I’ve been asked by my pregnant friends what labor feels like, and each time, I’m stuck wondering how to respond. In the end, I always answer with something semi-true like, “strongest motherfucking period on the planet,” which is semi-true. It’s also completely wrong. Labor feels like, well, labor, and nothing else. Even after popping three kids outta my delicate lady bits, I’m not sure how else to describe it, beyond saying something completely unhelpful like, “It feels like labor,” alternately, “it feels like a thousand angry chipmunks gnawing your uterus.”

When the divorce talk came a-knockin’, my previously divorced friends offered me similar sentiments about what I could expect; excepting, of course, that none mentioned my uterus, which was thankful. That organ has seen enough. I was warned that, “it would be hard,” and that, “the first year would be the worst.” Of course, much like my labor speech, it was simultaneously unhelpful and the truth.

I sat the back of the U-Haul three weeks ago tomorrow, watching Dave and The Guy Formerly On My Couch moving, the weather unseasonably hot for a day in late September, working on my tan and watching my kids frolic in the yard I’d dearly loved. It was then that I truly realized that this marked the end of the life I’d had. I shed a few tears before lugging the rest of my belongings into the truck, wondering what the next chapter of my life would look like. I contemplated asking my aforementioned friends, but realized that they knew as much about what comes next as the squirrel who’d been intently staring at me while I tailgated on the U-Haul.

(hindsight being 20/20, I should’ve thrown a good-bye tailgating party and grilled out right there in front of The House Formerly Known As Mine – there are too few occasions that one can set up a grill in the street and roast encased meats)

We drove off, each car packed to the brims – some sent by my wonderful Pranksters, for which I am forever thankful, having those lifelines means the world to me – handily closing that chapter of my life. I didn’t cry. Not then.

At my new home, I pretended I was a pack animal, an alpaca, which probably doesn’t, in fact, lug things around on it’s back, but it helped get me into the moving mindset from, “I’m sweating (proverbial) balls and I think I just flashed my neighbors by accident,” to “I wonder if alpacas actually lug shit on their backs, because now I want one. I don’t know what they look like, but I think I need one as a pet. I bet they’re fucking adorable. I mean, even their name is awesome.” Soon, the boxes were all inside, ready for me to give their contents a home.

I spent the next two weeks unpacking, hanging pictures, decorating (badly), wishing I had more art for my walls because Pinterest had made me all, OMFG I NEED BEAUTIFUL THINGS MADE OUT OF THREE EASY KITCHEN INGREDIENTS (sidebar: Fuck you Pinterest for making me feel super NOT crafty), and slowly turning the empty apartment into a place I could call home. “Wow,” my mother said as she dropped by a few days after I’d moved. “You’re unpacking like it’s your job.”

I laughed, “I just want the kids to feel like my house is a home, too. It’s a big change for us all.”

Keeping busy was my salvation, even though there was a warning bell chim-chiming somewhere, a foreboding, “when you’re done with The Busy, it’s going to suck,” clanging.

Apparently, my brain knows me well, because once it was all over but the shouting (er, decorating), the truth sunk in: this wasn’t some white-carpeted (WHITE!) hotel suite. This wasn’t a vacation. I wasn’t going back to my old life. No, this was my new life.

And while it’s a hard thing to wrap my three remaining neurons around, it’s been… okay. Sure, there have been tears and fears (but not Tears FOR Fears because I am NOT an 80’s band) and doubts, but there’s been a lot of freedom, too.

For the first time ever, I’m living life on my terms. I’ve been given the opportunity to take the old, examine it, and toss out the bits of it that don’t work for me any longer and lovingly polish the parts that do. While it’s not an easy process, it’s an opportunity to turn something that’s shattered me into a life that is my own. The ability to take stock of what I stand for and what I don’t.

To put the pieces back together into a bigger, better whole.

While I know the process is going to be long and (at times) hard, I know that I can and will.

I’ve begun tossing the things pieces that no longer fit.

Starting with my hair:

what comes next

Pranksters, I’d like you to meet Becky, As Herself.

