Midsummer update

I haven’t really been writing lately, and I don’t have much of an excuse, except that I’m suffering from burnout in a major way.  Anxious people will know what I mean: you know that feeling after you’ve had a massive, massive panic attack, where you feel like you have absolutely zero strength left in your body, and you just want to sleep for, oh, a decade?  That is how I feel right now.  Seriously.  It’s like we got through the divorce, and then my body said “You know all that tension and nerve you’ve been carrying for the last 22 months?  Yeah, we give up now,” and just fell apart.  I haven’t done the horrible keening crying, or “fallen apart” per se, but I just emotionally have very little to give right now.  The things that used to not bother me, or at least, didn’t bother me so much?  Send me screeching into the night, lately.  I’m tense, I’m exhausted, I just have nothing left to give lately.

Which lead me to asking my boss for a vacation week.  I’ll be taking it from August 31st to September 9th.  And I could not be more excited.

I don’t really have any plans right now, because a) I’m broke and b) who would I even go with?  But it’s really exciting to know that I have that option, that I’m going to have a week to sleep in, relax, take some time for myself.  Maybe get a massage, maybe visit some friends out of state (if I want to), and then top it all off with my trip to New Hampshire that first full weekend in September.  Yes.  It is a little over a month away, so I have plenty of time to plan ahead.

 

In other news, Wildfire is THREE WEEKS FROM FRIDAY OMG.  I can’t believe it came this fast.  I still have to buy a sleeping bag and start going over stuff I need to pack.

I got an email from Dr. LW, and my master’s thesis prospectus was approved and signed off by the Graduate Studies’ Office ON THE FIRST TRY.  Wahooo!  The good news is: three rewrites and edits before submission apparently did the trick!  The bad news is: omg, it’s time to actually write this thing and I am scared to death, here, let me spend another six months on research because actually writing it is scary.

But people who don’t write their Master’s theses don’t get Master’s degrees, and therefore don’t go on to become Ph.D.’s.  Or something like that.

I joined a fantasy football league, too.  That’s a thing that happened.    My transition from “Ew, football sucks,” to casual Patriots fan, to rabid Patriots fan, to rabid football fan, is nearing completion.  Look at my life, look at my choices.  I regret nothing.

Things are going pretty damn well.  I’m content.  Not ecstatic, not euphoric, but content, and that’s a pretty good place to be at 29 years and 10 months 🙂

Little Victories, Week 28

We are more than halfway through the year.  Hard to believe, guys!

It’s also hard to believe that I am still writing these “Little Victories” entries even though I skip them all the time.  Huh.

You know the drill.

– Got divorced.  That is, seriously, the biggest victory this year (I think).  I didn’t break down (in public), I didn’t lose my shit, and when it was over, I felt the weight of the world fall from my shoulders.  There is literally nothing left to do, except for file for an annulment in the Catholic Church.  But that’s such a little hump that I’m not worried about it, at least not yet.  Don’t borrow trouble and all that.

Went to NYC and didn’t have a freakout on the train.  Anxiety disorder + public transportation + agoraphobia = usually doesn’t end well.  But I went with the fabulous Miss Nicki to New York City on Tuesday evening and had zero issues whatsoever.  It was an amazing night.  I only wish that Nicki and I hadn’t had to work in the morning so we could have stayed later than 9:30 PM.

 

Rescued a baby kitten.  It was stuck in the oil trap of a car that was driving through the neighborhood where I work.  Kitty is a female, about four weeks old, and is currently being fostered by Nicki and her husband until a forever home can be found for her.  She’s intensely cute and very curious.  I’m hoping she finds a good forever home soon!

 

This weekend, I’m headed off to Massachusetts to stay with Amy and Doug, and see a whole bunch of people.  We were planning on hitting the beach tomorrow but rain might get in the way of our plans.  Not worried in the slightest, I’m excited!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Chase the wind and touch the sky

It’s over.

