After my fourth divorce I could of been stuck in that tormenting cycle of questioning… what the hell just happened with my marriage. But after the past few years of being on my spiritual journey and a much needed self-reflection, I had chose to keep progressing forward. I needed to stay focused on what I was going to do next and not get caught up in that mental and emotional cycle of possible endless answers.
On February 2017 my divorce became final but my son and I were still living at the house for a bit longer than we had planned. One day I had a discussion with my son about whether we should stay in Tampa or move to Chicago. I don’t recall getting a concrete answer from him so I took it upon myself to start looking for apartments in the Tampa area. About a week or two later we had another conversation regarding the apartments I was looking at for us to move too. It was then that he stumped me, out of the blue he said that he thought we were moving to Chicago. Now normally I would debate this issue, especially when I thought we were staying in Tampa and I had already been looking at a few places. But for some reason I didn’t want to refute this confusion and decided to go with the flow. I ended up taking some days off work and flying up to Chicago to look at a few apartments. Before I left I did end up finding a place in the SW Suburbs of Chicago and only 20 minutes from Midway airport. The only set back was that I had to get my finances in order and still try to change bases, so I needed at least another month before we could move. My son ended up staying with his grand-parents for two weeks prior to us moving. And as for me, I stayed at the house with my ex-husband during that month. However mentally and emotionally it was getting difficult to watch the man I had loved come and go out of the house, knowing he was going to see his new girlfriend. Or the fact that when he was home he would try to secretly text her while I was in the same room with him. I finally couldn’t take it anymore, I felt as if I was ready to have a mental break-down. So I called my work to let them know I needed a leave of absence because of my situation. They ended up giving me that leave of absence and my son and I were heading up to Chicago sooner than planned. Now before our move we had made an agreement, that if he didn’t like being up there after a year when our lease was up, that I would move him back to Tampa. I was really crossing my fingers that he would like living up there.
Before I continue with this story, let me fill in a few details on my scenario before I moved back to Chicago. When I was living in Tampa I was commuting to my base in Baltimore because Tampa wasn’t a base for the company I worked for. However, Chicago was a base but I had to put a bid in to get transferred, thankfully it only took me a month to get awarded that base. That problem was easier to solve than the problem I had to figure out next. I had two cats before my ex-husband and then him and I adopted two dogs during our relationship. So here’s the hard part, I had to make the decision of what dog and cat I was going to choose to take with me. Which unfortunately meant that one dog and cat would be left with my ex-husband and I didn’t even know if I would ever see them again. This is one of those moments that I would of loved to have taken all four of them with me but it just wasn’t possible. So after wrestling with who was coming with me, I decided on taking my first cat (Spooky) I got and the first dog (Mylo) my ex-husband and I adopted. As of this day, periodically my ex-husband and I do send brief messages with pictures on how the animals are doing. I’m thankful for at least that but hope one day I can see my other dog and cat again because they are like my children.
Okay, continuing back onto Chicago… after two months of living back home I had got into a car accident. No surprise there with my track record, I just seem to be a magnet for people hitting my cars. I started going through physical therapy and spent most of that winter on FMLA because of the injuries. I was now becoming frustrated because for a long time I was physically doing okay after all those other auto accidents and surgeries. But now due to this accident I couldn’t work as much and I was slowly spiraling into financial hardship. And to add to that, everywhere I went back home caused me anguish of memories with my Dad that I didn’t want to remember. That year on my birthday, before I went to my mom’s for cake, I had drove by my Dad’s house. I pulled up on the street next to his house and just sat in my car crying. I wished that he was still alive and I could just pull into that driveway, walk into his house and give him a big kiss and hug. But I couldn’t. My hunger for a new beginning after my divorce and moving back to Chicago wasn’t turning out the way I hoped it would. And at that particular time, inwardly I felt as though there were more disappointments, heartbreaks and life lessons coming my way soon.
One evening I had decided to clean up my home PC of any unwanted docs or pictures. During our divorce I had asked my ex-husband if I could trade my laptop for our home computer. I had explained to him it was easier to do my work on the home PC than my laptop. He understood and agreed to do the trade which we did after I transferred all my documents and pictures onto my hard-drive. So while I was organizing and deleting stuff off the home PC, I came across some pictures of these two girls half-naked. One of the girls was a groupie that I would sometimes see at gigs. The other, her and her long time husband had been friends with my ex for years. Life lesson here men, if you don’t ever want to get caught… leave no trace evidence behind. This goes for you too girls! I think I was more surprised and dumbfounded by the pictures of his friend because I thought her and I were friends. Albeit, in the end it didn’t matter and I wasn’t even mad at my ex-husband when I found the pictures. Of course before I kept trekking on, I did write both of those girls. Trust me, I debated it before I made that decision. Now was I looking to have the last word, not really, it was more like letting them know that I knew what they did. If I were to be honest, I wanted to let them know I wasn’t that naive. One of my pet peeves is someone thinking that they can do things behind my back and I’ll never find out, obviously they don’t know me. I don’t need to investigate things because the Universe eventually shows me the truth whether I like it or not.
