Tuesday, April 29, 2014

365 : My Final Post (a love letter to myself)

Well here we are, the final post.  365 days.  1 Year.  1 long...fucked up...amazing year.  In some ways it feels like the longest period ever and it other ways, it feels like it has flown by.  I want to thank all of you who have gone along on this ride with me.  I'd like to think some of it has been funny.  I'd like to think some of it has made you cry.  I'd like to think that some of what I have shared has moved you the tiniest bit or made you look at your loved ones with a little more appreciation than you did the day before.  I am proud of what I have accomplished here and appreciate all the support my readers have provided.  It means more than you know.  The truth is, though, that as much as I enjoyed having you all read this, there is one person that this blog was truly meant for more than anyone else in the world.  ME.  This blog was the longest love letter I could ever write to myself at a time when I needed to be loved more than anything.  I had no idea what I was doing when I began writing.  All I knew was that I had used up all the phone calls to family and friends where I talked forever with no result in sight and they listened cautiously uncertain of what response was appropriate at that given moment.  My time was up and yet I still had so much to work through.  I didn't understand anything yet.  I was hurting.  I was angry.  I was broken.  And so I began writing.  I was very protective of my writing at first, too.  I remember revealing to my friend Megs at dinner one night that I had decided to start a blog.  I was so vulnerable at the time, I had no intention of sharing it with anyone else. I doubted myself.  I wasn't sure I could keep up with it.  I wasn't even sure I knew what to write at that point.  Within a week, though, I was already feeling something from the work I had started that I shared it with my close family and friends.  Yes, I began this blog on shaky ground; I was unclear about the purpose, uncertain about the sustainability and mostly terrified of it's failure.  I needed to succeed at something.  And so through writing, I slowly began to rebuild myself in a way that no friend, no therapist nor my mom could do.  I became reacquainted with myself again and who better to comfort, listen and reassure me than me?  I began this blog a shade of the person I once was, and through writing I found myself again.  And most importantly, I learned to love myself again.  I will cherish this experiment and collection for the rest of my life.  I will go back and read my own words when I need to hear them again or when I need a smile, a laugh or even a good cry.  I will return here when I need to be reminded that I can succeed.  I hope this experience has delivered the same to all of you.  I hope you think to come back here and visit these pages whenever things are feeling heavy and unbearable.  Because I will still be here.  And the biggest lesson of all throughout this is that you can get through it.  It doesn't matter how horrible the situation is.  It's possible to come out on the other side.  I did it.  And if you ever need to be reminded of how to get there, just come back and read a couple of my posts.

Thank you again for reading.

Monday, April 28, 2014

364 : Our Roles as Parents

I took my kids for donuts yesterday morning, which is not something I typically do.  It's something that makes me think of my dad; he had the sweet tooth in the family and donuts were his thing.  When we visited my parents now, my dad would take my oldest on a donut run in the morning.  And even though I was not a big fan of the sugar intake for my 1 and 3 year olds, I loved that their papa was engaging with them in that special way.  I didn't know what role or traditions their own father was introducing them to.  I'm sure there were some, but since we no longer shared a life, I was not privy to what they were.  When I thought about my childhood, I had very distinct memories of both my mom and dad as a couple as an individuals.  They had a wonderful partnership, they both worked hard, provided for us within reason and emphasized the importance of family.  That description though, really just covers the broad strokes.  It's the people they were, the unique traits they both offered that made them so special.  My mom was always the one who would take us shopping in the fall for new school clothes.  She understood the importance of name brands (to a certain degree) and she wanted us to have what we wanted (to a certain degree).  I clearly remember every time we pulled in to the garage after the mall trip, she would tell us to go straight to our rooms and not tell my dad what we had spent.  It's not that they had money issues- it's just that my dad was more of a value shopper and would not appreciate the price for trends.  And my dad had his things, too.  He was not exactly what you called 'handy' regarding auto or home repairs but he certainly knew how to use duct tape.  When I stopped to think about all the special characteristics they each brought to my life, it made me feel a little sorry for my kids that they were not experiencing that in the same way.  Perhaps it didn't matter, because they still had a relationship with both their father and I- but it just still felt different.  My oldest had been talking about his dad a lot lately; telling me he really missed his dad every other day.  I had grown more resilient to hearing this, and usually suggested we try to call his dad.  So both on Thursday night and on Saturday night we called.  We got voicemail.  My oldest left a message for his dad, and there was no call back.  Either time.  I couldn't begin to understand how that was possible, but there was nothing I could do.  So, because of that, I took them for donuts yesterday.  I felt like I needed to do something that the 'father' would typically do.  Something that my father had done for me.  I'm sure my boys had no concept of where this gesture had originated from but it didn't really matter.  The smiles on their faces as they picked their donuts with white frosting and sprinkles said it all.  They loved it.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

