Friday, August 12, 2011

Big Girl Vacation-St. Johns

I'm calling this my big girl vacation, because I've never traveled alone. But to be exact, I'm truly not alone. Well, tomorrow will be my first day on my own. Since getting here, I've been spending some much needed time with my bestie who grew up in this amazing part of the world. It's certainly made my first big girl vacation a lot easier when I'm lucky to have such a great friend and her awesome family to welcome me. Anyhow, last night after spending a wonderful afternoon with her folks, we went and enjoyed quite a bit of wine and great conversation. Thankfully I had my wits about me enough to drink enough water so that other than that really really dry mouth in the morning I was good to go.

So on to the quintessential whale watching tour. And like every other whale watching tour I've been on, I've seen a variety of birds, but no whales. And unlike every other whale watching tour or just plain boat I've been on, I got sea sick. So I spent a good deal of time hanging over the back of the boat, but once I recovered, I found myself, my back leaning on the railing enjoying the ride. Something I would have NEVER done before, out of fear. My bestie was in the cabin with her boy and came out to take photos of me. She said that I looked so happy, content and beautiful, she had to grab my photo. I don't know about beautiful, but happy, oh yes, I was.

I was out on the ocean, on my first vacation by myself, to a place that I've been wanting to go to for at least 10 years and it was just as beautiful as I had imagined. Someone was playing a flute, or it was being piped in, I'm not sure, the wind blowing in my face and for the first time in a gabillion years, I was doing something truly for myself. I don't know what tomorrow will bring, god willing not any moose or flat tires, but I will revel in the fact that it will be all about me and that I am capable of doing this all by myself.

Personally, though, I think I look happiest here 
with my friend Mom2Michael of Raising My Boys

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

All my bags are packed

Okay not really, I can't pack to save my life. It doesn't help that my destination can't seem to make up its mind on whether it's summer or winter. The local weather report according to my bestie "It's fucking miserable!" She just be taking part in the national past time of bitching about the weather, however the Weather Network seems to concur, they might not quite use that description though.

Anyhow, I'm on my first adventure solo. Whenever I've traveled its been with someone, save for a short plane ride to Boston where I met ex for a good few days. Part of me is thrilled, the other part of me is terrified. Why? I'm not terribly sure why. I mean I'm staying in my country, going to a province with reputably friendly people, going to enjoy much of the natural beauty, I don't have to convert and worst comes to worst, I have several people on the island I can live with til I earn enough money to get back home.

I think I'm afraid of being alone in a new environment for some time. I'm good with being alone at home, I freaking crave it! But this is a little different. Not having access to my friends or support system in a pinch...not having access to cellular (damn you Rogers, would it kill ya to put up a couple of towers in Newfoundland?). I'm afraid of not being able to fill my day with distractions so I don't really have to think those deep important thoughts that people typically tend to think when they are alone. Though maybe now is the time to think of those thoughts, I'm usually inspired to reflect by reading or talking to someone, but it's very focused, maybe it might be a good thing to let the mind wander. Hopefully I'm strong enough to withstand where it wanders to.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Firsts and lasts

Go me! I'm on a roll today. Another thing I've been reflecting a lot on today is firsts and lasts. I was washing my hands this afternoon and for some reason, I started thinking of new years eve, and how this will be my first one ever where I'll be alone. It's such a couples event, and since most of my friends are coupled, well unless Alexander Skarsgaard magically walks into my life and I win him over with my charm and personality, I'm kinda goosed. My youngest is turning 1 in a few short weeks, and it will be the first birthday party, truth be told I'm kind of dreading it. Last year, we were upstairs in my room sharing a new life we brought into the world and a few short months after that everything derailed. Not to mention the party...can you say awkward!

Then about 15 minutes before I started writing this post, I was folding up some suits and shirts that the ex had left behind in the laundry room and thought to myself that this would be the last time I fold his clothes again. I was thinking about when we first started dating, I harassed him for an item of clothing to keep so that I could be reminded of him when we were apart. Us wimminfolk are supposed to have a highly developed sense of smell (that's why we can tell when the yogurt has expired, while the menfolk are shoveling it down their throats) and I wanted that item of clothing so I could smell my ex and be reminded of him. It smelled like his shampoo (Head and Shoulders). Back to now 20 minutes ago, I'm folding up his suits and shirts for the last time and I smelled one...and didn't it smell like Head and Shoulders. Gave me that good little needle in the heart.

