Tag Archives: marriage

Getting back out there… where have I been?

You guys, these past couple years have been nothing less than a shit show. Life came a knockin’ and it brought some gifts. Good, bad, really bad and finally exhausted and defeated decisions have been made as a result.

Since  2016 my revolving door consisted of starting jobs, quitting  jobs, starting a business, taking a break from that business to start and quit those jobs, trying new mental health treatments (some that worked and some that didn’t), moving out, moving back in, and a medical diagnosis that hit us out of no where.

Throughout this journey I have inadvertently invited people to judge me and to have an opinion about my life. I have distanced myself from family as I tend to do during down times, and I have managed to trim the access weight from my ‘friends’ list.

Ages 33-35 have been a blur of constant motion, trying to find a balance in my life all while watching everything I have worked for start to fade into the background. I was fading into the background of my own life. I was living this life in this body on autopilot for so long that I finally just lost my shit. I literally could not breathe; I was suffocating in this life I said I wanted. And I was freaking tired of being a big ol’ hypocrite.

It’s like after the newness wore off of motherhood I felt completely empty. I think becoming a mom was the last big accomplishment I experienced and I am one of those humans who needs to continue to grow, to learn, to set and meet goals other than new Pinterest projects, to feel important outside the house, to help people I don’t share DNA or a last name with… and I need to do all of those things on a regular basis. That is just who I am; and I have to accept that about myself and stop trying to fit into box not designed for me.

I remember I would lay awake at night and listen to my daughter breathe and in the same breath feel complete joy and complete ambivalence.  I started to feel ambivalent about motherhood, about marriage and about what was expected of me. That excitement and zest for life I felt as a photographer in the Navy, as a new civilian finding a spot for herself, as a graduate student, as a new wife setting up her home in a new state, as a new mom, it was all GONE.

Now, I don’t want to disappoint you, but I am not going to get deeper into details on this post. Even though I yearn to connect with others, tell my story and feel the weight lift off my shoulders as I usually do after a brutally honest piece of writing, there is healing happening here. There will be a time, but it not now.

But back to my disappearance from my writing; I may have continued to write every now and then but my heart left this blog somewhere around January 2017 when I was in full force life dismantle.

I was also deep into the vicious cycle of comparing myself to other women, which is like pouring acid on the feels part of your brain. I KNOW, I KNOW… I am like the spokesperson for telling people to STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS.  But dammit if it isn’t second nature to the female gender. We have to seriously work very hard to rewire this out of our normal thinking process. We see someone dressed like a human at drop-off the day we don’t even have shoes on and there it is, we start comparing ourselves to the mom who appears to have it all together. And maybe they do, but that has nothing do with you and what you are doing in your life.

I let so many things get into my head the last couple years but I also fought for myself. You know, none of asked to be here, and sometimes our inner dialogue doesn’t match the dialogue happening around us. There are a couple things I know to be true in this situation; you can change your inner dialogue to mimic the dialogue around you or you can follow your inner dialogue and try and change the dialogue around you.

Now that I started choosing the second version I am finding my way back. Changes are in the works and I am leaning into those changes in the most positive way I can. I have always found writing to be therapeutic, to be a way to connect with people, to tell my truth while hopefully inspiring others and to leave a legacy. So here I am I am, yammering away for entertainment.

 

XXX-Jen

 

On the 5th Anniversary of your last day of freedom

When we met, we were as single as two people could possibly be. Both of us were established adults with careers and houses. I guess that is pretty common in today’s generation of dating, but the point here is that I think we have done a pretty amazing job at becoming a team.

In 5 short years we moved from Italy to Summerville, quickly bought a house, started our family, sold that house and built the house we are in now. Castle Garvey. There are many big life changes that are missing on this list that we have survived together like losing my mom, losing a baby, jobs, health issues… only to make us stronger as a team. You are really been my best friend.

I couldn’t imagine doing any of those things without you. In fact, I wouldn’t have. I would still be wearing boots somewhere, white-knuckling it along in life. Drinking lots of wine to cope.

Instead, I am in THIS life with you. Thank you for never leaving my side; even when I told you to. You saw through the facade, helped heal my wounds and taught me I could let someone else take the wheel.

You inspire me everyday. When you set your mind to something, it will be done. If you are enjoying the process, it is amazing what you can accomplish. As a father, well, I have never met another dad like you. You are something to be treasured.

I treasure you today, tomorrow and the next day.

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I can’t account for Sunday. I work. 😉

I love you my mister Garvey, happy 5th Anniversary. I look forward the rest of our lives together.