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55 Responses to Week Three: What Comes Next

  • Week Three: What Comes Next http://t.co/xodEoJvF

  • tina says:

    *waving* Hi, Becky….<>

  • Shelley (@momma_oz)
    Twitter: momma_oz
    says:

    I just wanna hug you or bring wine… but probably bring wine… you know, if we were closer geographically speaking

  • Beth
    Twitter: star_momma
    says:

    You look fucking amazing. Also? You’re doing great. You’r right – it’s one of those things you just sort of have to do, have to live through, but I think it’s safe to say you and Dave and the kiddos are all going to come out the other side stronger, and that’s the part that really counts.

  • natalie
    Twitter: NatalieHoage
    says:

    I went through a divorce many years ago (no kids involved) and it was HARD. There are so many feelings you feel throughout the day…some good, some bad. You come to terms with a new way of living, try to decipher feelings of guilt or what-ifs, and sometimes you just lay down and cry. But you get through it.

    Hugs. xoxo

  • Natalie
    Twitter: NatalieHoage
    says:

    I went through a divorce many years ago (no kids involved) and it was HARD. There are so many feelings you feel throughout the day…some good, some bad. You come to terms with a new way of living, try to decipher feelings of guilt or what-ifs, and sometimes you just lay down and cry. But you get through it.

    Hugs. xoxo

  • Ewokmama
    Twitter: ewokmama
    says:

    You are doing great, Becky! I’m proud of you!

  • Gretchen says:

    Having gone through all of this myself (and I’m STILL, 7 years later, throwing out the suck and polishing up the sparkly bits). Be proud of you. It’s hard. It sucks. It’s scary. It’s also liberating and pride pumping. You can do it, and it will be great…because you, YOU are great…and the trick is just to not stop. :)

  • E3Writing
    Twitter: e3writing
    says:

    Tool song! Best friends for life.

  • Gretchen says:

    (Please excuse the fragment…I do know how to make complete sentences. I promise.)

  • BakingSuit
    Twitter: bakingsuit
    says:

    Hi there. Nice to meet you (again) Becky. You’re lovely. HUGS. Keep your eyes open late next week. I’m sending you some “art”

  • Jolie says:

    HI! /waggles fingers/ You look great, and it’s b/c your brain knows you’re gonna be all right. Hugs, Jolie

  • Jester Queen
    Twitter: jesterqueen
    says:

    Way to GO!!! You look gorgeous, and I think you have probably captured more emotions about divorce here than some people ever figure out in their lives.

  • Cindy
    Twitter: WalkerCynthia
    says:

    I love you, AB. Very much!

    Also, aren’t alpacas and llamas related to camels? Which means they probably SPIT, like camels.

  • Angie R
    Twitter: TheBeerLady
    says:

    Why, hello, AB. Nice to meet you. {{{hugs}}} OK, I’ve never done the divorce thing, because I’ve never done the married thing. And I’ve definitely never done the popping things out of my lady bits thing. So, on those fronts, I’m probably not qualified to comment.

    But having done the “life has been turned upside down and WTF am I supposed to do now?” thing, I can say you’re off to a good start (at least IMHO). Sometimes it can be a good thing to have to make a huge turn and see what happens. Like you said, keep the parts you like, throw out what doesn’t work for you, and look for other little parts that plug into those spaces better.

    And now the ‘but’. (No, not the butt, although I possess that in abundance.) Don’t make the mistake I did of living too much in your own head. When you do that, it’s easy to start thinking that everything in your life sucked green eggs. Every decision you ever made can start looking like a colossal f’up, and you can start believing that maybe you should just crawl in the closet, pull something over your head, and stay there until you’re all mummified and turn into a CSI episode.

    You therefore have my permission – nay, my urging – to haunt the library and check out stacks of books. You also may indulge in the occasional ‘Law & Order (pick your version)’ marathon, because if you ever want to feel like you’ve done OK with your life, watching those people jack things up can do it. (Marathons of ‘The Mentalist’ are also fun.) Also feel free to watch ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ repeatedly. Because it’s absolutely OK to NOT spend every minute slogging through your own life.

  • katrina says:

    You look lovely as always, tho i really liked the fuchsia streak……When i was pregnant, asking what labor was like……i was told “there’s a reason they call it labor”….as if that explains it all, and maybe it does….. After divorce, i was also told “the first year is the hardest”….But wtf!! it wasn’t nearly as hard as the last year being married.

