Monday, December 10, 2007

Three Weeks

And my marriage will finally come to a successful conclusion. Although it appears that I failed at both marriage and divorce, this chapter will soon be over and chapter 37 will soon begin. Last year at this time, I was just trying to get through the end of the year and was so hopeful that 2007 would be better.

I am a different kind of hopeful now. 2007 kicked my ass a little harder than 2006, as I realized that I had many unrealistic and flat out inaccurate assessments of certain friends and relationships. I had not done the heavy lifting of figuring out where I wanted to go from here and often lost myself in diversions, most of my own creation. The most important lesson I learned is that if you aren't honest with yourself and your relationships, they will inevitably blow up when you least expect it. Actually, make that the second most important lesson I learned. The most important is one that I always knew, but forgot along the way: life is meant to be lived deliberately (deference given here to Thoreau).

I have spent the better part of the last three months just being quiet, all evidence on this blog to the contrary. Sometimes, if you just shut the fuck up and accept that you aren't firing on all cylinders, you can prevent errors in judgment. I am not ready to share my life with anyone right now, at least not romantically, and I am cool like Fonzie with that. The end - the true end - of my relationship with B has finally come about, as I have reached the state of mind I never thought I would attain - absolute indifference. Although I realize it was just weeks ago that I was crying in public, I think I was just letting go and saying goodbye to those chapters of my life. It is difficult to do that, at least for me, because those chapters were important and significant. However, I have come to realize that saying goodbye doesn't mean negating those chapters or pretending they didn't happen. It just means moving on and daring to imagine a different life for yourself - one that probably doesn't look anything like the one you once had.

Truthfully, I think I was scared to do that - scared to fully imagine a life independent of B and our former life and history together. That has only taken me three and a half years to admit, which is kind of pathetic. I was talking with a friend of mine who is also going through a divorce and it has been fascinating to hear it from the other side. To completely mangle a Tolstoy quote, all happy marriages resemble each other, but each unhappy marriage is unhappy in its own way. While all divorce stories do start to resemble each other after a while, every person I know that has gone through a divorce has their own unique battle scars and baggage.

Although I know that it takes great perseverance and commitment to work on a failing marriage, I also now know that it takes an equal, if not greater amount, of courage to leave a relationship that is comfortable but not fulfilling. I now know that there is careful choreography in figuring out when to stay and fight and when to raise the white flag. In our case, we failed at staying and fighting when change and improvement was possible, then denied ourselves when it was clearly time to walk away. As much as I like to assign blame to B for needlessly keeping me in his life, I permitted it. Was it a waste of time? I am not sure, as I don't know that I would be this peaceful and genuinely okay with the end. I made a shit ton of mistakes where he and I and us were concerned, but I am finally okay with them and ready to move the fuck on.

I am all about silver linings and mine is that I know better now. I know more about communication and bullying and that choosing your battles means more than letting shit slide for the purposes of marital harmony. I still believe in picking your battles, of course, and letting the petty shit slide, but I have found a voice that I had silenced for too long. As I am just learning to speak with this particular accent, I am going to take it slow and deliberately for a while and start listening to that particular voice a little more carefully.

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