363 : What's Next?

When my ex (then husband) first moved out of our apartment, aside from all of the emotional trauma I felt, I was scared to live there alone.  I had not lived alone (meaning without another adult) in a very long time.  I was accustomed to having a partner.  Sure, I still had roommates, but that made me even more nervous!  Were we safe living alone…on Western?  I was also intimidated at the idea of being the only parent living with the boys- 100% responsible for both of them all the time.  I knew I could do it, but admittedly it was an intimidating thought.  And then somewhere over the past year I began to feel more comfortable with everything.  I began to feel calm.  I began to feel strong.  I began to feel happy.  In fact, last night after my kids went to bed, I realized I was genuinely happy.  I looked at my life and I liked it.  How many times did people actually do that?  Or better yet, how many times did they stop to actually acknowledge it? I was happy with where my life was at the moment.  And the thing that I think I needed to credit partly was this blog.  This blog.  The journey of writing that saved me.  Sure I had been annoyed I had to write at times.  I had gotten lazy on certain days and let exhaustion triumph.  But in 3 days, when I complete my final post, I don't know what I will do with myself.  Yes, I will rejoice and celebrate that moment.  I may even celebrate for a week.  It will be a relief to come home after work without having another assignment to complete.  It will be good to enjoy my dinner or unwind with a show.  It will be wonderful to just sit.  But I hope I don't sit still for too long.  I hope that I can continue writing.  I hope that I can continue to look within, challenge the things I'm afraid of and be thankful for all that I have.  I hope that I can continue to feel immersed in creativity.  I hope that I can continue to be inspired.  Because I think that inspiration brought forth my happiness.  I don't know what is next for certain.  All I know is that I want to keep writing.  Thank you, blog, for showing me I can.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

362 : Set Your Intentions

I want love.  I want my heart to be so full of love it aches.  I want to want someone so much that I am tapping my toes in anticipation of seeing them.  I want to be caught smiling to myself in front of others because I can't stop thinking about that person.  I want to be vulnerable.  I want to trust.  I want the good butterflies.  I want to confident again in a relationship.  I want to laugh with this person so hard we cry.  I want to show them every part of me and be accepted completely.  I want love.

Friday, April 25, 2014

361 : The Question I Couldn't Answer

Yesterday I had the incredible experience of bringing both of my sons to work with me.  Yup, it was the annual Bring Your Kids to Work Day at the office and our agency hosted 525 kids.  Seriously.  525.  I had the ambitious idea to bring both of my children, ages 1 and 3, knowing that my 1 year old would do anything to keep up with his big bro.  We had a wonderful morning and my boys were absolutely giddy.  My 3 year old was the perfect age- he took in everything around him.  My youngest  - not so much- but he still enjoyed being a part of it all.  They met several of my colleagues and actually talked to them this year (the last time I took my oldest, he refused to speak to anyone). All in all, it was a great morning.  My nanny met me in the lobby at noon to take the boys home- both of them whipped from all the fun they'd had.  As I returned back to work, I was complimented several times about how cute my kids were.  How much they had grown.  How blonde their hair was.  I could be wrong, but I felt like everyone was rooting for us.  They seemed happy to see us all happy and well adjusted after what we had been through in the past year.  And then as the clock was nearing 5, I sat down with some coworkers to chat.  It started with my children.  Then came questions about their Dad.  And then came the question.  The question that I couldn't really answer.

