I have a habit of holding my breath. Not the kind of holding your breath that makes you pass out but the kind where you think so much about where you want to be in life that you don’t enjoy the life you have. I have gotten so much better at this but it’s still something I struggle with.
I knew the move to Portland would be a major life changing event. Moving away from all of my friends and even leaving my love for a short period of time. It wasn’t a change that scared me but since I’ve been here I’ve had moments of fear and insecurity. Moments when I begin thinking “What in the world am I doing?”
Today celebrates my first four weeks in Portland. In that four weeks I’ve reconnected with a friend that lives here, I’ve made new friends and have socialized via meet up, I’ve taken a road trip to Bend to see family, and more importantly, I got a job. I am constantly having to remind myself that I’m not here visiting Portland, this is my new home. And that’s the next daunting task…finding a place to live. The rental market here is brutal. The first inquiry I made was a huge wake up call. “Thank you for inquiring about the rental. People are coming by to look at it. You can come by tomorrow if you want but I’ve already decided I’ll probably rent it to someone else.”
I’m not going to let that get me down though. I’ve got this.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the things I want to accomplish and change about my life. I’ve been taking two to three mile walks every other day and during this time I keep thinking about all of the things I want to do. This next chapter of of my life is one I plan to enjoy as much as I can. I started working on a mental list and I felt it was time to put it down on paper. Or in this case, blog it.
- Find a good job. – I start Monday and I’m very excited. From what I’ve experienced so far I believe I’m going to enjoy my new workplace and for the first time in a long time I will have full benefits. I was very clear during my interviews that I wanted a place to continue my career and stay planted at for a long time. I think this is a good fit.
- Find a (permanent) place to live. This will happen…right?
- Go back to school. – Years ago I promised myself I would graduate before Einstein. That did not happen. Before we split up I had encouraged JBG to go back to school. He was hesitant to do so and now he’s working on his doctorate. This does not help me feel like any less of a slacker. My goal is to start with the winter or spring semester -2016. It’s time.
- Start volunteering again. This is something that has been missing in my life for a long time. A couple of weeks ago I was killing time before a job interview at a Starbucks and there was a notice on their bulletin board regarding volunteers for SARC. You may or may not know that I had once been a certified crisis counselor for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. I was a victim advocate with two different SARTs (Sexual Assault Response Team) in California. I contacted the organization on the bulletin board and met with them on Thursday. Pending my background check I will start my training with them at the end of September.
- Kickboxing – Once I find our permanent housing I will begin looking for a muay thai gym and I want to start training again. I won’t be where I was five years ago but it’s something that I miss doing. Not to mention it has been the only way that I have been able to effectively lose weight and get in shape doing something I love. I might even see if I can find something in proximity to my office so I can even get started earlier. The difficult part of this is my right shoulder has a rotator cuff tear. Starting this with an injury seems a little nuts but I know I’ll be having surgery (hopefully in the winter) and my recovery will be that much easier if I’m in at least some kind of better shape than I’m currently in. Look, don’t try to talk me out of it, I’m doing it.
- Archery – This has been out of my life for too long. It will most likely have to wait until my shoulder is repaired because I’m right handed.
- Getting crafty – One of the things I’ve wanted to add to my life for a long time is learning how to make jewelry and doing some other DIY projects. I want to be able to fit this into my life.
- Weekend getaways. I live in a beautiful state. And I want to see every part of it. And Washington too. Weekend trips will be a staple part of our lives. Although not in October because I have SARC training ha ha.
I’m going to stop there for now. As you can see I’m not one for sitting still. I feel less frenzied in my new life although I can’t explain how or why. I just do. Maybe it’s my mental well being. I’m calmer. And I’m happy. I guess the best way to phrase it is that I feel at peace. Although I miss My Love like crazy.
**Title taken from Bon Jovi’s Its My Life – Don’t judge
Today I did some more exploring of my new home town. I had planned to do some yesterday but I made the mistake of downloading Windows 10 on my laptop and Chrome wasn’t happy about that so my Saturday was spent completely wiping my laptop.