    You are strong, smart, beautiful and funny…….you have 3 wonderful kids…..you will be fine.

  • Maria says:

    One of my favorite Tool songs! I can hardly imagine what this feels like for you, but I KNOW the darkness will go away and Aunt B will be back better than ever.

  • Triplezmom
    Twitter: triplezmom
    says:

    You look beautiful, lady. You’re going to be more than okay. Hugs.

  • Cindy G says:

    You look fabulous. Keep mustering up the strength to get through the hard moments and enjoy the good moments as they happen. Hugs to you. You’ll pull through this. STAY STRONG

  • Liz says:

    Having been through two natural labors and one divorce, all I can say is the only way out of both processes is through the pain.

    You’re doing it!

  • chrisinphx says:

    Becky you’re beautiful.

  • a says:

    What? Are you no longer my aunt?

    Change is hard, but it can be good. Can’t wait to see what you’re going to do with your new life!

    Also, I like your new (old?) hair…

  • Tracie
    Twitter: fromtracie
    says:

    Becky – you look beautiful as yourself….and you ARE beautiful as yourself.

  • Carol Anne
    Twitter: NJdreaming
    says:

    I LOVE your glasses.

  • This is going to sound massively stupid but you should watch last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. It was about not settling and how when you don’t a happy glow overcomes you. There was also a story about how a doctor’s son and interns don’t need her anymore. And though her son let go of her hand on his first day of kindergarden it just means she got her hand back. She can use it to do a drug trial or invent a new procedure. It’s all about perspective.

  • Pete In Az says:

    I have no advice, I’ve never been married or divorced.

    I just wanted to say you have a pretty smile.

  • Lucy Ball
    Twitter: LucyBall15
    says:

    OMFG! I LOVE TOOL and also think we may have been separated at birth. Advice? Reach out. Ask for a friend when you need one. We’re here. That, and have a good laugh (and cry) regularly. *hugs*

  • Gamanda says:

    OMG you look just like YOU! I love it.
    Here’s to new beginnings and ridding yourself of shattered, unwanted pieces.
    Also, did we just lose an aunt?!

  • Tracey says:

    Moving out of our house into MY new apartment after separating from my now ex husband was one of the best days of my life. It was my space to sit on the couch and eat ice cream or drink wine while eating Chex Mix (awesome I tell you). I could breathe again. I could be me again.

  • “there are too few occasions that one can set up a grill in the street and roast encased meats” http://t.co/ZrHJyxCU

  • Mariya says:

    I like it. It’ll get better.

  • Maggie says:

    So pretty!

  • Joules says:

    Yourself looks good on you

  • Lovely!

    I’ve been a looooooooongtime lurker, and I got into a lot of family stuff this summer — various CANCERS (all is well now), having a child graduate, moving — and I lost track of you. Imagine my horror when I was doing my catch-up reading and discovered you were getting a divorce. Big sad face here.

    My divorce was okay — crappy in the process, weird after he remarried, but we’re all still here. You are doing beautifully, especially since you’re doing it all in the public eye, so to speak.

    Is there anything else you need for your new place? I feel bad that I missed your earlier shout-out.

  • KellyN says:

    You look great! Soon to be Ex and I separated this past July, so I’m right there with you. We actually started the Divorce talk last November but it took us till July to finally break free of each other. So very hard… you’re right. It was about a month in before it sunk in that I wasn’t visiting this place… I had to actually STAY here. It’s getting better but I still cringe going back to the old house. It’s like it’s mine, but not really. So, hang in there! Look forward to building a new and AWESOME life!

  • Grace says:

    Pretty as always, my dear! Love you! You’ll find the whole you soon enough!

  • Amelia says:

    For me labor felt like being put in a cylindrical vice grip and being squeezed almost to death. I bet divorce is something like that.
    Glad to read your words, happy to see your beautiful face.

  • Marta
    Twitter: marta28
    says:

    I hope slowly that it is getting easier. And Pinterest can kiss my ass. I am sooo not crafty either.

  • erin margolin
    Twitter: erinmargolin
    says:

    You look beyond gorgeous, woman. And as far as I can tell? You are well on your way to being more than okay.

    Besides, your Pranksters always have your back!

    xoxoxo

  • “I’ve begun tossing the pieces that no longer fit.” | http://t.co/XhwMMgCl | via @MommyWantsVodka <—LOVE this. Hugs.

