12.05.2013

Six Months - Living It Up

*Written December 5th, 2013*

Today marks exactly 6 months post-divorce. 

It feels so weird to say that - some days it feels like it just happened and some days I forget how long it's actually been.

Anyway, for those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram or are friends with me on Facebook, you know that the past 6 months have been…interesting. To say life after divorce is a roller coaster would be the understatement of the century.

Every day, every moment, it's a toss up with how I'll feel. I can go days at a time without thinking of Josh, our old life, or the memories. But on the days I do remember, it's hard to shake the emptiness and I find myself wanting only three things - food, Netflix, and someone to hold me.

That being said, I'm doing better than I thought I'd be doing at this point in time. Remember those days when I couldn't do anything but cry and blog? Well, I'm pleased to say those days are far behind me! I've been keeping busier than ever before (and that's saying something) and love every second of my exhausting life.

I'm working 2 jobs - a nanny and a hostess/events assistant at a local country club - and I'm going back to school full time for event management. Only 2 semesters left and I'll officially be certified.

The past few months I've traveled a bit (post coming soon on my trip to see Jamie!!!), gotten out of my shell by going out to karaoke every other weekend, made new friends, and so much more. I'm actually very proud of my anti-social self!

Speaking of being anti-social…I've also started DATING again! *gasp* In my 4 month update (which, yes, I only posted two days ago) I mentioned that I'd created an online dating profile back in June. I wasn't prepared for how horrible dating was going to be in the beginning, but I think I've fallen into a good groove recently and I'm enjoying myself immensely. Stay tuned for a post on the nightmarish messages I've received - they're a hoot and a half, y'all.

Anyway, that's an overview of what I've been up to the last few months and I'll keep you updated in 3 or 6 month increments…I have yet to decide.

I hope you're all doing well and I CAN'T WAIT to catch up on your blogs over the Christmas break. :)


12.04.2013

Three Months - On Top of the World

*Written September 5th, 2013*

Today is officially three months since we signed the divorce papers.

It is BEYOND my comprehension how time flew by and I seemed to miss it these past few months, but all I know is that I'm still alive and I've got big dreams exploding out of my brain at all times. So I guess we can call that a win?

What's been happening in my life since June 5th?

*I've been spoiling Chevy like crazy.

*I've been eating copious amounts of Jimmy John's.

*I completed 2 more online classes towards an office administration certification.

*I worked 2 months at a nannying job for 3 older kids. My easiest nanny gig to date.

*I FINALLY received my Starbucks gold card…6 months late.

*I finished all 10 seasons of Friends and bawled like a baby. Divorce emotions or not, the ending was crocodile tear worthy.

*We got some crazy ass storms in C-U. Some of which J decided to bike through.

*I went to the Q87.7 PIQNIQ in Tinley Park with J, my cousin Rebekah, and her husband, Scott. Twenty One Pilots and Awolnation were fantastic.

*I took my first ever bubble bath of my adult life. It was magical.

*J's grandfather died. His funeral was also the last Nix family gathering I will ever attend.

*I got another tattoo (and will be getting #3 next weekend!).

*I packed up the apartment and my parents took the majority of it home with them the third weekend of July.

*I created an online dating profile. It felt like the right time. More on this later.

*I officially moved back in with my parents. If you want to know what hell feels like, try sharing a kitchen with your mother.

*My parents, my friend Kyle, and my best friend's mom, and myself had a 2 weekend marathon garage sale.

*I spent a much needed weekend away in Michigan. *sigh* My happy place.

*I drank more than I ever have in an attempt to celebrate my new life. I'm happy to report that I did not get sick, make out with any creeps, or even have a hangover. You can go ahead and hate me now. I guess I'm not as old as my body feels.

In the midst of all of this craziness, I've been consistently at an 85% on the happiness scale. For being three months post-divorce I've surprised even myself by feeling on top of the world. I'm owning more big dreams now than I ever have and I can't wait to see where my passion takes me. I've still got quite a ways to go, but forward motion and I are besties.

