The dog days are over

Late summer.

I was a mess. I’d just lost my husband. I’d just lost my best friend. I’d just lost the person I’d (wrongly) expected would be thrilled to see me come home. The rug had been ripped out from under me. Rather, I’d ripped the rug out from underneath myself. In what feels like a never-ending blame game, it has been pointed out to me that am the one who did this to myself.

It’s true, I did. But it’s also the best decision I ever made.

Anyhow. On this particular day, I sat on my friend’s couch clutching a bottle of tequila because who needs to dirty a glass when you are trying to drown a pain that feels insurmountable?

We sat there together. Him playing video games, me guzzling tequila like my life depended on it and drowning out the thoughts in my head with music because I still couldn’t formulate words of my own.

“The Dog Days are Over” by Florence the Machine came on.

 

 

The two of us were coping with heart break, and the dog days were far from over, as he so kindly pointed out.

Cue my guzzling more tequila.

I remember sitting there in that moment listening to the lyrics. “Happiness hit her, like a train on a track.”

I felt like I’d been hit by a train, but a train of pain and tears and an endless hangover.

I immediately started ugly crying because how on earth were the dog days supposed to be over? How was I supposed to put back the pieces of my life that I shattered with a sledgehammer? I remember wondering why I even did this to myself –why couldn’t I have just continued to suffer in silence? I still hadn’t realized I deserved far better, we both did.

I didn’t think there was any way I would possibly get through it. My dog days were just my life. They would be over when I was dead.

“One day, the dog days will be over, and we will sit here listening to this song and think about how ridiculous we both were.”

Mostly I think he just wanted me to stop crying, because I sat in that spot with a bottle of something or a pint of ice cream at least three times a week for a while. I stared keeping ice cream and tequila in his freezer so I could listen to Adele and cry with someone next to me.

If you’re reading this, and I haven’t thanked you recently for holding onto all my shattered pieces so I could put them back together and for being my safe place and for all the things, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

That moment has stuck with me. I think about it often. Usually when I’m drunk and confused, but more recently in a better light.

The song came on our playlist at work, and I immediately started singing along and jamming out while I was doing my little barista thing.

Then all of the sudden it hit me, like a train on a track.

The dog days are over.

The dog days are fucking over.

I’m happier now than I think I’ve ever been. Life isn’t without it’s struggles or stresses, obviously, but I’m so happy.

This move to Florida was good for me. It was without a doubt exactly what I needed to do. I’m writing more than I ever have. I’ve met people who have inspired me and pushed me and who believe in me.

I’ve healed relationships that have needed healing for a while. Life has just been an incredible whirlwind of good things lately, and more good things are coming.

everything it must belong somewhere.jpg
Everything it must belong somewhere. I know that now, that’s why I’m staying here. 

The dog days are fucking over. I survived the worst thing I thought could ever happen. I lost everything I knew, everything I thought I wanted. I threw everything away because I knew I was miserable, and it wasn’t fair to anyone involved.

The dog days are fucking over, and I couldn’t be happier.

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Rekindling my love affair with words

I’m back, I suppose. Maybe. For now. This will be one of the first times I’ve put pen to paper within the whirlwind of the past few months. I think I needed the break, but I’ve felt the pull to come back so here I sit with my notebook open. Now all that’s left to do is bleed, right?

That’s what one of the greats said. Hemingway, I think? I should know that, but my mind is a cloudy mess that can’t quite pull out literary trivia.

I’m sitting here with so much to say, and yet so little. I don’t feel as though I owe anyone an explanation, but I’ve always been honest and straightforward about my life. I tend to err on the side of oversharing, and lately I’ve been keeping to myself. I think that’s been a necessity, but it also feels out of character.

So I’m here, sharing my story because it’s burning a hole inside of me.

To answer everyone’s burning question: No, Christopher and I are not together. He is in Germany, I am home in Hickory. Permanently.

My heart hurts, but also feels lighter than it has ever before.

I have no further explanation for you other than sometimes as much as we want them to, things don’t work out like we plan. Some betrayals cut too deep for us to gloss over –even if we spent a fair amount of time trying to pretend we could. Ultimately, we though we had everything worked out. We thought all we needed was a plan. We failed to remember that people change and plans need to adapt with them.

We thought we were invincible, and nothing hurts more than realizing you aren’t. 

We are only human. Nothing hurts more than getting everything you said you wanted –everything you worked so hard for –and realizing it wasn’t what you wanted at all.

It hurt to walk away from what should have been so comfortable. It hurt to lug two suit cases and my daughter through the un-air conditioned Munich airport in the August heat to move home and start over. It all hurts. Nothing about this decision was easy or taken lightly, but I’ve never wanted anything more than to be a good example to my daughter.

How can I teach her to love herself first when I didn’t? How could I teach her self-reliance and independence when I set up a life that made me completely reliant on someone else? How could I teach her to be careful with her heart when I was handing out forgiveness to a number of people who didn’t deserve it?

I couldn’t. I couldn’t be the mother she deserved when I was miserable. I don’t want her growing up thinking she deserves to be anything but insanely loved and so ridiculously happy.

I’ve been drowning the past few months. It’s only been within the past week or two that I’ve felt like I can come up for air. Like maybe I have at least one foot firmly planted on the ground.

When I came home, I didn’t only lose my husband, but I lost a few friends as well. In retrospect, those were relationships that needed to end, but knowing it is for the best doesn’t quite ease the sting of loss.

I’ve since surrounded myself with much better people. People who love me and believe in me and have taken care of me. People ho have let me cry, scream, bitch and yell. People who have made me feel beautiful and worthy of being loved. People who have listened to Adele and eaten ice cream with me while I cried. People who have been there anytime, day or night, if I’m falling apart or simply don’t want to be alone. People who have reminded me I’m a good mom and am doing everything I can for my girl.

Eden, Brenna, Kelsey and Devan, I love you four so much. I’ll never be able to thank you enough for all the support you have given me the past few months. You guys are incredible.

I don’t really know where things go from here. I lived my whole life with a plan, and now I don’t have much of one. It’s terrifying, but also freeing. I get to decide what comes next. I get to plan how I spend my time, what I invest myself in and where things go.

I’m terrified to screw up. I already have in so many ways. I’ve learned a lot in the past few months about who I am, who I want to be and more importantly, who I don’t want to be. I’ve messed up. I’ve made questionable decisions.

Self help books may be all the rage these days, but there really is no instruction manual for how to cope when your world crumbles around you. I chose to walk away from our relationship, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

It hurts like hell, but there’s really nothing to do now but keep moving forward. Words have become my friend again, and I’m happy to be back with ink staining the sides of my hands.

“There is nothing to writing, you just sit down at a type writer and bleed.” –Ernest Hemingway