I was talking to a recently divorced friend today who was divorced longer than I have been but separated a much shorter time. Our conversation quickly turned to my suggestion that he might be on the roller coaster that pretty much every one of my divorced friends knows all too well. In fact, to this day, I think the ride is finished and then, there's this little jolt.
I separated 2 1/2 years ago tomorrow on February 6, 2015. This is actually the first blog I've written since my official divorce on 7/7/17. There was a LOT of significance to this because my ex and I had a "number" the way other couples have songs. We had our first date on a 6, got engaged on a 6, married on a 6, a couple more things happened on 6's, separated on a 6 and then ultimately signed the Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) on 6/6/17. To say I was shocked when I read the mediator's email officially declaring us divorced as of 7/7/17, would be an understatement. Anyone who has gone through this process knows it typically takes a MUCH longer time. Even our mediator confessed she'd never had one go through that quickly and mentioned we must have some high up connections. (These days, I don't doubt it ;). )
What I can say now that I am safely off the ride and standing on the platform is, I had many more moments of doubt than I can comfortably admit. Even more than that, I NEVER dreamed I would end up thinking it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I remember going to Second Saturday, on February 14, 2015 and sitting in the room with the other women contemplating or already going through the divorce process. Second Saturday is an amazing organization that educates women on the divorce process. They have mediators, attorneys, financial planners and therapists who give attendees advice about what they are in for. Every time I sit in that room as a "vendor", I am taken back to that day and how I felt. I see women cry and nod their heads as the therapists describe how they might be feeling. When given the opportunity, I love sharing that I was where they are and felt like they feel. It's kind of like when you have a new baby. When you are in it, you can't imagine it ever getting better. But then, suddenly, the baby is sleeping through the night and you feel like a "normal person".
Normal is a "new" normal though. It's a life-changing normal. It's an "I can't believe this is me, I never thought I could be this happy" or "I like myself this much" normal.
It is not though, an "easy" normal.. Here's a confession...I wanted to skip this time. I wanted to go from my husband into a relationship so that I wouldn't have to go through feeling so uncomfortable, lonely, scared and uncertain. If things had gone the way I'd wanted them to, I would never have gotten HERE. What I discovered, reluctantly, is that you can't go around, over or under this pain. You have to go THROUGH it.
If I hadn't gone through it, I would never have discovered my need to control EVERYTHING because of my insecurities and need to feel like I actually had some control. For the first time in my life, I can truly say I have "let go" of trying to know the answers and have embraced uncertainty. My mantra has become "All will be well" because I have seen so many situations not work out the way they were supposed to, turn out event better. There is so much freedom in the absence of worry. (I should probably mention I'm Jewish and neurosis is part of my DNA.)
I recently, (2 days ago) had my computer stolen. The old me would have been freaking out. The new me sat calmly and looked for the lesson. When I was single "the first time' and in the first two years of separation, I accepted things in relationships I would never accept now. Now, I view each disappointment as a lesson. One of my yoga instructors shared something that I think is so powerful. Whether you are in a good moment or a bad moment, it's going to pass. The best option is to live in the present. I've also found through yoga that what I resist, persists. If a pose is uncomfortable, the best way to get through it, is to breathe and be in it.
I recently reread the book "You Are a Badass" by Jen Sincero. She described a bird flying into a window continuously trying to get out. Serendipitously and concurrently, I experienced both in real life and metaphorically the same thing. A bird trapped in her home, keeps flying into the window trying to escape. Rather than calm down, stop and assess the situation, seeing that she has opened a window in her home, the bird continues throwing itself into the glass. What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting different results.
What I realized is that I WAS that bird. I held onto hopes rather than accepting the reality and looking for the window.
August 6, 2017
The night I wrote this blog, while driving my daughter to her father's, she started to talk about something she was going to do with her father and his girlfriend. Then she paused. I understood her reluctancy because she was afraid of hurting my feelings. I told her she shouldn't feel bad about liking her father's girlfriend and that the girlfriend had nothing to do with our divorce. The next morning, I was on my yoga mat where I always seem to have epiphanies. I realized I had still not entirely accepted the reality of my divorce and my ex's now long term relationship with his girlfriend. I knew what I had to do. My chest started beating so hard that I couldn't even remain in my favorite pose, Svasana. I immediately left the room and texted my ex that it was time for me to meet her. Less than five minutes later, a bird flew into my garage and continued to fly against the glass window. (That had never happened.)
So now, I am divorced. My ex is in a happy relationship. My kids are taking trips and spending holidays with their new "blended family" and I am learning to be happy regardless of what is or isn't in my life. I'm happy with me. I can honestly say it's the first time in my life, I'm not chasing anything. I'm just munching on popcorn and a waiting for the next scene.