It's so strange to move from one reality to another so quickly. I went from being a married woman where despite my discontent, I knew who I would wake up and go to sleep in the same home if not the same room with, each night. And now, I’m in this strange world sprinkled with strangers I meet through the apps on my phone.
At times the world I am in seems unreal and unfamiliar. This transition from one world to another sometimes has your head spinning. My sister, a licensed therapist, told me that at 7 months of separation many people return to their spouse despite the state of their marriage. I felt that discomfort at the 7-month mark. I remember the pain and loss that struck me like a truck on that morning drive into work. I was talking to her about the kids acclimating to our routines and having my weekly morning commute check-in call. Then I felt the tears welling up in my eyes and before I knew it, I was sobbing. One thing you have to know about me is that I am not a crier. It takes a lot to get me to tear up, and sobbing requires even more extreme circumstances. I was surprised and confused at the way my body was reacting, Calmly on the other end, my sister reassured me how normal these feelings were. I was in one of the stages of grieving. The reality of how my life turned completely upsidedown and unfamiliar was hitting me like a MAC truck and at that moment I realized I had lost something.
She told me it's a phenomenon that happens at the 7-month mark. For many people after a separation or divorce, the person that left begins to feel grief and regret for what they are losing even when the marriage wasn't that valuable. That uncomfortable feeling of grief leads them to reconcile with their spouse. But that wasn't the case for me. I was never going to return to the feel and vibe of living with him. I had not only fallen out of love, but I also lost any ounce of respect and empathy I held for this man. There was so much that I didn’t know about my life and next steps, but I absolutely knew for certain that I would never live in the same home or be in a relationship with my ex ever again. So those were the facts, yet I was still sad and couldn't figure out why I was impacted emotionally by something that I knew was irreparably broken into thousands of fragments. So what was I grieving?
I won in the sense of I had the courage, wherewithal, and guts to walk away finally after seventeen years. Still, I lost those seventeen years. I lost my youth coming in at 22 and leaving at 40. I lost the life I built and dreamed of manifesting as my future. I lost the home I moved into only 4 years prior to the separation. The home I envisioned filled with all of our family and friends, just as my parents' had been for us as children. I lost the yard that our children would have celebrated their upcoming high school graduations, birthdays, and possibly like us, future weddings on. I lost the moments I purposely created to build family connections and foster sibling relationships among my four children as memories for me and my children to reflect on without a slight bitterness. I lost time. So much time . . . to know who I was with certainty and value it, to love and be loved, to be a more present mother, to be and be and just be. . . ME.
I had won, but I had also lost. I never made any choice with the intention of ending my marriage. But the outcome was out of my hands. Complicated and compounded circumstances led to that final decision.
I have another opportunity to win and succeed and this time, I get to determine how that will happen. I now get to have an alternate future. The grief was real, but to overcome that grief I had to start putting myself first and taking care of the one person no one did during my marriage, me.
Making myself happy became a priority. I joined random dance groups, a pops choir and entered the dating pool. Dating didn't unfold how I expected. As much of what you just read shows, it was way too early for that and well, hindsight is 2020. Yet, the dating world has been a learning curve for me to navigate and I am a perpetual student of life. So I take it with stride and keep hope alive, LOL.
So yes, reality bites a little at times when it comes to fulfilling my hopes for a companion that I can wake up with, but it's also liberating. Reality is filled with laughter and unfiltered antics, waking up and moving through the day with purpose and positivity, and most of all it is peaceful and in my control. So I am taking each day of my reality with grace and gratitude. Grateful to have the chance to turn my temporary loss into a lifelong win.