The last three or four years have brought a lot of change in my life — big changes. Some of these changes have been permanent, others feel temporary. I haven’t talked a lot about this on the blog because they have been…well, it’s just been too hard to talk about them. I’m not a touchy-feely kind of gal. But I have to tell you about these changes to make this post relevant. Gah. *squinchy face*
In the fall of 2009, my husband (at-the-time), Billy, and I took in my 10 year old nephew for a year. His mom (my sister) was trying to turn her life around and started that journey by joining the U.S. Army. An injury prevented her from finishing basic training, but her son stayed with us for a year to finish the school year in one place. Being a temporary mom was a challenge, but I still loved it. I have always wanted children and this experience confirmed that desire was sincere and that I’d be good at it. Billy had a very different experience. The child was not his blood and he was never able to fully open his heart to the idea of being a dad (temporary though it was). We both started that year doing what was best for my nephew in good faith. It wasn’t until there was a child in our home and in our immediate family that Billy realized parenting was not for him.
When my nephew returned home to his mom the next summer (who, BTW, is about to graduate with her two-year degree. I’m so proud of her!!), Billy and I had a series of very honest talks about what we wanted from life, from marriage and from each other. A big part of these conversations was about my need to parent, coupled with my inability to get pregnant. You see, we found out in 2008 that I couldn’t conceive, even with the help of fertility drugs. Like all couples who face infertility, we had — and considered — other options for parenting. But after Billy’s experience as a temporary dad, he had to be honest and admit he wasn’t willing or interested in trying alternative routes to parenting. With heavy hearts and deep sadness, we realized we didn’t want the same things and our time together had come to an end. By early 2011 I was divorced.
As part of the divorce we had to sell our house, which was tough because that house was the first place that felt like “home” to me in a long, long time. Billy moved out soon after the divorce was final and so the logistics of selling the house fell to me. While I had the help and support from loving friends, it was still a time of suck. I thinned my possessions partly to pay for upgrades on the house and partly to stage the house for showings. The house was on the market for seven months (because houses weren’t selling last year). If you’ve ever had a house on the market, you know what a pain in the arse it is to keep your house looking like a model home. You have to store personal photos, unusual art, favorite books…really, you have to hide away all the things that make a house a home. And you have to keep the place clean and tidy all the time. All. The. Time. Grr. The stress of all these things took a toll on me physically as well as emotionally. See aforementioned “time of suck” comment. The house finally sold two months ago. A sad moment, but a necessary change for me to move on.
Some good changes have happened along the way, too, especially in the last six months. I started a new job last December. I’m in a rental now in a great neighborhood. My niece is moving in with me next month to start her life after college graduation. I’m still dancing at least once a month. I’m giving my time and affection to a man who demands neither, which makes him deserving of both. I’m happy a lot more often now than I was last year. A lot more.
I’ve made a lot of progress coping with these changes, but I don’t think I’m quite done processing them. I thought I was, actually. But every time I observe a Pagan holiday, I thank my ancestors for forging me into a “hearty wench” and attribute my getting through this “time of suck” to my lineage (mostly to my grandmother and my dad). But if I’m really through with these changes, why do I keep referencing them?
Anyway, being a Pagan and a Princess has been a tremendous asset these last two years. (Yes, our blog’s two-year anniversary is in two months!) My faith and my community, including fellow Pagans, fellow dancers and dear friends of all faiths and talents, have kept me sane and grounded — have been constant in a temporary time of suck.
What about you Realm? Was there a tough time when you leaned on your faith and friends for constancy?
+ Featured image: “Change” neon sign photographed by Felix Burton.