But I had lost hope, and while I didn't know where I was going, I knew that I was in the unique and wonderful position of having recently reconnected with friends from years past, and I found myself looking at the world of theatre for the first time in nearly 20 years.
And I felt just a little less afraid.
These last 8 or 9 months have been quite a journey, and now I have capped off the first chapter of what I have termed "Vania 3.0", the next great revision in my self-identity. The divorce was final as of yesterday. I can't quite celebrate. I do not hate my ex wife. Not even remotely. I still fervently hope that we will be able to develop a strong friendship again.
She is still my primary veterinarian for my cats, and we still get together once every couple of months to watch TV together. It's awkward, maybe more for me than for her, I don't know, but I met her when she was still freshly in the United States, a college student not quite ready for the real world, and I watched her grow into a strong, independent woman. Even if it turns out that we are not meant for each other, I still cherish those memories together.
But, I'm starting chapter 2 of my Vania 3.0 life, now. I've made major headway in the story analysis of my "Great American Existential Novel", developed characters, back story, potentially interesting plot developments. I've done three full stage productions, the last, Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune, being the most challenging and fulfilling for me yet. And I might, just might, actually be seriously in a position to open up a dinner theatre here in my home town of Knoxville, TN.
And now I'm spending a great deal of my time wondering what I am going to do with my personal life. Do I just happily find a way to live on my own? Do I remain open for a new relationship one day? Do I just crassly find a way to get laid whenever I can? I'm not sure if I'm that kind of guy. For all that I still get urges (fairly often, truth be told), I just can't bring myself to just be happy banging a stranger. I do want to actually know the person I'm with. Call it a sense of propriety, maybe, or perhaps just call it a sense of insecurity -- maybe I just need someone I can trust enough before I make love with her.
Meanwhile, knowing that a relationship happens pretty much despite anything I do, I am just content finding my home is indeed my home. My salvation, my protection. I can tuck away all the corners that lead to the outside world and rest in the cocoon that is my condo, feed my kittens, cook a meal and lay back and read, or watch some TiVo'd programs, or just close my eyes, pick up my recorder and dictate some thoughts on my book.
So here's to you, my ex-wife, my friends who knew me as Vania 1.0, or Vania 2.0. I hope you'll be able to tag along as I enter chapter 2 and take part in the story that is my life.
It's only now starting to get really interesting....