Call It A 'Quarter-Life Crisis'

I've been slightly impulsive lately, people.

I'm normally not spontaneous so my recent behavior is out of the norm, but I've read that it's completely normal to do unusual things when you're going through a crisis. 

Some people turn to drugs, buying sports cars, moving to a new country, or going on extravagant spending sprees. This kind of reckless behavior is not healthy during a crisis. If anything, it can cause more harm than good in the long run. 

Thankfully, not to brag, I've been rather mild with my quarter-life crisis impulses. 

Here are a few "impulsive" coping strategies I've adopted since the divorce:

1. Returning to school.

Many of you know that I've been to 3 different colleges over the past 5 years. I've changed my major, run out of money, moved across the country, etc. and all of those things contributed to my demotivation to finish any sort of degree. When Josh told me he wanted a divorce back in December, that was exactly the push I needed to get my ass in gear. In March, I returned to school and have been taking classes online. Only 20 credit hours stand between me and an Office Administration certification.

2. Getting a tattoo.

I'd been wanting to get a tattoo for a long time (since before I turned 18, to be exact), but could never bring myself to spend the money on something so frivolous. Recently however, I sucked it up and got a tattoo that means so much to me. I'll explain the meaning behind it in another post...

3. Adopting a dog.

Since I was a kid, I've wanted a dog. We could never have one because my dad and brother were allergic, but with divorce comes loneliness and I needed a companion. In the course of a week I decided I wanted to adopt a dog, visited the humane society 4 times, and brought home my sweet baby. At the end of May I adopted Chevy from the Champaign County Humane Society. Chevy has been exactly the friend I need. I met a few other dogs, but she and I just clicked. We've been inseparable ever since. She's a 7 year old Chihuahua/Miniature Pinscher mix and weighs 14.5 lbs. She's extremely well behaved, loving, and energetic. Our vet nicknamed her Jumping Bean. :)

What are some impulsive things you've done during a crisis or extreme life change? How did you cope?


Do It Anyway

*Written 3.2.13*

Since that Monday a week before Christmas, I've cried every day.

Sometimes it's just a stray tear or two when I glance at our DVDs and realize that, six months from now, I'll have to separate them by which are mine and which are his.

Others, its wave after wave of uncontrollable hot tears that leave me blind and limp on the floor of our apartment when I think of the reasons he's leaving. When I think of how he led me to believe in our mutual love for the past four years. When I remember all the times he promised me forever, a lifetime of memories together, and is now throwing them away. When I've convinced myself that death would be easier, but my thin hope for a future where we're together keeps me on this earth. When I picture my life five years down the road and he's still in it, even though he's told me my hopes are in vain. When I promise myself that my efforts are making a difference, but the scared little girl inside second guesses, believing that he's right.

As I'm writing this, my cheeks are flushed, my eyes are blurry from the tears I can't seem to suppress, and I can't figure out if it's because I'm angry or heartbroken. It's most likely a combination, but tonight I'm just not sure. It changes from day to day.

Each morning it's a struggle to choose fake happiness. No matter how much I attempt to be optimistic, doubt usually seeps in and crushes my hopes. Grief takes over and logic shuts down. I am weak. But there are also days when logic trumps emotion and I smile, despite the arrow sticking out of my heart.

When the pain says, "It's not worth it," my love for my husband screams, "Do it anyway!"

There are days I feel like getting out of bed is impossible. But I do it anyway.
Most mornings I can't imagine how I'll survive the day. But I do it anyway.
I'm horrified to leave the house, for fear that he won't be there when I return. But I do it anyway.

He says going to counseling won't save us. But I do it anyway.
The old counselor said that reading all the marriage books won't make a difference. But I do it anyway.
When I tell him "I love you" and he just says, "I know," it kills me. But I do it anyway.
I'm alone in this fight for the marriage I want so desperately to save. But I do it anyway.
I'm not sure how I'll survive the months to come, but I will do it anyway.


June Sponsor Shout-Out

Good morning, loves!

Today I want to introduce you to some wonderful women who've joined my sidebar for the month of June. I've had the pleasure of getting to know them over many months, thanks to the magical land of Twitter, and am so excited for you to get to know them too! Don't forget to stop by their blogs and say hello. :)

Without further ado, OWTM's June sponsors!