That said, a few months ago I would have broken down in a puddle crying. Now, I shed a couple of tears and kept doing my work. Its funny because just when you think you're sailing along divorce being Wonder Woman, hear you roar, you are healed and dancing around to Beyonce's Single Lady, a first or a last comes and sucker punches you. There are going to be many more I'm sure, I guess I just have to rely on the fact that I've climbed up worse valleys and that there are going to be many great firsts. Like my first grown up trip all by myself. I'm half terrified, half excited to be driving around Newfoundland all by my lonesome, or my first tattoo, which I hope will be happening in September.

I guess bottom line is, life is full of surprises, at least I know I'm in for a bumpy ride for the next 2 1/2 years (they say it takes 3 to get over a divorce, I'm counting down the days lol). It's not like this is something new and unique, many people live through divorces and live to tell the tale, they all had to go through this and now its my turn. All I can do I guess is make sure my shocks are in good shape, break pads are new and a hell of a lot of renewable fuel.


There was a discussion on one of the forums about getting revenge on a partner who has wronged them. Some people came up with wicked ideas, some people with gross ones, a lot said "no way, why waste the energy". I didn't respond, rather I was inspired to write this post because it caused me to be reflective on my own behaviour of the past few months.

When my ex told me that we were finished, I was destroyed. I cannot describe the hurt. I honestly cannot remember how I got through it, other than by leaning seriously on friends and family and taking autopilot to new lengths.

Anyhow, back to revenge. When news got out, people were shocked with me. People were egging me on for crazy revenge plots and doing pretty angry things to personal property. I have memories from my childhood of my mother slicing through my fathers clothes and throwing them down the garbage chute, with every other female on the 11th floor. My father was a womanizer to the nth degree so it happened a few times. I remember being confused, because while all the woman and girls on the floor took glory in doing this, I felt embarassed. Yeah, she was getting revenge, but it just seemed like such a waste of energy, energy that should be spent crying over a cup of tea with a few good friends. I do admit I did little things in the early days, like hiding toothpaste, or removing one sock from each pair of socks. I felt so powerless and these little things gave me a momentary sense of power, but it wasn't sustained, the hurt returned even worse, because I had to confront the reality, that this has been done and I had no power, those little revenge items just delayed me realizing that. I had every opportunity to do a gabillion things for some serious revenge, but I didn't and people from my friends and family to his business colleagues wondered why. They remarked that they would not have been so gracious and sometimes i wondered, "am I being a doormat?"

Looking back six months later, I'm glad I took the high road. Honestly! I still feel hurt and I still analyze everything to death, but I feel healthy...or healthier. I spent that time crying to friends and family. I reached out for support and made sure I was doing work that would sustain me for a long time. Was it hard? Much harder than getting revenge, but it's left me in such a better place, which in the end is much more important to me and my children. The fact that I can break bread and not want to beat my ex over the head with a baguette marvels me and I take it as an accomplishment. Does it mean I have forgiven him? No, not yet, but I can see it the future. There is a lot of profound African wisdom around the topic of forgiveness, now mind you, many folks on the continent need that wisdom, but we have brilliant examples in South Africa or Rwanada about taking the higher road. It's not an easy path and it will take years, decades, who knows maybe even centuries to fully heal, but the alternative was to throw these nations and communities into further hatred and bloodshed and in the end, even centuries of painful growth seems a far better alternative. I remember reading a story about a Rwandan genocide survivor who had forgiven his neighbour who killed his family before him, after unsuccessfully trying to kill him. I always think back to his wisdom and I'm paraphrasing, but he said something to the degree that if you are sick, you need to take medicine to make you better, sometimes that medicine is not pleasant, but in the end, you will heal. Sometimes the medicine to hurt, is just riding it out, and having faith that it will end if you take care of yourself properly.

This event in my life, it was a loss, a deep and profound loss, but the fact that I have survived it and done a very good job in surviving it gracefully is an accomplishment I will always look back to with pride. And no amount of revenge I could have taken will ever come close to that very good and whole feeling of not only surviving, but surviving well. And that, my friends, that is power.