Simply Solo Spotlight: 3 … 2 … 1 … Happy New You!
I’m super-duper (does anyone say that anymore?) excited about today’s guest post, written by Mikalee Byerman. Many of you have probably read Mikalee’s blog, but if you haven’t, why the hell not? She’s smart, funny, inspiring and just wee bit scandalous. I love how open she is about her story, her divorce and her ex (as well as his crazy antics). Let’s just say I’m a fan (in a weird way that I don’t admit to often). I hope you enjoy today’s post and be sure to visit Mikalee’s blog when you’re done reading and commenting!
Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 … 2 … 1 … Happy New You!
OK, you probably don’t know who I am — just that I have a way funky name and happen to be a huge fan of Catherine. So it occurs to me I may need to start out with a little context:
- My marriage ended with a brick. A literal brick. (And if you’d like more about that awesome story, feel free to click here.) Since you just can’t make shit like that up, I started a blog where I talk about post-divorce healing, reinvention and other stuff in my holy-hell-get-me-offa-this-crazy-ride life.
- I tend to swear in my writing. Just a bit. Now if that offends you, my sincere apologies in advance. But Catherine has asked me to avoid the f-bomb, so since this is her effin’ house and all, I’m effin’ obeying. Reluctantly…
- I seem to be followed around of late by overdramatic dead squirrels. See for yourself.
- I’m a symbol girl. Which doesn’t bode well, considering I’m being followed around of late by overdramatic dead squirrels.
Yes, I *heart* symbols. Totally heart them. Even the name of my blog – Me 2.0 — is symbolic of my 2.0 version, my next iteration of Me, post-divorce.
Yet sometimes, I don’t exactly pay much attention to the ever-so-clear symbols in life. Example: I was robbed on my honeymoon — had every single piece of luggage stolen out of my rental car the day before my new hubby and I were to depart on a cruise. Did I pay attention to that symbol — perhaps recognize some sign of the impending death of my marriage, one-third of my life later?
Nah. I thought it was a symbol of our ability to overcome adversity as a unified team, an unstoppable force of nature.
Anyhow, another thing you should know about me is that post-divorce, I’ve decided to embrace the craziness of life. I’ve even started keeping lists of bizarre things — copious lists, with headings like “Words that don’t belong in the name of a restaurant” (“pit,” “nad” and “gastro” are highlights) to “Things that are useless in life” (bok choy and heels of bread are on that list) to “Red flags on a first date” (when he clips his fingernails at the table of the restaurant … ya think that’s a sign?).
But one of my all-time favorite, ongoing lists: “Creepy stuff.” Here’s just a sampling:
- Pieces of paper with oil stains
- Nutcrackers — particularly when their mouths are open (*shudders*)
- Bruised bananas
- Grown-ups who make a big deal of their birthdays
OK, pertaining to that last item: We all know these people. Sometimes, a birthday is even a month-long celebration, complete with daily reminders on Facebook and not-so-subtle hints sent via mass emails to their entire contact list. I swear they’d have a giant Dick Clark-ish sparkly ball heralding the countdown if they could find someone to give them one as a birth-month present.
So the fact that yesterday was my birthday, which came and went with little fanfare, shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me. It happened to be the day my children returned to my custody after two weeks without them, making that the Best. Present. EVER!
But other than a nice dinner out with the boyfriend, kiddos and parents, and two pieces of toilet paper tied up with ribbon and wrapped around crap I already owned from my daughter (she’s 9 – when do they grow out of that stage, anyhow?), it was much like any other day.
Birthdays? Not a big symbol for me. But my divorce-aversary? I’m all about that.
Yip, that’s what I said: divorce-aversary. The word practically oozes with awesomesauce, right? And I totally made it up. Go ahead and say it out loud, all together now: Divorce-aversary. Nice work! Makes my nether-regions all tingly …
Every year, I commemorate the day when version 1.0 kicked the matrimonial bucket, and Me 2.0 came screaming into the world with all the rage and pissed-off-edness of a previously comfortable, womb-sheltered newborn thrust into the bright, cold, icky, real world.
