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Published: January 11th 2009
After Robert asked me for a divorce I drove to Carmel Valley from Texas. After much back and forth I ended up taking all three cats even though Q-Tip was unquestionably Robert's cat. That Christmas Roberts parents invited me back for the holidays. It was the last time I would spend Christmas with them both. When I drove back to CA after that Christmas I had packed up all of my belongings that I could sort through and pack from our stuff that had been in storage for a year since we began our cross country adventure. That was one of the longest lonliest drives I have ever made. But while it was a tough drive it also proved to me that I could make the trip with no one else around! When I got back to CA I had a few weeks before I had to get settled into school. I had decided on CSU Chico because the cost of living in Chico was the most favorable. So a few short weeks before the winter semester began I was moved into a small one bedroom place. Living for the first time in my life on my own. All alone. The first few nights were incredibly difficult. I didn't know a soul in the town except for the chair of the Mechanical Engineering department who I had met a few months earlier. I was never so excited to have school start. But I finally got into the swing of things and started meeting people and began to really enjoy myself and my life as a single person.
The next unexpected event was my father calling me up to tell me in April of 1997 that he was divorcing my mother. I remember driving down to visit my mom and meeting her unexpectedly at a road side rest stop where we talked for a long time about marriage and about divorce and about the reasons for both. It was the first time I had connected with my mom in my entire life. I saw her for the first time as a woman like myself. Going through the same emotions I had been going through. It was a turning point for the two of us.
I spent the next 3 and a half years working my butt off to get my degree finished in the shortest time possible. As I really didn't like not having money. I spent my summers in Monterey living with my mom and visited my dad occassionally as he had moved to New Jersey to be closer to his sister after the divorce.
I do remember the day my divorce was final. I had a Friday afternoon electronics lab and I couldn't wait to get out of the lab to go and celebrate my change in status from Mrs. to Ms.!!! I remember telling one of the senior civil engineers who also had the class and he was totally stunned that I was married and getting a divorce. I guess I had been pretty circumspect about the fact that I had been married for 6 years and was only 26!!
When I finally graduated from college I took an engineering position with an insurance company in San Jose, CA. Now you have to understand that I graduated in May 2000. The height of the dot com bubble and housing in San Jose was slim to none. And with the three cats I was very limited in what I could afford, because even after all my schooling and education, I still ended up taking a job that paid me less than 1/2 what I was making before as an insurance adjuster. But I knew I was investing in my future...
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