Speaking of the Universe, did I mention it has a humor sometimes too? There was another evening when I was going through my phone and erasing a bunch of people from it. I had come across this girl, her brother worked with my ex-husband and was in his band. I befriended her and felt bad for her situation she was in. She had a son and things weren’t great with her and her husband. While I was still living in Tampa she sent me a Facebook message to tell me that they finally built a Portillo’s in the area. So we made plans to go grab some Portillo’s but at that lunch I found it odd that she was inquiring about my marriage. I mean her and I were just acquaintances, so my inner voice told me to be reserved on what information I would share with her. Now back to me deleting people off my phone… I came across her number and almost deleted it but decided not too. I scrolled through a few more numbers to delete and then went back to her phone number and called it. There was no answer, it went to her voicemail and I didn’t leave a message. A few minutes later she called me back. She said she was helping her son with homework but would call me back if I wanted to talk. I said sure and waited for that call. Little did I realize that call from her would last for hours. We talked about a lot of things, I mainly let her do the talking and she had a lot to say. To sum up that conversation it went like this: I asked her about that day at lunch and why she was so interested in my marital issues. She was a bit hesitant to open up to me but as she took a deep breathe she said that I was a nice person and never did anything wrong to her. So then she let the flood gates open with her honesty. She said she knew I wasn’t happy and wanted to know what I was going to do. Then she explained to me that she was having a “thing” with my husband for the past year. She continued to tell me that she was questioning me about my marriage because if I was still trying to work things out she would of just backed off from him. Best yet, she kept telling me how madly in love she was with him. Well to say the least, I didn’t see that one coming! I ended our conversation with telling her I appreciated her candor but I didn’t want to stay friends and wished her well in life.
It was now almost a year living in Chicago and my son decided that he wanted to move back to Florida. Two weeks before I moved him back, my cat Spooky, who I had for almost 13 years, passed away from cancer. I was so heartbroken and devastated about his death because it was the first time I had experienced a death of any of my animals. You can imagine how pessimistic I was starting to feel, it felt as if my world was spinning out of control. Like a domino effect, it was the divorce, moving states, moving bases, another car accident, finding out about these women, not being able to work as much, beginning of financial hardship, moving my son back to Florida and now my cat passing away. I’m not quite sure where I found it but I had gathered some inner strength and got my cat cremated, brought his ashes home, cried here and there but continued on with what I had to do. The following week I drove my son back to Tampa, then flew back home to finish packing up the rest of my belongings. I was going to stay in Chicago and move in with my older sister and her family but in the meantime I stayed at my apartment for another month. This was the moment I became a minimalist, I chose not to pack up all of my belongings but to give a majority of them away to family and friends or whoever wanted them. Right before I was to move in with my sister, I was looking at the Base Vacancy Bids for my work and noticed they were accepting a lot of Flight Attendants into the Las Vegas base. Without hesitation and not even a plan, I put my bid in and told my sister that I’m not moving in with her but plan on moving to Vegas. I know, crazy right? I was going to move out West before I was even based there. Not to mention, I put in a bid for another base before I even had a place to live out there.
That first month I felt like I was possessed because I wasn’t in touch with questioning anything I was doing. I felt as if I was caught up in a tornado and just waiting for it to dissipate. When the dust did finally settled, I found myself living in a Casita in Las Vegas while still being based in Chicago. Of course I did finish out my trips in Chicago and a month later I was awarded the Las Vegas base. The Casita that I rented was a big room that had a full size bathroom, double mirror sliding closet door, a college sized fridge and a microwave. It was perfect for what I needed but a month later I found myself in my room sobbing. It was at this point that I stopped in my tracks to realize that the last two years were finally catching up to me. Instead of really thinking or processing what was happening to me during those years, I just kept on moving forward. Luckily I started to notice the signs: depression, confusion, uncertainty, chasing men and not feeling like myself. This is when and where I started to seek out therapy, and sit in my desert to really figure out what was going on in my life before I self-destructed!
“Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.” ~ Unknown Author