Monday, April 30, 2012

When she makes money ...

In my marriage, I was the breadwinner three-fold over the STBX.

Photo Credit: slate.com
For what it's worth (pun intended), it never really mattered to me that I made more money (at least it didn't initially, but more on that in a moment), because I have never been the type to weigh one's income when falling in love.

It just isn't my style.

While being showered with gifts from a man can be flattering, and even though being financially supported by a man toys with the overly romanticized idea of "chivalry", it all feeds into that old-fashioned and materialistic assumption of a man having to provide for his woman that just rubs the independent feminist inside of me in all the wrong ways.  Male "masters of the universe" that flaunt their wealth in an effort to impress me have always pissed me off more than they've ever turned me on.

I'm too much of an, "I can provide for myself" type-of-woman to hold any sort of value in a man's ability to financially provide for and support me.  Instead, I've always treasured a man's generosity of his time, affection, spontaneity and caring so much more.  I find being both adored and respected as both a companion and lover a hell of a lot more attractive than being doted on with the giving of material things.

Accordingly, the STBX's dismal earning potential as it compared to mine never played a significant part in the factors of why I got hitched when I should have ditched.  The dynamic that played out, however, over the course of our engagement and marriage due to the uneven financial contributions to our lives did play a part in the ultimate demise of our marriage.

Why?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Breakup 101, Episode 4: Dance in the Rain

The end of a relationship is often wrought with emotional pain and heartache. If said end is defined by divorce, the process has the potential to be one of the most difficult and harrowing life experiences and it ranks right up there with coping with the death of a loved one.

Some even argue that divorce is like death, or worse.

There are others though, like me for example, who see the potential for starting over wonderful when faced with the end of what was once thought to be forever.  Instead of paying penance for my failed marriage, both self-imposed and inflicted by others' well-meaning "advice", I'm running forward in a celebration that is nothing short of a liberating declaration of monumental growth, positive change, rewarding self-reflection and personal re-invention.

I do not have to wait for my divorce process to be finally over before I get on with living my life. I am living my life because life does not wait for anything.


Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. Instead, it is about learning to dance in the rain. 

And I am dancing. Every.Single.Day.

Not because I seek distraction from the difficulties in my life brought on by going through a divorce, but because I am resilient and I have learned the hard way that only I can cultivate my own happiness.  I've also learned that life is too short to put my happiness on hold whenever a shit storm is brewing.  There is always a shit storm brewing. Divorce or no divorce. Married or not. Employed or not. Rich or poor.

Do you get where I am going with this?

Life isn't going to wait for you to live it only when things are as pleasant as a bright sunny day.  How you navigate a breakup, a disappointment, a bump in the road ... or a divorce ... well, in my opinion, you can either live and learn from the experience in a way that further defines how you chose to live your life or you can let the experience define you in a way that prevents you from living your life to the fullest.

Once you've dealt with the God-awful and immediate pain and grief of mourning (because, for the record, dealing with that part is indeed necessary), how do you avoid wallowing in that experience, stuck-in-the-mud as they say, to instead find yourself not just moving on, but dancing in the streets of your new journey?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Divorce is messy. Literally.

I'm going through one hell of a divorce.

There, I admitted it.

I may be emotionally over the failure that was my marriage, and I may have sufficiently grieved the loss of "the dream" and all those hopes and plans laid up with the wrong person, but the divorce part in itself sucks balls. Big, sweaty, hairy balls that smell like rotten cheese.  The headaches of trying to short sale the house I willingly walked away from, the legalities of having to wait one long-ass year of an official separation before we can move forward with severing the marital bond between us on paper and the painstaking particulars of co-parenting long distance with a douche canoe ...

< insert one long, exasperated sigh here >

If I was a drinker, I would be drunk right now.

