Lesson #1: Moving On…And Out

6 years ago today I got married, which is odd to think about. It’s odd for many reasons: Odd to see how quickly 6 years can fly by, odd to think that I, of my own free will and choice got married in January–the WORST MONTH OF THE YEAR. It’s odd to think that I thought blonde hair was a good choice for my wedding pictures. (Note to self: Next time you are going to participate in an activity where lots of photos will be taken, maybe go back to your natural hair color.)

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I actually like this one, so I figure I might as well post it somewhere. It’s a shame to pay so much for a photographer and then…you know…never really be able to show the photos. SO HERE YOU GO!

But the main reason it feels so odd is because…I don’t really feel anything about it. My first anniversary after the divorce was rough, and I assumed they would be rough for years to come. But this is my third anniversary since the divorce, and I’m feeling happy. Does that mean I’m heartless or something? I don’t think so. I think I’ve just learned what I needed to learn, and decided to move on. I can be thankful for the things I gained from my marriage, and leave the rest where it needs to be.

I’m in the literal process of moving right now, because I’m buying my first house! More on that later, but this pretty much sums up my feelings:

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Anyway, as we all know, moving is THE BEST! *sarcasm* And you know what makes moving REALLY fun? Moving out when you’re splitting up with your husband. GAH. That was rough. I was trying to be as fast as possible, splitting up our stuff while trying to keep my emotions in check. And then there was the apartment hunt. There’s something very depressing about thinking you’re past the roommate stage, and then finding that the only places you can afford on your own are sheds in the back of someone’s yard, with ceilings that are barely above your head, and walls that are most likely held together by black mold, meth residue, and mouse droppings. It was incredibly depressing.

And then, one day, I found this amazing apartment that I COULD AFFORD!! It was sunny and lovely with tall ceilings, PLUS a tub and a washer and dryer. I went to see it at the same time another guy was looking. He kept mentioning things about how long he’d been looking for a place just like this, and how badly he needed it. And then the lady showing the apartment said, “It’s a first-come, first-served situation. Whoever gets their application in first gets the place.” The guy and I looked at each other and bolted down the stairs, intent on being the first to get that online application finished.

Happy Apartment!

Public Service Announcement: DO NOT RUN DOWN THOSE STAIRS

And I won. Take THAT, DUDE! (Actually, I really hope you found a great place. Namaste.)

I packed up my things and moved in, with the help of my family and friends. It was probably the easiest move ever. All I had was a chair, a bookshelf, books, and kitchen supplies. No bed, no TV-nothing. People who showed up 30 minutes late had nothing to do, because I was all moved in. And I liked that, a lot. It was nice that I didn’t have too much baggage to take with me.

Now, a couple of years later, I am leaving my haven of an apartment. I have loved this sunshiney place where I’ve healed so much. Part of me is a little sad to leave, but I’m mostly happy to head somewhere better! Since moving in, I’ve acquired a few more things (sorry, to those of you who are going to help me move in a week and a half), but I’ve tried to be deliberate in what I’ve chosen. Sure, maybe I have too many books (HA! No such thing!) and maybe I shouldn’t have tried to use a yoga swing in a 600 foot apartment (Namaste), but I feel like I’m taking the right amount of stuff with me. And that’s something I’ve learned: Try to take the right stuff with you, and don’t get too held back by the rest.

Happy Anniversary.

 

 

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Chapter 13: Jules gets a divorce

(The following chapter is taken from the NIV edition of the Book of Jules and will not include scriptural speech.  Cause ain’t nobody got time for that. Not toDAY.)

Have any of you read the Twilight series? (Don’t be ashamed. I read them, too. I even bought all of the books and was pretty embarrassed about it. Luckily, they were all destroyed by water damage and I got to throw them all away without feeling guilty for abandoning books.)

Anyway.

In New Moon, there’s this STUPID section of basically empty pages after Edward (the controlling vampire) leaves Bella (the girl with no personality). These empty pages show that Bella is so distraught from losing her true love (because, duh, clearly 17 year olds BELONG with old blood-sucking men) that her life is empty for the next several months.

