Not the Year Any of Us Had Planned

Last we spoke it was March 2020 and the pandemic was just beginning to restrict our lives in the States. I had been dating someone for 2.5 months. I was officially divorced. Life was “getting better”.

I did not date that person for much longer. The pandemic brought out all their red flags and I walked away from it. The scarier part was realizing it felt the same way as it did when I started dating my ex.

I talked to some other people, only to come to the conclusion in May 2020 that I probably was not ready for all this and I was really wasting these folks’ time. I continued to talk to 2 of them with the idea we would be friends only to see that it was never going to be in the capacity that I wanted friendships.

I had to be honest with myself about a lot of things. Things I did not want to admit to. It was time to face the head and heart work.

I have been solidifying what I want and expect from people. I’ve also been getting a life. I bought a kayak. I hiked and kayaked a lot this Summer. I am still hiking. I have been taking some classes and focusing on learning new things.

What I feel now is comfort and joy with myself. Its good to make time to see people, but I am finding joy in time and space to myself.

So essentially, this last year was hard, but not the worst year of my life. I can see that a lot of good came from it and it may have been the year I really needed verses the one I planned it to be (traveling a lot, getting back out there, tattoo, more piercings, etc.).

My goals for 2021, likely will not all happen, but they look like:

  • Buying a place of my own
  • Finding more of me
  • Working on my friendships
  • Learning as much as possible
  • Keep reading
  • Exploring new hobbies
  • Taking care of my body

Everyday is a different thing, so live it however you can towards bringing you peace and joy.

Life is different in 2020, in a good way

Did I tell you I still might allow things to post before completing them (Sorry I did not complete it until Tuesday)… Did I tell you I moved… Did I tell you my divorce papers are signed… Did you know I kind of started dating…

So rewind to late December, I left New York state on the 21st and made it to my hometown by the evening of the 23rd. Just in time for Christmas with my family. I got a job back in Michigan though so I was enjoying that time with my loved ones there before moving back to another place where I have a support system. It was great. All the love was exactly what I needed before starting over on my own again.

Shortly after moving back to Michigan, my divorce papers were signed and submitted to the NY state court. While I do not have the divorce decree yet, things are feeling more final and like I can move on. I will be changing my name back to my maiden name and I at this time feel that I will not change it ever again. I had started to feel some grief over missing my name and feeling like being called Mrs. ______ just felt off.

Additionally, shortly after moving I met someone and we are taking it slow, the slowest I have ever taken things. So far so good. I had a few concerns and we talked them over. It was a very different conversation than I have ever had with a guy… It is refreshing. Even if it does not work out, this was good to experience right out of a long poor relationship. I like him and feel uncomfortable with dating this soon, but he keeps surprising me and I am not letting it hold too much weight.

Overall, I am much happier. Things are pretty good. I have some grief I am dealing with from my grandmother passing and being an adult can be stressful sometimes, but life is still good.

 

Healthy Goals

I’m so far off the bandwagon that I can not see it anymore. So here are my goals…

  • Reduce sugar intake because holy sh*t am I addicted and it is making me eat more (scientific fact).
  • Intense workout 4 days a week and yoga almost every day if not every day, of course, I am going to work my way up.
  • Move more, I find myself rarely getting up from my desk…. so so so bad. I should take a walk once a day and add it to my calendar each morning.
  • Get to bed by 10 PM. Sleep is essential!

It is not a lot, but it is a start.

Gratitude

With Thanksgiving this week, and I usually try to do something big within my practice of gratitude. However, this year with how tough things have been. I want to write about the importance of this everyday practice of mine.

Appreciation can have a big impact on your relationship with someone. Even when its just in a customer service transaction. Here are just a few reddit posts I have upvoted:

Spreading and receiving gratitude makes me feel good and connected to those I love and care about. It impacts all the areas of your life: family, friends, colleagues, neighbors and community. I did not grow up with all this gratitude, but when I saw first hand in early adulthood the power of it, it had to become a practice. I feel like it comes more naturally out of me now.

Reflecting on the recent events of my life, lack of appreciation greatly led to the end of my relationship, the lies uncovered were the guillotine as they made the lack of love so apparent. Showing appreciation could have turned things around… for a time, but in the end I feel I am better off not in that relationship. There were many other issues I was blind to. This year, I am working on appreciating myself and seeing all the love I already have in my life.

Striving to Heal in a Challenging Time

I am trying to spend as much time with friends as possible, as I have no family in the area and most of my support system lives in the Midwest. I am so lucky to have friends here. My ex does not, and it shows in how they are taking this.

