Friday, May 17, 2013

Three Years

Today is my third… me-iversary. Three years ago, my ex-husband walked out and my life as an independent woman began. I probably won't call attention to this date again on this blog, but three strikes me as a good, complete number.

I've been hanging onto some stuff past its expiration date. I didn't realize until recently that I was in a (very stealthy) rut. When I was first divorced, it was important to me to feel and process everything thoroughly. As unpleasant as it was, I didn't want to deal with "moldy leftovers" later in life. Gradually, I adjusted to my new circumstances and stopped tripping on emotional triggers around every corner. But by then, I had formed a habit of pulling up all my painful memories and bad feelings. Sometimes for more analysis; sometimes to wallow; increasingly, to make myself stop wanting a relationship (oh, you want to go through that again?). I thought the burden of those memories was an unavoidable curse of being divorced, and to a degree, it is. But I don't need to keep reliving it all anymore. It's okay to push it away. History has been fully reconstructed. The book is closed. These thoughts have no further constructive role in my life, and at this point, all they can do is hurt me. I can let them go. It feels good!

Subconsciously, I've been waiting for external circumstances to move me past this point. I thought I had reached the end of my healing alone, and anything further would have to be generated by something outside me. That's how it works for most people in my situation. Very few get this far without something – a new love, a new career, a total life change – pushing them into a new gear. Now I see that, like always, I'm responsible for pushing myself. I don't have to wait for a man, or whatever, to come and save me. God still has room to work in the here and now.

For a long time, and for no logical reason, I've felt like this is probably as good as it's going to get. My life is great in a lot of ways, but honestly, I'd hoped for a better endgame. But maybe God wants to do more than a satisfactory patch job with me, and He doesn't want anything else taking the credit for it. He might yet have plans for further restoration and emancipation beyond anything I could have imagined.

This week, on the elliptical (I have most of my epiphanies there, or while mowing the lawn), I felt a sudden certainty that I'm currently in the montage portion of my life. You know, the part of the movie or show with quick shots of the main character going to work, hanging out with friends, playing tennis. Nothing especially exciting happening. But then the montage and the music stop, and the real story begins. I don't mean to discount the montage, because I believe that much of what's important in life happens in the mundane. But we are all meant for some larger story. The daily grind, putting in the work, building the relationships, consistently showing up, is how we get to our stories. Someday the music will stop and it'll be time for mine.

PS – This morning, a friend of mine gave birth to her third daughter. I'm happy to see this day redeemed as a day of joy and life!


  1. Three years! Wow.

    Good thoughts here. Especially about how we don't have to relive negative experiences every time they sneak into our thoughts (something I've been trying to learn--I have that same tendency feel obligated to "deal" with every feeling and memory rather than push it away).

  2. Okay, the idea of being in a "montage part of your life" is brilliant. Seriously, it's such a wonderful image, and it fits so well right here. I know there are big things in store for you and I love your outlook on everything and the way you do internalize it and then out of it better than before. I'm glad this will be the last "anniversary" for you.