I have said for a while, “This will be my year!” It never really was.
January 1, 2013, I once again made the same proclamation. I shouted it out. “2013 is going to be MY YEAR!!”
It was quite a year.
January, wasn’t overly full of anything other than the beginnings of talk about divorce. It was really going to happen. Sooner rather than later.
February saw my first visit to an endocrinologist and I began taking hormones. On February 12th, during my morning Tuesday Entertainment New Release announcements, I told the rest of the morning crew what was about to happen, and that I would be starting work as Jen, beginning February 18th. It was met with warm wishes from all of my coworkers, except one. I had many come up to me afterwards and congratulate me, wish me luck and express heartfelt compassion, knowing they could never comprehend what I was about to undertake. I spent the rest of the week getting to as many people as I could to let them know. February 23rd brought about the celebration of our 22nd year of marriage, knowing there would be no celebration of a 23rd in 2014.
March brought continued surprise and congratulations from guests in the store that suddenly found Jen working Electronics and Entertainment. March, only a week after celebrating 22 years, had us driving to the lawyer’s office to discuss the terms of our non-contested divorce. We were very calm and divided the bills evenly. My wife was very calm, I was bawling my eyes out when we left. The beginning of March also found a complete intervention of fate as my wife had an accident that ended up with her upside down in a ditch. As I was driving to meet her, she called and said everything was fine and I didn’t need to come out there. The police were assisting and it was all over. The fate in this was the officer becoming very smitten with my wife. He ended up calling her to pick up some personal items she had left. He had been calling for a while and he finally asked her out. He wanted to go out with her on……
April 1st was the day that our divorce was finalized. We were no longer married and my now ex-wife had gone out with the officer (I told her it was a little rude to go out ON the day of our divorce) a couple days before.
May is when my parents would always return from Florida. I had been discussing with my therapist, possibly giving them one visit with Steve, and then it would be Jen from then on. I had sent them some photos to prepare them and decided that it would be Jen from the moment they returned. May also had one of the most bizarre turns of fate for me. My amazing friend Sarah got hold of me to let me now their office was expanding and I needed to send my resume to her. I scoffed. This was a company in Fremont, California who was expanding their L.A. office. As a favor, and to make myself feel sort of good, I sent it in. A week later I got an email about interviews and that they would give me a phone interview. I took the interview to make myself feel good. I hadn’t been looking, I hadn’t been in a job within my major for four years and I knew this would put a shine in my eye. So I interviewed on a Wednesday. I was at lunch the following Friday (as in two days later) and was offered the job. I had until Monday to let them know. It took me that long to decide. It was going to be a HUGE undertaking and I would be leaving everything I knew and loved behind. With roughly one hour to go before the cutoff, and after many texts from Sarah letting me know that they were asking for some sort of answer, I told them, “Yes”.
June was filled with trying to put everything in order and prepare to move from Muncie, Indiana to Glendale, California. It also had me celebrating my 47th birthday. My ex and I had continued to live together. She would stay with me Monday-Wednesday and I was being pushed further and further out of her new life of friends which was cool, but found me a little lost. The last couple weeks of June, she decided to include me in more of her life and stay at the house more.
July 4th, my friend Jeff and I pulled out of Muncie for the two and a half day trek to California. Saying goodbye to my daughter is the most gut wrenching thing I have ever had to do in my life. I said goodbye to her, my parents and my ex. I said goodbye to our home of the past three years and the city I had called home for 47 years. I was headed to the complete unknown. I arrived in Glendale on the 6th and began work on the 8th. No down time to settle, just immediately hit the ground running.
August-October found me trying to find myself. I was unable to grasp the new job. I missed my family and friends. I was not having fun. I wanted to go back. I felt stuck. Trapped. I was in a lease for a year and could not leave my friends Sarah and Dee in the lurch. I couldn’t throw Sarah under the bus with work. I cried daily but the weekends were worse. I didn’t go out. I didn’t see anything but work and my bedroom. I couldn’t answer tech support questions, which was my job, and I hated it. I also despise talking on the phone, so maybe a phone support job wasn’t the best idea. By the end of October, I had hit bottom. My main thought was that life for everyone would be easier if I were in an accident and no longer in the picture. Not that I would cause the accident, or harm myself (I really like myself although I don’t always get along with me), but if I were no longer around, then everyone could continue with their lives and I wouldn’t hurt any longer. Then it changed. I had a total meltdown and then began…
November. After the meltdown everything began to change. I began to catch on at work. Not 100%, but far more than I had known up till then. I began to venture out into the world. I still did not meet anyone, but I was out and about, slowly growing the radius of my adventure circle. I was also invited to a family Thanksgiving gathering by a friend and his wife. I had known Troy for about 7 years, but we had never met. We were bloggers on Star Wars.com and also part of a group of Star Wars collectors who found things for others, and not jack up the price. I went, had a great time and was then invited to their Christmas celebration.
December. Much of the same. Growing horizons and I began attending a United Universalist church in Pasadena. Met John Michael Higgins and not once during our conversation did I mention I loved his work and found him hilarious. Inside I was freaking out, but I was cool on the outside. I attended the Christmas gathering and was once again welcomed with open arms to their family. We hired two amazing people at work so there is interaction where there was none. On December 30 I will have my first endocrinologist appointment in California. My hormones will expire from Indiana and this will pick up with no lag. I had to meet with a doctor and then a psychiatrist before being approved for a specialist.
So as I near the end of 2013, it truly was MY YEAR. Not in all the ways that I had pictured it, but it obviously went where it should. It cost me more than I could have ever imagined and has rewarded me with so much. I still miss my family and friends terribly. I still cry from time to time (like while writing this). I still miss my daughter more than words can describe. We had that special bond of parent and close friends. It worked for us and I miss that. My exwife and I are in contact quite often. She has moved on and is dating. She has moved in with her boyfriend. I told her I cannot imagine ever finding anyone. She was and is the love of my life. Not that I won’t find companionship in friends somewhere down the road, maybe 2014, but it isn’t even something I am looking at.
I hope that 2013 found good things happening in your life. Perhaps 2014 will be YOUR YEAR. Know that you can make it. Know that you can be instrumental in how it shapes and forms by taking risks. Be courageous enough to accept the unknown and strong enough to hold on through the spots where you were sue you made the biggest mistake of your life. We are individuals, all writing our own stories, living our own lives and traveling our own journeys. If I could do what I have done and made it to this point, then any one of you can do it as well.
2014 IS OUR YEAR!