‘I Believe My Future is Bigger Than My Past’

I do believe my future is bigger than my past.  As soon as I heard these words spoken by Steve Gleason in his documentary titled, Gleason, it struck a chord within me. There are so many times in life when we are so hyper-focused upon the mistakes we have made.  We focus upon our failed relationships, our lost opportunities and the should’ves, could’ves, would’ves.

Little do most people know that those moments in life when we feel our failures will completely ruin us, they can actually be blessings in disguise.  Did you ever stop to think that maybe a relationship failed because growth was completed by both people involved and a better, healthier relationship was waiting for each?  Each person experienced what they needed to in the relationship and now it was time to move on.  Or perhaps a lost opportunity was a door closing and even though it was horrendous to experience and go through, little did you know an amazing and more fulfilling opportunity was just around the corner.

It’s okay to live in the past for the sake of recognizing the lesson each situation you’ve experienced has provided for you and even to be grateful for those lessons. It’s why you’ve had those experiences, although at the time, when you’re going through it, it is the last thing you’re thinking about. The moments when you’re in it so deeply, you don’t even know what the light looks like at the end of the tunnel as you dig your way out of the darkness. You see, that’s the thing…that darn light.  In the moments of rock bottom, just see it, envision that light.  Even if the light that shines through for you is simply the size of a pinhole, at least it is there.  Truth?  It’s always been there because it resides within you. Once you begin to realize this, it makes putting one foot in front of the other a bit easier.

I believe my future is bigger than my past because I refuse to allow my past to define the direction of where I want to go in my life, who I want to have along for the journey, and the opportunities I have yet to experience.  Society tells us that you have to have your successes accomplished within a specific age range and I just don’t agree with that.  There is still much love to give and to receive, there is much that has yet to be accomplished, there is much to see, there is a lot of life to be lived and yes, there are even more lessons to be learned.

What we do need to take away from our past is what we have learned and to recognize the growth that has occurred. Use those lessons to be more aware of the actions you take moving forward so you’re able to make the right decisions for yourself to enjoy deeper, more fulfilling experiences.

Home For Christmas

No matter how old I am, there is nothing like the feeling of being at home with my parents. It is 100% my safe zone.  I wanted to run, run, run and in my mind, being back home, I had escaped the matter at hand. Reality, however, would soon follow me when Henry arrived three days later.

It was Thursday evening and Henry was slated to arrive at my parent’s house at 4 a.m. Friday.  Any discussion I have had with Henry, while truthful (for the most part), at this point was to honestly tell him what he wanted to hear.  Was this the best thing to do?  No.  Why did I do this?  I was scared…of him, of us, of the present and the future.  I had given him my power.  It was his way or no way during this time.

I had numerous messaging conversations with Tara about this entire issue and about Henry.  Tara is my sister from another mister.  She knows me like the back of my hand; the good, the bad and the ugly yet through all of that, she still loves me as I love her. When Henry arrived at my parent’s home at 4 in the morning, he greeted the dogs and then was out in the living area for a period of time.

“Wake up.”

“Wake up!”

It was Henry.  He turned the light on as I looked at him in a confused state.  He backs up, takes his wedding ring off and throws it onto the bed toward me.

“I want a divorce.”  He said.

While I knew deep down this is what I ultimately wanted too, his behavior threw me for a loop.

“You left the computer on and I read your messaging conversation with Tara.”  He told me.

“How DARE you bash me like that to her,” he said, “I would NEVER in a million years talk about you that way to ANYONE!”

In truth, I cannot remember this conversation to 100% accuracy.  What I know is that I shared my feelings about Henry to Tara.  Did I mean ill will by it?  No.  I was venting, I was desperate and she was the only person, at the time, I felt I share everything with.  Did I intentionally bash him?  In my mind, no.  In his mind, yes.

I never intended to hurt Henry.  It was now something I felt I was doing over and over again.  I dealt him a crushing blow.  He left, in tears and drove to his parent’s house.  I felt like the worst human being ever to walk the Earth.

