the death of things

This is not easy.

I’m not sure how to write about what’s happened to me since last September. I had…there were a lot of things I had then that I don’t have now. A catalog of quiet things have trailed behind me, whittling down further and further to the life I live now.

There is no house. I have stayed where I was welcome, safe to weather some of the worst parts of this past fall.

There is no longer a marriage, but a separation and pending divorce to my very best friend. The person who stayed by me for fifteen years.

The person I walked away from.

Realizing that leaving was what was best for both of us has been the hardest decision of my life. The most painful. It tore me down and remade me into…this:

Still a writer. Still an editor. Now essentially homeless and soon to be on the move, driving all over the country if things pan out for me and the companion at my side.

I’ve had to fight each step of the way to move forward. I’ve lost…a lot. Things that can’t be quantified. People. Far more than I fully realized when I made this decision.

There’s a hole in me. Halloween was agonizing. My birthday was a joke. Christmas was a fragile truce–my mother is still struggling to understand. Why I’m pushing ahead on a path that has no safety, no guarantees.

Starting over. Maybe not living here. Home, for several months, will be a small nest in a van. Family is coming to understand that happiness for me is throwing myself into opportunities, no matter how odd they seem.

I am not the person I was.

I don’t know who I am yet.

It might happen somewhere in Utah, or California, or Maine. Composing songs with Jess or writing new stories. Chewing a pen over an edit, or driving through the dark. But at some point, I think…

I’ll know who this person I’ve turned into is. What I want, beyond scraping by while I stubbornly continue to choose to live.

It’s hard.

For the most part, I ignore things I can’t control. I focus on solutions. I work hard. I keep trying my luck. I hold tight to hope and refuse to relent. I fight.

I fight.

It’s inelegant. Clumsy. Parts of me are regrowing; others are falling away. I stumble, I stagger, I make a lot of mistakes. But I keep going–there is no option where I stop. No point where I allow myself to slide back. This is unknown territory and it’s terrifying, but I decided 9/17 to throw the knife away.

The path is fraught. It’ll always be fraught.

And while it can be lonely, I’m not alone.

Spring is coming. Hopefully news will come with it. The road. New places. New things.

I’ve never seen the Pacific coast or the Midwest. With my passport, I might end up in Canada somewhere–a good back up plan considering the state of things.

I chose a hard road. It might be safer in its own way. Necessary. I don’t know where it’s going or where it’ll take me, but…

What I do know is that it will be a long, long time before it ends.

One thought on “the death of things

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  1. Anne, you and I have never been close. I’ve never had to deal with some of these challenges, so I can’t say I know what that’s like. However, my long-term marriage is also ending. And while it hurts so badly, I know it’s the right path forward for me, and as much as she hates it, for my wife too.I don’t know if you feel alone in making these changes to your life, but I can tell you that you aren’t. Stay strong, and kick grief right in the fucking teeth.

    And if you do make it out to the pacific, take the golden gate bridge north out of San Francisco and ride the 1 north. I’ve never had a better time in a car – front seat or back. Plus it’ll take you up towards Seattle and Vancouver. Good luck.

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