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.

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Dear Miranda, Here are some Reflections and a NEW set of Resolutions…

My darling Pot, can you believe that we have been at this for a YEAR now? We have sixty someodd posts and I have to say this has been such a good way for us to keep up and stay close despite the miles between us or our never ending hectic schedules. All the ups and downs and twists and turns of life. And life  has changed so much for us both this past year. I have no doubt this coming year will include just as many ups and downs and crazy changes and shenanigans and I look very much forward to living out my thoughts in feelings in letters once more.

 

We Rock.

 

Now. One of the first posts I did last year was a list of resolutions. Some people think that resolutions are stupid. I think those people can stuff it. lol jk I know you are/used to be in this camp. However I do think its silly to hate resolutions just because many people don’t stick to all of them. If you complete even ONE goal you had for yourself its more than the person that chooses to have no goals. And ANY accomplishment should be celebrated. Also I like doing it here because there is some accountability. I have to tell you when I fail and I get to brag when I do something right!

 

So last year I did not do so well on keeping up with my healthy lifestyle, drinking enough water, and I did only a so/so job on making more time. BUT.

 

This is what I accomplished: I put $500 in an IRA account and $2000 in a growth based stock account for Emily separate from her college account. This account will be used for stuff like when she needs a car/prom dress/big school trip/ect. I took a two week trip to Scotland and Ireland. I lived life more fully, learning how to express myself as ME and have a good time. Just last weekend my coworkers were cracking up because I was blasting music for the kids and dancing around the house like a crazy person. I made new friends at work and I found a balance between my own needs in romantic relationships. Which is a pretty big deal considering at one point I was thinking of swearing off men totally. Dating is tricky. I made some mistakes and there are some things that I wish hadn’t turned out quite the way they did however I wouldn’t change a thing and I’m extremely happy with my progress and with the relationship I have now. I can honestly say I am a more positive person this year then last year.

 

That is a big deal. And I am proud of myself I also spent a fair amount of time exploring my faith so the “make more time” wasn’t a totally lost resolution.

 

And now its a new year and it’s time for new resolutions. Here’s to 2015 and to making good choices.

 

1. Make better health choices.

-This one is obvious considering I did so poorly last year. I’m going to make it a pretty broad goal this year as well so that it includes not just eating right and exercising but also drinking more water, cutting back on caffeine, and taking vitamins.  The good news is that I did so bad last year that it wont be to hard to improve this year!

 

2. Utilize the time I have in the best way possible.

-I feel like this is a little better goal then “make more time” for one thing because when you are working 40 hours a week at weird hours, the time you have available is limited and inconvenient. So this year I’m going to try and just utilize the free time I DO have in an effective way. Maybe I will workout in the weird morning hours between taking Emily to school and work. Maybe I will do a bible study. Maybe I with write on here or bake a healthy snack. And when I have time off with Emily I want to take her to the park and dance around with her, ect. I cant make more time where there is none, but I CAN take advantage of the time I have.

 

3. Pamper myself.

-This one is going to be hard for me. Over the years I have gotten to the point where I don’t care what anyone thinks and as such I hardly ever do my makeup, paint my nails, or do my hair. Heck, lets be real, half the time I forget to shave my legs until they are way past the point of stubble. But this past year I realized something. I like when I do those things and it genuinely has nothing to do with anyone else. I like when my nails are painted because I like it. These little things make me feel good about myself. Like I have my shit together and more importantly like I care about myself! I spend a lot of time caring for others. It’s about damn time I love on myself a little!

 

4. Learn to keep a consistent savings account.

– This past year is the first time in my life I have ever had any significant amount of money in a savings account. And honestly it takes a big weight off your shoulders when you know you have a cushion or something to fall back on. I don’t want that to be an occasional thing. I want it to be a lifelong thing. I like having money in savings.

 

5. Make a Quilt/Keep Stitching

-I picked up on embroidery this year and I made everyone Christmas Ornaments and Wall Hangings. I LOVE this hobby and I REALLY want to make Emily a Quilt. It’s a big goal but I think I can do it.

 

6. Figure out my faith.

– This I think is a lifelong process but what I mean is that I want to continue spending time exploring what my faith means to ME and to become closer to God when I’m not at church. I feel like to strengthen a faith you have found you have to do a lot of it alone. It’s what you have to wrestle with and read about and pray for and meditate on… not JUST what comes easily in a crowd of worshipers. (I’m not down on church at all. I think its a great staple but I want to BUILD on that. I am an individual.)

 

7. Keep a Gratitude log.

– I want to start logging the little things I am thankful for. This doesn’t have to be an every day thing but I also don’t want it to be a once a year thing. I’ve found thinking about it REGULARLY and writing down the things I’m grateful for makes me a more happy individual.

 

8. Get rid of the Guilt and other Nonproductive Negativity.

– I’ve noticed some habits of mine that breed guilt, anger, frustration, and a whole myriad of other negative feelings. For example I constantly read the Facebook posts of one of “those” moms. I know you know which one I’m talking about because I have been bitching about how much she gets under my skin for ages. And you know… I can remedy this so easily. I could list a few other examples off the top of my head but I will save those so that I can tell you what I’ve done to fix it! (I’m starting on this one early)

 

9. Be the Love.

-I want to be the love I want to see. This means doing small acts of kindness, being loving to those around me, and most difficultly… learning to be kind when it’s the opposite of what I want to do.

 

10. Keep Blogging.

– BECAUSE I LOVE YOUR FACE AND OUR BLOG IS AWESOME!

 

Love you and can’t wait to see what you have to say about this new year!

-Kettle

 

Dear Miranda, Dem’ Resolutions… let’s review.

