a divorced woman's guide to wanderlust

i confess to being intimidated by the prospect of exploring this great big world as a singular figure of the female persuasion. nonetheless, the past year is showing me new ways of getting out and of figuring it out in such a way as to keep myself safe; i try to limit the parental stress my adventures have a tendency to induce. maybe for you these concerns seem archaic and underwhelming. if that is the case, i wouldn't mind possessing some of that superpower you're tucking under your arm.

last month i went to sweden. it's the farthest i've gone since getting divorced and it was fine. my friend met me at the airport and welcomed me into her cozy home with visiting family to boot. and it was more than fine. from that experience i learned that not only can i travel by myself, but that i weather challenges with ease. i also know how much i appreciated being able to come "home" at the end of a day's wanderings and enjoy the comfort of a houseful of (old and new) friends. were my travels entirely solitary, a week is an awfully long time to go without meaningful conversation. i think i can tolerate about a day or two before i start to itch; i blame the extroverted introvert within.

consequently, i'm actively pursuing opportunities to travel with friends (or a friend). up next: a three-ish day whale-watching expedition out of montauk with one of my dearest friends. after that? who knows. my sis, brother-in-law, and i want to head to england, france, and ireland. i'm brushing up on my french with the duolingo app, and i'm trying to keep swedish in the mix as well. it's going to be a couple of years before the family trip happens, so i'll look to go to places where i know someone in the meantime.

reader, are you a solo traveler? what's your story? what works/doesn't work for you? if you see this and care to share some thoughts, please do!

taken at göteborgs botaniska trädgård



good lord i miss sweden. it's been nearly two weeks, one trip to IKEA, and countless photographic tours since i was there. i sit at my kitchen table (an IKEA purchase made nearly three years ago) listening to bo sundström fill the air with svensk jazz and plot my return, as well as my future endeavors.

actually, i don't. i don't because i'm writing this blog; i'm sending out a message into the stratosphere for everyone and for no one. also, it's been about two weeks since the book of faces left my daily browsing radar and i haven't been gripped with fomo. that's a relief. it means i have time to listen to music and take several seconds to watch my cat's ribs expand and contract with his breath (which i just did). it means i don't have to spend any time trying to curate my newsfeed into something the least bit relevant by reducing the ire that was making my eyes cross almost every day. maybe you can tolerate it, but i think i just gave up. between that one episode of black mirror, dave eggers' the circle (the book version--skip the film), and the weird timing of the  cambridge anayltica news, i was ready. anyhow, it feels good to have turned that corner, if only because my mind often feels so crowded by random thoughts.

at any rate, it's sunday evening. i'm trying to wind down in preparation for a full week at work, so this is all i've got in me for now. 



i realize now that, as i moved beyond my divorce, i left behind memories and pieces of me that no longer fit with my current self. i left them so far behind that they became unrecognizable--that i became a stranger to my former self. now, i've unearthed what archives of my blog i could find online because my backup was cannibalized during a backup, along with most of my writing. i've skimmed some of the posts during the restoration process and it's been much less painful than i anticipated. then again, it has been a decade.

what comes next (in life/on blog) is still in the works. i stumbled across a list i drafted several years ago of 101 things to do in 1001 days. it was exciting to see how much i'd accomplished or experienced, and it underlined several things that i still want to do.

moxie has settled across my left wrist, which is now pressing uncomfortably into the laptop. this feels like home.


bienvenue! välkommen!

welcome back, furiousmuse.com! i'm going to do something proper with you, but it's weirdly wonderful to have you back in my life after a nearly 3 year hiatus. i've missed you. let's go exploring...

p.s. manual restoration in process, thanks to the wayback machine. good writing, poor writing, and everything in between; i'm me.


5 nov 2017

well, how about that. i'm getting my domain back. this should be interesting.


10 aug 2017

tonight i did not make the turkey casserole. i have all the ingredients, but i got home so late that i simply didn't want to do it. it's the end of the work week, what can i say. i'm over it.

i'm on the brink of buying a domain again. to blog regularly. we'll see, honestly. i'm not totally convinced i want to. but i am amused that godaddy shows my former domain for sale for the nominal fee of $900. that's never going to happen. i'll book 2 flights to new york city before i spend that much on a recreational domain.


9 aug 2017

when i read this today, a moving article about people and cats and who/what one gives time to, i found myself prompted to turn a thoughtful eye on my own life. i admire the author and dear friend who put those thoughts to the page because behind all of it i get the sense that she loves what she does. i don't glamorize the life of a freelancer, nor do i equate satisfaction with the guise of i'm-perpetually-happy: those are two distinct subjects. what i recognize instead is that where one spends time reflects and influences a person's life.

i'm 39.

i'm 39 and i've been divorced for eight-ish years. thank you, state of california, for making that date such a fuzzy target. do i go by the date i petitioned the court? or after the requisite six months passed?

i'm 39 and i'm divorced and i still don't talk about it very openly because who knows the source of my meager web traffic. i'm assuming it's mostly people i personally know or who knew me once. the sparse comments certainly don't contribute to my clarity. but, you know, i'm sure i could offend someone or hurt someone else.

