May Resolutions Review

Hey B.

Let’s see… a little check up on my resolutions and how they’re going… ?

 

Week One Jan 3-9 : No more sodas. (I feel like this is super reasonable. I love tea and everything else just as much if not more.)

HAH. I think I succeeded on this one, but it didn’t last long. *sips her Dr. Pepper*  Maybe I should get back to work on this one.

 

Week Two Jan 10-16: No more candy. (This will be so difficult at work.)

You know, this one stuck. I don’t eat candy, really. I am chewing gum lately to trick my brain when I get anxiety, but that’s about it.

 

Week Three Jan 17-23: 6 of 7 days, cut out fast food. (This includes breakfast. Oh, that will be so difficult. I am going to practice Week One and Two.)

HAHAHAHAHAHA…. I really need to fix this. I mean, to be fair, since I bought my lunchbox, I have been having mainly sandwiches and water. But, for breakfast, ugh. I still swing by Chikfila and throw away my money. Not only is it not good for me, but it kills my bank account. (More on Finances later.)

 

Week Four Jane 24-30: Pescetarian again. (Only Fish and Poultry for the meats.)

For the most part, I have done this, though I admit to having Black Forest Ham on my sandwiches. RIP.

 

 

 

New goals for this month? Let’s see.

For the first time, ever, Matthew and I are trying Envelopes as a way to manage money. It’s been pretty great so far because we physically see the money we have and don’t have before we make financial decisions. This is only week one, but it’s already made me that much more conscious, so I’m hoping this one sticks.

gave up gaming, though this wasn’t a goal of mine. It’s a cycle, I know. I play the games for a bit and then I get off them and back to the world for a bit. This is also not out of any ‘games are bad, mmkay’ rant at all. I love games. Just like I love movies and books. Granted, the ones I play have stories that keep me interested as opposed to shooters and stuff, but oh well. It’s worked out, though. I’ve been watching movies again, tv shows I enjoy, and reading. When doing the hobby of roleplaying, I never feel like I have time to do those things, so it’s nice. It was most horrible when I lead the guild. I felt I had to live and breathe the guild, work, sleep, repeat. Thankfully, I had enough sense to still spend time with Matthew and Elijah outside of it, so nothing was truly damaged as far as my life goes. I am proud I had a handle on that and felt I was responsible. Emotionally, eventually, it took a toll but that’s neither here nor there related to time. In any case, I’m writing now. So that’s cool. 

I have been going to bed around 8-10pm more often than not during the week and in turn, been getting up earlier and feeling more energetic and just at peace. While at first, I panicked thinking OH NO MIRANDA, YOU ARE NOT BEING PRODUCTIVE WITH YOUR ONLY ‘YOU TIME’, but I was. I was choosing health. I was choosing to be well rested so I could effectively kick ass at work and stuff. I was choosing to shower in the morning before work and wake myself up proper. I was choosing to stick to a schedule. It’s fan-fucking-tastic.

In addition, I want to continue my discovery of faith. I swear, every month that goes by has felt so good. I have never felt so peaceful and healthy. I have stopped feeling like I’m a royal fuck up that’s going to die and end up in the wrong place because I didn’t dot my i’s and cross my t’s. I don’t feel like by doing things I have always done, that I am being ‘wrong’ or ‘sinning’ or not ‘good enough’. I just… Ahh. It’s so nice. I don’t like to shit on things in order to make myself feel better. (Don’t get me wrong. I’m imperfect. I still do it. But I am trying not to.) So any Christians reading this, I speak purely and truly to my own experience and life – and nothing of you and your particular stories. I hope they are wonderful, and they are what you need and breathe. You do you, boo. I’m doin’ me.

The last but not least thing is, I am evaluating my relationships. In that mean, I have a lot of codependency issues I am clearing up with myself, and they have with or without my knowledge affected my friendships in some way, be it minor or major. I don’t know who will stick around afterward, who will come closer, or who will have no clue what I am talking about. I am learning about boundaries, and limits, and self-help, and not putting up with shit I don’t care about. At this point, if people who have seen me in my best, in my worst, and in my struggles of sweet ecstasy don’t want to be around … Fare thee well, Felicia. 🙂  

Relationships go two ways. For me, things that are the most important are Communication. Honesty. Forgiveness. If you can’t meet me on at least two of these, then we’re gonna have a bad time.

 

 

Anyhow. That’s me.

-M

Here, have some music.

Dear Catie, but what do I know?

I’ve got a couple of friends who are engaged, newlywed, and in long-term relationships. I didn’t realize this when it happened, but I suppose that I’ve been categorized by them in to a new little label when certain topics come up. My label is: divorced. See also:  no longer married. Synonyms: failed, poor relationship management, doesn’t know anything about being in a committed relationship, you know, seeing as how I’m not in one currently.

I was thinking about this only because one of them had spoken up about a fight he and his ladyfriend had over likes and dislikes, and doing everything together all of the time. Everything. His friends are her friends and her friends are his. There is never a time other than work that they are not together.

