One year ago today, I came home and my husband told me he wanted a divorce. I remember him uttering the words "I'm tired of doing what everyone expects me to do!" He was frustrated. He had had enough.
I could see, feel, and hear the difference in his being. He was finally taking charge and made a non-negotiable choice for himself and his happiness. It was the first time he had done that, especially in the 6 years I had known him. From where I sat on the other end of the couch, it seemed as though he had agreed his life away. It was clear that he felt resentment. He said what he needed to say and he made it clear that marriage was a mistake. Whatever it took to wake him up, something surely did.
I was blindsided. I didn't understand. We were cruising right along in life. I thought I was going to become a mom soon. We were house shopping. We were planning family vacations. We were planning life...but the story didn't go that way and I had new facts to face. What was created over 6 years had ended in a 45 minute conversation. Our marriage was over. The picket fence vision I had created for my life was suddenly bulldozed. Everything I spent 26 years picturing had vanished.
Our relationship ended that night but I cannot say I was at all prepared to be 27, divorced, and now....single?!?! I lost a husband and a huge family that I loved so dearly. I was asked quite often in those following months what I would do. Where would I go. What now? What's next? All the while, when I I considered my future, I saw nothing. Blackness. Darkness. Nothingness.
Being the 'woman' that I am, I was determined to be strong about this. I was determined to be okay and not let this divorce define me. I would be strong. I would be fine. I would overcome. So I forged on. I worked long hours, went home to pack every night, transferred jobs, moved apartments, and worked more. I tried with all my might to just keep chugging along.
Well I wasn't fine. I was confused. I was scared. I felt rejected and I didn't know what I could have possibly done any different or better. I felt rejected for being me. I felt like my passion and love and loyalty made this 'go wrong' as if I drove him away. It took months after divorce of working to continue to become myself that I realized I wasn't being me in marriage. I was compromising who I am, where I wanted to live, and how I wanted to live in order to have that picture perfect picket fence. I was trying to live up to all I thought I should be as opposed to anything I wanted to actually be doing. For the first time I understood what Tim meant. I was tired of doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing.
Tim's words have resonated in my head at least a few times.... "I'm tired of doing what everyone expects me to do." I've done a lot of reflecting over the past year and I can confidently confirm that I was spending most of my days living up to other people's expectations of me. I never stopped to decide if we were compatible. I was working to be perfect. I was working to have 'made it.' I was working to keep up with The Joneses....and I had had enough.
I too got tired of doing what others thought I should be doing. The funniest part of all of it...no one actually told me I had to be doing life in this specific order and time frame. Some had even tried to slow me down...shocker, right!?!? No one was putting that pressure on but me. I had convinced myself that 'this way' was right and 'that way' was wrong. I was more committed to the image of who I was than who I actually was. I realized how hard I was working to create the illusion of achievement, success, and happiness instead of just living and being it.
I spent the year learning Me again. I hadn't known Single Abby in over a decade. I didn't know Independent Abby. I didn't know Abby who knew her worth and I had NO IDEA who Abby as Woman was. This journey and evolution has been exhilarating and enlightening.
I began choosing things that are extensions and expressions of me and my true essence. I can say that this year has the wackiest roller coaster I have ever been on. The highest were the highest and the lows were the scariest. I shed layers and layers of expectations. I let go everything and whatever I'm still holding on to, I'm working on letting go.
I am full. I am whole and I am complete. Everything in my life is a blessing. Whether it is there to teach me a lesson or to enrich my life with laughter, every single thing is a blessing. I live blessed. I live happy. I live in love.
February 10th, 2016, my husband let me free. My husband let me be. I got a second chance and a swift kick in the dupa to get to livin'!
My Guardian Angel whispered over my shoulder, "Wake up sleepy-head, you've got a life to live."
I've never been able to turn off my dreams but I had been too afraid to chase them. Because what on Earth if I actually catch them? If I actually go for my dream life, it would mean going above and beyond my comfort zone. That white picket fence was my comfort zone and I was chasing happy every day. Today, I live it.
Live the life you love.