Tag Archives: planning

Thoughts on the Holidays

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So life…it’s the holiday season for me. I always want to love this time of year but for the past few years it has been hard not to see all the changes and differences in my life. My family does not do big get togethers. In fact Thanksgiving usually marks the beginning of my father’s “I hate Christmas/ this season in general,” story that I have had to listen to every year.

I last year I just wanted it to pass by but this year I find myself needing a little holiday cheer. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t have my own issues about the holidays. It is hard to listen to other people tell their happy stories and know that more than likely that will not be me. But I’m working on making my life what I want it to be instead.

I spent Thanksgiving with my friends and the weekend with my sister and her family. It was really wonderful. There was no drama, not fighting and I even clocked a few new good memories. Christmas is harder though. I can’t really remember a good one while I was married. We always went to see his family because he didn’t like/ was uncomfortable with mine.  And I have a hard time crashing someone else’s Christmas.  When I was child it was a special day for families (nuclear) and I don’t have one of those. Just me and the cats.

I’ll put up my tree sometimes this week and the boys (cats) will begin the yearly camp out.  I’ll burn candles that make the house smell nice and I’m sure a few batches of cookies as well. But all these things are just things. I miss singing carols with my sister. I miss baking with my mom. I miss having someone to share things with. I know that in part the distance is my choice. But I would rather have an empty Christmas than one that is filled with fighting and guilt.

So I’m off to find my own holiday. Don’t know if I’ll be successful but I’m going to give it a shot.

Going back to school: life changes 101

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Where to begin…for the first time in the better part of a year I am starting to feel like myself again. I have my own place, stable employment and I’m not an emotional train wreck. So where do I go from here? I have had several interesting conversations in the last month or so that have me re-thinking “The Plan.”

To begin with I should state that “The Plan” has already had several revisions and was crafted in a time of utter confusion and emotional instability- hence the need for revisions. I started with something along the lines of “get the hell out of dodge!” this early stage had notions of running as far to the other coast as my little Neon would take me. Thank God my best friend made me sleep on that one.

Then it moved on to “Survive, we must keep safe.”  So I focused on my job but in my semi crazy state any change made me even more neurotic and so I moved again. To a place with a little more space and a lot more issues. Finally, I reached “Remember how to breathe.” This actually being the most challenging phase of the transition to reclaiming my life. Without the distractions of pain and survival to take up my waking thoughts and am now faced with the wonderful question of “What do “I” want to do with my life?”

The obvious answer would be to double my salary and go back to teaching. But after five minuets of logical thought I know that is not the answer. Because the truth is that I loved my students more than I loved my subject or teaching itself.  And I know that I cannot go back to throwing myself  into a life that is empty or diminishing. So I am left to ponder what kind of life/do I want?

In my head I can see a new path for myself and at the same time I have a lot of nagging voices saying things like “You went to school for five years to throw it all away? You want to go to night/correspondence school? isn’t that just a rip off?” But deep in my heart I know that I cannot go back to teaching and I cannot stay where I am either. My life here is good but it is only a stepping stone to real health and stability in my life. And I realize that I could pack up and move across the US and probably be okay now but I would be doing something that I don’t love in the name of money and I am not that kind of person.

I’m not saying that I won’t work a job I don’t “love,” I’m saying that I will not dedicated more than a year of my life to it if there is not an end goal and I think that is what I have finally found. So I’m going back to school to be a Vet Assistant. Other than teenagers my other great life long passion a has been animals. In fact I almost went to college for zoo keeping.

I know if you have been reading my old blogs you’re thinking “wasn’t she writing a book?” and I was and have. But I also realize that I have to eat, and the writing will always be there waiting for me. I know the “real” writer’s are rolling their eyes and rightly so. I am not a real writer. I am a person who loves stories. Real writers write when there is no bread. Get up and do it every day and don’t wait for inspiration and that is not me. All I will say in my defense is that the birth of my would be novel is very much rooted in the death of my marriage and for now they are too closely bound.

There are many things that I am just awakening to. I took my first pictures in months of my bran new niece. It felt good to do something creative but I feel myself holding back. I know I am afraid to open the door. Anyone who works in a creative way knows that whether you mean it too or not your life ends up on the page, canvas or plate. It is the nature of creativity and there is a part of my the is still scared.

