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?


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!



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. ;)


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?

Meagan's Summer 2013 Playlist

You know those songs you can't help but sing along and groove to? Whether it's in the car or playing over my computer's speakers, these songs have been on repeat all summer. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Wagon Wheel - Darius Rucker

2. Hurricane - MS MR

3. Anna Sun - Walk The Moon

4. Cups - Anna Kendrick

5. Holding On To You - Twenty One Pilots

6. Same Love ft. Mary Lambert - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

7. Mama's Broken Heart - Miranda Lambert

8. Pompeii - Bastille

9. Downtown - Lady Antebellum

And last, but most certainly not least...

10. Cruise - Florida Georgia Line

What are some of your favorite songs for the summer of 2013?


Why I'm Not Changing My Name

Many people have asked me if I'll be changing my name back now that we're divorced. The answer: nope!

Going back to my maiden name would be like taking a step backwards. I'm not that girl anymore. When I was Meagan Veeninga, I was just a girl, a little kid.

I'm a woman now. I gave up my old self and became a different person with a new name. No one knows me as Meagan Veeninga anymore (with the exception of the class of losers I graduated with, myself included). You can't go back. You can only move forward. My name doesn't define me, but it has changed me.

I'm legally Meagan Nixdorf, but that doesn't mean I'm still married. It also doesn't mean that I'm still "hooked on Joshua" and holding on to the last shred of our marriage through keeping the last name, as some people have insinuated. The process I would have to go through to reverse the name change is too exhausting and too expensive and too time intensive to make it worth it. Why torture myself when I've got bigger fish to fry?

If someday down the road I get remarried (which I hope I do when the time and the man are right), I'll go through the name change process. I'll take Mr. Right's last name and start the next chapter in my crazy, awesome life.



Things are looking up.

I'm divorced, unemployed, in debt, and living with my parents, but I'm surprisingly okay.

In fact, I'd venture to say that I'm more than okay. I'm not afraid. I'm ready. I'm excited. I'm happy. This next chapter in my life has absolutely no direction and I'm alright with just exploring the possibilities right now. I can do and be whatever/whoever I want to be and the fact that it's all up to me and I don't have to consider anyone else in the matter, the fact that I only have to look out for #1, is liberating.

Remember this post from only a few short weeks ago when I was still coming to terms with living alone? And this post from when I was sad about having to pack up my old life with Josh and start over without him? How about this post where I didn't want to live in a world where I didn't know him anymore?

Those feelings are gone. They ran off and I can't find them anywhere. I don't know where they are and when exactly they left, but I don't mind. In truth, I don't care to find them ever again. I know I'll go through spurts of grief here and there through the coming months, but they'll be fleeting.

Today I'm relishing where my heart and mind are at this very moment. They're on fire. And in the best way possible.

With Josh never being home (he doesn't even have a bed here anymore) and 90% of the stuff packed up and moved out of the apartment, closure is taking place. It's a process, but closure is coming nonetheless. I don't even notice that he's gone anymore. We're no longer friends on Facebook. Everyone knows we're divorced now. And the only times I find myself thinking of him are on the rare occasions that he is home or if there's something move related that we need to discuss.

I'm beginning to think that if I had the financial means at the moment, I'd be able to live on my own (as in, in my own apartment *gasp!*) when our lease is up in only one short week and be perfectly okay.

I'm beginning to believe in my strength.

I've got this.


In Five Years Time

*Written 5.23.13*

"In five years time, I might not know you,
In five years time, we might not speak,
In five years time, we might not get along,
In five years time, you might just prove me wrong."
~ Noah & The Whale ~

I was lucky enough to have an extremely understanding employer during this ordeal. When I first told her that Josh and I were divorcing, she cried with me because she'd been there. I had no idea she'd been through a divorce, and much less, in her early twenties like myself. I assumed K was her first husband. 