Why Did you Marry Him?

To be honest- I'm not even sure if those were the exact words- I kind of blacked out that moment.  But I know that question was asked in some capacity.  It was amazing how those five simple words could yield an answer too complex to form.  I felt like the wind had gotten knocked out of me.  I mean, here I had been working on myself for damn near a year and then one simple question comes up and suddenly I'm speechless.  I had spent so much time asking myself Why did he leave me? that I had never even considered the question above.  Why did I marry him? I couldn't answer it.  I don't even know what I said- I think I just laughed it off.  The question stung.  I know it wasn't intended to, but it came out that way.  I carried that bad feeling around with me for a couple hours.  I would forget momentarily why I was feeling bad, and then suddenly I'd remember and the feeling would return even stronger. And finally, that evening I realized something that made that horrible, lingering feeling finally disappear.  I really didn't know the answer to that question anymore.  My ex (then husband) had changed so much from the person I knew that I literally could not remember why I married him.  In fact, I could barely remember who he was.  If that wasn't the best feeling I'd had in a long time, I didn't know what was.  I was forgetting him.  I was forgetting us.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

360 : No Shame

I am very proud of my sense of humor.  (Duh, Obviously.)  I think I'm funny.  I mean, I'm not going to get all egotistical here but yes, I think I'm pretty darn funny.  I'm very good at the self deprecating jokes too because I can laugh at myself.  Perhaps, though,  I've used them a little too much this past year to mask true insecurities I feel.  The insecurities that come along with getting divorced.  For a very long time, I felt embarrassed and ashamed of the fact that I had gotten divorced.  Even worse, I had been abandoned and then divorced.  The fact that it wasn't a mutual choice made it more difficult to accept.  I admitted to people I was wounded by this, but I attempted to maintain my sense of humor during these difficult times.  And what better way to express my insecurities than to openly acknowledge them through humor?   I would often start off sentences jokingly saying,

I'm divorced so don't listen to any advice I have but…

I wanted to continue participating in conversations with friends, or be relevant when talking about a relationship, but each time, I felt it was necessary to put myself down before speaking.  I was ashamed of what had happened to me.  I felt like others viewed me as someone that had done something wrong or failed which is why I was in this situation to begin with.  I worried about anyone viewing me in such  way.  And I mean anyone.  I hated the fact that people might look at me and suggest I did something wrong to cause this horrific act.  They might think I was cruel or bitchy or not sexual enough.  And it took a long time of working through this topic for me to see that the only person that was judging me, was me.  I could still be funny.  I could still make jokes.  But to put myself down about the most sensitive thing in my life, only reinforced my insecurities.  I needed to stop being so hard on myself.  I needed to stop feeling embarrassed about what happened.  I needed to stop feeling ashamed.  My response to the most traumatic life change I had ever experienced, spoke more about me as a person that the divorce itself ever could.  That is what people saw.  They saw me.  Molly.  Accepting.  Adjusting.  Moving forward.  I had nothing to be ashamed of.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

359 : Acknowledge Your Part

Up until now,  I don't think I've really acknowledged my role in our divorce.  I feel strongly that it wasn't my fault (and as I say that I'm picturing Robin Williams repeatedly telling Matt Damen It's Not Your Fault in Good Will Hunting.)  The difference is that I don't need to be reminded of this, I know it wasn't my fault.  This doesn't mean, though, that I didn't play a role our divorce.  I mean, I was in the relationship, so clearly I must have played some role it in.  Could I have tried harder?  Could I have compromised more?  Could I have listened better?  Could I have loved more deeply?  I have accepted the fact that I will never know the answers to these questions.  And I am no longer asking them from a place of self doubt.  I am acknowledging that marriage is a lot of work.  I'm admitting I am not perfect.  I am suggesting that even if I was perfect in my first marriage, I will try even harder next time if the chance presents itself.  I stopped trying to understand many months ago (see post #36) but I would continue trying to learn, grow and be an even better version of my best self moving forward.