I learned my heart is fearless.
I jumped into the wild unknown with nothing more than a wedding band and a white dress to break the fall. My relationship should have ended hundreds of times before it actually did, but I refused to see an ending. I was terrified of my greatness, and he provided me with boundaries to exist within—until one day those boundaries suffocated me, and I had no choice than to break free.
When I said “I Do,” I didn’t know who I would be in five years’ time, but that didn’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether my marriage lasted a month or twenty years. It doesn’t make a difference if I got married for all the wrong reasons, or all the right ones, which only turned out to be wrong in the end. It doesn’t matter if I would do it again or not (though I would); the point is, I am fearless. Even if it got bruised, my heart is even more fearless now. It’s strong in the knowledge of my experiences, and it’s ready to love again.
I’ve become a better person.
My marriage was emotionally and physically unhealthy. I spent ten years of my life becoming the person I thought that I needed to be in order to deserve love. When I finally woke up and realized that any love I would actually want wouldn’t make me change anything about myself, I had to start over.
I had to learn how to handle a home and finances on my own. I had to find new ways to pass the time; new circles of friends, new ways of doing things. I had to face my own shit, and, honestly, it wasn’t pretty. I can’t even count how many nights I spent crying in bed. I wondered if I could really do all of this. By myself.
But on the other side of the darkness is always light, and I got to see who I really was, and then make the decision about who I wanted to become. I discovered that maybe I had it in me all along, and it took the utter and total breakdown of my life for me to become what I was meant to be.
Who I am post-divorce is not the person who first sat shattered and teary-eyed at the end of something I never thought would end. But now, I can see so clearly that it had to end in order for me to be here in this moment; sometimes it’s just about not forgetting that deep down we all have a little bit of a Phoenix burning inside of us.
I am more confident, and I know exactly what I want (and I’m not afraid to say it).
When my marriage ended, I was in people pleasing mode; whatever you needed, I was ready to become if it meant that I would earn your approval and love. Since then, I’ve arrived at myself; I’ve been not only around the block but the whole damn neighborhood. I know what points I’m willing to compromise on and which I’m not. I know what I want my life to look like, not what anyone else has told me my life is supposed to look like; settling is not in my vocabulary. I have learned how to unapologetically live a life that I love. I’ve come to respect those that offer me their love and support unconditionally. Whether friend or lover, saying you love me means you love all of me; when I’m being amazing and making you laugh; when I make a mistake, or when I’m just having one of those days when I feel like running away. Love all of me, or nothing at all. I don’t have time for halves, or to convince you of my worthiness, because I already know that I deserve it.
I am so much more than meets the eyes; I am not my hair color; I am not the smile lines framing my soft lips; I am not the size of my jeans, and my worth cannot be determined by the cup size of my bra. What makes me unique—what makes me who I am—is in the lingering memories of those who know me: the feeling of freedom that I inspire in others. I know now that I don’t have to make apologies for not making sense; I practice yoga, but maybe I have a glass of wine before, and maybe after as well; I might smoke too, if the mood strikes. I’ve realized the best things in life are full of contradictions, and I have lost the desire or need to apologize for mine.
I’ve accepted that I’m (just a little bit) wild.
There were many contributing factors to why my marriage ended, but the major one was because I wasn’t honest with myself; I wasn’t living life authentically for me. Life for me is messy, unpredictable, heavily based in desire and passion. I lay topless sunning myself on the rocks around rushing waterfalls; I practice yoga in my underware under the stars with my music blaring; I’ve kissed the whiskey right out of a man who continually leaves me breathless.
I know now how I do my life will never be how we are told it’s supposed to be, and not only am I okay with that; I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Because of my divorce, I realized that no matter how much someone loves me, he will never fully own me. My heart is a wild place, and I crave the light of the full moon. I’m untamed, hopefully, madly in love with life; I don’t know what this life will hold but it amazes me, and I will continue to sit under a darkened sky and wish on shooting stars because I will always believe in the magic of life…and of love.
If you’re not yet ready for divorce:
Author: Kate Rose
Editor: Caroline Beaton