It’s all hard. Childhood, adulthood, being married, being single, being a parent, not being a parent, working, not working. Everything you can dream up has it’s own pros and cons, it’s own obstacles to overcome. For me, being married was hard. We made great friends but as the years went on, I felt less and less like I had a partner. Just someone else to take care of, another person to fit me into a little box that made me who they wanted me to be. Getting divorced was even harder albeit shorter. Both had far reaching consequences, both were life changing, both had ups and downs.
I didn’t take getting divorced lightly. I really struggled with that decision. I didn’t want to be alone. I didn’t want to be a two household family, miss half of my kids lives, not have a best friend. I was terrified of starting over but I was more terrified to keep going down the same path.
Beginning the divorce process wrecked me. Telling the kids, our friends and family. Knowing it would be in the paper for anyone who recognized our names to take an interest in. It seemed like everyone that didn’t matter suddenly wanted to reconnect, everyone felt like a double agent, quick to tell either of us what the other was up to. Even the ladies in the grocery store took sides. We’ve been separated/divorced for 2 years and I still get dirty looks.
Going to the courthouse alone to file, the long talks together about what the rest of our kids childhood years would look like. Me being terrified that not working for the last 10 years was the wrong choice. How would the court ever agree to me having the kids half of the time if I couldn’t get a job. In the moments that we got along, I wondered why it couldn’t always be this easy, only to remember that it was never fighting that was the problem. It was how alone I felt even when he was there, how unheard and unseen I felt by everyone around me, but especially the person I had promised to do life with. It was all hard.
The first Halloween, then Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and finally M’s birthday. It was hard being together and harder on the kids if we would have been apart. Listening to my kids cry for their dad. Or hear them telling me that some people believe we could still work it out and that maybe we should “pray about it”.
Time passed and at different times we both started talking to (is that still the term) other people. Explaining it to the kids, but also trying to keep them shielded from the things that weren’t really any of their business.
If you have kids, divorced or not, you know people love using kids to get information that they don’t have the balls to ask you for.
The first year after getting divorced throws you for a loop, just when you start to gain some ground, something else comes along that you have to deal with. Do you change or name or not, if you do decided to change it there’s the paperwork..oh the paperwork. Your license, bank, credit cards, car title, mortgage or lease. Don’t forget every place you have ever shopped online. Months pass then suddenly your married name pops up again. The emotions that can come with that?…Ya guessed it, it’s hard.
Figuring out who you are on your own, finding your circle of friends, starting to date, introducing your old friends and family and kids to a new person. Being careful to not make the same mistakes, but also wondering are you moving too fast, feeling defined by a past relationship that you are trying to let go of. Making room for someone new and all the feeling that come along with that….It’s hard!
All those hard things will start to bloom into something beautiful. It won’t feel like it in the beginning but things get easier. You become stronger, more secure in who you are now. The past version of you will fade. You stop feeling so defined by who you were and more aware of who you are now, and who you’re becoming. It’s all hard, nothing worth having comes easy, You just have to choose your hard.