Instead, my fridge still sits aptly stocked full with half a liquor store's shelf supply in leftovers from my divorce party held last weekend (more on that soon, I promise!). If I have even one drink tonight, I won't make it to bed without washing my face and brushing my teeth ... I'll just pass out in a heap at the bottom of my bed with all my clothes on. J-dog will effectively steal my pillows at the top of the bed and I'll wake up in the middle of the night with sock-in-the-mouth breath, moaning about the misery that is my life because I can't get her to move.

Don't worry. My life isn't miserable. Far from it actually. For a divorcing single mother with a thousand and one obligations and responsibilities, I'm surprisingly happy most of the time. Ecstatic even. Divorce is freeing; it was in my marriage that I was miserable, let's not forget.

I think I'm just feeling a little burned out.

Fried.

Cooked.

Overwhelmed.

My house is so messy and disorganized lately that an exhaustion-induced voice in my head keeps telling me to just throw things away instead of figuring out where to put put them. Trashing the mess seems like an easier solution than finding the time and energy to deal with it. Instead, I just shove things into areas of the house that I don't use very often. Like my guest bedroom. Or my downstairs closet. Then there is the basement ...

I just don't have time to deal with most of it.  Changing between winter and summer clothes, paperwork, mail and more paperwork, baby stuff that needs to be sold or donated, crap, crap and more crap. It never ends.

There's also a possibility that I may have to move in less than a year, so really -- why should I bother doing anything at the moment?

Sure, I clean up our kitchen regularly. And I vacuum the house many times a week.  I also do the bathrooms pretty often and our laundry is usually done (although, hardly ever put away).  But the rest of this place? Oh.My.God. My married\-self would have cringed, cried and then cracked if she had to live in such a state of chaos.  Don't even get me started on my car. That beast hasn't had a bath since before the STBX and I separated!

Having ADHD doesn't help either. It instead has the opposite effect. My piles of crap are accumulating their own piles of paper and my piles of paper are buried under crap.

Crap.

It is time for some spring cleaning big-time, but all I really want to do is hibernate like a bear and catch up on my sleep. And my photography. And this blog. Oh, yeah and maybe throw myself into my real job too so that I don't lose it any time soon.

I knew divorce would be messy when I decided to take that route, but I had no idea how literal the concept was.  I need a maid but instead, I pay a lawyer.

Maybe I should have a drink tonight ... just one. Then bed. I can't see the mess with my eyes closed. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dumb Marriage vs. Smart Marriage

Was my marriage stupid or was it just unsuccessful? Or was it unsuccessful mostly because it was dumb? 


All marriages will go through good and bad times. Isn't that not only expected going in to the deal, but also made pretty clear during the recitation of most couple's vows on their wedding day? 

(Although in my case, the STBX messed up that part and instead of promising to love me when it was both "easy" and when it "was an effort", he stammered that he would instead love me when it was both "easy" and when it was "effortless" -- and he was reading from a card! Red flag? Um yeah, you could say that!)

What isn't made clear, for almost half of those out there getting married in this country as evidenced by the current divorce rate, is the differences between what makes a dumb marriage versus what makes a smart one.  From what I've gathered, a dumb marriage is doomed to fail when faced with problems while a smart marriage is likely to succeed even when faced with the same damn problems.

Huh? Hold the phone ...

Why is that? 

According to themarriagecounselingblog.com,  

A smart marriage is defined by the fact that a couple will react to situations and problems in a smart, resolving way in order to not let it affect the marriage adversely. 

So, while most couples fight about the same basic things -- sex and intimacy, money, children, in-laws, time management and work-life balance etc. -- in a smart marriage, couples most often have already learned what to expect surrounding most of these issues before saying, "I do", and in their commitment to one another and their relationship, these couples actively work together to each acquire the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to handle disagreements and challenges in a way that strengthens their relationship. 

My marriage was not smart.

Not only was it entered into for the wrong reasons, and not only did we lack common values, but we just were dumb and dumber still when it came to what is expected of actually being married.  So, from my own experience, in a dumb marriage there is a general lack of understanding when it comes to what may be expected.  Furthermore, instead of learning skills necessary for effectively managing differences and challenges (that should have been predictable for the most part, mind you), we actively acquired behaviors that destroyed us and tore us to pieces.  

