You know those themed “over-the-hill” parties that are thrown when someone turns 50? Usually they involve black clothing and tombstones? They’re depressing.
I feel like those dreaded years keep getting younger and younger. On my way home from work, I noticed a sign in a front yard with, “Lordy, Lordy! Look who’s forty!” God…I really hope the person turning 40 didn’t care.
I just turned 29. And I care about 30. No one is allowed to say any negative things or point out that fact. I already cringe when I hear, “ONE MORE YEAR!”
One year closer to 30. And one year away from a reminder that my life isn’t quite what I anticipated it would be. You see, I’m having a hard time with reality right now. I just got this packet in the mail. May not look like much to you, but it was enough to make me cry.
I’ve been separated since October 2013, and was stalemated. Dating around some, but not moving forward with anything. Finally, the topic of divorce was brought up earlier this year. January 2015. And in the beginning of May, paperwork was filed. I knew I needed a pick-me-up… as divorce wasn’t my first hope in solving the issues. But it’s the solution that was taken in the end. I booked a trip to Florida with a friend. The day I left for the trip, I got the self-addressed, pre-stamped envelope with the final divorce decree in it. I left on vacation officially single.
And officially depressed.
It’s to be expected—while some divorces are happy, this one is not. It’s a reminder that I messed up an awful lot. That I was too proud, too independent, and too selfish. For anyone that has experienced a divorce, you know the pain. Of not being good enough. Of failing at your “forever.” It’s an ache in your heart that doesn’t go away easily, and I am too much of a make-things-happen kind of gal to let it continue forever.
So I wanted to start 29 off with a bang. Florida was my answer.
I reached out to an old blogging friend of mine. We’ve known each other for a handful of years, but have never met in person. Same age; same job industry; same relationship status (single!). Figured, why not? Thank god she was game. (If you think about it….isn’t it weird that you can now make friends online? I swear that wasn’t as normal 10 years ago.)
I flew from Denver to Atlanta. Then drove Atlanta to Birmingham. The next day, we drove 6-ish hours to Destin, Florida where we’d hoped for some good-for-you, down-to-the-soul, relaxing type of vacation that can start the healing process. And fried shrimp. Because that’s instant happiness.
It was gorgeous. And also National Donut Day when we got there. Serendipitous, don’t ya think?
Once out of town, with the radio up and the air conditioning on (there’s a reason why most houses in Wyoming don’t have A/C built-in…. there’s no way that most cowboys would live in the dense humidity and hot climate of Florida. This curly-haired gal had the best skin and curliest hair of her life for those five days) it felt like a normal life. And normal has been a hard thing to come by lately, ya’ll.
We stopped at a charming farm stand, where we smelled every piece of fruit there, and, no joke, saw some Peach Queens. They give out sashes dedicated to fruit to beauty queens. Yep—big hair, lots of makeup, pearly whites, and dressed to the nines. AND ONLY FOUR FEET TALL. Things are different in the south.
We grabbed some fruit, hit the road and talked. I’d been tossing back and forth the idea of a happiness checklist for the past few weeks. Something that will get me out of my element. After all, how can you expect to be happy, if you’re not and nothing changes? Going to meet someone I’ve never met, heading to a new beach, and spending my first birthday on vacation was a good start.
But the list was next. And sitting on the beach, with book in hand, sometimes with a slushy-boozy drink, was honestly the best way to think up said list 😉
I’ll post the list tomorrow…. and hope to update you for the next year on that list, and happiness in general.
But let me at least get this image in your brains before I end this post… the south is the best place to buy peaches. Hands down. I prefer nectarines due to the skin. Typically peaches are overly fuzzy up north and out west. But in Alabama? Georgia? The peaches are outta this world.
They even look gorgeous (I did get to see a gigantic peach water tower in Canton, GA that reminded me of the one referenced in House of Cards. When you’re going by at 80 mph, it does sort of look like a vagina. And yes, I’m ending my blog post with the word vagina. You’re welcome).