Who Am I?
Hey everyone! Or no one, who knows if anyone will ever read this.
If you’re going to come with me on this journey, I should probably start by introducing myself, my name is Zoe, I’m in my late 20s, and I’m divorced. But let’s back up a little bit. I’m going to share my life story.
I grew up in Northern California, about 30 minutes from San Francisco, in the suburbs. I have a younger brother, and two pretty great parents. My childhood was normal and safe.
So naturally, as a fan of unnecessary drama, I was never happy.
I would pick fights with my family, I would build it up in my head that all my friends secretly hated me, my imagination would run wild creating stories. As I got older that need for excitement translated into two very different things: anxiety and creative writing.
The anxiety I didn’t really deal with until I was an adult (we’ll get to that), but the creative writing became my outlet. I would write about my life, in its most dramatic form, and eventually my love of writing became a general love of storytelling and then filmmaking.
From the time I was 12, anytime I could touch a camera, I would. I went to film school. And then I started making YouTube videos. I discovered a love for film editing and for documentary filmmaking.
And that brings us to 2017. I was married and living in the middle of nowhere. I was working a dead end job and I could feel myself slowly dying. My creative spirit beaten and bruised and struggling to recover.
This was the first time I suggested to my husband that I was unhappy. I told him I didn’t think I could do this anymore. And in return he said the most supportive thing he had ever said to me:
“You need to do what makes you happy. Travel, find a job you love, whatever you need. I’ll be here. We can do this.”
I believed him. I believe we could do it. So I kept making YouTube videos. I went out on weekends, we took trips around the Pacific Northwest, and every time it was great. But it wasn’t enough. So I took a job back home and moved 630 miles away from my husband.
And for the first time in a long time, I was happy. I didn’t love the job, but I loved the people I was surrounded by. I had friends and a support system, and a community. All things I didn’t have in the middle of nowhere. I also had more time to pursue my creative projects. But when he came to visit for Thanksgiving, that feeling of unhappiness was back.
Three months later, I called him and said once again that I didn’t think this was working. He told me we could fix it. And once again, I believed him.
By June of 2018 we were divorced.
It was by no means a happy experience. I will always love him and care about him. Ending our marriage was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But it was incredibly freeing and 100% the right decision. I haven’t regretted it for a second.
The very first thing I wanted to do was leave. Leave home. Leave the state. Leave the country. I wanted to see anything and everything. There was nothing holding me back. No reason to stay. No responsibilities to anyone or anything.
But I was broke. I couldn’t support myself. I was living with my parents.
And by June of 2019, a year later, I was gone.
This blog is the story of how I got to the point of being able to go and where I went from there.