i've done all of that before here. i alienated the best friend who grew up around the corner from me because of a misunderstanding and i've never been able to reconnect with her. i tried. i donated to the cause when she was sick. i was (am) so sorry.

so i chucked my entire blog. the bits and bytes are backed up on a flash drive. memories, apologies, my life in ones and zeros.

i'm 39 and i just took my first self-defense class ever. suddenly i'm thinking on all those things my mother tried to tell me. i'm feeling vulnerable and hesitant about not traveling in pairs from place to place. where's that balance, i wonder? the one that is cautious and careful but lives life fully and isn't intimidated by being alone?

allow me to return to the point, which is life. i'm 39 and independent. i'm strong. i've earned my keep and i have a bonafide career where i get tasked to work on things that occupy my brain to the fullest capacity (but not constantly). i love the work. concurrently, i'm also alone.

at this point i can go a couple of ways. i could tell you about how i reminisced on the past minus all its blemishes (many that i take equal responsibility for, mind you). i could tell you about the pangs of terror at the thought of stepping into 40 under my current set of circumstances. pushing the tears aside though, what i'll tell you is the pervasive nugget of truth in all of this: i persist.

i persist and the tremors of sadness are temporal things that are swept sideways by the deeper truths: i have an amazing companion in the remaining cat from the trio i had eight-ish years ago

**i wrote this in april 12, 2016, but i just stumbled on it today. i hadn't finished my thought at the time, but i'm finally ready to publish it. it's worth mentioning that that backup of my former blog was inadvertently cannibalized when i was backing up my computer about six months ago. i'm sorry it happened, but what is the point in bemoaning the loss? so many things were eaten up then, save those files i'd bothered to care for: my photos and my music. interestingly, my notes and papers from paralegal classes survived, but none of my writing. zero.

it's time to start again.


3 feb 2016

what's the thing that drives you? give your time and your energy to that thing. make it a priority.

on the heels of about 80 minutes at the piano, i know that i've found it. being able to play freely for the first time in years without concern over disrupting someone else is undoubtably the best thing for my health. one neighbor has complimented my playing, the other hasn't made a single peep about it. i've played mozart, moszkowski, and martin cuellar. i've practiced scales and done hanon exercises. i've sightread bartok. if something's going to give, it'll likely happen now and not several months from now. i'm lucky that the only thing under my apartment is a garage, because i think that is where the sound has the most potential for intrusion.

what gives with all the piano playing? i'm making large plans, my friends: a year from now, i'm giving a concert. recital? i haven't decided what the appropriate term is. i'm having this thing. i'm going to invite friends and i'm going to play piano. there a nervous anticipation brewing in my chest just dreaming about it. will i be able to collaborate with fellow musicians? because that sounds like so much fun. if not for this performance, it's certainly something to aspire to.

the dust has settled. i've almost been in this place for six months and for a while i didn't know what was next. in fact, i'm sure i had more than one conversation along the lines of "what do you do?" wherein i replied, "well, i go to work, come home, read, pet my cat, cook. and i'm not sure what else i want to do at this point, but i'm really happy." i knew that wouldn't last forever, and i'm grateful to have something to work on.

also, i'm still rather happy.


17 jan 2016

i'm trying to be less of a perfectionist.

to that end, i might actually go back in time and restore my old blog data (if i can figure out how to do that) sometime down the line.

as i find myself blogging more frequently, i'm learning to be patient with the amount of time it is taking to rediscover my voice. i find my words deficient in their communication; looking back at some posts makes me want to cringe--or hit delete.

i stay inside on a beautiful sunny day because i just can't settle on what i should be doing if i go outside. social paralysis is an overstatement, but when i have options at my fingertips and barely move from my living room, i don't know if i can say i'm enjoying my life to the fullest. (if you hadn't guessed, i'm talking about today.)

i could have gone to the grocery store, the gas station (even less glamorous), the movie theater, the library, the local hiking trail.... what did i do? well, i cleaned for about two hours this morning, and then i went to brunch with a friend, and then i came home and watched downton abbey. oh! i should mention i played piano for a while and phoned my parents. i don't mean to imply that it's been a total waste of a day--it hasn't--but i just think that i could have done better.

the perfectionist in me wants to constantly rewrite and edit until i have the clearest and bestest meaning conveyed that words can communicate. is that really the way to live a life? instead, how about don't apologize for being yourself. i will always strive to improve, but arguably some imperfect communication/blogging is better than none.


11 jan 2016

so many people have memorialized David Bowie so poignantly today.... for me, it was Bowie all day long in my earbuds. i sampled a musical education that i wish i'd taken the time to get much earlier as i have never been well versed in his discography. do yourself a favor: have a listen.

what did i learn? David Bowie was immensely talented (surely an understatement). five decades of albums means that he fully explored the diversity of musical genres. i assure you, if you don't find something you like then it's your own damn fault.

here are my highlights from today's exploration. reader, do share a favorite or four in the comments so that i make sure to give it a listen.