2013 is just now starting for me. And it's going to be my best year yet.


8.19.2013

When Loneliness Creeps In, Let It


{2010}
When the kisses were like fireworks and his touch made everything right again.

I'm missing Joshua tonight.

Not because I miss him per se, but because I miss having my best friend to "do life" with.

Things like randomly quote our favorite movies, play our favorite board games, watch our favorite TV shows on Netflix, eat at our favorite restaurants.....I just miss having someone who gets me, loves how much of a dork I am, and enjoys doing all of those things together. It's so rare in life that you fall madly for someone whose the same kind of weird as you. Tonight my mind is tricking me into believing I'll never find my "One" again.

I know that most of you are going to be tempted to comment with something encouraging along the lines of "so much better off without him," or "better things ahead," and I know that's the truth, but I can't help the way I feel at this moment. I can't help feeling lonely and just plain sad. I don't feel these things often, but I need to feel them once in a while. So please, just let me.

Tonight is just one of those nights.


8.13.2013

Guest Post: Cindy Holbrook of CoachingForDivorcedWomen.com

Today's guest poster is a dear friend and mentor of mine, Cindy Holbrook. I first met Cindy when she became my divorce coach in May of this year and our weekly discussions have been instrumental in my healing process. If you're going through a divorce and need direction, an unbiased listening ear, and someone to cheer you on as you begin your new life, I would highly recommend speaking with a divorce coach. Cindy offers a complimentary 60-minute introduction session if you'd like to learn more. Visit her website here!

7 Ways a Divorce Coach Can Help You

Your emotions are high while you are going through a divorce. At times you may not even understand all of your feelings, causing you to do or say something that you really regret.

When you announce your divorce you are typically not greeted with tons of helping hands ready to support you. They are not there for you to cry on. They do not bring you food to be sure you are eating. Instead, you are usually bombarded with statements and questions such as:

·      Why, what happened?
·      He was never good enough for you anyway.
·      You deserve so much better.
·      God doesn’t like divorce.
·      You didn’t try hard enough.
·      What did you do to save your marriage?
·      I knew it wasn’t going to work out.

Or, you are hit with the fact that some of your friends do not even associate with you anymore.

Going through a divorce is considered the second largest stressor in life. The first one is the death of a spouse. Yet, society in general does not treat you with the same empathy and support that you need to get through this challenging time in your life.

A great way to heal, love and find inner peace during and after your divorce is to work with a divorce coach.

     1)    Talk out your feelings in a safe nurturing environment without fear of retaliation or your ex finding out about it. A divorce coach will guide you as you work through and sort out all of your emotions including, rage, jealousy, revenge, sadness and fear.

     2)    A divorce coach can help you gain clarity about what type of settlement you want and need. Remember, every decision that you make right now has the capability of affecting you for the rest of your life.

     3)    A divorce coach can save you money because you will not be telling your story and all of the drama around it to your attorney. This leaves room for the attorney to do his job.

     4)    A divorce coach helps you to navigate the new life of being single. You are losing your identity as a married woman. The depth of your confusion around this matter, may lay in how long you were married. It’s time for you to discover who you are and what you want without having to consider how it will affect your husband.

     5)    A divorce guide brainstorms with you to find the best path for you to follow to overcome your fears about the future. Many women fear becoming a bag lady or being sad and depressed for the rest of their lives. The core fear is simply, the fear of the unknown. You thought you knew what your future was going to look like, and that future has been pulled out from under your feet.

     6)    A divorce coach can assist you in determining what type of career path you should take, if any. If you never worked, or just worked part time jobs for some extra money, you will probably need to consider what you want to do in order to secure your financial future.

     7)    When you are ready to date again and possibly find your real Mr. Right, your divorce coach can assist you in pinpointing what type of man you are looking for as well as what red flags you should look for.