This is step one: imagine a different life. I was talking with a friend when I realized in some small way I already have done this. When I used to sit in my best-friends house crippled by a broken heart I would dream about the place I knew I would one day have. I saw an open room with lots of light a large window and I felt happy there. The other day I realized that I was already there. Sitting in my living room with the sliding glass door open to the balcony. Light streamed in on my two cats blissing out. I smiled looking at the tree just beyond and realized I was home. That place I had dreamed about finding was here.

Now I have to dream a bigger dream, one where I’m not just safe and stable: one where I am creative and passionate, one where I am brave and bold and not afraid to try again and again because I and worth it. My dreams are worth it and I still have lots and lots of time to be and do what-ever I decide. I’m about to be 32 and I am starting over- Yay me!!!

My new place…again!

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dinning room

Okay so I think this will be my last move for 8 months to a year. When I look back over the past year it has been one hung change after another. First I moved last Sept from Tx (where I had loved for 4 yrs) to Charlottesville Virgina. In Nov my mom was diagnosed with cancer and I flew home to be with her for two weeks and spent Thanks giving  with her and my sister.

I came home and my life as a knew it fell apart and I moved out in Jan to live with my best friend in Hahira GA. I lived with her until May when I moved in with a co-worker.  I lived with Laura until Labor-day weekend when I moved into my own place!!!

My life has settled down quiet a bit since then. My personal life is 89% sorted and my mom is doing amazing and well on the way to recovery. My cat (Ben) no longer hisses, growls or cries all the time. My other cat (Sandy) has only thrown up once since we moved and he had been up to two times a week not to long ago. The improvement in their comfort and disposition warms my heart.

living room

I have really enjoyed seeming all of my things again. I forgot how when you see your personality reflected in the things around you there is a sense of  “I belong here” that naturally goes with it. In its own way it is quiet telling that for the better part of a year I have in very real terms felt homeless. Not that I was not loved or cared for but that there was no possibility of permanence in the places that I have been.

Now I feel the opportunity to be expansive not just physically but in the ability to let my guard down and just be me, what ever that looks like. I get up at 7 am because I like too. I work out for an hour because I want to. I have a quiet time because I need to and then I shower and start my day.

I know it is not the life for everyone, quiet and full of cats but it is the life I choose for myself. For too many years i was not strong enough and then when I was I chose to give it up for something I though I wanted more. Now I find myself re-learning how to live on my own and I can say I’m proud that at each turn though hard or frightening I keep on going.

I keep fighting for the life I know I want and deserve and will have again; with or without someone else in it.  I have come to realize that the main component that matters is me. If I am calm and dedicated to my goals the rest will follow in its own good time.

So here’s to all of us that life shook up and said “try a different path” weather we thought we wanted it or not and made the best of it; keeping our harts warm as we learn to live again.

Hurt next two exits

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Hey,

So…I know I’ve kind of fallen off the map but sometimes life becomes overwhelming and we have to pull back a bit and take care of ourselves and reconsider. This is where I have been for the past month.

I received formal separation papers from my ex-husband, did not celebrate my five-year anniversary and just drove 11 hrs one way to get the rest of my stuff from VA and bring it to GA. Thank God for good friends and sleep. (This is not my photo) We passed this sign on the way to VA, I could not help but feel the irony.

In the wake of all this I have decided a few things and feel that as the next month rolls by I’ll get a better grip on what I want to do and how to make that happen. I’m not technically divorced because there is a house to sell. But I’m changing all the things I can with out papers and have started to refer to him as me “x”. This is actually a very liberating change.

I don’t know what my life will look like from here, but I do know it will be better. It will hurt less and have more hope. Thanks for hanging in there with me. I know that it has been stop and start for a while now but that is what my life has felt like for the last six months. Hopefully I will get in a groove and settle down a bit. One should not move three times in six months, it’s a lot of work! And it make Ben (cat) neurotic.

So here’s to the last big step on my part and the hope I have for the days to come.

 

Coming together

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I have spent the past 5 months waiting to see how my life would change and turn. I knew it was unlikely that it would remain the same but giving up that life was so much harder than anything I have ever been through. But now as the last embers fade I look at whats left and find myself surprised.

I have a job, a place to stay and my two cats. That is a good place to start but my heart wants more than mere existing. I miss creating, I miss adventure, I miss trusting myself enough to try. So here I go off into the world of finding me…again. In a way it is funny because I spent the better part of three years in therapy working on my issues. And I know that I would not be doing so well if not for all that work in session and on the yoga mat.

