This is an interesting week in my life. A couple of major events tied to October 5th. First of all it is my wedding date and this year would have been 9 years had we stayed married. We "celebrated" our 7th anniversary in the middle of a divorce...I use the quotes because he still acknowledged the day while I did not. Over is over. October 5th is also the estimated date of arrival for my child who would have turned 6 this year. Yet further proof that we can plan our lives all we want, but sometimes, life, God, the Universe (whatever you believe) has other plans.
I do not look at this time as a sad memory but more of a celebration. I've come so far and I've grown so much and made so many changes. I am no longer the person I was 2 years ago, 6 years ago, much less 10 years ago when I met my ex-husband. I was far from in charge of my own life, I was living someone else's dream, I no longer recognized my reflection in the mirror, I was bitter and angry...and really scared that this was all life had for me. A mother of 4...not really the smartest idea to decide to cut ties and go it alone. What would that look like and would we make it? After years of consideration, I decided that the risks far outweighed the benefits of keeping my life "status quo".
I see people all the time - people close to me and those I don't know well - who stay in relationships that no longer serve them because of fear. Financial fears. Fears over the well being of their children. Fears of being alone and not finding something "better" out there. I, too, was paralyzed by fear. It's why I got married in the first place...to a man I knew I shouldn't be marrying. It's why I stayed as long as I did. It wasn't until I decided that no matter how scared I was, I was going to jump head first and make a better life for me and my kids. I wasn't going to sit by anymore and hope that things got better or wait until my children were grown to go out and find a happier life. Shit, deciding to end my marriage was the scariest thing I've ever done.
My friends have watched me fight the hard fight and they know that the last few years have been one struggle after another. But with each struggle, each new challenge I have found myself on higher ground. My friend Rich calls me the "Superball" because whenever I'm faced with a struggle I always come back stronger and better than before. It doesn't just happen. It happens because I want it to happen and so I make it happen. I don't just sit around and be woeful and hope things will change for me. I make them change.
3 years ago my husband gave me the most beautiful eternity band on our 6th anniversary. I called it the "fix-it ring" because I knew it was his last ditch attempt at keeping us together. After all, diamonds are a girl's best friend, right? ;) It is beautiful, but given to me in a context that made me very sad to wear it and not want it. But I still have it and it just sits in my drawer. I wore a bit last year and decided it had "bad juju". As the Ironman came around this year and I was short on blingy things to wear onstage I decided I could reframe the meaning of this ring and wear it and make it work for me. So, I decided that the eternity band is my "full circle ring" and it now symbolizes everything I've been through in the last 3 years and my commitment to continually improving my life and the life of my children.
Happiness is a choice. That, I believe is true.