Wait. How did I get here?
Nearly 29, selling all of my belongings, moving to a perpetual "war zone," starting over -- again -- after so many fresh starts. How do I know if this one is the one? I just know, that's how.
A year ago, I knew that my life was over. I say that in the most literal way possible. A year ago, I saw two ways out of my life: divorce or suicide. The latter seemed like a more noble approach to the situation. I'd failed to make my marriage work. It was me who couldn't fix it, so it was me that failed. I could even muster the strength to ask out, so what kind of person would I be to anyone else? The reality of the financial and emotional impact (of losing everything I knew -- friends and family) seemed too strong to handle. And all the while, I played the part of me, Chaviva. Age 27. Blogger. Wife. Teaneck, NJ Orthodox Jew. Strong, confident, stable. Happy above all. Here, on this blog.
It was a dark space. A very, very dark space. I owe my being here to several friends who helped me baby-step through that scary part of my life. They are angels on earth.
I vlogged on September 1, 2011, about a debate between my ex-husband and I about whether -- when there's one breadwinner -- the person not pulling in the bulk of the cash can treat the other person. I watch that video now, and I see the deadness in my eyes. I was attempting to fix the break in the levee with duct tape.
On September 6 I blogged about the world of Jewish women bloggers and whether when I started this blog I intended to be anonymous, for the content to be public or private. I wrote about how the things I didn't discuss on this blog could fill entire libraries. I wanted to speak, but I was distracted.
More duct tape for the levee appeared on September 7 when I tried to explain and ask for help in my battle for a new, proper full sheitel, because my ex-husband didn't believe in sheitels and couldn't validate the expense. So I bought a fake wig. I stressed out. People began to see something was up.
After realizing life is greater than death, and with the support of friends and realizing that I am stronger than I appear, I asked for a get on September 12. You have to understand -- it took me nine months to ask for the get. We spent a lot of time in therapy trying to fix things, but I think that we both knew that it wasn't going anywhere. Finally requesting the get is probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Period.
By September 14, I put my blog on hiatus. "For the High Holidays," I said. Clearly I was lying.
Faster than was expected -- than anyone expected -- we were divorced according to the Jewish religion on September 20.
On September 25, I revealed what was happening. I was getting divorced. I was moving to Colorado without a job, I was starting over. "It's going to be an interesting 5772," I said. Boy was that the understatement of the year.
I arrived in Colorado on September 28 and was thrust in to the Colorado scene for the High Holidays. It was a strange circumstance to be in -- new, newly divorced, surrounded by strangers.
What. A. Year.
The pendulum had a mighty swing in both directions this year for me. From feeling free and released from a dark depression, to finding myself in a relationship with someone unexpected, to finding myself and my teshuva, to deciding to make aliyah.
Yes, a year ago Denver felt like the right move. And now? Israel seems perfect. Am I a nutjob? I don't think so. Look at what I wrote a year ago:
Why Denver? Well, I didn't have this blog back in 2005, but if I did, you would have heard me sing the praises of Colorado as the healthiest place on earth. The moment my wheels hit Colorado, I felt the need to eat healthy, to be healthy, to feel healthy. I went through a heartbreak there, but it didn't smack me in the face like it did elsewhere, because I was mentally and emotionally healthy. I was able to cope and move on. When I lived in Denver, I went running and walking, I ate fresh vegetables and maintained a mostly vegetarian diet, I explored the state, I got out. I did things. I was happy, I was healthy, I was positive about my future and confident in who I was. Everyone keeps telling me Denver's a horrible choice because there are no single frum folk there. To that, friends, I say, "I'm not interested in dating at the moment. Seriously?"
Why not Israel? Divorce is a big enough shock to my system right now. I need a change, so I'm starting small with a move to Denver where I can regroup, clear my head, and find some inner peace. The balagan of Israel is too much for the tender state of me right now, so stay patient. I haven't ruled it out. After all, the world is my oyster at this point.