I will not be writing out a blow-by-blow account of my divorce experience.  I know me, and I know I will go back and read it over later and I do not want to remember every detail of the four hours I spent in court (90% of it spent sitting there waiting).  I don’t want to remember that.  I am hoping that, with time, the finer details will eventually fade and fuzz and I won’t remember them clearly.  I have, to be honest, already forgotten what the judge actually said.  He spoke the words so quickly.

What I will write down, and what I do want to remember, is how, an hour after leaving court, when the numbness wore off (yes, I did cry, but not until the decision was pronounced and we were leaving), I finally felt the weight of the world shift from my shoulders, to be replaced with…lightness.

And then the tears flowed again, but they were tears of relief, tears of happiness, tears of realization that finally, after twenty-two months, there were no more “what-ifs’ there was no more hope of reconciliation, there was no more push for me to fix what I had known for months in my heart could not be fixed any longer.  There was no court date hanging over my head, there was nothing left to tear down and set on fire.

Freedom.

 

Please don’t take this to mean that I am happy that my marriage ended, or that I’m thrilled to be divorced.  The best way I can put it into words (and this is after almost 48 hours of thinking about it) is this:

I’m not happy that I’m divorced.  I’m sad that our marriage ended.  But I am so happy, so relieved, so thrilled, that there is nothing left to burn.

I had been carrying this horrible burden since September of 2011, this push, this drive, to fix this marriage, to make it work.  Even knowing as I did that David gave up on us back in 2011, even if he didn’t admit it until almost a year later, I still felt obligated to fix what I could.  Which was ludicrous in hind sight, because from Day One, it was on David.  He was the one who was unhappy, he was the one who didn’t want to be married, he was the one who decided, on that day in September 2011 that I will never forget, not if I live to be 100 years old, that he was ready to tell me that he didn’t want to be married to me anymore.

If anyone says, “Divorce is not an option, you MUST fix your marriage“…well, that’s all well and good, and it’s a noble thought.  But for a marriage to work, both individuals need to want it to.  Both need to strive with every fiber of their being, every single day, to make it work.  You have to wake up every morning, determined to keep your marriage strong, whether consciously or unconsciously.  If even one of the two people in a couple is not on board…it isn’t going to work.  It took me a very long time to figure that out.  And even after I had realized it, I still kept hoping, against every hope, that David would change his mind.  Even knowing as I did, that it would never work.  My trust had been broken far too many times.  There was no realm of being where I could have ever trusted him again.  Without trust, you cannot have a healthy marriage.  (I sort of laugh when I think about how often I said that before we were married.)

 

But once the divorce was final, there was nothing left.  There were no more expectations, no more hopes, no more fears.  What was done, was done.  The worst had truly happened…and I had lived through it after all.

Months ago, acknowledging finally that my castle in the air was long since abandoned by its other inhabitant, who had no interest in coming back, I made the decision to burn it metaphorically to the ground.  All of it, burn everything.  I knew that if I held on to even one scrap of those dreams, if I looked back for even one moment, I would be trapped in a dying dream forever, like Miss Havisham in Great Expectations.  I didn’t want that.  Only when everything was ashes could I step out and rebuild.

As of July 8th, everything, every last piece, of that lovely mad dream, is ashes.

My heart has never been more full and open.  And I’m shaking the ashes off my feet, and walking forward, never looking back, to build myself a bright, beautiful new future.

 

There’s one thing I want to say, so I’ll be brave
You were what I wanted
I gave what I gave
I’m not sorry I met you
I’m not sorry it’s over
I’m not sorry there’s nothing to save

I’m not sorry there’s nothing to save…

– Stars, “Your Ex-Lover is Dead”

Little Victories, Week 27

For 2013, I’m going to have a Friday post every single week MOST weeks (let’s not even kid ourselves anymore), for positive victories in my life.  They may not be big things, but they will be things that I am proud of, things I did in the past seven days.  I’m hoping this will keep me focused on the positive, all the good things that are going on in my life.

