Wednesday, December 28, 2011

1991 - a summer of change

In June 1991, I was 25 and had been married for about 2.5 years to my college boyfriend - my first real boyfriend actually.  And by real, I mean he was my first mutually-acknowledged boyfriend, who met the parents, etc.  I was miserable.  I had a job but it wasn't challenging me in the least, I had very few outside interests or friends, and I had a husband who didn't seem to like me or care about me much. 

In June that year, my in laws planned a lake cabin vacation and I went along for the week.  My husband only came for a few of the days and he was a complete jackass.  When we got home and I called from the inlaws house for him to come and get me (we were only about 30 minutes away), he left me hanging for hours before he made time in his (not)busy schedule to come over.  For some reason, this little chain of events was the last straw.  We didn't speak for the better part of the following week, and then I informed him that it was time for a divorce, I wanted the newer car and a couple other things but he could have the rest, and I would stay in the apartment until August, at which time I was moving and he could move back in and finish out the lease and keep the damage deposit.  I think he was dumbfounded but relieved.  And that was that.  He moved out that next weekend.  We sat at Perkins one night and filled out the divorce papers and filed them. 

I chopped off my long shaggy hair and noticed that I started wearing brighter colors and even jewelry.  I know I carried some resentments still, but it was so empowering to just recreate myself in whatever fashion I chose...

In late July or early August, I handed my letter of resignation in at work.  That was another sweet moment.  Because all the changes happening in those months were interconnected, I had actually held off telling anyone that I was divorcing my husband until just before I gave my notice at work - so it all kind of came in one big news flash - getting divorced, quitting my job, moving to Seattle.

And on Labor Day weekend, I loaded up my Toyota, with a futon mattress and a trunk full of stuff, and headed west for Seattle.  I was headed for my friends' home, where I'd been told I could stay as long as I wished, but I had no job prospects or really any idea what I was going to do...I'm sure I felt very apprehensive in many ways, but it was also like a big blank page of my life, just waiting to be written. 

6 comments:

  1. Wow! How brave of you! I hope life has been good to you since that 2.5 years of not-so-good :)

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  2. Sounds like it was both a painful and an exciting time in your life. Can't wait to read the next installment.

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  3. I'm with Judy--very brave and insightful, too. And with Anne in looking forward to the next installment.

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  4. A similar sort of story transformed my life in 1974. I will always appreciate the burgeoning feminist movement and will never forget the the Women's Center at San Jose State University for being the wind beneath my wings that year. I look forward to more parts of your story too.

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  5. 1991 was the year I completed my first year of teaching, triumphant, but drained. Then I pounded nails all summer to pay the bills, because someone forgot to tell the bill-collectres that we were "on vacation."

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  6. And I was glad to have you back!!

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