Monday, July 12, 2010

The Big Day?

I got divorced last Tuesday, and I've been trying to write this post ever since. For the longest time, I just couldn't figure out what to say, and then I realized that *that* is exactly what I should say: I just don't know what to say.

It was the most anti-climactic experience of my life. For months, I've been jumping through hoops, puzzling over legal documents, and pondering the ramifications of changing the word "drawings" to "art" in the divorce decree (yes, I'm serious). It's been a laborious and emotionally gut-wrenching process, and then, in two minutes, it was over. Literally, two minutes. They called my name on the docket, and my lawyer and I walked to the front of the courtroom. The judge swore me in, I answered maybe ten yes-or-no questions, they asked me - twice! - whether I was pregnant (apparently in Texas you can't finalize a divorce if you're pregnant?), and then the judge signed the decree. She didn't even really read it. We walked downstairs, filed the paperwork, and that was it - I was officially divorced. 

In a matter of moments, I had become a 29-year-old divorcee. I still don't quite know how to feel about it. Or maybe it's more accurate to say that I feel a lot of ways about it, none of them definitive and most of them contradictory. It feels wrong to be happy or excited, but I am looking forward to starting the next phase of my life. I'm relieved to have the emotional, financial, and legal upheaval of the last 8 months behind me and hopeful that it will continue to subside. I'm sad that all the dreams and plans I used to have for my life won't turn out quite the way I planned, but also energized by the possibility of being able to reshape my life however I like. But the thing I feel most right now is gratitude. I've mentioned how unwaveringly supportive my family has been, and I've commented on the kindness strangers have shown me, but I haven't yet mentioned some of the people I'm most thankful for: my friends.

One of my dearest friends from grad school, who got divorced herself last year, was my steadfast voice of reason and rock-solid support throughout this ordeal. Just a few weeks after my ex moved out, when I was probably drinking more wine than is generally advisable for any woman of my height and weight, she sent me a simple, straightforward wake-up call via text: "This self-destructive behavior will not be tolerated forever." When I had late-night meltdowns, she always answered the phone and talked me through them. When it was finally time to see a lawyer and file for divorce, she went with me. When it was time to go to court, she offered to go with me again. And after the divorce hearing, when it was time to meet my friends for five hours of drinks and girl talk, she drove me around so that I could drink as much as I felt necessary (which, didn't turn out to be nearly as much as I thought, lucky for both of us). She is big-hearted and wise and I love and respect her more than she probably realizes. Thanks, A.

I have so many other friends who did things, both big and small, to make my life easier. Out-of-town friends offered me a place to crash if I needed to get away for a weekend. Local friends met me for drinks and brunches and lunches and dinners and listened to me talk through my life until all of us were tired of it. Old friends called to check in on me, and newer friends offered their shoulders to cry on. Every single one of these kindnesses reaffirmed for me what I've known all along: I have an incredible group of friends who each supported me in their own way, some big and others small. 

So in my muddle of emotions surrounding my Divorce Day, at least one thing stands out: my gratitude to my friends, who are some of the most amazing people I know. Thank you for everything. 

And now, I promise to start being funny again soon.


fortunecookiejunkie said...

You're still funny. For instance, I laughed when I read (re-read?) that text. I had almost forgotten about that.

I was a 29-yr-old divorcee. The only difference is that now I'm a 30-yr-old, almost 31-yr-old divorcee. Life goes on. Robert Frost was right when he said he could sum up everything he's ever learned about life in three words: it goes on.

I don't know if it's fair to say that all the dreams and plans you had for your life won't turn out the way you planned. Your dreams and plans haven't necessarily changed all that much; they just don't involve the same people they did before. (And I say "people" intentionally because you will never be the same person, and that's not a bad thing.)

Love you much.


P.S. I love the drawings v. art story.
P.P.S. You gotta love a place that makes certain you're not "expecting" any children as a result of your marriage. That cracked me up, too.

Rena said...

I would have paid you a shiny quarter if you'd told the judge, "yes i'm knocked up...but my ex ain't my baby daddy..."

Looking forward to watching the future unfold (yours, mine, and everyone's...) You can still visit the Fort any time you'd like! :)



Katherine said...


Caroline said...

Perfect post. Simply right. Certainly sounds like you have a great group of friends, and what Allison said is spot on. xo and thank you for posting this! :o)

Sophia C. said...

i wish i had known what you were going through when you needed support the most. the past few months have been rough for me as well so i dont know how much support i wouldve really been. i'm glad i know now and can emotionally be supportive if you need it. i can certainly relate to the end of a relationship that you thought was going to be forever. my ex fiancee breaking up with me was the best thing to ever happen to me. honest. had we gotten married on the day we had set, i would be divorced by now. it really doesnt matter what others think. they arent in your shoes nor do they deal with what you deal with day in and day out. live your life and be happy. you deserve it! its better that you realize what you can and cant live with NOW instead of later when there might be kids involved. people who judge have no fucking clue what its like to be you. they have no idea what you've been through. you worked your ass off to make yourself better and to overcome depression. whats the point of bettering yourself when you're stuck in a miserable marriage? you're doing whats right for you and i support your cause all the way!

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