I am feeling like a small canoe lost at sea. I am floating around, and I look rather normal up close. It is only unless you look a little longer and see the bigger picture do you see just how lost I really am. So here I go lost and floating around out into the greater world waiting for that stranger to boldly wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. I will smile and say, “Thank you.”
When my 18-year partnership abruptly ended in late 2015, my life completely fell apart. It was a complete shitshow… kind of like this year. Here’s how surviving divorce taught me 9 lessons that are helping me survive 2020.
I truly want to believe that it doesn’t take heartbreak to make you remember the love inside you… But evidence suggests that it takes that agony, that searing burn of loneliness and anxiety and isolation to truly help you find the lover that’s been within you, waiting for you, all this time.
I’m not an expert on grief. I haven’t read the self-help books. I rarely take heed of anyone’s advice on how to grieve. Joan Didion famously wrote a meditation on grief that is equal parts beautiful and sad. She tells us that grief has no end, and that it’s nothing like we expect it to be. She describes the “comes in waves” phenomenon, which nobody can quite nail down in words but everyone knows exactly what it means when it’s said.
I can’t compare my grief to ocean waves, however. For me, it’s more like a car crash that you see coming but are helpless to stop — one that leaves you damaged and scarred, inside and out.
My husband recently told me he definitively doesn’t want children. I knew he’d been leaning that way over the past few years so we’ve been waiting. Silly me, I’d always thought he’d eventually change his mind. If I’m honest my heart is quite broken. I’ve always looked forward to being a parent. How do I move from wanting a child to child-free?
My daughter threw a 30 minute tantrum today. I say tantrum, but I look at it through more of an RIE parenting lens, so really, she had a 30-minute emotional release. When we were about 20 minutes in, I started to wonder what the world might be like if everyone were able to have such emotional releases. If there was a judgment-free, intervention-free place where adults, teens, or children could express their anger or frustration or confusion or sadness or whatever else they might be feeling and have others quietly and courageously bear witness.
I’m also a hopeless romantic and always fantasized that my relationships would be like Ethan Embry and Jennifer Love Hewitt’s in Can’t Hardly Wait. Here I am at 31, a single divorcee — a feeling I truly haven’t experienced since before I was 19. And you know what? It’s liberating…
I’m not a parent, but I want to be. However, after five years of trying to get pregnant and going in circles about the pros and cons of adoption, my partner and I decided it was best for us to stop trying. We’re not preventing pregnancy, so there is still a chance, but the statistics are not on our side given the amount of time we’ve been trying and our respective ages.
That was two years ago. Here’s how we’re moving forward with a life without children when we planned for them in our lives…