A little over 13 years go I packed up my car and moved here to Southern California. I left the place where I had done most of my growing up, where I had married my first husband, where I had my children, and where everybody I knew was. And I moved to a place where I only knew one person – my husband.
13 years later I no longer have that husband. But I do have the most amazing friends. I’ve spent 13 somewhat happy years here and Saturday morning I say goodbye.
Leaving here is a lot harder than I thought it would be.
When I left to move here it was the right thing to do. When you grow up in a small town and you live somewhere where everyone knows you it’s hard to grow and to change as a person. People can’t see you as anything other than what they’ve always known. And that can be tough. A year before I moved here I ended a relationship that was tumultous to say the least. Three months after ending the relationship I married my husband. I suppose in many ways I was just running away, which isn’t the appropriate response to much of anything, but at the time it just seemed like what I needed to do. So I left.
I had never planned to stay in Southern California. I’m not a big city girl. I love visiting the big city, but it’s not where I want to live. I’m very much a wide open spaces kind of girl. The plan was to move back to Northern California after the husband had retired.
The husband did retire. And then we split up. And if I had a nickel for everytime in the last three years I wanted to run away I could buy my own island. But Beav will still in school and I wasn’t about to uproot his whole life.
A few years ago, four to be exact, I took a road trip to Canada. On the way I drove through Oregon and it was love at first sight. A year later I went back and I still loved it. Last year My Love and me went again (twice) and we both loved it and we knew that’s where we were going to end up. We began making plans. I gave notice at work and we started packing the house up. The original plan was to move together but My Love has been busy with work to the point that he hasn’t been able to do things that need to be done before he can move. After lots of conversation we agreed the best thing to do was for me to go first. I could find a place to live, look for work (more on that later) and “settle in.”
Some change is unsettling for me. However big life changes such as the move, it doesn’t faze me. I find it invigorating. But leaving Southern California won’t be as easy as moving here was. Saying goodbye to my friends has been truly difficult and I’ve shed quite a few tears. The family of friends that have formed over the past 13 years is nothing short of incredible. Some of these people literally saved my life in ways that they don’t even know during the past few years. These friends have watched my boys grow up, they’ve seen my marriage fall apart, and they’ve watched me fall in love.
I feel nothing short of blessed for the friendships that I have. And I’m holding all my friends to their promises of coming to visit me lol.
Thirteen years ago when I packed up my car and hit the road I purposely played Rascal Flat’s “I’m Moving On.” It seemed appropriate and fitting at the time:
“I’ve lived in this place and I know all the faces Each one is different but they’re always the same They mean me no harm but it’s time that I face it They’ll never allow me to change But I never dreamed home would end up where I don’t belong I’m movin’ on”
This time I won’t be playing that song. I do feel this move is the right thing for me. But this time I’m not running away. I’m running forwards. I’m running to something that’s unknown but yet full of promise. It’s time for the second half of my life to start. And I have no idea what the future holds but I can’t wait to find out.
I’m good with technology. Apparently how it all works though…not so much. I’ve owned this URL for awhile now. I also owned other similar URLs…www.divacowgirl.biz was one of them. What I didn’t know was that when I cancelled the .biz I was also cancelling my web hosting. Consequently my blog just disappeared.
Since I haven’t been blogging in a long time I didn’t even notice it. And once I did notice it well then you must understand how upset I was. There might have even been years. Years of blogs just gone. Poof!
I still have some of my older posts on blogger but those were all BML (Before My Love). Speaking of My Love, I have him to thank for pulling this all together so fast. Maybe this will teach me to be a bit more proactive when it comes to my blogging. Meh. Probably not.
To be honest I quit blogging because I love to be as honest as possible when I write and during the past few years some of the honesty would have been too much. Although maybe I would have dealt with some of it better had I gotten it out of my head and onto the screen.
Oh well, here I go again… (and if you don’t know what this references, well move along then)
A little bit of Tawny before she went cray cray
Divacowgirl – This is a nickname given to me years ago by a group of former girlfriends. It just kind of stuck. I’m a small town girl that’s been stuck in the big city for fourteen years. I moved to Southern California to marry a man and that didn’t work out so well. My biggest goal now is to get back to a small town life. Oregon here I come.
