February 13, 2014

Where I've Been.

When we see new heights we want to reach, and new paths we know we must take in order to be or to become our authentic selves, and we choose to actually go for them, others don’t often understand: we are running toward something vitally important and possibly fundamentally necessary to our spiritual survival, and not running away from anything.  Whether someone is running toward something or away from something depends on vantage point and perspective.  And only the runner knows the whole story.  – The (Longest) and Most Thought-Provoking Text I’ve Ever Received

I haven’t written a post in three months and there has been a reason for that.  (The reason being a little thing called divorce.)  Today, it became official, and while the day was one full of mixed emotions, I have felt lighter and freer than I’ve felt in a long time.      

The divorce was my decision, but it was not one I made lightly.  Just as no one enters a relationship lightly, no one ever really leaves a relationship lightly either.  Though the decision to divorce ultimately becomes a black and white decision, of whether to stay together or to disband, it was especially difficult because my relationship had lots of good in it, coupled with things that were fundamentally missing, which I came to the realization that I needed.

But this post is not to talk about the whys and whats of my relationship ending, other than that I married a really wonderful person at the tender age of 21 only to realize as I blossomed and matured that we weren’t the right fit; that we were probably never the right fit as romantic partners.  That being said, I love him still and probably always will. 

Divorce is a dirty word.  It’s dirty even if over half the population gets divorced at some point in their life, but it is especially so when you've got Catholic guilt and your parents are on their first marriage of nearly 40 years and counting. 

Beyond the Dirty D, contemplating the ending of a relationship is scary and anxiety-inducing.  Factor in the dreaded thought of “what will they think of me?”, this adds a new layer of self-judgment anticipated by judgment from others.  And this is particularly overwhelming when you’re the one leaving The Nice Guy. 

Suddenly, your relationship is not about the two of you, but about other people too.  What I learned through this process is that people feel like they need to choose sides and that is because black and white is so much easier than gray.  Given that I was the one ending it, I knew that I would likely not be the side they chose.  This was something I had to face in order to make the right decision for myself.  And since I realize that we as humans navigate through life by judgment, I did not blame others for their reactions, negative or otherwise. 
As a wise person said to me: “people judge usually because they are afraid of manifesting the courage of the person they are judging.”  I also think that things like seeing their friend divorce makes them question their own fears and desires, which I suppose is neither here nor there.

Divorce is shitty no matter how you slice it, because of the fact that you're impacting more than just the other person being dumped.  It’s you too.  It’s your family.  It's his family.  It's your/his/both of your friends.  It's your town.  (I'm sure you've heard that James Taylor song.)  Everyone is impacted in some way by divorce because it changes things, how people view you, how people view themselves, how people view relationships and love.    

Ultimately, though, sometimes you need to break things up or break things down to build something new, to transform, to evolve, to grow.  You can’t always do this in a current relationship or situation, especially if something has always inherently been missing that over time has become an essential need that you can’t get within the relationship or situation.  And this was the case with me.  

So that's where I’ve been the past three months.  And now I’m back, starting with a brand-new chapter.