You may be asking, so why not just go to a therapist? There is a vast difference between a therapist and a coach. A therapist typically tries to help you understand your feelings by delving into your past. Though your past will probably come up during coaching, the primary goal of the coaching agreement is to help you get from where you are to where you want to be. The focus is on the present and what you are able to do now in order to secure the future that you desire.

During life we all have our ups and downs. Regardless how bad you feel right now regarding your divorce, you will not feel this way forever. Think of your divorce as a stepping stone in your life journey to help you grow and develop into the beautiful being you are meant to be.

There is no reason that you have to walk along the painful path of your divorce alone. 

Cindy Holbrook is a certified divorce coach and founder of CoachingForDivorcedWomen.com.  She understands your fear, despair, loneliness and confusion as she left an emotionally abusive marriage after 20 years. Sign up for her “Life After Divorce” newsletter (http://www.coachingfordivorcedwomen.com/coping-with-life-after-divorce-newsletter/)  to receive encouragement, tips and support during and after your divorce.

8.08.2013

Guest Post: Chambanachik

*Hello, loves! Over the course of the next few weeks OWTM will have some wonderful women guest posting about their own experiences with divorce. Each of their stories are unique and I hope you'll learn some valuable lessons, whether you've been through this process or not. Today's guest is Erika of Chambanachik. She's a fellow military wife/divorcée, mama to two beautiful babies, and a dear in-real-life friend. Stop by to say hello!*


{The Leaving}

"Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave."  — Cormac McCarthy

It’s so deep in my past at this point, I hardly think of it anymore. But what Meagan is going through is what I went through several years ago. I remember how surreal and intimidating everything felt, the way my world seemed to spin in circles, and how it seemed unfair that I was supposed to somehow get on with this life while trying to process something as life-altering as a divorce.
But, for me, it wasn’t ending the relationship. It was the leaving.

I prefer the status quo above nearly everything. I couldn’t fathom the thought of picking up my belongings, my friendships, and my job. I couldn’t imagine leaving the curves and bumps of streets I drove every day, or the slowed-down drawl of southern Indiana that I had become accustomed to, or people who were intertwined into my life there. It wasn’t that I was even in love with most of it. It was just paralyzing to think of starting over, as if all of it had never happened. As if I hadn’t existed for those years. As if they were empty.

 One late summer evening, as the sun was setting and the moon was rising over my lawn, a very sweet friend sat on the concrete step with me at my front door, and she told me to go. Katie probably knew there was a good chance I would stay in that little house forever, and that I didn’t know how to be brave on my own.  As the sunset’s glow turned into a deep dark punctured by a few small stars, we talked about it. About the things I would leave. About the possibilities I would gain. About the way I would grow. I’ll always be grateful to Katie for that hand pulling me out of the quicksand.

I spent my 24th birthday packing up bits and pieces of a life; keeping books and clothes, and throwing out a beaded white satin gown and photos from that trip to Jamaica. Two days later, I stood on the ramp of a U-Haul, directing family members about which things needed to go and which could stay. I probably cried once or twice during that long drive, but I also already felt the courage in me begin to spout. When I collapsed onto my bed that night, in a bedroom of the house I had grown up in, I still felt a little bit like a child, unsure of what I was doing and if I was doing it right. But the courage that it took to leave was growing even that night, and it would continue to even months after I had left. I did it. I was gone.

It wasn’t an easy road, of course. The depression I had struggled with for so many years came back with a vengeance for a while, and I coped with it in some destructive ways. When Meagan came by and said goodbye a few nights ago, she mentioned that she missed touch. I understand that instantly. I would crawl into bed at night and wish that someone, anyone would hold me. Any hug from a friend, anytime a co-worker brushed by me in the hall, any affection from a boyfriend…anything that felt connected suddenly became so valuable, because I didn’t have that connection anymore. There were bouts of joy, a relationship here and there, but the longer I lived this new life, the easier it became. Suddenly, I realized I was peeling back the layers to who I actually was. I liked that girl so much better.

