- Adjusting to School Life I forgot about those fun rushed 25 minute lunches! When I taught, I would get so excited about the summertime and lunching with friends for an extended period of time. I used to get so excited about it. Then I worked in a job that required me to lunch with people as often as possible. Business lunches were so common place that I got burnt out of being at restaurants. Come next summer, I'll probably be so excited again. I love my school so much. I'm truly happy there and love the school environment again. The teaching itself has been like riding a bike. The time in front of the students is just as natural for me as it was back then. My students are challenging, fun, funny, inquisitive, and eager to learn. My principal could not be a more incredible man and one who deserves and gets the respect of the faculty, parents, and students. He is the kind of principal I would like to have leading a school Maggie is attending (she won't go to my school when she goes to middle school). The workload is tremendous and of course I'm already behind in my grading. I found out that not only am I the foreign language department head but also the head of the other nonmusic elective classes. Talk about a bit of a shock on the first day of teachers being back at the school! Oh, and that I was teaching a 6th grade class that I wasn't expecting on top of the 2 7th grade, 3 8th grade and the Advisory (like homeroom) that most of us has too. I am the co-sponsor of the National Junior Honor Society (yes, both of these positions come with an additional salary benefit and I need that right now). It's just a bit busy. :) I'm so grateful to be back in education and I know without a shadow of doubt that I made the absolute best decision for ME in this career change.
- Time Without the Girls This could quite possibly be one of the toughest parts of the divorce. A tradiontional divorce grants the noncustodial parent one night a week. With Andrew being such an active and loving father, I agreed to two nights, overnight. I will NOT allow my hurt and pain to affect my decision in the unlimited access he deserves as their father. Frankly, my daughters don't deserve that. They have a wonderful father who is active in their lives. This is important. So long as I continue to feel that he is providing and loving the girls and this isn't affecting their days at school, I won't change this, no matter how hard it is on me. It's not about me. It's about the two loves that need both of their loving parents. However, that doesn't mean that them being out of my home is easy on me. It is excruciating at times. I drop them off Tuesday morning. Since he picks up and drops off directly at school, I don't see them again until Thursday after school. I found myself practically running into Katie's school building to get her this week. I keep myself as busy as possible on my nights off. I've only been able to be home alone for the entire evening ONCE.
- Dating Nothing serious, but yes, I have been dating. I am in no way interested in a relationship but I do like the company and well, the attention too. After years of very little attention, no compliments, and the feeling that I wasn't being even looked at, it does feel good. Andrew recently said to me "I provided for my family, took care of you and the girls, and made sure you were safe, but I wasn't a very good husband to you. I know that." Damn that hindsight. I see it now and know what I was feeling for a while in the marriage was that of being invisible or worthless at times in his eyes, but I never acknowledged it until now. For the past few months, I've been casually seeing a guy I met at mutual friend's house. Both of us are going through VERY similar situations. For his privacy, I won't give you many details about him. Let's call him NB (that would be Nonboyfriend as I refer to him as when a friend will say "oh, but he's not your boyfriend"). He's not originally from the US and has a great accent and English words that I've never heard before that he teaches me. He's funny and charming and I enjoy his company. He opens the car door for me and compliments me constantly. God, I forgot how nice that feels. We talk divorce, our exes and heartbreak, and our children A LOT. We also go on silly dates like rollerskating, see movies, and laugh over stupid stuff. I've been out with other guys too, and he always knows (met a hot guy on the airplane coming back from California. I've met up with Hot Airplane Guy once and may have drinks sometime in the next few weeks). There is no commitment or jealousy because we're not exclusive and won't be for a long time. He knows I still love A. Dating is interesting. It is both scary and exciting. I dated last as a CHILD. Think about it--A and I were 17 when we started seeing each other. I had some boyfriends in high school before him, but nothing serious. I never dated in college. Never dated as an adult. The first date I went on with NB, I was so nervous. Getting to know someone new is interesting. I knew everything about A. Our history spans across almost half my life. I didn't need to tell A about my prom night because he was my date. Now I find myself in that strange still trying to get to know the other and showing your best side stage that I never really experienced before. The good thing with NB is that with busy lives, kids, and work, we don't see each other that often. This is good because there doesn't give us that time to become too attached or jump into a real relationship. I'm light years away from that right now. This is about as close as I want to get. We'll see how long it lasts.
- Not Relying on Andrew I'll be honest, I'm not so good at this one yet. I still find myself wanting to reach for my phone and tell him everything that happened in my day. I still go to him more than I should. I know this doesn't really help either of us. A was my support and rock for so long. I went to him with everything and relied on him for just about everything. I took advantage of the way he took care of me and the girls and allowed myself to be blissfully unaware of things he handled. Now, I'm in charge of the finances, having to do things around the house on my own, and it gets tough. I trust A completely with our girls and their well being. We still will text about them daily, but I think we'll hit a point where it will be less of the other stuff too. We had a long talk Thursday night that I think was really good for us. I think it helped me turn a corner in how I've been. Life isn't easy for either of us right now. I think I finally see and understand how hard this is on Andrew to right now. I know that he is dealing with his guilt of what this has done to both the girls and me. I haven't always made it easy on him with holding back biting comments or not throwing the "but this is YOUR fault" slap back in his face. I'm trying to get better at it because frankly it doesn't help. Our situation is what it is. My goal this week is to try to only interact with A only about the kids. To create the distance we both need to help us heal.
- Changes in Friendship I won't go into detail much on this one at all and I ask you not to comment on it please. It's still very raw, but there have definitely been changes in who my friends are. Debbie and I no longer speak. Again, I will not discuss but just know that is why she hasn't been mentioned this summer.
- Being Divorced Yeah, this is an understatement, but just simply being divorced in it's entirety. Calling A my EX husband instead of my husband. I usually say husband still and then find myself stumbling to correct myself and throw that ex in there. The newness of this is still very fresh. Until Friday, I have cried every day at some point since the finalization. Didn't cry Friday or Saturday. Did today. That's progress. Any kind of progress is a step in the right direction.
I want to take a moment in this blog post to say a huge THANK YOU. As I've said before, I read every comment I get on this blog. Your support has meant a lot to me and even though most of the commentors are strangers, I don't feel it anymore. I recognize your name when it comes to me via email that you commented. Especially those of you that have been commenting for a long time. I feel surrounded by so many people, even virtually. Please know that I appreciate I still have a safe place to journal and write out my feelings. I'll be honest, I've been very nervous about this blog post and talking about dating. I am fine with the decisions I'm making for me right now, but I just don't want negative comments or judgment. However, I realized that most of you who come and read here and nothing but care and support. So many of you have written that you just want to see me get better and heal. I think even the dating is a part of that healing process.
So there you have it. If you survived reading this long long blog post, let me be the first to congratulate and apologize to you. Guess I had a lot to ramble on about tonight.
Thank you all.