The Way Back (or, how a coloring book reminded me of me)

The divorce is over.

It was long, tiring, with many twists and turns and pitfalls that I never saw coming.  Regardless, almost a full year after the first filings, the end came.  And as a shuffled tiredly towards the finish line, I did my best to keep my spirits up and not think about the end of a relationship that lasted more than half of my life.

Eventually, I found work that I love.  I found a place to live that is the perfect size and  layout for me.  There was a lot of depression and numbness that set in over the long span between filing and finale, and feelings of inadequacy that were compounded when well-meaning friends tried to give what they though were helpful suggestions about smiling and choosing to be happy.  I already felt broken from the inside out, and it just added guilt on top of everything.  I know every comment I received from a friend or relative was spoken out of love, and they meant well, but I was already struggling to get out of bed.  It’s like asking someone near drowning, barely treading water, why they don’t break the Olympic record in the butterfly.

And now it is the end of things.  I no longer share his name, his bed, his life.  And I’m good with that, so now begins finding the way back.

Most of my life in the final days and the aftermath consisted of pretty standard adulting.  Taking care of the children, paying bills, having an opinion about gas prices.  I lost track of all the things I used to love, all the things that made me You Are Hereme.  And then I went to Target.

Although Target can be a sort of paradise, it’s always so sneaky.  I always end up in sections I didn’t need to be in and walking out with way more than I came for.  And this time, I ended up in the book section as my youngest son dragged me down an aisle looking for some little known book he had heard about on youtube that I was sure they didn’t have.  And then I saw it.  An adult coloring book called You are Here by Jenny Lawson, who you might know as the amazing Bloggess, writer of Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.  AKA the woman I first heard “depression lies” from (a phrase that was my mantra through all this).  AAKA someone that once upon a time I had brief online conversations with and was just stoked that she had given me the time of day.  AAAKA the funniest-yet-most-brutally-honest writer on the face of the fucking planet, you guys.  And here was a coloring book.  By her.  In the middle of Target.

The name sparked memories from those very brief and inconsequential interactions that I had had with her through my blog life.  My blog.  My people.  My tribe.  It all started to flood back.

I opened the book and found she also gets way more than she came for at Target.  But that’s not the point.  I flipped through it and saw illustrations that went so deep into my heart they imprinted there, along with pages of meme-like sayings.  “You will get through this.”  “You are not alone.”  “Weird on, you bad-ass motherfucker.”  And I laughed and felt comforted.  I remembered the before time when I knew I was a weird little soul in a great big world, and that I had never really wanted to be normal.  I no longer had to be what someone else wanted.  I was free now.

I bought the book.  Obviously.

And now, I’ve come back.  I’m activating this nonsense again and am ready for some shenaniganizing.  Reviews and sex positivity being served.  Here I am.  I am back, even though sometimes I still struggle.  Sometimes it’s hard to keep going.  Sometimes I still feel like a failure.  But sometimes?  Sometimes I don’t.



The Way Back (or, how a coloring book reminded me of me) — 2 Comments

  1. Glad you’re back. I’ve been looking for one sex toy genre in particular: something to make standard exercise more fun. I’m thinking like a strap-in dildo for jogging or something. I have no idea. Any thoughts?

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