It was now 6 a.m.  Crying, I cracked the door to my parent’s room.  They asked me what was going on.

“We’re getting divorced.” I told them.

Merry effing Christmas.

Change is Coming: January 2014-October 2014

To Tennessee.

Where we knew no one.

Henry moved first to begin his job and I soon followed.  I was not yet 24 hours in lovely, hot Tennessee when at the pool, enjoying a relaxing day, Henry tells me that he thinks he made a mistake and is going to start looking for a new job elsewhere…preferably something a bit closer to home.

What the fuck?  Did he really say what I thought he did?  Did I NOT just move a couple hundreds of miles from everything and everyone that I knew; from a great paying job, from EVERYTHING?!  I’ve barely had one sleep in Tennessee and this bomb gets dropped on me.

I was not happy. In my mind, I gave up everything for him to move here.  In my mind, I was the one who sacrificed more.

Yes, this is all true but as time ticked along I came to learn that his employer did pull a fast one on him. Henry despised his job and from that point on, he was on what felt like the never-ending job search. A part of me felt bad for him.  The other part of me told him to suck it up.  This is what he initially wanted and he had to make the best of it. At times I felt guilty for being so hard on Henry about the move and his job. I wasn’t being the supportive wife. I was starting to be the resentful wife.

We shared several months together exploring what the new area had to offer and we did have good times too.  We laughed, we went out to eat – stuff like that.  Most of our time was spent eating dinner, on table trays in front of the television. There was not too much conversation going on and I’m not sure why.  I knew I was becoming increasingly unhappy and I was trying my best to not let it shine through.  But some things you just can’t hide.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I continued to work for my employer from home until the end of summer at which time I applied for and got unemployment compensation while looking for a permanent job in Tennessee.  Summer faded into autumn and I had the opportunity to go to Los Angeles, all expenses paid, to work for one week at a trade show.  My best friend, Tara presented me with this, I talked it over with Henry and off to L.A. I went.

Little did I know this trip would change my life forever.

Bah, Bah Blacksheep

I’ve considered myself the black sheep in my immediate and extended family for many, many years.  I adore the only sibling I have…my brother, but we couldn’t be more different.  He sees things in black and white and I see things in every single shade of gray.  I would like to lump my three cousins into my sibling category.  And yet, even as the second oldest of the five of us, I still feel very odd woman out.

Everyone has thriving careers and has had them for many years.  Growing up, I remember having a knowing of what each one of them would do for a living. Art, politics, engineering, pharmacology…and then there was me. I entered college as a theater major and exited with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. Only to now be making a living in sales and fundraising.  It’s funny how that works out.

I was the last out of the five to get married at the ripe age of 38…and I am the first to get divorced at the riper age of 43.

While I know the choices that I have made within and about my marriage were and are the very best choices for me, I still cannot help but to feel I am such a disappointment to my family. A disappointment not just with this, but throughout my life with different choices I have made.  My parents are the most amazing, supportive people on the planet and quite frankly, the most important people in my life.  They have never uttered these words to me.

When you separate from someone and eventually divorce not only do you grieve and feel sadness but if your family members were close to your significant other, they will also be going through their own grieving process.  This was the case with both of my parents but more so with my dad. When I was home over Christmas and recently separated, I remember my dad being very sulky one evening.  He was quiet at the dinner table and then just went into the bedroom to watch the news.  There was definite tension and while I understood what was going on, I was feeling that my dad was just so not happy with me.  I walked into the bedroom and asked him what was wrong.  I knew he was sad.  Then with tears rolling down my cheeks, I asked the question…’Dad, are you disappointed in me?’ He told me no, he was not.  He was just very sad.  100% understandable.

These feelings I have about this situation are mine and my alone and I know I have to work them out and forgive myself for feeling this way.

As my teacher always says, ‘It’s an inside job.’