It’s Time to Get Gone

Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful moms over here reading my drivel. Not the skanks though. Sorry, not sorry.

Today I’m sitting thinking about what’s on tap next year. My life has changed so much in the last two years and I’ve lost so much.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

I’ll take that. I have to be strong if I don’t want to end up like my own mother. I get to decide if I want to be JJ who is also a mother or a mother who happens to be me. There’s a difference, you see. A big one. I can live my life toward the best end for me or live my life through my daughters. I have spent a lot of time living for someone else and, though I love my daughters and grandchildren immeasurably, I’m ready to live for myself.

That means more change. More loss. Lil’lady and I have been talking a lot about that ever since we came back from Atlanta. That was such a good experience for both of us. We loved every second1 of our time there. And we’ve basically come to a decision.

We have been trying to move out of this gods-forsaken town for a long time. I keep getting stuck just when I think I’ve escaped. It’s making me absolutely miserable. I’ve said 1000 times that this place sucked my soul dry. I have so many bad memories here. Good ones too! But the bad ones are so bad. I just can’t find my place here even though I’ve spent most of my life here. I don’t want to focus on that today, but that’s my reasoning for what comes next.

Corridor in Atlanta airport
The moment I fell in love with Atlanta – a corridor in the airport.

Lil’lady and I are going to move to Atlanta. Holy shitballs, my heart skipped a beat just writing that. I’m a bit scared, to be honest. That’s not moving 30 miles away – still in contact with my family. No. Not even close. But it seemed to suit us. I felt so at home when I was down there. I mean, there are probably a thousand more exciting places to go, but we liked it there. And now we want to live there. There are more opportunities for me to work, more things to do, and, most importantly, more people like us there. I know it’s another freaking red state and their politics such balls. But Atlanta is so diverse and gorgeous. I was super excited when I was there and I realize that has a lot to do with why I liked it so well. I’m sure when I do more research things will calm down a bit in my head. But it’s somewhere other than here. It’s relatively warm. And, again, I felt like I belong there.

Lil’lady told me she doesn’t fit in here. I know how that feels. She’s too progressive, too smart, and my daughter. She’ll never fit in. No matter how long she tries. And the longer I stay here with her the more she’ll suffer from it. She needs to find her people too. I love her friends so much. And so does she. These girls are like her sisters. But that doesn’t mean shit in this county. Friends will turn on you in a heartbeat. They’ll join in as others point and laugh. They’ll fail to stand by you. Then, of course, there are the drugs. Everywhere. Meth and heroin are everywhere here. Kids are overdosing left and right. Kids that are self-medicating because they’re miserable. Kids trying to be happy. I know two people who’ve lost their children to drugs in the last year. I don’t ever want my daughter to feel like she needs that shit. Ever.

There’s nothing for kids to do here. These assholes don’t even care about their education. If they’re not part of the social stratum that allows their parents to pay their way, they’re basically left to flounder. No after school programs, no weekend places to hang out, nothing to keep them occupied. I mean, at least when I was a teenager we had places we could go and be safe2. Adults here scratch their heads at the kids dying, but they can’t see that these kids are just not getting the stimulation they really need. I worry about my own kid. She’s a lot like me emotionally and that is not a good thing in this POS county. She will drown in her misery. And how will I save her if I too am drowning?

When something is making you sick then you get away from that something, right? We can’t escape our own minds, of course, but we can find people who understand us more. I can find adults who can hold a conversation and not think I think I’m better than them. She can find people who are more like her than she can ever find here. She can find something that makes her happy. She can become more active. She can let herself shine.

We could move somewhere else in Ohio, I suppose. That’s true. I like the area surrounding Cleveland. I love being around that many people. But Cleveland is cold. It’s much like everywhere else I’ve lived – the cold kind of hovers all year. I was in the heart of Cleveland and it was not nearly as lovely as Midtown Atlanta. Not even close3. The people were so vibrant, the town is beautiful and there are things to do all over the place. I don’t think I’d like to live outside of the greater Atlanta area, but why would I do that? Pfft.

I told Lil Miss the other night and she seems sad about it. I want her and the kids to come too. I don’t want to be that far away from her. Of course, I don’t. I want them all to come with me. So we can start something new together. But she’s a woman with her own family now and her own life. She’s better at taking care of herself than I am. She’s got so many more reasons to stay than I do. She goes on her own adventures, has her own good friends, and has other family. I feel bad, but I’m so miserable here and I don’t see any other way out of it. I need to be somewhere else. I’ll be able to keep in touch and they can come visit whenever they want. One good thing about what happened with the pup – concurrent with my counseling – is the elimination of that overwhelming, crushing guilt. I don’t feel guilty. I’m sad we’ll be far apart. But I need to find my own happiness now.

I’m too old to wait anymore. My own mother never realized her dreams and she died bitter and angry. I don’t want to die like that. My life is so close to paralleling hers and it scares the shit out of me. My counselor says that I can’t be like her anymore because I’m already so different from her. But, no, I have 20 years to lose hope in life and end up dying like her.

That’s my greatest fear, you know. Dying like her. And I am fighting tooth and nail not to do that. I want to realize some of my dreams and I want to know I lived the best life that I could possibly live. That means going away. Far away. This is the blackest pit of living hell for me. I want to climb out and see the sunshine again. I never want to lose hope. I never want to beg for death. I never want to hate every choice I’ve ever made in my life.

I told my counselor that I don’t want to live like this anymore. I don’t want to feel like this anymore. She immediately assumed I was thinking suicide. No, no, no. Nothing like that. I want my life to improve not end. She laughed when I said that. I told her I’m middle-aged, not end of life. I’m not ready to meet my gods yet, thankyouverymuch.

So, we’re going to be figuring out a way to get out of this hell town. I’m so ready to start fresh somewhere completely different. I’m ready to find some kind of contentment – if not happiness. That means leaving my family behind for now. I hope some day they’ll come down and join us. Or maybe we’ll migrate back home after a time. Either way I’m ready. I’m just so ready. Fuck fear, fuck misery, fuck this place.

You know what else Lil’lady said? I’m not to start dating anyone until we’re safely down south. She doesn’t want me to fall in love with another asshole who will probably convince me to stay for however long. She’s starting to know me. I don’t care for that, I think. Anyway, she’s got a good point. I shouldn’t start another relationship with the full knowledge that I’m not sticking around. I mean, sure, I can get laid and feel good for awhile. But let’s be completely honest, I’ll end up more miserable and in a deeper hole if I get involved with anyone new for now. So, I’m giving up on the “future ex-boyfriend” thing. I’ll be concentrating on getting ready to uproot from here. That’s a goal I can manage. And that’s where my focus is going to be.

Now, all we have to do is convince TheMan to let her go with me. We have joint custody so if I move more than two counties away he has to sign off on it. Luckily for us he doesn’t spend much time with her anyway.

P.S.
I am chatting with a gentleman from Nice, France. That’s a lot of fun. We send a message in our own language then throw it in Google Translate for a version in the other language. I took 2 years of French in high school, but it certainly didn’t take. I think it’s safe to flirt with this guy because, well, France is pretty far away. I’m never going there. Pffft.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

  1. Apparently she even loved our drunken, otherwise embarrassing, antics. []
  2. Even when people like me chose to not participate those places were available to us. []
  3. Sorry, Clevelanders. []
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