1. Keep Up with the Health thing.
L.O.L. I’ve gained like 30lbs. and been eating total junk since man and I started dating. I DO want to get back to this, but not before the holidays. So I guess we will see this pop up on next years resolution list.
2. Take a BIG trip.
Yes. Yes. All my Yes!
3. Start an IRA and Savings Fund 
Done!
4. Drink more Water
… Ok really this should be number ONE next year because I’m horrible about it.
5. Be more positive/happier
This is a yes and I have to say I am really really proud of this yes because it’s not always easy.
6. Make time.
This is hard. I’m not sure if it’s a yes or no. In some ways I am doing a lot better about spending my time “wisely” and on things that matter, but I also have a lot less time with my new job. I’d say I have improved but still need to work on this.
7. Write more. Dance more. Sing more. (Live more)
So you know we started this blog last January? We are a pretty big deal. Also I have taken up Embroidery… Check, Check, Check.
8. Make new friends 
YES! I have new work friends which is cool. 🙂
9. Don’t kiss all the boys
You know, I’ve done really really well this year. I’ve dated, but I haven’t gone crazy. And even more importantly, I have stuck to my expectations even when its really hard. I feel like I should be someones whole world and if I’m not then they must not be my someone. Really, that’s a better resolution. “Know what you want and don’t settle for anything less then that.”

Dear Catie, It’s Nobody’s Business, But Here’s My Last Six Months In Gifs. (Featuring Emma Stone and the cast of Easy A)

 I mean, not really. I’m figuring it out for the most part and I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come thus far in the journey. But, still. Here’s a quick series of gifs that explain how I feel, despite feeling all of this and having select few people who know little or nothing about me ask me how I’m doing, because… Let’s face it. They’re not doing it out of my best interest. They want the scoop, the dish, and the gold medal of being a friend ‘whose shoulder I can cry on, if I want to.’ Thanks.

When I made the decision to separate, and told close-to-me people. Thanks for the vote of confidence that I have an idea of what my life is like, and what it isn’t.

Which brought this on:

The gold-trophy-award-friend who gives me a shoulder to cry on to win said award (and gossip):

When I go on a date (since our separation):

I mean, dang. How do you really feel about me and my life decisions?

Because I’m tired of hearing this:

One thing I’ve learned about people who are divorced (and those who end up as single parents like myself), is to not be so judgmental. It’d be great if others did the same for me, you know, if you wanna be friends that is.:

So now, on my days off (Sundays), this is me… By myself… Being awesome:

And finally:

Love you, Catie. I’ll end with this:

Dear Catie, I am Super Woman.

I. Am. Super Woman.

 
In the past two weeks, I have successfully done many things worth celebrating, in my personal opinion.
 
  • I am the primary parent since Matthew and I’s separation. Never before has this job been 24-hrs with simply just me to tend to it. It’s exhausting, but it’s rewarding. So rewarding. Knowing that I am the sole person responsible for making my little man the young man he’ll be puts a huge smile on my face as much as it terrifies me in slight, but I stand proud and I do my best.
  • I work full-time. Still. I only took off a day of work, and I’ve remained with 80hrs for the paycheck. *flexes* I’m a motherfucking bad ass.
  • I have become a better budget-er than I ever was before because I have to be, now. Debt is finally getting paid off, and bills are being paid, and savings is beginning.
  • This entire time, I have managed to keep my head on my shoulders and not lose it. I haven’t blown up. I haven’t broken down. I have stood, become strong. I sleep, I wake up. Every day is a new day, building a stronger foundation on the courage I had the day before. I’m on a roller-coaster that only goes up, babe. (Yes, that’s a quote from The Fault in Our Stars)
 
Did I mention that I run a guild, still? Yeah. I’m still managing a crap ton of people, building friendships and relationships, and enjoying myself while I don’t have the money to go OUT and enjoy myself. I’m reading more. I’m writing more. I’m breathing more.
 
 
One of my biggest fears that held me back in my relationship, and kept me from leaving for over two years, was that I wouldn’t be able to survive without depending on someone.
 
Fuck that. I am Super Woman.
 
Love,
Miranda

Dear Catie, Resolutions in Review: Week Two

Miranda’s Resolutions in Review

Apologize only when I regret. 

Same progress as last. Guilt-manipulation is harder to pull on me.

Be positive.

Yes. Yes. Yes.
No more sodas.

I totally had my fifth Dr. Pepper last night. Oh well. Five in 17 days. I’m okay with it. It’s progress.
No more fast food.

Let’s just leave it at ‘I am failing this one’, and call it a day. (:
Plan ahead on school work. 

I am still doing the thing at work where, in down time, I open my books to study! I have read the intro to both my Creative Writing books (two of them) and my Spanish!
Write for 30 minutes, every day.
This. This is still happening, and I am also roleplaying again on GW2. It’s been fun times.
Work out.

Am I taking out time to work out? No. I am not. I realized that my priority to do this has shifted. I am too busy trying to integrate writing my book, my new job schedule, and next week my school schedule in to my life, and trying to integrate work outs on top of that is going to drive me over the edge because if I don’t do it, I will feel like a failure and stop ALL of the things I am trying to do. So, this does on the back burner.

Flesh out one of the many ideas I have for a book, and write a plot line.

This is the same, and I am going to high light it in green from now on and not comment more than ‘it’s coming along’ or something, since I have achieved this.

God, God, God.
I can always do more here, but I am also speaking to Him more than ever.

Work on at least two of these resolutions each week.

I really like that I changed this last one from ‘Complete 2’ because Resolutions don’t end. Mine are life-style changes. And it feels good to know that I am doing way better at my resolutions this year than last. Heck yes.
Love you, B.

Miranda