Our disagreements were horrendous. Conflict-resolution was practically non-existent. 

Even if our love was a true love for all of the right reasons (it wasn't), we still wouldn't have survived.  The utter stupidity of how we barely managed our marriage would have killed even the purest love and devotion for one another, and we probably would have ended up divorced by middle-age.  Because our love was fickle, not true and based on bullshit more often than not ... the failure came quickly (dare I say, thankfully?).  I first wanted out when I was just five months pregnant with our son; it took almost another year and half for the failure to become so apparent that it could no longer be ignored, but that was still just a few weeks after our second anniversary.  

What was the most stupid about our marriage was that more often than not, neither of us could let go of our own individuality even if doing so would have been beneficial for our relationship.  Also, because we failed to establish open and honest communication early on, resentment and hostility swooped in fast and furious. 

Compromise didn't stand a chance.  

We each continued to live as we might have if we had never gotten married in the first place. What I mean is, we were both too stubborn to adapt to being two individuals in a successful partnership.  As the same problems arose without resolution over and over, we each became more and more unyielding in our own way of dealing.  We lived together as individuals completely unsuccessfully because we never learned how to actually be together

It's no wonder we are getting divorced, really.

Marriage counseling couldn't even save us.  Four months of going to therapy as a couple fueled my desire to leave because it merely served to reveal how broken we really were; how dire the situation really was.  How can you "rebuild" something that never really was in the first place? 

I'm hoping that through examining this dumb marriage vs. smart marriage idea, I am more apt to make better decisions surrounding any serious relationship of my future.  Not only do I want a true love that is real with someone that I share common values with, but I also want to be able to stand on a solid foundation with someone that still somehow makes my heart soar higher than it ever has before ...  

I'm taking the failures from my dumb marriage and using the lessons learned therein to increase my chances for success when there is a next time.  That's not only wonderful, but smart too.  Wise even.  

(Wise doesn't mean old; I will punch you in the throat!)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday, Episode 1: There are only lessons

New series for my blog! A wonderful way for me to share some of my photography with a little bit of a twist, Phenom style. 

Photo Credit: ME!
Taken with my Rebel; Bay Beach - Eastham, MA
























This is how I've been approaching almost every single aspect of my life for quite some time now.  It started when my marriage started to fall apart just as soon as it had started.  It became even more so when I became a mother. I would get it tattooed across my forehead if I thought for a minute that I would forget it now ... ok, maybe not; but you get the idea. 

It is a way of thinking that is helping to guide this starting over wonderful journey I'm always talking about.  Through managing various aspects of the divorce process, being a single mother, making choices in my career path, learning how to co-parent and in dating while separated ... this mantra is always on my mind. 

The undercurrent is that the more I learn to love myself, the more I learn to have compassion for myself for mistakes made and the more accepting I am of the consequences of those mistakes.  

Self-compassion helps fuel self-esteem.  With these things I find trust in me.   

If you make a mistake, learn from it. Change what you can, move on from what can't be changed and stop casting blame on yourself for anything outside of your control.  Through practicing this, I'm finding that you can learn to trust yourself more and more as time goes on and with trust in yourself comes confidence in yourself. With confidence it becomes easier to let go of negativity most often fueled by lingering pain and hurt, allowing yourself to instead embrace optimism.

With optimism, everything and anything that you want out of this life is possible.  And that is wonderful. 

I'm getting there. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Confronting the Stigma of the Serial Monogamist

Most of the dating advice I've read or heard these days encourages "playing the field" and this idea is commonly passed off and believed to be better than practicing anything resembling anything close to what may be known as serial monogamy.  Is there really only one way to go about dating?

I don't think so. 

"Playing the field" is just not my style.  Maybe it's the hopeless romantic inside of me that will always draw hearts in the sand ...



Photo Credit: capturejerseyshore.com


Throughout my life, my dating experience has typically followed a pattern.