As we talked, she reminded me over and over that the end of my marriage to Joshua is not the end of my life, even if it may feel like it right now. She reminded me that 12 years ago she was married to "the one" who turned out to be the wrong one. And today, that life is just a distant memory she's gleaned many a lesson from. She hasn't spoken to or seen her first husband in years and harbors no bad feelings towards him. Instead, she's married to the true man of her dreams and has three incredible children with him. In her 30's she's created the life she always wanted. But in her 20's, she wanted something totally different with a man she no longer knows. 

It's scary and heartbreaking to think that in five, maybe ten years, I might not even speak to Joshua. When we were dating, we talked every day unless he was in the field. No exceptions. We just couldn't wait to hear each other's voices. But over the course of the past four years, we've become completely different people. We still talk every day, but it's more for relationship than for actual companionship. 

I don't want a life without him. I don't want to live in a world where we don't speak and even more painfully, where we don't know each other. But such is my new reality. Never, in my craziest bipolar thoughts, did I imagine that we could be in this place. All of the things I never wanted, all of my worst nightmares, are happening right before my eyes and I can't stop them. 

Five years from now, my best friend -- my soulmate -- could be a total stranger. We know each other better than we each know ourselves. But in time, it's very possible that I won't know his current favorite band, his address or phone number, or what he's eating for dinner on Friday night. 

Time, you sneaky bastard, you. This was not part of my 5 year plan.


Oh, Irony...

Back in the summer of 2011, when Josh and I finally moved in together, I wrote a post about how difficult it was to adapt to sharing a bed with someone. Neither of us had gotten much sleep since our new set-up and it was a challenge to perfect the art of bed space allocation. Eventually, we got used to it and with Josh on TDY a few times a month I had the bed to myself quite often, so it wasn't really all that bad.

As I was reading through my old posts tonight, I came upon that one in particular and laughed at myself. I was actually LOLing, you guys. Seriously! Go back and read that post (it'll take you 30 seconds). It's funny to look back and see myself complaining about sharing my precious mattress with Joshua because, up until recently, I couldn't sleep without sharing it with him.

Personally, one of the hardest transitions from married life into divorced/single life was sleeping alone. Just as I had to learn to sleep with a snoring, 6'2" soldier in a queen sized bed, I had to unlearn it. Some nights were harder than others, particularly in the beginning, but eventually I came to terms with it.

The tricks to sleeping alone in a queen sized bed after you've had to share it for so long are as follows:

1. For the love of all that is holy, sleep on the OTHER SIDE. Once you and your partner no longer share a bed, you'll be rudely awakened when you roll over in the middle of the night and forget that his body isn't keeping the bed warm next to you. Stop this heartbreaking habit by sleeping on the other side  so that it almost feels like a new bed. Maybe even rearrange the furniture to switch things up. And don't forget to thank me later.

2. Treat yo' self. Change the bedding, add a few extra pillows (you know, to take up the empty space), change up your nightstand, purchase a sound machine (essential!), and treat yourself to some new PJs. This used to be our space, but now it's just you so make it your space. Buy as many pointless throw pillows and purple bed spreads as you damn well please. There's no one there to stop you. Muahahaha!

3. Embrace the opportunity to hog the bed. This was a hard one for me. I didn't want to hog the bed, god damnit! I wanted Josh to hog the bed with me. I wanted to be elbowed in the boob at 2:00 in the morning. I wanted his snoring to wake me up and remind my bladder that its full ten times a night. You never realize how precious these things are until they don't happen anymore. HA! Yeah frickin' right. At first the bed felt empty and lonely, but after a few months I started sleeping through the night like I had in high school. Worth. It.

When you're going through an emotional trauma, your body and mind need time to adjust, so do these things, but give yourself time to get used to your new routine. Feeling comfortable and content sleeping alone after divorce does not come easy. Cut yourself some slack and take it in strides. I used to avoid even going into the bedroom until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning because I hated knowing I would be sleeping alone. Honestly, some nights you won't sleep at all because something feels off. But in time, you'll roll over and doze off into dreamland without a second thought.

Have you suffered from insomnia after a traumatic life event? What did you do to cope and become comfortable sleeping alone?