 

Fuck You, I Don’t Need Defending…

*If the ‘F’ word makes you uncomfortable and you are of the belief (still) that ladies do not use profanity, this is not for you. Please check-out one of my more ‘calm’ post. This announcement is to avoid any and all comments addressing the vocabulary I use.

Now, back to business…

This is gonna be a long one so get comfortable; make a drink, pour some vino, pack a bowl or grab some fuckin’ ice cream if that’s your thing. Just do whatever it is you do during your parents-only time. It’s story time and self-love time with suburban mishap!

Black and White

So where does this title come from? Well, the short answer is it comes from my soul and it comes from a place of self-realization. And it comes from a very uncomfortable situation, and the therapy that followed that situation.

But the long version begins like this…

The sentiment “fuck you, I don’t need defending” entered my brain and left through my mouth during a very private and vulnerable conversation with my husband amidst a very real possibility of separation.

I am a deeply private and I always have been. I am pretty sure this is the product of both nature and nurture. My family being of mostly German and English heritage, I am predisposed to being a bitch. Then top that with all my childhood drama and shitty examples of ‘loving marriages’ I have, it is no wonder I have arrived here. Here being on the door step of separation with refusal to give up on my dream of being happy in the one life I was gifted.

Since I left the nest many, many years ago I decided that I would not repeat history. Even in my adolescence I knew I wanted better for myself; in every aspect of my life. My young mind recognized that as far as ‘normal’ was concerned, my life was not it. It was not normal in any capacity.

Recently I have discovered that for some reason longevity translates to success in some people’s minds. For example, my mother was married for I believe 27 years to the same man. So some might say, well hell, she must know the secret to a long and happy marriage… I assure you that particular long marriage was a shit-show. Frankly I do not have one example of a marriage that I want mine to be like. That may offend some people, but it is what it is.

In my way of thinking, it is impossible to apply advice when there is no similarities in the desired goal. I don’t just want to be married for many years, I want to be happy, to be loved and to be respected and valued. I would like to get out of this shell I am living in and be affectionate and playful with my husband. I want to be spoiled and cherished, AND I want to do the same for him. More than anything, we both want to display a happy and healthy marriage for our daughter.

During this conversation the phrase “but I defended you” was communicated to me a lot. So for me, the deeper question was this, why do you feel the need to defend me? Deer in the headlight response. You know why? Because I simply do not need defending. And in this particular instance I was reminded again of my favorite talk show host Dr. Phil   Oprah. He She says “no matter how flat you make a pancake, it will always have two sides.” When one person is telling YOUR story things can easily become distorted, goals become forgotten and before you know it you can find yourself playing for the wrong team.

I know this about myself, I am determined to stay on my path and be happy. Life is too fucking short and you know, sometimes it is healthy to remind yourself (especially with this nagging depression and constant anxiety) that you are enough. I live my life with honesty, acceptance, love, and kindness. I am a good mom and I can say that without even blinking. I try very hard to show my daughter that we treat other human beings how we would like to be treated. I take a front-seat approach to being a mother and my heart strings are attached so firmly to my daughter that she is in the forefront of all my decision making.

Before this turns into a Mother Teresa type read, I know for certainty that I am not perfect. I have a heaping stack of areas that need improvement and need my attention. But I know this, acknowledging them is half the battle and seeing progress makes any journey better. Dr. Phil Oprah has mentioned a time or two that you can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge and I find this to be profoundly raw and simple to live by. Anyone who knows me now that knew me 5 years ago will tell you I am a different person, and not just because I now have my own personal side-kick.

I mention this because I am a person who requires proof and hearing from those who know me best allows me to say with certainty that I put self-work very high on my list of priorities. So as flawed as I am, I can say with confidence that I am moving in the right direction and I am staying on the path I want. Isn’t that all we can do?

If I was giving you my elevator speech, because say, you wanted to get to know me a little better…  I am a stay-at-home mom with two jobs that earn a steady income. I wait tables Friday-Sunday and babysit a few days during the week. I also make my husband help me around the house and sometimes I lose my patience with the members in my family. I know, what a dick.

It boils down to this simple notion, my dear readers. Fuck you, we do not need defending.

The intention of this post is NOT to make anyone feel anything other than empowered. It is not intended to be braggy or boastful in nature. I just know that sometimes it is necessary to remind ourselves of all the shit we are doing right in life and let all that chatter fade into the background where it belongs. If the chatter is your own annoying monsters like I live with, write it down and read that shit to yourself when you need a little reminder.

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