Let’s just say that my 2+ year hiatus from blogging was just a similar literary convention to indicate the massive hole in my life after a divorce, instead of admitting the truth: that I got bored with blogging. Again.

In all honesty, though, I have felt weird about not addressing the whole divorce issue here, and it’s caused me to procrastinate. How does one write about the failure of a marriage that’s supposed to be eternal? How does one NOT write about it?

I got married in a Mormon temple, which is the gold standard for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You spend your whole childhood looking forward to the day you’ll go through the temple, and a temple marriage is essentially the number one goal for Mormons. (The number two goal might be to make sure you have children who all get married in the temple.)

A temple marriage is supposed to last forever–that’s what members of the LDS church will emphasize when talking about the differences between temple marriages and “secular” marriages. Outside of the temples, the marriage language is “til death do you part.” Within the temple, the marriage language is “for time and all eternity.”

So, when your marriage completely implodes three and a half years into all eternity, you feel like a bit of a jackass. Especially if you are the only person out of your immediate family (of 8, I should add) who hasn’t been able to keep it together. And all this after being the LAST person to get married in that family. (Well done, Jules.)

But, here’s the thing. Maybe I don’t mind feeling like a jackass if it means I get out of a bad situation and learn a thing or too. So get ready for the next few chapters: Things Jules Learned From Ending Her Eternal Marriage.

 

CHAPTER 12: Jules loses sanity and does the Whole30.

1)  And it came to pass that several of Jules’ friends were participating in the Whole30.  And behold, the Whole30 was a plan devised by Satan to take joy out of life.  Yea, the rules of Whole30 were simple:

  • No added sugar (not even honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.  Nothing. Nada.  Only natural sugar from fruits).
  • No alcohol (including for cooking).
  • No grains. At all.
  •  No legumes.
  • No dairy.
  • Don’t re-create junk foods with approved ingredients.
  • Eat only real, natural, unprocessed foods, preferably organic and grass fed and all that jazz.

Oh, and most importantly:

  • Stop feeling happy about life.

2)  And it came to pass that Jules’ friends convinced her to follow Satan’s plan. Yea, her friends didst say, “We shall do this together!  We shall support each other!”  And behold, they didst start the plan and there was much rejoicing and camaraderie to be felt by all.

3) And behold, Jules’ friends didst fall away immediately.  Yea, Jules became a lone voice crying in the Whole30 wilderness.  And it came to pass that her cries usually sounded like unto this:

4) WHY AM I DOING THIS?! I NEED SUGAR!!  i WANT COOKIES AND ICE CREAM AND CHEESE AND PEANUT BUTTER AND BREAD AND QUINOA AND HUMMUS!!!  MAYBE NOT AT THE SAME TIME!

5) Behold, Jules’ husband began to be concerned, and his reaction to her Whole30 crying was something like unto this:

6) And then her husband didst proceed to bake cookies for himself.  And it came to pass that Jules discovered that her husband was a terrible person.

7) But it came to pass that Jules didst continue to follow the plan, and it felt as if she were wondering in a dark and dreary wilderness, for without her grains she could not function.  Yea, her brain power was impaired.  But she kept going, for others told her it was worth it, and that it would get easier.

8) But behold, IT DID NOT BECOME EASIER.  Yea, Jules hated it.  For behold, she was always hungry and her stomach hurt, despite the fact that she was following this stupid plan.  And behold, people said, “Maybe you’re not doing it right!  Doo bee doo!” But, no, Jules’ body just didn’t like it.

9) So, Jules continued.  And while she did see some positive things from the Whole30, it mostly just felt like a time to be sad and not eat cookies.

10) And thus we see that Satan’s plan does not lead to happiness.

CHAPTER 11: Jules is the world’s worst Good Samaritan.

1.  And it came to pass that Jules was dumb sometimes.  Yea, but dumb with a heart of gold.

2.  Behold, it was the 4th of July, and Jules didst love the 4th of July, for it was a day for celebrating many of Jules’ favorite things:  Freedom, America, Fireworks, Summer, and Grilling.  And, this year, for many of the girls Jules happened to see, it was also a day to celebrate wearing shorts that didst expose far too much butt cheek.  And, while Jules didst not believe in wearing shorts that didst expose her butt cheeks, she did own a swimming suit, and didst wear it to the reservoir.  And in this way, she didst join in the new butt cheek-bearing celebration.