And after I left, I became married to someone I actually truly loved. I had a daughter and, now, a newborn son with him. The family I was meant for has happened, and it wouldn’t have happened otherwise. I had this story sitting here, waiting for me the entire time.
The leaving was hard, as it should be. But it brought me to a beautiful place.


8.05.2013

Guest Post: Aim High Erin

*Hello, loves! Over the course of the next few weeks OWTM will have some wonderful women guest posting about their own experiences with divorce. Each of their stories are unique and I hope you'll learn some valuable lessons, whether you've been through this process or not. Today's guest is Erin of Aim High Erin. She's a fellow military wife/divorcée (and military member herself) and just welcomed a sweet baby girl with her second husband. Stop by to say hello!*

Lessons in Leaving


[Bonus points if you can sing the song that inspired this title.]

Hello, I’m Erin, and I was a divorcee at the age of 24.  Before I dive into my story and wisdom about the experience, I’d like to thank Meagan for allowing me to guest post and for her own honesty during this process.  Divorce is an open wound for many, and leaving you vulnerable and humble.  It’s never easy to discuss in such a public fashion, and I applaud Meagan for being willing to put herself out there.

Quick background on my own story of love lost.  I met my first husband when I was 19, and away at my first year of college.  He was 13 years my senior, but that didn’t faze me, or those close to me at the time, because we were compatible on other levels and I always gravitated towards older men.  Two years into our relationship I was engaged, and then married a year and a half after that.  Two years into our marriage, I was pulling the plug.  While there were a number of contributing factors to my divorce, I can best sum them up by saying that I married at too young of an age, and before I had time to “grow up.”  Don’t read too much into that last sentence, thinking that I needed to sow my wild oats, as that wasn’t the case.  I was immature and I was never held responsible for myself, fiscally.  Within that marriage, I was not forced to grow as I so badly needed to – I went from daddy’s house to my husband’s, never learning to appreciate what I had, in terms of creature comforts.  I was in bad need of humbling.

Eight years have passed since that relationship ended.  Meeting my current husband was a catalyst in the ending of that relationship, and for that I endured a lot of outside judgment and learned the lessons I’d like to impart on Meagan’s readers.

1.     No one knows the true nature of a relationship except the two people involved.  I can’t stress this enough.  Doesn’t matter if you’re a parent, sibling, best friend, etc.  You don’t know what that relationship is like unless you’re involved.  Therefore, don’t pass judgment on who’s at fault for the demise of a marriage, because you don’t know.  No one knows what happens behind closed doors.  We can speculate, we can guess, but those are two unique individuals.  I was criticized quite a bit because on the outside there was nothing “wrong” with my marriage.  My ex-husband was not a horrible person, nor was he a bad husband.  He just wasn’t the right husband for me at that time, nor was I giving him the best of me.

2.     The details of the divorce settlement are no one’s business except your own.  Again, I dealt with my fair share of unsolicited advice, particularly from family members, about what I should be “getting” as a result of my divorce settlement.  Frankly, those legal details aren’t anyone’s business.  I wasn’t looking to take him to the cleaners or ruin his life.  I just wanted an amicable split.  I signed over the condo that we’d lived in for a few months, a move that I was criticized for doing.  Ultimately, I knew that giving up that property and that asset wasn’t going to be the end of the world for me.  I would be fine, I would own property again, and I would get back on my feet.

3.     No one enters a marriage thinking it won’t work.  Another philosophy I can’t stress enough.  There are plenty of idealists out there that tout beliefs like, “Divorce isn’t an option,” but that’s not always realistic.  We’re not martyrs, folks, and no one should be forced to live in a relationship with someone who doesn’t bring out the best in them, make them happy, inspire them to better themselves, or worse yet, who abuses them in any sense of the word.  If you’ve exhausted yourself trying to make it work, there’s no reason not to walk away holding your head high.  Divorce is an option.  It may not be the ideal, but it is an option.