I find myself single and looking. I meet one or more interesting prospects. Some flirting ensues; a few dates. Eventually, the candidates with the least potential are weeded out and I find myself continuing to date someone I click with.  I don't like to juggle when it comes to dating and I've always openly embraced exclusivity over casually playing the field.  If it doesn't work out, there's a break-up (some worse than others) and then soon enough I find myself single and looking again.

That's my pattern.

The lengths of time where I've remained single vary from a just couple of months to just over a year. The lengths of the various relationships that I've been in vary just as much, with only four qualifying as serious.  There was the high school boyfriend that I thought I loved, the college boyfriend that I truly loved, the divorced guy that I pretended to love and then there's the STBX.

The longest I've ever been out of an exclusive relationship since I started dating in the first place was the year or so I spent mostly solo before getting serious with the STBX and, interestingly, that relationship turned out to be the longest I've ever had, not to mention the most serious, complicated and life-changing.  Six years total; soon to end in divorce.

Since the breakdown of what was thought to be forever, I've been in one brief "relationship" that abruptly ended in absolute insanity when I found out that my new beau's idea of "exclusive" meant me on the side occasionally, while he regularly went home to a wife that I didn't know about.  I'm left wondering if that mishap really even counts, hence the quotations around the label.

Regardless, I find myself single and looking for the second time since leaving my marriage.  I also find myself confronted with the social stigma of the serial monogamist.

Single Phenom Mom, Episode 1: Shower in Peace?

After kids, long, relaxing hot showers and taking your time getting gussied up will become a luxury your life will hardly afford you anymore. I promise. Married or not. One kid or five. It doesn't matter.

Photo Credit: ModestNeeds.org

After kids, you'll also sit on the toilet with the door open as your child(ren) talk to you and/or try to touch you or climb on you; lest you want to suffer the consequences of closing the door in order to do your business.  As a parent, single or not, there just won't be many times that you'll be able to use the bathroom alone to do anything.  It is a fact of parenthood. At least until your kids are old enough to be left unattended in a room of your house for longer than 30 seconds.

If you are childless and you are reading this, savor the solo shitting time that you have now. Seriously; relish it. From this moment forward, remember what you've read here and take an extra few minutes every time you use a bathroom to do anything solo (shit, shower, shave etc.) and just really try and appreciate the peace you have to be alone in there.


No one's hanging on your leg demanding your attention with an incessant, "Up!" as you brush your teeth. 

You don't have to deal with smudged, crooked eyeliner because a thrown ball/toy has ricocheted off the vanity into your arm (or face) mid-application. 

Your legs, when you so choose to shave them at your leisure, don't look like you walked through a thorn bush with shorts on.

While you're sitting on the throne, no one is trying to wedge themselves in-between your legs or, even worse, make their way up into your lap.  


Solo bathroom time just may be the number one thing I miss from the days before I became a parent. Even more so now that I am a single parent.  In my marriage, there were at least rare occasions where I could have the STBX take care of our child so I could take care of myself and my bathroom needs alone and without feeling a need to rush. Now that I'm alone and always rushing around as a single mom going through a divorce, I sometimes wish I could hire someone to come over on occasion just to have that occasional luxury back.      

I miss solo bathroom time so much that most days, I get up a whole hour earlier than necessary just so I can shit, shower and shave alone, and in peace, well before the time frame that C-Man typically wakes up hollering for me to get him his "deeenk" (that's drink).  I also make it a point to sleep in a bit sometimes, before bringing C-Man to daycare in my sweats, just so I can return home and still have the luxury of at least showering and shaving by my lonesome without having to sacrifice precious sleep to do so. Those days, I end up making up the work time sacrificed for the solo shower after he goes to bed at night. That's the catch-22 of working from home: you can shower while your kid is at daycare and you are "working" but you'll have to make up that time you were "working" while also showering and/or shaving in peace.

