All posts by Stifle Me Not

I Did It

I did it. I finally did it.

After 7 long months and 1 week, I finally got a job.

It’s the part time job that I referred to in my previous post. It’s not a lot of money, but it is perfect for my current situation. You’d think I’d be screaming my head off with excitement that I don’t have to go on food stamps (and oh my gosh, yes, I am elated), but it’s like I already knew it was mine.

The funny thing is, I’ve had this nagging feeling for quite a while that if I just moved forward with divorcing my husband, I would finally get a job. That inner voice kept saying, “Respect yourself, let him go, and other good stuff will come in.” I heard it, and I ignored it for quite awhile. I made excuses against it.

Earlier in September I started pressuring him to settle on some terms for a dissolution. He mocked me. He threw empty threats at me that I knew better than to take seriously. I continued to delay.

This Wednesday he closed on his new house. He needed my signature to close on his house since we’re still married. I also signed the doc that waives my right to his house once we are divorced. What he didn’t realize is that while we’re still married, even though I’m not on the mortgage, I’m on the title. I own the house too. The look on his face was priceless when he had this realization at the closing table.

After his closing, I called him. I gave him an ultimatum. He had until the end of the week to agree to the terms of a dissolution or I move forward the old fashioned divorce way. His ego didn’t like that. By Friday, he reluctantly agreed to draft docs and review them.

Yes, he bought a new house while his wife and two kids live with family an hour away. He is a selfish man with little integrity. He knows how to make himself appear grand and is a social joy to be around. He thrives on attention and wants to be the center of everyone’s universe. He was the center of mine for a long time. Until I realized that I was never the center of his. And never would be. Ever. He used my precious energy to make himself feel whole. He depleted me daily until I was an empty shell of a human.

I am slowly coming back to life. Yesterday I spoke to my lawyer and she’s drafting up the second and last round of dissolution documents. He has once last chance to agree to my terms or I told my lawyer she can “go full bore”. I have tried for a full year not to hurt him. Not to enrage him. Not to cause more grief than was needed. I don’t want my kids to go through that. But there is a limit to personal anguish. My kids will understand one day no matter what I do. They are too young now, but eventually you grow up and ask questions.

Isn’t it odd that I give him an ultimatum and the next day I get a job offer after so long?

I am feeling confident and happy right now. I partially started my new job on Friday and I look forward to learning more this week. It’s time for a change all around.

Today is also my 11th anniversary with my almost ex. I thought it would be a super sad day. It was not. I thought of it briefly in the morning, but didn’t let it get me down. I’m dead inside these days when it comes to that kind of sadness. I’ve been too sad for too long and I want to move on finally

I’m finally letting myself move on.

Stifle Me Not

I Give Up … Just Kidding

It’s funny how life works in mysterious little ways. Right when I’m on the verge of not being able to see past the tip of my own nose, a little ray of hope shines in and catches my attention.

I gave up on any job searching for a week. Just for the week. I have been trying nonstop for 7 months. One week wasn’t going to kill me and my unemployment benefits ran out so… I gave up. And I know myself – it would only be a matter of time before I’d kick back into overdrive.

On Sunday, I visited my grandma for coffee. And somehow coffee with 87-year old grandma turned into a networking event. My uncle came to visit grandma too. He asked what I’ve been up to, and then invited me to his office to apply for a certain position that I’m apparently qualified for. It was all very odd.

On Monday, I visited him at his office, handed him and application and my resume and we chatted for a little bit. I saw opportunity in front of me. It all seemed so simple, but like it could grow into something bigger. I have no idea how exactly, but the knowing was there. It’s a part-time contract position with somewhat low pay and no benefits. But it allows for me to make enough money to pay the bills, be there for my kids before & after school, and keep my career moving in a positive direction while being in this state of transition.

On Wednesday, I got another damn rejection email from a job I had applied to a few weeks ago. It wasn’t anything that I wanted really bad and I had never even heard of the company. I just stared at it. Like how much rejection is a person’s own limit? It was discouraging.

On Thursday morning, I got my daughter and niece on the bus and went back inside to finish my coffee. My phone rang. I wasn’t hopeful, just annoyed. My hope of employers calling me had run out. It was a recruiter for a position I had applied to a couple of weeks ago, asking if I wanted to schedule a phone interview next week.

