I was a suburban mom with two healthy kids, a dog, the husband with the white-collar job, the colonial two-story house with more rooms than we knew what to do with. Two new cars, a pool in the large backyard and all in the confines of our white picket fence. Everything seemed to be perfect because I kept it looking that way. I was the one who kept it all together. I made sure that even the closest of friends and family saw that I had it all together. It’s a full-time job to not be who you really are, to get what you really want or accept that things are not what they seem to be.
Finally, my point of exhaustion hit. Crap just started falling apart and there was nothing I could do any more to keep it together. I tried. If you know me, like REALLY know me, you know I tried. The judgments have come and gone on whether I did or didn’t and the questions on what happened. I take them with a grain of salt because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
Pro Tip 1: It’s none of your business why someone’s marriage ends unless the person going through the divorce offers the information.
When the decision was made to end the marriage, one of the hardest parts to deal with and still deal with then and now is letting go of my dreams. My “white picket fence” dream. Growing up, because of my parent’s divorce, I didn’t get the family I thought I needed. As an adult, I knew I wanted the “stereotypical suburban family” for myself. I STRIVED for that in my own relationship more than anyone can imagine. That’s where I think it went wrong. There was too much thinking with my head, I wanted too many “perfect on paper” things, and because of life circumstances at the time, I made decisions based on fear and panic. I forgot that my heart needed to catch up. Old wounds showed she hadn’t done me too much good in the past and, I was leery of trusting her and my gut.
Pro Tip 2: Trust your gut. A woman’s gut instinct is rarely wrong.
When my marriage started coming to an end, I mourned the loss of the life I had. I still do. I long for the days it all seemed right, where it felt safe, and I believed I had everything. There is a type of mourning that takes place when you let go of your dreams. The enormous amounts of guilt and regret I feel can be overwhelming. I have questioned decisions I made and why I wouldn’t have chosen a different path.
Then I remember that everything happens for a purpose, a reason and a plan. I am someone who loves a schedule, who’s anxiety needs stability and likes things organized and to make sense. A divorce puts all those things up in the air, and as they are falling down, you need to catch them and find a new place for it all to exist. I am doing just that. As much as I hate the term “journey,” this is mine. The woman who I was always meant to be was lost, and only I could be the one to find her. She is a pretty amazing woman and mother and, I’m not sure why I ever put her away. The friendships that I have, continue to carry me through and my family has never wavered in their support. Most importantly, there are the two amazing kids that think I am nailing motherhood.
Pro Tip 3: Find the people who love the real you and support that version.
My new dream is now much different It is one with success, happiness, honesty, and love. I want to listen to my heart and gut to help follow these dreams. It feels like the goals are being met, the progress is moving forward and I am being 100% myself. I am the only one who can make the new dreams a reality and I refuse to screw it up. I am letting go of my white picket fence and learning there is a life and love outside of it. There is always a certain amount of sadness of what “could have been” but I have more excitement of what will be. Turns out, I’m not a white picket fence person after-all.