Now, this article is not to imply their method of madness is wrong. I think that’s all subjective, and some people get along just fine like that. The issue is when he says he’s going nuts because there’s not a lot of ‘just him’ time, and that when he brings it up to her, instead of it sounding like he just wants some ‘him time’, it sounds to her like he wants some ‘not you time’.

As he begins to describe the issue and argument in detail, I open my mouth to offer some advice in the situation – advice that could help him get what he desires but also give her some piece of mind that it’s not what she fears. Immediately, I am interrupted. “Yeah, sounds smart,” he begins before poking jest, “but what would you know. You’re divorced, right?”

Again, the synonyms with this label. I am divorced, and thus this must mean I know little to nothing about relationships and how-to-have-one. I failed at it, so therefor I must not be any sort of point of authority. It’s not that I am relatively young, still. It’s not that I have had X amount of relationships in my life. It’s that at one point, I was married, and as we speak now, I am not. That is what this is based off of. This is why I am discredited.

But what do I know?

I know that in a relationship where I loved a man to the moon and back, I was not happy.

I know that in a relationship where I met a man who was unbelievably kind, I was not happy.

I know that in a relationship where I was married to a man who was considerate and handsome, I was not happy.

My marriage ending has nothing to do with what I don’t know about keeping a relationship together, and everything to do with what I know I want in a relationship and did not have. Like communication. Like a connection on a deeper level. Like a partner, a team player, a motivator.

My ex-husband is everything to me. He is one of my very best friends and someone I am so thankful to be co-parenting with, but he is not the man I am meant to spend the rest of my life with.

But what do I know about relationships? What does any of this have to do with anything? Excuse me. I did one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. I had to take the huge risk of losing a whole lot not only for myself, but potentially for my son.

I know a whole heck of a lot about relationships. I know what happiness looks like. I know what a disagreement and what a resolution of a healthy couple sounds like. I know what an unhealthy one sounds like, as well. I know what contentment and contempt look like. I am well aware what is and isn’t and how to make it happen without it being the end of the world, if it doesn’t have to be.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have been unfortunately stigmatized by a simple label. It’s just another symptom of judgment by those that don’t understand.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd, that’s my rant for the day.

 

Love you,

Miranda

Dear Catie, A Happy Self.

When I woke up this morning at 9:00am, I didn’t really have a ‘plan.’ I knew I was off, I knew I wouldn’t have Elijah until tomorrow, and that I had just me, myself, and I for the next 24 hours. It’s a Thursday, but it’s also New Years Day. Is anything open? I bet not, but I bet the movie theater is. For some reason, they’re always open and it kind of makes me feel bad for the workers, but not bad enough that I didn’t get my ass up for the matinee showing of Wild (Starring Reese Witherspoon) at 10:40am.

So in I walk to the theater, having no idea what this movie is about – not even a trailer of it. Someone I loosely know knew of my situation (‘divorced’) and thought to tell me to go see it, with urgency. They were not mistaken in this suggestion. This is my first text after seeing it, to my mother:

It’s about a woman who’s had it all and lost it all and made a lot of mistakes and so she goes on a journey for herself to find the woman her mother always wanted for her (to be her Happy Self). It was just really therapeutic. I thought to myself, “Maybe I should go on a little thing, too.” And then I realized, “I already am.”

It just gives me hope that this isn’t for nothing and I will come out of it all a Happy Self.

It’s true. I really am already on my own adventure. I live by myself (sometimes with Elijah) in a new city I’ve never lived in that is much bigger than the suburbia I grew up in and the small towns I visited. The dynamic of people, their mannerisms, everything is different. At the mall, once the movie was over, I realized that sitting on the bench drinking my smoothie – no one noticed me. No one spoke to me, no one saw me — I wouldn’t even have to go on a hike across the PCT to feel solitude. Life was happening all around me – yet separate from me.

I am not writing this as a depression piece — I actually find this very beautiful. The idea that I can sit in a populated area and simply be beside myself while having the opportunity to reach out and speak to anyone I wanted, it was like a super power.

A lot of my country-living family and relatives have asked me how I can do it, and that all the sirens and noise of the highway must drive me insane. When I began to speak of the ritual at night time when I turn all of the lights out and lay on my bed, stare up at my ceiling and the noise just… enters. Cars on the highway. People in their apartments (speaking softly). The occasional, nightly sirens going off. It’s all a symphony of hyperactive life all around. You will find each of these things – though maybe isolated – in the country. They won’t be as often, and the country leaves a lot of quiet – too much quiet for me. Too much silence for my thoughts to invade where they shouldn’t and cause problems that never were.

But here? Here, it is a symphony. It is music inside of earbuds taped to my head as I drift off to sleep. I am at such peace, yet I am still able to think – and better yet, control where my thoughts linger. I am able to contemplate the last year of my life, where it ‘all went wrong, and then take a deep breath as I release the burden to the sky.

