2014, I am so, so glad to see you. Some days, I never thought you’d arrive. I had no idea how to even picture you in my mind. Where I’m at this New Year’s Day is, literally and figuratively, so far from where I was on this day last year.
I’ve struggled with how much to say–or not say– about my journey in 2013. For some time, I was ashamed, uncomfortable, and unsure of how to even put it in to any words at all, let alone the right words. So much changed in my life and it took me some time to come to terms with my new normal. In many ways, I’m still searching for it. The difference now is that I, once again, have true, optimistic, coming from the inside of me hope.
Knowing where to begin is tough, so I suppose I’ll just say it. I am no longer married.
The man I once loved with every fiber of my being, the man I thought I’d create and raise a family with, the man who pledged before family, friends, and God to stand with me for better or for worse wanted a divorce. After just 21 months of marriage, he didn’t think we were worth it. He told me two weeks before Christmas 2012. I was shattered. I never knew the pits of despair could be that deep. I was, for all intents and purposes, numb for the better part of the next three months.
I’m still not sure how many, if any, details I want to share publicly. I think what I went through bears discussion. My situation was one many women find themselves in, but it isn’t talked about terribly often and, because of that, it isn’t understand all that well. But, I’m not naive to the fact that what I post on this blog becomes public information that will always be out there in some form or another. I know that once something’s said, it can’t be unsaid. I know that sharing such personal details of my life can invite criticism and, to be completely candid, I’m not sure I’m strong enough yet to handle being condemned for something in which I had no voice and that left me so torn.
With that in mind, you may notice some text and certain pictures have been pulled from my blog. Plain and simple, they are just too painful to see. I made a conscious decision not to erase any recipes, no matter how closely tied they are to a memory. This blog is about food I’ve created, shared, and loved, and nobody can change that or take that away from me.
2013 wasn’t all bad, though. Through the copious amounts of confusion, sadness, anger, and tears, I experienced some wonderful moments. It sounds odd to say, but the first of those moments happened the very night my ex-husband told me he wanted a divorce. He told me in one of our favorite restaurants in a busy mall on a pre-Christmas evening. I said my piece and got up and practically ran to the parking garage, just hoping to make it out of the mall and into my car before I lost all composure. I drove straight to my mom’s house. On the way, I talked to one of his family members and two of my best friends who cried with me and prayed for me, knowing I didn’t have my own words at that moment. By the time I got to my mom’s house, she had already talked to and texted with my very best friends who I’d met 15 years earlier just before our freshman year of college. The calls, texts, and e-mails began flowing to me. They showered me with words of love, sympathy, and empowerment along with invitations to come visit during my Christmas break and invitations to move to their respective cities. Within a week, I’d talked with my blogging girls–ladies I’d known for five plus years and with whom I’d formed a beautiful and unique bond. A year removed from that night, I am now able to see what a true and irreplaceable blessing of unconditional love I have in my precious family and friends. I couldn’t have made it through without them. They carried me when I couldn’t stand on my own.
At the suggestion, urging, prodding, pushing, and (mostly) behind the scenes efforts of those same family members and friends, I made a major decision for myself in the spring of 2013 and decided to move to a new city in a new state for a new start. In August of last year, my mom and I drove to Dallas, my new home. I couldn’t be happier to officially be a Texan. After so many years of feeling out of place in Phoenix, I now live somewhere that makes sense. Of course there are many, many people I miss in Phoenix, but I am so relieved to be living in a part of the country where the culture, the values, and the way of life make sense. I feel at peace.
So with that, I want to thank each and every one of y’all for sticking with me, reading my blog, and leaving such positive comments. Most of you had no idea just how much you were helping me. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
Now that I’m a Dallas lady, I’ve got a whole new slew of markets, shops, restaurants, and events to explore. I hope you’ll come along on this adventure I call my new life. Cheers to 2014!