Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Something Just Like This...

The other day I found myself saying to someone that my ideal man would be someone that I met because they read my blog. In all sincerity, I said something like, "That is who I am. I'm completely myself on my blog."

The person that I was saying this to looked at me quite incredulously, and said something along the lines of, "Joy, the main thing that you write about on the blog is how hard your divorce has been for you to deal with."

So I've mulled over that for a few days, and I admit, that is quite true. And I do understand that any future guy in my life likely wouldn't read about my sadness over the end of my marriage and think, wow, she sounds like a great date. Who wouldn't be interested in a girl still tangled up in grief over the loss of her husband?

Perhaps I put too much hope into the blog, then. I likely do lean much too much on my writing because it is so much easier for me to write my thoughts and feelings down than to begin to put them into words. When you encounter me speaking, you will find me loud and babbling and stumbling. And I usually inevitably say something that I realize later sounded stupid or insensitive, but only at the point that it is much too late to bring the subject up again in order to apologize.

My life currently is mostly full of joy and peace and calm, and it is a blissful way to feel. There are moments of panic and sadness in every day, of course. That is how grief works. But time heals in a way that absolutely nothing else does.

My favorite things right now are an absolute obsession with Scissor Sisters, particularly their song Only the Horses, which I can just listen to on a loop for hours; The Popcast with Knox and Jamie, What Should I Read Next?, and On Being, which are my favorite podcasts ever; and my busy, hectic schedule that includes my Betsy playing soccer for the middle school girls' team, and my cheer girls-I think that it's impossible not to feel loved when 8 and 9 year olds hug you goodbye when they leave cheer practice.

Fall is my favorite season of all time, and I love absolutely every moment I get to spend in my Rix Mills, breathing in pumpkins and watching my real bend in the road turn to beautiful colors and wearing big sweatshirts and cheering on my Buckeyes and my Browns, even as they teach me every week the agony of loving a team with no focus.

I don't know that I will ever not feel panic over the idea that I honestly have no idea what I'm doing. Other people seem to know at the very least how to meet people and not seem like a babbling idiot. But I'm working on it. I promise.

"I know you didn't realize
That the city was gone
You thought there would be advertisements
To give you something to go on
So we search the sky
For any flashing signs
We've gone too far beyond
The border it's just you and I
And if this is the end
It's the best place I've ever been."

Thursday, August 10, 2017


There's a lot I don't write about.

I'm saying this because sometimes I'm sure that people think I dwell on my ex-husband way too much. I would agree with you. But allow me to explain why that is.

This process, this untangling of myself from someone that I loved once, this freedom to become an entirely different person not defined by decisions made at the age of 21, and most importantly this acceptance that this new bend in the road has led to places that I never expected to even glance at, much less travel to-this process is important. To me, anyway. If other people glean something from my journey, that is wonderful, that is what the idea of writing all of this down actually means. But allow me to assure you, I don't write it all down for public consumption.

I write for so many reasons I can barely begin to list them all. I write to find clarity, I write to make sense of so many thoughts racing through my head, I write for solace. I started this blog as an exercise in writing because I missed it, because it had been my whole world at one time and it had become something that I longed to have the time to focus on. 2011 seems long ago and far away.

The blog has morphed into an outlet for my divorce. I can't put to words why that is. Why owning something that I am so personally ashamed of is such a release. But somehow putting words on paper, writing down emotions that I mostly want to shut away and pretend aren't there, it helps me to accept that this is who I am now. It's been a long, hard two years-I changed in ways I can't undo and that had the effect of hurting people that I love. I never meant for that to happen.

Changing what I looked like, changing the way I present myself to the world-that was the easy part. Accepting parts of myself that I don't like, parts of myself that I have a hard time even admitting are there-that is where I'm at now. Writing things down helps. It makes me think in a different way. It takes my attention away from whatever tiny thing that I'm writing about-be it my horrible attempts at flirting or my anger at myself for wanting to meet someone but my immediate shying away from anyone who seems remotely interested in me-and it turns it into something that makes sense. Ultimately I may always be embarrassed by my naiveté when it comes to dating and what have you, but somehow writing it down makes it have a purpose.

I realize that much of my writing is about my sadness over my divorce. I'm still so in the process of dealing with a lot of emotions that are hard for me to put words to. I don't mean to belabor the fact that I'm sad. But it seems important to unwind what grief is-I find myself pulled toward poems and songs and anything that grapples with what it means to lose something that you cherished at one time. But I don't mean to say that I only feel sadness. That I am unable to move forward. That my life is forever going to be one long ache for the marriage that I had.

I am a romantic at heart, and truly want to believe that I will find love-there is a piece of my heart that thrills at the idea that what I thought of as the love of my life was merely the appetizer to the real thing. But it's important to me that I don't minimize my feeling of loss over something that I held sacred. To do that would be to trivialize anything that comes next.

So, while I certainly understand why it might appear that I am stuck in an unending tailspin of grief over what I have lost, I am equally looking with hope to the future. Perhaps the melancholy tends to overshadow my writing because I feel a comfort in the sadness. But the joy is there too. The joy is there too.

Monday, August 7, 2017


"I'll say I loved you years ago...tell myself you never loved me..."

There are days that I feel amazing. There are days that stretch before me with wonder and hope and joy and clarity. There are days with the girls that I feel full to the brim with love, that I feel overjoyed to have met Nick and gotten married and had these girls that fill every inch of my heart.

"Shatter your illusions of love..."

There are days that I feel so low I cannot begin to put words to them. They are a soft, throbbing melody of pain and regret and sorrow for the girl that I was, for the sadness that surrounds my every memory of my life for 15 years, always wondering, 'was that real? Were we happy? Is that the moment that everything shifted? If I could go back in time and not say that or look at him in that way or think a different thought, would that change everything? What butterfly wing did my life perch on that fell away when I wasn't paying attention?'

"Loving you isn't the right thing to can I ever change things that I feel..."

There are days in between. There are days of routine and habit and pushing myself to try new things and hiding out in my room and needing to be alone and feeling so lonely I could die and wishing I had someone, anyone, to talk to.

"I've been afraid of changing cause I built my life around you..."

My days are made up of everything and nothing. Over and over until I think that there surely can be nothing more to say on this topic. This beaten horse has surely died a million times over.

"Like a heartbeat that drives you the stillness remembering what you had..."

Dreary, rainy days in August make my heart ache for summers past. Make my heart wish for the grace to move forward. And the courage to live in the dark abyss that is the in between.