Every now and then my best friend asks me about my current thoughts on the jackass. I tell her so, openly and honestly. I must admit, I don’t speak negatively of him. I just don’t feel the need to. The other day though, a question came to mind that I then put to my best friend.
“How do you feel? As someone who used to know the jackass and considered him a friend, what is your memory of him?”
Many times I’ve wondered what my friends and family think of the jackass – today, 2 years post separation. And this was her reply:
“He is a distant memory. He remains someone I once knew. But also someone who caused tremendous pain and hurt to my best friend. Because of that, my memories of him are clouded. Even the good ones.”
Good to know.
Navigating a new relationship post-divorce has proven to be more challenging than I ever thought it’d be. The one thing that I’m constantly reminding myself as I wade through the waters of a brand new relationship, a fresh start is that this beautiful, genuine, kind, open, honest and loving man is NOT the jackass. But it’s not that easy. I am petrified that this man who is utterly in love with me will one day fall out of love with me. The fear is still there. It isn’t showing signs of disappearing. Not just yet. Until it does, I take this new relationship day by day.
This is what I’ve learnt over the last few months. Dating post-divorce is tricky. Very tricky. I am in the most open, honest and loving relationship I’ve ever been in. But I still have my guard up. As much as I don’t want this solid brick wall of fear between myself and this relationship, it’s there. My head knows that I don’t need it. That it needs to come down. But my heart is protecting me. My heart has a mind of its own. It’s been abandoned, it’s been broken. I don’t blame it for feeling so. Trust continues to be an acquaintance to me. It’s not a stranger, but it’s certainly not a friend. I don’t want to be this way forever. Those closest to me tell me that it takes time. It takes time to trust and let go again. Wholly. Completely. But, how much time? I’ve let go off my marriage a long time ago. I’ve come to terms with my divorce. Being in a 11-year relationship seems a lifetime ago. One that I sometimes find hard to believe even existed. But the aftermath continues. The ripple-effect is still underway. Life post-divorce continues to be a journey. A work in progress. I just hope that I have it in me to know the difference between what’s real and what’s just a side effect of my divorce. The last thing I want to do is sabotage the most real relationship I’ve ever had.
I turn 33 today. I know I’ve been absent from this space for two months now and the posts have been lacking for the majority of the year… It’s been a bit of a whirlwind my friends.
But I’m here to report that I’m happy. Happy to be here. Happy to be where I am at 33. I couldn’t ask for any more. I’m in great health, my job is secure, my family is doing well, my friends are as awesome as ever and mostly, I have met a man. One that is all kinds of wonderful and one who has treated me over the last few months in a way that no one has ever treated me before. He’s amazing.
I’m not entirely sure where it’s all heading but here simply soaking it all in and taking it for what it is. I also have plans for the future and I still have so much on my bucket list that I want to tick off. I am making promises to myself on a daily basis that the items on this list will be ticked off. They just will. Over time. There’s just no other way to live life than by following a bucket list as closely as possible.
This year is moving so fast. I’m still working hard at my personal theme for 2014 of living in the moment. At times it’s been a challenge. At other times, it’s been the most natural thing to do. Whatever it is, it will be a continued effort for the rest of the year… And beyond. I have walked my life for 33 years, I can’t wait to see where I go over the next 33 years. And more of course.
I know I’ve been pretty absent from this space for awhile. I must apologise. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, because I do. When I started this blog over eighteen months ago, my intention was to capture all that I was feeling in the moment as I went through the motions of dealing with the end of my marriage. I knew that the blog would play a significant part in my healing, not only in providing me with a ‘safe’ space in which to express how I felt (the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between) but that it would provide me with some sort of measure as to how I was progressing on this journey. So, the fact that I haven’t been writing on here and expressing myself as much as I have in the past doesn’t mean that I’m done with this journey or that there haven’t been any thoughts or emotions in relation to my divorce. That is so, so far removed from the truth. I’m pretty sure I’ll always have some thoughts or some emotion towards my divorce at any point in time no matter how far along I am in this journey. I suppose it’s just how significant they are when I’m thinking them or feeling them and how they actually affect me in the moment. This journey of mine is continuous. It’s not finished and I honestly believe that it is a never ending journey. A journey in continued self-discovery and self-exploration, in finding out what this life truly means for me and what I want it to mean. When the posts on this blog are far and few in between, it doesn’t mean that I’m no longer dealing with my divorce. My head and heart have come to terms with my divorce but that doesn’t mean that I no longer feel those feelings that come with divorce. I do. Just on a less intense scale. On a lower level.
To give you just a snippet on what’s been happening in my life over the last couple of months – I’ve started seeing someone but I’m not entirely sure what I want from it or if I want it at all. I knew dating was always on the cards for me post-separation and post-divorce, I just didn’t know when it would happen and to be honest I didn’t think it’d be this soon. I’m also now in the middle of some traveling and it’s been such a different experience to my travels last year. I promise I’ll post an update on the love and travel when I’m home in a week.
Tiny revelation happened tonight. Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across the most precious photo of a friend’s husband and three children. All cuddled up in bed. It was captioned “So much love”. So here’s the thing. I am happy being child-free right now. Yes, if I were with the right person right this moment, sure I’d have kids. But, the fact that I am single? Well, it’s actually pretty good being child-free and being able to do whatever the hell I want to do. When I see a random baby down the street, I go as far as thinking it’s cute. But that’s about it. When I see a baby of someone I know, it makes me feel… well sad. Of course sadness isn’t the only emotion that comes along with it, there’s love, there’s admiration (on the parent’s part – babies and toddlers are super hard work!), there’s gratefulness. But I can’t help but feel that weird kinda sadness. A sadness that’s a little bit of a mix of grief, regret and envy. In the least negative way, I should add. It’s just weird.
