Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dancing in the Rain

I couldn't tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday. I couldn't say for certain what outfits I wore last week. I don't remember the name of the restaurant I ate at last month. But I could tell you absolutely everything about September 21, 2003.

I married the man I loved eight years ago today. While it is no longer a happy anniversary, the date is drilled into my brain, nonetheless. I have vague recollections of him every so often but today I'm flooded with memories both bitter and sweet.

I remember every crystal of my Maggie Sottero dress. I can picture every petal of my white rose bouquet. I vividly recall my lilac tinted cake. I still imagine dancing with my little sister every single time J. Lo's "Let's Get Loud" comes on the radio. I can feel the ground squishing under my ballet slippers, the wet grass turning them green after the constant rain leading up to our wedding day. It's all there. And yet, it's all gone.

I realized last night that it's not my husband I miss at all. Our wedding was beautiful but our marriage was flawed at best. We started growing apart from the minute we got together. I didn't know the first thing about myself or how to have a "real relationship" at 20 years old. I would dare to argue that no one does. But the choices are to grow up together or grow apart and it saddens me to say we unwittingly chose the latter route.

I wrote the blog "Non-aversary" one year ago today. Our divorce was finalized two years ago today. We split four years ago today. Today seems to be the date that follows me wherever I go, haunts me in my dreams, shaped an entire decade of my life.

But it does not define me.

I have made a conscious choice to not be the product of my divorce. It's so easy to fall into the trap of letting one aspect of your existence define you, eclipsing every other part of your world. It's easy to fall prey to the "woe is me" mindset and embarrassingly, for a while, I did. That time is over.

September 21, 2011 is completely different than last year, two years ago, ten years ago. For the first time since I got on that plane to London, I can honestly say that my ex is no longer a part of my life. He and our marriage will always have a place in my heart and remain at the back of my mind. That being said, the more of my heart Kit takes up, the less room there is for painful breakups with exes. The more present I am in my life today, the further back those memories get pushed. The more happiness I allow myself to feel, the less sadness has a chance to creep in. I feel stronger and more confident than ever before.

The amazing news is that Kit & I just moved in together and we are loving every second of it. I promise to go back and fill in all the details of our modern day fairy tale journey and I hope you're as excited to read about it as I am to write it! After all the hurt, all the heartbreak, all the disappointment, all the bull shit, I've written my own happily ever after with a man I am proud to say I love totally and completely. He's not perfect. Neither am I. But we're pretty darn perfect for each other and I find myself smiling more often than should be legally allowed!

My dearest readers: You have become my friends and I never would have survived this experience without your kindness, love and support. All the comments, all the emails, all the cheerleading got me back on my proverbial horse and now I'm riding off with my knight in shining armor. I wish for each and every one of you a lifetime of love and happiness. Whether you're single, going through a break-up, or have survived an awful divorce, there is a rainbow after the storm. In the meantime, may I suggest dancing in the rain!

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