Out with the told, in with the true.

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2016 was the end of twelve long years of being told who I am and how I feel. I should have never altered my behavior, my likes and dislikes, my diet, my hobbies, or anything at all, for someone else. Especially my significant other. Anyone deserving of being in my life should be happy with me just as I am, like my close friends and family are.

There were so many red flags, even when we were still dating, but I was seventeen and lacked the necessary relationship experience to realize how serious they were. I just thought everyone has issues and no relationship is perfect. I should just accept these problems and make the necessary changes to avoid arguing about them.

The problem was, I was the only one making changes. In the beginning, I could convince myself that this was my choice. After all, I didn’t want to argue all the time and this was the only solution, right? Not so much. I was unhappy all the time and began to resent my husband. The changes I was making weren’t things that would better me as a person. It wasn’t as though I was an alcoholic who needed to quit drinking, or a shopaholic who needed to quit spending. My changes were things that in the beginning seemed like not a big deal, but after a while were maddening. Nothing I did was what I wanted to be doing and nothing I wanted to be doing could be done without an argument. I had literally become a stranger in my own life and when I found ways to let myself out and be who I was, he found a way to put a stop to it.

The easiest way for me to let myself out was to hang out with family or friends. They encouraged me to be myself and, when I was the person he wanted me to be, all I got was friends and family asking me what was wrong. That quickly turned into me not going out with friends or family as much to avoid grief from him. When I started having friends over to our house instead, he was downright mean to them until no one would come over anymore. Everyone quit coming over and I stopped going out. Except for the gym. That was a matter of health and I was going. End of discussion. There was no way he could guilt me or manipulate into not taking care of myself. And, I could have friends at the gym with no drama.

In May of 2016 my pappaw died alone in a hospital bed in Texas. He had lived his life in such a way that no one could get close to him and eventually people quit trying until there was no one left, not even his own family. He had no one to blame but himself and I’m sure over the years he realized he was unhappy this way and those were probably the times he tried to reach out. I decided when pappaw died that I couldn’t keep living my life for someone else anymore. I was tired of being unhappy, I wanted my friends and family around, and I didn’t want to die alone and full of regret. That’s when I decided it was time to quit daydreaming about ending my marriage and actually do it.

I think being a child of divorce myself I prolonged my suffering because I’d rather see myself suffer the marriage than my kids suffer the divorce. But as the kids got older it became clear that they were suffering regardless because both parents were always unhappy. So, I filed for divorce in July of 2016 and I’m not divorced yet, but I am closer than I have ever been. The kids are adjusting well, all things considered, and I am being true to myself for the first time in my adult life. It’s all worth the wait to take back my name and my life.

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Sundays

There are three kinds of laundry:

1. Clean.

2. Still clean.

3. Dirty.

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Things I Wish We Were Taught in School

teaching-strategies-life-skills

On my way into work today the light came on in my car indicating that it was time for an oil change. This is something that I can do myself now, but I did not come out of high school knowing how to do so. However, I did come out of high school owning and driving a car, so I think it should take priority over the multiple hours lost to pep rallies and talent shows. In fact, here are a few more life lessons that would’ve been useful to have learned in school, whether on my behalf or someone else’s (looking at you mouth-breathers standing too close in grocery line) :

  • How to change a tire; or your oil.
  • How to do your taxes.
  • That the only people who should have credit cards are the people who don’t need them.
  • Growing and maintaining a vegetable garden.
  • Personal space: It exists, what it is, and how to use it.(I guess siblings were helpful sometimes).

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I’m aware that not all schools are created equal. For example, I know there are some schools that have started letting students grow and tend gardens. Please share from your own personal experience other things you think would’ve been better learned in school; before you needed it.

 

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How to Buy for a Minimalist

  1. DO NOT.

We minimalists cringe at the thought of having to find a place for something new when we have already established a place for all of our current belongings. We often see things in stores that we think are ‘cute’ or ‘funny’ but unless it’s useful we will not buy it. In fact, every time someone gifts us an item we were not already planning to go buy ourselves, we die a little inside. If you are still reading, you obviously do not plan to heed number one. So, here are a few acceptable gifts; if you must:

2. Food. 

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If it’s edible, I will likely keep it and eat it. And if you outdid yourself and made one of my favorites like peanut butter cookies, I might even wash and return your Tupperware.             Gift cards are also a good choice.

3. Clothing.

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No one wants to spend their hard-earned money on gloves, hats, or socks,  but they are necessities (that seem to always go missing). I like to hike and my favorite socks are made of wool and $16 a pair. That is a gift I would certainly keep and appreciate.

4. Music.

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Few things hit me right in the feels more than receiving a heartfelt mixtape. mix CD? Flash drive?? Playlist??? It’s all the same. Not sure what kind of music I like? It doesn’t matter. It could be songs from the soundtrack of that movie we saw together back in the summer. Songs with lyrics that are an inside joke between us. Or just songs that you like; and I will know you even better after listening to them. Or best of all: Tickets to go see a concert with me.

5. Movies.

deadpool

Or more specifically: movie tickets. Who doesn’t like a night out at the movies? I may go months without going to the movies on my own dollar, but I always go within a few weeks of receiving movie tickets.

I hope this was helpful for minimalists and shopaholics alike!

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Batman

batman

where’s scarecrow?

Why does Batman look so derpy on Arkham Knight??

As I sat on the couch reading last night I couldn’t help peeking over my book to watch my boyfriend (as Batman) creeping along a cable on twinkle toes, his cape fluttering behind him. The voice actor  didn’t do Batman’s voice justice and his shoulders were so out of proportion it was comical. The physical attributes I was seeing on the screen were meant for Batman, but what I saw in my mind’s eye was something more akin to:

bob-parr

Bob Parr aka Mr. Incredible

This held my interest for a few minutes and then I resumed reading and slipped into a couch coma. A few hours later, I got up and moved my nest to the bedroom and fell right to sleep again. About 2:30 am I woke up to someone laughing loudly in the bed.

It was me.

I had been dreaming that I was watching a Batman musical. Of course it was the same scene I had watched in the video game earlier, but with a much more flamboyant Batman. He was singing in an over-the-top Batman voice of the Christian Bale variety and swinging around lampposts in Arkham. Sleeping me found this hysterical and I laughed loud enough to wake myself up. Conscious me felt amusement, a hot wave of embarrassment, and later a compulsion to share. You’re welcome.

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Gatlinburg Wildfires

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Last night I found out about several wildfires that had sprung up in Tennessee and North Carolina (and are spreading across the south) caused by high winds and downed power lines in an ongoing drought. Rain was on its way and expected to help douse the flames but had not made it there yet. The last I heard three resorts and over one hundred homes were damaged or lost to the fire as of this morning,  but luckily there had been no fatalities. School buses were helping to evacuate neighborhoods to a safe area and fire crews from other counties had joined in to help battle the blaze.

I can’t imagine losing your house, maybe the only home you have ever known, and all your belongings-in the cold of November. I’ve never heard of fires so destructive in that area before. I know the woods will come back stronger and healthier next year after the fire and I hope all the displaced families and businesses do as well.

On a personal level this situation feels so surreal even as a tourist just watching the live video. I got married and had my honeymoon in Gatlinburg in 2004. In 2016 I am going through divorce, living with my two kids in my parent’s house, trying to shake the life that I lived for twelve years and start anew. Now I turn on the television to watch the place where we were married engulfed in flames and can’t help but see synchronicity.

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Daily Prompt: Liminal

 

via Daily Prompt: Liminal

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No longer married,

but not yet divorced either.

What is the hold up?

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