My Love – That would be my boyfriend, my partner in crime, and the love of my life. Tall, smart, handsome, and he puts up with all of my quirks. Yep, he’s near perfect.
Einstein – My oldest son and the nickname says it all. Very smart. He’s 23 and graduated from college this year. He’s now a 2nd Lt with the USAF and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t be more proud.
Beav – My youngest son – 19 years old. My mom gave him the nickname when he was just a little lad because he reminded her of Beaver from you guessed it, Leave it to Beaver. You could have the crappiest day on the planet and Beav will have you smiling in no time. I’m pretty sure he has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. He will change the world.
Some of my good friends are aware of the following fact:
I am still married to my husband.
We haven’t lived together in almost two years and we live completely separate lives. A lot of people have different opinions about this and trust me I’ve heard them all. The reality is that the only people that require and deserve an explanation are myself, my husband, and my boyfriend. Other than that I could care less about what people think.
The inability to end my marriage stems from a lot of things but mostly it stems from my needing to know that my marriage was really over. I am sure that to many people on the outside it would appear as if I’ve answered that question if I am in another relationship. Feelings, however, are not as cut and dried like that.
Last month I went to visit my husband. It was the first time we’ve seen each other since November 2012. I had no idea what to expect and I was so nervous which seems funny to me now. My husband was my best friend before and during our marriage and we were able to slip into those roles quite easily once we saw each other. The rest of the weekend was nice. We watched television, laughed, talked, and caught up on each other’s lives. He showed me around his island home and it was quite obvious that we was happy there. And it was more than obvious that I didn’t belong there at all.
And if you think that didn’t break my heart completely, you would be wrong. I had never properly mourned the end of my marriage and I only started to do so last month. I wish I could say that I came back home feeling peace about our decision, but I didn’t. I came home feeling completely broken. And even though my head could see all the reasons why we had made the right decision, my heart just could not come to terms with it.
It’s been a month since my visit and the hurt is slowly abating. I suppose a lot of people when dealing with this kind of heartache would quit sharing their heart at all. But what I’ve learned is that by letting go I am learning to open my heart even more. I didn’t realize how much of my heart I was holding back from K until I started letting go.
I read this today and then I read it again, and again, and again.
“You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.” ~Unknown
I assumed that at the end of the weekend I would magically feel that door close. But closure isn’t going to happen like that for me. I’m not sure when or if it will completely happen and I’m strangely okay with that. It would have been so much easier if my marriage ended because we don’t love each other any longer. But we do. And for that I’m thankful.
The papers are drawn up, minus a few finishing touches and I’ll be filing for divorce. It’s time. And even though so many people had different opinions and thought on how I was handling things, I needed to do what was right for me. On my timetable.
As a final thought I need to acknowledge my boyfriend’s willingness to let me work this out the way I needed to. He loves me enough to be willing to let me go and that’s a pretty rare kind of love.
I don’t know what the next chapter of my life is going to bring, but it’s time to turn the page.
If you’re a friend of mine on Facebook then you know that I am planning on moving out of state. My goal is be gone by July 2015. I’m a native Californian and if you had told me a few years ago I’d seriously contemplate moving to Oregon I would have said you were crazy. But here I am with an Oregon move in my future.
As my time in California ticks down I’ve been working on a bucket list of sorts of things I want to do and see; restaurants I want to eat at; hikes I want to take, etc.
It’s a growing list and I hope I don’t run out of time before the move. Some things might seem silly or weird but it’s my list and makes sense to me.
Grand Central Market
Free Museum Days
Huntington Library and Tea Room
San Diego (with bikes)
Grand Californian – Yes, I know it’s a few miles away but I’ve always wanted to stay there.
Looking back I guess I should call this a Southern California Bucket List, ha ha.
That’s all I’ve got so far but I’m constantly coming up with new things. So tell me fellow Californians what are your suggestions?
This is a post that has been brewing in my head awhile now. It’s pretty much come to a head today when this made the headlines.
I can see you now. You’re rolling your eyes and thinking ‘great, another one of those posts.’ I know. I often feel the same way. I try hard to avoid political or hot topic posts on social media. My ex (who is in reality not legally yet my ex but it’s just easier to refer to him that way) spends an extraordinary amount of time posting about political and hot button issues. I grew to resent it, a lot, and I think as a result I shy away from it. But indulge me for a little bit because what I need to say isn’t just about the news today. It’s about some things I’ve been thinking about for a long time.
