OK, so I lied. It's been about a month, so I didn't post again soon like I said I would.
Shortly after things were wrapped up with the lawyers and I wrote my last posting, I have to admit that I had a bit of a breakdown. I don't mean a full-on mental episode with hospitalization or anything. But I did have about three days where I couldn't keep my emotions in check. I spent most of that time wavering between depression and near-panic, as the reality of everything finally settled in. The finality of it all, between resolving things with RAMJAC and knowing that I'm permanently a woman now, really sunk in once I had time to really think about things... and it all hit me hard.
After a few days of this, I realized that I just needed to get away for a while. I needed to have a break from everything in order to have a fresh perspective and to not have to worry about day-to-day issues. Travelling internationally was out of the question since I hadn't gotten my passport situation settled yet. However I found a beautiful, private lakeside cottage for rent online and got it for a whole month. It was only about a four-hour drive from home, but still perfect for its seclusion.
I spent about a week there entirely on my own, just getting my head together. It was difficult at first but got better with each day. The cottage was enormously calming. I spent most of the time resting, reading, enjoying the beach, swimming, etc. I kept my cell off for the entire time and it was great to be completely unplugged for a change.
However after a week, I have to admit that I got a bit lonely. When I finally turned my cell back on, there were messages from Josh, Lauren and of course Evan, all sounding worried about me. I texted Josh and Evan, letting them know that I was OK and not to be concerned, but let them know that I'd leave my cell on in case they needed to reach me. I thought it was time though to have someone to talk to, so I called Lauren. We had a very long, very liberating talk. At the end of it, I invited Lauren up to spend time with me at the cottage, which she ended up doing for almost a week. I was so good to be able to share it with her.
Of course, even though I didn't need to, Lauren had to return to her life, so she left to go back home. The next day, I called Evan for the first time in weeks. I almost broke into tears when he answered the phone, as I was so happy to hear his voice. In addition to everything else we talked about, it turned out that he quit his job with the firm he was with since he was so disturbed by its connections with RAMJAC, after everything that happened. So since he was between jobs (he already had something new lined up), I invited him up to the cottage. He came up two days later and spent the better part of two weeks there with me. When he arrived, we immediately took back up just like when we first started seeing each other. It felt so phenomenal to be a couple again, in love again. I can't imagine a happier time. We spent those weeks talking, relaxing, joking, making love and just being with each other.
Neither of us wanted our time there to end, but we realized that you can't escape reality forever. So this past weekend, we left and came back home.
Who knows where things will take me going forward. All I know is that I now feel happier and more whole than I've felt in a very long time.