When I last wrote I was on my way to China. A lot has changed since my time abroad. When I say changed I don’t mean it in the sense that old friends do when they slap each other on the arms whilst doing the same shit they’ve always done. No, I mean it in the sense that everything that was once normal and comfortable has disappeared.
It started before I left for China. I was on a business trip, gone for three days, and when I came back the world fell away. I had known that we needed to fix our problems and I was doing everything I could to be the me that I was before Ukraine. The month before I left everything was great between us; it was as if Ukraine had never happened.
I remember stepping off the plane with excitement and joy coursing through me because I was so happy to go home and see my wife. With the improvements in our relationship I felt so good about our future and potential, and I was riding that high.
When I got home I found her sitting in the corner. I looked around the apartment – it was neat and tidy, everything was in it’s proper place. She didn’t smile when I walked through the door, just stared at me solemnly. I looked around the apartment again and noticed that nothing of hers was littered anywhere in the room. Beside the door were two bags, fully packed.
“Why?” I asked while falling into the room.
She handed me the envelope. I opened it and pretended to read it and then tossed it aside. I knew what it said but I wouldn’t believe a word of it until she talked to me first.
It was the beginning of the end. We talked about making things work and my time in China was suppose to be an opportunity for us to work on our communication. We wrote emails and talked everyday but as the weeks and months passed she wrote and spoke less and less.
Finally she admitted that she wasn’t really trying and that she didn’t want to work things out. That’s when the bottom fell out.
I knew I could’t stay in China any longer. My time abroad was contingent upon having a life to come back to. I had already spent all of my money creating a new home and life so that she could spend her money on her abroad trip over the summer.
I returned from China, breaking my contract in half, and sought out work. I spent two months adrift on the life-raft that is my friend’s couch until I was hired on for a decent paying job in another city.
I left Portland. I didn’t want to but the city was her. We moved downtown together and we spent all of our early days walking the streets, hand in hand, talking about traveling with the Peace Corps and being abroad. We walked a lot. We talked a lot. Eventually the city became synonymous with her. I couldn’t walk anywhere without feeling that I was missing a part of myself. When the phantom limb syndrome over-powered me I knew I had to take the job in another city.
So I left.
Now this is where my new narrative begins. I am now on the road to recovery. I have a new job, a new city, a new car – and life is starting all over again. From my narrative you’ll see what it’s like to start over while making new friends, finding new hobbies, and battling the world of debt that cascaded upon me as the divorce sped onward. The divorce itself was amicable in the end, but the cost of starting over has maxed out my credit card and has me limping along paycheck to paycheck until I can find a way to get ahead.
This is the start of a new life. Join me!