I awoke Tuesday morning excited for the day. I was off from work for a week, the weather report was for sunshine through the weekend and I was going to spend the day with my 90 year old mom and aunt.
As I was preparing for the day, the date hit me. Bowled me over to be exact. The sound of September 1st caused a lump in my throat and a tear to slide down my cheek. I stood in my bedroom and quietly cried for a moment. Memories flashed through my brain like a slides how of the day some 30 years prior.
Why would it hit me harder than usual? Is it the marker of 30 years that hit so hard it felt like a sucker punch to my belly? What was bringing up so much emotion?
Today marked what would have been my 30th anniversary with my first husband. I remember the day oh so well. White puffy clouds in a deep blue sky. The sun shining brightly. A day filled with love and a few jitters. My nephew refusing to walk down the aisle without the real rings, which we safety pinned on the pillow to make him happy. My niece wondering if she would ever see me again now that I wouldn’t be at Mommom and Grandpa’s house. Two hundred people who loved us and wanted the best for us enjoying a wonderful day. It was the beginning of a new life, our life side by side. My life was supposed to be that of a couple. Someone who I thought would always have my back. A path was started that I thought I knew, that was predictable. I had been planning it since I fell in love with Craig as a naive 16 year old.
Thirty years later I couldn’t have been more wrong. Please understand I am not lamenting over the man. I do not miss him or wish we had stayed together, that train left a long time ago. We were very passionate as a couple, passionately in love and in hate. We didn’t communicate well and had so much baggage just walking into our marriage. I do believe though that my sadness was more about lamenting the path, the life I thought I was going to have.
My life and me as a person is certainly different than I had planned some 30 years ago. Good or bad, don’t know. But certainly different.
Although I can say I loved Craig, I really loved the idea of marriage. I loved the idea of having someone by my side, I didn’t have to go it alone. I knew him well and our upbringing was similar, giving us morals and values that were similar. He was my first real love. In losing that love I felt true heartbreak. Putting the pieces back together was very difficult and I thought I could never do that again. But then there is life! Life pulls thing apart to give you an opportunity to put it back together differently, and evolve. I have felt that heartbreak numerous times now and know I can survive it and ultimately learn and thrive from it.
I started to focus on what is different today both in my life and me. Here is what I have cone up with so far!
- Trust myself. I have purchased homes, negotiated contracts, traveled much of this world alone. Only having me to trust although frightening at times, has also been empowering! I can and do rely on me.
- Be ok alone, be my own best friend. I can now be alone and enjoy myself. I can be renewed and regenerate alone. I can enjoy a day, a trip, a movie or a meal alone. I can be with just me and not think “woe is me.”
- Be part of the village. It does take a village to raise a family. Not having my own allowed methe time and attention to be part of so many others. I am a better person for the young lives I have been a part of.
- Take risks with my career. Being able to trust myself and making decisions alone translated to my career. Whether it was to change industries and travel to Long Island, or be a consultant for a few years they all led me to where I am now. I have a great role with a great company and I have stretched myself in wYs I never thought possible.
- Allow myself to change. This path has led to my evolution and to me. I am a better version of who I once was. I follow my own path and purpose and I like who I have evolved into.
Thirty years has come and gone. I am different and I am sure Craig is as well. I look back with a smile and a tear. It was beautiful then and it has led me here; where I am finally comfortable in my skin being the best version of me I can be. Thank you for the memory and the journey….to another thirty and another evolution!