Only for me, gestation was 13 quiet, calm, content years. Far greater than the 9 months experienced by a typical baby. I think that gives me the right to scream and cry for a tad longer than a typical newborn. Just sayin’.
Anyhow, each year on the anniversary of my divorce, I celebrate. You see, I have learned to embrace this brick-induced birth as a symbol of my reinvention, even buying myself presents to commemorate the occasion.
Typically, I buy something to replace a memory of my 1.0 life, since no matter how hard I tried post-brick, I couldn’t remove EVERY reminder of my old life. I painted walls and purged entire rooms and gave away furnishings and even disdainfully dumped my old matrimonial bed (complete with sheets) in the front yard until my Ex came and got it.
Now that was a fun symbol.
But some things remained. Because they were expensive. Or I liked them. Or they were expensive and I liked them.
So this year’s splurge was not one inspired by choice, but instead out of necessity. Right before the brick, Ex and I bought a giant TV. I have no idea the size (maybe 50 inches?), but it was H-U-G-E. And I liked it. And it was expensive. So after he left, I saw no reason to replace it.
Until this year, when the Vizio Pop of Death happened to poor Boyfriend Brett.
Seriously. Check Google if you don’t believe me: 76,300 search engine results for this particular brand of crap TV and the loud pop that precedes certain death. Or, if you’re an electrician like Boyfriend Brett, inspires the purchase of a motherboard, then the dismantling and reassembly of said giant TV only to see it still doesn’t work. But check out how cute he is anyhow …
This year’s divorce-aversary — my third — resulted in a big party with a big present (new H-U-G-E TV!) and a big pink Snowball (don’t judge: Snowballs rock).
And like those crazy friends who celebrate their birthdays for days and potentially weeks on end, my divorce-aversary is always a 2-day affair. Because in keeping with my “Me 2.0” theme, I celebrate “New You’s Eve.”
The night before my divorce-aversary, there are crazy hats and silly horns and copious amounts of champagne. And there’s a list of “New You’s Resolutions” — the things I hope to accomplish in the next year of my 2.0 life. And if I can read the scribbles from this year’s champagne-soaked celebration, here are a few of mine for this year:
- Maintain my #1 Shit Divorce rank on Google. (Seriously – if you type “Shit divorce” on Google, I have the first and second and ninth entries … mine even comes in higher than Tiger Woods’ divorce! Yay me!)
- Quit the day job and commit myself to a full-time freelance writing career. (Check and check! My last day of said day job is Oct. 5!!!)
- Prevent my Ex and his wife from shutting down my blog. (At the time, they were suing me in part to stop my blog. Apparently they never heard of the First Amendment. Luckily, our judge did, and the blog goes on. Check.)
- Meet Nora Ephron. (Not even sure why that was a big deal that night, but it was important enough to make the list. But alas, it has yet to occur. Uncheck.)
- Become master of the universe. (It was at this point in my list that the writing becomes illegible and the champagne found its own voice. Check mate.)
Anyhow, as I mentioned, I turned 3 on my divorce-aversary this year: I’m three years into my next best self, three years stronger, three years wiser, three years better off.
And I hope that maybe, if you’ve been through something as traumatic as a blindsiding divorce or a crazy separation, one that inspired your complete reinvention: Perhaps you’ll embrace the concept of a divorce-aversary, or a separation-aversary, or whatever your name will be. And buy yourself some balloons and a big pink snowball. Cuz they rock.
So, now it’s your turn:
- Have you found a way to celebrate milestones that commemorate something less-than-happy — but provide an opportunity for introspection and healing?
- Anything to add to my list of “Creepy things”? I’m looking for new entries…
- If you could write a list of New You’s Resolutions, what would be among your highlights?
- Are you one of those creepy grown-ups who celebrates your birthday for an entire month?
- Any idea why Nora Ephron made my list?
And thank you, Catherine, for allowing me to spread the love and share life’s little crazies with your fabulous readers. I *heart* symbols almost as much as I *heart* you and your blog! 🙂
Copyright 2011. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.