Well, here we are. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve had about enough “growth opportunities” lately.
I recently heard someone say “I don’t know where the hell I’m going, but I’m making good time” and although I’m not 100 percent sure what that means, I sure as hell feel it. Everything changed in 2020 for everyone, didn’t it? No one was immune (pun completely intended) or left unaffected. So while everything was shifting and imploding and shattering and splintering, I decided to make some pretty major life decisions of my own, and left my marriage after over a decade of mostly really happy times. I am heartbroken, but looking at things through the lens of love and that’s all I can do. I had to go, my time had come, and we all know, when we know. We just do. We can fight it, ignore it, lie to ourselves about it, but we all know.
Sooooo, then I moved back to my hometown three hours away, so that was super fun as well. I am as lost as last years Easter egg running around a town I haven’t lived in for over twelve years and things have changed exponentially – I’m a different gal and this is definitely a different city. Let’s see if we get along.
I thought when I got sober everything would fall into place, not apart-but that’s not the way it went and sadly, those aren’t uncommon odds. I’m the one that changed, I broke the deal, and I totally get it – but it blows 100% on every level, even though I know in my core that it is 100% the right decision.
Living alone after 12 years of marriage is fucking weird, you guys. OMG it’s as liberating and thrilling as it is lonely and intimidating. I cannot believe I am the only one making decisions and I’m so completely used to having my best friend at my disposal, for conversation, comparisons, ridiculous observations and just inane and sometimes, brilliant chatter. Now it’s me, and a few plants. Well, about $75 worth of plants which is not nearly as many as one would think. One I dubbed “Jackie” for the Lowe’s lady that insisted I buy it, even though spider plants ain’t my jam*. There’s another that is some sort of succulent in a fun planter that is in the shape of a lady, and the succulent itself is her spiky hair. I dubbed her Mrs. Oliver while I was pouring my coffee when I first moved in and now I talk to her quite often. Yes, living alone is weird, y’all.
I now have a ridiculous amount of streaming channels and am reading Brandi Carlile’s memoir, Broken Horses. I am putting together my new space and it’s predictably adorned with feminist icons and Ikea furniture, as I am now a divorced woman cliche. I haven’t gone on a shopping spree, but have invested in some quality items and have been generously gifted some as well. My place is cozy and colorful, and everything is hand picked, but not necessarily new. New to me. Only what I want/love/necessary or of importance. There is nothing here by accident and a good amount of the possessions of my prior life have been purged. It’s exhilarating and I am lighter in every sense. The older I get, the less I need, and although I would delight to dive into a heated pool every morning, I am content and grateful waking up (hangover free) in crisp new sheets and a warm electric blanket, facing a window, slightly cracked to let fresh air in. It is a delightful way to come into your day. Now, in full disclosure, I do get hit with a soul-crushing wave of sadness most every morning still, and I know that is something I just have to move through, or that has to move through me, more accurately. Or maybe that will always be there…I don’t know.
I’m back to work now and love every single thing about working downtown. The frenetic energy, the smells, the unbelievable sights and overheard conversations, say nothing of neon signs, party buses and music from every conceivable venue competing for competition and drowning out common sense and putting more than just country music in the atmosphere. It’s a party, y’all. I mean, every. single. day. Now, this would tire some, and indeed grow tiresome for many, and some of you may be dubious of my somewhat cocky odds of survival, or moreover, tolerance – but I’m telling you, if you truly know me, then you know there’s nothing more me. I’ve mentioned that my dream job would be to be a tour guide** – and I’ve never even actually cared where- when I lived in New Mexico I worked at a gift shop atop a ski slope that was a tourist attraction, and my favorite part of the job was answering questions, usually about my commute. I didn’t give a shit if you bought a dream catcher or Kokopelli doll, just as long as you asked me about the elevation and let me prattle on for thirty minutes about how we got our water up that fucking mountain. Naturally, I took it upon myself to assign myself those extra duties even though my ass was supposed be behind the counter pimping fake turquoise.
There is definitely a tour guide aspect to my job now and I ain’t mad about it. I answer random questions all day that have nothing to do with my job, but it’s definitely become an aspect of my job. I work at a tourist site, basically, so of course there’s going to be a shit ton of tourists asking a lot of predictable questions, ie; restaurant recommendations, landmarks to check out, best place to spot a celebrity, whatev. So I tell them, and I enjoy it. Jokes and irony aside, I really do like people.
And I really like people up for a good time, naturally. I was always up for a good time, as you can imagine- “wide open” one could say. Common sense and rules (or, at times, laws) be damned. I was up for a rollercoaster, a random road trip, an illegal pool jump, or stealing a Harley.
It’s been such a relief to reconnect with real people again, in a real room, actually. Not a zoom room. It doesn’t matter if we’re a little distant – I can see and hear them, and talk in real time, and comment on things and tell anecdotes, and sometimes I even forget for two heavenly seconds that there’s a pandemic, and that my heart is broken.
So, if you’re still out there, stick around. I’m starting over. Again. How lucky does one gal get?!
I’m so very grateful for everything that’s led me right up to this very moment, y’all -let’s see what’s next.
* what better time to try new things and I know a spider plant isn’t sky-diving, but baby steps y’all
** my actual dream job was to be one of those handsome cab drivers with a horse and carriage and take people for tours throughout the city and I swear I would’ve made up SO MUCH SHIT it would’ve been wildly disastrous, but it would’ve combined horses with bullshit and everyone knows those are my two favorite things right after vodka and whiskey.
Beautifully written, DBJen! You are your own bright neon light (not the annoying flickering kind rather the warm lava lamp glowing kind – peaceful and just a little weird). Love you! 😘
Nice metaphor! Kathleen and I are so happy to get an update and hear that you landed on your feet. They say that plants thrive when you talk to them. If that’s so, I imagine your new home will soon look like an Amazonian rain forest. Best of luck!
I’ve been singing some old school hip hop with Mrs. Oliver lately so I’m expecting mad crazy growth – she loves some Missy Elliott, not surprisingly. So good to hear from you! Life is nuts, isn’t it? I don’t know what’s next, but I can’t wait to find out. Much love to you both. (I thought of you all so much the week of Alex Trebeck’s death – it was hard to lose him.)
Yay! You’re baaaaccckkk! In great form! Love you, Jenny! Miss you, too! 🤯💖
*looking up flights to Nashville*
HONAY COME THE HELL ON
I know how much you loved typing “growth.” I love you, Jen.
You know goddammit it was YOU that started me noticing the word growth and the synonymous nature of this shit and the very different definitions in the first place – and then it got me thinking of growth and then subsequently growths on the body, and then every time I said growth ( WHICH ADMITTEDLY IS A LOT) it makes me gag a little and I want to throat punch you for that because now I gip a little when I say “broth” which- isn’t -really- related… but that’s what you’ve done to my vernacular, and now do you see why I had to drink so fucking much!?
I love you, Jess. (xox0)
Sending both “applause of achievement” and “hugs of sympathy”
Jen – So glad to hear an update! Happy to hear you are back in town 🙂 Lunch sometime? You are such a badass, strong woman ❤️
Summed it up, in an entertaining way… yes, the bullshit you would tell if you were a carriage driver. You still have time to live that dream and I for one, would be your first customer!!!
Yay, you’re back! 😘 And worth the wait. Soulful, bittersweet, and funny as ever. Big hugs xx