I have a lot of mixed feelings about 2009. Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy to flip that calendar page over and start anew with 2010, but I am definitely happy that I went through this past year. And I am happy it’s over.
2009 is not a road I wish to travel again, but I am glad I made the journey.
At the beginning of 2009, I had just started blogging. I received my first comment on my new year’s post. I didn’t really know who any of you other bloggers were, and I had no idea how much I would rely on your support throughout the coming year.
2009 saw the final spiraling down of my marriage. It saw my realizing the extent of the problems with Mr. X. It saw me decide to leave him, and then leave—the most difficult decision of my life, and the best thing I have ever done for myself.
This last year saw me pass through incredible grief. It saw me through the most painful and demanding process I’ve ever gone through—my divorce. At the end of 2009, I am left with only two vestiges of my connections to X—I am waiting on my Jewish divorce, the get, and I am trying to separate out my debt from his with the mortgage company we owe money to after the foreclosure.
I feel incredibly hopeful about the year to come. I am getting stronger all the time and feeling more like the me I think I was meant to be.
If this last year has taught me anything, it is that we really don’t know what may be around the corner. What I am planning for, however, for the coming year is:
- taking two photography classes, starting in January and March,
- going to visit my dear friends in the Netherlands in April/May,
- starting therapy (as soon as my new insurance kicks in and I find a good therapist).
It will be amazing to see where I am a year from now. It will be incredible to see the positive changes that this next year will usher in.
Bring it on.
Join the rest of the class for show and tell over at Mel’s.
So I signed myself up for a couple of photography classes starting in January. The catch? I needed to get a digital SLR camera for them. This was a major present to myself. I was actually signed up for a beginner’s photography class back in the city I used to live with Mr. X, but a little thing called leaving my abusive husband and moving out of state prevented me from participating in the class.
So, I finally started feeling like I had the energy for a once a week commitment, and I’ve wanted a “good” camera for a while. Signing up for the dSLR introductory class gave me the kick in the butt necessary to spend the money on the camera.
So, the timing being what it is, this could be seen as a divorce present to myself, a New Year’s present, a belated Chanukah present, or an early birthday present. Whatever. I’m just glad that I’m willing to do such a nice thing for myself. This is something that likely never would have happened if I had stayed married to you-know-who.
Now, I’ll actually take a picture with it after the battery charges and I can figure out what the hell I’m doing with this crazy thing. For now, I’m just admiring how pretty it looks.
Today was all about traipsing from one government office to another (really just two) and to my bank and to the fax machine at the Stap.les store (twice for that one)—all in the name of the long-awaited legal name change. I received the “certified” court documents for my divorce late yesterday afternoon. Since my mail comes too late in the day, I wasn’t able to start the process yesterday, but I set my alarm (during my vacation even!) and spent a long day of waiting in line, talking to customer service reps on the phone, and getting stuff done.
Everything is official now, though it will take anywhere from a few days (bank cards) to a few weeks (driver’s license) to get my new stuff with my new/old name on it.
No more common-ish last name with the Jewish ending. Back to the weird last name that was probably mangled at Ellis Island. The only others with my last name whom I’ve ever met have been related to me. It was nice for a few years to not ALWAYS have to spell my name for people, but I really don’t mind. I’ve developed a new appreciation for it.
For a while I’ve been going by two names, depending on the context. At work (mostly) and socially, I have been going by the name I was born with. For “official” things, like paychecks, prescriptions, credit cards, etc., I’ve been going by X’s last name (which was actually his mother’s maiden name—we both took it when we got married—long story.) because I had to. This led to a weird, schizophrenic state in which I would usually have to think for a moment before telling someone or signing my full name.
Now I am back to me, back to my name, back to not being reminded of X every time I write a check or pick up a prescription.
It was a good day, today.
My oldest niece spent the night with me last night. In the past I have referred to her as “the Whirlwind” because of her boundless energy. (ADHD doesn’t hurt, either.) She was really looking forward to staying the night with me, her favorite aunt, if I do say so myself (it helps to not have three little ones age 5 or under to distract from lavishing her with attention, as the other aunt does).
We went to the mall and walked around for hours, as only an 11-year-old on the cusp of turning 12 can do. While there, she jumped on the bungee jumping thing and did countless backflips and attracted quite a crowd admiring her skill. (Sorry for the quality of the photo; it was the only one that didn’t show her face, but you get the idea).
Today we walked around downtown, went to the park, walked around the neighborhood, where if there was anything remotely dangerous, she wanted to do it:
She is the same niece that skillfully climbed to the top of this “rock” climbing contraption in seemingly record time (not this weekend, though):
We watched movies last night and she stayed up way past her bedtime.
I asked her today what her favorite part was and she said, “Just spending time with you and being with you.”
I can’t beat that.
Check out what the rest of the class is showing and telling over at Mel’s.
