Thursday, June 23, 2016

Old(er), Wise(r), and in Love

Two of my co-workers are getting married before the end of the year.

Not to each know.

Another two co-workers are about to become first-time parents.

I totally remember the giddiness and anxiety of these milestones. I got married at the very beginning of the 90s, and I became a mom at the very end of the 90s. I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything.

Nope, not even smooching with Ryan Reynolds.

Of course, as of last week I've also experienced divorce. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that. I literally have to remind myself, at least once a day, that I'm no longer married. Not married, not separated, not waiting on the judge to sign the decree, but divorced. Apart from our amazing Precocious Daughter, my ex (no longer my almost-ex, but my ex) and I share nothing.

This makes me feel happysadangrybitterhopefulsorryrelievedanxiousstrong.

In case you didn't realize Inside Out was a documentary.

The thing is, I'm not single. My ex and I were separated for 3 1/2 years. I am in a long-term, stable relationship with my darling Drummer Boy. He is, apart from my Bestest Friend, my bestest friend. He knows how to make me scream...both with laughter and with passion. He has seen me at my worst, and suffered me at my ugliest, and forgiven me at my weakest. When I look in his eyes, he tells me he loves me without saying a word.

I love him, Drunkards.

He's a good egg.

But here's the thing. PDaughter and I are in a pretty good place. We live in a great community, I'm able to support us both comfortably (if not luxuriously), we have a good relationship that acknowledges both our bond and our independence from each other, and I think we're both happier to be out of a family dynamic that had ceased to work for any of us.

I love where I am.

I love paying my own bills, planning my own meals, fretting over my own budget. I've never done this in my entire life, and I dig it.

Drummer Boy would marry me if I said yes.

But I won't. Not while PDaughter is still in high school. Not when the ink is still metaphorically wet on my divorce decree. Not before I've had a chance to grapple with being a single mom in all its complexity.

As I've told many of my IRL friends, I'm terribly sad my marriage failed. But I'm extremely happy to have put it behind me.

I wish the greatest success and joy to my co-workers who are embarking on new phases of their lives over the next several months. Marriage is awesome. Parenthood is utterly amazing. I'm behind you 110%.

I hope your joy never ends.

But if it does, I have two pieces of advice.

First: Life goes on.

Second: Love never dies. It fades, it hides, it changes form. But love never, ever dies.

I hope each of you has a Drummer Boy.

I hope my Drummer Boy never gives up on me.

1 comment:

  1. Love ya, Chuck. I'm glad you're finally in a good place.


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