– Finished and sent off the final draft of my thesis prospectus.  I haven’t heard anything from Dr. LW, so I’m assuming that no news is good news and that my paper is on it’s way to (or on the desk of) the Dean of Graduate Studies, and I’m waiting for her response.  Approval or disapproval?  I’m trying not to assume the worst.  It’s definitely a bad habit of mine.

– Rearranged my room in my apartment.  Looks better.

– Attempted Week Five, Day 3 of C25K.  It didn’t go as well as I had hoped, but it went better than expected, if that makes sense.  The regimen is: walk 5 minutes, run 20 minutes, walk 5 minutes.  I managed 12 minutes of running.  Not even close, BUT.  Considering that my last ‘record’ of how many minutes I could run at a stretch was 8?  I’m counting it as a victory.  And I’m going to keep redoing Week 5, Day 3 until I get it right.  I will do this.  It’s not easy, it’s definitely not easy at all, but I’m determined to work up to a 5K.  This will happen, no matter how long it takes.

Edit: FINISHED Week Five, Day Three of C25K!  It was awful but I did it and I am exhausted but so happy!

– Haven’t had a breakdown yet.  Fingers crossed.  The court date is on Monday, three days away.  I still haven’t completely wrapped my brain around it.  But I consider keeping my anxiety at bay, to the point where I can get through the day and function, a major victory, not a minor one.  A few years ago pressure of this magnitude would have sent me absolutely spiraling downward.  Not this time.  Not happening, no way, no how.

This weekend, I don’t have much on the ballot.  Going out for a friend’s birthday on Saturday night, and seeing David briefly on Sunday to go over some stuff before the divorce on Monday.  My main focus this weekend is going to be on breathing, and taking care of myself.  I don’t think I can remember dreading something this much in my life.  At least on Monday it will be done.

Also, next week, there is so much good coming up after Monday.  Going to NYC with my friend Nicki on Tuesday evening, seeing Marcy on either Wednesday or Thursday, and then taking the weekend off to go see friends in Massachusetts Friday – Sunday!

There’s not much going through my head right now…except to please, please, please let me hold myself together.  Please don’t fall apart.  Please don’t spiral downward into a ball of cringing anxiety.

Please have class and dignity and be a person you can be proud of for the rest of your life.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Confessions of a Neophyte Historian

I am more excited about the prospect of working towards my Ph.D. than I am about doing research for the M.A. that I still haven’t obtained.

This might be a problem.

My life, summed up in two things.  My adorable “perpetual kitten” Tabitha (Tabby), and my thesis prospectus (submission two of three, there were still edits remaining after this).

It is so hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that today marks the 150th anniversary of Pickett’s Charge.  I am so sad that I wasn’t able to financially or physically swing attendance at the 150th anniversary re-enactment down in Pennsylvania.  I imagine that it must have been a sight to behold.  I toy with the idea of making it down there for the 175th anniversary, but holy shit, I will be 54 years old then.  Damn.

Apparently there was even a rainbow there this week.  How beautiful.

Photo courtesy of mike-generallyspeaking on Tumblr

History is just so raw, crippling, stark, and yet magnificently beautiful , all at once.  This is our heritage. 

If you think it has nothing to do with you, because you were born almost 150 years later, you could not be more wrong.

Honestly, Changes

I’ve been debating what to do with this blog now that my divorce is six days from being finalized.  Because this really, truly, began as a “divorce blog” — a place where I could be completely honest, and chronicle my navigation through separation and divorce.  I began it about a month after we made the decision to separate, and now the journey is almost over.

In the past, my modus operandi has been to just jettison the blog in favor of starting a new one, with a different URL and a fresh start.  I don’t want to do that this time.  There’s a reason why I picked the name “Honestly, Megan”, instead of something separation- or divorce-related.  I wanted to allow room for change, for the story to evolve and transition into happier content.  I wanted to be able to continue the journey, long after the ink was dry on our divorce decree, long after I ceased signing my checks “Megan B****” and went back to the familiar old “Megan F******”.  There was a time, a few months ago, when I didn’t see a foreseeable end to the rocky, bumpy saga that this has all been.  But the end is in sight.  It is six days away.

