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August 19, 2008

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Helen

I guess it may seem crazy for a complete stranger to offer advice, but your situation resonates with me. Anyway, for what it's worth, here it is. Please don't hate yourself. Your future ex-husband is a schmuck. Hate *him* -- and then get over him. You're going to have a better life without him. Since you don't own a house or have children, you could consider moving to another (perhaps less costly) state to go to school yourself. You might be able to support yourself while doing so on scholarships, grants, loans, part-time or full-time employment, and frugality. (If your divorce is at all still under negotiation, please consider trying to get some kind of settlement or alimony to be put toward your career development, education, etc. You sacrificed your previous job for his sake. It does *not* matter that you were unable to get the kind of job after the move that you and he had expected you would -- it is *not* your fault, that kind of disparity from region to region is common and yet hard to discover beforehand, as there is little *accurate* information available. What matters is that you left *your* job for the sake of *his* career, and your divorce lawyer should get you restitution for your sacrifice if at all possible. Oh, and I hope you can get your cat back!) With a background in linguistics, philosophy, and legal assistance plus enjoyment of numbers and finance, perhaps forensic accounting in particular might be a good path for you. If you don't want to move, online degree programs that can be pursued at home through distance learning after work are increasingly common, and even many universities offer them. (For example, I live in Seattle, but instead of actually attending school here, I could pursue a degree through distance learning from the University of Missouri.) Next, please take care of your health. You have been and are going through high stress, and there is increased likelihood of health breakdown in the wake of such stress. If you can write in a journal and exercise regularly, it may help more than you suppose. If you do get a car, watch out for speeding tickets in the year after you divorce; it happens even if you've never had tickets before. Finally, I know it seems difficult and far-fetched now, but your life will change and improve, and you will get most or all of what you want. Figure out what your dreams are and pursue them. You're actually at a point of exciting opportunity to make your life what you want it to be! Best wishes for your happiness and prosperity from this stranger in Seattle, who clicked through to your blog from your comment on Trent's post Nine Things To Do When the Going Gets Tough.

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