  • NTE says:

    Hi Aunt Becky. Pleased to meet you. I’m working on meeting me, too, so maybe one of these days the real us-es can get together. :)

  • Lynda M O
    Twitter: Lynda M Otvos
    says:

    Hair marks a very real start to accepting ourselves for who we are. The cosmetic industry spends so much time telling us without them we are worthless and ugly and we smell and our hair grows where it shouldn’t and doesn’t where we think it oughtta.

    Bullshit. Be YOU for fuck’s sake and let them have their fake ass selves. Let you be beautiful and not broke – keep the cash and tie your hair back with a shoelace. You are gorgeous and the brown of your hair looks like a chestnut pony-stunning.

  • random cow bell guy says:

    Beck you will come through this. Go find your happiness in who and what you are. To thine own self be true. We are pulling for you. And you are a very pretty woman. You deserved better than dave. I have read damn near your entire blog back to the beginning and the daver never made you the priority he should have. That much is patently clear to me. His loss. He will never be out of your life but you should never allow this to define you. Put him aside and move on. Every marriage has its ups and downs it is now time for your up. Rock on Beck, rock on.

  • Week Three: What Comes Next http://t.co/ldcmxpMc via @@mommywantsvodka

  • alexis (You can call me Al)
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    Your picture is lovely.

  • Becca says:

    You are beautiful, in any way that you choose to represent yourself, as long as you are you. I think this has been a huge year for rediscovery, education, etc. Which really means I think there are far too many of us going through a shit year, and it’s time to ring in the new year. Want to do it early? Hugs and Love!!

  • amy says:

    I thought I was going to die when he decided to leave (and it didn’t help that he married his high school girlfriend four months after our divorce), but I wrote about what I went through on BBT. That was one of the things that made it better. I took back things I loved that I had put away because of him, like watching Jeopardy and eating shrimp and watching movies where things blow up. It’s little victory on top of little victory, with occasional flashes of misery and hate and rage and regret, but then there’s something wonderful and glittery and hopeful and another victory of various proportion. Anyway, I also have three kids (also two boys and a girl) and they’re awesome. It was a tough adjustment, but we made it. And they’re doing great. I just celebrated my third divorceaversary, and I am doing better than ever. At first, it’s like a baby giraffe learning to stand on her new baby legs, but gradually, baby legs get stronger and sturdier, and that glorious long neck stands proudly toward the sun. It gets better. ((((((hugs))))))

  • Delfin Joaquin Paris III
    Twitter: tfpHumorBlog
    says:

    I was going to make a hair joke, but you’re stressed enough. Just don’t cut it short. Short hair is never better than long hair. Sorry, ladies. Someone needed to say it.

  • Kelley says:

    You look fabulous and don’t you forget it! Here’s to your new life, your bravery, any and all tears that come & go, and living the life YOU need to live! You rock.

  • Jenn says:

    I know I don’t comment much anymore. I’m sorry for that. I do read. Every single thing you write (if it’s in a spot I can get to).

    I want you to know: I LOVE Becky, As Herself.
    Also: So proud of you.

  • Dilovely says:

    YES, alpacas are actually fucking adorable. So are you. Big hugs.

  • FreedomJackson
    Twitter: freedommmc
    says:

    congrats and best of everything we need more people on this planet.

    have you ever noticed the people that support abortion are always glad they got born?

    SELFLESSNESS is what pregnancy and life is all about this is what makes the world go around not money.

    1

  • Leslie
    Twitter: thegoddesshowe
    says:

    Divorce sucks! And your friends were right..the first year is the hardest. Especially as you encounter holidays, birthdays, etc. But it is an opportunity to grow, to learn, to change , to blossom and to start anew. Be gentle with yourself, take good care of yourself (your kids need you healthy and rested) and take it one day at a time!

  • SharleneT
    Twitter: SolarChief
    says:

    These are all great comments; but, I really agree with the lady who begged you to not “live in your head.” It really is easy to get locked into believing everything you’ve done was wrong and then begin to shut out the world. There’s no question this is going to be hard. Take it a day at a time, and you’ll do fine. You have to love the many people.

  • This was a perfect post. You never cease to amaze me.

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