Reclaiming me.

by terra on July 17, 2014 · 7 comments

in Deep Thoughts

A marriage is, by definition, this partnership sort of situation where you join with this other person, keep your fingers crossed real tight, merge your shit and share a life. You become a unit. You’re an “us” and a “we” and a “they” and while you’re still you, you’re also still much more than that. You go out alone, anywhere, and someone always asks how they are, what they’re doing, why they aren’t there with you, and when everything is merged – your home and your work and your friends, it compounds it.

You don’t get to be just you very often, and that’s ok. You come to embrace it. You love this person, hopefully, and you’re probably maybe proud of the things they’re doing, so you fill people in on their life, because you can, because it’s your life too, and you get to speak to it as well, since you’re in this shit together, you’re one part of a pair, so you get to tell their stories for and with them, just like they tell yours.

So when it ends – and pretty much everything ends at some point – it’s a little confusing.

The word about the end trickles out slowly, reaching some corners faster than you’d like, and others much slower than you have the patience for. You never know, in half your conversations, who knows what. You wonder if someone is being nice to you just because they heard you’re getting a divorce and you get these looks that make you put on the bravest face you’ve got left and you smile, because really, you’re fine.

Everything is fine. Everything is ok. Really. Really.

Telling people is hard, because it’s like admitting failure and you’ve tried hard to avoid that shit, so when people ask about that other part of your pair, the part that left, the part that wasn’t in it as much as you were, you just say nice things about them and get on with your day because it’s far easier to be a nice person and to tell someone something they want to hear rather than to have a whole conversation about how your marriage is ending, about how you’re suddenly alone and starting over at 30 and some days, especially in the beginning, saying it out loud to anyone can be more than enough to make you feel like you’ve been thrown down the stairs six or seven times, dragged by your hair back up to the top each and every time.

And really, it’s hard to say it because it makes it real. You know it’s happening. You know it’s ending and ended, but to say it out loud to near strangers makes it that much more real and maybe you can’t take even one more god damn look that screams of pity and concern.

It’s fine. I’m fine. Really.

That’s a lie for a while, that whole bit about you being fine, until one day someone asks how you are and you say that you’re actually doing pretty fucking good and you realize it’s the truth and then you realize that maybe you haven’t been breathing for the past year or the past months or the past however long, because saying you’re good and actually meaning that you’re good feels like a whole new start, like the first day of the year, a fresh fucking snow, and you finally exhale all this shit, all this heavy, horrible shit that’s been taking your life and your breath from you for so long and you know everyone said you’d be fine, but you didn’t believe those fuckers, your best friends, the people who love you, but damn if they weren’t fucking right.

So it’s just me now, is the point, I guess. I’m getting divorced. I know that’s not news, know I’ve shared it here before, know I’ve written my fucking guts out about the pain and shit and the absolute suck of it all, but I’m ok. I’m more than ok.

Turns out, I like me. I wasn’t sure I did for a while, but now I think I can say I really do.

I laugh too loud. I overanalyze things far more than I’d like to. I love popcorn and chocolate and tulips and lazy Sundays. I’m a runner and a forest creature. I’m really good at drinking beers and scotch and I collect stray cats. I drive too fast. I want to explore the whole god damn world and I will, alone, with friends and probably with a man I love someday. I love food and my dogs and my home and my friends. My life – this solo life that’s now mine – is full of incredible people and incredible adventures.

And yes, it’s lonely sometimes. I can fill up my days and nights and weekends with friends and races and chores, but there are some moments when all I want is to not be alone, when all I want is to be a part of a known pair again, when I can’t get the fucking top off the hot sauce or I can’t get my necklace to clasp or when I wake up alone – again – and feel that aloneness all the way into the marrow of my bones. Those moments are rare, mostly, but they happen. They’re there.

I’m still me though. I’m still here, this person that I’ve always been, but different. This is me without him. This is just me.

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I’m over at the Hooray Collective today, writing about love.

Here’s a snippet:

You don’t get a choice in love. It happens or it doesn’t. That’s it. You can’t raise your hand and expect to get it like a hall pass and you can’t avoid it either. It shows up unexpectedly, stomping and kicking its way through any sort of plan you thought you had, pushing in through the cracks in the floorboards, the ones you thought you’d sealed shut. When you think you’ve had enough of its bullshit, when you’ve had enough of its ruin, it comes back around and smacks you hard in the face, just to remind you, maybe, that HEY BITCH, you’re not in charge of this love shit.

Love leaves too, that’s the thing. It comes in, makes you fat and happy, makes you smile for days on end at the mere thought of a person, prods you willingly along on all sorts of lovesick misadventures, convinces you that harebrained shit like marriage is a good idea. And then one day you wake up and it’s gone. You might not notice it at first. Love’s a sneaky bitch. But, you’ll look in all your favorite hiding places, the ones the cats hide in maybe, the teeny tiny heart crevasses you’ve got nestled away inside of you, but sure as shit, it’s gone. It left. It ended.

Read the rest here.