As a single parent, if you borrow time from one area you have to make it up some where else. And it usually means giving up something like sleep or time to yourself. Or eating.  As a single parent that works from home, this time juggle gets even more complicated. Throw some ADHD in there and it just gets crazy at times. (Or maybe I'm just going crazy?)

Most weekends, and then other times when my normal routines fall to the wayside for various reasons (again, see the above paragraph), I end up showering with C-Man in the bathroom with me. Sometimes on weekends, if we don't have any plans for example, I can wait until his early afternoon nap to do my thing; but most of the time I can't because of an obligation we need to show up at or take care of where sweats are just not appropriate and having some personal hygiene is.

So, he ends up there in the bathroom with me while I do my business.

Oh joy. 

I don't care how "baby-proofed" any room appears to be; I just don't feel comfortable leaving C unattended while I shower. Toddlers have this uncanny ability of proving your baby-proofing skills defunct even when you're standing right there with your eyes glued to them unblinking; forget leaving a toddler alone for more than a minute or two! 

And I can't leave him in his crib awake while I do what I need to because he's at that age where attempts to escape the crib could happen at any time.  I have these horrific visions of him breaking his arm while trying to leap out of his crib akin to Buzz Light Year discovering he can't fly.  You know that scene in the original Toy Story when Buzz is all deranged after discovering that he is in fact, just a toy, and in trying to fly out the window of Sid's house, he plummets to the staircase floor and loses an arm? (Okay, yeah, the responsibilities and pressures of single parenthood can make you a tad irrational and overprotective.)

I've learned that having my baby in the bathroom with me while I do my business usually works out pretty well, so long as I am prepared anyway. I've also learned the hard way how imperative it is that he's fed and freshly changed before slathering my legs in shaving cream.

How do I keep him occupied while I'm doing my thing and he's shut in there with me? Or rather, how do I keep him from driving me batty and/or destroying my bathroom before I've even finished rinsing my hair?

With a bucket of fun (mega-blocks and some other toys I rotate out from week to week) and some baby-proofing, of course. And music!

Scattering the blocks all over is always better than building with them

It works for now, as I believe it is age appropriate for him. I've used other various tricks in the past and if you've come here for some advice on what else you could do for entertaining babies and toddlers of various ages and stages, oh fellow pee-in-peace-deprived parent, please read on below. I've taken the time to compile a list of handy tricks to somehow help you bring back your pre-child days of using a bathroom alone. Sort of.  Please feel free to add any more ideas that you've tried, or that you may have heard of, below this post in the comment section.  I would love to hear from you!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Wonderful Writing, Episode 1: Flashback Poetry

Photo Credit: baldheadqueen.com
Years ago, as in all of high school and then through my first few years of college, I loved poetry.  Both soaking up the lyrical genius of published poets and trying my hand at writing some of my own.

In a recent conversation with a friend about his poetry, it occurred to me that I haven't written a poem of my own in just about five years.  Not only that, but it has hit me like a brick to the head that I stopped all things poetry related just around the time when things got serious with the STBX.  I wonder if the timing correlation holds any meaningful significance?

Regardless, I'm going to get back into creative writing by starting a "Wonderful Writing" series here on my blog. I'm a wee rusty with the whimsical wording, so some of these episodes may seriously suck and you are free to comment whenever you see fit with a message of something similar to, "Um, pull the plug on this idea, Phenom, before you embarrass yourself any further." Or, you can just give me a big thumbs down and throw a viral version of a tomato at me.

Whatever.

For my first episode of this series, I've pulled up a poem that I wrote in May of 2004. That's right; almost eight years ago. I was 22 and my college apartment had recently been robbed and ransacked.  My roommate was also studying abroad at the time, so I was home alone every night. I was also single and had been for well over a year; and I was still heart broken all that time out from a break-up with the man who had been my first real, adult love and my longest relationship.

I was really alone.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Signs Your Single Guy is Not So Single

Everyone lies. That's a truth that I wish everyone could openly admit. Most of us tell little lies. Harmless lies. Lies that "save face".


