No, the title of this post does not contain any errors…I am looking forward to new years and I am working on a one-woman revolution. I do not seek to overthrow powers that be or change the world, though. I just need to change my world. And even though a website I was on the other day about less celebrated holidays states that January 17 (or was it 27?) is Abandon New Year’s Resolutions Day, I don’t plan to celebrate that.
For me this has been a year of hardship and change with bursts of positive energy and forward marches (and for many of my loved ones…but their stories are not mine to tell without express written permission and at least three forms of ID).
I started out the year with no direction. I had dragged my arse applying for graduate schools and was only half-committed to trying to get into an online-only program at a college I’d never heard of in New England that I wasn’t entirely sure was the type of program I needed. The man I was married to was dead set against me going to graduate school at all, yet I was standing by his dream of starting his own business (yeah…I’m not supposed to talk about him on here…I know…).
Unexpectedly an Arkansas-based traditional brick-and-mortar university called me the day before their semester began with the news that I was accepted if I’d get down there and finish paperwork–I could start that next day. Against his wishes and my misgivings, I took that plunge. I’m glad I did. And even though whether conditions and Freya’s health kept me from attending class as often as I’d’ve liked, I finished that trial of a semester with two Bs and one A.
The summer started with pain. The spouse had become increasingly hurtful, attacking me often…but his business was successful and I’d gotten approved to teach that coming fall and had also gotten a job at a retail store pharmacy. On my 26th birthday he broke my new laptop during one of his rage fits. He wanted me out of “his” house. I had already started another semester of graduate school. I needed help and direction.
Sixteen days later I arrived in Arizona after a three day and one night road trip with the girls and what could fit in the car of our belongings. He kept the house. He kept his pickup truck. He kept most of my worldly possessions. At the time, I was distraught, directionless, angry…I wanted to turn back around so many times. But he didn’t want me. And I didn’t want the pain.
At some point he admitted he had the girlfriend and that she was living with him. I failed one of my summer courses. I made As in the other three. Fall semester started. I couldn’t teach because I was so far away. I was just grateful they were letting me finish up the program remotely. I flew out to Arkansas in November to take my MA qualifying exams. I failed one and will need to retake it in April.
I’ve lost thirty pounds in the last six months. My fragile Freya has gained seventeen. I found a doctor who cares about my chronic migraines and other undiagnosed medical conditions. I’m getting treated for things. I’m looking in the mirror and seeing myself for who I am–a beautiful mess.
In the Fall, I met a guy online and fell in love. This marks a turning point in my love life because he’s the first man since I was in 9th grade that I actually took the time to get to know before jumping in the sack with. That’s a big deal.
After much stress I passed my Fall courses. I have one semester left and I’ll have that MA. I want to teach at a college. I want to get my PhD. I have dreams and hopes and plans and I can’t necessarily flesh it all out just yet, but I know things will be better in 2012.
The other day…
I saw a bird with one foot. He was eating crumbs or seeds off a concrete wall that sits between a Wal-Mart parking lot and a busy street. I don’t know how he lost the foot. Fight with another animal? Caught on something? Born this way (cue GaGa)? I could have asked, but he’d have flown away. If he had answered, I’d have wondered what McDonald’s is putting in the secret sauce these days (yes, I ate a Big Mac, large fries, and drank a large diet coke. For shame! But a coworker said it’s better to eat calories than to drink them…and anyway this was before my Christmas Day ER visit and the discovery of my multiple gallstones that I’ll need surgery for…)
I could look at this crippled bird in a thriving metroplex as a metaphor for survival and maybe even make the ridiculous assumption that he was sent to me by some well-meaning deity in the hopes that I’d apply said bird’s strength to my own struggles. But, if I may make an even more ridiculous assumption here, I think the bird would resent being a metaphor. He’s just doing what he can cause he has his instincts and nothing more. That’s not a metaphor, but it could be the meaning of life.
Is an unknown.
2012–Resolutions For The Revolution
I want to better mine and the girls’ living situation. If I cannot buy a place and make it something we love to own, then I want to work harder to be able to afford a better quality rental. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with our current space, it’s just smaller than the home we had to leave behind six months ago. The only reason he and I had picked out that large home was for our current child (Luna was 2) and future children (Freya didn’t exist yet). Now he’s got other people and their kids enjoying that large space and me and the girls are in a significantly smaller space. But we’re safe, and mostly happy. The lot’s pretty big, though, and I look around with my designer’s eye and imagine what we could do if we owned the place. The lot is big enough that I could double the width of the place, maybe triple in places and have a shorter driveway. I could install a washer and dryer…this house could become a home, or we could find a new place to call home.
I want to finish my education. I’ll have that MA in May. That is going to happen. I will pass the qualifying exam I have to take again in April. I will pass the three courses I’m enrolled in for Spring. I want to apply for and get into a PhD program. You’re supposed to start applying for those things the year before you want to start them but I didn’t and that sucks for me…but I will get into one and work hard at it too. I will do that for me, and for these girls. There’s one program I am really in love with at an amazing university but there are some logistical issues with attending that particular university (or the other two that also have this same program and work in conjunction with the aforementioned university). I am being deliberately vague here. If I apply and get in…I’ll be less vague.
I want to continue losing weight and improving my health. I have an appointment on the 4th to get an MRI (about the migraines) and an ultrasound (to determine if anything visible is causing my hormonal imbalance). My doctor is working on a surgical consult for the gall bladder. After the ultrasound results, I’ll be seeing a doc to discuss the findings and action plans. I am eating healthy and have been for the last six months. It’s amazing what eliminating a controlling ego maniacal influence in my life can do for me…I have to get dressed for my retail job and kiss my babies goodbye.
After work, I’ll be ringing in the New Year with two quinquagenarian lesbians, a preschooler, a toddler, and a yipping but loveable pooch. There will be no wild booze-drinking, but dancing will undoubtedly occur. I’ll kiss no one at midnight, but I won’t be upset if the NYE traditional superstition holds true and those five people are with me all of 2012 (although I do hope the boyfriend is there to join the party next year…).
Happy New Year!