4.     Divorce ends more relationships than the marriage.  Be prepared to watch a number of your relationships and friendships slip away as a result of the divorce.  Sadly, it’s inevitable, but it’s also eye opening.  As much as I may preach #1, you’re going to have “friends” who insist on judging you and taking sides.  Expect it; don’t fight it.  It’s going to hurt, but it’s not worth bad-mouthing your ex in a pitiful attempt to preserve a friendship that may not be worth saving.  Let the cards fall where they may, and move on.  The truest of friends will want to see you happy, regardless of whether you’re married or not.  Some of the hardest relationships for me to let go of were the connections I’d made with my ex’s family members.  It hurt to let them down, to lose that part of the family, and to know that I was no longer welcome.  Unfortunately, that was a consequence of my actions.  It also may be difficult to wrap your head around not having any sort of relationship with your ex, a person who’s had such an impact on your life, but it happens and you make peace with it.  Only in rare instances do I see exes who manage to remain close friends.

5.     Divorce may be exactly what you need.  I wouldn’t say that divorce was one of the best things to happen to me, as I wouldn’t wish that level of hurt on my ex – he didn’t deserve it.  But our divorce was one of the most pivotal moments of growth in my adult life.  I often cite that year, my 25th, as being the time in which I finally grew up.  I stopped being carefree and careless, and started appreciating the little things, like being able to pay my utility bills and put food in the cabinets of my humble, one bedroom apartment in a sketchy area.  Divorce can be freeing, pushing you to accomplish those goals you’d previously cast aside.  I completed my teaching licensure program while living on the couch of a friend, starting my new career while essentially homeless.  I learned how to ride (and subsequently purchased) a motorcycle.  This period of growth made me a better person, the sort of person my ex deserved, but that growth wouldn’t have been possible without the divorce.

Eight years have passed since my divorce.  Eight years have seen so much change that I barely know that individual that I left behind, and I’m not talking about my ex.  I’ve finished a master’s degree, become established in my career, lived in two different states, enlisted in the military, purchased a home, and had a child.  I was happy to see him find love again and remarry this last year.  As for me, I’m celebrating six years with my second husband this month, and looking forward to our future.  Life goes on, love is found again.


7.29.2013

Livin' In A Vlogger's Paradise

If you sang the title of this post to the tune of Amish Paradise by Weird Al Yankovic, 100 points for you!

You guys...I have a confession. I have never *gulp* vlogged. You know, a video blog? Get it together, bloggers!

Anywho...with all the changes going on around these parts I figured it'd be fun to switch things up on the blog too! Can you guess where I'm going with this?

I'M DOING A VLOG, Y'ALL!

But I need your help. I'm kind of clueless as to what I would say, so I thought I'd hand the reigns over to you wonderful people. Ask me any question you want and I'll answer it as honestly as possible in the vlog! Even the embarrassing ones. ;)

Have at it!


7.28.2013

Goodbyes

Well, tomorrow's the big day.

My parents were amazing enough to come down and pack up the majority of my stuff 2 weeks ago, so there wasn't much left for me to do. I've had most of the rest of the apartment packed up and clean for a while now, but carrying what's leftover down three flights of stairs tomorrow should be a good workout.

When this whole adventure began in December of last year (wow, has it really been that long?) I was so emotionally attached to our life here that I cried at the thought of dividing our belongings and packing them all away. But now I've surprised myself. I never cried, not even once, during the entire packing process over the past 2 months. Turning in our intent to vacate? Piece of cake. Transitioning his crap out of my room and into the guest room? No biggie. Even piling every wedding picture and old memory from our good days into an "Ex Box" was less traumatic than I thought it would be.

Over the past 2 months, the months where I've been truly at peace with where this path has taken me, I haven't shed a tear over the life I've lost with Josh. I've cried from exhaustion, frustration, loneliness, and even jealousy as he's already replaced me, but not one tear was shed for him.

Then today began and I was feeling energetic despite the "sleep" I've been getting on the air mattress these past 2 weeks. I cleaned meticulously, finished Class #3, and watched some Netflix. It wasn't a bad day, but for some reason I couldn't stop the tears this afternoon. It was totally unmerited, but sometimes you just need a good cathartic cry fest. Days like this are fewer and farther between than they used to be (remember when I used to cry every day?), but they're still painful when they come.

