two years

Happy divorce-aversary to me!

My divorce was finalized two years ago today, meaning that I’ve officially been divorced longer than I was married. It’s hard to look back on that time and remember the choices that were made, the hurts that were inflicted, and the relationships irreparably broken – but all of those things have contributed to where I am now and while I wish I could undo some things that happened between me and people now lost to me, I am happy to be where I am today, sitting at my kitchen table working on a conference paper and nursing an ear infection.

I remember the tremendous amount of relief and sadness I felt walking out of that courtroom two years ago. My lawyer shook my hand and offered his congratulations, saying I was free to get married that very afternoon if I wanted to, though he advised against it. I’ve been feeling lately as if grad school was like a divorce – good god, I just want to be done with it, even though I know I’ve committed to staying on for four more years. It’s such a long and drawn out process, and I’ll be glad to be done with it, whenever that is.

I walked out of that courthouse positively glowing, jaded about a lot of things, but happy to be starting a new chapter of my life. I feel all those things all the time – about relationships, about school, about work, etc.

I promised a long time ago that I wouldn’t write about my ex in any sort of public way, and I want to hold to that promise, but I also want him to know that I wish him nothing but the best in life and in love. There are still lingering financial things that we’re dealing with, and I hope we can resolve them soon so that we can truly go our separate ways. He was a good man – we just weren’t good together.

good news bad news

Good news: My tax returns are done, and I’m getting $86 back from the state.
Bad news: I really do owe $1052.
Solution: Talk to my parents. My dad promised they wouldn’t leave me destitute on the street. I emailed them when I first suspected I would owe in, and now I’ve emailed them to see if they will loan me the money, to be repaid to them. I have a feeling they’ll be nicer creditors than the IRS.

Good news: I have a printer.
Bad news: I don’t have the cable that attaches the printer to the computer.
Solution: Trip to Best Buy just as soon as I finish my soup.

Good news: I got the paperwork from Nate.
Bad news: That means I have to pay the legal bills soon.
Solution: Sell my wedding rings. I was going to do this anyway, I placed the ad in the paper a couple of weeks ago, and today I’m seeing at least one person about them.

Bad news: I have bills due that I don’t have the money for, and I need groceries.
Good news: Mom sent me some money for Valentine’s Day to help with some bills and my car insurance. Breathing easy.
Double good news: Two proofreading/editing jobs in one weekend means $80 or so that I didn’t have before.

So things seem to be balancing themselves out. Something will go wrong, and then a solution will present itself. My money situation gets really tight, and proofreading work comes my way. I start stressing my relationship, and all sorts of lovely assurances come along. I am so, so blessed.

on the owing-yet-more-money front

I am exhausted, and my back is aching. I must be storing all my stress there – or maybe the new pillows I got weren’t such a hot idea. Today will be a long day, and all I want to do is crawl back in bed with the boy.

8:15-8:45 Staff meeting
8:45-11ish Work
11ish-12ish Lunch
12ish-3:30 Work
3:30-3:45 Drive across town to meeting
3:45-4:45 “How Banks Work”
5:15 Get taxes done and find out how much I owe “the man”
6:00 Dinner with kids?
7:45 MFA reading at Bread Co., then out to the bars(?).

Yawn. That’s all I have to say. I’m going to have to skip on the going out, sadly enough. One, I don’t have the money, and two, I’m not going to be awake. I’ll be lucky if I stay up through the reading. Shawn fell asleep last time – so cute. 🙂

And on the owing-yet-more-money front, Nate IM’ed me last night to say that the paperwork is on its way. Just a little more time…..

Last night was nice – bummed around here and played online for a while, adjusting the color scheme and what not – took a shower, then went to Shawn’s for 24, where we learned more about the terrorist baby, who just reallllly complicated a relationship. I made French Onion soup all pretentious like, complete with a little crust of bread and melted mozzarella cheese. Tasty. Friends was super great – the one with Joey reading Little Women and when he gets sad (or scared), the book goes in the freezer. A good plan. I hung out there til about 10:30, then headed home.

Today? Work, calling the guy about the editing, emailing the lawyer, cleaning my apartment, hoping for mail, then meat night tonight with the kids. Nicole is coming, as is (maybe) CandyPants, so it should be fun!


I forgot that, oh yeah, everyone wants interview questions. A good thing to keep me busy. Enjoy, kids.
An interview for Kate, the most fabulous diva ever:
1. What is the best thing about living in Tejas other than your family?
2. Describe the ultimate Diva Kate Punk Rock Show.
3. Why journalism instead of interior design?
4. Why pirates?
5. Where do you see yourself in five years?