I hung up with the recruiter and within in five minutes my phone rang again. It was my uncle asking me to come interview with his boss next week.

Okay universe, I’m paying attention again. I have two opportunities to focus on next week. I can’t mess up both of them.

Stifle Me Not

 

 

Staying Strong as the Seasons Change

Well, so much for committing to blog more regularly. Of all the things to happen, the hinge on my laptop is broken and I had to take it in to get repaired. It’s going to be a week or so before I get it back. In the meantime, I found another computer to log into and will try to keep up as life continues to throw curve balls at me, just like anyone else.

I attended the first class of my HR certification course. I forgot what it was like to read and study. It makes me feel young again. I have all of this experience to apply it to so I I’m retaining more than I would have if I took the course sooner than now.

No job prospects this week. I’ve applied to some and no response…

I reached out to a past manager of mine to see if he wants to have lunch – not to beg for my old job back, but to catch up and see if there are any possible opportunities that he might be able to influence. I left on good terms (this wasn’t the company where I was laid off from). Other than him being disappointed that I chose to leave, I don’t think I made an major faux pas during my departure from that company (other than the departure itself). I figure it’s worth a shot. I won’t know if I don’t try. I’m waiting to hear back from him on what date works for him to meet. It’s been a few days now, so I hope he’s not ghosting me.

I’m in the 3rd season of my unemployment. When I drove out of my past employer’s parking lot with tears in my eyes and relief in my heart, the bright sun was deceptively shining through the freezing cold mid-morning air. I enthusiastically began networking, applied for unemployment benefits, and optimistically jumped into job searching. I quickly answered phone calls from unknown numbers and honestly thought I would have a job in no time. It was still winter at the beginning of this journey. When I saw that my benefits would expire in September, I did not fathom that it would ever take me so long to get a job. I figured I would have this all “figured out” by early summer at the latest.

Spring and warm weather were a relief. It was great to go outside and not just be indoors all day. I did not give up hope that I would definitely snag a new job opportunity in no time. I had phone interviews and call-backs to show for it. Progress was being made. I was putting in the effort and have a great resume. Surely some lucky employer would give me an offer. I just needed to get some live interviews. That was the key, right?

Spring turned into summer. It was getting hot. I was still talking to different companies about opportunities almost weekly and I finally secured some in-person interviews. That was it, that’s all I needed. People like me, and I have the experience and professional stories to back up what I know I can do.

Rejection after rejection after rejection. Or no response at all. The cowards do not dare reject formally. They simply do not respond.

Then the reality become clear that I’m not who I used to be and my personal life has taken more of a toll on me than I ever realized. No matter what efforts I’ve tried to ensure that my professional and personal life stay separate – I am one person and they are major parts of who I am. I think employers see right through my facade of being able to keep it all together. As I casually answer interview questions in the best way I know how, I’m giving off the vibe of a shell of a person that has nothing left. I’ve not been a whole confident person this entire year, so why would you want to hire someone like that?

Starting my new certification course has been eye-opening. I need to keep learning professionally without interruption until I retire and beyond. Um, my blog is all about learning new things each day, am I blind or what? But seriously, I’ve been in Learning & Development for so long that it’s almost like I was too focused on learning for others and neglected my own interests. I would then race home to tend to the needs of my family and that left no time for my own development.

Now that I’m reading and learning again, I feel like a hungry animal that has come out of hibernation after far too long. I LIKE it. Where did I go for so many years?

So now summer is ending, and the leaves are turning colors, and fall is a week away. I’ve learned so much this year, including that I cannot stop learning in any area of my life. I can’t neglect the things that make me whole. I can’t neglect myself.

I recently had another disturbing dream. I went to visit my past employer – the one that laid me off. I entered the building and some people were glad to see me and others were new and had no idea who I was. Someone whispered that I must leave quickly and without anyone seeing me because a senior leader had implemented guards with rifles. I got out of the building and ran into the parking lot. It was raining hard and there were puddles everywhere. I jumped through a giant puddle to get to my car and was quickly swept away by a flash flood. I wasn’t drowning, I was swimming hard, so very hard. I almost gave up, but told myself if I could just ride out a wave of flood that was coming, I could make it and it would drop me off on the pavement ahead. And that was what happened. I made it to my car, the water receded, and I woke up.

