"If I knew all the words, I would write myself out of here." MRAZ

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Under (More) Pressure

In an interesting turn of events, I moved in with my ex-husband at the beginning of the 2012 year - almost just in time to celebrate our first full year of being divorced.

My decision to move back into the house that we shared while married was multi-layered - like an onion (a big, fat smelly one). But the 2 main factors were...a. I had no rent money (since I had just recently left my job to start publishing) and b. he never completed the mortgage edit - taking my name off the property - and couldn't move forward with an appraisal since the house was in disrepair.

Our agreement was that I would provide property management (negotiating with the HOA, cleaning, managing service providers, more cleaning, calling in all kinds of favors from friends for home improvement supplies, did I mention the cleaning?!) and in return, I would be able to live at the house for free while I pursued whatever opportunities opened for me through jab's plethora.  The agreement would exist until the house was appraised, the refinance paperwork completed and my name removed from the property. And we'd figure out how to deal with the awkward part of living together again a day at a time.

And even though the agreement was cut and dry - real life has a way of creating more hoops to jump through, more pop quizzes than you've studied for, more opportunities to feel like the awkward adolescent standing in front of the class red-cheeked with embarrassment.

To put it nicely, it has been a rich experience - and has hopefully, made me a better and stronger person.

But now, I am just ready to move on.

I am happy to report that the agreement is coming to its fulfillment. The house has been cleaned, the HOA placated, my friends and connections thanked and thanked again. The paperwork process was initiated, the appraisal scheduled and final details submitted to the bank for processing.

Things have been moving along. Not near fast enough to please my taste, but at least there has been forward momentum.

This week, though, has been a doozie.

I was informed by one of my closest friends that she and my ex have started a connection that they plan to pursue. And though she doesn't yet want to be called his girlfriend (by god, it's too early for that) they have kissed and she does plan to come over for romantic visits (last night, her car was still in front of the house at 4am). And she really wants our friendship to remain the same...

[Can you blame me for sleeping poorly; for rolling over at some point and checking out the window and at seeing her car, checking my phone for the time? If you want to, that's fine. Live as I have for the last 8 months and maybe you'll start acting a little crazy too.]

My ex topped that tidbit with the fact that the refi appears "dead in the water;" or at least, that's what the Banker told him. He needs me to submit my divorce paperwork, because what he's already submitted didn't fulfill the requirements of the paperwork process. And he needs to find an extra $1,400 to order to complete the process - and isn't sure where that money is going to come from.
Is it any wonder that I may have indulged at the local Martini Bar on Friday night while updating my mom on all the particulars?

To be honest with you, as ready as I am to depart this household, I don't have a place to land yet. My company and my professional engagements have grown - but not quite enough just yet. Those are ends I am desperately trying to match up as quickly as possible...understanding that ultimately the journey is not in my control.

All I can do is act in a way that I can be proud that when this nightmare is over, I'm not haunted by actions that were mean and childish. My record isn't spotless, but I'm doing the best I can to make sure that it stays as clean as possible.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy from Afar

So, I think it's a very good thing that I am in the midst of 2012 Apple Adventures. There's nothing like taking out your stress on a bag of apples that need to be peeled and chopped. It's a methodical process that provides a lot of firm sensory feedback, almost soothing to a soul that's raging on the tumultuous waters of life.

And I am not ashamed to admit that I am the soul that needs soothing.

Today, one of my dearest friends took me out to lunch to confess that she's decided to pursue a relationship with my ex-huband. She doesn't want to be called his girlfriend (it's too soon for that) - but they have already kissed, so they intend to see where this may lead.

Did I mention that I am currently living with my ex?
Have you been following the sordid tales of my adventures this year in working with him to get a property we share ready for an appraisal? If you haven't, you're missing out - I am not going to lie. It's a great story!

And so, it's not that I begrudge their happiness.
Love happens; and attraction doesn't follow the rules. I operate a Love Letters community - I of all people know how spontaneous and imaginative the feelings of love are, and can be. So, on those terms, we're good.

I told her that it wasn't going to ruin our friendship, but that the parameters of our friendship would indeed change - there's no way to ignore or deny that fate. I also told her that she may be exactly what he needs - and that they may be very good for each other; different temperaments, like bodies, fit together differently - and some better than others.

I just don't want to tell her I told her so...when she comes to me frustrated about his behavior or about how our friendship has changed...

So, I am hoping for the best - for all of us: that they will be happy together - and that I will be able to survey their happiness from a different vantage point - not from the room down the hall.