Anniversary. I was curious about the definition of the word, so I looked it up on dictionary.com (funny fact, I have a subscription to the dictionary.com word of the day… I’m a geek like that). The definition is “the yearly recurrence of the date of a past event”; the word that stuck out the most to me in this definition is “past”. I’m leaving this particular anniversary in the past.
I hadn't planned on this being my first post; I am in the process of composing a thoughtful, compelling, and clever insight into who I am and what you can come to
expect. But what's more compelling than where I'm at right now and being real with you? I'm not so into the "shoulds", I'm all about the "coulds". I sat down on my bed and took a selfie so you could see who's talking at ya (I haven't been able to get my proper photos done with social distancing)... So here I am in raw form, starting out with this post.
Yesterday would have been my 8th wedding anniversary. I actually didn’t realize it at all, because with all of this covid stuff going on and with my ex not working currently, I don’t have any sort of context for what day it is, and I’m intentionally avoiding the news, so I didn’t even realize on the day of. But I got a message from my friend in Ireland (who couldn’t make the wedding) where she forwarded me the message I sent her the day after our wedding. Then it hit me… This was supposed to be a happy day, a day of celebration, a day of love. And I cried.
And I’m actually sitting here crying right now, writing through tears. I sat down at my desk to do my other job, but I just couldn’t focus enough to do it properly and I was crying too hard to see anyhow, so I thought if I wrote it out that it might help, because it usually does.
And then I realized that the only person who said anything about my anniversary was this friend who lives in Ireland that I haven’t seen in about a decade; not my parents, not my siblings, not even my ex. Maybe he didn’t realize what day it was either, but he always was the one who was better with dates…
I am thinking about our anniversary last year, and funny enough, I can’t really remember it. Maybe it’s the concussion that’s affecting that memory; our daughter would have been almost 1, so I imagine we would have gone out for dinner. Maybe it’s the dinner I have in my memory where we got all dressed up for what seemed like a fine dining experience, me in a little black dress and red heels, only to find ourselves in a very loud, very bright restaurant surrounded by wild children. We tried to have a sense of humor about it all, but one of the things about my marriage is that we didn’t laugh nearly enough, and I'm the funniest person I know!
This being my first spring in over a decade without my ex in my life, and my first anniversary of the date that will no longer have any meaning, I’m wondering how I should feel. I’m wondering if people should have reached out to me, even with all of this going on in our world, and I’m feeling a bit hurt that nobody did. And I know that there is some serious stuff going on, but in my group online chat with some of my favorite ladies last night we talked about allowing ourselves to grieve the things that were part of who we were, our unmet expectations, and our sadnesses, even if they seem trivial. Because they’re not trivial- if they hurt, they matter, and they deserve to be felt. So I’m allowing myself to feel a bit sad, and cry about my disappointments, my hurt, the life I thought I’d have…
But I am not going to wallow there, and here’s where the work comes in. You can feel the hurt and the sad, and it’s easy to stay there… but I’m more than this event, I am and always was more than my marriage, and now I’m more than someone who is getting divorced. I am resilient and have so much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to. Maybe I'll make that date a new celebration- I'll celebrate what I learned and the opportunity to start over and be the person I was created to be.
So I’ll sit for a minute, rest a bit in my sadness, and then I’ll get up, put my chin up, and keep moving forward. I’ve got this baggage, yes, but it’s not too heavy, because I’m leaving the heavy stuff behind. I’m doing the work and so can you.
The past is heavy. Put it down.