The dog ate my homework. 

Yes, I was stuck in a traffic jam in the middle of the country at two o'clock in the afternoon and that's why I am late -- there MUST have been an accident somewhere. 

No, those jeans don't make your butt look big. 


Everyone doesn't, however, tell great big GIANT lies that are hurtful, disruptive, manipulative and/or sociopathicly disturbing and conniving.

I ain't never been married before, baby. 

I'm just a hard-working single dad who's previously gotten the shit end of the stick when it comes to women and relationships.

I'm available and yours for the taking. 

I can't be with you this weekend because my dad had a heart-attack. 

I can't be with you (again) the following weekend because my dad will have another heart attack. 


Turns out, the joke was on me -- courtesy of a Mr. Handsome turned Mr. Lying-Cheating-Bastard.

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com

Since I found out that the fool is married and oh-so-NOT-available as originally advertised, I've not only reached out to his wife, but I've also discovered that she is in fact his SECOND wife, that he wouldn't know squat about being a single parent if the realities of that undertaking smacked him upside the head like a two-by-four and that no, his father never had a heart attack, never mind two of them. That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the man's disgusting lies, but I digress ...

If hindsight is 20/20, looking back on our "relationship" were there signs that I missed that might have led me to the truth sooner? Where were the red flags? Did he hide them so well that I just couldn't see the warnings lurking beneath the murky waters of a new relationship; a new love? Maybe.

Let's dissect this together, shall we?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dear Son: You were not a mistake, but marrying your father was.



The above image is only half-serious. It sure makes me giggle. Anyway, on to the real meat and potatoes of this post ... 


To my sweet, silly and cheeky baby boy,

Soon enough, it will no longer be appropriate for me to refer to you as my baby. But I probably will anyway 'til the day I die.  If it embarrasses you, frankly that's too bad. If my own mother taught me anything at all about motherhood, it's that part of my job is to make sure you suffer complete and utter embarrassment on my behalf from time to time.  If you hold it against me, I know that such antics will only be temporary. You'll come back around.

(Note: I have confidence in that theory now, but please feel free to reassure me that you will always be mine and dear to my heart on occasion during the retched teenage years, okay?)

I can hardly believe that in just a few days, you'll be 19 months old. It seems somewhat crazy to accept that it has been more than a year and half since you came into this world, screaming your head off, one late afternoon in the early days of September 2010.  After days and days of non-progressive labor, you finally arrived (and with great protest, I might add). You were both feisty in a demanding sort of way, and observant in a genius sort of way, right from the start. I beamed with pride immediately and I haven't stopped since.

Every day you do something that makes me smile. Every day you do something that makes me proud. Every day you do something that reminds me of how much I love you.

I love you more than I could ever put into words. As you know, I am a woman with plenty to say 99% of the time, so to say that I am at a loss as to how I may articulate just how much I love you should put my adoration into some sort of comprehensible perspective for you. It is indescribable just how much I love you. It is overwhelming.

I love you more than you'll ever know. You may have an idea someday, if you should ever have children of your own, but I don't think you'll ever fully grasp just how much I live and breath for you simply because I am your mother and you are my son.  A mother's love is the most profound and life changing experience one could ever have and I am grateful to be so blessed.

You are the reason why I do not regret marrying your father.

I love you enough to always try and be honest with you, as much as your age and critical thinking abilities permit anyway; I strongly feel that it is my duty as your mother to not shield you from certain truths about this life we are each so very blessed to live.

I hereby vow to always tell you that marrying your father was indeed a complete and utter mistake on both of our parts, but that regardless of that mistake, you weren't anything but a profound gift with a purpose. You were brought here for a reason. You were also very much wanted, wished for and prayed for. Yes, your father and I did love each other at one time, but for all of the wrong reasons and our relationship was not good for either of us. We were just not a good match and trying to stay together would have been detrimental to all three of us.  I hope someday you can forgive us.