But how do you let yourself dream a new life? For a while I  told myself that I wasn’t staying so I intentionally avoided getting to know people and making any connections with this place. But now that I have decided to stay my world is shifting again. I live with a really easy-going girl and for the first time in my life no one care what I’m doing. There are no lectures, pregnant pauses or disappointed looks. And at this juncture in my life I need that ability to stumble my way through this as each day finds me. That is not to say I’m reckless with abandon but I have bad days too and its high time I started admitting it. No one expects that level of accommodation accept me.

So why is she going on and on about this? Because I am making some changes for the good. Yesterday I finally got around to researching yoga studios (not many) and gyms in the area. Then I went and checked out my local YMCA, they have a really nice one here and I ended up joining. Then I looked into places of worship and there are a couple of possibilities.

I am eating better and trying to be conscious of my choices. I have a friend coming for the holiday weekend but not until Monday so I think I am going on an over night trip just for me. I haven’t taken any photos since I have been here and for me that is quite telling. But it has also been the truth, it hurt too much to look at all the beautiful things around me when my life was such a mess. Now that  doors are closing and I am choosing there is room for light and the loveliness of the world again.

So here’s to choosing to “really” live again and not sleep walk through my life.

question of the week: 5-25-2011

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So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “home” and what makes a place home. For me this is a complicated question. I know for many people it is summed up as the place they grew up. But for those of us who have had wandering lives and childhoods it’s not that simple.

I think the closest I can come is saying “the place where my parents live.” That is not to say the geographic location but the fact that they reside there. If there were to a house I had never seen it would still be equally home.

Now as I adjust to my new life, I find I have similar thoughts about my own home. As long as me and the boys (cats) can be together it is my home.

So what makes your home homie? I would love to know.

I’m back…

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The past few weeks have been a bit crazy. I moved out of my best friends house and into a co-workers house. It has been a good change for me. My best friend had a death in the family and they needed my room for family.

It seems like a small change moving from one place to another but I feel more relaxed and like I have more choices here. Of course the dynamic is totally different. I went from living with a married couple who know me very well, to a girl my age who is an acquaintance. I like being a “roommate,” and being on even ground with the person that I am living with. It is nice to come and go as I please with no other obligations.

That said there is something about always having someone to talk to that I will miss and this new independence  is teaching me to do things I never would have before. Like go to the movies by myself. Laura (my room-mate) teases me about it but I’m really proud of myself. For years I didn’t do the things that I wanted to because my husband didn’t want to do them, so now I’m working on doing things for myself.

I am a little torn about the whole moving in June and were/ what I will be doing. I am beginning to feel like maybe I shouldn’t rush off just yet. (warning personal crap) I thought I was doing fine but then I got several emails from my husband and it sent me into a tail spin. I wanted to believe that I was doing fine and “getting on” with my life but the reality is I’m still holding my breath. Not that we will get back together but to see how bad that aftermath will be, how much more will I have to pay in emotional time and financial strain before this all ends. And I realized that maybe I’m not ready to move across the US just yet.

Living with Laura has made me think about how my life here “could” be. Me working my little job living in an apartment with my two cats, figuring out how to be me again. I wonder if this is not the kinder option, instead of going far away to lick my wounds were no one knows me. At the same time it is hard to be here and have everyone quietly expecting me to “be” a certain way. Some people want me to rage and cry and throw a fit about all this, others want me to talk and talk and talk about it. It seems it doesn’t matter that I am choosing to deal with this in my own way and time, there is always someone waiting to tell me I”m doing it wrong.

I don’t really know what to say to those people except, I’m doing the best I can, in the best way I know how. Most of them have never been divorced.

But that is enough about that. Since moving I have been doing yoga three times a week and walking twice a week, eating mostly vegetarian and feeling much better. I am realizing how important morning quiet time and exercise is to making my day better. It’s not about being fit, it is about starting my day with focus and love for myself. I feel better at the end of the day, when I start it off with a quiet heart and mind.

Well I think I have rambled on long enough for now. I will do my best to get back up to speed with the daily writing but it might take a few days to find my groove.

Thanks for all the kind words, love and support. It is encouraging to know my words do not fall on deaf ears.