Somewhere between being completely broken and the first real feeling of solid ground it just sort of happens. It's not even something that you know is happening, it just does. Things just simply start to make a little more sense every day and the aches that were like shards of glass in your heart yesterday become nothing more than a sliver you picked out and healed from.
But before that day comes there are memories. Oh, all the memories. They play that little trick of dancing inside your soul and taunting you with that game of "catch me if you can." Before you know it you are on a dead sprint running and reaching to have just one more hand in the game. They pick the best times too, don't they? When you are walking through the store and you see a cute couple holding hands and giggling. You start analyzing the depths of their love. How long will it last? And then here it comes...the "I remember when." That clever little memory just snuck in there when you were trying desperately to avoid it with some negative memory to supersede it. That is exactly what happened to me today. I was sitting at my desk listening to songs through my headphones while updating reports and suddenly the date appeared in front of me. August 26th. It wasn't even a minute later when Fine Frenzy came on with "Almost Lover." (well played Pandora) Tomorrow marks 10 years since the first date for JAC's Daddy and I. And in an instant the memories from that day came flashing like beams of lightning one after another. But where there would have been tears 5 months ago with those memories, today there were smiles. Don't get me wrong making the decision to separate was the hardest thing I have ever done. It wasn't overnight and it wasn't part of my big plan. I'm not for promoting thumbs ups on divorces, truly I am not. Sometimes it really is just all you are left with. And I think we are gradually getting to a better place with one another. That simple little smile was a glimpse of that.
So that led me to this post.
I'm sure many people (not all) can relate to what I am about to say. I dreamed about being a wife and a Mommy so long ago I can't even remember a time when I didn't. I dreamed of our family having the perfect house, the perfect dogs, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect. But really as far back as I can remember it was far from anything close. If I am going to be honest, which I hope that you always get that from me, it was chaos. A lot of chaos. More tears than I thought any one person could cry in a lifetime. From the broken relationships in high school to both my failed marriages I was just looking for something solid. Something that couldn't be found in the people I was looking for it in because there is no "forever" in never. And when you get caught up in hope it turns into habit. The problem was that I spent more time hoping than really being happy. That's not to say I was never happy or had the happiness of being in love. I remember the exact moment I met JAC's Daddy. I knew. I just "knew" everything I ever wanted had just walked in that door. I remember looking at him on our first date and thinking "how can I be this lucky?" And after 10 years, I found myself thinking the same thing today. Only this time for a very different reason.
How can I be this lucky? After all the things (of which I will not be airing on here, ever), all the moves, all the laughs, all the tears, all the promises kept and un-kept, and all the words said and unsaid. How is that I am still putting one foot in front of the other? Still choosing to smile about something each day. Still learning that starting from the bottom again might just be the best after all. That failing at some things, some BIG things, doesn't mean I am gonna fail at everything. I am still learning how amazing God's grace is and that I don't have to be ashamed to share my trials. And that I don't need to explain WHY I don't have to be ashamed. I am learning that it's not my purpose to try to have relationships with people who are only aware of the receiving end of that relationship. And that one is pretty huge for me. I have always thought that if someone didn't like me or love me it was because I failed them in some way. It wasn't until I gave up every single ounce of myself that I had no choice but to ask "what is there left for ANYONE to love?" If nothing of 'myself' is left to love then basically I am just a shell filled with a little bit of everyone else in my life. Running on thoughts that belong to them too. I got so wrapped up in wanting to make sure that all the people who said "they'd love me forever" weren't ever disappointed that I became a mixture of what everyone else thought I should be and inevitably stopped being myself. And in that scenario, nobody wins because it will never end up being enough.
And so here I am now. Just me. Rebuilding myself from the bottom up. All me. (And God's grace, of course as it's the one thing that never waivers.) It feels amazing. It's kinda surreal to feel my own love pouring back into my soul. And I just keep thinking, "Thank you for saying you'd love me forever, and not meaning it. You finally made me see what it's like to love myself."