Marriage is meant to be forever, but sometimes people make mistakes when it comes to choosing who to spend forever with.  In my experience, it is better to own up to one's mistakes than hide from them (or behind them).

This is a truth about life I hope to never shield you from. Because, in my experience (again), it seems to always turn out better in the end when we are left to grapple with the truth from day one without ever having to deal with the confusion of mistruths, lies and misrepresentations of what is real.

Unlike a mother's love for her child, sometimes other kinds of love (romantic and otherwise) can be anything but pure, right and good. I want you to know this only because I hope that in knowing, you can maybe avoid making the same mistakes as your parents when choosing a mate for life. Divorce is something that I don't wish on anyone, least of all you and I will fight for you with all I have in me as your mother to try and raise you to be wiser, stronger and more self aware than I was when it comes to matters of the heart.

Above all, I hope that you'll always know that I carry your heart in my own, my dear son. I love you and because I love you, I will try my very best to always tell you the truth. Even when the truth is hard. Even when the truth isn't fair.

I just love you that much.

Where there is truth, there is always love.

Learning My Truths, Episode 3: I am resilient

Previously in this series, I've admitted that I will never master multitasking (hello, ADHD anyone?) and that I wear my emotions on my sleeve most of the time (even when it serves me poorly, hence why I've hired a lawyer to represent me in court).  In related posts, I've also delved into how far from perfect I am and, not to mention, how I am really okay with all of that and with what makes me vulnerable.

How about I share something about myself that is a bit more positive for a change? Shocker!

Everyone has talents and strengths. One of mine is being a master of resiliency. For every time I've ever been knocked down, I just get right back up. I bounce back. Sometimes, I bounce farther than where I started off in the first place.  I think I'm becoming more of aware of why that is, and it may be more of a learned skill than an innate one, but more on that in a moment ...

If divorce has to be a process, resilience is also a process and it is one that must be in the subtext of the overall journey if you plan on not just getting through it, but rising up out of it to end up somewhere wonderful when all is said and done.

Resilience must be part of the journey and you must chose it to be part of yours if you want your travels to take you somewhere wonderful. 

You can not trudge through shit in this life and just expect to come out clean on the other side without putting some actual effort into the process. You have to get yourself to the shower, turn the water on and actually stand under the pounding stream to accomplish purging yourself of said shit. It is messy, sometimes the water scalds and yes, sometimes your toddler will flush the toilet on you and freeze your ass faster than you can leap out without breaking your neck.

First and foremost, some effort is required. No one is just resilient by nature. At least, I can't seem to find any evidence supporting a theory that while some of us are born with a gene predisposing us to being resilient, others are simply lacking when it comes to such hereditary blessings.

Instead, it is becoming more and more apparent as I travel along that one has to foster one's own resiliency. Resilience in itself has to be both cultivated and practiced.  And, I am proud to stand up on my blogsphere soapbox here and shout out, "I am resilient only because I aspire to be." [Picture a, "I am woman, hear me roar" sort of presence please.]

Monday, April 2, 2012

Six months of separation later

Let your past make you better, not bitter. And also, for the heart that can still love even after its been broken is the strongest heart still, no? 

Photo Credit: datingsecretsfordivorcedwomen.com
In a few days, it will be six months since the day I knew it was over.  Some might think that these months may have dragged on and on, but in reality the time flew by in a flash. I would like to think that's because I've been thoroughly busy starting over wonderful. Or something. I've at least been busy as all hell adjusting to life as single working mother who's also celebrating a new lease on life.  I hope the next six months go by just as swiftly as the last six months have because I can not wait to be legally done with the STBX. In all other aspects, besides the legal ones, I am officially done. If you have a fork, please feel free to jab me with it and turn me over.

I have moved on. 

I have grieved (most of which I did while still in my marriage), yes ... but I've also let go of what was and I am finally at peace with a majority of what led me to where I am today.

I've forgiven the STBX for what was done and I've forgiven myself for my own contribution to the debacle that was our relationship.

Forgiveness really is freeing. And it feels, oh.so.good.

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