Admittedly I still have a few of the jackass’ friends on my Facebook account. Not many, only a few. Lucky for me there is never anything about the jackass on their newsfeed so I’m okay there. But. I do get news of their lives. Today I learnt that one of them is newly pregnant. Fantastic news of course, but I can’t help but think that that was almost me. This particular friend got married three months before we did. I’m pretty sure had the jackass and I remained in our marriage, we’d be pregnant by now too. I’m not sad, I’m just a little melancholy about it all. It’s funny where life takes us.
Instead of nappies or strollers or breast feeding on my mind, I have other things occupying me like planning my next travel adventure. Travel is always on my mind. Lately I’ve been pondering on how I’ll fit in more of the world in my life. It’s absolutely magic that I get the opportunity to travel to different places over weeks at a time. But I’m trying to think outside the box. I’m yearning something a little more than just saying hello to a city for a few days. I’m yearning something more. At this stage, I’m seriously considering a career break, I don’t know, somewhere along the six to twelve month timeframe. I just want to see the world. Immerse myself in a different life. Live outside my comfort zone. Challenge my heart, challenge my being. What better way to do that than to explore beautiful places, learning a new language and living in a different world to what I’ve always known. I’m yearning for more growth, more knowledge, more perspective, more life lessons… I know they’re bountiful, endless and just waiting for me. It’s up to me to go in search for them.
These are just thoughts. For now. We’ll see where I can take them. More pondering to follow. Life is good. I’m happy. I’m well. I hope you are too. Have a wonderful week, friends.
Just the other day, I sat on my sister’s couch with my 7-year old nephew and 4-year old niece by my side. I was wearing a heart-shaped ring and it caught my nephew’s eye. As he took the ring off my finger, this conversation followed:
Nephew: Is this your wedding ring?
Me: No, it isn’t. It’s just my ring.
Nephew: Why don’t you have a wedding ring anymore?
Me: I guess because I’m not married anymore.
Niece: You don’t have a husband?
Me: No, I don’t.
Nephew: Why don’t you have a husband?
Me: I don’t need a husband.
Niece: Why don’t you need a husband?
Me: Well, because all I need is myself… And YOU!
And that was that. Mind you, these are kids who up until 18 months ago, knew the jackass as their uncle. He was all they ever knew as the jackass had been in their lives the moment they were born. For a few months after our separation they asked about the jackass. But then the questions stopped and very, very rarely these days do they ask me about being married. They’re kids being kids – curious and always wondering. After all, they were so much a part of our wedding day. I just wanted them to know that sometimes things happen and they don’t always turn out the way you’d imagine them to be, and that’s okay. That’s life. I want them to know that their happiness is not dependent on someone else. That if they’re happy with themselves, then that’s good enough.
It’s amazing how much can happen in a matter of a few weeks. I feel like I’m going through a mini-emotional tornado right now. My head is spinning, my heart is slightly aching for the first time in a long time in a very different way. There is a man in my life. But of course, as love always is, or as it always seems to be anyway, it’s complicated. In time, I’ll share more. But for now, I need to somehow figure out where I stand in all of this and what I’m going to do about it. Hope you’re all having a good week so far. Mine is, well, a little crazy.
I had a little revelation today. My best friend is going through a tough time. Being a new mother is hard. Being a parent is hard. I don’t need to have borne a child myself to know that. My amazing friend is going through some major post-natal depression right now and I’m doing all I can to give her the support that she needs and to just be there for her. I feel such an intense need to be there for her out of love and loyalty – but it’s hard. I feel extremely helpless. And there are times when I feel like I’m the worst advice-giver in the world. I hardly ever know the right thing to say.
The thing is, she’s in this temporary state of depression and she readily admits that she is irrational and that she needs to get out of this funk. She just doesn’t know how to and then it all tends to spiral downwards. I won’t begin to compare my divorce to this journey she’s experiencing because we are both in completely different situations. But I do know what it’s like to be in a funk so deep that it just seems impossible to climb out of. That was the case for me at the start of it all.
At the start, I would find myself falling into dark emotional abysses constantly. I’d have no idea how to pull myself out of them. How to just ‘snap’ out of it. I knew I had to but it all seemed impossible. There were times I was convinced that I’d be unhappy, depressed and just sad… Forever. But the thing is, I truly believe that the human spirit is a resilient one. We, as human beings, we learn. We adapt. That is, if we let it. If we accept our circumstances for what they are, choose to acknowledge our problems, choose to do something about them, even though there may not be an immediate solution, I think we give ourselves the power to make changes. Positive changes. Time. Sometimes we just need time. To learn and to heal.
Today, I realised that with time, I learnt how to snap out of funks I tend to fall deeply into from time to time. As time goes by, I get a little better at it. I let myself wallow and cry if I need to. I let myself feel sorry for myself, a little, if I need to. I let my heart do whatever it needs to do and I let it feel whatever it needs to feel. And then I start to snap out of it, as quickly as I can. Because I know it’s no place to be. That dark, sad place is no place to be. Time has allowed me to process my thoughts and feelings more quickly whenever I find myself to be in a funk. It has allowed me to learn to be a little quicker in swapping negative and irrational thoughts for logical and rational thoughts instead.
I know it’s tough for my best friend and she’s slowly learning to get herself out of funks. She’s finding it hard to do so but I have no doubt in time, like me, she’ll be thinking rationally and logically again. Life is certainly full of challenges. It’s no bed of roses. I’m just thankful that my own hardships have taught me life lessons that constantly prove invaluable. Sometimes the best lessons are learnt the hard way. And the truth is, I’d rather go through hell and back to learn a great life lesson than not at all.