Monthly Archives: October 2011

It’s My Birthday

I have to keep reminding myself that it’s my birthday today…I don’t feel 32 (no clue whether I look 32 or not)…and it definitely doesn’t feel like my birthday…

I have run my ass off today…but that’s the way of things when you move…I didn’t unpack the first box today until 9pm…but I’m pretty sure I never sat down all day…

The only major low moment of the day was when I went back to the old house to clean it…I literally felt like I was carrying around an extra 20 lbs…I hated every second of the drive…I started grinding my teeth…I slouched and slumped…what a horrible feeling!  Have I been feeling this way since February?

I have so much still to do, but I feel light and airy in our new home…I love my bedroom…I love my kitchen…when I get it organized, I’m sure I’ll love my living room…is it new and bright and shiny? Hell no…but is it something fresh with unlimited possibilities for new memories? Hell yeah…

The sad part about today is if I hadn’t moved this weekend, I’d probably feel very depressed…every year I have this image of how my birthday should be, and it never happens…I don’t want parties or expensive gifts (ok, everyone wants expensive gifts…I mean that I don’t ask for or think about them)…I just want the day to be special…

I was spoiled as a kid – I was an only child, grandchild, great-grandchild, niece…when my birthday rolled around, it was a big deal – I was the only damn kid in the family…there was never anything lavish, but it was my special day…and to me, that’s normal…on your birthday, it’s supposed to be all about you…because I feel so strongly about that, I do that for my boys, too…

I promise you, there was little about today that was about me…breakfast was Waffle House, lunch was in the Play Place at McDonald’s, dinner was cold pizza (free, though) at a Fall Festival/Trunk or Treat event with the boys…in between, there was grocery shopping, cleaning, organizing, and running around like a crazy person…basically, today was a typical day…and I’m okay with that…

Today is the start of a new year in my life…31 was a rough, ROUGH year for me…32 can only get better…and this weekend has been a step in the right direction…

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Today I Grieved…

It had to happen at some point, and today was the day…today, I finally grieved the end of my marriage…not all day, not for a long period of time, but it did happen…

Today, I moved…I moved from the first house I ever bought…a house that was filled with so much promise three years ago when we bought  it…we had a picnic in our empty living room the day we closed on it…we were filled with plans for it…

Three years, 6 months, and 21 days later, that chapter in my life closed…when I look around the house, I can barely remember the hopes and dreams we had for our home…I remember the fights…I remember the broken door frames…I remember the punched walls…I remember April 12, the day he lost it completely – and lost my trust in the process…

When I did the last walk through to make sure nothing needed to go into the moving van, it hurt to look at the empty rooms…I cried as I drove down the road…I sobbed…I couldn’t see the road (thank God the boys were in the other car with their grandmother)…my heart ached because it was never supposed to end like this…12 years ago when I met The Ex and 9 years ago when I married him – that was supposed to last forever…

We came back tonight for a moment (to pick up one last thing), and I felt so sad…I told the boys to say good bye to the “old house” – they aren’t going to see it again anytime soon…I immediately started referring to this new house as home…it’s not really home yet, but it will be…it’s filled with promise…it’s waiting for new memories…right now, tonight, it feels like I’m visiting someone’s house…I’m still a stranger here – but not for long…

There’s a little fear, too…it’s all on me now…everything I did before was the continuation of routines and plans from an old life…now, whatever we do here, however we do it, it’s on me to figure out the best way, find a routine that works, and help the boys adjust…but it’s a new beginning…

I’m glad I grieved for the old today…I wondered if I had any feeling left for Michaela Benjamin…Michaela Mitchell is a new girl in a new day…but Michaela Benjamin deserved to be mourned a little..I’m not a heartless person – my emotions run very deep – but I had been uncaring, unfeeling, numb through a lot of the divorce (not all, but a lot)…today it hurt…

Tomorrow will be better.

Last Time…

Today was a lot of last’s…

The last time I made the boys leave the house at 6:15am to drop them off at daycare and Boys & Girls Club (15 minutes after they woke up)…

The last time I drove 45 minutes to get to work…

The last time I had to leave work at exactly the right time just to pick up the boys in time to avoid being charged extra money…

The last time I had to hope the 45 minute drive wasn’t going to turn into an hour drive because of traffic…

I’ve been anxious and edgy since I walked in the door tonight…I don’t know if it’s nerves from the move, good and bad memories hitting me, or just an overwhelming desire to get the hell out…or all of the above…

I wish I could look around this house with a sense of nostalgia…I don’t…I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not a sentimental person or if I really do hate it here…

I hurt for the boys because they’re going to miss their friends and teachers…I hurt for the unfulfilled promises I see around this house…but I’m not hurting because I’m leaving…

My hope is that these feelings fade away as I adjust to the new place…I’m sure they will…I want it to happen quickly…and I think once the the moving process starts tomorrow, I’ll be excited…

Packing up everything by myself has been tiring and a little overwhelming, but it’s getting done…and is going better than any other move I’ve ever done…maybe because I’m doing it my way…on my schedule…based on my timetable…me, myself, and I…maybe because it’s just meant to be…maybe because I’m that person who just puts her head down and gets the job done…

Tomorrow is the start of something new…and I desperately need it.

