Valentine’s Day seems like a strange occasion to write about divorce, but with so much love around, it’s something I can’t get out of my mind.
A year ago next week I went to court to make my divorce legal after months of actually being separated and waiting in the Massachusetts legal system for a day before the judge. And a year ago next week, the judge did not approve the divorce because of some issues with the house, continuing to drag out what had already become the longest process ever ( and that was without kids!). The time between actually deciding to end a marriage and it becoming legally binding was almost as long as the time I was actually married- a year of lots of ups and downs for me emotionally, physically, and financially ( well more downs than ups financially). The biggest part was acknowledging my part in the decline and failure of the marriage- in no way easy and something I avoided frequently, because nothing is easier than avoiding self-reflection and the truth.
As a recovering overachiever, the idea that I had failed at something so huge as a marriage was a huge blow to my ego- I had so many successes in life, I arrogantly thought I was surrounded by a Teflon force field that deflected disappointments or failures. The ending of my marriage was a huge life failure– and something I harped on for so long– so much that the anger and disappointment in myself bled over into other aspects of life and had me crippled with fear and dishonesty. I thought I didn’t deserve greatness in love because I had screwed up so badly at marriage, thinking that I was just not the kind of person who was meant to be with someone. I thought living a life in sweatpants on the couch doing what I wanted would be more fulfilling than the prospect of sharing feelings with someone.
And of course, the answer is it’s not. That everyone deserves love of another person. I have long believed in marriage and lifetime partners ( even if not legally married) and just because I failed at a marriage I had no place in being in to begin with didn’t mean I would forever be unable to be in a life relationship.
It turns out I may be more romantic than my cynical self thought. Getting divorced opened up my eyes to all the love in the world– the things about my day I love, the family & friends who would drop anything for me, even the small acts of kindness random strangers do everyday. It made me appreciate the small things like a quiet, sunny weekend morning or that even with stress at work, I have the best coworkers. I took so much for granted in life pre-D and never really knew who I was. On the other side of self-discovery (which never really ends), I’m in love with love- and as the movie says– that it actually is all around.