I know a lot of married people.
I know a lot of single people.
I know a lot of divorced people.
I know people who are in their 30s and have never been married. (Some want to be, some don't.)
I know people who (like me) have never really been single.
I know people who dated for years before finding their perfect match.
I know people who married their high school sweetheart.
I know people who didn't marry until they were at an age when statistics said they were more likely to be struck by lightning than to find their soul mate.
I know people who married young, thinking it would be forever, and then got divorced, only to find true happiness with someone else.
I know people who have weathered multiple failed marriages but still haven't given up on the idea of love.
I know people who are happiest being single.
I know people who remain married for reasons other than happiness.
I know people who married young, stuck it out for a quarter-century, and are now traveling the path toward divorce and being independent for the first time in their entire lives.
That would be me.
All of our stories matter.
All of our stories are true and valid and perfectly OK.
Love and marriage are two different things.
Sometimes they go together. Sometimes they don't. And that's OK. Frank Sinatra was full of shit: You can have one without the other, and whether you do or not, you're good.
Looking independence in the face, I'm happier now than I've ever been. I love the idea of love, and I'm happy that I have loved, and I'm happy that I will love. But I'm happiest of all that I finally get to take care of myself and my Precocious Daughter in the best way I can, with no compromise and no obstacles.
I envy those who have learned this lesson before me. I also envy those who have learned this lesson while staying in a happy, productive relationship.
My path is different, but soooooo equally valid.
Own your path, Drunkards, is what I'm saying.
We're all traveling together, no matter what route we take.
I love you all.