Brave, Lucky, or Just Stupid?

I don’t consider myself brave – I’m too cautious for that…and sometimes I just don’t think things through (even though I pride myself on being a planner)…

I realized as I was packing yesterday that I still had Sean’s crib and needed to do something with it before Saturday…how I just realized it is pretty amazing to me, I nearly walk into it every night…so I posted it on Craigslist…and had a message from someone wanting to buy it within 4 hours…

I’m fairly cautious (most of the time) so I knew that just because the person said their name was “Nancy” didn’t mean anything…I couldn’t really imagine someone trolling the Craigslist Baby section to find a victim, but you never know…so I made arrangements to call and speak to “Nancy” this afternoon…and then I forgot…

Around 6:30pm, I received a text message from “Nancy” asking if I still wanted to sell the crib…and without even thinking about it, I texted back that I was home, come on down and get it…”Nancy” texted back that she would call to get directions…the phone rang, and that was the most masculine “Nancy” I’ve ever spoken to in my life…and yet, without even thinking, I gave directions to the house…

After I got off the phone, I realized that I had invited what was clearly TWO men over to the house to pick up a crib that was stuck in Sean’s room…Damn it, I’m an idiot sometimes!

I spent 15 minutes feverishly yanking the crib, pulling it apart, and getting it outside so at the very least they wouldn’t have a reason to come in the house…in case they had indeed been looking for victims in the Baby section on Craigslist…

Of course, once I got it outside, I started thinking that might not matter…I could still be overpowered…it’s just me and 2 little boys…I thought about showing Aidan the 911 button on my cell phone, but immediately imagined him pushing that button for fun, so that was out…I had packed the baseball bat The Ex bought years ago(for some unknown reason) a few days ago, so that was out…I grabbed the boxcutter I’d been using while I was packing…worst-case scenario, they might still get me, but I’d get them too…

They arrived, and I faked confidence in my knife-wielding abilities…I kept it in my hand while I was gesturing to some of the pieces-parts of the crib…I kept it in my hand as I took the money from “Nancy”…I flipped the blade as I was telling them I had left another part in the house…like I just walk around with a boxcutter all the time…

I think I scared the crap out of them…

I’m sure they’re still talking about the crazy-lady with the boxcutter…

My heart rate finally slowed down a little about 15 minutes after they left…

And for my mother and aunt who both occasionally read this, yes, I will be more careful next time…and YES I know how lucky I was…the question is, do they know how lucky THEY were?

A Simple Concept

Nothing much to say (for once), but I figured I would share the revelation I had today…it made perfect sense once it finally dawned on me…

Ok, back-story first (because I’m an explainer, remember?)…as I’ve said a million times, I want what I want when I want it…just part of who I am…not a patient person…but as it often happens in life, I’ve been forced to be patient…

Anyway, I find out today that what I thought was going to happen, what I want to happen, what should happen…well, it might not happen…so I did what I’ve for my almost 32 years on the planet (like the not-so-subtle hint that it’s almost my birthday?)…I sulked. Yes, I admit it, I’m a sulker…

And that’s when it hit me…I’m the only one around, why sulk?  Who’s it for?  I’m certainly not getting any sympathy from my children who aren’t paying attention and could care less anyway…the person directly affected by my disappointment isn’t here to notice my sulking and cheer me up…

So, on this issue at least, I’m done sulking…because there’s no point…

Such a simple concept…and it only took almost 32 years to sink in…

Leaping

I have this image of me just jumping, leaping into different parts of life…not asking, “What if” but instead having a Nike moment and just doing it…

As in all things, there are parameters – if the answer to the “What if” question is that it could harm my children, myself, or someone I love, then the answer is no…but if the answer is that I might get hurt (emotionally) or that I might fail, then I’ve got to find the will to make sure the answer is yes…not maybe, not sometime in the future, but yes…

