Thursday, December 31, 2015

And a Happy New Year

I missed another week of blogging, thanks to Christmas.  I'm not really complaining, and I'm not going to beat myself up for it.  It was another wonderful Christmas, in spite of everything being way more complicated than originally planned.  But I spent time with family, my boyfriend, and got a Grinch onesie, among many other things.  So I'm not complaining at all.

And now it's New Year's Eve.  In just a few more hours, I will have officially survived December.  I made it.  You made it.  Congratulations!

I don't even know where the year went.  It feels like I was just ringing in 2015, yet so much has happened since then.

I know a lot of people had a rough year.  So I'm not bragging when I say that mine was pretty great.  I'm actually thrilled to be able to say it because, as Mark and I discussed the other day, any year that's not a repeat of 2014 is a good one in my book.  If I survived that, and my crazy ex-husband, I'm pretty sure everything else is a cakewalk.

And it's not like 2015 has been the easiest.  As I've discussed, I'm far more prone to crying this year than ever before.  I spent the first three months of 2015 being mostly unemployed and vaguely depressed.  And now I'm busier and more sleep-deprived than ever before.  I owe my parents a significant amount of money.  I spent Christmas Eve helping my boyfriend take pictures of his ex-girlfriend's surprise wedding, at her request.  (Yes, you read that right.)  My apartment looks like a bomb went off in it.

But it's been a full year of freedom and love and happiness.  Freedom to make my own decisions.  Freedom to not feel guilty for having fun.  Freedom from second-guessing my sanity.  Freedom from being told that my memories were wrong.  Freedom from being stalked and controlled and manipulated and abused.  Freedom to be completely and ridiculously in love.  I own my car.  I pay my bills.  I have my old name back.  I wrecked my wedding dress in the best photoshoot ever.

It seems like it's been longer than a year, in many ways.  Mostly in that I find it almost impossible to believe that it's only been a little over a year since I've been divorced.  That part of my life seems no more tangible anymore than a bad dream.  After all, there's no way I could have spent seven years that way.

But there's still proof that I did, in spite of throwing away or replacing nearly everything I could from when I was married.  There's still a hole in my bedroom wall from when I flinched away from him touching me.  There's still the fluttering panic when I think about him ever being near me again.  There's the memories I don't quite remember and don't want to about nights I was encouraged to drink too much so that I wouldn't say no.  There's the shame that I was weak enough to be manipulated so easily and for so long.  There's the fear that everything he said about me was right.  There's the fear that my honesty about my life will have consequences.

I joke about it a lot.  He's become more of a caricature for me now, but I suppose it's how I deal.  I make him less threatening, less real, and it helps.  Maybe it's not the healthiest way of dealing.  But it works.  I think.  Maybe.  Obviously, it's not foolproof, since I'm still talking about it, still finding ways to deal with what I went through.  I still have nightmares.  I still question my memories.  I still wonder if I made it all up.  That's when I'm grateful for the proof I have, and for those who tell me I'm not just crazy, for every person who told me they didn't like how he treated me and that I deserved better.

At the very least, it makes me so much more grateful for what I have now, for the past year, and for all the years to come.

2015 has brought me stronger friendships and support groups, more time with my family, a job I love, random spontaneous adventures, countless brunches, and more happiness than I feel I possibly deserve.  I couldn't ask for a better year, ups and downs included, because it's still all so wonderful.  I know I gush a lot about my life (on here and in person), but it's because I'm still in awe at how great it all can be.  I honestly had no idea.  I feel like one of those videos of dogs or babies experiencing grass or snow or bacon for the first time.  I feel like Dorothy seeing all the technicolor wonder of Oz for the first time.  Why did no one ever tell me there was something so marvelous?  Why did it take me so long to get here?

I don't ever want to go back to the girl I was before this year.  And I don't think that's even possible anymore.  I like to think I've learned my lessons.  At least a few.  I like to think that things are going to continue to be better and better.

I'm not perfect.  2015 wasn't perfect.  2016, for all the future as-yet-unsullied potential it holds, won't be perfect either.  I'll cry.  I'll be stressed.  Things will be bad, and good, and everything in between.  It will be life.

And I think that life sounds just about as perfect as it's going to get.

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