Road Trip

Took a great road trip last weekend—just me and the girls.

Bonnie Raitt
Patty Griffin
Alison Krauss
Nanci Griffith
The Dixie Chicks

Traveled with them in song to re-live a painful past and celebrate a strong, independent, self-sufficient future.  Rock on.

Finding My Way

My new driver’s license arrived in the mail this week, and I hesitated to open the envelope.

“Couldn’t you have timed it better,” I asked myself, somewhat dreading the photo, “like right after your hair appointment rather than right before?   Some make up wouldn’t have hurt, either.  A little lip-gloss, even!  Couldn’t you have made some effort for this—your first post-divorce driver’s license photo ID?”

So I stood there with my unopened envelope from the Department of Motor Vehicles, along with visions of aging skin and silver roots rimming my 51-year old face.

And then I opened the envelope and removed my license and…I liked what I saw!  I liked how I looked.  And there was something about this photo that appealed to me.  What was it?

I quickly grabbed my wallet to compare it with my old license.  My “old” license really wasn’t that old.  I had renewed it a little more than a year ago, when I separated from my husband.  At that time, I had just moved with my children to a new house, so I applied for a new license to reflect a change in address.

This time around, I was renewing my license to reflect a name change following my divorce—from my married name of 24 years back to my birth name.

I placed the two identification cards side-by-side to compare the photos.  The faces staring back at me told an amazing story.

Both photos show a stern look, as required by the DMV, but I saw an immediate difference.  My pre-divorce photo showed a person with tired, sad eyes.  A person going through a divorce.  But there was more.  I struggled to find the exact words to describe my look, and then it came to me.  Lost.  I looked lost.

In my new, post-divorce photo, I am no longer lost.  And it shows.  And that appeals to me.

BEAUTY TREATMENT

I have never, in my entire life, felt more beautiful.  As a woman, as a person, I’ve simply never been more beautiful.

This sensation, or realization, came to me this morning as I contemplated Buddhism.  I had studied Buddhism earlier in my life, and I tried in vain to deal with my suffering during my divorce by applying a Buddhist philosophy.  I had some relief in meditation, but was mostly unsuccessful in this effort.  The terrible pain and suffering always won out.

This morning I was thinking about my pain and suffering.  Yes, I am in a good place right now.  My head is clear and I feel happy.  I am on a very healing path.  And I am grateful to be on this healing path.

But, all of that pain and suffering that consumed every cell of my body, for what felt like an eternity while my marriage fell apart…..that is precisely why I am feeling so beautiful this morning.

I would not be who I am this morning without it.  Without the pain and suffering.  Without walking that path, and without feeling that path.  Without all of it.  The fear.  The sadness.  The emptiness.  The deep, deep emotions that I experienced.

In fact, if I were given the chance to give it all back, the experience of those deep emotions, and that very painful part of my life—I don’t think I would.

Now I am curious about what the Buddha would say about this.  The fact that I am embracing these deep and painful emotions, and that I find such beauty in them today.   I guess I’m back to my Buddhist studies for some additional enlightenment.

In the meantime, I’ll just sit back and continue to enjoy this beauty treatment—a surprising consequence of my divorce!

Divorce Advice With Traction

This whiny, broken-hearted voice inside my head is getting me nowhere.  Fast.

But it hurts.  Right.  Got that.  Check.
It was a 30-year relationship.  Un-huh.  Check.
He’s moved on and I can’t seem to.  Check. Check. Check.

Nowhere.

It was perfect timing, last night, when I came across a post by Debbie Nigro, “A Formula for Getting Back to Great!”.  She seemed to be speaking directly to me:

“First, this important announcement:  There is no Emotional Rescue Squad coming to save you from all this new crap.”

Ouch.

And then she told me what I needed to do:

“Strap on your ‘attitude’ darlin’ cause you’re seriously gonna need it for this phase.”

Immediately, her words create traction beneath my feet.  An opportunity to move forward.  The timing is perfect.  I want to move forward.  I want to do more than stand up and fall down.  But I needed some serious traction.

I Don’t Know

I don’t know.

I don’t if I’ll end up buying a house someday.  I don’t know where I’ll travel.  I don’t know what new job opportunities lie ahead.  I don’t know who my new friends, neighbors and co-workers will be. I don’t know what new passions and interests I’ll develop, or new skills I will acquire.  I don’t know which new languages I’ll learn to speak.

I don’t know.  And that’s a good thing.

Never Say Never

About five years ago, I began to wonder why I had changed my last name when I got married.  Out of the blue, this thought occurred to me.  Here I am, feminist, independent, modern woman of the 1980s, and I take my husband’s last name when I marry?  What was that about?

When I first began to think about this, I half-jokingly raised the issue with my husband.  What would he think if I took back my maiden name?  He didn’t like the idea.  And since it wasn’t that big of a deal to me, I never pushed it.  It was just one those things you wish you had done differently. Readmore »

Ed and Eunice Find Facebook

It’s a good sign, I believe, that I now laugh at once painful memories on this road to divorce.  Take Facebook.  It wasn’t exactly good for my marriage, but it is damn funny to recall those first few days of Facebook in our house   We could have been a classic comedy sketch on the old Carol Burnett Show.  Do you remember the “Mama’s Family” skits with Ed and Eunice?

I’m Eunice, played by Carol Burnett.  My husband is Ed, played by Harvey Korman.

Eunice and Ed are seated at opposite desks, backs to each other, in their little home office—Eunice on her computer and Ed on his.

Eunice is ecstatic.  She’s just discovered Facebook.  OMG!  She can’t wait to re-connect with all of her old friends.  She tells Ed about it.  He really must try this.  She insists.  She’ll help him out.  Ed isn’t very interested, but he’ll give it a try. Readmore »

Just Get On With It

I’m very fortunate that the two most influential women in my life, my mother and her mother, have been the “Just Get On With It,” types.

I know that even in my most pitiful moments, that attitude will surface.  It will prevail.

All Questions and No Good Answers

Does he not love me enough to get through this?

Has he fallen out of love with me?

Did he ever, really love me if he couldn’t choose me now?

What can I do to change this?

What if there is nothing I can do?

Some days were like that.  All questions and no good answers.  Not knowing drove me crazy.  Obviously, I’ve figured out the answers to some of the questions.  And I’m less and less curious about the others.

He Has Moved On

He has moved on.  I know.

And so I sit here, sobbing.

Justifying my tears.

When you once felt connected to another human being the way I once felt connected to my ex-husband…the tears will flow.