3.  And when Jules didst return home with her husband and puppies, she didst come face to face with destiny.

4.  And destiny didst look exactly like a lady with no teeth.

(Disclaimer: This is not an actual picture of destiny. Nor is at an actual picture of the toothless lady Jules saw outside her house.)

5.  Yea, this lady with no teeth was wandering around outside Jules’ house.  And she was stumbling and coughing and holding on to the fence for support.  And Jules and her husband were concerned for this lady’s well-being, for she didst look as if she would keel over and die at any moment.

6.  And Jules didst ask the lady if she was alright, and the lady didst sound very distressed.  Yea, she had just returned from the hospital and was trying to get home.  And Jules didst feel so sorry for the toothless lady, and didst rush her into the car and didst proceed to drive her home.

7.  And behold, the toothless lady, who was very nice, was also very difficult to understand.  And she was also on drugs, which became very apparent as soon as she got into Jules’ car.  For she didst begin to mumble and poke at the dashboard and open up the glove compartment.  Jules didst try to be nice and understanding of the toothless destiny woman, since she was having a hard day.  But yea, the toothless lady didst try to pick up things off the floor of the car and put them in her purse. And yea, when the toothless woman didst open up her purse, Jules didst see that it was filled to overflowing with prescription drugs for other people.

8.  And that was when Jules decided to call the police.

9.  And it came to pass that when the police didst arrive, they saw Jules in her swimming suit, and Jules realized that she probably looked like a butt cheek-bearing hoochie hanging out with one of her druggie friends.  And three police cars, an ambulance, and two hours later, Jules had finished filling out her statement, and the toothless destiny woman was under arrest.  For behold, she was homeless and had several warrants out for her arrest.

10.  And thus it was that Jules celebrated her Independence Day by successfully taking someone else’s independence away.

11.  But, on the bright side, Jules didst escape the encounter without getting stabbed.  And Jules and her husband celebrated by watching Carrie Underwood perform a song that would be very applicable to Jules’ situation, had things gone terribly awry:

 

CHAPTER 10: Jules gets stuck in a book vortex.

1. And it came to pass that Jules didst love to read. Yea, even from the time she was but a child, she didst have her nose stucketh in a book. So, it madeth sense that one of her favorite places was the library.

2. Yea, Jules didst pass many of her hours at the library, looking for something of good report or praiseworthy to read. And, when it came to pass that she ran out of ideas of books to read, she didst consult the All-Knowing Librarian, and the All-Knowing Librarian didst tell her from whence she could receive literary fulfillment.

The All-Knowing Librarian

3. Now, it came to pass that the All-Knowing Librarian was often a sweet-looking, blue-haired lady. Because of this, Jules didst assume that the suggestions of the All-Knowing Librarian would be above reproach. And, behold, that is how Jules, when she was at the tender age of 13, made the mistake of allowing the All-Knowing Librarian to lead her to the Pink Section.

4. When Jules heard that the Pink Section was the Romance Section, she thought that perhaps this meant a collection of love stories that wouldst be found in fairy tales and other such innocent stories. And when it came to pass that Jules didst see the book covers in the Romance Section, she didst not realize that the long-haired bare-chested men and the long-haired, almost bare-breasted women wouldst be doing anything in the books beside kissing. And so it came to pass the the All-Knowing Librarian didst pull a book from the shelves of the Pink Section and didst hand it to Jules. And the All-Knowing Librarian didst say, “Behold, this book is one of my favorites.”

5. And 13-year-old Jules didst take the book home and began to read. And she didst continue to read. And it came to pass that the eyes of 13-year-old Jules didst begin to widen with every word she read. And 13-year-old Jules felt very uncomfortable reading this book, but behold she could not stop in the middle, for 13-year-old Jules didst hate to leave a book unfinished. And 13-year-old Jules didst read until the end of the book, and she didst blush and didst hurry to take the book back to the All-Knowing Librarian.

