It’s official. One year ago I left my husband.
It seems unreal to write those words. It’s overwhelming to think about how much has happened in the past 12 months.
It’s hard to articulate how short and how long this year has felt.
A year ago, I found affairs, lies, and realized my marriage was an illusion. A figment of my imagination. My marriage was empty. And I never even saw it coming… I made the heart wrenching decision to leave the man I loved so incredibly deeply and haven’t looked back since.
Beyond the facts of my situation that came to light, I’ve learned a lot about my weaknesses, my strengths, happiness, and resilience. I’ve learned about self-love, what it means to be a partner, and what I need in my next partner.
When I set out to write this blog, I did it, in part, for me. I knew that putting my thoughts, struggles, and fears on paper (or a public blog) would be a cathartic practice. But, I didn’t quite anticipate how much it helped me get through. This blog has been a constant source of strength for me. In my darkest days, I’d get a message from a stranger filled with encouragement and love. Other days, I could read some of my posts and draw from the strength I put down on the page earlier. Any doubts or anxiety could be lessened by the words I had already written and already felt.
My healing hasn’t been an easy road… healing is messy.
And that is why I made this public. To help people heal, or at least provide a (virtual) friend to let people know they are not alone. Any people, or any one person. If my words have touched you, then this whole event in my life was worth it. If just one person felt inspired or gained strength from my posts, I have done more than what I could have hoped for.
So I am celebrating the anniversary of the death of my marriage. For me, and maybe, for you. In celebration of this first anniversary, I want to share some of the things I have learned in the past 12 months.
- Loving yourself is one of the best things you could ever do. Love yourself for your strengths and weaknesses and celebrate what makes you unique. Don’t ever allow someone or something to take that self love away from you.
- When you love yourself, you don’t care what people think of you or your decisions. Stand strong when you make a choice, whatever choice that might be.
- No one is worth losing yourself over. The people who are important in your life will be the ones who help you see how wonderful you are.
- Take time to be sad if you’re sad, enjoy every second of happiness, and let anger come. Understand, process, and feel. Do not push the emotions to the side, or hold on too tightly to one emotion. Feel everything.
- Crying doesn’t equate to weakness.
- You will find your weaknesses and you may not like them… but being aware of them is a powerful tool.
- Fear is best fought in a team.
- Treat yourself AND honor yourself. Do you want an ice cream cone today? Do it. But also make decisions that honor yourself in the long term.
- Celebrate every small victory, no matter how small.
- F*** labels… divorce isn’t a death sentence or something that defines you.
- Push yourself to find new passions. I dug up writing as my old hobby and this year, I’m busting out my old easel and acrylic paints.
- Remember that healing is messy… it takes time. There are always aftershocks.
- We are defined by who we are in the worst of times. This is a time of major growth, so lean into that and better yourself. There is always room for improvement (even though you are so beautiful already).
- Plan to not plan. I love certainties (hence why I was a economics major), but they just don’t exist. When things don’t work out according to your plan, it can cause anxiety and stress. Acknowledge the change and find ways to work around it. It will be okay.
- Appreciate everything. Bad day? I am positive something good happened. Focus on the good and your perspective will be brand new.
- Learn what you deserve and what you absolutely will not stand for. And then make sure you get it.
This journey of healing has been hard and unbearably painful at times. However, it’s always been completely eye-opening and a huge blessing. I have no idea why it happened… I have no way of answering that. It wasn’t fair. It sucked. I didn’t want it and I don’t wish it upon another person. But, here I am. One year later, with a huge smile on my face. I know there was a reason for all of it… I have listed 16 of the countless lessons I learned this past year. I was made a better person by all of it.
I hope you are well on your way to finding you again. I know I am.