So yesterday, after 11 months, (can you believe that!?) It's finally final. What a relief. I won't lie though, I did have my share of wine and ice cream. I've said this about 467 times but it was definitely bittersweet. I hate divorce. It's sad and depressing and WOW does it make you look at life differently. Surprisingly though, in a better way. At least in my case. I don't know how many times I was cheated on, 7 at the last count, but it doesn't really matter. Each time it hurt less and less and each time I knew I deserved better. I became numb to the feeling and went straight into problem solving mode. I learned a lot about the kind of person that I am. That I will do anything for someone that I love, no matter what the consequence for myself. Over the years I have lost many friends and made a few enemies but I stuck to my conviction that God would help me through this mess and that he would eventually heal Stephen and free him from his addiction. I learned that I have persistance and extreme patience. I was right that God would help me get through this mess. And I was right that God will eventually help Stephen, but he has to want to be helped. When I asked God to help me get out, he did. So I can have peace that my prayers were answered and even though the one that spent ink in my journal every night wasn't answered with a resounding yes, it was still answered.
I am lucky, blessed, grateful... that I have had so many friends and family by my side to give me strength when mine was gone. I was so tired of being the strong one and always hiding what was going on behind closed doors that I had to pass the baton and let someone else hold ME up for a minute. Something else I learned about myself, I hate help. I hated having to let someone help me. I wanted to be able to do it myself, but I knew I couldn't. So I learned to be humble and ask the hardest question I've ever asked, "Will you help me?" To which my mother replied, "Finally!" in her innermost thoughts.
I also learned that while you wish your broken heart would just kill you, it won't. After the physical pain stops, the emotional pain starts to fade as well. And when the emotional pain is gone, the battle of head and heart begins. The head says, not yet. The heart says, one vacancy! Then back and forth it goes. Until one day they agree, with stipulations of course. The heart wants to love and be loved. But the head argues that it has to be someone special. The heart agrees and is floating around like a teenager with a crush. It's silly. But it feels that way.
It seems there's an order to things now. Life has a to do list. Which seems odd because I've always been a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person. Always jumping at what seemed like great opportunities...and then. (thoughtful silence) I'm more cautious now which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I believe God needed me to learn this lesson for me to be able to recognize a good thing from a great thing. To slow me down before making a hasty decision.
I have goals beyond marriage and children, even though those are still on the list. I want a house, a success, a friend, intimacy (not sex), and a stronger relationship with myself and with God. My mom said it best when she said that the person I will end up with may already be in my life, but we won't find each other until I have found myself and he has found what I want him to find in me. I believe she's right. I know myself. What I want in a person, what I like and don't like, my political views, religious views, and where I see myself in life 10, 20, 30 years from now. I don't think that's what she meant. I think she meant, when I find myself with the ability to show someone all of these things and to also have something tangible to show. My mom knows I am not a lost soul searching for my purpose in life. But she knows I'm not where I want to be yet. Am I further than I was 11 months ago? Yes. Will I be close in another 11 months? Probably, but why test God? It's better to trust him. That's the most important lesson I've learned.
In the meantime though, I'm enjoying the journey. God helped me get out of the back alley and back into the hustle and bustle of Possibility. So I'm going to have fun and enjoy the walk and let Him direct my travels through the obstacles and many destinations. Because what is life really, if not a thousand destinations and one final rest?
Another great lesson to learn in all of this is to find the humor where it lies. Of course divorce is never funny. But the way out of it is hysterical. The running out of boxes when the moving truck pulls up and you still have two rooms to pack, funny. Driving across the country with your mother, a dog, and 2 unhappy cats... definitely a trip. Moving into an apartment only to find that you have a 2 bedroom house full of stuff and zero storage, humor people. Driving a stick for the first time in the snow, now THAT was funny. I was convinced my funeral was near. But seriously, the thought of dating again... that has to be the funniest of all.