Today, June 16th, is a very sad day.
My divorce papers are filed and signed, and a nice California judge has affirmed that yes, legally, as of today, my marriage is over.
Huh. I kinda knew that already, but thanks, buddy.
Some people throw parties. Some celebrate. Some burn each other's stuff. Some even crawl into bed one last time, out of nostalgia, I guess Or for hate sex. Or they have revenge sex with someone else.
I am doing none of the above. I am deeply saddened at it's demise, when it started with so much promise.
I married a kind man. He was funny. He was charming. He was also short and fat and I didn't care about that. Ugliest feet I have ever seen on a human being...and I have a thing about feet. I am not kidding
He made me laugh.
I didn't realize he would also make me cry in a way I haven't since I was a child.
We had three very good years, and two very rough ones. But even in the last two years, we shared many joyful things. We get to hold onto those, and relish them.
I was never going to get married, Heck, I managed to shut men down for 45 years. I can blow a potential relationship out of the water faster than I can go 0-60 in my car. It's a compulsion. You can't get hurt if you don't let anyone in, man. And I've broken a few noses slamming that door.
Deep inside, I didn't feel worthy of sharing a life with someone. I didn't feel comfortable with the idea. It was a really good plan. Right up until it wasn't.
I had issues related to my childhood that I have spent a lifetime running from. They caught me.
He had issues related to his upbringing that he has never dealt with. His hand was a bust.
Well, those chickens came home and roosted right in between the man I married, and me. And they left poop all over the place. Chicken sh*! everywhere.
Add a few other major pressure-points, crappy working hours and two people who didn't really know how to bring things up with one another, and it got very messy.
And sometimes, it got mean.
It got lonely, and other people snaked their way into our lives, and love, choking off any hope of reconciliation.
By the time I realized we were in the red, the gasket had blown, the engine had seized and the truck hauling that chicken poop rolled over and over on the road. It was a full-blown haz-mat situation, there for a while.
Some things cannot be forgiven, and some wounds are too deep to heal. They bleed and then fester, and then the love goes necrotic. It's a brutal ending to a beginning that was so full of promise.
But don't let me get you down...a lot of good has come out of this.
I am no longer kicking that little kid inside of myself. I am nurturing her, healing her and seeing that I am not unworthy of love, respect and joy. And respect. Did I mention that?
I have spent an awful lot of time being horrible to myself, and that is over. I thought I deserved what happened. I did NOT.
I deserve the best a man has to offer, and I will have that in a partner, or I will happily live my life without one. I am complete and whole, and will stay that way...in love or out of it. Fire can temper you, or devour you...your choice. I made mine.
I started looking at life and career with new eyes, and realized that the future I had envisioned, was...gone.
Now, it is wide open. (Thanks, Tom Petty.)
There is a blank canvas where my blueprint used to be...and I can paint my own Starry Night. Or dogs playing poker. And I will. My masterpiece has yet to be laid out on canvas, but it is percolating in my head.
I am not cowed by change, in fact I crave it.
I have no bitterness left...a little is OK...but you have to balance it with savory and sweet
I no longer have armor to protect me, I don't need it .
I want to taste this life and live it, large, on my terms.
And I will.
Because my marriage is over, and there was not a damned thing I could do about it. By the time I copped to it that something was broken, it was too late.
No one died, and no one lost an eye, it just felt like it.
There were losses, believe me. Dignity was lost. A sense of rightness in the world was lost, trust vanished in an instant, and I lost my way for a while. That passes, if you are wondering.
And maybe...just maybe, as sad as it is, that is really for the best.
For both of us.
I wish my ex-husband well. I hope he finds what he has been searching for. Or finds out what he has been searching for. He has returned to his first love, art, and has done some amazing things as he delves deeply into himself to find great beauty. He is a talented man with an impressive eye.
I will toast my ex, with a lovely bottle of Krug, tonight, and I will wish him peace.
But most of all, I wish him love. His own, and that of a woman who can see the witty, charming, sweet man I married, and bring out the very best in him, for both of them.
I will toast myself, and the fierce, unafraid Amazon who stumbled out of that fire, coughed out a bit of smoke, spit out an ember, and lit a cigar on the flames of her former life.
What happens now? I have no idea, I am ready...and I am armed for bear. If I was that bear...I'd run.
Photos Courtesy Getty Images and LaDona Harvey