When you unpack a marriage, untangle and unwind all the bits you’ve woven over ten years, you’re bound to hit a snag. A year ago, as I was packing up the house, selling off the baggage of my old life, and sifting through the physical manifestation the relationship, I had no idea how much lighter I would feel a year later.
Things here have been good for the most part, settled, at least, in this beautiful place we are now privileged to call home. But I found that the more I dug in to this writing exercise, looking for moments to share and distill, the more it hurt. There were layers I had pushed back far far away, while living in survival mode. It’s amazing how a simple writing practice can get at those pain points. The one thing I’ve learned this year, has been to listen to those feelings, and so, a week in, I realized I just wasn’t ready to go on writing. I needed to sit quietly, for just a little longer, before I took the feelings on.
As Alice Hoffman said in the opening to the original article that inspired all of this, “Our lives often appear to be moving in one direction, and then, quite suddenly, a door opens and everything changes. A possibility arises, we daydream, we take a chance, we allow ourselves to feel joy. What’s on the other side of the open door becomes the moment that defines us and charts a new path. It could be almost anything. Suddenly we stop and make a turn. We imagine something completely different for ourselves. Something we never expected.”
So friend, if you are walking that same path I am, or rebuilding a life when you least expected it, I have this wish for you: I hope you can let go enough to let yourself feel joy. And I hope you are kind to yourself, for through that kindness you will find all the strength you need. It’s right there, inside you.