Much like a roller coaster, my life has been moving at what at times feels like warp speed, up and down. It’s been a year and a half of being separated. Yes, we are slowly ripping the band-aid off. Some may say it would be easier to just pull it off already. But this process, journey really, is much too important, much too sensitive to push through simply to just get through. I do find that each step feels like my heart is being twisted. Just as I recover from one step, anther one follows not too far behind. However, after each step, I become stronger. Do I question myself? Absolutely! But I have no choice. I am a mother above anything else. It’s my job, my responsibility to make sure I am doing what is best first and foremost for my children. So I decided about a year and a half ago I would model what it means to work through adversity; to remain respectful; to always hold love; to keep priorities in line; to cherish family; to know empathy and compassion; to have self-respect; to know peace; to collaborate; to embrace. So what am I waiting for? I’m not actually. I moving forward if ever so slowly.
Have you ever felt like you are floating in that middle space? The space where your feet are not quite touching the ground. Where every day you feel like you are not able to look back yet not able to look forward. And yet I have this sense of urgency to make every moment of my life matter. It’s too short. Life is too short. It makes me think of those books. The ones where at the end of every chapter you decide in which way you want the story to go. You get a choice, which depending on the choice you make, directs you to a certain page. In some ways it’s like a scavenger hunt. This is what my life feels like right now. I am getting a choice. And every choice I make, my life turns in that direction. The direction my choice pointed me towards. At times this feels like so much pressure. Is it ironic though that being in that middle space somewhat mimics being present? Present in today. Not in the past. Not in the future. Today.
Ironic how sometimes life feels like it’s moving in slow motion while other moments feel so fleeting. If this whole process has taught me anything, it is to be present. My separation is not official in that the Court has not deemed it so. The mere thought of a Court essentially confirming and therefore making official our decision about our lives, feels so wrong. In fact the thought alone makes me defensive. Separating is so personal and quite individual in that the circumstances surrounding it can be so complex, so unique. Is it not my right to determine what is right and wrong for my family? Truly I don’t need a Court to put their stamp of approval to know this any more than I already do. But such is the process and honestly one I am not looking forward to experiencing. To be clear, this is not why our separation has hung on now for a year and a half – to simply avoid Court. It’s not about avoidance. Really it’s the opposite. We have two boys. This will shape them forever. I have learned and luckily been coached by close friends to slow down. Part of this is learning, feeling, experiencing, enduring, overcoming, teaching. Rushing through will quickly get me to the other side but so much could be lost as a result. I have been determined to show my children that we will always be a family. Yes, our family will exist differently than it once was. But is that bad? Does it have to be a negative? At the end of the day I have no one instance I can blame for getting us Here. The emotions are so deep. The layers upon layers of moments that stacked so high it toppled are complex in many ways. Also, a big part of me does not want blame to enter my space nor his. Blame won’t help, it won’t cure, it won’t fix any of this. I know as a mother I am doing what is right for my children. Isn’t that what really matters after all?
Some days it is an out of body experience. As if I am floating through my life but not connected. And yet some days I am completely grounded. Solid. Certain. I have become an expert observer of my own life. All of the not-so-good-moments I had allowed to fill me, I now observe…from a distance. I have learned my emotion, my energy, whether positive or negative does directly affect my children. They too are learning, observing, soaking it all in. What do I want to teach them? What do I want them to feel? Maybe it’s as simple as challenges lead to growth, that change does not necessarily mean defeat, that sometimes doing the right thing can be the hardest thing.
Is separating the same as quitting? When parents decide to separate does that equate to selfishness? I stood in front of 225 of my closest friends and family and vowed forever to my husband. That was nearly 15 years ago. Two beautiful boys, a wonderful home, and a seemingly seamless life and we find ourselves Here. Here is a place I fought hard not to ever reach. Here is not what I had planned. In fact, Here, is completely opposite of all that I believed and hoped for in my life. So am I quitting? Am I being selfish? Well, about a year and a half ago I found Here staring me in the face. Initially, even I looked at my life like an outsider. I wasn’t acknowledging the many layers that landed us both Here. But, I have started to peel the layers away, surround myself with positive people and discover that being Here is not quitting nor is it being selfish. It’s about discovery, awakening, clarity, and yes, love.
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong but sometimes it is letting go.” – Hermann Hesse