I can’t give up, that is not an option. I’ve come so close and I can feel the right opportunity right around the corner. Here’s to continuing to be hopeful and positive while doing the things that keep me strong.

Stifle Me Not

 

 

 

Picking Up the Pace

It’s been a week since I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and pick up the pace of my life.

I enrolled in a certification course to expand my career a little.

I revised my resume.

I applied to more jobs.

I started a workout routine.

I got an oil change.

I visited my mom.

And I’ve been thinking about how I can divorce this husband of mine without causing too much grief for my kids. They’re adjusting to the move and their new schools. They seem to be happy and healthy – they are a lot of work but they reward me with big smiles and joyous laughter everyday. I’ve established a routine for all of us and they talk to and visit their dad regularly. I’ve done all the work I need to do to make sure others are situated and comfortable.

Now I need to take the formal steps to get out of this marriage and move on with life. I need to do this for myself. I’m so unhappy being legally tied to this untrustworthy man. Next month it will be a year that I told him to leave our home after discovering the evidence of dishonestly on his phone.

I’ll be making some decisions about how to proceed this week.

Stifle Me Not

Rot Me Not / Life Reset Blog Challenge

I’ve doing a lot of thinking and sulking and day-dreaming and procrastinating lately. You name it, I’ve been doing it. I’ve been at my parents house for 2 weeks now. I’ve been telling myself to stop overthinking and just do something. Anything. But yet, I can’t seem to figure out what direction I want to take. It’s like there are 101 paths laid out before me and I can’t make myself go down any one road.

And so, since my kids are now in school, I’ve been doing just anything – cleaning, making lists of things to do, grocery shopping, job-hunting, etc. Just keeping busy. Yesterday I went running. Afterward I was like “why don’t I run more often?”. I’ve been so focused on “keeping the peace” with my not-yet-ex-husband that I forgot what it was like to live for myself. Now that I don’t see him everyday to suck my energy dry, I’ve become a lost person. How stupid is that? Tiptoeing my life around him was obviously not healthy, but it was part of my identity. Now I’m forced to get to know myself again. It’s liberating and scary all at the same time.

I woke up from a disturbing dream this morning and it got my motivational wheels turning. In my dream, my not-yet-ex-husband was “cleaning” stuff out in the house I just moved out of in real life, but he wasn’t really doing much but making a mess. There was stuff strewn everywhere and I was frustrated and just picking up things around me. This pretty much sums up my marriage. He would just do things (whatever he wanted really) and I would be the clean-up crew behind him (in many aspects of life). Anyways, back to my dream –> The heels of my feet started itching. I go to scratch my feet and discover that I have a big hole in each heel and maggots are falling out. I’m watching this in disbelief and kicking maggots off of my feet. But in my dream I am not surprised at this, I’m just dealing with it. I’m frustrated but not freaking out.

I woke up, quite disturbed, and did a search online for “dream about maggots”. I find multiple search results that say something similar to this:

To see maggots in your dream represent your anxieties about death. It may also be indicative of some issue or problem that you have been rejecting and it is now “eating away” at you. You need to confront it for it is destroying your sense of harmony and balance.

The one that really got me was in this one though:

Possible need to cleanse body of toxins or infection, or a sense of disease emotionally in that area of self; something, like a fear or resentment, eating away at one. It could also indicate a decay or part of you lacking life, something ‘eating away at you’. Remember that maggots only live on rotting things.

Oh my GAWD. Yes, maggots only live on rotting things. And that is how I’ve been feeling lately – like I’m worthless. Existing, and rotting here all day with no real sense of purpose.

So today, the 1st of September, is a new day of a new month and I’m not going to rot away and have disturbing dreams about my rotting life. Rot me Not. I have to make the second half of my lifetime count. I’m better than my doubtful thoughts that creep in and sabotage my happiness (or lack thereof).

I contacted a local college about some certification courses I could take to expand my career. And I reached out to a mentor for some career advice. I’m also going to stick to a running routine while I’m not working and focus on things that make ME happy. I clearly need to retrain my brain to live for me.

So today is the start of a my Rot Me Not / Life Reset Blog Challenge for September and October. I’ll try to write often the next couple of months about:

  • “What did I do lately that is for me?”
  • “How am I resetting my thoughts, attitude, dreams, etc.?”
  • In other words, “What have I been doing to Stifle Me Not?”