Ironically it was a situation with my ex that stirred the pot. In an acknowledgment of our friendship and the spirit of moving forward we once again friended each other on FB. We comment on each other’s posts. It’s all very mature and forward thinking and then I noticed some of the other comments. Comments by women that I knew weren’t his friends before. One, two, three, no FOUR women on his friend’s list we’re all women that I knew. These were women that a)had been guests in our home, b)had only met my ex because of their association with me, c)did not have a relationship with my ex outside of our association, and d)had at one time been good or close friends of mine.
And just in case you weren’t aware, divorce and/or the ending of a relationship is a very painful experience. And during this painful time these women didn’t contact me. They didn’t reach out to see how I was doing. They friended my ex.
What does this have to do with nude photos of celebrities? Bear with me people, I’m getting there.
Women, sisters, daughters, nieces – WE ARE IN TROUBLE.
We live in a world where everyone expects us to have personal responsibility for the actions of others. And I worry that so many people don’t see what’s wrong with this.
As a female I learned early about this general attitude towards women. I learned at the age of 16 that if I was going to go in the walk in freezer by myself at work I should expect the manager to follow me and grope me. I learned at the age of 17 that if I go to an adult that hold a position of authority and respect and I tell that adult that I’ve been abused for the better half of a year by my boyfriend that I will be told I just need to learn to not say and do things that make my boyfriend upset. In my early 30s I complained about a man who wouldn’t leave me alone at a bar and I was told that apparently I say something different with my eyes. I don’t even know what that means.
Today I’m learning that even though someone stole these pictures of Jennifer Lawrence apparently a vast majority of the population think’s it is her fault for having them. God forbid we hold the criminals responsible. She shouldn’t have had them in the first place.
You know what’s wrong with that?
If she hadn’t been dressed like that, she wouldn’t have been raped. If she didn’t act that way, men would leave her alone.
That’s a dangerous road to take.
At the age of 46 I’m still learning. And one of the things I’m learning the hard way is that until we, as women, quit trying to destroy each other, then these things will never change. We’re so quick to tear each other down, body shame, humiliate, etc, etc. Am I the only person that sees what’s wrong with this picture?
How can we expect men to respect us when we can’t even respect each other? But, wait, you ask? She can’t be talking about me. I’m not part of the problem.
I call bullshit. We’re all part of the problem.
I’m as guilty as anyone else. The other day I called someone I didn’t like a whore. Not to her face, but that doesn’t make it okay. I don’t like this woman. And she does a lot to set women back, but that’s not the point. I could just as easily say I don’t like her because she does x, y, z. Calling her a whore isn’t necessary.
There is a website that shall remain nameless and up until recently I followed their page on FB. And then I spent some time really looking at their posts and I realized that it was a website set up solely for the purpose of publicly shaming mothers for what they post on social media. And while I don’t agree that a woman needs to be live tweet her birthing experience, none of us benefit from shaming each other this way. But I watch women on this site post horrible mean things about other women. And the site is ran by a woman. I’ve given up trying to wrap my head around this.
As women we need to support each other. That doesn’t always mean we agree with each other. But hell, stand up for each other. We can see when something is wrong. We’re so damn quick to turn on each other.
Even during the #yesallwomen movement I saw it. It was subtle but I saw women blaming other women. I saw women telling mothers of boys that it was their responsiblity to teach their boys to respect women. So as the mother of boys now it’s my fault women are disrespected?
And by the way I do believe that women should raise their sons to be respectful. I also believe that men should raise their sons to be respectful. And I believe that my sons should be able to live their lives without constantly being surrounded by pictures, advertisements, movies, music, etc that show women as a sexual objects. We’re all responsible.
This week I read countless posts about this amazing nail polish designed by college students. If a woman wears this nail polish when she goes out it can help her identify a drink spiked with a date rape drug.
DOES ANYONE NOT SEE WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS???? This is what we’ve come to. Now we not only have to make sure we don’t wear anything provocative, we need to wear special nail polish.
But again I’ve strayed from what I really want to say.
