A little under two weeks ago, I told my husband that I wanted a divorce. Our marriage has been fading for months and months but he has taken it as a sudden and cruel decision. I understand and also know that he hasn’t been listening to me for a long time. Perhaps he didn’t want to hear me or perhaps he didn’t think I was serious. Either way, my life feels impossible right now.
It feels impossible to untangle myself from ten years worth of security and identity.
I know I must end my marriage, I am sure of this. But this is the only thing I am sure of. There are many moments when my rose colored glasses fall over my eyes and I forget why I am putting myself through this. Is it really that bad? I ask myself a hundred times a day. Do you think you’re being a little too sensitive or ridiculous?
I wish I could skip to the part months or years from now when this decision, this inner knowing, makes sense. I want to skip to the part where I have found the life I am searching for and he has found the life that’s right for him. I want the part where we can rekindle a friendship and mutual respect for one another.
Alas, it is not to be. The only way is through. Through the tears and loneliness and isolation. Through the hurtful phone conversations and raw memories and family heartbreak. Through the relentless free-fall of a lost identity.
I only wish I could catch a glimpse of what awaits me on the other side of goodbye.
Isn’t it funny how we can get so worked up in the moment? So unable to see the other side? So angry and so self righteous?
Then, we give the thing room to breathe. We do other things, shop for groceries, watch the sun set.
Then we revisit the moment in our mind and its power has vanished.
Where did all that energy go? Why am I suddenly able to forgive, even forget?
This happened today and I think it means that I am growing up, slowly, painfully, but surely.
I had a lot of nervous energy today and decided to go for a run.
To be clear, I don’t really ‘run’. I jog until I start to get a little hot and then wander around in running shoes.
I go to the lake by my house almost everyday but never really noticed the tree before. Today it called to me. Today it reached out to shake me until I opened my eyes. I tried to keep walking but there was a strange invisible force field keeping me in place.
I wanted to climb the tree.
No, I needed to climb the tree.
I pulled myself up along its sturdy body. The ground got farther away and it occurred to me that I could probably die if I fell from this height. I didn’t stop. I knew where I was going.
Just a little ways up, I reached a soft swoop in one of the more reliable branches. It was nearly flat and I could sit on it like a bench. A floating bench.
I sat awaiting further instructions but none came. Only a soft, peaceful, feeling in my body. It was as if the tree was whispering don’t worry, everything is going to be ok.
I sat in the stilllness for a time, vowing to spend more time with the trees.
It’s January 16, 2018.
I have promised my husband that I will stop reading self-help books this year.
I have been devouring self-improvement for the last 10 years and I’m scared of what will happen to me if I let my consciousness venture away from the pursuit of personal perfection.
I have to laugh at that.
Self help books have not brought me any closer to ‘perfection’. If anything, they have illuminated the vast distances I still must travel to even scratch the surface.
The honest to god truth is that these books are my little comfort blankets. As long as I am in the middle of one, I can’t be expected to really make any changes now, can I? I’m still in the learning phase, after all. I can curl up into them, rub my warm cheek against them, let them keep me safe from whatever lies beyond the starting line.
They keep me in denial. This way, I never actually have to do the work to grow.
I think this journal entry is a good sign. I have done an awful lot of reading about writing to avoid the act of putting pen to page.
It’s a Tuesday. I’m tired and cranky, but here I am writing something.
I do miss them though.