Signs are everywhere, when you’re looking for them, and although the new fad on Facebook of posting quotes as pictures is, at times, almost annoying, it’s also full of wisdom…but in the past few days, the ones that have caught by attention have been about fear, courage, bravery, living life…

How do I become the person I’m meant to be if I’m afraid all the time?  Fear is powerful…it doesn’t make me act irrationally as it does for some – it paralyzes me…and I can’t live my life afraid…afraid of snakes, afraid of bugs, afraid of rodents – ok, sure, that’s still allowed…but afraid of living life because it might not turn out how I want it to?  I can’t accept that anymore…

I am constantly telling people I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the experiences I’ve had in the past…it’s true for everyone, and on some level, we all know it…so why am I holding myself back from experiences just because at some point there might be pain?  At the end of the day, as long as I’m still proud of who I am, that’s all that matters…right?

I’m not naive enough to think it will be easy to decide not to be afraid…and there will be plenty of times I’ll have to remind myself of this little revelation…but if I really do want to live my life out loud and spread my wings and (insert metaphor here) then I’ve got no other choice…

Whirlwind

This weekend has officially been a blur…and I. Loved. IT!

I saw my friend, Music Man, Friday night…and didn’t get home until 1:00am. That really was a long day, because I woke up at 5:00am Friday morning…but totally worth it…

Saturday morning I got a few things done – errands and stuff…and then, I took a nap…because I wanted to…because I could…because I was damn tired from the night before…I think I might be too old for staying up late…ha!

Saturday night, I saw Trace Adkins in concert, ate gator-on-a-stick, devoured deep-fried brownies, and split a “bucket o’ fries” with someone…It. Was. AWESOME!!!!  And I didn’t get home until 2:00am.

Mom #2, who was with me Saturday night at the concert, wondered how I will ever top this weekend…I’m not sure, but it’ll be fun trying!

Sunday morning, my friend DD texted me to say, “Let’s do breakfast instead of lunch!” Only for him did I drag my sorry butt out of bed 6 hours after I’d gone to sleep…and it’s only now while I’m sitting here writing this that I’ve slowed down since the start of my day…nearly 12 hours ago…

But, the lease on the new place is signed, the deposit is paid (that was only a little painful), and the boxes are ready to be packed…I was supposed to have done that this weekend, but I was only home long enough to sleep and shower…and tonight I’m so exhausted, I just don’t care…I’ll spend the week getting ready for the move this coming weekend…my birthday weekend…Happy freaking Birthday to me, huh?…actually, it’s a pretty damned good birthday…a new place – ready for new memories…I will start my 32nd year on this planet fresh…yeah, I’m good with that…

The Whirlwind Tour will continue this week as I get Aidan registered at his new school, Sean registered at daycare, the mailbox key dealt with (the previous tenant never turned it back in to my landlord, so I get to convince the USPS to give me another one…fun times…), the utilities turned over into my name, the utilities at the house dealt with, AND I’ve got to get myself ready to be out of the office for an entire WEEK!!!!!!!

I can sleep when I’m dead, right?

Working On It

BBFF said something to me today that has sort of blown my mind a little…he said, “I seriously think you need to let go of the old life and move forward with a new outlook.  Instead of saying ‘I never had this so I don’t want this’  why not say ‘I never had this so I can now enjoy something new’.”

That was in response to my complaint that there are so many things I’ve never experienced (that I think I should have), that I’m afraid to want something I can’t have – or that I won’t be able to hold on to it (whatever “it” is) and will be disappointed again…

I’m not sure how to process what he said and how to change my mindset…

I’m working on the small things right now…not counting tonight, I’ve been on the treadmill most nights this week…I’ve eaten MUCH healthier all week…I haven’t had a sweet tea in a few days, and I’ve had a lot more water…I’ve gone to bed at a fairly decent time the past few nights…all of this is because I know if I’m taking care of myself in these ways, then I’m going to feel better overall…

I’m a worrier…and now that I’m able to admit to the world (and myself) that I’m angry and hurt, I have to admit part of what I’m worrying about is a fear of not improving my own life, not moving ahead, of ultimately being rejected…intellectually I know this isn’t true, but there’s this thought of “what if all of this was for nothing, and I am in no way better off without The Ex than I was with him?”

