Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Not What I Expected

Turn & face the strange changes.  That's what I feel like is happening sometimes lately.  :)  (Thank you David Bowie, for the descriptive help.)  I'm getting a little reflective because it's almost birthday time and that makes me consider the years that have passed and wonder how life has worked out so much differently than I imagined it would originally.  It's not what I expected.

When I say originally, think way back in the 80's...I'm wandering around with an asymmetric haircut featuring tons of hairspray,  listening to power ballads, and thinking that I'm just going to learn French, travel to Europe, fall in love, get married in my 20's, have kids by 30, and be happy all the time.  Simple.

Alas, it didn't really go that way.  
I did learn some French. (My class name was "Simone.")
I eventually traveled in Europe.  (It was Italy, thanks to the Air Force.)
I fell in love.  (Too many times to count.)
I got married in my 20's.  (And got divorced in my 20's.)
I'm still happy most of the time (thanks, in part, to the chemical magic of Prozac).

Today was another change marker as the marriage I embarked on in my 30's is now coming to a close in my 40's.  Curt & I signed our divorce paperwork this afternoon.  I know it's still not official until my attorney (aka Dad) files it at the courthouse, but it still feels like the "official" day for us.  We've had a challenging relationship in that we've never actually lived under the same roof.  Sure, there are lots of couples who don't live in the same place--lots of them are military couples who end up stationed at different places for short stints, usually a year or so.  Well, we went into this marriage a couple of years ago knowing that he was headed to Afghanistan and I was headed to Alabama.  (I don't know which of us had it worse!  haaaaaaaaa)  We had hoped that our follow-on assignments would put us both back in the National Capital Region, but, alas, I ended up in Hampton, Virginia when he got assigned back there in DC.  We never really had a chance to create that sort of household foundation.  When we finally sat down to analyze our near and longer term plans for life/assignments, it became clear that we were actually diverging more than converging.  There's still a lot of love and caring between us, but our paths are headed in two different directions.  He's got a kickass assignment to New York City, now, working with the United Nations and I'm staying right here in Hampton for another year.  
I did not expect to be getting a second divorce for my 41st birthday, but it looks like that's how my power ballad lyrics of a life are rolling.  We had a nice dinner tonight and parted laughing and knowing that we'll see each other again for sure.  (His kitty's staying with me!) 

Now I just have to figure out how to get back to Europe and work on that kid piece...maybe... 


  1. Jen, I agree, life sure takes us by surprise and not necessarily where we thought we would be. I'm thinking of you and hope you're hanging in there despite all that you are going through. I've always admired your positive outlook on life - it is so contagious.

  2. Jen, you know the tribe is thinking of you and sending you loving support even though you sound so strong snd sure. I personally think you would make a great (cool) mother, you have so much to offer and are so full of life! Go for your dreams, write your own ballad!

  3. Jen, you sound so positive about the whole thing. I'm glad you left each other on such good terms and I hope that great times are coming your way! Best wishes!

  4. Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.

    I'm sorry to hear you're going through a divorce. But I must say you two seem to be handling it with a great deal of grace and care. If you need a margarita buddy give me a call...I'm always game.

  5. I see great things for you! Can't wait to see what is next - you are an awesom person :)

  6. Life definitely doesn't turn out the way we plan. I know you've got the strength of character to make the best of anything you are dealt. Best of luck as you move forward!!

  7. Jen, I'm so sorry for the late response. I did see on facebook I think that you were going through a divorce. Like some of the other commenters I commend you both for handling this with just grace. Although I know it's probably not as graceful as all that. We put up this front because we just can't let most people see the raw exposed. We do it to spare them as much as spare ourselves. Hope you find some peace.


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Charleston, SC, United States
I'm a retiree/artist/student who makes things. It's a nice kind of lifestyle!

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