An interview for The D, as published by Vinny the Fish:
1. Again, explain the difference between house and techno.
2. Why come back to Rockford after SIU? Why stay here?
3. How do you sleep? (As in, on your back, on your side, wearing pants, etc.)
4. If you were a Chuck Palahniuk character, who would you be? Really think about this one.
5. Who is more scandalous: you or Scandalous Pants? And why?

An interview for Heidi, the original Aussie PW, to inaugurate her to-be-announced blog:
1. I know you’re very proud to be an Aussie. Tell me five great things about being Australian.
2. What’s your favorite food memory of America?
3. Jeff Martin, Jeff Burrows, or Stuart Chatwood? and why?
4. You’ve been travelling intermittently since I met you. Where’s your favorite place and why?
5. Give me a good “Hello America” opener.

I fell down Jen’s stairs last night. That was exciting and now my ass is sore. Not so exciting.

Finished Lullaby last night, which was really fucking good. Not as messed up as Choke, which is good cos I don’t think I could handle much more of that particular brand of insanity. Can’t decide if Chuck is totally fucking insane – or really, really normal. I’m leaning towards the former. This total reading blitz has been nice – I’m almost done with Letters to a Young Poet and will probably start The Gold Bug Variations today.
I told my mom last night. I cried and cried and cried. I was so worried about disappointing them – I’ve always been worried about that – and I know that in doing what I’ve done, I’ve seriously let them down. I asked “Do you still love me?” Mom said “Yes, of course. Just because we’re disappointed doesn’t stop us from loving you. Or taking care of you. Or coming alongside our child when she’s hurting.” That was the answer I knew she’d give – but it was good to actually hear it. I told her I wanted them to take back the money they’d given us for the house – instead of it coming out of the remainder of my “college fund,” my dad had just given us the money outright. I know he wanted me to have the other money in case of an emergency – but I can’t feel right about that. I’m willing to take that loss. It’s not a pride thing – it’s a “my parents wasted a huge amount of money” thing. I don’t think I’ll recoup the down payment from Nate – I don’t really want to. I mean, it’d be nice to have the money, but I’m not that worried about it. It’s just one more hardship for him that I don’t want to inflict.
So today I’m feeling a little beat up emotionally and physically. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m going to therapy this afternoon.

an interview

An interview for Sarah, one for each year of our friendship:
1. What exactly is a shrinkle?
2. What does being Canadian mean to you?
3. We’ve talked about tattoos but I don’t think we’ve talked about piercings. If you were to get a body piercing, what would you get? (And no, you can’t just say “But I don’t want any!”)
4. What is your favorite memory of me? (a popular question)
5. We’ve talked about going on vacation together. Where would you like to go if money and time were no object?
6. What are the five best things about being in grad school?
7. In what ways do you feel you’ve grown the most in the last nine years?
8. Remember sitting at the Phish concert reciting the major publishers and their ISBN prefixes? Yup, we’re geeks. What’s the prefix for Chronicle?
9. What do you need most from me?

This site took my breath away. I don’t know anything about the author other than what she’s listed on her site – and the fact that she links to me. But please, go read. It’s incredible. And so is this, which I know I’ve linked before, but it still astonishes and moves me.
Not much else to say today. Feeling particularly homeless, despite my sister’s best intentions. Nate wants his keys back by week’s end – and has already started to work out the divorce. We’re trying to work out the details of who gets what.
I finished Choke, last night and am now halfway through Lullaby, after which I’m going to STOP reading Chuck and go back to the stack of books from Shawn that are taking up so much room in my bag.

at work

An interview for Ada:
1. How did you and D meet?
2. What is your favorite holiday cookie or treat? And yes, it can be any holiday and any kind of treat.
3. What is your personal philosophy?
4. How do you feel about pirates?
5. What do you wish you would’ve done before Franklin was born?

Good news: it has been approximately five days since I cried at work. Not so good news: I was off work for three of those days due to the weekend. So I suppose it’s been approximately two days since I cried at work. Really, that’s not so great.
Reading update: I’m almost done with Choke, which can’t be helping my mood. Choke, not being almost done.

a new life

I suppose this isn’t the best venue to make this announcement, but other people already have. Nate and I have separated. I’m living with Jen and Cassie until I can find an apartment. My plan at the moment is to move to Champaign and start over. We have hardly begun to tell people – I haven’t even told my family. They knew I’ve been staying with Jen and that things have been rocky – but they don’t know that I’m not going home. So if you’re reading this, please don’t go out and call my mom. There’s been a lot going on. I’m tired and just wanting to get on with my life. I love him but I can’t go home. It’s like after years of searching, life has found me and I can’t turn my back on it this time. How to explain?
On the bright side, I finally finished Galatea 2.2 and am almost done with Letters to a Young Poet, which is absolutely awesome and is touching me in so many ways.