Today was painful because my brain finally registered that I'm leaving tomorrow. For the past 4 years, my life has been a series of moves. I spend a year somewhere, finally make a friend or two, know my way around town, and can tell you some of the good eats. Then something happens and I move again. I start all over again. And it's exhausting, you guys.

Moving from my parents' house to Michigan in the fall of 2009 was easy because I was living with and near family. Moving back into my parents' house in the summer of 2010 was simple. Moving from my parents' house to Virginia in the summer of 2011 was exhilarating as Josh and I were just starting our life together. Moving from Virginia back into my parents' house for the summer was interesting, but it was good to be with family again. Even moving to Champaign in the fall of 2012 was exciting because it meant a new chapter was unfolding in our life together.

But this move? This one's the hardest yet. I've grown comfortable here. My landlord is a piece of crap, but I love this apartment. I know the backroads and can easily give someone directions. I even found probably my #1 favorite sushi place ever (if you're ever in C-U, go to Kofusion). On top of that, I made 2 wonderful friends - 2 people I never would have met had it not been for the blogosphere. And what a coincidence that they're both military wives and live in this teeny tiny town! When I stopped by Erika's tonight to pick something up that I'd lent to her, it was hard not to cry. But we've both been having a rough few weeks, so I thought I would spare us both (and the kiddos).

I'm not going to lie though - I cried the whole way home and I'm crying now. Part of it's exhaustion, part of it is frustration that I'm moving yet again. But an even bigger part is having to leave a friend. I remember leaving my friend, Cortney, when we left Virginia and we cried the last time we saw each other. Leaving people you love is always the hardest part of moving. But I'm thankful to have people in my life to miss.

And I'm even more thankful for social media and Skype because it means I can torment those people from 200 miles away. ;)



7.27.2013

A Single Girl's Bucket List


Considering the fact that the last time I was single I was 17, it's important that I learn to be comfortable (and ultimately enjoy) being single and doing things on my own. Over the past few months, I've been coming to terms with living alone in the apartment Josh and I shared, but I've never taken it outside the house. 


There are many things that I've been wanting to do for a long time, but either never had the time, never had the guts, or was "held back" by someone not wanting to do them with me. So I've made a list of those things and the idea is to complete the entire list before entering into another serious relationship. Now it's time to take control of my life and my goals and live them solo. Who needs men?!? 

Without further ado...The Master List:


 1. Eat out solo without any distractions/see a movie solo.
 2. Travel somewhere just me and Mom.
 3. Purchase an entire outfit, just because.
 4. Move into my own apartment.
 5. Read 3 hours a week.
 6. Have a girls' weekend.
 7. Get my FOID card and a gun.
 8. Get a bikini wax or Brazillian.
 9. Get a second tattoo.
 10. Volunteer at Feed My Starving Children.
 11. Buy a sexy bra/lingerie just for me/upgrade my panty collection.
 12. Master my hair and makeup.
 13. Be single for 6 months (June 5 - December 5).
 14. Be able to talk about Josh without being mean or upset.
 15. Stay alone in a hotel for a night.
 16. Make a new girlfriend.
 17. Join XSport Fitness and go 5 times a week.
 18. Get together with a friend once a week.
 19. Repay money to Mom and Dad.
 20. Finish certificate program and possibly associates.
 21. Pay off USAA credit card.
 22. Save $5,000.
 23. Determine what I do and don't want/need in a future relationship.
 24. Sing karaoke.
 25. Find a legitimate Big Girl Job.
 26. Travel back to the Czech Republic.
 27. Lock down my health problems and implement solutions.
 28. Successfully complete the Sambazon cleanse.
 29. Do a boudoir photo shoot.
 30. Go to a Cubs game at Wrigley field.

Have you ever made a single girl's bucket list for yourself? What are some ideas you think I should consider adding to the list?