3 years. It has officially been a little over 3 years since I started writing here. 3 roller coaster years of chronicling the highs and lows of the the despair and simultaneous exhilarating freedom of my divorce and subsequent finding of myself (although I fear I am still not quite found, and perhaps I never will be).
Things are strange these days. In so many ways, I feel lost and worrisome all too often. Riddled with insomnia and anxiety over the looming changes in my life. But all at the same time, many of these changes are for the better. And I really do, firmly believe this. Just change is…hard. And scary. Really, really scary. And it can be so easy to get wrapped up in this terror that, for me, is a package deal that comes neatly tied to any kind of change.
But then days like this happen.
…Days where I am signing for something and I realize that I now, finally, can sign my maiden name instead of my married name (since that process has taken me years longer than the actual divorce).
…Days where I am sitting at a concert, my hand lingering in my partners, and a song comes on that was an anthem to my initial separation, and it hits me how unexpectedly different life is today. I even get a little misty as I remember how scared and hollow I was then, using this song (among others) to feel stronger than I really was. It makes me realize I am happy and healthy I am now, and how incredible it is to have a partner who is actually willing to attend a concert with me, even if it’s not his favorite band, just so I have the opportunity to go.
…Days where I get a notification that this blog has existed for three years. And I start sifting through old posts from the start of my blogging days, and I don’t recognize the person who wrote those posts. I am so detached from that person, it doesn’t even feel like it could possibly be myself.
In light of all this change, I have pondered some things that I really have learned over the last four years as my marriage evolved from existent to null. In true cornball fashion (my last few posts have been a bit heavy, anyway, no?) this is what I have come up with:
- It’s totally OK to want to be taken care of by a man. It doesn’t mean you aren’t a strong, feminist woman. Just don’t let any man take care of you financially. It is harder to subsist on your own, but the comfort of knowing you can carry yourself is worth it.
- It’s bullshit to say “love like you’ve never been hurt”. Use that hurt to protect yourself, learn from it and do better in the next relationship.
- Always keep an open mind. About everything. Literally, about everything and everyone.
- Don’t be a martyr. Your life is your own; you need to do you. Know the difference between being selfish and self care.
- You are too old (and responsible) to party more than once a week and/or on a weeknight anymore. Sorry.
- No one- absolutely no one– knows what the fuck they’re doing when it comes to relationships. Or most of anything else about life for that matter.
- Summers are no longer about ‘livin’ easy’. You’re an adult now. They best thing that might happen to you all summer long is the fact that you don’t need to wear a coat. Get over it.
- Sometimes, it’s ok to not forgive.
- It’s completely OK to hate being single. It doesn’t make you any less of an independent person, or needy or anything else negative. The majority of people pair off into relationships because it is empirically really nice to have a partner in this life.
- Figuring out who you are and what you want to do with your life is hard work. Don’t expect it to just come to you naturally.
- People aren’t always rotten just because they do rotten things.
- People aren’t always good people because they do nice things.
- Things are just things- no matter how sentimental. Your life will go on without them and the memories surrounding them will stick with you even when the objects are gone.
- Some people just aren’t worth the energy to engage with. Maybe they’re right, maybe they’re wrong. Maybe they are screwing you over. It doesn’t always matter. If it’s sucking your energy dry, just walk away.
- Talk to strangers. You never know who you will meet and where it will lead.
- You do not always need to be the life of the party.
- You do not need to make apologies about needing alone time.
- You do not need to make apologies for having a boyfriend and spending time with him, even if it sometimes comes at the expense of spending time with your friends.
- You are not the expert or authority on anyone or anything. Ever.
- Give love a chance. Don’t just say you are. Actually do it.
- You cannot plan out your life. Life unfolds in the most random, if not mysterious of ways.
- Remember that there is no designated life timeline. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.