We want equality. We want respect. We can’t even extend that courtesy to each other. If we link arms, sister to sister, we have the power to create an impenetrable force.
Instead we’re too busy shaming each other so that we can feel better about ourselves.
It’s not about being feminists.
It’s about being good to each other first.
And if you have a few moments, read this post. Because it says a lot of stuff that I want to say but lack the attention span or talent to do so.
When it comes to how to deal with things I believe that there are three different kinds of people. I’ll use a band-aid as an example.
People know it’s going to hurt when they remove the band-aid so they
-rip it off knowing it’s going to hurt and they just want to get it over with
-peel it off slowly, a little at a time
-leave it alone until it falls off
For the longest time I was the first type. If something bad was happening I ran into it head on and dealt with it. I’ve always considered myself an all or nothing person so I suppose that it shouldn’t surprise me that I’ve gone from being the first type of person to the third type.
I’m not sure I like the second option but there must be a happy medium.
For the past several months, and by several I mean at least twelve months I reached a point where I just didn’t want to deal with anything negative. Meanwhile things have been just piling up. I’ve been miserable and unhappy with myself and every day seemed like a repeat of the day before. I had good intentions. I would wake up each day with the desire and intention to start anew but it just didn’t happen. I would make lists and they just kept getting longer. Some days I wouldn’t even look at the lists.
However now the situation has reached critical mass.
I feel like this:
I’m not sure where to even start. I tried starting with a list (shocker). I made a list of all the things that I thought were wrong with my life. I don’t recommend doing this. It’s depressing and does nothing to improve the situation. There are so many things I don’t like about myself and there are so many things I want and need to change. I’ve spent too much time thinking about it, feeling sorry for myself, crying, etc, etc.
I think the only way to start is one step at a time. One foot in front of the other. I’ll be facing some unpleasant issues, but compared to what I’ve been through, I’ve got this.
At least I hope so.
I haven’t started reading any of the books I purchased for my Happiness Project. I haven’t started keeping a personal journal about it either.
But I have been doing a lot of thinking. And that’s a good thing. I tend to have a bit of a OCD issue at times (I know, shocker right?). As I have been getting older I find that it’s getting worse. I don’t think it’s linked to my age as much as it’s linked to chaos that is present in my life. What I’m trying to say is that the more things appear to be chaotic the more I want to control everything that is going on. Aside from the control issue this also really impacts my ability to actually move in the direction I want to go because I want everything to be in its exact spot before I take a step. It’s hard to explain so I’ll try to give an example.
Let’s say I decide that I want to start a new business. I will literally spend all of my time making lists and researching what I need to do. I’ll find the articles I want to read and the associations I should join and then I will spend all my time researching those things and I’ll never actually start the business.
Dealing with this issue has been, hands down, my biggest struggle. However I have improved. For example, I’ve invited some family for dinner next week. My house isn’t entirely unpacked. Currently my living room has three different colors of paint because it needs to be completely repainted. My couch looks horrible in the living room and is on its last legs. I’ve chosen my new couch but it won’t be available for three weeks. In the past there is no way I would have any guests in my home until everything was perfect.
But you know what I’ve realized? I’ve realized that if I were to die tomorrow nobody is going to walk around and talk about how unfinished my home looks. I don’t want to leave this earth feeling as if I didn’t spend enough time with the people I care about and love. I’ve spent too much time trying to make sure everything is perfect and in place and not enough time enjoying what’s really important.
I don’t want to sound as if preparation isn’t important, because it is. However, it has a time and place. And this is another area that I’m improving in. For example, I want to go back to school. Right now it’s just not a good idea. I still do have a lot of unpacking to do. I have two jobs and I’m about to be an empty nester. It seems more important that I settle into my life before I add on more responsibilities. In the past I would have put a lot of pressure on myself to go back to school irregardless of the additional stress it would put on me because I’m this person…
The reality is I can’t do it all.
And accepting that is helping to lead to me to a happy place.
However, I’m not going to lie. There are days when this is seriously driving me nuts.
This week has been SO BUSY. But all is good. School is keeping me very busy and I have my first major Anatomy exam next Wednesday. It is on four chapters and covers a lot of material. The instructor has given us a study guide for each chapter and each study guide is two pages long. OY. I love this class but at times I think it would have been more beneficial for me to take straight anatomy rather than anatomy and physiology. I must also admit that I’m tempted to also take the follow-up class. Fun stuff.