Every day that I am off, I have ventured in to the city – to a location I’ve never been. I’ve been to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant or two, a privately owned pharmacy, a coin-laundromat on the other side of town, and even walked a mall I’ve never taken time to bother with. Every day, I put myself out there without going farther than 10 miles from my new home. There’s people of all walks of life here, and I finally feel like I can belong in such a new place without everyone staring at me like I am the new girl. I’m not the new girl in town anymore. I’m the new girl in the city – and that’s exciting. I can walk around with the utmost confidence because no one knows me, no one can snoop up who my family is off a whim of asking ‘granny down the street who’s kin I belong to’ or any of the more ‘comfortable’ details of living in a small town.

And I know this won’t last forever. I know, someday I will find someone up to my level who will sway me to move elsewhere – whether it’s in Texas or not – and my single-living-apartment-adventure will end..

But it’s not about the start or finish. It’s about the journey. It always has been. I have been so focused, the last half year, on reaching the finish line of my grief. I gave up a life I had – a beautiful life that I had with a beautiful family. You will be hard pressed to find more decent and considerate folks than Mr. Donald Dyer and Mrs. Debbie Dyer, my ex-husband’s parents. I will be hard pressed to find a more compassionate man than Matthew was – and remains to be. I am so blessed to call him co-parent to my child, Elijah. That young boy will want for nothing.

As the holidays came upon us, I look on it now like it was all a blur, though at the time it was very much not. Thanksgiving came like a slap to the face. My birthday arrived a week later with news of needing to pack everything up immediately and find a place to live, my dad having hardship that aided this, and then being single for my birthday for the first time in.. at least a decade. Then three weeks blew by as I packed, searched, found, scavenged for the money, and then moved in three days before Christmas. I didn’t even have a tree, let alone the amount of presents I wanted for Elijah – but we’re doing fine. He made out like a bandit. But I was single, once more, for the third anniversary of celebration in a row within a month. Thanksgiving. My birthday. Christmas.

It was a lot of grief, a lot of pain they don’t tell you about. I remember texting my mother the day of Christmas, prepared to beg that I stay home because it was all too much. But instead, I decided it was time to get out of bed. It was time to go see my family – because that’s what it is about and I lost sight of that. I went and had the best time at my stepfather’s parents’ house with the whole family, eating, laughing, playing games. My sister, her best friend, and I went to the movies for a double feature and I didn’t get home until the early morning next day.

I feel like I was prepared for New Years Ever, and then Day. I had made it through the past month with my head above water, and a strong mind. Crying is alright, and grief is a place I went for the holidays, but the important thing to remember is not to live there. This, too, shall pass.

New Years Eve was a blast. New Years Day was a revelation, not because of the first day of a new year but because of the events that happened on it.

It’s time to stop grieving.

It’s time to let it go.

It’s time to be a Happy Me.

Dear Catie, Valentine’s Day is around the corner.

Some people think Valentine’s Day is Hallmark’s way of getting another holiday out of the year to sell cards to, that florists use to up the price in all floral arrangements, and for woman to ultimately guilt men and pin them up against their fellow men on ‘who went out with all the bells and whistles’.

Some people think Valentine’s Day is about celebrating that you’re with so-and-so for x-amount of years, and it’s another occasion in which the pair of you can reap the rewards by giving gifts to each other. An intimate gift exchange, so to speak.

I don’t care what other people think. I am going to tell you what *I* think, Catie.

Now, mind you, this is what I choose to make out of this holiday, and what I choose to celebrate. This has nothing to do with anyone else. This was not taught to me by anyone else. This is just what I chose to do because I want Valentine’s Day to be universal for everyone, whether you’re single or not.

Let’s focus on:

Love.

  • Valentine’s Day will henceforth be celebrated by myself and my own in a way which reflects how much we love everyone around us and others who have walked in to our life, either as new friends or old. 
  • We will celebrate that we are not alone — Not that we aren’t ‘single’ or ‘married’, but that we have people in our lives – friends, family, etc – that love us and value our place on this Earth. 
  • I want to celebrate the human connection. Empathy. I want to make sure to reach out to all that I can on this day to remind them that I think of them often and wish them love on another day that we are living.
I get what the people are saying when they want to celebrate another year with their spouse, and giving a gift to them. That’s fantastic. Celebrate your matrimony! However, that excludes people who are not in a significant relationship like that, and it makes some people of this group angry. Let’s not be angry anymore. It may not be the love you wish you had right now, but it is the love that you’ve got. 
Cherish each other. Cherish your friends. Cherish everyone who has impacted you, for better or worse, because you wouldn’t be where you are without them.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
-Miranda

Dear Catie, my mind is blown.

One of the biggest problems with people in relationships, marriage or otherwise, is a lack of understanding in this very passage from Allegiant.

“I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe thats true of beginnings, but It’s not true of this, now.

I fell in love with him. But I dont just stay with him by default as if there is no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.”

I don’t know about you, but that’s powerful. It has nothing to do with religious limitations or mpral obligation.

A lot of people leave when the fire is out. They don’t realize the many ways to start a fire. They try a couple of ways but give up. If X amount of tries didn’t work, then X more will do little else.

It’s a choice. A choice to give up. A choice to seek.  A choice to stay. And we will always face this choice.

I think our readers can benefit from that passage. I know I did. It blew my mind.

I remain an optimist.  That will be hard to change. There is always a way.

There is always a choice.