And it is time to think of new things, of where I want this blog to go.  Some of them seem pretty obvious.  Others are gazing pretty far into the future.

Academia, or chronicling my climb from neophyte to true historian.  This one seems painfully obvious.  I’m slated to graduate either in December ’13 (doubtful at this point) or May ’14 (more realistic, I think).  Once I complete my Master’s degree, I plan to try to get a job, but also to explore the option of going for my Ph.D., which was recommended to me by my thesis editor, Dr. W.  The idea is terrifying, but exhilarating!  Obviously the GRE comes first (I didn’t have to take it going in to CCSU)…so that will be fun.   My first choices would be Boston College, Boston University, or Northeastern University, but I wouldn’t say no to a school in the D.C. area as well!  Most sources recommend applying to at least five schools for candidacy, so there’s quite a bit to think about!  Obviously with that goes…

Moving from Connecticut.  David and I had always planned to move to Massachusetts (his home state) at some point during our lives.  Clearly, the dream of us moving together has fizzled out, though he plans on going himself.  And naturally, he assumes that I will not go.  But why not?  I have friends in Massachusetts, it’s only two hours from my parents, and I could be quite happy there.  The last year saw me alter my plans and resign myself to living in Connecticut for the rest of my life…but it doesn’t have to be that way.  With divorce comes the knowledge that I am master of my own destiny; I can do what I like.  I can move where I please.  And…we shall see.

Entering my 30’s.  I’m not going to lie.  I’m a little terrified at the prospect of turning 30 in just over two months.  But as I said in my “About Me” page…my 20’s weren’t exactly a walk in the park.  I’m a little saddened that I spent so much of that decade fumbling in the dark, trying to figure out who I was and what I was doing and how to get healthy again, but I suppose that is what your 20’s are for: screwing up and figuring out who you are.  Of course, there were some bright, happy moments as well: the first three and a half years of my relationship with David were the happiest years of my life (age 24 and 1/2 to 28).  But as I go into my thirties, I go with the realization that it is time for me to do the following things:

– Stop apologizing for who I am and what I believe in.
– Stop living for everyone else, and:- Start living according to what makes me happy, because nobody else is living my life.

(Eventually) dating again.  Eek.  As terrifying as this is…I’ve already gotten a head start.  I’ve been on one date and talked to a few other guys (none of which panned out) and I’m slowly tiptoeing into the dating pool again.  It’s been weird even thinking about it when David and I were still married (on paper), so hopefully it will get easier once everything is finalized.

Children.  This one is in the far distant future, most likely.  I’ve wanted to be a mother since before I even knew I wanted to be married, and I always assumed (in my “I’m never getting married” years) that I would probably end up having to adopt.  I’ve decided that if I am not in a committed relationship by the age of 35, that I will begin the adoption process, even if I have go the foreign adoption route.  Again, this is YEARS away.  Considering that I met, married and divorced David in the span of five years (and two months)…clearly, anything can happen between now and 2018 (when I turn 35…eeek).

Navigating finances.  The plan is (eventually) to buy a house and pay off my student loans.  We’ll see how this plays into the next few years of my life.

Becoming a better fire spinner and continuing involvement with the Wildfire community.  I’m taking on my first staff position in August, and although I can’t go to Wildfire in September (I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding that weekend), I look forward to Wildfire next year, becoming a more intrinsic part of the Wildfire community, and improving my skill on both staff and fans.

Whew!  That’s a long, crazy list of upcoming events, goals, and plans.  I think that’s all more than enough blog fodder, don’t you?

In any case, my short-term (hell, even long-term) goals begin with finishing school.  I’m working on research for my thesis (story of my life) and gearing up for my final year (or half-year) of my Masters’ education.  I’m pretty happy with my apartment (now that the washing machine is no longer busted), and after a short hiatus from running, I am back on the C25K bandwagon!  This week promises to be a roller coaster, but I think after Monday, things will begin to look up.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride!