I left off last time talking about having better health, losing weight, and an awesome new job. Things were really looking up for me…and then the shit hit the fan so to speak at the end of August.
For the longest time I had thought that my job was the source of my unhappiness, that if I could fix that I wouldn’t feel so discontent. Now I had this new, exciting job opportunity and I was still feeling stuck and frustrated. After a lot of soul searching I came to realize that the problem was the one thing I had always relied on over the last eight years, namely- my marriage.
My husband and I had had our fair share of ups and downs, we fought and made up just like every other couple, trouble was we were just so different. It was to a point where we were essentially living separate lives and I realized I didn’t want that anymore. Making the decision to end my marriage was (and continues to be) one of the most difficult and painful things I have ever done.
By no means do I want you to think my husband is a “bad” person. I wouldn’t have shared my life with him for eight years if he was. We were really young when we first started dating and had just grown apart over time as we both worked towards becoming the people we were meant to be. Hard though it is, I truly believe that real love sometimes means saying “I care enough about you not to put you through this anymore.” There are still days where I am wracked with guilt and an overwhelming sense of failure, but I know in my heart (and my husband agrees, whether reluctantly or not I don’t know) that this is what is best for both of us. If we had tried to “stick it out” another couple of years I don’t know if it would have ended as amicable as it is right now.
Since this all came out about a month ago I have been busy looking for an apartment and packing up my belongings, as I made the choice to move out of the house that we own together. If all goes according to plan I should be able to move into my new apartment on November 10th. The idea of being on my own and alone for the first time in… well ever, is completely and utterly terrifying, but I am also so thankful for it gives me the time and opportunity I need to heal from such a great loss as well as get to know myself again.
Since that fateful day in September when I told my husband I wanted out, I have thought a lot about why my marriage didn’t work and what role I personally played in it’s ending. What did I need to do for myself and what did I need to do to be a better partner the next time around?
This is where we FINALLY get to the fun part!
It is no coincidence to me that all of these life altering changes are coming to a climax right before Samhain (“Sow-en”), the Celtic New Year (or Halloween for those who are not well versed in Celtic holidays). While I practice my own special brand of spirituality, I borrow heavily from Paganism and have a lot of Pagan friends who I hang out with. At Samhain people tend to make “oaths” or take “vows” for the following year, almost like a new year’s resolution, and I had been tossing around the idea of taking a vow to work on myself for the next 12 months. Trouble was “working on yourself” is kind of vague and I didn’t have much direction on where to go with it until I stumbled across a book at the library called “Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor” by Jana Riess. The basic premise of this particular memoir is that Riess commits to a new spiritual practice each month such as fasting or meditation. Bingo! The light bulb clicked on and I had a brilliant idea.
So here is the gist of what I am cooking up for the next year…
In all of my introspection over the last month or so I had made a list of things I wanted to improve about myself. Out of that list I picked one characteristic to correspond with each month for the next year. My theme for that particular month will determine a lot of the choices that I make and the activities I engage in with the idea that I am going to write about all my adventures (and misadventures) along the way.
Here is a teaser of some of the ideas I have for the next 12 months…
- A random weekend road trip to swim in the ocean
- Learn glassblowing
- Audition for a play
- Adopt a family at Christmas
- Attend services from various religious traditions
- Go bungee jumping or sky diving (Come on Groupon I need a discount!)
- Enter artwork into another show
- And finally- bare it all emotionally (and maybe physically too, bet you can’t wait for that month!) right here on my blog.
Sharing this experience with all of you, I think, is the most important part of the process and here’s why- When I first came up with the idea of a year long transformation I fully intended to journal about it (as I have been an avid journal writer since 1995 believe it or not. Some of those early journals are hilarious…) It wasn’t until my friend John said “Hey you should write a blog about this” that I made the decision to create this site. The way I look at it is this, while I am doing this for me, I know there are so many people out there who are going through similar experiences or who are just meandering through life with the “same shit different day” mentality. If my experiences can inspire others to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life then putting myself out there will be totally worth it.
I kick off my adventures on October 28th when I take my vow and then the year officially starts on November 1st with “Gratitude” as my focus for the month. I invite you all to be my partners in crime so be sure to check in frequently to stay up to date with my all my crazy escapades and the low down on each month’s theme. Don’t be fooled by gratitude, some of the later months are going to be pretty wild!
Buckle your seat belts my friends, I have a feeling we’re in for a quite a ride!