We reached two long-awaited milestones in our household this week.
The last maintenance payment to my ex-wife, month 30 of 30, was mailed off. This represented a sizable portion of my income. It’s been a wild, dramatic ride that is now officially over. No more living in fear that I’m going to get a call from my lawyer and have to shuttle back to Illinois on short notice for an ‘emergency’ hearing or stressing out about what I say on the Internet because it will (and it did) find it’s way back to my ex and used against me in wildly out-of-context ways. I’m free. We’re free. We’ve had our lives on hold in many ways and this is the first big step towards getting that back.
I’m sad for what’s lost; a friendship that spanned more than a decade is lost. I’d have liked to remained friendly, as I have with my first ex. We could have been, eventually, but in the end that’s not my choice to make. I wish her well and so I move on.
I suspect the finality it’ll take some getting used to. As some dear friends have noticed, this has been a very challenging time, personally. I tend to be very open in my thoughts and feelings and whatnot, and having to self-censor has been damaging. I’ve come to know a distrust, paranoia and anger towards people that I am not proud of. Short-term issues, I am sure, that I will work through.
The other milestone is perhaps more exciting, in a forward-thinking view. When I went bankrupt last year, I gave up my car. To me, a car isn’t just a mode of transportation —- it’s freedom. I like to drive; a bug I inherited from my father, I think. I like to drive in a random direction and explore. To quote Amanda Palmer, “I have to drive.” I navigate by sun and star, fearlessly, and always find my way home again. Between Clarion and working in Santa Monica last year, losing the car, and coming home to Ontario, my driving has been limited. We share a car with Andrea’s mom and brother, and that poor clunker is held together, almost literally, with bale and spit and hope.
We’ve been planning to get a car for a little while. We have some travel coming up this summer, including a trip back to Chicago, and renting a car is less than ideal. Today, we put a deposit down on a nice used car, a 2007 Ford Fusion with only 18,500 miles. Monday, the adventure begins.
There’s so much to see, living in a new country. I’ve only been to Toronto a few times and now we’ll be able to drive there on a whim. We can make a jaunt to Niagara Falls and see my friend that works in the Vineyards. We can drive to Quebec and see the Hotel de Glace, or drive across Canada. We can go anywhere the roads lead, and some places it won’t.
[Crossposted from Adam Israel. If you'd like to comment, you can do so either here or there.]