People care about me and I want to make sure I return to being the human I feel they deserve to have as a comrade. I love sharing in their moments of joy, spending quality time together, and being there for them. I love them, oh so much. I set up an appointment with a therapist.

It will be a very good thing. I enjoy working on myself and I have never had the individual attention to fully do so. And with things still blowing up… I need to start with this. Then start the divorce process and I leave. I can not fully heal in this place. So leaving is a must.

I will be back to see the beautiful souls who have done what feels like everything for me the last few months, I am talking to you A. I was meant to come here to meet you. Thank you can not express how blessed I feel to have you as a friend. I love you.

I noticed I have a lot of close friends with A names… Maybe I should start believing in signs. Off to see 2 close A name friends from grad school tomorrow. I can not wait to scare the crap out of A… *sneaky grin* I have to make it back home to my A-girl too, her hugs bring me back to life. The A’s have me… and some M’s, some K’s, a L and a P. #SoCryptic #IAmLoved

Therapy Homework

I have been quite conscious of the fact that relationships take work for a long time and I really started being more thoughtful in graduate school when I noticed many of my relationships suffering. I lived far from home and really did not give them the attention and care they deserved. My initial thought was to just research and do better, which helped. Not enough though.

In seeking help lately, I was given the homework to be more assertive and express how I am feeling. Additionally, I need to keep others accountable for what they say or promise to me. It is really breaking an unfortunate habit I have created. And as I write this I am thinking about the fact that I am the gal who is constantly working on herself.

I am not perfect and I never can be, but I want to be a kind and thoughtful person. This homework though, while I feel it is thoughtful… I feel so unkind at times. I am struggling with this part of the homework. I know it is necessary to tell people what you need, however, I feel conflicted with relying too much on others. It takes a lot of reminding myself that sometimes the kind thing to do is to be blunt and clear.

At this moment I feel like I have put too much faith in what I was told, which is why I need to work on keeping them accountable. Everything I am being promised right now for both scenarios of how things could work out, they need to be followed. I can not let anything slide anymore. I am what is at stake here.

I would love to hear the kinds of homework you or a professional have given you to work on. Or maybe your working on the same thing as me, how do you feel you are doing? Right now, I would give myself a B-. I just need to pause to think more before saying, no I do not need anything.

Taking a Leap

I applied for a job. It feels like I just took a huge leap, toward thinking about myself. The friends I have opened up to have all been asking me about my future and what I want… at first I did not know, but with each moment I have had to myself I am reminded what I wanted when I first began graduate school (thank you journal for keeping my deep inner thoughts and dreams) and what has changed about me as a person since then that impacts my desires.

I want to be working, that has never changed. I want a career that brings me joy and fulfillment, again never changed. I want to travel and be active, also has not changed. I want to be loved as much as I love. I want to visit my family more often and be closer to them, this what I truly miss about the middle of the country. I want at least a child, but only if my partner is the right person to have one with.

I wondered if applying for this job was a good idea, it was. Regardless of the outcome of the application, I did something for myself. I reconnected with my ambition for the first time in nearly 10 years. I let a relationship manipulate and change me in ways I never thought I would let happen. Sometimes it can be good to change, but in this case, I was perusing a future with someone who hesitated each step of the way.

I made compromises and sacrifices to my whole life, my future while they thought only about themselves. I worked on the relationship alone. I forgot about the vows I made to myself before they came into my life. And while you should not live in the past, you have to think of your future with or without that person. What do you want?

“You can’t own a human being. You can’t lose what you don’t own. Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don’t, do you? And neither does he. You’re turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can’t value you more than you value yourself.”
― Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

I am not okay, but I will be

Recently I had one of the worst weeks of my life and definitely the worst week of 2019. I am not ready to talk about it at this time. On top of it, I worked 6 full days in a row that week. It was a lot. I still feel not okay.

What is going on has returned me to the mentality that I had when preparing for my qualifying exam in my PhD program, life will continue forward regardless of the outcome of this trial I am experiencing. To cope, I have made small goals for myself, such as smiling as much as possible, dance again like I did for years around my apartment and try my best to deeply focus on work. If it was not for the wonderful people I have in my life… I am just reminded of how fortunate I am.

They have been my rocks during this time. They listened to me cry, made me smile as much as they could and reassured me of my strength. I can not possibly thank them enough for what they have done for me. It has been a tough few weeks. But they are absolutely right, I am strong and I will come out of this stronger.