8 July 2018
This has been a full, and rather exhausting, week for me. Most of my focus was on Duke as his time with me dwindles. I am still trying to play catch up on sleep and getting my body to adjust to a real bed, after spending a week in New York. We also had July 4 in the middle of the week.
The holiday was different: quiet and low key. It was kind of nice. What wasn’t nice was that my allergies didn’t cooperate and I spent most of the day sleeping.
I spent my waking hours thinking about what independence means.
I’ve spent July 4 watching fireworks from Mount Rushmore and from the Mall in Washington, D.C. Haven’t made it to Boston for the 4th, and I am thinking I will add it to my list.
I have also been in Philadelphia on the same day when the Declaration of Independence was read to the public in (July 8,1776). The park rangers dressed up in colonial costumes, re-enacting characters from America and Britain. The banter between the citizens and those whose loyalty remained with the England throne was entertaining.
I have walked the Freedom Trail ln Boston numerous times as a child and as an adult.
I was born and raised in a state, one of the original 13 colonies, and NY is just as rich in history as Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. My ancestors came over to America through Ellis Island.
We are part of different heritages, cultures, beliefs, and so much more. We all come from somewhere. It’s one of the best parts of being a U.S. citizen. I have been all over Europe, in parts of Asia and the Middle East to appreciate what it means to be an American while appreciating the culture of any place I visit.
More importantly, independence meant true freedom for me in 2018. I became a free individual on March 1; I no longer had to communicate with my ex-husband. I was out of the house, he had the key, and I officially moved on. Even after the divorce was finalized, I had to report any major repairs while still living In the house, and his narcissistic behaviors kept me from saving money for five extra months.
I’ve heard he’s no longer with the Norwegian whore, and has moved on to another woman; his next supply and her problem. He can’t stop. He hasn’t had time to digest everything he did. However, narcissists won’t ever take responsibility; they’ll blame someone else, and I was blamed for so many things throughout the 16 years we were together and 14 years of marriage.
The best part now is I don’t care. I don’t have to care because it is not in my best interest, isn’t healthy for me, and is not part of my self-care program. I went no contact for a reason.
I have the freedom to beamcome more of a person I’ve always been, and have been having fun in the re-discovery phase. I was never in the re-creation because there were moments in my marriage where I took some of my independence to claim “Karen days,” just so I could have time to myself since I was expected to raise his children.
I don’t have to coordinate schedules and vacations. I don’t have to listen to being told no, I can’t do something…which is one reason why I’m taking myself to Disneyland Paris this year since I get to be in Europe for a meeting.
I am free to follow the path of Plan A. However, there have been moments when I realized I am living in a state where everything moves at a pace slower than a snail; something that always drove this NY’er nuts, and I’ve had to devise a Plan B. Plan B takes me off the path. The next Plan B includes doing some things I discovered during grad school that I didn’t want to do the rest of my life, but have to do something to gain financial freedom; something my lawyer told me I would have, but we both never saw the additional motions that had to be filed for five extra months…and fees that weren’t paid back.
As I continue to job hunt, I am free to go where I want to, but limited because the extra stress of moving Duke again would kill him. As I job hunt, I remain stuck in a system that has been unfair (the pay insulting) for a while and people have taken advantage of my skills. As this grew more apparent, I began to say no often and really stand up for myself. I should not have to work a second job. I should not have to sacrifice my writing time, but it’s where I’m at. I now steal every moment I can to write while remaining focused on Duke. I have stopped all medications for pup: they won’t do him any good, and I can no longer afford them. I have accepted I’ve done all I can for him and have given him a good life. There are days I feel guilty thinking about the near future when he isn’t with me and the extra freedom I’ll have. I’ve had pets for 13 years and have always been the caregiver. A little break will be nice.
That metaphorical roller coaster still exists. And while I’m still on it, I am at the gym five days a week now. Duke’s walking time has significantly diminished, so I resort to my exercise dvd’s at home when I’m not at the gym.
At the end of the day I am thankful for my freedoms: as an American and as an individual. I am being derailed from Plan A once again, but there always seems to be a reason and I remind myself to be patient despite the obstacles and frustrations.
Best of all, I have the freedom to continue writing, and this bacme huge writing weekend for me. I am taking the time for myself to do what I want and because I can. I am rich in this kind of independence and, roller coaster or not, have not regretted the decisions I made to get here today. I have the right to happiness and deserve the best of everything. No matter which plan I’m on, this remains my mantra.