Two years. Two years and four months to be exact. It’s been over two years since I sat down to write. Something that used to come so naturally and bring so much joy to my soul was simply another casualty of what was undoubtedly, the hardest two (let’s be honest, three) years of my life. My story is one you have heard before; kids who didn’t know any better and wouldn’t listen to reason, fell in love, got married way too young, and then did their damndest to make it work. Unfortunately, it didn’t. After 11 years of marriage, two kids, three dogs and two houses later, it was time to figure out how to start over. How exactly does one start over when so much of your life is still tied to the man that was once your entire world? Kids meant there would be no clean break, no ability to shake hands and part ways as friends – and while I wish I could tell you that we were one of the lucky few that remained civil and on good terms throughout the process, for the sake of the kids, that simply isn’t true.
Marriage is hard, divorce is harder; but in the end, staying in a relationship that has dissolved past the point of repair, regardless of the reasons, is a pain you cannot continue to bear without it taking its toll on the very essence of what once made you, you. I don’t remember exactly when I realized that I could no longer live the life I had created, I think I had known it for a while, I just had to find the courage to listen. Then it happened, one day I had had enough. One day I finally listened to those very dark edges of my soul, to those parts I had ignored for so very long. One day I realized that I could no longer live the life that I had so carefully constructed around me. A life that, to all outwardly appearances, was nearly perfect. Large designer home with a perfectly manicured lawn, two children in a prestigious private school, a job with a large well-respected company and a marriage that many of our friends often commented on as enviable…but behind that façade was a lie. A lie I could no longer live. My soul screamed for more. I was more than a mother. I was more than a wife. I was me…but the question I could not answer was, who exactly was that after so many years of living the ‘perfect’ life?
I could write for days on what got us to the end, on what it did to my children and how they must now live a dual life, and maybe one day I will, but not today. Today I am ready to let go. I am ready to not feel guilty for being happy. For landing on my feet and coming out better on the other side. I am ready to accept what I can control and let go of that that I cannot. I am ready to allow myself to be okay with the decision that was made that will forever impact the lives of those around me. I am ready to be okay with me, again.
As I sit to write this, I can honestly say it is from a place of peace and acceptance. I am here in my beautiful home, one I have made my own, because, well…. It’s just me, and I can. My children are outside, venturing to the nearest park, no doubt to meet up with neighborhood friends. In a few weeks I am off to breathtaking Banff, Canada for a job that not only challenges me, but brings me fulfillment in a way I never knew a job could. It’s been two years since my world fell to pieces and yet, I don’t know that I would change one minute of any of it. In two years, I have learned more about myself than I ever had previously in the 30 some odd years before. I have learned that life, does in fact move on; whether you are ready to move with it or stand stubbornly in place is up to you. I have learned that tears shed over a glass of wine with a good friend can heal more wounds than hours with the best therapist. I have learned to let my children tell me when they are ready, and more importantly, I have learned to listen to what it is they aren’t saying. I have learned that being on your own does not mean you are lonely. And most importantly, I have learned that I am stronger than I had ever given myself credit for (and trust me, you are too).
Two years, it’s amazing the amount of life one can live in such a short amount of time. For my youngest, two years is a third of her life, and yet for me, it seems as though it’s gone by in the blink of an eye. Two years ago, I sat staring at the unknown, the weight of the world and two very innocent lives in my hands. If someone had told me then that in such a short amount of time, I would be a better mother, employee, friend…I wouldn’t have believed them, because two years ago, I was lost. Not just because I had no idea what was going to happen next, but because I had lost myself. I had lost what made me, me. Well, two years later I am here to tell you that I’m back. Two years later I am genuinely content with the little life my girls and I have created. Two years later and I am once again, me.