Meet Moira...

"Hi everyone! I'm Moira, AKA Mrs. McDancer. I blog over at my little corner of the web, McDancing Through Life. It's a glimpse into my life as a wife to a soldier, mama to a very special boy {who also happens to have special needs}, lover of a goofy fur pup, book loving librarian, and everything in between. Life isn't always perfect, but with a little panda love and some Diet Coke it's easier to remember, 'Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain.'"

Blog ~ Twitter ~ BlogLovin' ~ Pinterest

Meet Sara...

"You.And.Me.Are.We is a lifestyle blog chronicling the life of two newlyweds {Sara & Trevor}. You'll find DIY crafts, how they're making a rented duplex into a {temporary} home, travel stories, {mostly successful} recipes, nursing school adventures, and everything in between! Stop on over, take a look around, and stay for a while. You never know what you're gonna find!"

Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~    BlogLovin' ~ Pinterest

Meet Jamie...

"Hello, Out With The Map readers. I'm Jamie and I blog over at Handling With Grace?. My blog is a mish-mash of family, military life, and  grief posts. I spend my days cleaning up after a rambunctious three year old little girl, the calmest two month old baby boy ever born, and a slobbery boxer. My life is sometimes sloppy, but I strive for finding joy and grace in every day."


The Way We Did Things

When Josh first told me he wanted a divorce, I immediately quit the job I had only been at for a day and, through sobs, told my parents I was coming home. They urged me not to drive through the middle of the night feeling the way I was. So I stayed in Champaign and Josh, having pity on the poor girl who couldn't even stand up because she was in such shock, made me eat something and stayed up  watching Parks & Recreation with me all night. 

Over the next few days leading up to Christmas I complied with all of Josh's wishes through a haze of disbelief; I stupidly helped him look for a cheap room to rent and he agreed to keep paying for me to live in our current apartment, we listed our second car on Craigslist because we could no longer afford it (with me being unemployed and all), and we talked about how we would divide up our belongings. I hardly remember anything that happened between the 17th and the 31st of December. I was too numb to process anything.

Somewhere during our time at home over Christmas break, Josh's dad convinced him to "stick it out" until the end of the summer and then reconsider. Josh agreed, solely to satisfy his father and myself, but later admitted he had no intention of staying past August 1st. He only admitted this after a few more sessions with Marriage Counselor #2, and when he did it was like being shot in the heart a second time. It took me a few days to shake the initial devastation, but I accepted my reality and negotiated with Josh - if he kept his promise to stay until the end of the summer, I wouldn't fight the divorce. I figured this would give me time to "transition" out of our marriage and mourn a little more gradually, taking a tiny fleck of the sting away.

He agreed to cooperate and we came up with a new game plan - we'd divide up all the tasks that needed to be done in order for us to divorce and complete a few of them each month leading up to the end of the summer. Between March and August, we'd take things slow. I didn't want a divorce. I still loved Josh. I wanted as much time with him as possible and I needed gradual emotional separation. Knowing myself, a sudden divorce and having Josh just disappear out of my life would have been more devastating. This game plan was a compromise - he'd get the divorce he wanted and I would get my time. 

If it would have been a sudden divorce where he moved out the day after he told me he wanted out, I think I still would've been holding onto the shreds of hope that maybe we could've worked out. But I saw our marriage from a different perspective after Josh said he wanted a divorce; I realized what we were missing and what would never be between us. I took off my blinders and realized how much he had changed and how wrong we were for each other. Before, when I was fighting tooth and nail to save our marriage, I refused to see those things. Most days this transition was good for me, even if it kept Josh from the new life without me he so desperately wanted, but some days were so hard that it took everything in me not to strangle him...or myself. 

Knowing that he was no longer the man I married was a double-edged sword - it stung because I missed the man he used to be, but it stung a tad less because he was now a man I would never consider marrying. Once I stopped fighting against the reality, I began to see a thousand reasons I didn't actually want to be married to Josh anymore. As painful as these realizations were, each one another punch to the gut, they were (and still are) a necessary evil in my journey towards a new life without him.

All I needed was time.