I got divorced this week.
On Tuesday morning I stood in regional family court in front of a magistrate, alone. No lawyer. No (ex) husband. No one. Just me and the judge and the court staff and people waiting for their turn. I stood and I confirmed the end of my marriage. I confirmed that I am the sole carer for my two year old daughter. I confirmed what the paperwork said… This marriage is over.
And that was it.
I walked out. Alone. And it was done.
I could say that something profound happened after, but it didn’t. I cried a little in the car, partly with sadness and partly with relief. It’s over. The day I left my husband I knew that the marriage was over, even though I tried to forgive … in my heart I knew I never would be able to forgive him enough to take him back. I knew I could forgive myself, I knew that I could move on… but it quickly became clear that the only way forward was to separate. But none of that makes it easier. When I married my husband I loved him. I loved him very, very much. I always will to some extent, if not for me then for Bo. So I cried a little for the woman I was the day I stood in a little islamic marriage hall and vowed to love my husband for the rest of my life. I cried a little for that young woman I was, trapped in a corner with a pregnancy out of wedlock to a wild and gorgeous surfer who she loved. Standing in court was the end of the dreams that I held onto so tightly that day, dreams that I thought would save us.
Loving someone is not enough to keep them faithful. Loving someone is not enough to make a relationship work.
I didn’t have a celebration. I didn’t throw a divorce party, like so many people told me I should. I didn’t feel like celebrating or drowning my sorrows or anything, I felt mostly relieved… and a little sad. A little sad knowing that my ex husband was in New Zealand doing his pro-surfing thing and had absolutely no idea that he was getting divorced that day. He’d given up his involvement in the whole process long ago. I wondered if I should call him and let him know… I wondered if he’d want to know.
I went to work after and sat eating chips and pizza with a bunch of loud, gorgeous teenagers who are juggling and struggling with the challenges and obstacles that come with learning to navigate the world on your own. We laughed and told stories and put our feet up on the tables and it was like it had never happened. It was like nothing had happened and I suppose in the grand scheme of things, nothing had. Much like my wedding day, I was more or less alone when I signed up to this union, it seemed fitting that I was alone when it ended…
I never thought I would be the single parent of a powerful, strong willed tiny human – or any tiny human, for that matter. But I am. I always dreamed I would have a tribe of tiny humans to call my own… some times at night I sit alone on the couch and I feel the sadness that comes with disappointment. The sadness that comes from feeling like someone has taken away part of your future. I feel sadness for Bo, sad for her that she doesn’t have a dad or any siblings in her life. Sometimes I feel sad for us. And then I let it go… I remember how much we have and how lucky we are to live a life with so much choice and so much freedom. We may never be the big, close, beautiful family that I had always planned… we may always be just two…
Life doesn’t often turn out the way we plan, and that’s ok. Because even though we plan and we plan and we plan… the shit is bound to hit the fan in some way or another. And then our plans all fall apart. There are so many things we cannot change, but there are also so many things that we can. And if we really listen to ourselves when it feels like the sky is falling, we just might have the opportunity to gain a little perspective and end up exactly where we are meant to be.
Letting go of dreams is hard. Letting go of love is hard. Standing up and building a new life is hard. Sometimes it’s really easy to lose perspective and get caught up in our own shit and forget just how lucky we are to live the lives that we have. It’s never, ever too hard.
No great light comes without great shadows. No honest life was made from light alone.