6. And it came to pass that 28-year-old Jules didst forget the lessons learned by 13-year-old Jules, and didst once again ask the All-Knowing Librarian for a book suggestion. And the All-Knowing Librarian didst not lead her unto the Pink Section, so Jules believed herself to be safe. And the All-Knowing Librarian didst say, “Behold, this book is one of my favorites.”

7. And 28-year-old Jules didst take the book home and read it. And it came to pass that the book was a sexy book. And the eyes of 28-year-old Jules did not widen as much as the eyes of 13-year-old Jules, though she didst giggle.

8. And 28-year-old Jules didst say, “Now I see that the blue-haired librarians do love their sexy books. Such a thing I never had supposed.” And she didst finish the book, and didst realize that it was part of a series. And though Jules didst not love the book she read, she felt that she had to continue reading, just to see how it ended.

9. And so it came to pass that Jules got hooked on the series of books. And then she didst discover that there were 21 books in the series, and the author didst intend to write many more.

10. And Jules didst curse her fate, for she knew that she was stuck in a book vortex. And she knew that the book series had no end.

11. And Jules didst curse the All-Knowing Librarian, and didst resolve to go back to the library and check out something normal, like Les Miserables.

12. But first, Jules had to finish reading her sexy book.

13. (Jules needeth help. Someone save her from this book vortex. Please.)

CHAPTER 9: Jules doth not think that word meaneth what thou thinkest it meaneth.

1. And it came to pass that Jules knew several people who ended nearly every sentence with the word “literally.”
2. Yea, literally.
3. Behold, these people would say such things as, “I just can’t handle that smell. I will LITERALLY throw up all day. LITERALLY.” Or, “He ran around crazy for days. Literally.” And it came to pass that Jules wanted to literally smack these people in the face.

Preach, Inigo.


4. For behold, why was it necessary to punctuate each sentence with that word? Especially when it did not make sense?
5. Yea, the definition of “literally” is “actually; without exaggeration.” So, it didst perturb Jules exceedingly when the word was used after a gross exaggeration:

(Warning: This doth contain some mild language….)

6. And it came to pass that Jules didst do nothing to stop the people from using that word. And she didst bear her burdens and suffer in silence. Until she could blog. Literally.

CHAPTER 8: Jules gets American Hustled.

1. And it came to pass that Jules didst love movies.

2. Yea, she didst love all kinds of movies, and didst enjoy watching them in her spare time.

3. But, yea, her love of movies was waxing thin, for she could not go anywhere on the internet without seeing exaggerated praise or scorn for movies. And it came to pass that Jules already had a biased opinion about movies before she went to see them.

4. And thus it was that, even before she had seen Gravity, she had heard that it was an amazing acting performance from Sandra Bullock, and it was a huge step in cinema for the empowerment of women. And thus, Jules didst see the movie, and didst judge the movie based on the praise she had heard. And it came to pass, that Jules didst see that Sandra Bullock was still Sandra Bullock, but in space. And Jules did not really see why people had made a big deal about her empowerment, but whatevs.

5. Thus it came to pass that Jules didst go to see Frozen, but not before she had read about how it was one of the first Disney films that showed that women didn’t need men to save them, and that it was a triumph for feminism, and that there was a hidden gay agenda, and blah blah blah. (Jules didst wonder why people weren’t counting Mulan and Beauty and the Beast as Disney films, because the heroine clearly saved the day in those films, but whatevs.) She didst watch Frozen, and didst get distracted by all of the annoying buzz surrounding it, because to her it was another fun animated film.

6. Then Jules didst read about American Hustle, and became excited, because everyone said it was one of the best films of the year. So, Jules and her husband Jeff didst go to see it. And behold, it was ok. But they didst leave the theater saying, “I know not why everyone didst make such a big deal out of this film. Yea, it was fine, but whatevs.”

7. And thus it came to pass that Jules decided not to listen or read any opinions about films, especially if the opinions were about feminism, because Jules was getting really tired of people telling her that she needed to feel oppressed. For behold, Jules didst not feel oppressed…unless she was watching an overrated film.

8. And thus it was that Jules didst go to see Nebraska without knowing anything about it, and she enjoyed it, though women were not empowered, and there was not really a gay agenda.