This morning I woke up feeling as if I had actually rested last night. Rest is something that has been eluding me for the past couple of weeks. I have also been dealing with some horrible sciatic pain and this morning I woke up still hurting but not as bad as I have been. I started the day off making breakfast and then I took a 4 mile walk around the neighborhood.
I decided to explore downtown a bit today. I knew I wanted to go to Powell’s and I figured I might as well make that my focus for the day. Oregon drivers do not take kindly to California drivers and I believed the best course of action was to stick to public transportation once I got downtown. I found a place to park and walked to the nearest Portland Streetcar station.
Here I am trying to blend in as a local among the tourists.
I was very hungry and we immediately passed a mexican restaurant that called out my name. No really, it did. I heard it tell me I needed tacos. Four street tacos to be exact. The cashier asked me what kind of meat I wanted and I told her to make it a variety pack so I’m still not sure what the fourth one is but I’m going with Verde Chicken. But it was good.
Across the street was a store that caught my attention. I was wishing that Beav was with me, he would have loved this place. Vintage everything.
I also ventured into a Goodwill. This is not your mother’s Goodwill. In the market for a gently used designer purse, dress, or pair of shoes? This is the place to go. I had to keep telling myself “wait until you have a job.” Which, by the way, has pretty been my motto for two weeks now.
I ended up walking to Powell’s from here. Powell’s is a dangerous place for me because I love books. Especially cookbooks and they have sooooooooooooooooo many to choose from. What I really wanted though was a Portland street map. I also picked up this fun book.
I did some more exploring via the Streetcar and decided it was time for a beer because well, duh, I’m in Portland where good beer is EVERYWHERE. I stopped at Bridgeport Brewery and enjoyed a double red on their patio which was formerly a dock. I didn’t take a picture of the beer, sorry.
While I was out I thought I’d grab some cupcakes for dessert. I hit up Cupcake Jones. I had to talk myself out of getting a frosting shot, and yes that’s exactly what you think it is. A small cup of frosting. Mmmmm. Instead I picked up these beauties.
Then it was time to venture back to my truck because I had only paid for three hours parking. I didn’t see as much as I wanted to but that’s okay. I’ve promised myself that I would always stop and look at anything I find interesting when I’m out on my exploring adventures.
I’ll leave you with a few more pictures I took.
I’d say this was a successful #SundayFunday.
I’ve been in Oregon for almost two weeks now. It’s still hard to believe that this is “home.” I’m actively looking for a job and in the meantime I’m performing a lot of mystery shopping assignments. The one thing about all of the assignments is that it does help me to get to know the area better.
One of the first places my brother took me to when I arrived was Lake Oswego. I do love this area. Today I had an assignment in Lake Oswego and after I was finished I had the urge to take a drive. My brother had previously mentioned that he thought I would like Oregon City, which as luck would have it is a very short drive from Lake Oswego. So off I went.
First though I stopped at George Rogers Park.
This is a popular spot among the Willamette River, especially among paddleboarders. There are great walking trails that I’ve already enjoyed a few times since I’ve been here.
It is also the location of the Iron Furnace.
I took Route 43 to Oregon City and right away I could tell that I would love this place.
The first thing I noticed was this odd elevator. Of course I had to check it out.
The history of the elevator is quite fascinating. Oregon City topography includes three different levels that range from 50 feet above sea level to 250 feet above sea level. The elevator was built so that residents wouldn’t have to climb stairs to the different levels. You can read more about it here.
The views are simply amazing.
After looking around downtown Oregon City a bit I hit the 99E. I took the first turnout I saw to look at the Willamette Dam.
I ventured into Canby as well but didn’t check out as many things as I wanted to although I did spend some time by the Molalla River. I will definitely be looking into this area more.
I miss my friends. I miss my dogs. I miss my love. I miss my kids, but this time alone today did me some good. I can’t get enough of the nature that I’m constantly surrounded by. And I can’t wait to share it with everyone that I love.
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.
JBG – My second husband. (yes you read that right – two time loser at marriage here). In 2011 our marriage ended. It was a dark time in my life and there are days that I still don’t know how I survived. Well actually I do know, I survived because I have amazing friends and family. JBG and me struggled to find a place where we could be friends and I think that we finally got there and I’m thankful for that.
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.