 

Stifle Me Not

Adjusting

I made it to the other side. The move was successful. We all got situated this past week. We’re all slowly figuring out our new normal. My daughter started school last week and my son started preschool today. There have been some frustrations of course, but things could always be worse.

I now find myself in a quiet house drinking decaf and wondering if I should continue to go down the path that hasn’t been working for me (trying to search for a job in my current career field) or try a new path. I’m considering some certification programs at a nearby college. I’m educated, but I may need something new to move me forward. I don’t want to make any hasty decisions, but I also don’t want to be sitting here drinking decaf by myself 6 months from now.

It’s been a little challenging trying to adjust to living under someone else’s roof and rules. I very much miss having my own space and being the one to call the shots. I feel like a child again having to adjust to / tip toe around some of my dad’s rules, ways, beliefs, etc. And I feel intrusive that my children and I have taken over the place. It’s not horrible, but I know my dad and stepmom aren’t in their quiet happy bubble of joy that they’re used to.

So I guess I’ll take the next few days to figure out what the heck I should do with my future. The rat race has ended and now I have all of this time. Once upon a time, I wished for nothing but more TIME, and here I have it. I must use it wisely.

Stifle Me Not

Ready or Not

This week has been surreal. And busy. So busy. It helps distract from the greatness of preparing to move and all the change. So much change.

This morning is my last chance to take a breather, finish my coffee, and focus on the final round of packing. In two days, movers will be stomping through my house, looking at me expectantly for their next order. I have the boxes labeled and categorized in difference corners of the house. I am running the last load of the dishwasher and laundry. I never realized how many clothes I had until I was forced to pack my entire wardrobe into a couple of suitcases and bins. And my shoe collection is insane. How is it that I only wear a few pairs of them consistently?

In the midst of all this packing, I’m actually getting called about jobs. One employer even invited me for a live interview next week. Moving, divorcing, continuing to raise two kids, and looking for a new job all at the same time. Challenging, but its happening so I’ll go with it.

My dogs are moving in with my neighbor for the next seven weeks. I groomed both of them and have their boxes of belongings packed. Poor pooches. I know they will be fine, but I feel like I’m deserting them.

I haven’t cried in like two days, so that is good. At first I was getting all sentimental and counting the number of “sleeps” I have left to wake up with my pups, and how I’ll miss my big bathroom, and how I love sitting in my sun room drinking coffee in the  morning…  and quite honestly, that just makes this whole thing harder. So I gave myself a pep talk that my dogs are going to the next best place without their current owners, I’ll still miss my big bathroom (it is wonderful), and I cluttered up my sun room with boxes so that I can’t sit back there and let my mind wander to the past. It’s time to move forward.

Ready or not, here I keep going.

Stifle Me Not

Preparing for the Great Unknown

Today appeared to be a normal day of errands, but it was not. It was a preparation day for future days of a new life.

In one week my life will change forever. My kids and I are moving back to my childhood city (which is about one hour south of my current home). Today I drove down there and registered them at their new schools. My daughter will be going to a school that I once went to. I felt like I entered some weird time warp when we walked into the school. We turned in her registration paperwork and she got a tour from the dean. She looked so relieved after the tour. She could see that it wasn’t so scary after all.

After registering her, I registered my son for his first year of preschool. He didn’t care. He whined the whole time about how he wanted to go out to the playground. I’m glad he won’t remember most of this life transition since he’s only three.

Somehow, after six months of trying my ass off, I still do not have a job. Let me be clear that I have come so close. I have made it to all but being the final pick. And almost weekly I have prospects. Right now I am juggling 3. So as much as I feel like an unemployed loser, I know I’m trying. Sometimes I feel like I’m not trying hard enough, but that’s my life story. I always feel like I’m not doing enough, and then I wind up exhausted. I’m trying to balance “trying hard” vs. “beating myself up”.

So after next Saturday, my home will be mostly empty. I will stare at the empty rooms and try not to cry that my first home ended like this. I’m not moving to a newer, bigger home in the suburbs with my husband and kids. I’m moving in with my parents and my kids, without my soon-to-be-ex-husband, so that I can reset and recharge and rediscover who I used to be and who I still can be. I’m going to be surrounded by my support system of family and not feel alone like I have been for the past 10 months. I’m going to ask for help when I need it and know that I’m loved unconditionally by them.

