the best 7 months of my life and got to live the dream which some people never get to do. I know now how it feels to be loved...even if that love is not real, at least now I know what I'm looking for. I know that it is something worth waiting for and I'm perfectly happy being alone until I find it and if that takes forever, so be it. I know what it feels like when a relationship is working. I know what normal discussions feel like, what talking about your problems feels like, what it is to be with a person that has a personality that fits with your own. I'm thankful to have learned all of these lessons and to have grown as a partner. Although it is now my time to be back on my own again...just me and the boys...and as hard as that may be and as sad as I am, I'm just so glad that I soaked up that happiness while I could. It will carry me through this rough patch. My soul was fed and full in the way that nourishes you for a long time. It is very nice to be surrounded by my wonderful community and I'm so glad I chose this place to raise my boys. We are lucky to live here and for the people that support me I am so thankful. As one last thing, let this be a reminder to us all that happiness is an illusion...it is an ever shifting changing being...so if you have it, let it shine, let everyone around you bask in its glow...show everyone what it is to be happy...for it will inspire them to also look for this fleeting moments and to appreciate it when they find it. You will carry others through their rough patches with your optimism and abundant love...until it has once again evaporated, leaving you holding just air, a popped balloon...and you once again need to turn to the others who are in their own moments of happiness...to share in their love and optimism and carry you through. It is a human cycle of perpetual hope that we are bound to and it is important that we take every moment for what it is. A gift. The gift of life...and whether we are in a high or a low...we are still lucky to be able to live it. I'd rather be sad and disappointed but alive any day. Next time I'm happy...take it for what it is. Share in my happiness, bask in the glow...don't begrudge me...but appreciate it for what it is. A shining moment in time when the sun hit that metal reflector just right and blinded me with its glory.
Big news! (June 2011) We made it through that hiccup. He explained that he was afraid to lose me and just figured that if a baby was that important to me, we would find a way.
Most of you probably know this already but I realized that I haven't written in my blog in a long time and haven't announced here that I'm engaged :) On our one year anniversary of being a couple, Joe took me to where we had our first kiss overlooking the ocean and the city of Boston at sunset and asked me to marry him :) He actually got down on one knee and then gave me the prettiest ring :) I am the happiest and luckiest girl. As I type this, three kiddos are up, one is still sleeping. It's pretty busy around here! I have moved into the new house and Joe's is closing this month so he and his kids are here most of the time when they are not at school, doing homework, at their mom's, or working until we after school is out. Joe and I are still madly in love and I keep wondering when the honeymoon phase wears off but so far, it hasn't dimmed! :) The new house is awesome. Sunny, open, pleasant...with a bedroom for each of us plus an office so no more having kids share a room and keep each other up! It's great! There's a lovely deck, a huge finished basement playroom, and the neighborhood has TONS of kids and nice parents, sidewalks, and Odin can walk to school at the end of the road for Kindergarten in the Fall. I can ride Zephyr to preschool on the bike path too! We are joining the community pool at the end of the street and have already been to the beach a bunch this month so it should be a pretty fun summer! We are also taking a trip at the end of June to Jackson Hole with all four kids...I've never been in the summer so I'm really looking forward to seeing Yellowstone, the museums that are normally closed in the winter, cowboy dinners, rodeos, horseback riding, and fishing! Odin and Zephyr are looking forward to some Grammie and Grandpa time :) Then, it's off to Nantucket for some weekends! Joe and I figure with all we have going on right now, we probably won't get married until next Summer/Fall. We need to concentrate on helping our family make this transition into living together and into Joe's kids commuting to school half the week this Fall. We'll see. We figure it'll take us all year to find moments to check out places to have a reception anyways! So, that's all the big news around here. I'm just happy happy happy! Somehow I scored the most wonderful man who is the perfect fit for me. It reminds me of what my Nana says about my Grandpa..."My heart still flutters every time he comes in the door." :)
Here we are. August 2021
A giant blended family with our little “bonus baby.” Blending families is not for the faint of heart and that deserves a whole diary of its own BUT I am still happily married and the dream that I dreamt is now a reality. I still look back very fondly on the “brief blip” that was my time of being a single mom. Looking back, I see how precious that time really was. My hope for all of you is that this diary brings the perspective that allows you to enjoy that time more than I was able to. Strength, light, and love to you all.