I think my Miss Famous is an extrovert, especially with other dogs. Which is great, except she has no close doggy friends at the moment. I am searching for dog-friend potential in every dog/owner we meet, but so far, no go. The ideal friend for her would live in our neighborhood, so that get-togethers are easy. We prefer a friend that can run around in the backyard with her…
or just hang out…
Cuddling is always good…
As are sloppy kisses…
And, to tell the truth, we aren’t actually all that picky about species…
I got back home today after visiting my family and realized–it’s ICLW time again…uh, oh.
Here’s the gist of it:
- My divorce from my emotionally- and verbally-abusive husband was just finalized last week.
- I have a very, very cute dog.
- Things are looking up after the toughest year I’ve lived yet.
That about covers it, in brief. So glad you stopped by. Make yourself at home.
If you know much about my story, you know that I converted to Judaism before marrying my now ex (it’s official) husband. Since converting marrying him, I hadn’t been with my family on Christmas. This had more to do with the “marrying him” part than the “converting” part. I have no problem hanging out with my family while they celebrate their holiday. I have no problem participating in non-religious aspects of the holiday (like taking my niece shopping for gifts). Mr. X, however, had a BIG problem with all of this. He was rather threatened by my family’s Christianity, and refused to be around them at this time of year. Even though we had a number of other couple-friends in which one (or both!) partners were converts and one or the other of the partners were rabbis or rabbis in training, and nobody else had this major issue with Christmas, Mr. X continued with his unbending stance. He even said once that he wouldn’t want to be in my parents’ house if there was a Christmas tree there (though he would be in other people’s houses with Christmas trees…crazy).
The good news is, he is out of the picture, and for the first time since 2003, I was able to be with my family at Christmas. I spent the weekend at my parents’ house. My younger sister and her family were also there, and my older sister came over last night with her family and we had the family gift exchange. For the first time in five years, I got to see my little people (all five of them together at once) opening Christmas gifts. The whole scene was amazing and happy and crazy and beautiful.
Read about some other perfect moments over at Weebles Wobblog.
I first blog-posted one year ago today. My first post in its entirety was:
For quite a while now I have considered blogging as a means to deal with what is happening in my life right now. And what is happening? Oh, not much, just:
Career in the crapper.
Marital stress (which seems to be improving).
Public role as the “lovely wife of…”
Upcoming move to who knows where.
So, this is the start. Stay tuned.
Wow. If the person who wrote those words had any idea what the next year would hold, she might have just hid under the covers instead of blogging.
I’m glad she didn’t.
My whole world back then had a totally different center, a totally different focus. I did make a move to “who knows where,” but not because of X’s job. That I thought my “marital stress” was improving just makes me laugh an ironic little laugh now. I have no public role now and obviously am no longer the “lovely wife” of anyone.
There’s another one, though, that still seems like it’s a huge part of me, of who I am.
Infertility. The identity you can never quite shed.
I’ve talked before about how I have infertility to thank (and I mean that without snark) for waking me up to the reality of my own life. That’s not what I want to say today.
I started blogging because the pain of infertility (co-existing with the loneliness in my marriage) had me incredibly desperate to connect with someone, anyone who understood what I was going through.
I didn’t just connect with “someone,” I found a community. I found friends.
Thank you, friends, for seeing me through this year, quite certainly the hardest year I have lived so far. Thank you, friends, for being a bright spot in my day, especially on those days when you were the only bright spot. Thank you, friends, for believing in me, encouraging me, and talking trash about my ex. And more. So very much more you have all done for me.
So this blogoversary is not just mine. It’s ours. Congratulations to you all for being amazing.
Here’s to many more years together.
Today, I would like to introduce you to the Green Monster, La Famosa’s favorite hiding spot and the place which almost made her a victim of dogicide on Monday night. (Kidding! She was never in any real danger, mostly because I can’t catch her if she doesn’t want me to.)
Here it is, in all it’s monstrosity:
The famous one likes to pretend it's a jungle in there...
She likes to go inside it, mind you. And there’s no physical way for me to crawl under there, too, so it’s a pretty good hiding spot. And here’s the little rascal herself, with the Monster in the background (and pay no attention to the unraked leaves):
"I wonder where I can hide next?"
Dreaming of tramping through the jungle...
And after we come back inside, she’s wiped out. Ignoring her owner and listening to her name called over and over is hard work!
(The towel is on the bed so that I can fool myself into thinking she’s not messing it up. The white duvet cover is completely washable, though I’ve messed it up more than she has. )
Please see what the rest of the show-er and tell-er’s are showing and telling over at Mel’s.
If you don’t know, we are in the midst of Chanukah (there are16 ways to spell it apparently!). This holiday comes right around the time of the winter solstice (in the northern hemisphere, anyway), when things are about as dark as they’re going to get. It is right in the midst of this darkness that we celebrate light with our festival of lights. Each night as we light an additional candle, adding to their numbers, the light gets a little brighter, reminding us that darkness is not impenetrable, nor is it forever.
This photo below is of my Chanukah menorah (chanukiah) from last night. It’s a new chanukiah, as I didn’t bring the other memory-laden ones I had before with me last Spring. On the side, you can see the dreidel that Delenn gave me in the dreidel exchange.
May you find light in your darkest nights this winter.