My husband and I didn’t work out, and it’s now transitioning 4 human lives and 2 dog lives. This is hard. This is very hard.

My soon-to-be-ex-husband is buying a new house. I have mixed feelings about this. I almost feel like I should be in it. How weird is that? I don’t want to be with him, yet I feel abandoned that he’ll have a new house and I have no home. Of course my parents will tell me over and over again that their home is my home. But it isn’t MY home. While I’m sad that we’re moving on like this, he will take our furry pups. My neighbor has graciously offered to care for our dogs in between leaving this current house and until he closes on his house in the fall. I’ll be very worried about my dogs while they are temporarily not with either of us. But I’m happy to know that they’ll have a new forever home. I’m unable to bring them to my parents house. It breaks my heart that I can’t have my dogs, but I have the kids, so I’m over the moon thankful for that.

I feel like this is the first giant step of many to come, but the alternative is to freeze up and stay stranded in a sea of unhappiness and self loathing. That doesn’t sound appealing. So this week I will finish packing and prepping for the great unknown.

They say that when one door closes another one opens. I feel like this is a giant damn door that is taking forever to close. It’s like it has been stuck open and I haven’t been able to fully close it yet. Like strong winds keep blowing it blown open. As motivated as I may be to close it and as hard as I try, it has just been a long time coming. Next weekend I will close that damn door. Although I don’t know what lies behind the next door, I feel like it has to be a whole hell of a lot better than the last 10 months.

Wish me luck.

Stifle Me Not

It’s Been a Surprising Day

Today I accepted an offer on my house.

For $15K above asking price.

Uh, let me be clear that there must be some larger force at play here because there is no way I ever thought it would sell for the original asking price let alone for that much over.

I am still in shock. I signed the papers to accept the offer. I am dumbfounded. The buyer even wrote a letter that stated why he wanted the house so bad.

Not only did he put in an offer that high, but another buyer put in an offer for $10K above asking price.

Apparently the housing market is really really good these days? I knew it was good, but I didn’t realize it was going to be so fabulous that it would leave me speechless.

Today I also got a call to be interviewed on Thursday. It’s just for a contract job, but I don’t have room to be picky these days since I have to find a place to live in the next four weeks. Let’s hope my luck in the job market is as good as in the housing market.

Things are looking up. There are still a lot of unknowns, but I’m still standing so I guess I’ll keep moving forward.

Stifle Me Not

The Irony of Life

So my last post was a bit of a plea for a break. I was so “whoa is me”. It turns out that my daughter being sick drove up the demand on my house. Such an ironic little twist of fate.

On Sunday, I e-cried to you all via this blog about how I helped my poor puking girl all night long. It was a rough next day as I tried to entertain my 3-year old son and wait on my sick daughter in bed. Around Noon, I took my son outside to play. All showings had been canceled so I thought nothing of hanging out in the driveway. Then I see a realtor car and another car pull in the driveway. Clearly they didn’t get the memo.

I greeted them and let them know I had canceled all showings due to my sick daughter. They didn’t go away. I was annoyed. Of course I wanted to sell my house, but I had a mama bear attitude. They both parked their cars and walked up. They started surveying the outside and asked if they could see the backyard. My son started being chatty with them. I told them they could take a peek at the first floor and basement but they couldn’t go upstairs. They respected my request. I told them to please come back and see the rest in a day or so.

Later that day, my realtor calls to tell me they put an offer at asking price contingent on seeing the upstairs. I almost died. Asking price? Without seeing the upstairs? I never thought we would get that for it. It was priced it where it was because we wanted cushion if we had to drop the price.

So today there were multiple showings for people that had to reschedule from the day before. We got another offer, just above asking price. Like what?

Tomorrow afternoon is the cut off and then we decide on the best offer. This is amazing to me. I asked, and I’m receiving. I know its not over yet, but my bad night turned into something good. If my daughter hadn’t been sick for me to cancel the showings, the demand wouldn’t have been so high. Maybe it would have, but I don’t know, I like to think things happen for a reason.

Stifle Me Not