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When Megan and I set off across the country, we had a little list of things we wanted to see and a rough guess of where we’d be staying each night. We had a tight timeline, but we were pretty determined to still see some crazy awesome things because America is big and there’s a lot to see and driving across the country is a pretty big fucking deal.

I’ve always wanted to drive part of Route 66, or at least see some of the strange and kitschy things along the route, and our route, from Richmond to Palm Springs, had us on I-40, which parallels Route 66 for a long, long while. And so, we managed to throw in some Route 66 sightseeing, all of which was totally serendipitous, which is usually how some of the best adventures are had.

Cadillac Ranch. DSC_8842

So we were somewhere between here and Texas and we finally realized that we were driving right next to Route 66, and I was all, where the shit is that place with the cars in the ground where you can spray paint them and shit? And then we google it – fuck yes, google – and learned that the Cadillac Ranch, that place with the cadillacs painted and stuck in the dirt, is in Amarillo, Texas, a place we’d be driving right through and so we went. After getting Whataburger, of course, because hamburgers.

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UPLOAD - DAY 3 - TX + NM

It was a quick stop. We maybe spent 20 minutes there and some of that time was spent cursing at Megan’s dog Chance, who insisted on pissing on each and every cadillac. We didn’t have any spray paint, so we didn’t leave our mark on the cars, but it was really fucking cool, nonetheless. It’s such a weird site, these cars stuck ass-end in the middle of this desert field in Texas.

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Wigwam Motel.

I woke up early in Oklahoma City. I should have gone for a run, but instead I started googling the top sites to see along Route 66 and the Wigwam Motel came up. It was on all the lists. There used to be seven of them or some shit, but now there’s only two and, like fate, one of them was along our route, in Holbrook, Arizona.

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You’ve got to call to make a reservation at the Wigman Motel and the office opens at 4pm, so we didn’t know until we were a few hours out if we could stay there, or, really, if the place was even still open, but, me driving and Megan calling, we found ourselves a room, a cheap room, at that, and dog friendly too.

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This place is classic Route 66. We felt like we could go to sleep there, in our wigwam, with classic cars parked in front of each and every wigwam (this place inspired the Cars movie), and wake up in 1967. The whole town has this feel of nostalgia, of times gone and it holds a certain sort of magic that I’ll never forget. It was here, in Holbrook, at the Wigwam Motel, that we started drafting our movie script, something like Hot Tub Time Machine, except different and probably better because ROUTE 66, Y’ALL!

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UPLOAD - 15 FEB - Rt1

We drove around the next morning, just through this little town, and it’s all Route 66 kitsch. It’s rock shops and steakhouses with giant carriages on the roof and it’s magic, mostly, this little town along this forgotten route.

UPLOAD - 15 FEB - Rt2

Winslow, Arizona.

We went to a Mexican place for dinner the night we were in Holbrook, since the diner across the street from it was closed. We had two beers each, got a little high off the altitude and a day spent driving in from Oklahoma City, and we were loud and silly and probably totally annoying to the other customers in the place. This older gentleman, sitting across the restaurant from us, started up a conversation, asking us where we were from, where we were going, what jobs we had and the usual smalltalk. He gave us some tips for seeing the Grand Canyon, which we didn’t take, but should have, and then, just as he and his partner where about to leave, he comes over and says, if you’re going toward the Grand Canyon, about 30 miles away there’s a place calling Winslow, Arizona.

We were like, oh, ok, that sounds lovely.

And then he says, there’s this park where you can stand on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, and then, right in the middle of this little Mexican place, I started singing the Eagles song, “Take it Easy.” And really, by singing I mostly mean screaming because if you’ve ever heard me sing, my singing is pretty much synonymous with screaming,

Well, I’m a standing on a corner
in Winslow, Arizona
and such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me

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We downloaded “Take it Easy” on the five minute drive back to the hotel and then sang it approximately 4,559 times over the remaining miles from there to Palm Springs. In fact, there was a whole multi-hour block of time when we were only listening to the Eagles, especially after we hand the chance to stand on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.

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No shit – there’s even a flatbed Ford parked out in front of this Route 66 corner.

Someday I’d love to drive as much of Route 66 as still exists, because it’s fading fast. The towns used to live on the traffic the Route brought, but the interstate has replaced it, leaving it broken in a lot of places and leaving those little towns with not much else but broken down kitsch. It’s a neat thing, Route 66, and the towns along the way, even if they’re not what they used to be, they still have this almost eerie sort of nostalgic feel that made us both want to step back in time, if only for a bit, and experience Route 66 in all of it’s magical glory.

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The one where I say things to you that are maybe also a little to me.

by terra June 9, 2014

Sooner or later, the floor starts to look less welcoming than it did before. It used to be this great spot – a corner, maybe – where you could sit next to the stereo, the saddest songs on repeat and just sort of be. It wasn’t a good sort of being. It wasn’t a healthy […]

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Possum Cat Gate 2014

by terra May 21, 2014

So there I was, letting the dogs out for their last pee of the night and Luke comes running back in, like the good dog he is, and yet Sadie is over on the other side of the yard, sniffing around and being far too interested in something and so I, realizing the potential for […]

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