So how I do change my outlook?  How do I start looking on this life as some sort of adventure that’s mine to create and make what I want of it? If I can answer that, then half the battle is already won…

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve got:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a ring I bought for myself last weekend…I adore butterflies…and I realized today that it was the most visual reminder to myself that I need to become more butterfly-like and less moth-like…

Hiding Out and Anger

After yesterday’s post, of course my mind didn’t just shut it all off and go, “Whew! Glad that’s off my chest – now on to bigger and better things!” Of course not…I’m a thinker…a dweller…an obsesser…and my mind can’t seem to stop…

I realized part of the problem is not just that I’m not taking care of myself the way that I should…I’m hiding out…even though I know better, I’m using the excuse that I can’t get hurt by anyone if I just fade into the background…if I just mold myself to the people around me…well, that’s bullshit and I know it…knowing and doing are two different things…

I’ve also had to admit to myself that I’m carrying around a lot of anger…a LOT of anger…there was no denying it anymore when I got into Aidan’s face this morning and yelled like a crazy person about some minor transgression that didn’t require that kind of response…and then I stayed angry for most of the morning…

Poor Aidan…yes, he’s a typical six year old with the typical lack of impulse…but what tends to set me on edge is any negative similarities he has with The Ex…which isn’t Aidan’s fault…and I used to be the level-headed parent…the one who discussed issues most of the time and only raised her voice when it was necessary – making it much more effective…now, I’m a yeller…and while its sometimes unavoidable, not as often as I’ve been doing it…

I’ve taken to listening to hard rock again when I’m driving to and from work…45 minutes of blaring guitars, pounding drums, and screaming vocals…all set to the highest volume I can stand…just so I can drown out the crap in my head…and pretend that I don’t care, that I don’t hurt, and that I haven’t been let down – again…

Moth to Butterfly…and Back?

I’ve been mulling over this one for a while…I’ve been lost in thought for days now…deep in thought, grinding my teeth…and while I was driving to work the other day, the image that came to mind was that for years I was like a little brown moth…for a while, I felt like I was blossoming into a butterfly…and now I’m moth-like again…

Ok, so maybe that analogy seems over the top…let me try to explain…

I have a lot of people…a lot…ask me why I ever married The Ex…and frankly, when I was 19, I thought that was the best I could do…he loved me, he was sweet, and he (for whatever reason) thought I was beautiful…so why wouldn’t I stick with him through every crazy drama, marry him, defend him, take care of him, work myself into the ground for him? Even though he never actually did anything that showed his love for me?

As the years passed, I sort of faded…my clothes were drab, I didn’t take care of my appearance (beyond normal hygiene, of course), I lost my entire sense of self and a lot of my identity…I was so worn down by life’s normal stresses that the rest didn’t matter…feeling like a woman held no meaning for me…I stopped being this sassy, sarcastic, sexual person that I was becoming at 18 and 19…

I look back now and realize that I know exactly when the beginning of the end of my marriage occurred…it was the day I saw a picture of myself on Aidan’s first birthday…in that instant, I started to care about myself…my appearance, my health, myself…it was a long battle…several years, Sean’s birth, and the recovery from being pregnant…the moment I finally realized I was worth taking care of was a defining moment that I didn’t even know I was having…

Had I been married to someone who understood the give and take of relationships…who had seen my worth as far more than a support system…maybe our marriage could have survived…but once I realized that I had a certain self-worth that was unrelated to him, I think I primed myself for being strong enough to say, “I can do bad by myself. You’ve got to go.”

In the months leading up to the split and in the weeks after (admittedly with some bad days and weeks in between), I started to find myself again…eventually I could smile…I could show confidence…hell, when necessary, I could fake confidence…ask Eebee, she’ll tell you I started being my sassy-self…she thought it was new…I didn’t have the ability to tell her that no, back in the day, I was like this…vivacious…that’s a good word – vivacious…

In the past few weeks, I think I’ve faded again…and some habits die hard…instead of truly believing that I need no man to be happy, I’m like that puppy you can kick but will wag it’s tail when you pet it…yeah, give me 5 seconds of decent behavior and apparently, I’ll forgive 5 days of being ignored or being taken for granted…I don’t smile…I laugh, but it’s usually a harsh, angry laugh …there’s nothing sassy, vivacious, or alive about me…for a while I felt light and airy…now I feel weighed down…And I’ve gone back to the self-destructive behavior that made me fat so many years ago…

None of what is causing it is unusual for anyone…and the fact that I feel this way probably isn’t unusual…some people will say it’s a slump and it will pass…yeah, the last slump took 12 years to work through…sorry, I don’t feel like going backward in time…I miss the person I was discovering…and I’m not completely sure how to get her back…

I don’t want to fade into the background again like the brown moth that you don’t see until their flitting around, desperate to get to the light…I might not ever be the most brightly colored butterfly out there, but I could definitely be one of the most memorable…how do I get back to that?

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