What I learned in October and other things

Mostly, I’m at a loss for words. Confused. Irritated. Twice now the request for a simple divorce has been denied by the King County courts. The emails say we don’t qualify. That’s twice now, so why is he not going in the right direction? Doing something? The stbx was going to take care of this last week, being that he lives in Seattle and is not working much. Today I contacted King County in Seattle myself. I made an appointment for the stbx to go downtown in the morning, find out what the problem is; a request was made to include me via a conference call. I won’t know if that request will be granted until tomorrow. It is my belief that the stbx made a huge error months ago when he initially did the filing, the error just now apparent. I just want to move on with my life; I wish I had been in charge of the entire process all along. I just couldn’t do it. I had that chance and gave it up.

Back in January I asked for the divorce; the stbx wanted us to be separated, although he was “99% sure we will get a divorce.” He wanted me out of India, he wanted to think things over, said he’d like to wait 2-4 weeks after getting back in the states before HE made a decision. There was no WE in this. And then I learned he was involved in online dating three days after I was booted out of India. The choice then, completely clear. I began the process, spoke with an attorney, began filling out the online paperwork. I was overcome with emotion, could not do it. So I asked for his help, asked him to do the filing, which required starting the whole process over. He agreed. Now here we are.

What I learned in October

I’ve already admitted I lost my list on the knowledge I acquired in October. Leaving anything or anyone out is not intentional. I always want to give thanks and credit to anyone who has helped me in any way. November should be better.

If you want to make sure things are done right, it’s best you just do them yourself.

There are times when very scary things are happening and you have no control. I have learned you just have to let go. Either that, or make yourself sick as a dog.

Sometimes things that belong to you that you really want, but are not in your possession, just aren’t worth the trouble any longer. You let them go, hope the current holder of your possessions trips on them, is choked by them. Just kidding. I have learned things are just things.

In the month of October I traveled to Washington state. I saw my daughter, some old friends and some new ones. I spent a few days hiking in the mountains, sitting by an alpine lake, gazing up at a sky dotted with bright stars. I learned that family and friends are nourishment for my soul; I cannot survive without them. I learned you don’t have to know someone for long or very well for them to be the best medicine in the world. Some women are just pure gold. They love you and encourage you and validate you and are almost as good as your mother in offering support. I learned it is unhealthy to go without these relationships; they are an important part of one’s mental health.

I learned nature is a healer. I learned some of us (me) need to see green and mountains and water to be fulfilled. Those of us who are designed this way need to pay attention, feed ourselves with this special fuel. I know now my future involves an immersion in nature and I won’t deny my soul from this point on. For me, it is essential.

I saw, again, that family members can be oh, so helpful, whether it’s a listening ear, legal advice or information about buying cars in different states. I am eternally grateful, especially for the countless hours my children have devoted to just listening, or offering advice and support. And I appreciate impromptu calls. Those who truly love you will never tire of giving you support.

One needs to be brave, try a little adventure. Getting into a car with someone you only met once for under 10 minutes CAN turn out to be a wonderful experience. Just as staying at the homes of people you don’t know can work out just fine. And courage (aka bravery) can be well worth the awkwardness one feels when meeting (almost) strangers in Dallas for lunch.

It is normal to want connection. It is normal to go back to your last important, meaningful connection when feeling lonely. There is no shame in this. We are human; we need it.

If you allow enough time to go by, you will find your velvet cushion. Once found, it will feel like you’ve won the lottery. The softening of pain is a gift larger than the ocean.

Animals help the soul. They are healing. The relationship they bring, especially to those who live alone, is soothing, palliative. They temper the feeling of loneliness. I cannot imagine how I survived without Flynn.

If you keep on the path, work hard, press forward, and believe, results will come. You just have to stick your neck out, be willing to fail. Before you know it, you might even get something published.

I am doing better! Currently I’m back several paces but I will move forward again. This is just temporary. I know this now. At times circumstances pounce on us, bring us down, but like a buoy, we can bounce back up.

Working on an MFA, or any graduate school program, for that matter, is harder than hell. I already knew this. What I know now is you cannot let up, you must stay ahead, even when on a trip.

Patience is still not my friend; I continue to work with her.

Having something to look forward to adds sweetness to any day, even if it’s a very small thing.

Facebook and the Internet are the biggest robbers of time. This fact needs to be kept at the forefront of my mind in order to reach my goals. A very important lesson.

I already know this, but it is worth repeating: a good night’s sleep does wonders. It is good to think things over before one responds. Sleeping on it is never a bad idea.

I know I’ve learned more than what I’ve written, but I want to add just one more thing. Feeling loved and cared for and supported can get me through anything.


The worry fire

I’d written out about 500 words for my post today. Most of it was about insomnia, how it has plagued me for the past few days. I wrote what a curse it can be (especially if one goes for days without sleep), how it leaves me with a fragile foundation, makes it difficult to climb through any emotional pain and how it aids worry in working its madness.

I’d encountered something I felt was a horrific problem this past week and the insomnia has magnified it ten-fold. As the night continues on, I feel less and less interested in sharing that post. The unexpected has encumbered my brain, added fuel to the “worry fire” and my perspective on the past few days circles the drain as I write. I keep thinking I wish I had a husband, as if he would make me feel better, listen and offer advice. Hold on to me. Offer support. Have all the answers. The best thing is for me to just go to bed, pray for sleep, and hang on to the fact that tomorrow is a new day. One foot in front of the other.



A day of reading

Some of my friends sent notes of congratulations on my piece being selected to go into the next Pitkin Review. This made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I like sharing happy news with people I care about. Friends make life worth living. As the months have gone by this year, I realize just how important friends really are. Sometimes I can’t believe how alone I was in India. Friends can be forever; they can be so much more loyal than even a husband. I see the goodness and love and loyalty inside others and I want to squeeze them tight.

This has been a day full of reading. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek has no plot. Annie Dillard’s Pulitzer Prize winner is a series of chapters of her life over a period of about a year. It is full of her musings on nature and religion and other thoughts living in the Blue Ridge Valley in Virginia. She loves nature; she loves trees and Tinker Creek and shadows and light and moths, among other things. The book is full of beautiful prose but it isn’t for everyone. I’d say it’s more for the reader who wants to read slowly, take in her words and her facts about nature. It’s not for the easily distracted. I have to write a three page paper on this book, an annotation on some literary element, backed by examples I cite in the book. I’ve no idea what I’ll write about. Maybe I’ll write about her metaphors and similes, some beautiful and some harrowing. Like this one: “I walked east through the Adams’ woods to the cornfield, cutting three undamaged egg cases I found at the edge of the field. It was a clear, picturesque day, a February day without clouds, without emotion or spirit, like a beautiful woman with an empty face” (p57). I’ll have to remember to use that “empty face” phrase in some of my writing; I love the imagery.

The end of the month is almost here. I’d started a list of what I learned in October and of course, now I can’t find it. It was on an index card on my bedside table. I’m afraid I’m going to leave out people and experiences again. To a better list in November!