I have also been knee-deep in working with the drama department at Beav’s school to help raise funds for the program. One of the art related academies at the school is hosting a big fundraiser in a week. I’ve been making good use of all the business contacts here in town to secure some great silent auction gifts. Last week at our booster meeting I asked the instructor how much money she would need a year to keep the program running. She quoted me $6000 – $8000 so I set the goal at $10,000. Now I have to figure out how to do that. I think that maybe half I can get through grants and such. The other half….I’m working on developing a fundraiser idea for the program. Something that, if successful, could be an annual event the program becomes known for. I tossed around some ideas last night with the hubby and I’m still brainstorming. I’ve been trying to get some of the other parents to help but they’re finding it difficult to think big. I love Tupperware, jewelry parties, and the like as much as the next person but that is not going to earn our program $10,000.
Right now I’m thinking…Monte Carlo night. We’ll see where that goes.
I wanted to share a couple of websites with folks that I spend a lot of time on and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.
First is ancestry.com. I finally gave in and checked it out. Six hours later I was still at it. I’ve been able to trace my dad’s side of the family back to when they came to this country. I’ve had some struggles with my mom’s side of the family and am doing a lot of research on that. I found out my great-aunt, whom I haven’t seen in forever, is still alive and lives hours away. Her husband died in October of last year. I was able to locate her phone number and am going to be giving her a call.
The second involves NPR. Now for those of you who hear NPR and think, ugh, boring radio, YOU ARE SO WRONG. First…..I once was involved with a NPR DJ and he was quite the experience…but that’s a story for a different kind of blog . If you love discovering new music, especially Indie music check out one of my favorite sites KCRW. I love listening to the eclectic 24 stream myself but the entire site is full of amazing music. The best part – they make new albums available to listen to, online, in their entirely for a limited time. That way you can really get a sense of whether or not this is an album you want to buy. Plus they have apps for the droid and that other popular smartphone so you can listen on the go. Please remember they are a public station so throw some financial support their way.
I’ve been up over three hours and haven’t showered. I should go do that now.
Have a great day!
Last week sucked.
Monday night I had a total meltdown. I’ve been carrying a lot of crap around inside and something small set me off. Tuesday was just as hard and brought about some painful conversations. By Tuesday night I was starting to feel better. I was starting to feel like I had a handle on things. Then I woke up Wednesday morning at 3am in a lot of pain. Mostly abdominal. After about 45 minutes I game up trying to go back to sleep, got up and did some things around the house. I made it through my work out and headed off to school but I just gradually began to feel worse. I ended up leaving school early, coming home and going to bed.
The next day I still felt pretty crappy. The pain had moved to my side and between being nauseous and dizzy I was losing the battle so off to the doctor I went. Naturally he couldn’t figure out what was wrong and wanted me to undergo every test under the sun.
Somehow though I just knew it was the stress of everything that had been going on. The acupuncturist made a good point – that my body holds onto the stress and when I let go, I feel better emotionally but now my body has to let go of it…and that’s when I have a problem.
Everyday I feel a little better. But it took me listening to my body. I slept a lot, didn’t work out, and moved at a slower pace for a few days. It did me a world of good.
I don’t enjoy being stressed out. I don’t enjoy being unhappy. I know people who do enjoy feeling that way and I just don’t get it. Personally I think it just takes too much energy to feel miserable all the time. Plus…who wants to spend time with anyone like that?
Unfortunately there are times when stress and any unhappiness that comes with it just can’t be avoided. I’m glad, that for the most part, I feel like I can move on from it. I spent a lot of time with friends during the past week and weekend and they really helped me put some perspective on things. Especially in regards to losing someone who I thought was my best friend…only to find out that she really wasn’t.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I’m a horrible judge of character.
I trust a little less now. Not because I feel hurt but because obviously I trust the wrong people. However, I’m not one for walking around thinking that now everyone is out to hurt me. I refuse to believe that about the people I care about. There’s no point in having close relationships with others if you’re always wondering when they’re going to stab you in the back. Caring about others opens you up to being hurt. That is part of the deal. I’m okay with that…and I’m a better person because of it.